Passive Fibre Optic Infrstructure with Cross Connects

crossconnect_2I was attending recently to a conference with all the main vendors from the passive fibre optic industry. I normally deal with routers and switches and haven´t looked for a long time what is going on at the passive infrastructure side. In the past most of the passive patchpanels had 12 or 24 ports and the density was usally not so high as we had it on the active switch side. A modular switch for example with 10x 48 Ports has up to 480 Ports when it is fully loaded. You really needed here a proper cable manegemnt or it ends in a cabeling chaos. In a greenfield installation you can do a nice and clean looking rack with a propper cable managent. In my expierence 10 years later after several changes you don´t have a nice looking Rack anymore. Over time where added more and more cables and if that was done in a hurry it is not looking very nice or organiced. It is really hard to keep up a clean cabling over a long time period when you have in lot of cases not the time to spent the love that is need in every patch that has to be rolled out. And after 10 years it looks not very pretty. The people in the ISO standard organization have looked deep into that problem of cable manegemnt and how it is possible to prevent the chaos. The first very interesting fact here is that one of the main factors for the choas are the hotspots in a Rack. Most times people use the shortest possible cable lenght to connect two ports with each other. That causes like traffic jams on the Autobahn some spots in the Rack that are overloaded. To crossconnect_1prevent that it is recommanded to use always the same cable length for all patches. That eleminates the hotspots and make the patchmanagement more easy to maintain. And a solid patchmanegemnt is needed for Cross Connect installations. In a Cross Connect Rack you can have depending on the vendor up to 1500+ fibres in one Rack. When this Rack is fully patched with a standard cable lenght of 6m you end with 4600 meters of patch cable in this rack. I tested removing and adding cables to a cross connect rack and was very surprised that it was still possible to remove and add cables fast and easy. For a new Datacenter deployment the cross connect brings a lot of nice benfits and is something that it is worth to take a look at it.

About Dominik

Network problem solver
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