Category Archives: Fiber Patch Cable

Advantages and Disadvantages of OM5 Fiber in Data Center

As the continuously increased bandwidth demand, the types of fiber patch cable are also updating quickly. OM5 fiber cable, also known as WBMMF (wideband multimode fiber), has arrived to meet the growing bandwidth requirements. However, there are different opinions on whether the adoption of OM5 fiber will benefit today’s data center. This post will focus on the advantages and disadvantage that OM5 brings for data centers.

om5 patch cable

Trends in Data Center Deployment

With the cloud computing and web services continuing to drive bandwidth need, data rates grow from 10G, 40G to 100G and beyond in many data center networks. According to the Cisco global cloud index, nearly 99 percent of global traffic will pass through data centers by 2020. That means higher bandwidth, faster services and greater access are required for data center deployments. Therefore, advanced technologies including fiber patch cable and optical transceivers will be needed for performance-improving in data centers.

Will OM5 Fiber Benefit Data Center?

OM5 fiber is a new generation of multimode fiber. It was just standardized in several months ago. Different from OM1, OM2, OM3 and OM4, OM5 fiber is designed to work over a wide range of wavelengths between 850 nm and 950 nm. And it supports SWDM (shortwave wavelength division multiplexing) technology which can reduce fiber counts in optical transmission. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of OM5 fiber cable in data center.

om5 fiber cable

Advantages

Firstly, it cannot deny that the emergence of OM5 is to meet the high bandwidth challenges. At this point, OM5 will definitely benefit data centers in some degree. The main advantages are in the following part.

Compatibility—OM5 cable has the same fiber size of OM4 and OM3, which means OM5 is fully compatible with OM3 and OM4 fiber. In other words, OM5 cabling supports all legacy applications in existing data center infrastructures. If a service provider wants to use OM5 for high speed data center, big changes will not be needed for existing cabling.

Distance—multimode patch cord is often the first choice for short reach connections. As we know, OM4 patch cord can support link length up to 100m with 100G-SWDM4 transceivers. While OM5 can extend the reach to 150m with the same types of fiber optic transceivers, providing another better choice for data center optimization.

Cost—when it comes to data center building, the cost is an important parameter to consider. OM5 cable is beneficial for data center deployments. Compared to single mode fiber cable (SMF), multimode fiber cable (MMF) is more cost-effective, because in most data centers, short reach connection are common. Besides, OM5 provides optimal support of emerging SWDM applications which reduce the amount of fibers needed for high speed transmissions.

Disadvantages

Each coin has two sides. Though OM5 fiber cable can benefit data center building, there are still some problems at present. It’s known to us that OM5 has just been standardized earlier this year. Even though many optical vendors have introduced OM5 fiber patch cables, in the market, the price is a little higher than OM4. And the production of the corresponding optical transceiver like 100G-SWDM4 is still limited. All these restrict the further adoption of OM5 fiber cables.

Summary

It’s getting more costly for fiber optic cabling systems in data centers. As a new MMF type, OM5 offers improved performance over popular OM4 and OM3. With the development of OM5 technology, it will bring more benefits for data centers.

8-Fiber MTP VS. 12-Fiber MTP Cables

MTP fiber cable in data center becomes increasingly popular in data center with the wide deployment of 40G and 100G network. It is common that 40G and 100G network usually based on 12-fiber MTP networking system. However, not all the 12 fibers of MTP fiber cable are used.8-fiber MTP-LC cable

12-Fiber MTP Cable During Transmission

There are usually 4 fibers left unused, if you are using a 12-fiber MTP cable to transmit 40G with QSFP+ module or 100G with QSFP28 module. The following shows how 12-fiber MTP fiber cable works when it is used to be connected with 40Gbase-SR4 QSFP+ module. If more 12-fiber MTP cables are used, more optical fibers will be wasted. As IEEE standards like 40GBASE-SR4 and 40GBASE-SR10 uses only 8 fibers for dual-way transmission, manufacturers provide new versions of MTP fiber cable which contains only 8 optical fibers but still used the standard MTP interfaces.40gbase-sr4

Base-8 MTP for Higher Density and Lower Utilization

Network built with 8-fiber MTP system can transmit the same data with less cost and higher density compared with 12-fiber MTP system. All fiber will be 100% utilized in base-8 MTP products. It could be a cost-effect solution for both 40G to 40G transmission and 40G to 10G transmission. 8-fiber MTP trunk cables and 8-fiber MTP-LC harness cable are already provided in the market. There are also rack designed 8-Fiber MTP breakout panels for 40G to 10G applications.

MTP-LC-harness-cable MTP-LC-harness-cable
MTP-LC Harness Cable MTP-LC 40/100G Breakout Panel

Convert 12-Fiber MTP to 8-Fiber MTP Cabling System

However, most MTP cabling systems are based on 12-fiber or 24-fiber MTP system, especially for backbone cabling. MTP conversion cables are provided in the market which offer conversion between 12/24-fiber MTP and 8-fiber MTP cabling systems. The following shows two types of 8-fiber MTP conversion cables which can provide 12-fiber to 8-fiber MTP conversion and 24-fiber to 8-fiber MTP conversion separately.

24 to 8 fiber MTP conversion cable 12 to 8 fiber MTP conversion cable
1*3 MTP Conversion Cable 2*3 MTP Conversion Cable

If you have already deployed 12-fiber MTP cabling system in your data center, 2*3 MTP conversion cable is suggested to be used. With one end terminated with two 12-fiber MTP cable and the other end terminated with three 8-fiber MTP connectors, 12-fiber to 8-fiber MTP cabling conversion could be achieved, as well as 100% optical fiber utilization in 12-fiber MTP system.

1*3 MTP conversion cable has a 24-fiber MTP cable on one end and three 8-fiber MTP cable on the other end. With this cable, a length of 24-fiber MTP cable can provide three ways of 40G signal dual-way transmission. All the fibers in a 24-fiber cabling system cable be used.

Conclusion

It is clear that the 8-fiber, 12-fiber based and 2-fiber based cabling system will exist for a long term in 40/100G network. 8-fiber MTP cabling system can provide higher optical fiber utilization with lower cost and higher cabling density. If you want to transfer 12-fiber MTP system to 8-fiber MTP system, you can use MTP conversion cables. 8-base MTP system, could be regarded as an additional option for the existing fiber network infrastructure.

MTP Conversion Cable and Its Usage

12-fiber MTP and 24-fiber MTP cables are widely used in 40G and 100G high density cabling. However, in many cases, not all the fibers are used. For instance, to connect a 40G-SR4 QSFP+ module, we usually use a 12-fiber MTP cable with only 8 fibers in use. If you have built a 24-fiber cabling system, you can use MTP conversion cable to make full use of the existing optical fibers.

MTP conversion cable

MTP Conversion Cable

Unlike MTP-LC harness cable, MTP conversion cables are terminated with MTP connectors on both ends. However, the MTP connectors on each end are different in fiber counts and types. MTP conversion cable can provide more possibilities for the existing 24-fiber cabling system. The following are the most commonly used MTP conversion cable:

1*2 MTP conversion cable 2*3 MTP conversion cable 1*3 MTP conversion cable
1*2 MTP conversion cable 2*3 MTP conversion cable 1*3 MTP conversion cable
24-Fiber MTP to 2*12-Fiber MTP 2*12-Fiber MTP to 3*8-Fiber MTP 24-Fiber MTP to 3*8-Fiber MTP
MTP Conversion Cable Application

The total fiber counts of the above three MTP conversion cables are all 24. But the can provide different connections in multi-fiber cabling system. The following will introduce the applications of these cables.

1*2 MTP Conversion Cable

This MTP conversion cable has one end terminated with a 24-fiber MTP connector and the other end terminated with two 12-fiber MTP connector. With this cable, two 12-fiber optical singles can be transferred on to a 24-fiber cable for transmission. In multimode cabling system, the optical signals of two 40G-SR4 QSFP+ modules can be transmitted over a single 24-fiber MTP cable as shown in the following picture.

1*2 MTP conversion cable
1*3 MTP Conversion Cable

1*3 MTP conversion cable has one 24-fiber MTP connector terminated on one end and three 8-fiber MTP connector one the other end. The 8-fiber MTP connectors can be connected to 40G-SR4 QSFP+ modules. This MTP conversion cable utilizes 100% of the existing 24 optical fibers. Each fiber can be used to transmit 10G optical data. Three 40G dual-way transmissions can be achieved on the existing 24-fiber MTP cable. It can also be used to breakout the 120G CXP module signals into three 40G QSFP+ SR4 optical signals.

1*3 MTP conversion cable
2*3 MTP Conversion Cable

2*3 MTP conversion cable is terminated with two 12-fiber MTP connectors and three 8-fiber MTP connectors. This MTP conversion cable allows three 40G-SR4 optical signal transmit on the existing two 12-fiber MTP trunk cables as shown in the following. If you have built a 12-fiber MTP cabling system. This 2*3 MTP conversion cable can increase about 30% capacity of the existing network.

2*3 MTP conversion cable

MTP Conversion Cable Selection

MTP conversion cables are designed to provide a more flexible multi-fiber cabling system based on MTP products. It can largely increase the capacity of the existing 12-fiber and 24-fiber MTP network. The above mentioned MTP conversion cable in different fiber types and cable lengths. Kindly contact sales@fs.com for more details if you are interested.

12-Fiber MTP Cabling System

MTP fiber cables and related components are now widely deployed in high speed fiber optic transmission system. MTP cables really provide great performance during 40G and 100G transmission over both short and long transmission distances. But there are so many types of MTP components like MTP cables, MTP cassettes, MTP adapters, MTP patch panels, etc. And all of these products are available in different MTP polarity types. Customers can get confused easily by these MTP products.

12-fiber MTP trunk cable

In addition, unlike traditional duplex transmission on two fibers or BiDi transmission over a single fiber, MTP system transmits optical signal over 12, 24 or more fibers at the same time. More fibers and cables are employed in MTP cabling system. Thus, technicians in data center or server room are still facing a headache problem which is MTP cable management. This post is to offer the details of a commonly used MTP cabling system—12-fiber MTP cable system for better understanding, selecting and management of MTP products.

12-Fiber MTP Cabling Applications

The 12-fiber MTP cabling system is usually used in the following standards: 40GBASE-SR4, 40GBASE-PLRL4, and 40GBASE-PLR4. 40GBASE-SR4 is used for 40G transmission in short distances up to 150 meters over OM4 fibers. 40GBASE-PLRL4 and 40GBASE-PLR4 support transmission distance over single-mode fiber up to 1.4km and 10km separately. These standards use 40G parallel transceivers with 12-fiber MTP interfaces.

40G-SR4-QSFP+

Except 40G transceivers with 12-fiber MTP interfaces, there is a wide range of 12-fiber MTP connectivity components for transmission. These MTP cabling products cable be used in a lot of applications.

12-Fiber MTP Cabling Connectivity Components

12-Fiber MTP Trunk Cable: MTP trunk cable can be regarded as MTP to MTP fiber patch cable. MTP trunk cable is terminated with MTP connectors on both ends. The MTP connectors can be male (with guide pin on the contact interface) or female (without guide pin). As above mentioned, MTP cables can be divided into different types: Polarity A, Polarity B and Polarity C. A previous of my article “Understanding Polarity in MPO System” has introduced the polarity of MTP components. You can follow this article about the MTP polarity details.

The most commonly used MTP trunk cable is a single strand of cable, which can provide duplex 40G transmission at the same time. There are also MTP trunk cables which are composed by several strands of cables. Take the example of 12-fiber MTP trunk cables as shown in the following picture. On the left of this picture, there is a 12-fiber MTP trunk cable which is a single strand cable. On the right of this picture, there is a 72-fiber MTP trunk cable which is composed by 6 strands of 12-fiber MTP trunk cable.

12-fiber MTP trunk cable

12-Fiber MTP Harness Cable: MTP harness cable is a length of fanout cable with one end terminated with MTP connector and the other end terminated with several connectors like LC and SC. 12-fiber MTP harness cables also come in a variety of types according to fiber type, polarity type and connector types. The following picture shows a most commonly used MTP-4 duplex LC fiber cable.

MTP-8LC harness fiber cable

12-Fiber MTP Cassette: MTP cassette is like MTP harness cable which also provides the transferring between MTP interface and LC or SC interfaces. But MTP cassette can protect the fragile optical fibers inside the metal box, and has lower space requirements than MTP harness cable. The following picture shows a 12-fiber MTP-LC Cassette.

12-FIber MTP-LC Cassette

Typical 12-Fiber MTP Cabling Guide

The 12-Fiber MTP fiber optic products can be used in many situations not only for 40G fiber network. The following introduces several typical fiber cabling solutions using 12-fiber MTP products.

12-Fiber MTP Products in 10G to 10G Transmission

The following picture shows the wire guide for 10G to 10G connections using OM3 12-fiber MTP fiber cables and 12-fiber MTP-LC cassettes. A 10G link just uses two of the 12 fibers. On each end of this link, up to six 10GBASE-SR SFP+ modules can be connected to the fiber optic network, which means up to 60G can be transmitted by the following 12-fiber MTP system.

10G MTP fiber cabling

12-Fiber MTP Products in 40G to 40G Transmission

For 40G to 40G transmission, MTP trunk cable is usually being used. The following picture shows the connection of two brocade ICX 7750 switches over long transmission distance. Brocade compatible QSFP-PLR4-40G transceivers are being used on both ends of this 40G fiber link. 12-fiber MTP OS2 trunk cable is being used to connect the QSFP+ modules on each end.

40G-QSFP-PLR4 Cabling

    Items required in this 40G to 40G fiber optic link

  • QSFP-PLR4-40G QSFP+
  • OS2 12-Fiber MTP Trunk Cable

12-Fiber MTP products in 40G to 10G Transmission

Sometime the 40G device is still required to be connected with 10G devices. Here takes the example of connection between 40G QSFP+ port on Brocade 7750 and 10G SFP+ port on Brocade Fastlron FCX6245 over long transmission distances. To distribute the 40G signals into four 10G, Brocade compatible QSFP-PLR4-40G transceiver, and Brocade compatible 10G-LR SFP+ transceiver, 12-fiber MTP-LC cassette, 12-fiber MTP trunk cable and four LC-LC duplex single-mode fiber patch cables are used. The MTP cassette transmitting the MTP interface to the LC interfaces as shown in the following picture.

40G-PLR4 cabling

    Items required in this 40G to 10G fiber optic link

  • QSFP-PLR4-40G QSFP+
  • OS2 12-Fiber MTP Trunk Cable
  • OS2 12-Fiber MTP-LC Cassette
  • OS2 LC-LC Fiber Patch Cable
  • 10G-LR SFP+
Conclusion

12-fiber MTP cabling system is a cost-effective and space saving solution for both 10G and 40G transmission. As most of the MTP fiber products are factory pre-terminated, these products can provide fast installation and great network performance. FS.COM provides full range of MTP fiber optic products. You can visit FS.COM or contact sales@fs.com for more details about MTP fiber cabling.

Which Armored Fiber Cable Should I Choose?

Armored fiber cable with build-in metal armor can provide stronger protection of the optical fibers than standards fiber optic cables. It can protect the optical fibers from rodent, oil, impact, etc. What’s more, some armored fiber can provide maximum bend radius. However, various types of armored fiber cables usually make customers confused. There are too many specific details to consider during selection, like fiber counts, jacket type, structure of the armored fiber cable, etc. This post is offering the details about how to select the right armored fiber cable.

outdoor armored fiber cable

Structure and Application of Armored Fiber Cable

Structures of armored fiber cables come in a variety of types according to different applications. There are mainly three types of armored fiber cable: indoor armored fiber cable, outdoor armored fiber cable and indoor/outdoor armored fiber cable. Each of the three armored fiber cables has various subcategories. The structures of the three types of armored fiber cable are different from each other. Here takes the example of an indoor light armored fiber cable to introduce the basic structure of armored fiber cables.

armored fiber cable structure

As shown in the above picture, the optical fibers of the armored fiber cable are in the center of the cable covered by metal armor. The metal armor is covered by Kevlar firstly, then by the outer jacket. This is usually the most basic structure of armored fiber cables. For different applications, the structure will change accordingly. Kindly visit “Armored Fiber Cable Structures” for more details about different structure of the armored fiber cable.

How to Select Armored Fiber Cable?

The selecting of armored fiber cable is like the selection of standard fiber cables. Fiber type (OS2, OM1, OM2, OM3, or OM4), fiber count and cable riser should all be considered. However, there is many special properties of armored fiber cable, the armored fiber cable selection should also consider many other factors.

interlock armor and corrugated armor
Armor Type of Armored Fiber Cables

The market can provide armored fiber cables with different types of armor tubes which are with different structures and materials. The most commonly used armor tubes are with interlock design and corrugated design as shown in the above picture. For now, the interlock armored fiber cable is very popular and being used in a lot of indoor and indoor/outdoor applications. Corrugated armored fiber cable is often used in outdoor applications. As for the materiel for armor tube, steel and aluminum are the most commonly used. Now light steel armored fiber cables are being widely used in a lot of indoor applications, because of its lower weight and flexible properties.

pre-terminated armored fiber cable
Pre-Terminated or Field-Terminated Armored Fiber Cables

As there is a strong metal armored tube inside the armored fiber cable, the termination of armored fiber cable is difficult than that of standard fiber optic cables. In some applications, field-terminated armored fiber cable is better in outdoor applications. While, to save time and ensure transmission quality, many installers will choose pre-terminated armored fiber cables for indoor applications. The pre-terminated armored fiber cables provided by the market are mainly armored fiber patch cable and armored fiber trunk cable. The former looks like the standard fiber patch cable, but it is stronger than the traditional fiber patch cable and is more flexible during cable for it can provide larger bend radius. Pre-terminated armored fiber trunk cable is a length of armored fiber cable with several legs on each ends terminated with fiber optic connectors. Kindly visit “Armored Fiber Cable” page for more specific details about pre-terminated armored fiber cables.

Conclusion

Armored fiber cable is a cost-effective solution for fiber optic link protection. During the selection of the armored fiber cable, except fiber count, fiber type and cable riser, the armored type, cable structure and termination types should also be considered. If you are looking for more information about fiber cable for harsh cabling environment, you can visit another article: Fiber Patch Cables for Harsh Environment.