Efficiency in Versatility: Choosing Parts That Reduce Costs While Minimizing Downtime

Network design, implementation, and maintenance are undertaken with versatility, manageability, and reliability in mind; and of course, cost. The network interconnections that you have don’t make your business money, but they are crucial to reliably providing the services and maintaining the operations that do. You need to plan transceiver needs for each of your platform’s bandwidth needs, as well as holding spares in case of emergency outages or unanticipated growing pains. That can lead to a lot of planning, and a lot of shelved inventory. Choosing tools and parts that maximize the utility of your components can drastically cut down on equipment expenses and operational costs while minimizing downtime.

The most important tool for your network, and for the engineering staff behind it, is Integra’s Smart Coder. With the Smart Coder, you’re able to make the most of your Integra transceivers.

The base Smart Coder hardware can accept the most popular form factors; SFP, XFP, SFP+, SFP28, QSFP+, andQSFP28 optics. When first detecting the optic, it will display the information gathered from the transceiver’s digital diagnostics and monitoring facilities, right on your laptop or computer. This includes product name, serial number, and TX+RX power levels for each lane.

The true power of the Smart Coder, however, is the ability to recode and tune transceivers. With the Smart Coder hardware and software, you can quickly and easily do the following:

  • Recode optics to your desired platform by selecting the finished part from a list of available codes that are compatible with your transceiver
  • Request new codes if you don’t find what you are looking for
  • Start remote support sessions with a supporting Integra Optics Engineer if interactive troubleshooting or development is called for
  • Configure supported transceivers for lower data rates in order to operate at greater distances
  • Coding options even include options beyond what the OEMs offer, extending the transceivers available for each platform

We also have Integra Tuner software, where you can adjust the transmitting channel of tunable parts all from the same device. The Integra Tuner is compatible with other third-party and OEM transceivers that use standardized tuning methods and even works without an internet connection.

With this hardware and software suite, you’ll need far fewer spares. If all of your platforms support SFP+ optics, why stock different spares for each one?

To take versatility further, tunable transceivers are the ultimate compliment to your DWDM network segments. Using wave division multiplexing (WDM) is absolutely necessary to take full advantage of your fiber infrastructure, but at worst, you have X number of platforms and X number of channels requiring X2 spares. If your facilities have 80km between them, it might be advisable to have spares at each end or an inventory carried by your field engineers. Full band tunable transceivers are available for your 100Ghz (40+ channels)and 50Ghz (96 Channel), and are the solution to the channel sparing challenge.

When you combine tunability with recoding, the benefits are compounded. Here’s how:

  • Available in commercial (0c to 70c) and industrial (-40c to 85c) temperature ranges
  • Single part covers up to (96) DWDM channels
  • Capable of 80km at 10G and 120km at 1G* (*fiber dependent)
  • Optional Wavelength Auto-Tuning available
  • Coding flexibility to allow:
    • Different rates to accommodate greater distances
    • Fixed wave codes for platforms that don’t support tunables
    • Even custom codes for platforms that don’t have OEM support DWDM or tunables

This flexibility makes Integra Optics tunable transceivers the best part for sparing, hands down. Some networks are completely skipping fixed channel optics and universally deploy tunables. The up-front costs are recovered in simplicity and time saved.

Beyond making the most of what you paid for, efficiency also involves not paying for what you don’t need. If you have a network that uses only a portion of the channels available, getting tunables capable of tuning across the entire range might be an expendable luxury. These bare many resemblances to the full band tunables, but have lasers that can vary only enough to cover 9 channels per band.

These narrow band tunables provide the following benefits with a cost savings over their full band relatives:

  • Each tunable can be adjusted to cover 9 ITU 100GHz channels. The family of 5varieties cover ITU channels 20 – 60
  • Capable of 40km at 10G and 120km at 1G* (*fiber facility dependent)
  • Certified to industrial temperature ranges (-40c to +85c), making them great for outside plant applications
  • Optional Wavelength Auto-Tuning available
  • Coding flexibility to allow:
    • Different rates to accommodate greater distances
    • Fixed wave code for platforms that don’t support tunables
    • Custom codes for platforms that don’t support DWDM or tunables
  • Most efficient sparing option for smaller networks or ones with concise channel plans and limited channel utilization

DWDM tunables, both full and narrow band, are perfect for R-PHY, R-OLT, mobile front-haul, and mid-haul architectures. If distance is more important than bandwidth, supported 10G tunables can work reliably at distances of over well over 100km when rated down to 1G. That’s done simply by selecting the appropriate coding from the list of available options within the Smart Coder software.

Many R-PHY, R-OLT, and mobile platforms do not support tunable DWDM, therefore Integra’s Smart Coder becomes and critical portion of a Network Architect’s CAPEX planning. As one architect has put it, “Deploying R-PHY and R-OLT without field-tunable DWDM modules would be an operational nightmare”.

When working hard and working smart intersect, that’s business efficiency.