Infrastructure Investments: How to Reduce CAPEX and Maximize ROI

Technology is exciting, services are great, but cash is king! Everyone is looking to spend less and make more. In this article we look at how a service provider can do both, from an optical communications point of view. We highlight three ways to reduce capital expenditures (CAPEX) and maximize the ROI from infrastructure capital investments from an optical perspective.

Pluggables, AOCs, and Next-Gen Transceivers
Optical transceivers convert electrical data signals into laser on/off signals for transmission over optical fiber. Active Optical Cables (AOCs) combine the optical transceiver and fiber connection into a complete cable assembly much like a Direct Attach Cable (DAC), only with a 3-200-meter reach capability. AOCs’ main benefit is the long reach of optical technology with the simplicity of a plug-and-play cable. Compared to an optical transceiver pair and connectorized fiber-based application, a typical AOC solution requires dramatically lower cost and power, with electrical power consumption at 2.2W versus up 4.5W for an optical transceiver-based solution.

Another way to immediately maximize your bandwidth/throughput in your existing infrastructure is to transition from 10G to 25G in SFP+ interfaces. It may not be common knowledge, but most switches and routers that presently support 10G on their SFP+ interfaces will seamlessly upgrade to 25G. The SFP28 transceivers will seamlessly integrate into the existing switches and routers for an immediate 2.5x increase in port throughput, but at the same electrical power requirements.

Finally, 400G QSFP-DD transceivers are the future for extremely high-density interfaces, starting with datacenter applications. The QSFP-DD interface supports existing 100G QSFP28 optical transceivers and will provide growth to migrate to 400G requirements when necessary. Ensure that your switch and optical provider can support this growth.

CWDM/DWDM to Increase Services and/or Reduce Fiber Leasing Costs
Whether you are fiber rich or fiber poor, that installed fiber base is a critical and strategic resource. If you are leasing fiber, you more than likely want to lease as little as you can, as well as maximize the services generated over each fiber. A single fiber link can be augmented with additional revenue generating services over additional wavelengths. CWDM provides eight to 16 additional services over a fiber link, and DWDM provides even more.

Passives – CWDM and DWDM – are a quick and low-cost way to add a number of revenue generating services to an existing fiber link. Or, if you are looking to reduce your fiber lease requirements, WDM can be a cost-effective way to consolidate multiple services onto a single fiber span.

Sparing and Future-Proofing
Sparing and future-proofing may seem like two completely different topics, but that’s not the case. If you can utilize an optical transceiver across all applications and support multiple OEM platforms immediately (sparing) and in the future (future-proofing) you are effectively maximizing the capital potential in both cases. Reducing inventory for spares is critical for both deployment response time as well as technical support.

Choosing an optical provider like Integra Optics that can support multiple OEM platforms with full compatibility now, and in the future, maximizes the ROI on your optical investment. Additionally, partnering with a provider that offers recoding solutions to repurpose existing optics is not only eco-friendly, but smart business.