Planning Tips for Network Growth

Unlike that pair of pants or jeans, outgrowing your network is actually a good problem to have! As your business grows, the carefully (or not so carefully) planned network that you have is starting to feel cramped and maybe starting to impact your bottom line. Doing a network reorganization can be simple or tricky depending on your foundation, but we have some tips to help you with your planning.

When you have an unexpected outage, it’s like money down the drain. There are two approaches that help you prepare for these disruptions; building redundancy into your network and making sure you have appropriate spare equipment on hand. Even a network that doesn’t need to increase the numbers of connections can grow by adding additional interconnections for extra speed and resilience. Adding redundant connections will speed things up during normal operations and keep things running in the case of failures.

Of course, you’ll still need to have spares on hand to respond to equipment issues. The platforms and the transceivers in them are fairly resilient with amazing mean time to to failures statistics, but static happens and that can lead to failures in service well ahead of the theoretical lifespan. Previously, you would have been advised to carry at least one spare per transceiver type and per platform, which can quickly add up. If you have Integra’s Smart Coder, you can significantly reduce the number of necessary spares by only having to spare for each transceiver type and coding them to a platform as needed.

If you’ve outgrown your facility space and need to expand into new areas, you’ll need interconnections to keep your operations unified. Unfortunately, leasing “dark fiber” or simply fiber that runs passively from one location to another, usually comes with a lengthy and costly lease commitment. This poses a conflict; how do you shop for the fiber you need, and have redundancy and room to grow, while not entering into a long commitment paying for fiber now that you plan to use in the future? That is where passive filters and WDM optics come in. A single fiber is capable of carrying 18 CWDM wavelengths or 80+ DWDM signals (or even a combination of the two).

It definitely pays to save energy where you can. According to an industry study, for each watt of transceiver power, the facility power can be as much as 5 watts when you factor in costs like the backup solution and cooling and circulation costs. Utilizing DAC and AOC connections will not only cut down power utilization, but also have a significantly lower deployment cost with the same performance. Recalling the Smart Coder mentioned before, you can recode each end of the attached cable to whatever platform you’d like, which is an option not available when shopping OEM transceivers.

Growing in a way that doesn’t make sense is as bad as not growing at all. If your moves are increasing resilience, increasing capacity, decreasing downtime, decreasing facility costs, and avoiding long term commitments, then you’re moving in the right direction.

Integra Optics has the supply of optical and attached transceivers, Smart Coder options, fiber jumpers, and passive filters that you need! Talk to an optics expert for more tips as you plan for network reorganization and growth needs. 

An extra tip: In this time of global uncertainty, consider securing the inventory you need now for future build-outs. We can help you plan with flexibility and future-proofing in mind, with versatile components to control costs.