Seamless Integration with Semi-Custom Optics

When it comes to network architectures, there is never a one size that fits all solution. Distance, data rate, and density of the network connections can vary from one deployment to the next which ultimately drive your optical requirements. All of these requirements can also drive a network engineer crazy! Trying to reach those extra couple of miles or squeeze in a few more circuits requires a solution custom to your network, and the OEM just does not provide that.

Why Doesn’t the OEM Provide Semi-Custom Transceiver Solutions?

Network equipment providers are continually challenged to keep up with the always evolving variety of optical transceivers. It’s a herculean task to test, validate, and integrate every flavor of optic across the variety of platforms an OEM provides. Just as a big-box store will carry the high-volume, easy to sell shoes that fly off the shelves, so too are the OEM providers strategic in providing transceiver options that meet their broadest needs. If you’re wondering why a certain optical reach, or a set of CWDM wavelengths isn’t available, well… that’s where you need a strong optical partner!

Where to Find an Optical Partner, Not Just a Provider. 

For the perfect optical fit, you go to the optical expert to find “semi-custom” optics. These semi-custom parts are standard volume that just haven’t been incorporated into the OEM’s standard portfolio. So what semi-custom options are available at an optical partner like Integra? Here are a few examples (keep in mind, you won’t find these in an OEM’s catalog):

  • Reach: In the single-mode space, the common reaches of that the OEM provides is 10km, 40km and 80km. However, what if your 10G network architecture needs a lot of 20km spans, or you have some extended spans in the 80-100km range? That 20km optic option means only paying for the reach you need. Plus, having a little extra reach with your ZR optic means you can reach those customers that you thought were out of reach.
  • BiDis: Bidirectional optics are an excellent way to immediately double up on your link capacity over duplex optics, but some platforms may not natively have BiDi optics in their standard parts list.
  • Wavelengths: Additional CWDM channels (there are 18 standard in the ITU grid, not just 8!!) that aren’t in the standard portfolio
  • New Releases: When you see an exciting new optical transceiver hit the market, and it’s not yet available on your optical platform, you may still be able to take advantage of it. Good examples are the new 400G QSFP-DDs, QSFP28 ZR4, and SFP28s in their variety of reaches.
  • EOL and Legacy Equipment: Maximizing the ROI for your legacy infrastructure means keeping it up and generating revenue as long as possible. Your optical expert can help by supporting EOL components well past the OEM’s EOL timeline. We can also often implement newer technology (eg, BiDis, DWDM) into a legacy platform to help continue its relevance in your evolving network

An optical expert has so many additional options available! However, the key point is to ensure that any semi-custom part will seamlessly integrate into your networking platforms. This means no alarms or warnings, and access to the necessary features and diagnostics for full functionality.

Working closely with your optical expert through all stages of your network timeline – from day-one conceptualization to legacy support – will give you the additional tools you need to get the most out of your networking platforms. Talk to an Integra Optics expert today to see what additional optical options could be available in your network.