A network technician is only as good as the optics he or she carries. Without a working spare available, the technician will not be able to fix problems.
Great network managers know this. The best ones solve the issue by spotting optics problems before they happen.
Here are five ways to prevent failed optics from impacting your network performance.
TEST EARLY, TEST OFTEN
The earlier you spot an issue with an optic, the less likely it is to cause a network problem. Properly testing optics before stocking them is one of the best ways to avoid problems in the field. You can justify the additional time investment by comparing it to the cost of a truck roll, and aligning resources appropriately.
ASK YOUR SUPPLIER TO QC THE PROCESS
The smartest, easiest way to spot transceiver issues is to ask your supplier to do it for you. Ask them about their testing process, and request error and performance reports. Suppliers that are truly committed to uptime will rigorously test every optic before it’s shipped, ensuring that the components you get have the highest likelihood of keeping the network up.
DOUBLE-CHECK THE SOFTWARE
Software upgrades don’t always go as planned. They can be tricky problems to solve, often coming with unclear error messages. Network techs often aren’t properly equipped to troubleshoot this type of problem, which means further network downtime.
A great way to avoid this is to ask your supplier for updated compatibility reports, ensuring that the optics you’re ordering are a fit for the platform you’ve built. If you’re using Integra transceivers, our SmartCoder solves the problem altogether, by allowing technicians to recode optics in the field.
COMMIT TO PROPER STOCKING
Uptime is a team effort. Everyone, even your procurement team, can contribute.
Train your team to handle and package optics in a way that keeps connectors free of dust and dirt. Scratches or small amounts of dust on an optic’s lens can lead to a serious impairment of the signal, and a network tech may not be equipped to clean it.
And speaking of cleaning:
A surprising percentage of failed optics are actually just dirty. In fact, when one of our customers returns an optic to us, it’s usually because the field tech didn’t properly clean it. A quick touch up on the lenses and the fiber end face is often the difference between a failure and a working optic.