The 100G Bidi Solution: How to Navigate Growing Pains!

For those of you already well versed in BIDI’s and their applications, the big news here is that BIDI’s have reached 100G speeds and are currently available in 10km and 20km varieties. Even bigger news is that 40km is on the not-so-distant horizon. Still interested? Keep reading!

Your Growing Organization

As your organization grows, you have to face the challenge of your needs outpacing your current connectivity. Organizations face different obstacles, a commonality is that you may eventually use up all of your available fiber.

MSOs need to increase bandwidth to hubs to service more customers or provide higher bandwidth to existing customers. They may also need to establish protected diverse paths to existing hubs or have just found out that their fiber count has temporarily shrunk due to transit path damage. 

Telcos are in a similar situation with their POPs carrying even higher bandwidth to cell towers to keep up with streaming IoT connectivity and other content demands.

Campuses and datacenters are also using up their fiber reserves when existing demarcations have increased bandwidth demands and new floors and buildings are being turned up.

These truly are great problems to have (except for the transit damage) as they are all signs of growth. That said, figuring out a plan to address all these needs can be a headache. 

Leveraging WDM solutions that channelize fiber will certainly get you more bandwidth on your paths, but they can be an investment to deploy. WDM deployments require sparing for each of the channels you’re using or using tunable optics and passive optical filters to multiplex and demultiplex channels onto the fiber at each end. If even one of your fibers is interrupted, you could be losing 40 or more channels at the same time.  Don’t get us wrong, WDM solutions, both DWDM and CWDM, are amazing and make use of your fiber infrastructure in ways that boggle the mind! (HINT: Contact your Integra Optics Account executive for custom-designed passive solutions for your network)

The Remedy – 100G Bidis

If you’re already using dual fiber 100G connections, the answer may be quite simple! 10km and 20km 100G QSFPs that only use 1 fiber are available now and 40km and beyond are just around the corner. So your single pair of fiber that’s giving you 100G can now give you 200G! And if you already have platforms supporting QSFP28s, it’s an easy upgrade

This is great for:

  • Splitting remote 100G connections into two 100G connections
  • Upgrading single-fiber 10G connections to 100G capacity
  • Working around a fiber break in the case of an emergency
  • Putting off the expense and commitment of signing leases for additional dark-fiber
  • Avoiding the hassle and mess of extra fiber runs on your campus or facility
  • Establishing protected paths for extra redundancy

Even for relatively short runs, getting more fiber can be a big effort. Thinking of a run from one room to another, it should be no big deal.  Right? Well if you’ve got to connect rooms on different floors of a building, getting extra conduit space and right-of-way permission may not be so easy-peasy.  This hurdle is exacerbated when you’re dealing with campus connections that involve building to building connections. The longer the run, the more precious that fiber is.

Stepping towards the future

Eventually, products like QSFP-DD transceivers that carry 200G or 400G per fiber pair will be the standard deployment. These high bandwidth transceivers are already available at Integra Optics in great variety and are quickly being adopted in every sector, but there’s still lots of utility in bidirectional QSFP28s.  As not all networks are currently outfitted with equipment to support the newer Double Density QSFP format, options for the more commonplace QSFP28 ports are very appealing!  When the time does come for you to upgrade your devices, all the QSFP28 optics you have will fit into the QSFP-DD ports.

Where your platforms don’t have native support for 100G Bidi transceivers, the Integra Optics Smart Coder can be used to load customized codes on the transceivers to get them to play nice, without voiding your warranty!