Think Big..and Small

There are so many factors to consider when thinking through network builds, redesigns, or simple existing network improvements. Whether you only have a small amount to spend or you have a substantial budget, these commonly asked questions can help you think big….and small.

Q: How can I keep my data center build on or under budget?

A: One approach is to leverage cables with attached transceivers, such as AOC and DAC products. Not only does an attached cable give you two pluggables, the connection between them typically costs the same as one connectorized transceiver. However, they’re more frugal when it comes to power and generated heat. A rule of thumb to keep in mind is 1W of power compounds to 5W when you compute total facility requirements, including HVAC and backup.

Q: I have no budget at all. What can I can do to improve my network?

A: Cleaning and organizing don’t require any extra budget! Fiber runs, hasty deployments, and desperate work-arounds add clutter, disorganization, and points of failure. Organizing your cabling and dressing your fiber will make troubleshooting easier when problems do arise.

Q: Do you have any advice for planning network growth and reorganization?

A: When planning network changes, you need to cover the “why, what, when, and how” of it. Why are you reorganizing? What elements of your network need to be changed? When should changes be made to cause the lowest impact? How does each component need to be adjusted? There’s always an implied “what if?” that should be taken into consideration to cover the scenario of “what if the operation does not go as planned?”. When working in a maintenance window, you’ll thank yourself for thinking out the details in advance, and having backups and back-outs ready.

Q: We are thinking of conducting some major upgrades to our network that include switch and router upgrades. Are my old transceivers useless now that we’re installing new platforms from other vendors?

A: If your transceivers are from Integra Optics, you can recode them to the new platforms you’re migrating to! We conceptualized the Smart Coder and Smart Coder+ specifically for situations like this, reducing sparing and helping to future-proof your network. For example, our technology helps you repurpose a Cisco-coded optic to Juniper, Alcatel, or other platform needed for compatibility! Keeping spare inventory and juggling network integrations can be costly, but it’s more easily managed by recoding your transceivers to the destination platform as needed.

Q: I’m getting a dark fiber connection to my other location, what do I need to know in order to make the most of it?

A: Whether you’re interconnecting two networks or two hundred, making the most of your transit fiber is serious business. Instead of a single connection across your fiber, you can use CWDM and DWDM passive networking to combine and separate many channels over a single pair. These passive networks can be designed with a great deal of flexibility in terms of the number of channels you start with, upgrade options available along the way, compatibility with legacy services, and diagnostic ports for troubleshooting. If you are using DWDM, you’ll need DWDM transceivers for the specific channels you’re using. The good news, in terms of sparing, is that you can also get tunable DWDM transceivers capable of filling in for any channels in a pinch. While it may not be the most cost-effective way to populate all your remote connections, it’s a GREAT way to have spare transceivers in case of an emergency.