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Page 58


www.us- tech.com


June, 2019


Ruggedized, Bend-Resistant Fiber Optic Cables for Future-Forward Networks


By Joe Yue, SeniorEngineer, OCC—Fiber Division


bandwidth, high-speed applications driven by the rapid growth of mobile device use, 4k to 8k video streaming, virtualization, IoT, 5G, and yet-to-be- identified emerging technologies, they are tasked with building long-


A


s data center and enterprise network managers confront the ongoing surge of high-


According to a recent report


published by Gartner, titled “The Cost of Downtime,” the average cost of network downtime is approximate- ly $5,600 per minute. This adds even more pressure for data center opera- tors and enterprise managers to keep their networks up and running 24/7/365. Undoubtedly, fiber optic cables


have revolutionized today’s enter- prise communication and data center networks, as well as the broadcasting industry, due to their extremely high signal bandwidth capacity and long- reaching distance, thereby facilitat- ing the 10 to 100G network migra- tions we witness today for OSP back- bone, inside-plant and last-mile applications. There are two often-neglected


OCC HC series helically stranded, high-density fiber optic cable.


life, future-forward networks at the lowest cost of ownership. Com - pounding matters is the fact that network managers also face an unforgiving public that is justifiably intolerant to even a moment of net- work downtime.


optical fiber cable considerations that can impact transmission per- formance: network longevity and cost. High-bandwidth-ready fiber optic cable needs to be macrobending resilient and rugged. This reduces downtime, maintenance and trou- bleshooting, resulting in optimal net- work performance and cost savings.


Ruggedized Cables “Rugged” defines cables that are


stronger and more robust than industry-standard cables. Rugged - ized cables embody superior durabil- ity to withstand potential damage


when making routine network moves, adds and changes (MACs) or by being stepped on, run over by heavy vehicles, or exposed to various environmental conditions during normal operations.


and lifecycle of the network. To pro- tect critical communication paths without interruption, the best fiber cables should be ruggedized to be at least as robust as copper cables. By examining and comparing


the design of helically stranded tight- buffered, tight-bound high-density cable to ribbon cable and analyzing performance results demonstrated in bit error rate (BER) tests, data center and network managers are in a better position to achieve the most reliable, long-life and low-cost networks.


Macrobending in Perspective Generally speaking, a commu-


nication network is composed of two main parts: the passive fiber cable network (also referred to as the opti- cal distribution network [ODN]) and the active electronic transceivers and equipment. For large optical networks, the


The ruggedness of helically stranded, tight-buffered cables


can help network engineers sim- plify maintenance and reduce network downtime.


The ability to withstand poten-


tial fiber damage and environmental stresses is crucial for the reliability


ODN typically accounts for more than 70 percent of the entire network cost. While active equipment can be upgraded with the rapid bandwidth increase of the electronics, the ODN, if designed with scalability, can and should last for 20 or more years. To protect the network invest-


ment, the ODN design must be mechanically robust to survive any MACs and harsh environments, while also supporting several future


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