Erect­ing the Spinal Cord

The high avail­abil­ity of banks, air­lines, etc, must not just be at­trib­uted to tech­nol­ogy but also to the ‘data cen­ters’

Voice&Data - - LAWFUL MONITORING - Malini N

Ever won­dered what would be the rea­son for the smooth func­tion­ing of banks, fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions, air­lines, online trans­ac­tions, med­i­cal in­for­mat­ics, IT ser­vices, etc, and more im­por­tantly its 24/7 avail­abil­ity. For the smooth func­tion­ing, we would re­fer to the tech­nol­ogy but the high avail­abil­ity of these ser­vices must be at­trib­uted to ‘data cen­ters’ alone. Data cen­ters would have had the state-ofthe-art in­fra­struc­ture, highly pro­fi­cient man­power but if there is low band­width, isn’t it alarm­ing at once? But mind you, the only so­lu­tion for this is up­grad­ing the ca­bling in­fra­struc­ture.

Un­til now, the ma­jor­ity of the data cen­ters were on 10 gi­ga­bit, but to­day’s world of dig­i­ti­za­tion is grow­ing leaps and bounds both in terms of its util­ity and tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ments. Data ex­plo­sion de­mands higher band­width, zero down­time, and max­i­mum up­time. More­over, there has been a dras­tic change in the com­mu­ni­ca­tions space, we have been mov­ing for voice to data to high-end ap­pli­ca­tions, and from wired to wire­less com­mu­ni­ca­tions. Ap­pli­ca­tions rang­ing from de­vel­op­ment soft­ware and ERP sys­tems to consumer con­tent, med­i­cal and aca­demic records, and a host of oth­ers are con­tin­u­ously driv­ing de­mand for greater band­width and the net­work should keep pace. Hence to­day’s data cen­ters can­not rely on 10 gi­ga­bit, it has to leap to 40 gi­ga­bit and in fu­ture it should sup­port 100 gi­ga­bit.

40 Gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net Grav­ity

The 40/100 gi­ga­bit are ba­si­cally high-

The stan­dards of 40 and 100 gi­ga­bit are sig­nif­i­cantly dif­fer­ent from the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions, also ac­tive equip­ment and how in­for­ma­tion is trans­mit­ted are unique

speed com­puter net­work stan­dards which sup­port Eth­er­net frames at 40 and 100 gi­ga­bit per sec­ond over mul­ti­ple 10 or 25 gi­ga­bit lanes. It was de­vel­oped by the In­sti­tute of Elec­tri­cal and Elec­tron­ics En­gi­neers (IEEE). IEEE 802.3ba 40 and 100 gi­ga­bits per sec­ond.

The stan­dards of 40 and 100 gi­ga­bit are sig­nif­i­cantly dif­fer­ent from the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions, also ac­tive equip­ment and how in­for­ma­tion is trans­mit­ted are unique. Even the po­lar­ity takes on a new im­por­tance. In­dia, like all mas­sive data mar­kets in the world, will have the need for high-speed net­work­ing. We have seen larger net­works adopt vir­tu­al­iza­tion strate­gies and con­sol­i­da­tion of re­sources which have been sup­ported by the ad­di­tion of 10 gi­ga­bit net­work tech­nolo­gies. As this ef­fort con­tin­ues to scale and band­width us­age in­creases, we have seen an in­crease in the cus­tomers‘ de­vel­op­ing plans to im­ple­ment the next log­i­cal back­bone tech­nolo­gies, 40 and 100 gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net.

“We can cer­tainly ex­pect that In­dia will see a de­mand for 100 gi­ga­bit net­work speed and be­yond. As the in­ter­net pen­e­tra­tion in­creases in In­dia, it will lead the con­sump­tion of band­width and its net­works will evolve to ser­vice this need,” states James Young, tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor, Comm­scope En­ter­prise So­lu­tions Divi­sion Asia Pa­cific about the de­mand for 40 gi­ga­bit in In­dia.

De­ploy­ment of an op­ti­cal con­nec­tiv­ity so­lu­tion al­lows for an in­fra­struc­ture that meets these re­quire­ments for the cur­rent and fu­ture data rates. As tech­nol­ogy evolves and stan­dards are com­pleted to de­fine data rates such as 40 and 100 gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net, 32 gi­ga­bit and high-speed fiber chan­nel, and 40 gi­ga­bit and high-speed In­fini­band, the ca­bling in­fra­struc­tures in­stalled to­day must pro­vide scal­a­bil­ity to ac­com­mo­date the need for more band­width in sup­port of the fu­ture ap­pli­ca­tions.

Adop­tion of 40 Gi­ga­bit in In­dia

Net­work ca­bling has to be op­ti­mized for the in­evitable growth and mi­gra­tion to 40/100 gi­ga­bit. Eth­er­net is not a lux­ury but it is a mat­ter of sur­vival. In­deed 40 gi­ga­bit de­ploy­ments be­gan in 2006 world­wide but the traf­fic from the past cou­ple of years is ac­tu­ally cre­at­ing de­mand for 40 gi­ga­bit. The in­dus­try feels that the adop­tion of 40 gi­ga­bit in In­dia has started from the past one-and-a-half years af­ter wit­ness­ing the 40 gi­ga­bit wide scale de-

ploy­ment phase glob­ally and it would con­tinue to cap­i­tal­ize on a mar­ket win­dow for high-speed trans­port that will re­main open un­til solid 100 gi­ga­bit roadmap is in place. New 40 and 100 gi­ga­bit prod­ucts will be­come less ex­pen­sive and more avail­able over the time and will be sup­ported by many equip­ment ven­dors.

Ramesh Nair, prod­uct man­ager, Molex Premise Net­works says, “The big­gest mar­ket for 40 gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net would be for data cen­ters. If the cost drive is right, once 100 gi­ga­bit is stan­dard­ized and com­mer­cially avail­able, net­work op­er­a­tors will quickly cap­i­tal­ize 40 gi­ga­bit in­vest­ments and 100 gi­ga­bit trans­mis­sion for their fu­ture de­ploy­ments. 100 gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net is more for core net­work ag­gre­ga­tion of 10 gi­ga­bit and 40 gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net links.”

While speak­ing about the de facto sta­tus on 40 gi­ga­bit in In­dia, Sha­jan Ge­orge, tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor, R&M In­dia points out, “The 40 gi­ga­bit on pas­sive ca­bling in­fra­struc­ture is de­ployed in In­dia but on ac­tive ca­bling de­vices are not yet de­ployed. Most of the data cen­ter ca­bling has been on multi-mode as the in­dus­try had lim­ited knowl­edge on ca­bling in­fra­struc­ture. Hence re-de­sign­ing the en­tire multi-mode ca­bling sys­tem is a req­ui­site. Some of the medium and large data cen­ters have opted for re-de­sign­ing.”

Mi­gra­tion Path to 40 Gi­ga­bit

Heavy mul­ti­me­dia con­tent and in­creased adop­tion of ad­vanced net­work­ing tech­nolo­gies such as cloud com­put­ing, server vir­tu­al­iza­tion, and data ware­hous­ing are trig­ger­ing this kind of de­mand for higher trans­mis­sion speeds. For mi­gra­tion, the top­most prom­i­nent el­e­ment is to en­sure that net­work op­er­at­ing com­pa­nies are ready with 40/100 gi­ga­bit phys­i­cal layer de­ploy­ment be­cause phys­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture is very im­por­tant for the upgra­da­tion to 40 gi­ga­bit.

The ideal path for mi­gra­tion is on fiber and it has taken a very good lead be­cause stan­dard bod­ies are yet to de­clare on the cop­per cat­e­gory. Since the last one year, hardly any­thing has been spec­i­fied from stan­dard bod­ies. How­ever a few independen­t in­dus­try stal­warts have stated that cat­e­gory 7A cable could sup­port 50 me­ters for 40 gi­ga­bit and 15 me­ters for 100 gi­ga­bit. The per­for­mance on the fiber has great ben­e­fits and es­pe­cially the sin­gle-mode fiber has its own ad­van­tages over multi-mode, ad­vises Sha­jan Ge­orge, tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor, Re­ichle & De-mas­sari (R&M) In­dia.

“Multi-mode is adopted hugely in the en­ter­prise seg­ment be­cause of the end equip­ment cost or the con­necto riza­tion cost, the con­nec­tors, the switches are eco­nom­i­cal be­cause that works on the LED tech­nol­ogy. While a sin­gle-mode is per­fect for the long dis­tance trans­mis­sion es­pe­cially in the tele­com do­main, the over­all cost on sin­gle-mode will be slightly higher than a multi-mode but it de­pends on the dis­tance of a seg­ment. “In fiber tech­nol­ogy, only OM3 (Op­ti­cal Multi-mode) and OM4 fiber cat­e­gories sup­port 40/100 gi­ga­bit,” as­serts Sha­jan

Ge­orge, tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor, R&M In­dia.

If the phys­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture is on a sin­gle-mode fiber, mi­gra­tion to 40 gi­ga­bit would be eas­ier with­out any changes in the ca­bling in­fra­struc­ture and only the ac­tive de­vice should be re­placed. A con­straint in a multi-mode is that it can­not sup­port long dis­tance. OM3 and OM4 sup­port 100 and 150 me­ters, re­spec­tively. When eval­u­at­ing the per­for­mance needed for the OM3 and OM4 ca­bling in­fra­struc­ture to meet the re­quire­ments for 40 gi­ga­bit and 100 gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net chan­nel in­ser­tion loss trans­mis­sion, 3 cri­te­ria should be con­sid­ered—band­width, to­tal con­nec­tor in­ser­tion loss, and skew. Each of these fac­tors can im­pact the ca­bling in­fra­struc­ture’s abil­ity to meet the stan­dard’s spec­i­fied trans­mis­sion dis­tances.

The pas­sive ca­bling in­dus­try on fiber is all set for the mi­gra­tion/de­ploy­ment of 40/100 gi­ga­bit. With re­gard to the con­nec­tors on pas­sive seg­ment, the fiber con­nec­tors like MPOS are ready but the end equip­ment or the ac­tive de­vice are not avail­able in the mar­ket. If the pri­mary net­work is on multi-mode then they will have to add more fibers. The con­tain­ment sys­tem will in­crease and the en­tire con­nect oriza­tion panels and pack­ing sys­tems have to be changed. In multi-mode dis­tance and the apt num­ber of fiber counts be­comes a cri­te­rion.

“Par­al­lel op­tics trans­mis­sion, com­pared to tra­di­tional se­rial trans­mis­sion, uses a par­al­lel op­ti­cal in­ter­face where data is si­mul­ta­ne­ously trans­mit­ted and re­ceived over mul­ti­ple fibers. The 40 gi­ga­bit and 100 gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net in­ter­faces are 4x10 gi­ga­bit chan­nels on 4 fibers per di­rec­tion, and 10x10 gi­ga­bit chan­nels on 10 fibers per di­rec­tion, re­spec­tively,” says Ra­jiv Kapoor, coun­try di­rec­tor, Le­vi­ton Net­work So­lu­tions.

Ac­cord­ing to James Young, tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor, Comm­scope En­ter­prise So­lu­tions Divi­sion Asia Pa­cific, “As speed in­creases the qual­ity of net­work be­gins to be­come very ap­par­ent. Net­works that hap­pily func­tion at 10 gi­ga­bit may not sup­port 40 gi­ga­bit or 100 gi­ga­bit. The band­width of fiber and per­for­mance of con­nec­tion hard­ware will make a huge dif­fer­ence to the fu­ture net­works.“

Dileep Ku­mar, coun­try chair, BICSI In­dia and coun­try head, Di­rak In­dia says, “While 10 and 40 gi­ga­bit im­ple­men­ta­tions have been around over the last few years with rea­son­able lev­els of mar­ket pen­e­tra­tion, the 100 gi­ga­bit tech­nol­ogy is still in the in­cu­ba­tion phase. A di­rect mi­gra­tion to 100 gi­ga­bit will have dis­ad­van­tages such as higher costs and in­com­pat­i­bil­ity is­sues with the ex­ist­ing trans­port in­fra­struc­tures.” He adds, “From a con­nec­tiv­ity per­spec­tive, upgra­da­tion of a cop­per net­work from 10 gi­ga­bit to 40/100 gi­ga­bit will be a chal­lenge. How­ever MPO/MTP which is the des­ig­nated in­ter­face for fiber for 40/100 gi­ga­bit is back­ward com­pat­i­ble to 10 gi­ga­bit.”

In­ser­tion loss is a crit­i­cal per­for­mance pa­ram­e­ter in cur­rent data cen­ter ca­bling de­ploy­ments. To­tal con­nec­tor loss within

a sys­tem chan­nel im­pacts the abil­ity of a sys­tem to oper­ate over the max­i­mum sup­port­able dis­tance for a given data rate. The 40 gi­ga­bit and 100 gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net stan­dard spec­i­fies the OM3 fiber 100 me­ter dis­tance max­i­mum chan­nel loss to be 1.9 db, which in­cludes a 1.5 db to­tal con­nec­tor loss. The OM4 fiber 150 me­ter dis­tance max­i­mum chan­nel loss is 1.5 db, which in­cludes a 1.0 db to­tal con­nec­tor loss bud­get. The in­ser­tion loss spec­i­fi­ca­tions of the MPO con­nec­tiv­ity com­po­nents should be eval­u­ated when de­sign­ing data cen­ter ca­bling in­fra­struc­tures. With low-loss MPO con­nec­tiv­ity, com­po­nents max­i­mum flex­i­bil­ity can be achieved with the abil­ity to in­tro­duce mul­ti­ple con­nec­tor mat­ings into the con­nec­tiv­ity link such that the struc­tured ca­bling ar­chi­tec­tures can be sup­ported.

“Dur­ing the mi­gra­tion there would be chal­lenges like sus­cep­ti­bil­ity to trans­mis­sion prob­lems. Pro­vid­ing high-speed con­nec­tiv­ity while pro­tect­ing cur­rent net­work in­fra­struc­ture re­quires broad ex­per­tise and wide rang­ing test to qual­ify the state of fiber plant, per­form fiber char­ac­ter­i­za­tion, and ac­cess the in­tegrity of data trans­mis­sion over long haul net­works,” ad­vises Ramesh Nair, prod­uct man­ager, Molex Premise Net­works.

Dur­ing mi­gra­tion there will be down­time. Down­time would de­pend on the size of the data cen­ter. Although cer­tain things might func­tion par­al­lelly, yet it would re­quire a down­time of around 4 to 7 days.

Han­dling Mi­gra­tion—dos and Don’ts

While the mi­gra­tion process ad­her­ence to stan­dard ap­proach is para­mount, bad in­stal­la­tion prac­tices and test­ing er­rors would later cost heav­ily. The CIOS should spec­ify the speed, dis­tance, and num­ber of con­nec­tions in the process of mi­gra­tion to 40 gi­ga­bit and it would help to meet the data cen­ter ca­bling re­quire­ments for size, or­ga­ni­za­tion, and re­dun­dancy.

Ca­bling ex­perts—r&m, Comm­scope, Le­vi­ton, Molex, and oth­ers have unan­i­mously de­clared to re­frain from work­ing with un­trained work­ers to im­ple­ment or main­tain fiber net­works. The de­signer/

The per­for­mance on the fiber has great ben­e­fits and es­pe­cially the sin­gle-mode fiber has its own ad­van­tages over multi-mode

in­staller should have a good un­der­stand­ing on how data flow hap­pens on fiber for 40 gi­ga­bit, ie, it re­quire 4 pairs of fiber; else the net­work in fu­ture would not de­liver 40 gi­ga­bit out­put. Be­sides, ter­mi­na­tion and con­necto riza­tion plays a cru­cial role. In­stall­ers should be aware of the right con­nec­tors be­cause space is money and it re­quires high den­sity, they should ei­ther use con­nec­tors like MPOS or high den­sity con­nec­tors. Per­for­mance de­pends on know­ing how to clean, test, and main­tain fiber sys­tems in their best pos­si­ble con­di­tion. This re­quires

For more re­lated ar­ti­cles go to voicen­data.com

spe­cific train­ing and equip­ment. There are al­ways chal­lenges to com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tems. Per­fect trans­mis­sion at any speed is a func­tion of de­sign and main­te­nance of com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tems. As speed in­creases the in­vest­ment in com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy also in­creases. 100 gi­ga­bit sys­tems will de­mand a higher de­gree of care and main­te­nance. The se­lec­tion of qual­ity com­po­nents and well trained con­trac­tors will not be an op­tion in the fu­ture.

Post-mi­gra­tion there would be some trans­mis­sion chal­lenges like the link losses which is very im­por­tant in the high-speed net­work per­for­mance. To en­sure 100% per­fect trans­mis­sion, in­stall­ers should en­sure that they have used com­po­nent com­pli­ant prod­ucts in end-to-end con­nec­tiv­ity, good in­stal­la­tion prac­tices con­sid­ered while de­ploy­ment, and solid proof test­ing af­ter de­ploy­ment.

Once the 40 gi­ga­bit is in place, it would be easy to up­grade to 100 gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net in fu­ture by lever­ag­ing on the ex­ist­ing fiber.

ma­linin@cy­ber­me­dia.co.in

—Ramesh Nair, prod­uct man­ager, Molex Premise Net­works —Dileep Ku­mar, coun­try chair, BICSI In­dia

“It is es­ti­mated glob­ally that 100 gi­ga­bit will have ser­vice win­dow from 2012 un­til 2016 where the in­tro­duc­tion of IT so­lu­tions is ex­pected to take place. In In­dia we could ex­pect to see 100 gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net de­ploy­ment post 2014” “While 10 and 40...

—James Young, tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor, Comm­Scope En­ter­prise So­lu­tions Divi­sion Asia Pa­cific

“Net­works that hap­pily func­tioned at 10 gi­ga­bit may not sup­port 40 or 100 gi­ga­bit. The band­width of fiber and per­for­mance of con­nec­tion hard­ware will make a huge dif fer­ence to fu­ture net­works”

—Sha­jan Ge­orge, tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor, R&M In­dia

“The key to per­fect trans­mis­sion is the right count of par­al­lel op­tic fibers, 4 fibers in the case of 40 gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net and 10 fibers in the case of 100 gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net. Each in­di­vid­ual fiber can send data rate of 10 gi­ga­bits per sec­ond”

—Ra­jiv Kapoor, coun­try di­rec­tor, Le­vi­ton Net­work So­lu­tions

“Ca­bling mi­gra­tion from 10 to 40 gi­ga­bit and 100 gi­ga­bit per sec­ond trans­mis­sion can be achieved with an MPO based op­ti­cal con­nec­tiv­ity sys­tem”

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