The acquisition of newer, more refined fiber optic technology is conducive to tackling the growing data requirements in today’s world. Advanced fiber optics solutions such as tunable DWDM (Dense-Wavelength Division Multiplexing) transceivers enable telecom and media-service providers to address the performance and network management limitations of traditional transceivers, as well as the cost concerns of additional fiber procurement.
Axiom Connectivity DWDM tunable transceivers optimize network infrastructures and data centers. With data rates of 10Gb/s or higher at distances up to 80km, Axiom tunables offer Autotune technology for more efficient wavelength configuration. The advantages of tunable solutions in a modern network are more clear-cut when you consider the basic principles of DWDM and the limitations of traditional and fixed-wavelength transceivers.
DWDM transceivers operate on multiple frequencies and utilize WDM (Wavelength-Division Multiplexing) to enable data transfer over a single strand of fiber. WDM technology involves a multiplexer (Mux) which combines multiple transmitted light signals into a unified signal that can be sent across the fiber, as well as a demultiplexer (Demux) which converts the combined signal back to the original signals. The technology increases the capacity per fiber so that less fiber is needed for a network. The advantages of deploying less fiber are lower capital expenditures and simplified network management.
Variations of WDM include CWDM (Coarse-Wavelength Division Multiplexing) and DWDM (Dense-Wavelength Division Multiplexing). CWDM involves a wider range of the electromagnetic spectrum, operating between 1270nm and 1610nm. With wider channel spacing in increments of 20nm, CWDM offers up to 18 channels for operation.
DWDM involves a much more concentrated and denser range, operating strictly in the 1530nm-1565nm range, covering the C-Band frequency. DWDM operates in minuscule increments of 0.4nm (50GHz), providing more than 96 channels for signal transfer. With more channels available, DWDM are more efficient than standard or CWDM transceivers, making them a better for modern networks. The addition of EDFA (Erbium-Doped Fiber Amplifier) in DWDM systems further increases signal strength amplification.
Certain limitations amongst DWDM transceivers need to be considered, particularly that of fixed-wavelength DWDM transceivers which lack the flexibility of wavelength-tunable transceivers. Data transfer between DWDM transceivers only works on the condition that both transceivers are operating on the same wavelengths at opposing ends of the fiber. The necessity of pairing each fixed-wavelength transceiver with a counterpart of the same SKU/part number increases the number of transceivers in the network, adding extra costs and hindering network management.
Uptime is everything for a data center. Backups are required for every unique transceiver in your network. Given that DWDM data transfer can involve 96 channels or more, networks deploying fixed-wavelength transceivers will need to stock at least 96 backup transceivers to account for any DWDM transceiver failure. Spending as much on backup transceivers as the primary transceivers is simply not cost effective and does not always fit the budget of many businesses. The high costs for contingencies and the inability to be tuned to any of the channels DWDM has to offer make fixed-wavelength transceivers less than ideal for deployment in modern networks.
This is where tunable optical transceivers have a clear advantage over fixed-wavelength transceivers. Tunables simplify network configuration by enabling you to fine-tune wavelengths accordingly to pair transceivers on both ends of the fiber. Easily swap out a defective transceiver with a wavelength-flexible transceiver and simply tune the new transceiver to the correct wavelength. Gone are the days with multiple SKUs or part numbers to worry about. Now you can simplify your inventory with a lower count of transceivers on a one-size-fits-all scheme that tunables have to offer.
The ability of tunables to be fine-tuned also enhances scalability, making it ideal for any modern network infrastructure that needs to be further expanded to accommodate new demands. Implementing tunables lowers capital expenditures spent on procuring fiber and backup inventory ensuring that long-term benefits are more than worth the higher short-term costs.
Tunables offer clear benefits over fixed-wavelength transceivers but require manual tuning of individual transceivers, a process that can be cumbersome and error-prone especially in networks involving numerous transceivers with their respective wavelengths. In addition to our line of tunables, Axiom Connectivity offers DWDM tunable transceivers featuring Autotune which delivers automated tuning on your transceivers. Autotune-enabled transceivers auto-scan for available wavelengths and establish a handshake and transceiver lock.
The plug-and-play configuration of these Autotune-enabled transceivers allows for easy, hassle-free installation without host system intervention. Tracking fibers from the transceivers to the DWDM Mux/Demux module to determine the correct fiber can be a painstaking and tedious process for technicians given the lengthy distances between the two, which can be separated by as much as 2 km. Autotune simplifies the process by eliminating the need to track fibers altogether.
On certain equipment, tunable transceivers are unable to be manually tuned through the CLI (Command Line Interface), requiring the use of a tuning box. With Autotune, ditch the tuning box and let Axiom DWDM tunable transceivers do the heavy lifting. Automatic configuration of wavelengths enabled with Autotune mitigates the potential strain on operation logistics that can result from the extra time and effort brought forth by manual tuning. Autotune addresses the challenges associated with manual tuning and cuts the transceiver tuning time from hours to minutes to maximize network management efficiency.
If your business is looking to push its network bandwidth to the max while simplifying the network configuration with fewer strands of fibers and a less overloaded design, tunables are the way to go.