Building blocks of a 100Gbps network

The need for 100Gbps can be triggered in different ways, the local (datacenter)network that gets congested or a light path that needs more bandwidth or more services. The main differentiator is the application, is it local or over a longer distance?

Although 100Gbps used in a local network will introduce new elements such as cables and interfaces, the costs of the necessary changes are relatively low. A switch with the 100Gbps interface, a CFP and MPO ribbon cables are the main building blocks. Using ribbon cables, with MPO connectors, distances up to 150 meter can be reached with an affordable SR10 CFP. Interfacing with existing 10Gbps is made easy by special cables (fan out) splitting the 100Gbps into 10 times 10 Gbps. Bottom line: When the first 100Gbps arrives in the local network, integration, in terms of costs as well as learning curve, not a big deal.

A 100Gbps connection over a longer distance requires more planning and engineering and has different building blocks. Depending on the distance and availability of fibres and/or channels, a link including media conversion will need the following components:

  • A chassis with power supplies and management;
  • A transponder or media converter card;
  • CFP modules;
  • Multiplexers;
  • Amplifiers (depending on the distance).

In some cases, the 100Gbps can be used for the transport of different types of data, like FibreChannel for Storage, Ethernet and SDH. In that case a module called a muxponder is used to multiplex the different signals and different data rates over one 100Gbps link. This can reduce costs if the number of channels is limited or to avoid Wave Division Multiplexing. The use of OTN technology also offers the choice for each channel to be forwarded or connected locally. An other use of the muxponder is simply multiplex up to 10 existing 10Gbps interfaces, which protects previous investments in switches and routers.

Netways offers two types of 100Gbps solutions:

  • The MRV chassis based OptiDriver family whit a broad range of chassis with up to 2 Terabit capacity;
  • Packetlight, fully integrated, 100G 1U high devices, easy to integrate in existing WDM environments and one of the most user friendly management interfacing.

For further questions feel free to contact us.