How to create a fiber optic network

July 23, 2012 at 07:49:23
Specs: Windows 7
Hi guys,

When it comes to fiber optics my knowledge is very limited. All I know is that they can carry data at high bandwidth for a long range at blazing speeds etc.
My boss has asked me to link several buildings to the network and I am led to believe that joining them through fiber optics to be best since we are expecting a lot of data traffic between.

I have done the normal RJ-45 networking with Gigabit networking in my organisation but need your assistance on how to join each of the buildings through fibre optics.

So far this is my plan.

Draw up the fiber optic lines from the main building to each building.
All the buildings have Gigabit Cat6e cabling and network in each.
I am planning on using a single mode media converter to convert the end of the fibre optic to the normal RJ45 connector and plug it to each switch at each of the ends of the fiber optic cable .
Am I going in the correct direction?

If there is any other way please let me know.
I don't even know the gadgematics required except for the cables them selves, crimping tools, the media converter. There is about 300-400 metres in between of each building from the main building.
Also, I believe that we need to create cross over cables as in the normal way we do in connecting 2 switches.

Your input is very valuable to me.

Cheers
Da


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#1
July 23, 2012 at 08:07:10
You have two alternatives. You can use a media converter if your switches themselves don't come with GBIC's. If your switches do have GBIC connectors, then I would use those instead and plug the fiber optic direclty into the switch via the GBIC.

I would recommend buying prefabricated/terminated/tested/certified cables. You would need to know the length of each (always add some extra in case you need to move something in the future) and preorder them. This negates the need for fancy (expensive tools) and training and reduces deployment time to "pull and plug in"

I would order multiple strand fiber optic. This would require a "fan out" box at each end but then each fiber optic cable would have 4 (or more) viable links which allows for future growth.

I expect you'll want to use Single Mode to bridge those distances.

You don't need to create "crossover" cables. The cables themselves are designed in such a fashion that should you need to reverse one end, you can sdo so quite simply. Typically the two cables are in a plastic kind of case that you can take apart, reverse the cables, then snap the cover back together and plug it into the GBIC/Media Converter.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#2
July 23, 2012 at 10:03:50
How do you plan to run the fiber? Aerial?

Multimode has greater distance and speeds than single mode.
You may want to consider 10 GBe between buildings depending on expected traffic and future growth.

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#3
July 23, 2012 at 18:51:52
Thanks guys.
My distance is max 500 metres from the main building to another.
I am thinking of laying the physical cables instead of aerial installation.

What is the best type of cable for me?
I don't expect a 10Gbps traffic for any predictable time.
I have read that multi mode is the best for the distance I need. I am planning on getting an outdoor cable pre ordererd & terminated so it's just kind of plug and play.

The switches do not have the GBIC so my plan is to lay one multi mode cable from one end to another and use the media converter and plug each end to the normal switch.

Any more advise is greatly appreciated


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#4
July 23, 2012 at 19:02:08
Guys this may one of the dumbest question of all time coming from a person who is tryin to get a fiber optic connection up and running.
What's the story between the transmitter and receiver? Do I need them?

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#5
July 24, 2012 at 07:23:15
Ok, in my first response I stated that you'll probably want to use Single Mode between buildings.

Single Mode has the longest maximum segment length (up to about 25 km's/15 miles). You might be able to find multimode that will span the distance you need to but the longer your segment of multimode is, the lower the bandwidth on it gets. Do some research and if necessary, make a few calls. All the information and specs on the different types of both Single/Multi mode cables is easy to find. You may find 10 GBps capable multimode cable that will operate at full capacity over a 500 meter run.

What I can tell you is that internally between wiring closets we use multimode for our backbone. For the other buildings on our property that are physically some distance away (50 m, 100 m), we use single mode. In both cases, we terminate the fiber optic cable to a "fanout" box as our switches all have GBIC's. Then we use a short fiber optic cable between fanout and switch to connect it. In both cases (patch cable and long run) the fiber optic cables are preterminated/tested/certified.

If you go with media converters at each end, or GBIC's, those are your transmitter/recievers.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#6
July 24, 2012 at 08:04:07
Personally, I'm not a fan of pre-terminated fiber for long exterior runs. There's too high of a chance during the installation of them getting damaged and needing to be re-terminated. Since it appears that you haven't done this before, my recommendation would be to get some bids from cabling contractors and have them run and terminate the fiber. You don't say how you plan on running the fiber, but the cable between the buildings should be buried. Do you really want to do that yourself? Wouldn't you prefer to contract that out?

Even though our IT department has the knowledge and tools for running/terminating fiber, we always contract that out.


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#7
July 24, 2012 at 09:12:30
Just remember to plan with the future in mind just not the short term goals that have presented themselves. For example run a bundle of fiber not just a couple of runs. Fiber doesn't pull well thru that distance of conduit which again brings us back to thinking ahead.

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#8
July 24, 2012 at 10:47:37
I've used many preterminated multiple strand multimode and two singlemode (again multiple strand) cables within my network and never had a problem. Those cables are actually pretty darn robust and are designed to be pulled with more force than a feather floating on a breeze. While I wouldn't use a mechanical tugger on them, you're only pulling one thin, light fiber optic cable here, not a bundle of 40 Cat6.

On the two singlemode external runs, we hired a contractor to do the job. Had something gone wrong, replacing the cable would have been their responsibility. I wouldn't have bothered reterminating it myself when I could just order a replacement. The biggest reason we went with a contractor is that the conduit wasn't empty so we decided to leave the risk up to someone else who's insurance would cover any problems that might (but didn't) arise.

I agree that hiring a contractor to do the pull for you is the best advice. Especially if you have no experience with pulling fiber optic, or copper, cabling yourself.

If you go with multiple strand as I advised, this will allow for future growth and expansion. How many strands/cables you pull is going to depend on projected growth and budget. This stuff isn't exactly cheap right. The singlemode we used between buildings has enough fibers for 5 circuits (10 individual fibers). I'm pretty sure you can get them with more.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#9
July 24, 2012 at 14:40:56
I got curious and checked the stuff we use and the multimode is rated for 500 meters before bandwidth starts degrading. The singlemode is rated for 50 to 80 km's (30 to 50 miles)

Both are capable of carrying up to 10 GB's of bandwidth.

If your runs don't exceed 500 m, I would go with the multimode. Don't forget to leave some extra at each end just in case.

Since you have conduit in place, I would pull some twine through it and use that to get an accurate measure of length.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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