Driven by ever-increasing demands for bandwidth and speed, enterprise and hyperscale networks alike are turning more and more to high density switches and fiber connections. 10G is almost commonplace, 40G and 100G are growing in adoption, and 400G is around the corner. High-density connections allow more capacity within the same footprint and increase scalability while bringing down overall cost, but they also introduce new challenges to overcome.
Not all devices support high-density connections, so there is often a need to aggregate lower-density connections before they reach a high-density switch. Conversely, connections from high-density switches need to be broken out to reach the low-density devices, without losing track of what goes where. In addition to breaking out 40G ports into 4x10G ports and 100G ports into 4x25G ports, network managers need a way to ensure that every cable connection is accurately installed and documented, and network technicians need a reliable way to know exactly which ports to service.
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Imagine working as a technician in a data center who needs to service one 10G port that is part of a 40G breakout. First you have to find the switch within the data center, then the correct 40G switch port and then the correct 10G port. In standard breakout methods, there are no physical indicators to show which 10G port corresponds to which fiber of the original 40G port. This makes the technician’s work error prone – which port actually needs the new connection?
Fiber Mountain’s L-Series Fiber Port Aggregators (FPAs) can be configured as port replicators to address both breakout and visibility issues for high density switches. The FPA uses rear-facing MPOs mapped to front-facing duplex LC ports to break out any QSFP into four duplex LC ports, labeled according to the rear MPO for easy tracking of connection paths. In addition, each duplex LC and MPO has an associated tri-color LED.
Cisco NCS 1002 - Real World Example
Cisco customers needed a way to break out the 20 QSFP ports of the NCS 1002 DWDM transport platform in order to connect it to end devices that only support 10G. Fiber Mountain partnered with Cisco to create the LS-2520 as a custom port replicator, breaking out all 20 QSFPs in a single 2RU unit with ports numbered to match the NCS 1002 and LEDs controlled directly by the connected NCS 1002.
Fiber Mountain’s L-Series FPAs can provide port replication and breakout for any QSFP switch, with the added benefit of software-controllable per-port LEDs. This makes L-Series FPAs an ideal companion for any QSFP switch or transport platform, available for single mode and multimode applications with 80 or 72 LC duplex ports.
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Components of Fiber Mountain’s Glass Core:
- AllPath Director is a centralized SDN orchestration system that provides real-time visibility and control of the network. This orchestration system is unique among SDN controllers because it is not confined to packet processing over a static infrastructure. AllPath Director ‘software defines’ the physical layer.
- OPX Optical Path Exchange offers 160x10Gbps ports with dense MPO connectors and on-board optics. It has been measured at five nanoseconds port-to-port latency, enabling “bump-in-the-wire” optical switching with multicast support.
- Sensus intelligent patch panels aggregate and break out duplex LC to MPO trunks. Each Sensus panel features an interactive management module screen that offers local or remote access for improved control and asset management. Two hot-swappable patching modules allow for dynamic breakout configurations.
- L-Series Fiber Port Aggregators provide LC-to-MPO or MPO-to-MPO aggregation and QSFP breakout. Per-port LEDs and a variety of TIA-5638-D.3 2016-compliant fiber mapping options couple with AllPath Director and OPX to facilitate effective network control and visibility.
- Super Premium Fiber Optic Cables ensure efficient and consistent data via a high-quality glass core and superior design. Cables equipped with ICID technology can be discovered by AllPath Director to provide visibility and complete control of the physical layer.
Breakouts for 40, 100 and 400G for any switch
40G to 4 x 10G
100G to 4 x 25G
400G to 4 x 100G