Breakout or Distribution Cables — Which One to Choose?

Cables with multiple fibers are widely applied to high-density indoor or outdoor installations. Breakout and distribution fiber optic cables are the common used types. However, people may mix them together because they have a similar outer appearance. Actually, the inner structure of these cables are totally different. In this article, some differences between breakout and distribution cables will be discussed.

Cable Structures
Breakout Cable Structure

Breakout cable is also known as fan-out cable. As the following picture shows, breakout cable consists two or more simplex cables bundled around a central strength member. Each fiber has its own jacket and all of the fibers are packaged together inside the same outer jacket. Thus, breakout cable can also be broken out into individual simplex cables for separate use when running through walls of a building. Breakout cable is usually designed with tight buffer and the fiber counts are varied from 2 to 24 fibers.

breakout fiber cable structure

Distribution Cable Structure

Unlike the breakout cable, distribution cable is smaller in size and lighter in weight. Fiber counts of distribution cable can be more intensive than the breakout cable for up to 144 fibers. Many fibers may not be used immediately but can be left for future expansion. Although the distribution cable has a more compact design, the tight-buffered fibers inside the cable are only bundled in a single outer jacket for protection, as shown in the picture below. Yet this has made the distribution cable to be easily handled and stripped for field termination.

distribution fiber cable structure

Cable Types
Types of Breakout Cable

According to different fiber ratings, breakout cable can be divided into breakout riser cable and breakout plenum cable. Breakout riser cable is widely used for vertical riser and general horizontal applications. However, when the cable is needed for ducts, plenums and other spaces with environmental air returns, breakout plenum cable is the better choice.

breakout cable

Types of Distribution Cable

Likewise, distribution cable also has the riser and plenum cable types for riser and plenum spaces deployment. Apart from these types, distribution cable is sometimes equipped with armored jacket for a stronger protection. Armored distribution riser or plenum cable can be applied to harsh premise environments where heavy-duty protection is required.

distribution cable

Cable Applications
Breakout Cable Applications

Breakout cable may end up in communication closets, and users can manually change connections. It is also available to be used for direct connection to the device. Moreover, breakout cable is suitable for short riser or plenum areas and conduit runs, where a very simple cable run is planned to avoid the use of splice box or spliced fiber pigtails. Since breakout cable has a stronger design, it is ideal for industrial applications where ruggedness is needed.

Distribution Cable Applications

Distribution cable is typically used for fast installation and easy termination of outdoor and indoor applications. It supports high performance networks and its single-unit fiber design saves much space. Distribution cable usually ends up at patch panels or communication closets, where they are connected with devices for communications between separate offices or locations. Distribution cable is also used within buildings to provide high-density connectivity for applications of intra-building backbones, routing between telecommunications rooms and connectorized cables in riser and plenum environments.

Conclusion

In summary, it is a convenient solution to use breakout or distribution cables for multi-fiber applications. Certainly, when you have to make a choice between them, you also need to consider the price factor. Breakout cable is generally stronger and larger than the distribution cable, thus the cost will be more expensive. Be sure to have a second thought before making the decision.

Applications for Outside Plant Fiber Optic Cables

Inside plant refers to the cabling running inside a building. Similarly, outside plant is the cabling running outdoors. Outside plant cables are thicker because of more durable insulation jackets. As for fiber optic communication, there are many types of outside plant fiber optic cables. Some have extra protections to prevent corrosion and other elemental interference. Outside plant fiber optics are widely used in telephone networks, CATV, metropolitan networks, utilities and so on. If you want to choose the right outside plant fiber optic cable, its applicable environment is an important factor for consideration. This post will introduce some common outside plant fiber optic cables and typical outdoor application environments.

Several Types of Outside Plant Fiber Optic Cables

Outdoor breakout cable is perfect for rugged applications and installations that require increased performance. It is usually made of several bundled simplex cables wrapped in a common cable jacket. The fungus, water and UV protections and temperature durability are beneficial to its outside applications. Its design of individual fiber reinforcement enables the quick termination to connectors and omits the use of patch panels or boxes. With much less termination work, outdoor breakout cable is more cost-effective when small fiber counts and short distances are required.

breakout-outdoor-cable

Outdoor Loose Tube Cable

Outdoor loose tube cable has the gel-filled design protecting the cable from moisture environment. The gel within the loose-tube construction stops the penetration of water and keeps it away from the fiber. Also, it keeps water from freezing near the fiber at low temperatures which reduces the chance of stress fractures. Fibers are bundled inside a small plastic tube that can protect fibers from outside stresses. Outdoor loose tube cable is often used in conduits, strung overhead or buried directly into the ground.

outdoor-loose-tube-cable

Outdoor Ribbon Cable

Outdoor ribbon cable has high fiber counts and small cable diameter. It contains the most fibers in the smallest cable. These fibers are laid out in rows as ribbons, and ribbons are laid on top of each other. Likewise, it also has gel-filled protection to block outside water. Ribbon cable makes installation much faster and easier since mass fusion splicers can join a ribbon at once.

outdoor-ribbon-cable

Outdoor armored cable is a direct buried type that prevents itself from animal bite. The metal armoring between two jackets effectively prohibits rodent penetration. Outdoor armored cable can be divided into light armored and heavy armored types. The former has the protective plastic jacket with the same durability and longevity of a stainless steel cable with a lighter weight. The latter is wrapped in a wire circle to be applied for underwater regions that near shores and shoals.

outdoor-armored-cable

Outside Cable Plant Applications

Outside cable plant deployment can be implemented in many environments. Above-ground, underground, buried and underwater are the typical applications.

Above-ground Cable Plant

Above-ground cable plant can be exposed to extreme temperatures, and to humidity that varies with the seasons and with daily temperature changes. Cables under such circumstances should be durable to adapt to extreme weathers and water penetration.

Underground Cable Plant

Underground cable plant usually applies cables in underground structures including the utility holes, controlled environmental vaults, ducts and so on. The condition in utility holes and ducts sometimes can be corrosive because of man-made chemicals. Cables with corrosion-proof materials are perfect for this environment.

Buried Cable Plant

Buried cable plant applies cables directly into the soil. Cables can also be exposed to the same corrosive environment as underground plant. But animal bite is an additional problem. Cables for this application should be very tough to endure both chemical corrosion and animal attack.

Underwater Cable Plant

Underwater cable plant are located beneath the surface of water. The water can range from relatively pure to brackish, or to badly contaminated with industrial effluent. Cables for underwater plant are extremely rugged, with fibers in the middle of the cable inside stainless steel tubes and the outside coated with many layers of steel strength members and conductors for powering repeaters.

Conclusion

Unlike indoor cables, outside plant fiber optic cables must be wrapped in different layers to withstand the severe installation conditions. Choosing the right kind of outdoor cable can save you a great deal for long-term maintenance. And your project application is an important aspect that will affect the selection of fiber optic cables.

What Will Data Center Benefit From MPO/MTP Solutions?

As the era of 40/100G network is coming, traditional LC cabling is no longer able to satisfy the demands for high data rate and high density in data center. The MPO/MTP cabling features replacing 12 or 24 LC connectors with one MPO/MTP connector, which is a high density, high performance solution for fast installation of enterprise data center and other high count cabling implementation.

Why MPO/MTP Solutions Are Needed in Data Center?

With the advent and popularity of cloud computing and big data, the demands for high-speed transmission and data capacity are becoming much greater than ever before. And 40/100G Ethernet is now a trend and hotspot for data center cabling system. Since MPO/MTP connectors are the up-and-coming standard optical interface for 40/100G Ethernet network, it is predicted that MPO/MTP solutions will eventually flood the data center. After all, the high fiber count in one connector creates endless possibilities.

MPO-solution

The Advantages of MPO/MTP Solutions

As the new favorite of data center, the MPO/MTP solutions feature the following advantages:

Rapid Deployment

Since the MPO/MTP products are factory terminated, they can be installed easily and simply. They use a simple push-pull latching mechanism for easy and intuitive insertion and removal. Thus, the installing process only includes pull and plug, eliminating all unpredictable field termination troubles. It is estimated that the MPO/MTP solutions’ installation time can be reduced by up to 75% compared to traditional fiber cabling systems.

High Density

Being the same size as a SC connector, the MPO/MTP connector can accommodate 12/24 fibers, providing 12/24 times the density. Therefore, MPO/MTP connectors allow high-density connections between network equipment in telecommunication rooms, and offer savings in circuit card and rack space.

MPO connector

Cost Saving

As mentioned above, the installation process of MPO/MTP products is simple and easy. Therefore, the installation time involving a costly highly qualified workforce can be reduced to a minimum.

Scalability

As we all know, most MPO/MTP products are modular solutions. This is the good choice to ease future expansion and for quick and easy system reconfiguration.

FS.COM MPO/MTP Solutions

FS.COM, as a fiber network solution supplier, is now going to be ahead of the game with various MPO/MTP solutions that are designed for the reliable and quick operations in the data center. We offer a wide range of MPO/MTP solutions including trunk cables, harness cables, cassettes, fiber enclosure and so on.

MPO/MTP Trunk Cable

MPO/MTP trunk cables are made up of 12/24/48 fiber cables factory pre-terminated at both ends with MPO/MTP connectors. They are designed to be used as backbone or horizontal cable interconnections. These assemblies are available in OM3, OM4 and single-mode fiber. Standard lengths of 5, 10, 25 meters are available. Custom lengths are also available on request.

MPO trunk cable

MPO/MTP Harness Cable

MPO/MTP harness cables are often made up of 12 fiber cables terminated at one end in MPO/MTP connectors, through a bifurcation unit, to SC or LC connectors terminated on simplex/duplex cables. They are used to connect equipment in racks to MPO/MTP terminated backbone cables. Available in OM3, OM4 or single-mode fiber in lengths of 5, 10, 25 meters, etc. they are designed for high density applications which require high performance and speedy installation without on-site termination.

MPO Harness Cable

MPO/MTP Cassette

MPO/MTP Cassettes are enclosed units that contain 12/24 fiber factory terminated breakout cables inside, serving to transition ribbon cables terminated with MPO/MTP connector to the more common LC or SC interface used on the transceiver terminal equipment. This kind of cassette provides a quick and efficient way to deploy up to 24 LC or 12 SC fiber ports in a single module.

MPO Cassette

MPO/MTP Fiber Enclosure

As a scalable modular, the MPO/MTP fiber enclosure is designed for high density Gigabit Ethernet application. MPO/MTP fiber enclosures are used for terminating backbone cables at the main distribution area (MDA) and horizontal distribution area (HDA). They are available in 1U, 2 U and 4U (as shown in the following figure).

MPO Fiber Enclosure

Note: The HD MPO/MTP cassettes and fiber enclosure are also available in FS.COM for high-density demands.

Conclusion

40/100G Ethernet is the developing trend in data center cabling system. Therefore, MPO/MTP cabling system becomes the ideal solution for the growing demands on high-capacity cabling data center. FS.COM provides a series of MPO/MTP solutions which are plug and play, simple installation, compact design and high precision. For more information, please contact us over sales@fs.com.

Source:http://www.fs.com/blog/what-will-data-center-benefit-from-mpomtp-solutions.html

Understanding Armored Fiber Patch Cable

With the development of telecommunication, demands for fiber patch cables are increasing all over the world. However, it is known to all that cables under harsh environment must be in need of better protection. Luckily, the advent of armored fiber patch cable efficiently solves the problem. As the name indicates, this type of optical cable is wrapped in a protective armor to prevent optical cables from animal bite, moisture, corrosion and other damage. Therefore, using armored fiber optic cable will greatly reduce the cost of unnecessary cable loss. This article will give you a basic introduction about the structure, types and advantages of armored optical cable.

Structure of Armored Fiber Optic Cable

Armored fiber optic cable has some basic layers. The first layer is the outer jacket made of plastic materials. It can protect the cable from the destroy of solvent and abrasion. The second layer under outer jacket is the strength member made of armored materials, such as aluminum foil, steel and kevlar. These materials are difficult to cut, bite and burn which are great protections for the optical cable. Next is the inner jacket of fiber made of protective and flame-retardant materials to support the internal optical fibers.

armored-optical-cable-structure

Types of Armored Fiber Optic Cable

Armored fiber optic cable can be divided into indoor armored optical cable and outdoor armored optical cable according to the premises.

Indoor Armored Optical Cable

This kind of optical cable includes double and single indoor armored fiber patch cables. The double armored cable has the stainless steel wire woven and stainless steel tube. On the contrary, the single armored cable does not contain the stainless steel components. Most of the indoor armored cables are deployed for building wiring applications. You may find them in walls, between floors, in plenum air handling ducts and under data center floors, etc.

Outdoor Armored Optical Cable

There are light armored and heavy armored optical cable used for outdoor applications. The light armored cable has the protective plastic jacket with the same durability and longevity of a stainless steel cable, but its weight is much lighter. The heavy armored cable is wrapped in a wire circle which can be applied for riverbed and ocean floor.

Advantages of Armored Fiber Optic Cable

There are numerous advantages of armored fiber optic cable. The flexibility and durability of armored cable are excellent which makes it the right choice for industrial purposes. Moreover, the armor materials protect the cable from damage caused by animal, human or harsh environment, thus it can be applied to places where ordinary cables can not. The armored cable can also undergo heat and high pressure of extreme conditions. Using the armored optical cable not only ensures the high speed data transmission, but also extends the life span of cables.

Conclusion

When fiber optic cables are needed for terrible conditions, a strong protection for the cable is very necessary. Therefore, to secure the data communication, armored fiber optic cable is a good solution to make the cable free from different damages. But when you operate the armored cables, you must be careful of the freshly cut edges which are very sharp to cope with. And the budget of your project should also be taken into consideration as armored cables are generally more expensive than the common ones.

Things You Need to Know About MTP/MPO Harness Cable

A MTP/MPO harness cable, also called MTP/MPO breakout cable or MTP/MPO fan-out cable, is a fiber optic cable terminated with MTP/MPO connectors on one end and MTP/MPO/LC/FC/SC/ST/MTRJ connectors (generally MTP to LC) on the other end (as shown in the following figure). In addition to its definition, here are something you also need to know about MTP/MPO harness cable.

MTP(MPO) Harness Cable

What Is MTP/MPO Connector

As a kind of multi-fiber connector, the MTP/MPO connector is most commonly used for 12 or 24 fibers in a single connector pushing up to and beyond 100Gbps data transmission. Thus it satisfies the huge demand for more bandwidth and more space efficiency of data centers and ever-expanding server clusters. MTP/MPO connectors are paving the way for increased data transmission speeds and rack density.

Though MTP and MPO are literally different from each other, they are often used interchangeably. The MPO connector is a multi-fiber connector that is defined by IEC-61754-7, and the MTP is a registered trade mark of US Conec (a leader in providing passive components for high density optical interconnects), which identifies a specific brand of the MPO style connector.

Common Types of MTP/MPO Harness Cable

As mentioned above, the connectors on each end of the fiber cable may be the same or not. Thus, the MTP/MPO harness cable is usually divided into MPO/MTP-MPO/MTP harness cable, MPO/MTP-Secure Keyed LC harness cable and MPO/MTP-Standard LC/FC/SC/ST/MTRJ harness cable. In the MPO/MTP-Secure Keyed LC harness cable, the secure keyed LC connector provides a quick, simple termination method, featuring a pre-installed cleaved fiber with an index-matching splice element, and a precision factory pre-polished zirconia ceramic ferrule.

Differences Between MTP/MPO Harness Cable and MTP/MPO Trunk Cable

MTP/MPO harness cables and MTP/MPO trunk cables are two common kinds of MTP/MPO fiber cables. They differ from each other in such aspects as function and application.

MTP/MPO harness cables are designed for high density applications requiring high performance and speedy installation. Harness cables provide a transition from multi-fiber cables to individual fibers or duplex connectors. Therefore, they can meet a variety of fiber cabling requirements.

MTP/MPO trunk cables are designed for high density applications which offer excellent benefits in terms of on-site installation time and space saving. Trunk cables serve as a permanent link connecting the MTP/MPO modules to each other.

MTP(MPO) Trunk Cable

MTP/MPO harness Cable in 40GbE/100GbE Migration

As data communication technology migrates from 10GbE to 40GbE and 100GbE, transition from discrete commercial connectors to MTP/MPO connectors is essential. MTP/MPO harness cables are ideal for connecting high speed switches populated with such higher rate transceivers as QSFP+ transceivers to existing 10GbE elements populated with SFP+ modules.

Conclusion

Generally speaking, with its high-density MTP/MPO connectors and harness cables, the MTP/MPO harness cable is suit for high density environment that demands space saving and reduced cable management solutions. Furthermore, supporting various connections from multi-fiber to single-fiber, the MTP/MPO harness cable is an ideal connection to patch panels and data distribution routing.