How to deal with fiber exhaust

By Jeffrey Fritz, ITworld.com |  Networking

Traffic on DWDM's single ring may run in two directions, one called the east ring
and the other called the west ring. Traffic runs in what is called protected
mode,
in which either the east or west ring is used for traffic, with the DWDM
devices deciding the direction on a per-channel basis. Should a break occur, the DWDM
devices switch all the connections to the other ring.

Those who like to live a little more dangerously can use the ring topology in
unprotected mode and double its capacity. While protected mode typically
supports up to 32 channels in DWDM gear, unprotected mode can double this by using both
the east and west rings to carry nonredundant traffic. However, a fiber break in a ring
running in unprotected mode will disrupt all services running along the broken section
of the ring. Some vendors allow network administrators to decide which channels run in
protected and which in unprotected mode.

One of DWDM's biggest assets is that it is scalable. You can start with only a few
channels and add more as your fiber requirements increase. The basic chassis cards that
are needed to make DWDM work will cost of at least $100,000; most of the incremental
upgrade cost is in the purchase of additional channel cards, which may run around
$10,000 apiece. That is a bit pricey, but that's typical of new enterprise
technology.

For more details on DWDM, check out href="http://www.techguide.com/comm/sec_html/dwave.shtml">Dense Wavelength Division
Multiplexing
,
an excellent online guide. You can also take a look at target="new" href="http://www.iec.org/tutorials/dwdm/">the IEC's Web ProForum on
DWDM.

Enterprise DWDM products include:

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