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Fibre Optic Backbone Cabling

This is a discussion on Fibre Optic Backbone Cabling within the Cabling and Network Cards forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. My company is currently involved in our first cabling project to design and install the communication infrastructure for a small


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Old 09-30-2013, 06:21 PM   #1
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My company is currently involved in our first cabling project to design and install the communication infrastructure for a small college with a roll of about 300. We need help in designing a fibre backbone for the Local Area Network. The approximate distances of the buildings from the IT room are as follows:

1. Library - 30m
2. Admin - 50m
3. Classroom - 70m
4. Women's Residence - 200m
5. Men's Residence - 500m

The internal LAN cabling for location 1, 2 and 3 are all CAT 6 while location 4 and 5 will use a combination of wireless and CAT 6.

We need help in designing the fibre backbone for each location. We will need a list of the key elements and specs of the fibre optic backbone and once we have this list, we will supply to our cabling supplier to provide pricing. Find attached a building layout diagram of our set up.
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Old 09-30-2013, 06:36 PM   #2
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Are you considering more than one run to each location? 1Gb or 10Gb?

As far as the backbone goes, the only major considerations would be whether you're going to run single mode or multimode, what your budget is for switching hardware, and how many fiber runs you're laying to each location. Since you'll be laying it, I'd suggest laying more fiber than you need right now. Fiber is a relatively low cost in the budget. Most of your costs are likely going to be the labor in laying the fiber unless you have aerial infrastructure on which to hang it already in place, and the cost of the actual switching hardware.

If you run all the backbone fiber into a single switching chassis, there's not much to discuss regarding the backbone.
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Old 09-30-2013, 06:56 PM   #3
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We are considering one run to each location using multi-mode. All fibres are going into a single chasis. Please refer to the attached cabling layout.
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Old 09-30-2013, 07:43 PM   #4
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I read it, but it doesn't actually specify the cable number, link type, or switch layout.
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Old 09-30-2013, 08:01 PM   #5
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Actually it shows only fiber runs. You don't need fiber for runs 1-3. Cat6 is more than enough. You can do 10 Gb with that.

how is it you find yourself in this situation without the experience you need to design this?
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Old 09-30-2013, 10:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Actually it shows only fiber runs. You don't need fiber for runs 1-3. Cat6 is more than enough. You can do 10 Gb with that.

how is it you find yourself in this situation without the experience you need to design this?
I had designed a cabling system based on CAT 6 using Patton's CopperLink Ethernet Extender for runs 4 and 5 but I later realized it still was not logical. Hence I decided to find help from someone who know fibre design better.

Installation is not a problem because I will hire expertise for that, it was the short time frame given that I resorted to finding help online. Secondly, I had just started my business and really wanted to have a cabling contract to build my profile. My expertise is in telephone systems and i'm designing the IP-PBX solution as well for the site.

I have been given the contract for runs 1, 2, and 3 all CAT 6. Only need help for 4 and 5. Cabling runs 1,2 and 3 to commence in two days.
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Old 09-30-2013, 11:25 PM   #7
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So what, exactly, is it that you need help with? Still not entirely sure...
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Old 09-30-2013, 11:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
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So what, exactly, is it that you need help with? Still not entirely sure...
I needed someone to suggest or give me the key components of the fibre backbone such as type of fibre, patch panel, connectors, etc just for those two runs. I will then supply this to my cable supplier for pricing. As a start, I'm going with multimode fibre.
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:03 AM   #9
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Well, the connectors will be dependent on your switch connectors. If your backbone switch(es) are equipped with GBICs, then you have flexibility when it comes to what sort of connectors (and even which type of fiber) you're hooking up to it. If they're fixed fiber ports, then you're set with a specific connector type.

As for multi-mode fiber itself, there are four classifications (much like CAT3, 5, 5e, and 6). OM1 has a 62.5m core, while OM2-4 have 50m cores. All have 125m cladding. As you go up the scale, bandwidth-distance limits go up. OM3 and OM4 include support for future 40Gb and 100Gb links, while those lower are limited to 10Gb links currently.

For the men's residence link, you'll need to spec at least OM2 in order to get 1Gb speeds between it and the IT room. OM1 is limited to 275 meters to achieve gigabit speeds. OM2 and 3 can cover 550 meters, while OM4 will take you out to 1 km. You could do the women's building with OM1, but you'd probably be better off speccing the same fiber for all your lines.

Patch panels will generally depend on what sort of connection density you require per U of rack space.
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fjandr View Post
Well, the connectors will be dependent on your switch connectors. If your backbone switch(es) are equipped with GBICs, then you have flexibility when it comes to what sort of connectors (and even which type of fiber) you're hooking up to it. If they're fixed fiber ports, then you're set with a specific connector type.

As for multi-mode fiber itself, there are four classifications (much like CAT3, 5, 5e, and 6). OM1 has a 62.5m core, while OM2-4 have 50m cores. All have 125m cladding. As you go up the scale, bandwidth-distance limits go up. OM3 and OM4 include support for future 40Gb and 100Gb links, while those lower are limited to 10Gb links currently.

For the men's residence link, you'll need to spec at least OM2 in order to get 1Gb speeds between it and the IT room. OM1 is limited to 275 meters to achieve gigabit speeds. OM2 and 3 can cover 550 meters, while OM4 will take you out to 1 km. You could do the women's building with OM1, but you'd probably be better off speccing the same fiber for all your lines.

Patch panels will generally depend on what sort of connection density you require per U of rack space.
Thanks this is a good start. I will study your suggestions further and get back with a bit more detail until we get all the components right.
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:08 AM   #11
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No problem, glad it was helpful.
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:14 AM   #12
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Get your fiber contractor to do the specs. This way its their responsibility not yours for design and implementation.
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:01 PM   #13
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^ That's definitely some good advice, but knowing something about what's being specced also allows you to raise points if it sounds like the contractor may be doing something dodgy.
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