Until recently, infrastructure cabling has primarily used duplex connectivity for optical fiber links. However, due to the advent of higher data rates, such as 40 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE), which requires four parallel 0-gigabit (G) lanes, data centers are moving toward parallel optics applications that require more optical fibers (e.g., 40 GbE often uses eight fibers). As demand for higher data rates and higher density solutions continues to mount, data center managers are looking for ways to add more optical fiber in the most efficient, cost-effective way possible, and that can mean moving to newer multimode multi-fiber push on (MPO) connectors with higher optical fiber counts. But how to decide which type of connector to use, and when is the best time to migrate?

This article discusses the pros and cons of using multimode MPO connectors for fiber infrastructure in the data center and which type of connector offers the best solution in the context of overall data center migration. It covers the following topics:

  • High-speed migration trends in the data center
  • Key optical fiber cabling challenges, and
  • Choosing the right multimode MPO connectors for the application

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This article, written by Ken Hall, CommScope, appeared in the Jan/Feb 2018 issue of ICT Today magazine.