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Challenges in Data Center Interconnect (DCI) Installation

Efficient Data Center Interconnect (DCI) Installation and Maintenance

The spread of cloud services, SNS, and video streaming is increasing the number of businesses using metropolitan data centers (Metro DC) as interconnects. As Metro DC and data center interconnects (DCI) continue to grow, network installation and maintenance (I&M) is becoming increasingly complex due to the diversifying communications standards, while faster speeds and increased security administration demand more efficient work practices.

With the following features, Anritsu's Network Master Pro MT1040A/MT1000A offers smooth all-in-one support for the increasingly demanding levels of Metro DC and DCI I&M.

  • Full all-in-one support for communications interfaces with speeds from 10M to 400G(MT1040A)
  • Full all-in-one support for communications interfaces with speeds from 10M to 100G (MT1000A)
  • Efficient automated on-site testing at DC I&M
  • All-in-one support from network circuit quality tests to optical fiber evaluations

In addition, the OTDR functions of the Access Master MT9085series and Fiber Maintenance Master MT9090A are ideal for evaluating DCI optical fibers.

Issues in DC Installation and Maintenance

Previously, to leverage the merits of reduced power costs and disaster prevention countermeasures, data centers (DC) have been co-location spaces in large-scale suburban buildings. However, more recently, smaller-scale DC in city buildings (Metro DC) are more commonly using mesh network connections configured to operate as one virtual DC. This type of Metro DC costs relatively less to install even in a city building and does not require a large installation space.

Change in Data Center Configuration and Scale
Change in Data Center Configuration and Scale

The interconnects between the Metro DC parts (data center interconnects: DCI) form one virtual DC, but require large-capacity mesh connections between each DC office to assure optimum performance.

The I&M work when configuring this type of Metro DCI faces the following issues.

(1) Requires evaluation of various communications standards and interface circuits

Due to different applications and cost advantages, Metro DC installations are adopting different standards such as fibre channel (FC), 100GbE, 400GbE, etc., for WDM.
At Metro DC I&M, various interfaces and communications standards must be tested; providing a separate tester for each standard not only increases work costs but also reduces work efficiency. An all-in-one network tester supporting each communication standard has been urgently needed.

(2) Requires efficient I&M under severe security administration

Data center sites are subject to severe security administration requiring I&M work to be performed during restricted time periods. Performing tests of the various communications standards for Metro DCI requires trained and experienced operators with good knowledge about communications and network I&M.

(3) Requires optical fiber maintenance

Metro DCI network configurations use fast high-capacity optical fibers. In addition to conventional optical loss measurements, fast DCI optical fibers must be evaluated for optical reflections. The IEEE802.3 100GBASE-LR4 and 10GBASE-LR standards specify an optical fiber connector reflection loss of not more than 26 dB. Generally, SPC and UPC fiber connectors have a reflection loss of about 40 dB and 50 dB, respectively, but if the connector end face is contaminated with oil, dust, etc., the optical loss increases due to the increased optical reflections caused by the contamination, resulting in degraded communications quality. Appropriate maintenance at optical fiber I&M is key to preventing communications problems.

Metro DCI Connections
Metro DCI Connections
Contaminated Optical Fiber End Face
Contaminated Optical Fiber End Face

Anritsu Metro DC I&M Solutions

Anritsu's range of testers for resolving the above-described data center I&M issues includes the Network Master Pro MT1040A/MT1000A, Access Master MT9085series, and Fiber Maintenance Master MT9090A listed below.

Data Center I&M
On-site Solutions
Measurement Function Features Dimensions
ネットワークマスタ プロ MT1040A
Network Master Pro (400G Tester)
  • Network screen
    400G, 100G
  • Optical fiber evaluation
    OTDR, Optical Power Meter
All-in-one support for tests from DCI optical fiber installation to 400G network circuits 262 (W) x 167 (H) x 134 (D)mm
Network Master Pro MT1000A
Network Master Pro (Ethernet/CPRI /OTDR Test Equipment)
  • Network screen
    10M, 25G, 100G
  • Optical fiber evaluation
    OTDR, Optical Power Meter
All-in-one support for tests from DCI optical fiber installation to 100G network circuits 257 (W) x 164 (H) x 82 (D)mm
OTDR - ACCESS Master MT9085 Series
MT9085 Series
  • Optical fiber evaluation
    OTDR, Optical Power Meter
DCI optical fiber evaluation
Wide dynamic range for long-distance support
270 (W) x 165 (H) x 61 (D) mm
µOTDR Module™ Series MT9090A
µOTDR Module™ Series
  • Optical fiber evaluation
    OTDR, Optical Power Meter
DCI optical fiber evaluation
Compact and lightweight with easy to use Fiber Visualizer
190 (W) x 96 (H) x 48 (D) mm

(1) Full all-in-one support for communication interfaces from 10M to 400G (MT1040A/MT1000A)

The MT1000A supports all interfaces used by DC and DCI, including 10/100/1000M, 10G, 25G, 40G, 100G Ethernet, OTN, SDH/SONET, Fibre Channel, etc., helping cut labor costs and improving I&M work efficiency.

Metro DCI
Metro DCI
MT1000A Interfaces/MT1040A Interfaces
Interface Ethernet OTN SDH/SONET Fibre Channel CPRI/OBSAI
QSFP-DD/OSFP* 400GbE - - - -
CFP4 100GbE OTU4 - - -
QSFP28 100GbE OTU4 - - -
QSFP+ 40GbE OTU3 - - -
SFP28/SFP+/SFP 25GbE/10GbE/GbE/100M OTU2x/OTU1x STM1-64
CPRI 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8
OBSAI 1x/2x/4x/8x
RJ45 10/100/1000M - - - -

*: Select either interface.

(2) Efficient automated on-site testing at DC I&M (MT1040A/MT1000A)

Even if a network tester supports a variety of standards, it is meaningless if it cannot be used. With built-in automatic test functions, the MT1040A/MT1000A displays test results as easy to understand Pass/Fail results for a uniform test quality. Automatic testing (scenario automatic tests) uses a preset test sequence with conversation-style help screens. In addition, test procedures matching on-site conditions can be programmed using an automatic test function with a high degree of freedom.

Self test for MT1000A
Press test start for MT1000A
Set according to screen instructions for MT1000A
Test result for MT1000A

Moreover, basic connection verification checks that are easily forgotten before starting a test, such as the optical cable check, Link check, ARP negotiation check, etc., can be automated for more reliable evaluation.

Automatic testing for MT1000A

(3) OTDR for Evaluating DCI Optical Fibers (MT1040A/MT1000A, MT9085series, MT9090A)

The OTDR models (MT1040A/MT1000A, MT9085series, MT9090A) are used to evaluate the optical reflection and connection loss at each connection in the DCI optical fibers. In addition, using the Fiberscope function at I&M helps verify the end-face condition of optical fiber connectors, which if contaminated can cause degraded communications.

MT1000A and Fiberscope
MT1000A and Fiberscope
Fiberscope Test Result
Fiberscope Test Result

The MT1040A, MT1000A and MT9090A have a Fiber Visualizer mode to help less-experienced technicians run DCI optical fiber tests easily by displaying event locations, such as fiber connectors and splices, using easy to understand icons.

MT1000A Fiber Visualizer Screen

Be sure to check-out MT1040A, MT1000A, MT9085series, and MT9090A solutions as Metro DC I&M increasingly plays an important role in assuring communications quality.

For More Details of Network Master Pro MT1040A

For More Details of Network Master Pro MT1000A

For More Details of OTDR - ACCESS Master MT9085 Series

For More Details ofµOTDR Module™ Series MT9090A

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