With the world of communications now travelling at the speed of light, and the need for bandwidth to grow at a phenomenal rate to enable video, data and storage protocols, infrastructure requirements are becoming more and more fibre optics-based. Fibre cables that are already in the ground are now hosting the world's communications, so the need to maximise their usage is paramount. Enter the optical multiplexer.
By utilising the different wavelengths available across the light spectrum, a pair of fibres can be transformed into approximately 180 pairs of virtual fibres, each capable of carrying tens of gigabits of data. Using a technology called Wave Division Multiplexing or 'WDM', a simple fibre optic link can be transformed into a data super highway for mixed protocol traffic.
Products are available to accommodate lower speeds and protocols, such as Fast Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet, and Gigabit Fibre Channel across your virtual fibres. These solutions leave the scope to expand and grow a network where higher speeds and feeds are required, without impacting or disrupting the original communications. WDM provides an easy, seamless, means of adding services. Networks carrying just a few Gigabit Ethernet connections today, could potentially be carrying multiple 100 Gigabit Ethernet connections tomorrow.