Archive for May 2014

Cabling-system testing goes to the cloud

Several providers of test equipment used in the telecommunications and cabling industries now offer platforms through which test results are stored in the cloud. Each company points to numerous advantages gained–by technicians, project managers and the ultimate network owners–as a result of this cloud-storage capability.

Wow Insites LLC announced the upcoming availability of its WowClowd  tester and platform last fall. WowClowd uses mobile devices like smartphones and tablets “to gain access to real-time test results, project-management tools and customer floorplans,” the company explained. “Using Bluetooth wireless technology, the WowTester app connects to your mobile device. The app is able to initiate and run cable tests, allowing onsite technicians to view test progress and results in real time on their mobile devices.”

Carey Gille, vice president of product with Wow Insites, explained that the use of familiar mobile devices to conduct tests eliminates traditional testing-related hassles like scroll buttons. And, she explained, that is just the beginning of the benefits. “Our mobile cloud capability significantly improves productivity, information access and profitability as owners, project managers, supervisors, field personnel and clients will now have real-time access to the cloud where test results, project-management tools, customer floor plans and other project documentation are collected, time-stamped, stored and backed up. Because test results will feed immediately to the cloud, data is instantly accessible rather than delayed awaiting manual transfer or even worse, accidentally lost when testers are shared, misplaced or stolen.

“This solution optimizes client retention as clients can also be granted cloud access with preset permissions to view real-time project information including status, test results and floor plans influencing them to return to the solution provider to access this information for future projects.”

She stated the system “will revolutionize and transform the cable-testing industry.” Indeed, when Wow Insites demonstrated WowClowd at BICSI’s Fall Conference in September 2013 and its Winter Conference in February 2014, it was the first time many observers had seen such a concept.

Professionals involved in the commissioning of service-provider networks, however, already may have seen some of these capabilities–particularly related to cloud-based storage of test results. In January 2013 JDSU  announced StrataSync, a system that the company says “provides network operators with an agile and centralized way to manage and analyze data from thousands of deployed JDSU test instruments directly from the cloud. StrataSync will help network operators manage and optimize their networks in a more efficient and cost-effective way, empower their technicians with real-time data, and help to improve customer service.”

David Heard, president of communications test and measurement with JDSU, commented, “Moving more network monitoring to the cloud with new solutions like StrataSync helps ensure that our customers get the best value out of their network assets while letting them focus more time on providing high-quality service.”

Stan Hawthorne is JDSU’s director of workforce efficiency and cloud enablement. In an interview with us, he explained, “JDSU made a commitment to cloud enablement, and StrataSync is a first step.” The platform, he emphasized, provides visibility into the behaviors of test technicians as well as connectivity of those in the field to the home office and access to resources they may need. “The cloud is a natural place to enable that connectivity,” he said.

A quantifiable advantage is the use and analysis of information that comes from test equipment. If the availability of that data prevents one truck roll, the benefit is self-evident.

Turning once again closer to the premises and enterprise cabling trade, a recently introduced test product and platform from Fluke Networks  is cloud-based. In mid-March the company introduced LinkSprinter, which is available in two versions, both of which send detailed test data to the cloud. Both versions–LinkSprinter 100 and LinkSprinter 200–conduct one-button autotests on power (Power over Ethernet), link, switch, Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), and gateway connections. The 100 model, considered a network-validation tool, displays results in color-graded LEDs (green, yellow or red) and automatically reports results to the cloud. It can be battery- or PoE-powered. The 200 model has all the capabilities of the 100 as well as a built-in WiFi hotspot and Web server. Additionally, it delivers diagnostic details to a user’s mobile device.

When introducing the product Fluke Networks explained, “The cloud management system tracks test results, providing a dashboard viewable from any remote location or smartphone. The user can even receive an email of the test results. No standalone application is required, as an embedded WiFi hotspot [in the 200 model] allows any device with WiFi and a browser to access detailed test results.”

The mobile nature of test technicians makes it logical that they are the first industry-workforce subset to use cloud services in their everyday tasks. It’s likely that other subsets will soon follow.

Report: Active optical cables sales outside data center to hit $1.2B by 2019

The market for active optical cables (AOCs) for non-data center applications will reach $1.2 billion by 2019, according to a new report from market research firm Communications Industry Researchers (CIR).  Non-data center applications for AOCs include personal computing, digital signage, and consumer electronics, says the researcher.

The report notes that AOCs have already found some use as a bandwidth-efficient means of transporting video streams for digital signage. According to CIR, this market will grow as it becomes more common to feed digital signage with multiple content streams and signage is networked over entire cities. Today, the connection between the display and the media server is usually DVI or HDMI. The connection from media player to content server is usually an Ethernet connection. Either connection could be implemented with AOCs, according to analysts at CIR. The firm estimates that AOCs sold into the digital signage space will reach just over $350 million by 2019.

Revenue from sales of AOCs in the personal computing sector will grow to $835 million by 2019, the analyst claims. These would support high-speed connections to peripherals or storage devices, but also LANs-on-motherboards (LOMs) and board-to-board connectivity. AOCs aren’t necessary for such applications until higher speeds are reached, but at 25 Gbps AOCs have better costs than copper over 3 meters – and the Thunderbolt interface common on Apple computers already operates at 20 Gbps.

In fact, Thunderbolt may be the best example of how AOCs’ fortunes could evolve in the personal computing environment, asserts CIR. Intel continues to develop the optical Thunderbolt technology, and firms currently offering Thunderbolt AOCs include Corning, DeLock, and Sumitomo. As early as 2011, a Sony Vaio laptop used optical Thunderbolt to connect to a graphics card.

However, for AOCs to really take off in the personal computing market, CIR posits that they will need active support by high-profile equipment manufacturers or network interface card (NIC) vendors, to make the advantages of AOCs become better known to PC users. For AOCs to be a success in personal computing, AOCs must also be sold through mainstream PC channels, in the same way as other types of cabling, CIR suggests.

Notably, the analyst is more pessimistic about the consumer electronics sector. It believes that the opportunity for AOCs in consumer electronics will be limited to extenders in home theaters and for personal video editing. For AOCs to generate more than niche revenues, the large consumer electronics retailers will have to be convinced AOCs are worth their while. This may be hard given the arrival of 10 Gbps USB 3.1 in 2013, says CIR.

This information is covered in the second volume of CIR’s annual report on AOCs. The first part, dealing with AOCs in data centers, was published in April. Volume II, which covers AOCs for non-data center applications, will be published in June 2014 under the title “Active Optical Cable Markets and Opportunities: 2014 to 2024: Volume II – Personal Computing, Consumer Electronics and Digital Signage Markets.”

In addition to AOCs with standard data interfaces, the report provides coverage on AOCs supporting HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI, Thunderbolt, PCIe and USB 3.0/3.1 environments. The report provides nine-year forecasts of non-data center AOC markets, with breakouts by end-user application, interface standard, cable lengths, type of cable, and wavelength. Forecasts are provided in units shipped and revenue terms.

Patch-cable management with strain relief

The tPM patch-cable-management solution from trans data elektronik (tde) is a patented system that the company says provides “more order and green IT in data centers” as it enables “organized and flexible cable routing of fiber-optic and twisted-pair patch cables in network distributors.” The system comprises three elements—a 19-inch 1U panel, cable guide holders, and foam inserts. The system “protects the patch cables from mechanical strain thanks to its integrated strain relief,” tde explains. “In combination with tde’s own platforms tML and tSML, tPM creates neatly structured and energy-efficient cabling of a high packing density within a compact unit.”

The system’s strain-relief capability prevents attenuation caused by microbending, the company explains. “This is particularly advantageous with regard to the low loss budget at high transfer rates,” tde says. “Depending on the needs and applications, installers can equip the tPM system with up to nine cable guide holders with different foam inserts and attach them in 17 different positions to the 19-inch panel. Alternatively, there is also an angled bracket for the vertical cable routing. In this way it is easier to lay or re-lay cables, and it is easier to exchange damaged or unnecessary patch cables. At the same time, the improved cable management system contributes to a more-efficient airing of the server rack and so results in more-green IT in data centers.”

Tde’s chief executive officer Andre Engel commented, “Because of the growing demands placed on technology and capacity, the amount of network cables in data centers is constantly increasing. Our new tPM patch-cable-management system brings order into the network distribution rack and so ensures a significantly improved overview. Some of our customers—from the automotive industry, for instance—are already successfully using our patented system.”

The company also points out that system installation is a tool-free process that consists of mounting and locking the cable guide holders. Foam inserts are available with different gaps for various cable types and volumes, according to use. Installers can insert the cables from above into the cable guide holders, and subsequently secure them with the foam inserts and folding mechanism. The system can manage a horizontal as well as a vertical patch-cable orientation. stocks a variety of fiber optic cleaning supplies, from one click cleaner to NEOCLEAN-N fiber cleaner, from fiber optic cleaning sticks to fiber cleaning kit – everything you need for fiber optic cleaning jobs, BUY NOW and get FREE SHIPPING on most items!

Event-analysis capability added to OTDRs

AFL recently announced it is launching a technology it calls TruEvent, which it describes as “advanced event-analysis software.” The technology is used in the company’s M-series optical time-domain reflectometers (OTDRs), and will be available on other OTDRs around mid-year, AFL said. TruEvent “provides a new level of accuracy and reliability in event analysis,” AFL said. “This new technology allows the user to confidently determine where losses meet or exceed specifications from data centers to long-haul applications.”

Lee Kellett, director of product marketing for AFL’s test and inspection division, commented, “The introduction of TruEvent technology provides industry-leading event analysis that makes AFL’s newest models the most accurate OTDRs on the market. Our research focused on developing software that reported all events accurately, while not reporting false events. More accuracy translates into faster, lower-cost troubleshooting and data you can count on.”

Buy optical time-domain reflectometers (OTDRs) and fiber inspection probe right now and get free shipping on stocks a variety of fiber optic cleaning supplies, from one click cleaner to NEOCLEAN-N fiber cleaner, from fiber optic cleaning sticks to fiber cleaning kit – everything you need for fiber optic cleaning jobs, BUY NOW and get FREE SHIPPING on most items!

CABLExpress cuts diameter, weight of data center fiber-optic trunk cabling

At the NY Tech Summit on June 19, CABLExpress announced that it has reduced the diameter and weight of its Skinny-Trunk fiber-optic trunk cables to allow for increased capacity and ease of cable management in data center infrastructure systems.

According to the company, changes to the Skinny-Trunk fiber trunks include: Ideal 45-163 a reduction in overall cable diameter by an average of 18 percent across all fiber counts; a decrease in the weight of trunks by an average of 47 percent across all fiber counts; fiber optic cleaning kit and a reduction of MTP breakout legs by 33 percent, from 3 mm to 2 mm.

“These fiber trunks will help organizations maximize the overall efficiency of their data centers,” comments Lisa Belodoff, vice president of CABLExpress. “fiber optic tools Our engineering team works in partnership with our customers to develop solutions for issues they’re dealing with on a daily basis. These enhancements will not only make their jobs easier, but provide a clear benefit when evaluating total cost of ownership of the IT infrastructure spend.”

In addition to the physical changes to the Skinny-Trunk fiber trunks, neoclean the product enhancements also allow for a decreased bend radius of the cabling, adds the company.

“The bend radius impacts overall performance because the lower the bend radius, the lower the potential for signal loss,” notes Kent Goldsmith, RCDD, DCDC, engineering manager at CABLExpress. “fiber optic microscope By reducing the opportunities for signal loss and network downtime, organizations are also minimizing the risk of disrupting the critical business processes that their customers, patients or students rely on.”

CS-001 2.5mm Fiber Optic Cleaning Foam Swabs

The 2.5mm Fiber Optic Foam Swab is an excellent choice for FTTH, CO, or Data Com applications. While some foam can generate particles, this swab is manufactured with a tough, medical-grade urethane foam that provides excellent particle entrapment, and has resulted in millions of successful cleaning operations.

It is a versatile, effective and cost-efficient swab for cleaning 2.5mm connectors and ferrules, test equipment ports, can be used with fluid for all types of soils and contaminants

• Flexible swab head conforms to connector face
• 2.5mm Fiber Optic Foam Swab provides outstanding particle entrapment
• No adhesives, binders, or fibers to leave residues
• Open-cell structure gives the best solvent holding capacity, enables less solvent to do more work

• Cleans connectors on jumpers and in adapters
• Cleans a wide variety on connector types: SC,ST, FC
• Cleans adapter alignments sleeves
• Cleans Test Equipment Ports


Part No.




Connectors cleaned



L 68 (in mms)


100 PCS/Pack

Report: Wireless deployments spur fiber-optic testing demand

Market researcher Frost & Sullivan predicts that sales of fiber-optic test equipment will grow to $884.9 million in 2020. According to the firm’s latest report, the market will benefit from fiber-to-the-antenna (FTTA) applications as well as the overall bandwidth demand increase that long term evolution (LTE) deployments will create, helping the case for 100G and 400G fiber-optic networks.

Frost & Sullivan reports that the fiber-optic test equipment market reached $603.8 million in 2013. The firm says that integrated or platform-based test instruments are gaining momentum, while fiber inspection probes also did well, accounting for approximately $45 million in sales last year.

The increase in fiber associated with mobile backhaul and other wireless activity, from FTTA, fiber-to-the-tower (FTTT), distributed antenna systems (DAS), and cloud or centralized-radio access networks (CRAN), will help drive the need for fiber-optic test sets, according to the research. But other factors also will increase instrument sales.

“The proliferation of electronics and reduction in chip sizes will also augment the demand for innovative test technologies,” comments Frost & Sullivan Measurement and Instrumentation Program Manager Sujan Sami. “One such potential opportunity lies in micro-structure fiber and hollow fiber with higher non-linear limits.”

New fiber-optic connector technologies also will prove a catalyst, according to the new report, entitled Analysis of the Global Fiber Optic Test Equipment Market.

Buy fiber optic test equipment and fiber inspection right now and get free shipping on stocks a variety of fiber optic cleaning supplies, from one click cleaner to NEOCLEAN-N fiber cleaner, from fiber optic cleaning sticks to fiber cleaning kit – everything you need for fiber optic cleaning jobs, BUY NOW and get FREE SHIPPING on most items!

Analyst: $1 trillion to be spent on telecom, datacom equipment/software over next 5 years

Infonetics Research has released preliminary data from its 2014 Telecom and Datacom Network Equipment and Software report, which provides a big picture of the health of the overall market, as aforementioned.

“Despite the fact that enterprises and service providers are in the middle of massive network upheavals due to the evolution of software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) technology, the telecom and datacom networking equipment and software market is on track to grow annually through 2018 with the fastest growth coming in 2015,” says Jeff Wilson, principal analyst at Infonetics Research.

According to the report, worldwide, sales of telecom and datacom equipment and software came to $183 billion in 2013, an uptick of 3% versus the previous year.

The firm adds that “Asia-Pacific put some breathing room between itself and North America” in the regional race for telecom/datacom equipment and software revenue, growing 6% year-over-year as compared to North America’s 4.5% — and that this trend is expected to continue through at least 2018. Infonetics is projecting a cumulative $1.01 will be spent by service providers and enterprises on telecom/datacom gear and software over the 5 years from 2014 to 2018.

The report further states that, based on global revenue, the overall telecom and datacom network equipment and software market share leaders are, in rank order: Cisco, Huawei, Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent, and ZTE — the same top 5 vendors with virtually the same shares as the year prior. The firm notes that vendor share positions held steady in the enterprise segment, fiber optic cleaning kit with Cisco in the driver’s seat and followed distantly by tightly bunched Avaya, Brocade, HP, and Juniper (listed here in alphabetical order).

Michael Howard, co-founder of Infonetics and co-author of the report, comments, “Looking at just the service provider equipment space, we’re seeing a shakeup in vendor market share, fiber optic tools with Huawei leapfrogging longtime number-one Ericsson to take the top spot in 2013. While Huawei’s been doing well in a number of regions, China’s economy is a key factor keeping Huawei’s growth so strong.”
Infonetics’ notes that its annual datacom and telecom equipment and software “pivot report” compiles worldwide and regional market size, vendor market share, and forecasts through 2018 from all of its reports that track enterprise and service provider gear. It is the majority of all data networking and telecom equipment for service providers, fiber optic cleaning cable companies, and small, medium, and large organizations, excluding consumer electronics.

The 11 major categories of equipment and software tracked in Infonetics’ report include broadband aggregation; broadband CPE; pay TV; optical network hardware; carrier routing, switching, and Ethernet; service provider VoIP and IMS; service provider mobile/wireless infrastructure; service enablement and subscriber intelligence; fiber optic tool kit security; enterprise and data center networks; and enterprise communications. Companies tracked include Alcatel-Lucent, Avaya, Brocade, Ciena, Cisco, Ericsson, Fujitsu, HP, Huawei, Juniper, Motorola, NEC, Nokia, Samsung, Siemens, ZTE, and many others.

CK-001 Field Portable Fiber Optic Cleaning, Inspection Kit

CK-001 Field Portable Fiber Optic Cleaning, Inspection Kit provide a complete selection of fiber optic cleaning products for field cleaning, inspection of connector endfaces in a rugged carrying case.

It contains everything needed to eliminate the #1 cause of fiber optic network failure: contamination. 

CK-001 Field Portable Fiber Optic Cleaning, Inspection Kit includes fiber optic inspection microscope, one click cleaner for SC, ST, FC, LC, MU connectors, fiber cleaner, replacement reel for fiber cleaner, 2.5mm fiber optic cleaning foam swabs, 1.25mm fiber optic cleaning swabs, precision fiber optic cleaning cube, automatic alcohol dispensing bottle in a rugged carrying case. 

• Clean, inspect fiber optic networks 
• Includes Fiber Optic Inspection Microscope for patchord end-face inspection 
• Includes Fiber Optic Cleaning Supplies to clean fiber optic connector end-faces on patch cables, withine adapters or patch panels 
• Economical and cost-effective 
• Lightweight, easy to use and efficient 
• Rugged carrying case made from tough nylon for long life 

• Cleans connectors on jumpers and in adapters 
• Cleans a wide variety on connector types: LC/MU, SC, ST, FC with UPC or APC polishes 
• Cleans adapter alignments sleeves 
• Cleans Test Equipment Ports

Siemon intros Cisco-optimized SFP+ direct-attach copper cable assemblies for 10-GbE

Siemon has introduced a line of SFP+ copper twinax direct-attach cables (DACs) especially designed for compatibility with Cisco equipment. While Siemon’s industry-standard passive SFP+ DAC assemblies have been tested and proven for interoperability through independent testing by the UNH Interoperability Lab, the new cables are programmed specifically to work with all Cisco network equipment having 10GBASE-CX1 ports, including the company’s Catalyst and Nexus switches.

As 10 gigabit per second (Gb/s) SFP+ DACs and transceivers become common for top of rack (ToR) applications in the data center where small access switches or port extenders connect directly to servers, Siemon says its Cisco Compatible SFP+ DACs were developed specifically as a cost-effective and lower-power alternative to optical modules for these short-reach, high-speed interconnects. Ideal for high-performance computing (HPC) in networking and storage environments, the new standard-compliant assemblies easily support transfer rates up to 10+ Gb/s per lane with ultra-low crosstalk for enhanced performance.

Like all Siemon SFP+ DACs, the Cisco Compatible SFP+ DACs combine a twinaxial shielded cable construction with robust die-cast housing, superior strain relief and gold-plated contacts for enhanced support at higher frequencies with minimized EMI leakage. Siemon notes that, when the new cables are plugged into Cisco equipment, they will not trigger the warning message that a non-Cisco or third party DAC has been detected. The cables do not violate Cisco’s warranty.

“To avoid having to troubleshoot substandard cables, some switch vendors incorporate encryption or ‘vendor lock’ into their equipment to issue a warning message if a non-vendor approved cable assembly is plugged into a port,” explains John Sawdy, Senior Signal Integrity Engineer for Siemon. “While Siemon SFP+ DACs have always been compliant with IEEE and SFF industry standards with proven interoperability, we are excited to now employ encryption that prevents the warning message and offers a greater peace of mind to data center managers.”

Offered in the same lengths and wire gauges as Cisco DAC assemblies but at a significant cost reduction, Siemon’s Cisco compatible SFP+ cable assemblies are available in lengths from 1 to 5 meters. The assemblies support data transfer rates up to 10+ Gb/s per lane, meeting or exceeding current industry standard specifications.