Advice on Products Required to Implement DWDM

Unanswered Question
May 10th, 2012

Hi, I'm a complete newbie when it comes to optical networking and would appreciate a little background and product selection advice please.

The requirement I have is thus:-

I currently have 10 dark fibre pairs available to me which are used for several separate GbEthernet and fibre channel connections.  Going forward the plan is to reduce the number of fibre pairs available, potentially down to just a single pair which would by clever use of optical technologies still provide us with the necessary number of communication channels / bandwidth.

Is this relatively easy to implement?  If so I would be very grateful for some detail on what equipment I would need to purchase to achieve this.

I'm assuming some kind of Mux either end coupled with the necessary modules to connect both over the dark fibre and to the LAN/FC equipment would do the job but I may be wrong? 

I have this problem too.
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davemiddlewick Thu, 05/10/2012 - 12:21

Thanks Ryan

Distance between sites is approx 3-4 km.  I did have a quick look at the thread you posted on but a lot of it was lost on me, I'm hoping the setup I need to implement will be somewhat simpler given that it's on a smaller scale.

Appreciate you're not here to provide training for me but any additional basic guidance on what's required in a simple DWDM setup would be gratefully received.



rgadwood Thu, 05/10/2012 - 16:49


Here is a link to a cisco Introduction to DWDM  technology pdf which is a really good read to get you started into DWDM  technologies.

As for your scenario please see the drawing below I  have put together. This is a simple drawing based on the information you  had posted before. I took into account the 10 fibers and just put a mix  of 1Gb and FC(Fiber Channel) circuits on their own fiber. It is a  pretty simple drawing and doesn't include the optical levels and  balancing of the optical levels(making sure one is not significantly  higher than the other and accounting for channel adds as the optical  power levels will increase on each circuit as you add more channels).  The colors just indicate that circuit so it easier to follow. On the future drawing you would have used 5 channels out of the 40 channels available.

Hope this clears some things up and helps you out. Any ?'s just let me know. I'd be glad to help.

Please note that you will need to click on the above image to see the whole thing.


Tom Randstrom Thu, 05/10/2012 - 20:07

The information Ryan has provided is great!

One Cisco solution that may fit your need is the Enhanced WDM Product Line.

This solution looks ideal for your short span requirement.  Using just two fibers, the EWDM solution allows you to carry 8 channels of 1Gbps using lower cost Coarse WDM (CWDM) wavelengths and also carry 8 channels of 10Gbps using DWDM wavelengths.

The optical transceivers (SFPs, GBICs, ETC) used in CWDM are lower cost than those in DWDM.

Another option is a pair of 15216 DWDM Terminal Filters at the end of your fibers.

This solution allows 16 DWDM channels per fiber pair with the ability to upgrade it to 32 DWDM channels by adding a secondary upgrade terminal filter. This solution would require the more expensive DWDM optical transceivers in your equipment. 

With network backbone you have, adding WDM would be fairly straigh-forward, as long as the equipment you are using uses pluggable optics (SFP/GBICs) and compatible with the CWDM or DWDM flavor of modules.

We're trying to give you options and places to help learn about the WDM technology.  It is alot to swallow and challenging to know where to start. 

Hope this helps!

davemiddlewick Fri, 05/11/2012 - 03:40

Thanks Tom - really useful stuff. With Ryan's info as well I've got lots to go on now, much appreciated both of you.


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