Cisco Support Community
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
New Member

Testing Optical Network

I'm currently working on a DWDM project for a MAN using ONS 15540 ESPx with 2.5 G transponder on client side. I need to prepare a test plan but being a newbie to optical I don't really know where to start. I do have some idea though on what to do e.g like performing POST, node and network verification a.k.a I'm looking at something like this

Factory Acceptance Test - POST stuff mostly

Lab Acceptance Test - proof of concept stuff

Site Acceptance Test - standalone test at site after installation

Operational Test - networked full blown testing

Just to add, what about fiber testing, what do I need to test. Any of you guys have done this before or could you provide me with links/pointers. Thanks in advance.


Re: Testing Optical Network

What test equipment, hardware, and software do you have at your disposal? Are you also going to be maintaining the system(s) or just the install / certification?

As far as the four scenarios you present, Factory accestance and the Lab / POC can pretty much be combined or overlapped enough as to make it one phase.

Keep in mind that you'll almost certainly need optical attenuators for the Lab phase. The optical transceivers are made to drive a signal for some distance; connecting the units without optical attenuation may /is likely to damage the receivers.

For site acceptance, I believe you'll need an Optical Power Meter and source to test (or verify) the path loss (to see if the "optical budget" is being met). If you also maintain the media, something like an Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR) is useful to find faults.

You almost certainly will want/need a fiber scope to examine the fiber cable termination to verify that it's clean an in good shape, and a cleaning kit for what you're likely to find (for both the connector, and the bulkhead connector - most folks clean the connector and ignore the panel).

Depending on your optical budget and need for monitoring the path, you may want to also look into a beam splitter and signal analyzer.

Once the system is operational and you're looking to do the Operational Test, you'll want/ need something that can crank out 2.5G (X2 - Bidirectional) of traffic. What have you got in mind? What have you looked at so far?

There are lots of "toys"; what you need, what you want, and what you can settle for is completely dependent on your initial and ongoing role(s) for this setup.

Fill in some of the blanks, and I'm sure you'll get a bushel full of suggestions.

Good Luck


New Member

Re: Testing Optical Network

Check out it is a great resource, check out their forums and tutorials. Also, the tools Scott mentioned you can find out more about them, their use, and vendors at this site.



New Member

Re: Testing Optical Network

Where I work, there is also an "alarm verification" phase of turn-up, which involves causing alarms on all nodes on the system and making sure they are visible to your control center or whatever solution you are using for network monitoring.

For a DWDM system, you may also want to use a spectrum analyzer to make sure your lambdas all have good power levels. ScottMac has covered pretty much everything.

CreatePlease to create content