Fiber optic suggestions?

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danb35

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I'm getting ready to build a detached workshop building, and planning to move my server rack out there to get the noise and heat out of my study. I'll be wanting to run a fiber line from there into my study. It'd be buried in conduit, and probably 50m-60m long. Would any OM3 fiber work for this, or should I be looking for something specific?
 

Chris Moore

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That should be able to do 10GB switch to switch between buildings, no problem. You might want to consider putting a couple lines in at the same time for future use or multiple connections.

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danb35

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Yeah, a 10 GB switch is the idea. I already have a Dell 5524 in the current closet; I'm planning on getting an X1052 for the server rack. Is it overkill? No, it's just the right amount of kill. ;)
 

Chris Moore

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There is no kill like overkill.
I was thinking you might want to LAG two lines together to give you a little fail-over protection and potential for more concurrent connections.
Maybe you can get the builder to obtain all the materials and put it on the construction loan.
 

danb35

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There's no construction loan, I'm paying cash--so budget is a factor. Not sure I see a benefit in LAGging two lines together, but the cost delta to run a second line (as backup in case one gets damaged, or for future expansion) shouldn't be very much...

Is there anything special I should look for in the cable itself? Even though it would be in conduit, it would still be outdoors, which often imposes requirements for jacketing material and such.
 

Chris Moore

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Is there anything special I should look for in the cable itself? Even though it would be in conduit, it would still be outdoors, which often imposes requirements for jacketing material and such.
Coincidentally, was just thinking about that after I made that last post.
You would want to get the "Indoor/Outdoor Plenum" cable. The ones we usually use at work are 6 (or more) fibers in one jacket and I am not sure what vendors may call it. Last time we ordered some, this is what we bought:
https://www.anixter.com/en_us/produ...Outdoor-Fiber-Optic-Cable/p/373-COMOM3-TBD-06
You probably want to find some that is pre-terminated.
 

Chris Moore

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danb35

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Chris Moore

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Definitely--terminating fiber isn't something I want to mess with.
At work, we contracted the installation and termination out but if I were doing it at home I would buy the ready made cable.
 

Ericloewe

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For that sort of run, any OM3/OM4 cable terminated with LC connectors should do the trick. Finding outdoor-rated cable that is factory terminated might be somewhat hard, though.
 

danb35

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Chris Moore

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I see they also have an indoor/outdoor cable that doesn't have the limitation of no more than 50' indoors, and is also nearly $100 less expensive in the approximate length I'd want. Do you know of any reason I wouldn't want to go with that instead?
The difference is the gel inside the sheath of the cable. If you are sure that the cable will stay dry, you probably don't need the gel but the gel (grease) is there to keep water out. The problem is that it is flammable and the fire code in most places says not to use it inside the building.
At work, we have wire rooms (point of presence) where the telco and building to building cabling come up out of the underground (non sewer) and the cable that goes down there must be able to tolerate being under water and temperatures that the inside cable doesn't get exposed to. Those rooms are where we transition from the gel coated or thick sheathed fiber to regular inside wiring. If you are sure the conduit will not end up filled with water, you should be fine with the less expensive jacket. I don't want to tell you horror stories about cable that had to be replaced because a nick in the jacket let water in and over time it ruined the insulation and degraded the signal. I only know of one instance of that happening.
 
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One sure way to prevent the cable from getting nicked or having water infiltration would be to run it inside a piece of PEX. As long as the run is shorter than a single spool/coil it shouldn't be an issue. Could fish the lines ahead of time or after it is ran and buried. The only way the line could get moisture in it is if it gets in one end or the PEX is heavily damaged which likely means the fiber was cut as well.

The only bad things is that the PEX will probably cost more than pieces of PVC but it will last forever. Also it may be harder to find larger sizes locally and depending on the size of conduit you were planning to run you may not be able to find PEX in the same size or you will want to make a single run in 1/2 inch for the fiber only and run a separate piece of conduit for anything else.
 

Arwen

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If you are using 2" conduit, (1" being tight for pre-terminated fiber cable), I suggest you put in 2 pull strings. Pull strings canbe in installed after using thread as a temporary pull string, and a vacuum cleaner. But, it's so much easier with pre-strung pull strings.

Last, if you can get plennum, (water resistant), copper cable cheap enough, I'd suggest a single run of at least Cat. 5e copper. The 1GBase-T standard supports 100 meter lengths, so your length is not too far. This could be the management network, or even the fail-back network. Or supply limited power over Ethernet for a monitoring solution.
 

danb35

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I'd suggest a single run of at least Cat. 5e copper.
Hadn't thought of this, but that's why I asked for input. Thanks. We're told not to have multiple NICs with addresses on the same subnet, but multiple connections between network switches shouldn't be a problem, right?
 

Ericloewe

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That is a problem, unless the switches are specifically configured to support that.
 

Chris Moore

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Hadn't thought of this, but that's why I asked for input. Thanks. We're told not to have multiple NICs with addresses on the same subnet, but multiple connections between network switches shouldn't be a problem, right?
I have some Cisco switches where ports can be put in a Link Aggregation Group (LAG) and you can use those for switch interconnect.
The switch must support it and the ports must be set for it but if all the boxes are ticked properly, it can work.
 

Stux

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So, what sort of fiber is needed for 100gbit?

(Just thinking ahead ;))
 

Ericloewe

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Singlemode or, potentially, OM4 multimode, but it hasn't been properly standardized yet, AFAIK.
 

Arwen

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Singlemode or, potentially, OM4 multimode, but it hasn't been properly standardized yet, AFAIK.
Uh, you do realize that 40Gbps & 100Gbps have already been in production for years?

It's OM3 MMF 4 fiber for 100 meter, (standardized Feb 16th, 2015).

If the distance was only 30 meters, you could run 40GBase-T over Cat. 8 copper cable. It's less clear what 25GBase-T needs for cable and maximum distance.
 
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