Today we’re going to talk about optical loss budgets in the data center.

Optical Loss Budgets in the Data Center

First let’s break down the term optical loss budget. Optical loss is light that is lost between the transmitter and the receiver.

Let’s translate this into fiber optics. You have a transceiver that sends a signal, goes through multiple connections in a data center, and it ends up at a receiver that would look just like this.

If you don’t have enough signal power from the transmitter to the receiver, the signal will be unreadable and then you may experience downtime. And nobody wants that. So how does loss occur?

Be sure to see Episode #11 when I go in-depth on that subject. So what is your loss budget? This is where the standards come in handy. Well it has to do with what speeds you are running and it can also vary by protocol, like fibre channel or Ethernet.

The key factor is that loss budgets are decreasing as speeds are increasing. What worked ten years ago may not work at your next hardware upgrade. So figure out what your loss budget is and keep this in mind when designing, changing, and or upgrading your optical infrastructure.