Fiber-to-fiber repeater enables 10G backbone network upgrades over existing infrastructure

Transition Networks launches its ION 4110, which supports data rates from 1 Gbps to 11.5 Gbps.

Fiber-to-fiber repeater enables 10G backbone network upgrades over existing infrastructure
Fiber-to-fiber repeater enables 10G backbone network upgrades over existing infrastructure

Transition Networks has introduced its ION 4110, a protocol independent fiber-to-fiber repeater that supports data rates from 1 Gbps to 11.5 Gbps. This "any-rate to same-rate" device will allow IT managers to extend the reach of their high-speed backbone networks without the need to upgrade their fiber-optic cabling infrastructure, contends the company.

“As enterprises upgrade wired access networks to 1 Gbps speeds and implement new multi-gigabit WiFi standards, backbone networks are becoming the choke point, driving the move to 10G in these uplink connections,” comments Tony LeFebvre, Director of Product Management for Transition Networks. “The ION 4110 offers enterprise network managers a more cost-effective way to deploy 10 Gigabit Ethernet over existing fiber-optic infrastructure.”

The company points out that, as faster networking technologies and speeds are established, additional cabling standards are introduced simultaneously to support them. Organizations deploying these new technologies are faced with two options: incur the expense of upgrading cable plants to the latest standards to support maximum transmission distances, or find ways to utilize existing cabling resources while still taking advantage of the new technologies. Transition says the ION 4110 repeats data signals and transmits them over the fiber cabling already available to organizations within their existing networks. This could include single mode fiber to multimode fiber applications, as well as multimode to multimode.

The Telecommunications Industry Association has defined four grades of multimode fiber-optic cable (OM1 – OM4), each of which has different characteristics and transmission capacity. OM1 is a widely installed grade of fiber-optic cable; however, it limits 10 Gigabit Ethernet transmission distances to just 33 meters, compared to OM4 which can transmit 10 Gigabit Ethernet data up to 400 meters.

Transition says the ION 4110 re-amplifies, reshapes and retimes (3R) fiber optic signals to restore wavelength integrity, ensuring that data can be repeated multiple times to meet all required network distances, regardless of the type of fiber installed in the network. The device features two ports for pluggable optics and is protocol agnostic, supporting any network standard with a data rate of between 1 Gbps and 11.5 Gbps. This includes 10 Gigabit Ethernet, Fibre Channel, OC192 SONET/SDH or course wave-division multiplexed (CWDM) networks.

The ION 4110 can be used as a stand-alone repeater or be paired with the new one-slot or two-slot ION chassis for wiring closet applications at the network edge. For higher density applications, the ION 4110 can be used with Transition Networks’ 19-slot ION chassis, which also offers SNMP management and power redundancy.

“Anytime a network update requires a change to the cabling infrastructure, it becomes a much bigger undertaking,” asserts Stephen Montgomery, president of ElectroniCast, and industry analyst covering the market for media converters and repeaters. “A product like the ION 4110 should find a strong market because it provides a low-cost and low complexity way to deliver the bandwidth needed.”

Transition Networks says it will begin accepting orders for the ION 4110 in March through its global sales force and channel partners. For more information, visit www.transition.com.

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