An online fiber-optic backbone model enables users to calculate the kind and amount of fiber-optic cabling they will need to connect their single-building or campus network. The model, available for use free of charge from Corning Cable Systems (www.corning.com/cablesystems), allows users to set up their backbones' physical architecture (distributed or collapsed/centralized) and logical architectures (point-to-point, point-to-multipoint, mesh), in addition to length, loss-budget, and all-important cost calculations.
Users must obtain an access code from a Corning Cable Systems engineer, then can use the code to register on the model site. The company emphasizes that a representative will contact site users only if those users request such contact. Once registering for access, users have exclusive access to their individual model site. All designs are considered the user's proprietary property; Corning Cable Systems may reference the model to determine market trends.
In addition to the model's calculation functions, it has the ability to generate a number of reports. For example, a topology comparison report shows a cabled-fiber-count comparison by topology and fiber type. That report can be expanded to show how fiber counts are determined for each topology. A function called the network analyzer evaluates costs based on the cable and electronics costs that the user inputs. The tool also lets the user compare link-loss budgets for 1 and 10 Gigabit Ethernet applications and estimate bandwidth needs to determine the number of uplink ports required. A fiber-optic hardware generator produces a sample bill of materials for terminating the cable using the company's products.