Fiber Optics and Wireless Systems in Wide Area Networks
Fiber Optics and Wireless Systems in Wide-Area Networks
The use of Fiber-optic technologies in Local Area Networks (LAN) and wide-area networks (WANS) is becoming increasingly necessary for optimizing data-intensive application development and use. The use of large-scale database management programs and initiatives including Hadoop, MapReduce and other large-scale data management initiatives continue to escalate the use of Fiber-optic networks in LAN and Wan implementations (Arnold, 18). Fiber optic cabling is designed to manage data transfers at very high speed across a distance of 50km or less and resides at the Data Link Layer of the Open Systems Interconnect (OSI) Model. The role of fiber optic cable in network configurations is analyzed in this paper, comparing multi-mode and single mode configurations. Standards for wireless networks and their relation to LAN and WAN networks are also discussed.
Analysis of Single vs. Multimode Fiber Optic Models
Single mode fibers are designed for high-speed data transmission over relatively longer distances and therefore are best used for linking one area of an academic or organizational campus to another. The single-mode fiber optic cables also can support higher attenuation levels as well, which results in less signal degradation over time. A single-mode fiber optic cable is more prevalently used in distributed computing applications across WANs, with multi-mode fiber optic cable used for shorter distances up to 600 meters. Multi-mode optical fiber is most prevalently used in client/server computing configurations that require a centralized server to be accessed for each inquiry from a client system.
Multi-mode fiber optic-based networks the majority of the time are configured to support the Carrier Sense Multiple Access/Collision Detection (CSMA/CD) as TCP/IP is the most commonly used protocol on multi-mode optic fiber cable configurations. The emergence of the Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) has also increased the adoption of single-mode fiber-optic networks as well. In single-mode-based networks, FDDI manages a CSMA/CA-based network topology that manages a token-passing network comparable in structure to the IBM Token Ring architecture in use for decades. The FDDI-based fiber optic networks typically are designed when enterprise have a very high volume of transaction and textually intensive data to manage throughout a network. Applications include integrating Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems and large-scale production system integration.
Multi-mode fiber optic cable is increasingly being used to replace traditional coaxial cable as the former is increasingly providing to be more cost-effective on network configuration projects. The return on investment (ROI) of implementing multi-mode fiber optic cable over coaxial cable is based on the following advantages of this technology. First, fiber optic cable continues to see significant cost reductions over time and is in certain configurations, less expensive compared to coaxial. Second, fiber-optic cabling, especially multi-mode, has a higher carrying capacity compared to coaxial. Third, fiber optic cabling has less impendence for signals and therefore there is less of a signal degradation and digital signal interference. Both multi-mode and single mode cabling can also support longer distances compared to coaxial cable as well. In conclusion, fiber optic technologies are revolutionizing the growth of LAN and WAN configurations globally due to the increased accuracy and cost reductions they offer over traditional coaxial systems.
Wireless Standards Relating to WANs
The most rapidly advancing wireless standard in LAN and WAN deployments today continues to be the IEEE 802.11 series of frequency spectrum levels and commands that pervade platform deployments (Chek, Kwok, 60). In choosing to define standards and frequency spectrum levels of this stands, the IEEE LAN/MAN Standards Committee chose to define a very broad public spectrum, which would allow for more efficient use of the standard for LA
and WAN deployments. The IEEE Standards Committee defined the range of 2.4GHz to 5 GHz as the public spectrum band that could be accessed and used for over-air modulation and demodulation. WiFi is the popular term used to refer to 802.11-based networks and their use at the lower ends of the public spectrum band.
The IEEE Standards committee also defined five variations of the 802.11 standard during its initial working sessions in the 1999 — 2000 timeframe. The initial 802.11a standard was introduced in 1999, having an operating frequency of 5 GHz with a speed of 23 Mbits/second. The 802.11g standard was first introduced in 2003, and supported a 2.4 GHz operating frequency. The standards have progressed rapidly over the last ten years, with the latest protocol designed to support the frequency spectrum levels necessary for supporting large-scale LAN and WAN implementations. An example of this direction by the IEEE Standards Committee is seen in the development and launch of the 802.11n standard with supports frequency spectrum levels between 2.4 and 5 GHz and a transfer rate of 74 Mbits/second. This standard was specifically designed to support real-time messaging, video downloads and high levels of transaction-based traffic throughout LAN and WAN configurations.
The direction of the IEEE standards is to concentrate on creating higher frequency spectrum levels to support greater traffic and broader geographically-based implementations of LAN and WAN networks. Wireless standards have also progressed beyond device-level intelligence to support LAN and WAN architectural constraints and design objectives as well. This is seen in the approach to integrating broadband wireless architectures support ad hoc, cellular and infrastructure architectures into the broader frequency spectrum levels of the latest 802.11 standards. These architectural aspects of the 802.11 standards are also highly focused on security and authentication through IPsec and VPN technologies, which enterprises use to keep their WAN configurations secure.
The 802.11 standards are moving rapidly to support more architecturally based approaches to LAN and WAN network configurations, and the continual improvement in fiber optic technologies is leading to the development of long-reach networks as well (Davey, Nesset, Rafel, Payne, Hill, 13). The development of metro-area wireless WANS through the combining of fiber optics and wireless technologies is occurring much more rapidly as a result (Ichikawa, Shimizu, Akabane, Ishida, Teramoto, 1864).
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R.P. Davey, D. Nesset, a. Rafel, D.B. Payne, and a. Hill. “Designing long reach optical access networks. ” BT Technology Journal 24.2 (2006): 13.
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Hatfield, D., W. Lamb, and L. Tegarden. “On the Shoulders of Giants: Co-location with Dominant Firms in the Emerging Fiber Optics Industry. ” Industry and Innovation 14.5 (2007)
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