Siemon publishes white paper on low loss fibre in the data centre

According to Siemon, one of the key factors making fibre loss budgets a growing concern in the data centre environment, is the migration of transmission speeds to 10, 40 and 100 Gb/s for Ethernet-based networks and from 8 Gb/s, to 16 Gb/s and to 32 Gb/s for Fibre Channel-based SANs. As bandwidth and speeds increase, insertion loss requirements become more stringent than ever. With length and type of fibre cable, plus the number of connectors and splices all contributing to the link loss, data centre managers are faced with the challenge of calculating loss from each connection point and segment within their fibre channels. 

In this white paper, Siemon explains how the evolution of different data centre architectures has impacted loss, from traditional three-tier Layer 3 switched environments, to switch fabrics and fat-tree flattened architecture.  It identifies how the evolution of Ethernet standards demonstrate the impact of speed on insertion loss requirements and how low loss fibre can ‘come to the rescue’. 

The paper outlines various points of reference, including comparisons between standard loss and low loss fibre for applications at 10 GbE and 40/100 GbE, over both OM3 and OM4. This demonstrates how low loss multifibre connectivity can accommodate more connectors in the channel allowing use of cross connects to facilitate more efficient moves, adds and changes. Bringing this to life, diagrams are provided to show example scenarios for deploying cross connects in 10 GbE and 40/100 GbE channels over OM3 and OM4 fibre, using low loss fibre connectivity.

Summarising the rationale for this paper, Carrie Higbie, global director data centre solutions and services of Siemon explains, ‘Loss budgets need to be carefully considered during the early design stages of any data centre – staying within the loss budget is essential for ensuring that optical data signals can properly transmit without high bit error rates and performance degradation. With today’s flattened switch architectures and shrinking optical insertion loss budgets, low loss fibre connectivity enables more connection points for better design flexibility in both Ethernet and Fibre Channel applications in the data centre.

‘This paper seeks to explain not only why, but how low loss multifibre can be deployed to enable shorter fibre runs, prevent access to critical switches, make easy changes, use fibre backbone cabling for various purposes and simplify the process of adding new equipment. As with all Siemon content, its purpose is to educate, equip and empower decision makers.’

To download Siemon’s white paper visit or to view a recorded webinar on the subject of low loss multifibre in the data centre, visit 

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