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How Do I Prepare for 10Gig?

So you want to move to 10gig? Awesome! 10gig is a fantastic backbone for the network. It eliminates many of the modern bandwidth issues. Especially issues within or between data centers, or from the data center to your access switches.

What exactly is required to run 10gig? That’s a question we’re often asked, and in this article we will go over everything you need to consider.

What Kind of Fiber Do You Have Today?

Unless you have a greenfield deployment, you are most likely running 1gig connections between your IDF closets and data center. This connection is most likely multi-mode fiber. You may be running singlemode fiber if you have an especially long path to a remote closet.

Requirements for 10Gig

If you want to run 10gig at any distance, you need at least OM3 multi-mode fiber (see table below).

OM3 multi-mode fiber is often referred to as 10gig fiber. It was designed to run 10gig and provide a decent amount of distance [(300 meters (980 feet)]. That is sufficient for most applications.

If you require more distance, you can consider OM4 multi-mode. It can reach up to 400 meters (1310 feet). (You can also move to singlemode fiber. We’ll talk about that option at the end of this article.)

If you are merely running fiber within the data center or between a couple of floors, lower distances may work fine. Remember to consider the distance of the fiber plus the distance of the patch cable on both ends when you make the final call on length requirements.

It’s important to have the cable tested and certified for 10gig to make sure you won’t have any issues. The last thing you want to do is schedule a maintenance window to install the new 10gig networking equipment, only to find out the 10gig won’t come up due to a fiber issue. Know this ahead of time.

If your cable plant is several years old, you likely have multimode cable and OM1/OM2 versions. Be careful to check the network manufacturer to validate the optics will support this cable type. Not all manufacturers will.

Additionally, we often find that old fiber cable plants have not been well maintained. The fiber is brittle and using old style connectors such as ST and SC.

We would recommend that you have all the fiber strands tested for 10gig. If at all possible, have the fiber re-terminated onto LC connectors within the bulkhead.

This is the backbone of your network. You want to know that the cable infrastructure is sound. Once put into production, this fiber plant will likely serve you for 10 years or more. If you can use existing fiber, now is the time to make sure it has been completely restored to new condition.

What About Singlemode Fiber?

The main reason for installing singlemode fiber is distance requirements. Singlemode fiber is usually the right choice for connections between buildings.

However, we do have some clients who choose to use singlemode within a building. This is to future-proof for higher speed connections, such as 40gig or 100gig.

The choice will largely be determined by your budget. The cost for singlemode optics on your networking gear will be more expensive, usually double. So if a multi-mode SFP+ module is $500, you can expect to spend $1,000 for a singlemode SFP+ module.

Key Takeaways

In the end, here’s what you want to remember:

1. What fiber do I have today?

2. What distance do I need from end to end, including the patch cord?

3. What flavor of fiber will my network manufacturer support?

4. Certify your fiber plant for 10gig before you install any equipment.

If you have questions about any of this, please feel free to drop us a line. We'd be happy to help.

Read more:
How to Turn Old Multimode Fiber into 10Gig Capable Fiber
Experiencing Poor Network Performance?

How We Use Cisco WebEx Teams: Part 3

Cisco Webex Teams is a collaboration app that combines messaging, content sharing, calling, and video conferencing all in one place. Every person at Telcion uses it daily and we’ve found it to be an invaluable tool. In this series, we’ll highlight our favorite uses and features.

Team Collaboration

As the name suggests, WebEx Teams is all about enabling collaboration.

In WebEx Teams, spaces are for organizing people by topic, project, etc.

Our internal teams are each part of multiple spaces where they can communicate with each other about specific topics, hold meetings, and share files.

Any time two or more people are involved in a project or need to communicate about a particular topic, we create a new space.

We use these spaces for:

  • Scheduling and hosting meetings
  • Posting ideas
  • Asking/answering questions
  • Sharing meeting agendas
  • Communicating follow-up and action items

It is the simplest way for people to work together, from anywhere, on any device, in real time.

Internal Communication

We have a few All Staff spaces, each with a different focus:

General — Used for communication between all teams. Topics range from serious to silly (GIFs are common).

From the CEO — Used to inform the whole company about updates and to keep everybody current. It has taken the place of an internal website. Our CEO shares a weekly video update, and everyone is able to react and ask questions in response.

Birthday Wishes — Used exclusively to celebrate internal birthdays!

Projects

Anytime we begin work on a new project, we create a space and invite everyone involved in the project. We post associated documents to the space for easy access. We schedule and attend project meetings through the space. Between meetings, we post updates and ask questions. This way everyone is informed at the same time and can find out current information by reading the latest posts.

Team Meetings

Each of our teams has a space for weekly tactical meetings. We are able to post agendas and documents, conduct meetings, and communicate between meetings all in one place.

There is no limit to how many spaces you can create. Anything that involves more than two people is a good candidate for a dedicated space. It seems every time we avoid creating a space, we end up needing it after all.

Teams is a great place to collaborate, share, meet, and get things done. You will not regret adopting this as a tool in your workplace.

Read more:
How We Use Cisco WebEx Teams: Part 1
How We Use Cisco WebEx Teams: Part 2

How We Use Cisco WebEx Teams: Part 2

Cisco Webex Teams is a collaboration app that combines messaging, content sharing, calling, and video conferencing all in one place. Every person at Telcion uses it daily and we’ve found it to be an invaluable tool. In this series, we’ll highlight our favorite uses and features.

If you missed Part 1, you can find it here.

Meetings

WebEx Teams makes scheduled and ad hoc meetings easy. We use Teams for all of our meetings at Telcion.

Scheduled Meetings
Scheduled meetings happen within rooms. Meeting participants—internal and external—are added to a room, and then a meeting can be scheduled. An invite will be sent out automatically. When it’s time to join, participants can do so from any device using the WebEx Teams app.

Within the meeting room, you can share agendas and any supporting documents for everyone to see. You can also use the chat feature to keep the conversation going between meetings.

These meetings are secure, as you must be invited to the room in order to participate. External users can join by downloading WebEx Teams for free. When they want to join the meeting, the host can let them into the room.


Ad Hoc Meetings
If you need to have a quick ad hoc meeting, you can simply click “Meet” within a room and a meeting will start. All members of the room will be notified that a meeting was started and join if they’re able.

Meeting Recordings
One meeting feature we find useful is the ability to easily record meetings. With one click you can record a meeting that’s in progress, and when the meeting is over Teams will add a link to the recording in the room for anyone to view.

Devices

Teams works on any device.

Laptops, Tablets, Mobile Phones
At Telcion, we are often on the go—either from one meeting to the next, or from one area of the office to another. Sometimes we are at our desks and joining with a laptop makes the most sense. Sometimes we are in a conference room, where we may have our laptop or just a tablet or phone. And other times we are traveling or at a remote work space. No matter where you are, your Teams app is with you.   

You can join by audio or video—whatever makes the most sense for your current situation. Joining by audio only gives you the freedom to move around while in a meeting.

Cisco Video Devices
In addition to standard devices like laptops, tablets, and mobile phones, Teams is designed to work with dedicated Cisco video devices. Most of our team have Cisco DX80 video units on their desks. This is a standalone 24-inch screen that functions as both a monitor and a video device. Each of our conference rooms has a Cisco WebEx Room Kit, which is a video bar attached to large screen. Another unit we use is a Cisco WebEx Board, which functions as a screen, video device, and whiteboard.

We can control all of these Cisco devices using Teams. Anytime we are near a video unit it automatically senses that we are close by, making it simple to join a meeting on the video unit. If you are using a WebEx Board, you can even bring up the whiteboard and every participant can see what’s being drawn or written. These features are extremely useful and provide the video experience we’ve always wanted.

Read more:
7 Tips to Keep Your Cisco WebEx Meetings Secure
Cisco WebEx Teams or Microsoft Teams?