This is the second blog in our series on connecting a campus network. This entry assumes that you’ve selected fiber for your network. For more information on whether to use singlemode or multimode fiber, see our previous blog, Choosing a Campus Network Infrastructure: SMF vs MMF.
Plans are being developed for a new community college; 10 buildings over 200 acres. The new campus will be built out in stages, over time, as funds for the construction are released. Although the layout of the campus is complete, the exact locations of the buildings that will be built during the later stages might shift as needs and requirements change over time.
How do you architect and deploy a campus-wide network when the locations of some of the buildings may be different when their construction starts?
One option would be to trench from the building with the main distribution frame (MDF) out to where the new building will be located. The downside to that option is that trenching is expensive. There is the labor for the actual trenching, plus costs to replace any landscaping that was torn up in the process. And that does not consider the disruption to the campus, for example, torn up sidewalks or trenches across roadways, all of which need to be repaired once the trenching word is finished.
Another option would be to lay down conduit during the initial construction phase from the building with the MDF to where the buildings might be built according to the plan. Once a new building has been constructed as part of stage two, fiber can then be pulled through the conduit to the new building. The concern with this approach is if building locations shift from the original design, that turns this approach into one like the trenching option.
Option 3: Outdoor Splicing
There is a third option and that would be to take advantage of using outdoor splices. Here is how that would work.
Building A and Building B are going to be built during the first stage of the development. In addition to the two buildings, a vault would also be deployed, located mid-way between building B and the future Building C. Additionally, let’s say that a decision has been made to run 24-fiber trunks to each outlying building from the MDF located in Building A.
The initial link to Building B is comprised of a 48-fiber trunk that is run to an outdoor splice closure installed in the vault. A 24-fiber trunk would be spliced onto the end of 24 fibers of the 48-fiber trunk. The 24-fiber trunk would then continue to Building B. The remaining 24 fibers of the 48-fiber trunk remain unterminated. Once the second stage of the development begins, a 24-fiber trunk can be laid down from the fiber splice closure to new Building C. This 24-fiber trunk would be spliced onto the previously unused 24 fibers of the 48-fiber trunk feeding the splice closure.
The advantage of this approach is that the distance between the splice closure and Building C is relatively short as compared to the distance to Building A. This reduces the cost of the deployment during the second stage and reduces the risks associated with the previous two approaches. The disadvantage of this approach is that the initial deployment carries a higher cost because of the need to splice on the fiber trunk that runs to Building B.
The example used here mentions the outdoor splice closure is placed into a vault. This implies that a below-ground splice closure is used. The alternative would be to use an above ground splice closure – a topic that will be covered in a future blog post.
If you need help with campus networks, let us know. Panduit has recently expanded our offerings to include new fiber splicing closures and other solutions for connecting your campus.
For more information on Panduit’s new fiber closures, please reach out to Antonia Synowiec, product manager, at [email protected]