What Is Fiber Cassette?
With the rapid increase in the number of network connections and data transmissions, cable management should also receive sufficient attention in data center deployments. In fact, there are mainly three factors that influence the efficiency of well-functioning network facilities: MTP/MPO cables, fiber cassettes and fiber patch panels. And the role that fiber cassettes play in network deployment should never be underestimated. The following is a comprehensive introduction to fiber cassettes.
What Is Fiber Cassette?
To put it simply, a fiber cassette is a type of networking device for effective cable management. Typically, fiber cassettes can offer splicing solutions and integrated patch cords in a compact package. With this feature, the cassette can be retracted forward out of the chassis, which somewhat simplifies access to adapters and connectors and also the network installation. In this way, patch cord management is improved, thus saving time and reducing the risk of interference with other fiber patch cords in the network enclosure as well.
Just taking the rack-mounted fiber cassettes as an example, they are usually used for a variety of scenarios, especially in data centers. In fact, while rack-mounted fiber cassettes are typically a standard 19 inches wide, they can vary in height, including 1 RU, 2 RU, 3 RU, 4 RU, etc. Therefore, enterprises can choose a suitable size of fiber cassette according to their needs.
What Are Different Types of Fiber Cassettes?
In fact, the types of fiber cassettes may vary according to different standards. Here are some factors that enterprises should take into consideration when choosing a suitable fiber cassette for their network infrastructures.
From the aspect of the use case, 1RU rack-mounted fiber cassettes can be divided into clamshell fiber cassettes, sliding fiber cassettes, and rotational fiber cassettes. Clamshell fiber cassettes are the earliest fiber cassette, which is quite cheap but not convenient to use. Compare with clamshell fiber cassettes, sliding fiber cassettes and rotational fiber cassettes have a higher price because they are easier to install and maintain the cables. Instead of removing the cassettes from the rack to handle the cable, IT professionals can do so by simply pulling or unscrewing the cassette tray.
In the network wiring system, fiber adapters are an integral part of fiber cassettes, which allow fiber optic cables to interconnect in large networks, thus enabling simultaneous communication between multiple devices. Actually, the number of fiber adapters has a deep relationship with the density of fiber cassettes. Besides, fiber adapters are widely used in optical fiber communication equipment, measuring instruments, etc.
Generally, fiber adapters are installed on the front panel of fiber cassettes. Depending on the design of the front panel, fiber cassettes can be divided into two types: front panel fixed fiber cassette and front panel not fixed fiber cassette. Typically, the front panel fixed fiber cassettes are standard 19 inches wide with a fixed number of fiber adapters on them. For the front panel not fixed fiber cassette, 3 or even 5 detachable fiber optic adapters can be installed. Moreover, they are usually used for high-density cabling and flexible cable management.
According to the two different fiber termination methods of pigtail fusion and pre-terminated, there are two types of fiber cassettes: pigtail fusion splicing fiber cassette and pre-termination fiber cassette. These two kinds of fiber cassettes are different from each other in some respects.
For instance, there is a fiber splicing tray inside pigtail fusion splicing fiber cassettes, which is mainly used to manage and place the splicing fibers at the work sites. However, inside pre-termination fiber cassettes, there are only spools for managing the fiber optic cables, which greatly saves installation time and labor costs by simplifying the step of terminating optical fibers on the working site.
To sum up, as one of the most important parts of a network wiring system, fiber cassettes simplify the complexity of cable management and save time and labor costs as well. Typically, fiber cassettes can be divided into multiple types based on different criteria, including use case, front panel design, and fiber termination. When choosing a suitable fiber cassette for data centers and enterprise networks, enterprises should take several things into consideration, such as optical cable density and management, optical cable protection, the reliability of network performance, etc., thus making a wise decision based on their actual needs.