Fiber Monitoring - Critical for Networks of All Sizes

Posted by Kevin Miller on Thu, Nov 14, 2019 @ 10:11 AM

The term fiber optic network often conjures up images of Verizon FIOS commercials, Google Fiber, Comcast  Xfinity, or some other multi-billion dollar media and telecommunication company that promotes their reliance on fiber optic infrastructure for their business.

But what about a local municipality? Or a regional utility? With the Fiber Optic Market expected to grow to USD 3.72 billion by 2022, fiber optic networks are not just for these large companies but also for most of today's communication networks. You may be an IT Director or Fiber Manager at a small, regional telco, a company in the finance industry, a utility, or a local municipality that uses fiber optic networks extensively, and are tasked with making sure the network is performing as expected. 

Squirrels and Bad Drivers Don’t Know How Big Your Company Is

Ensuring network integrity and performance means the same level of monitoring that the larger companies need for their fiber networks, but on a potentially smaller scale to meet your own needs.  Fiber optic networks can fall victim to some interesting “environmental” factors. We’ve heard stories of networks going down because a squirrel chewed through the line, a pole falling victim to a bad driver, or lines being damaged during hunting season, among other interesting tales.  These unexpected events can wreak havoc on the network, and if not immediately diagnosed properly, lead to significant downtime and expensive uses of resources to both find and resolve the issue.

Fiber Cut RepairImage:  Broken or damaged fibers are costly and time consuming to both locate and repair 

Further to that, many smaller organizations rely on contract services to perform their repair work.  These services can be expensive, often billing by the hour. Thus, simply knowing and communicating where to initially send repair teams can achieve significant cost savings.

Fiber Optic Monitoring from M2 Optics

To help businesses watch their network for any unforeseen issues, M2 offers a fiber network monitoring solution designed to help network operations teams:

  • Identify and locate physical fiber issues quickly to reduce downtime
  • Reduce the high cost of truck rolls and technician hours
  • Monitor the network proactively for tampering or other malicious acts
  • Minimize the need for manual link validation testing

How does it work?  Quite simply, the fiber optic monitoring serves as a continuous running OTDR that resides in the network and actively monitors the physical fiber infrastructure for breaks, tampering, etc.  When an issue arises that exceeds the acceptable thresholds set by the user, the system sends a real-time alert with the location of the issue. This allows service teams to quickly resolve the issue and ensures the integrity and performance of their critical network links.

Remote Fiber Monitoring System Shown:  Monitoring device for 64 individual fibers in just 1RU of rack space

Intended to maximize value for the user, this device was designed in a highly-efficient manner to saves rack space and scale effectively.  The system consists of just three components or less depending on the setup, making it easy to integrate into any network environment.  Additionally, the limited amount of hardware results in very little, if any, ongoing maintenance once setup to monitor the network. 

Learn More or Watch a Demo

If you are struggling to monitor your fiber network or do not yet have a system in place, contact us today for more information or to see a device in action.

Topics: fiber monitoring