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Essential Guide to Optical Networks, The

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Essential Guide to Optical Networks, The


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  • Copyright 2002
  • Dimensions: K
  • Pages: 256
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-042956-2
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-042956-8

The up-to-the-minute briefing on optical networking for every non-technical professional and business decision-maker.

  • The up-to-the-minute optical networking guide for every business, marketing, and investment professional
  • The only easy-to-read guide to explain the components, systems, and technologies needed to build today's intelligent optical network
  • How optical networking transforms the Internet-and your competitive landscape
  • Clear, non-technical explanations of every key optical networking technology
  • Next-generation optical networks: "IP-over-optical," "all-optical," and the coming "optical enterprise"
  • Fiber for business and home: challenges and opportunities

Optical networks are transforming the Internet, making it possible to deliver amazing amounts of bandwidth for every application, from business to entertainment—and beyond. Now there's an easy-to-understand guide to optical networking for every non-technical professional! Network Magazine International Technology Editor David Greenfield offers crisp, witty explanations of everything you need to know: infrastructure, trends, applications—and the new breakthroughs that will make optical networks even more powerful and ubiquitous.

  • Clear, accessible explanations of all five generations of optical networking
  • Generation 1: Fiber for transport only
  • Generation 2: Maximizing speed with DWDM and related technologies
  • Generation 3: Replacing SDH/SONET with IP-over-optical-intelligent TCP/IP-based optical infrastructure
  • Generation 4: Tomorrow's amazing all-optical networks
  • Generation 5: The far distant horizon: "Optical enterprises" that move optical technology into premises—and into computers themselves
  • How optical networks fit into the existing public network infrastructure
  • Delivering fiber-based services to homes and businesses: challenges and opportunities

Whether you're a manager, consultant, sales, marketing, or PR professional, investor, or student, you need to understand the extraordinary power and impact of tomorrow's optical networks. The Essential Guide to Optical Networks explains these pivotal technologies from a business standpoint-without hype, jargon, or math!

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Optical Networking: Fundamentals of Light

Table of Contents




1. Networking at Light Speed.

The Public Network in Brief. Traffic Changes. Out with the Old. In with the New. Optical Computers. Optical Services. Short Cuts.

2. The Basics of Communications.

The Envelope, Please. Architectural Details. Bits and Bytes. Network Topologies. Hey, Mr Postman. Ethernet. Ethernet Challenges. ATM. Switches, Routers, and the Like. QoS and VLANs. Short Cuts.


3. Fundamentals of Light.

Atoms, Electrons, and the Like. Quantum View. Properties of Waves. Electromagnetic Spectrum. Wave Behavior. Refraction. Interference. Diffraction and Scattering. Short Cuts.

4. Fiber Optic Cabling.

Why Fiber? Fiber Construction. Fiber Types. Behind the Transmission Bands. Transmission Problems. Linear Effects. Decibels-What Do They Mean? Dispersion. Modal Dispersion. Chromatic Dispersion. Polarization-Mode Dispersion. Nonlinear Effects. Brillouin and Raman Scattering. Four-Wave Mixing. Short Cuts.

5. Optical Components.

Semiconductors. Light Sources. The Laser Family. VCSELs. Tuning In. Modulation. Detectors. Amplifiers. Wave-Division Multiplexers. Filters. Fiber Bragg Gratings. Circulators. Other Components. Short Cuts.

6. Switching Technologies.

Switching Jobs. OOO and OEO Switches. Building the Optical Switch. Basic Design Types. To Block or Not to Block. Measuring Up. Technologies for Building the Optical Switch. MEMS. Optomechanical Switches. Electro-Optical and Thermo-Optic Switches. Bubble Switches. Liquid Crystals. Disappearing Act. Acousto-Optics. Wavelength Conversion. Short Cuts.


7. The SONET Factor.

Life before SONET. A Matter of Time. The SONET Hierarchy. SONET Configurations. SONET Protection. SONET Service Mappings. SONET Framing. SONET Challenges. The SONET Answer. Beyond SONET. Short Cuts.

8. Metro Core Technologies.

The New Metro. The Technologies. DTM. 10. Gigabit Ethernet. Challenges for 10 Gig. RPR. OTN. OTN Transport. OTN Hierarchy. Short Cuts.

9. Going the Last Mile.

The Challenge. Bandwidth of Any Color. The Last Mile of Today. Hybrid Fiber-Coax (HFC). Broadband Wireless. Last Mile of Tomorrow. PONs. PON Workings. Security and QoS. Management and Survivability. EPONs and Ethernet in the First Mile. Wireless Optics. Short Cuts.

10. Optical Signaling.

Bringing the Two Together. Peer to Peer Model. Problems with Routing Today. Emergence of MPLS. GMPLS. Overlay Model. ASON/ASTN. Short Cuts.

Appendix Key Differences between Single-Mode Fiber Specs.



Welcome! If you've come this far, you must have an interest in the fascinating world of optical networking. It's a world that stands to revolutionize computer networks and the people who use them—you and I.

Despite the huge implications and the captivating technology involved in optical networks, surprisingly little has been written for the nontechnical audience. Engineers and like-minded folk will find numerous books out there, with all the right formulas and equations to make a normal man's eyes bulge, but for those of us who think in words and not square roots, optical networking remains a largely opaque field. Some noise gets through about terabits of capacity, historic changes, and the like, but darned little is intelligible to the reader outside of the optical club.

Hence this book. In its pages we'll explore the fascinating worlds of lasers, switches, and optical networks. We'll cover the basics of fibers and the components needed to connect them. We'll get a close-up look at the best-known optical technology—wave-division multiplexing—and how it works.

But today's optical networks aren't just about fibers strung together. All sorts of new technologies are making it easier for businesses and consumers to jump on a light-speed connection at a more affordable price. Other technologies are changing the very way carriers build the heart or core of the networks. Some are even enabling optics to alter their very characteristics, depending on the types of data.

These technologies aren't normally considered optical, yet they are critical to understanding how optical networks-or, more specifically, the public optical network—is evolving. We'll cover these technologies without the gadzillions of numbers or mind-boggling equations normally used to explain this optical stuff.

Of course, there's a tradeoff. The information here won't enable you to go out and build an optical network. If that's your goal, you'll find a bunch of other books out there that can help. But if you're in marketing or sales, law, research, human resources, or project management-if you're a student, an engineer looking to switch areas, or anyone looking for an overview, refresher, or just a plain easy read-you've come to the right place.

To those ends, The Essential Guide to Optical Networks is designed to be accessible on multiple levels. The text of the book should be understandable to those with a non-mathematical or scientific background. Those who crave formulas will get them in our "Dr. Geek" sidebars spread throughout the book. You'll also find key words bolded in the text; these are later defined in the glossary for easy reference. Cartoons appearing in each chapter present the lighter side of optical networking (yes, there is such a thing).

Those without any knowledge of the industry would do well to start out with Part I, Chapter 1; it provides an overview and explains where we're going. Chapter 2 is meant for those of us who might have had a little exposure to the world of networking or might be familiar with voice networks, but have less knowledge of data networks. We'll walk through the various technologies that are needed to build corporate networks and that increasingly are being used for building the new public network.

Part II is aimed at those looking to understand the bread-and-butter of optical networks-the fibers and components. Chapter 3 explains the relevant physics involved in sending a signal down an optical fiber. In Chapter 4, we'll look at the types of fibers used and the challenges in sending signals down those fibers. Chapter 5 explains the different kinds of components for building out fiber networks from amplifiers to lasers, filters to couplers. Then we wrap up in Chapter 6 with a look at the different kinds of switches used to build the public network.

Part III moves beyond the traditional optical technologies to look at the emerging access and signaling technologies needed to build tomorrow's network. Chapter 7 gives a refresher on SONET, the standard for building out public networks today. Chapter 8 looks at the emerging techniques for replacing SONET in the core of the network. Chapter 9 looks at the technologies vying to replace SONET in the access to customer premises. Finally, Chapter 10 looks at technologies being used to bind the services and the infrastructure together.

It's a fascinating world. I hope you enjoy reading about it as much as I've enjoyed writing about it.


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