3 Reasons to Consider Passive Optical Systems

3 Reasons to Consider Passive Optical Systems

Active optical systems are often seen as an integral component of modern network design. Many network operators rely on a network management system (NMS) to identify, configure, monitor, update, and troubleshoot devices throughout their network. However, many of the same transport goals can be achieved more cost-effectively and reliably using a passive system.

Here are 3 reasons why you should consider passive systems in network upgrade and expansion plans.


Passive systems have fewer components and are therefore simpler to install and troubleshoot in the case of a network outage. Much of this simplicity comes from taking software out of the equation; passives don’t require a dedicated NMS server to buy and install in a rack. Furthermore, the intuitive nature of the passive filters themselves requires far less training to get your team up to speed.

Smaller Footprint

Making room for a large active system requires more than just rack space for the active devices themselves. You will also need to make accommodations for power and air conditioning. Since passives aren’t powered, they don’t require such power and airflow considerations. Additionally, the key components of a passive filter can fit into almost any package. This ranges from a 1RU box to a standard LGX box to a 70mm square for installation in standard outside-plant trays. We’ve even fit 8 channels into a package smaller than a deck of cards for use in an aerial camera! This versatility mitigates the physical constraints of your network, letting you put the application first.


NMS servers and server software are expensive. Annual software licenses and support and maintenance fees are expensive. Removing all of these elements can save hundreds of thousands of dollars upfront in capital expense, and tens of thousands of recurring annual charges. But the savings go far beyond this initial investment. Since passive systems do not require power to run, they will save you much more in operating expenses throughout their lifetime. Their simple design also insulates them against obsolescence, thereby extending their useful life; switches and routers can be upgraded around the passive filters, and the filters themselves are modular enough to be redeployed elsewhere in your network.

Ready to see how passives can help you achieve your network goals? Let’s schedule an initial no-cost consultation today in which we analyze how much we can reduce your operating costs.

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