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How to Maximize the IT Budget Surplus at Your University

It’s a miracle! You completed all your projects for the school year, and you actually have a budget surplus! If you’re concerned about losing this amount from your budget next year, here are some useful products that it might make sense to stock up on for 2020-2021 and beyond.

Fiber Patch Cables

Perhaps the most flexible purchase you can make, fiber patch cables can be stored for use in any number of projects over the next year or more. In fact, it can be useful to keep a number of distances of the fiber types (e.g., single mode fiber, OM3 multimode) and connectors (e.g., LC/UPC, SC/APC) that are common throughout your campus network in case of emergency breakages or future planned deployments.

DACs, AOCs, and BOCs

These cables offer an affordable alternative to optical transceivers connected by a fiber patch cable, and are ideal for simplifying inter- and intra-rack connections at the main data center on campus. This family of cables includes:

  • Direct attach cables (DACs): two transceivers of the same data rate connected by a length of copper wire. These can be passive or active, depending on the data rate and distance requirements.
  • Active optical cables (AOCs): two transceivers connected by a length of fiber optic cable, containing entirely active components.
  • Breakout cables (BOCs): one higher data rate transceiver connected to four lower date rate transceivers, e.g., 40G to 4x10G, or even 100G to 4x25G. This configuration is particularly useful for connecting top-of-rack (ToR) switches with multiple distribution switches.

These cables can be programmed for one-to-one compatibility with one, or in some cases, multiple platform brands.

Optical Transceivers

While easy to overlook in larger budgetary planning discussions, these humble pieces remain essential to reliable network connectivity. If you aren’t planning a comprehensive network upgrade next year, it can make a lot of sense to invest your budget surplus in building up a sparing inventory of the transceivers you use most throughout your campus. This may mean anything from a 10G SFP+ LR or 10G SFP+ SR.

Standard Passive Filters

Maybe you followed our advice earlier this month and immediately expanded your capacity with some passive WDM filters. That’s great! Now that you’re starting to experience the benefits of WDM passives firsthand, it might make sense to keep some of our standard 4 or 8 channel passives on-hand. This way, if you experience an unexpected strain on bandwidth in part of your network, you can proactively manage it.

If you would like to discuss these solutions further, contact Champion ONE today.

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