Wiring Home Network w/ Fiber

Discussion in 'Networking' started by Mallard612, Mar 3, 2018.

  1. Mallard612

    Mallard612 New Member

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    I'm looking for some guidance on running 10/40/100G connections within my home. When I bought the house 2 years ago, I had planned on running cable, but never really got around to it. My server rack is in the basement and everything else was running over wifi (this also kept the wife happy as I didn't need to cut into drywall). However, last week, our basement flooded and all the walls had to be opened up. Luckily, insurance will be covering the damage. But this also gives me a somewhat limited time frame to run all of my drops. I already have 1000' feet of cat6a cabling, but I'd also like to run fiber. I'm completely new to fiber and I'm hoping to get some advice on where to go next. I've seen a number of posts on the issue, but I haven't seen anything during my research on what specific fiber cables I should run. I can't imagine that I'll need to run drops to all of the ethernet locations, but only to places where I could see myself needing/wanting a fiber connection since I already have a 10G copper switch. Could someone point me to either A) a thread with detailed instructions/recommendations on fiber drops within a home B) a link to the specific cables I should be looking at?
     
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  2. StammesOpfer

    StammesOpfer Active Member

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    Run the copper everywhere you might want anything. Then think about you actual bandwidth requirements and where you might actually take advantage of 10Gbps+ and run fiber there. Realistically there is very little that you need more than even 100Mbps other than large file transfers (even 4k streaming only needs about 25Mbps). So with that said think about where you might actually need the drops. For me that meant running fiber from my Server closet to my Office I couldn't justify the need for additional bandwidth any other place. Then you need to decide what you are actually targeting to run over that link 40G 100G. You need to know what kind of fiber and how many strands you need for whatever standard you want to run Multi-mode Single-mode 1 pair 24 pair. Gone are the days of just running a pair of Multimode fiber with LC connectors and being good to go at least for 40Gbps+. If you already have hardware in mind then that can help at least get to a starting point.
     
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  3. llowrey

    llowrey Member

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    If you're stingy and an optimist, install OM3 LC fiber. You can run 10GbE and 40GbE (with bidi transceivers) today and hopefully (optimism) you might be able to run 100GbE with bidi transceivers, if such things ever comes to be. The upside is that the cables are cheap and wall-plate keystones are easy to obtain. The downside is that the bidi transceivers are more expensive, but are reasonable 2nd hand.

    Incidentally, bidi is BiDirectional (duplex), meaning you can send and receive on a single fiber. The 40GbE bidi transceivers are also dual wavelength so they can transmit two independent lanes on one fiber. So, for a standard duplex LC connector you have 2 fibers x 2 directions (in/out) x 2 wavelengths which is equal to an 8 fiber MPO.

    If money's no object, go with an MPO (MPT) OM4 fiber bundle with 8 to 12 fibers (12 is typical). That'll get you up to 200GbE. Right now 400GbE requires 16 lanes and afaik you need an MPO with multiple rows and you'd have trouble connecting that type to a single row MPO-12 for the lower speed grades. Since the 200GbE signaling rate is 50Gbps I'm sure an 8 lane 400GbE solution may come at some point and that would work with a typical MPO-12.

    The downside to the MPO plan is if you want to connect 10GbE cards you'll need to use MPO->4xLC breakout cables. Also, I have only found one supplier of wallplate keystones for MPO. I haven't tried them yet so I don't know how well they work. Hopefully others here will have some suggestions on that front.

    Also, a caution, one side of an MPO connection has alignment pins. Typically, those pins are in the transceiver and the patch cable has mating holes. The cable in the wall should have the pins since you're going to use female patch cables to go from the wall to the transceiver. Care must be taken when ordering cables.

    Also, while OM4 isn't much more expensive than OM3, for residential runs (< 100m) there is no benefit, even at 400GbE.

    EDIT: Cisco makes a 100GbE bidi transceiver, so they do exist. The range is reduced to 70m for OM3 but that's still much longer than should be necessary for any residential use.

    Cisco 100GBASE QSFP-100G Modules Data Sheet

    I think it's reasonable to expect 200GbE bidi modules, eventually, but beyond that... probably not and I think it's hard to say whether MPO is the right answer.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 4, 2018
  4. T_Minus

    T_Minus Moderator

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  5. mstone

    mstone Active Member

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    If I was going to run fiber once in an inaccessible location with hopes it would last until I was dead, I'd probably run single mode. I've seen too many changes to MMF specs over the years to have confidence it will last forever.
     
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  6. Kybber

    Kybber Active Member

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    Don't worry too much about what to run where. Just put in as much much smurf tube as you will conceivably need while the walls are open, and run whatever you want through the tubes when you decide on whether to go for fiber, copper or both.
     
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  7. Mallard612

    Mallard612 New Member

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    Awesome. Thanks everyone. There are only a few locations where I could ever need fiber. Since I haven't done enough research on fiber, I'm only going to run pull cable and conduit. But I did realize I may need more cat6a cable. Where is the best place to get cat6a cable? I got my first spool from blackbox (shielded F/UTP), but I see fs.com has it for considerably less for shielded STP.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
     
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    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
  8. woodshop2300

    woodshop2300 New Member

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    What I feel is the best advice in these situations is to run conduit to every room. Then put in multiple runs of twine (string) so you have built in pull strings for later. Then install blank plates in currently unused areas. Now your set as best can be for the unknown future with minimal investment in guessing future needs.
     
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  9. T_Minus

    T_Minus Moderator

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    As long as you don't have a lot of 90s you don't even need to pre-run strings just parachute them later.
     
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  10. PithyChats

    PithyChats Active Member

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    I would agree with running copper everywhere you might need it. I would actually go single mode for the trunk cable. You can still break it out, and it won't cost much more than multimode. Here is a relevant thread from reddit:

    Running fiber for 10 gig but want to future proof for 40 gig. How? • r/homelab

    In particular here is the post you might be interested in: (credit to /u/chrislund)

    \\Post

    I'd personally go with single-mode for future proofing (it'll take you into Tbps), but for a 50 ft run, OM4 would be fine. Transceivers would be cheaper for multi-mode. Connector adapters in almost any configuration are easy to come by. Fiber count is up to you; if you think you'll be making more than one connection over this run, I'd run one or more 12-fiber MTP-terminated "trunks" and split that MTP out at each end into 6 duplex LCs with breakout cassettes. FS.com's stuff fits well into a home budget:

    Here's what you'll be achieving.
    This way, everything's connectorized and you don't have to worry about terminating the raw fiber.

    If you go to the "All Categories" menu in the upper left on FS.com, under "Racks & Enclosures" they have two styles of cassettes, FHD and FHX, the latter being higher density. Both have multi-mode and single-mode variants. FHD has a variety of enclosure styles including wall-mount if you'll be terminating outside of a rack. Trunks can be found under "Fiber Optic Cables" > "MTP/MPO Fiber Cabling".

    \\end post

    Long story short, single mode is more future proof, and won't be much more expensive, (for the fiber at least).
     
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  11. Mallard612

    Mallard612 New Member

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    Thank you, this is exactly what I was looking for and very helpful. I'll be running the cable over the next few days, so I appreciate the responses from everyone. I know I'll have more question relating to my network as I move from wireless to wired.
     
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  12. PithyChats

    PithyChats Active Member

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    The cool thing about SMF (single mode fiber) is that you can run 100GBE over two strands. Thus a 12 strand MPO/MTP cable will allow you to run up to 6 100GBE connections using the breakout boxes and these optics:

    QSFP-100G-CWDM4, best QSFP-100G-CWDM4 products for you - FS.COM

    In fact you should be able to run up to 400GBE, though I haven't seen any optics for this yet.

    400G CFP8 FR8 and LR8 Transceivers with PAM4 Technology - Fiber Transceiver Solution

    If you are wondering, MTP and MPO are basically the same connectors. MTP is a premium brand of MPO connector (US Conec), in the way that Kleenex are premium bathroom tissues. Here is some more information:

    The Difference Between MTP vs MPO Connectors

    I've used both MTP and MPO and haven't seen a functional difference, but perhaps others can chime in.
     
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  13. Mallard612

    Mallard612 New Member

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    Thank you again. From your previous post, it gave me enough information to start with and I've since read a ton and watched a bunch of YouTube videos to get up to speed. Now a lot of the other posts are making sense, it was just finding a starting point.
     
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  14. tullnd

    tullnd Member

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    So, my installation at my home got complicated with the second floor ethernet installation. I realized that running Cat6 from the basement, up to my attic, then back down into each of the rooms I wanted multiple drops in, meant running several groups of Cat6 cabling through the walls, as I couldn't do it all in one bundle.

    My eventual solution was to drop a second switch in an upstairs closet and simply run fiber between the floors. I do have a 10Gb SFP+ port in my basement switch, but not in the one I picked for upstairs, so I'm currently just using a single SFP 1Gb interlink(although I could do a bonded 2x1Gb SFP setup if I don't upgrade this upstairs switch eventually).

    I looked into a lot of the bundled fiber options. For me, after messaging the FS.com people, I managed to negotiate a decent deal. I purchased two runs of duplex OM4 MM with LC connectors, and also an additional two single mode fibers with LC connectors. Basically that's four useable connections. Two sets of OM4 MM and two single mode. This way I could use the cheaper OM4 MM duplex cables for now and still have the single mode fibers for BIDI options later on or for higher speeds.

    I think I ordered enough to have about an extra 10 feet on either end(in case I move my wall mount rack in the basement) and the total was around $100. This included the proper sheathing options for in-wall installation and I also upgraded it a bit for armor level, as I wouldn't have that many super sharp bends(so I didn't need the added flexibility). Since then, I think FS.com has even more flexible and still armored options, so this may not be an issue.

    I can't imagine going beyond a 100Gb link in my home environment in the next 10 years. So I'm not really worrying about multiple links even. I really did the redundancy of both in case of failure.
     
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  15. acquacow

    acquacow Active Member

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    You can always run 10gig over cat5/6, trunked copper uplinks would get you plenty of bandwidth between switches/etc...
     
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  16. mstone

    mstone Active Member

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    Most home networks don't have enough endpoints to utilize a trunk very well.
     
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  17. pricklypunter

    pricklypunter Well-Known Member

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    And you did place each run at opposite ends of the wall/ house etc? Mice, like humans, can't be in 2 places at once :D:p
     
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  18. Aluminum

    Aluminum Active Member

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    Do it right, run conduit if you're doing or even thinking about being halfway serious about fiber (like more than just a run from computer room to basement/isp entry etc).

    Otherwise just overrun cat6 everywhere, never can have too many drops. Never forget the pull strings either.
     
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  19. Jerry Renwick

    Jerry Renwick Active Member

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    I've got the cat6a trunk cable from FS.COM. They are well constructed. Deploy my networks easier and faster than those I purchased before. Cat6a Trunk Cables | FS.COM
     
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  20. acquacow

    acquacow Active Member

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    Oh my gosh, that is even reasonably priced... and they have a 45ft run!!

    Now I have to re-measure the one I made out of leftover cat5 and see if 45 will be enough...
     
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