Fibre ring topology
Network reliability and robustness are critical factors for any organization in the digital age. One approach that has proven effective in achieving these goals is using a fibre ring topology by running multiple redundant geographically different fibre paths to the cabinet.
Fibre loops, also known as fibre rings, refer to a network setup where each node or building connects to the next in a loop formation using fibre optic cables. This circular arrangement creates a highly efficient, high-capacity network architecture with several notable advantages.
Firstly, fibre loops provide superior redundancy. If a fibre is accidentally broken or a node fails in a fibre loop network, the data can still travel the other way around the ring. This failover capability ensures your network stays up and running, even under less-than-optimal conditions.
Secondly, the use of fibre optic cables in this architecture ensures high-speed data transmission. Fibre optic cables transmit data at the speed of light, significantly outperforming traditional copper cables. This makes fibre loops ideal for data-heavy applications and services.
Additionally, fibre loops allow for easy scalability. As your organization grows and more nodes must be added to the network, they can seamlessly integrate into the existing fibre loop. This makes it an excellent choice for businesses expecting future growth.
A good example of this is laid out in the diagram below. You can see that there are six distinct blocks on our diagram CAB A to CAB F, in CAB A sits a core switch and in each of the other cabs an access switch with a minimum of 2 x 10Gbps SFP+ ports plus access ports for client devices. Each block has a network cabinet and two twelve-core OM4 fibres running to each.
Each access switch is linked back to the core via two 10Gbps trunked ports, effectively giving each switch an uplink bandwidth of 20Gbps.
It is sometimes easier to think of this as two separate fibre runs one going clockwise, the other going anti-clockwise. It is in effect a star topology achieved with a ring infrastructure.
Fibre ring topology diagram
In the event of one of the twelve core fibres breaking, traffic would continue to flow to all switches in the network due to the geographically diverse fibre routes, albeit traffic would be flowing at a reduced rate of 10Gbps per switch.