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Navigating long-haul network monitoring

Long-haul networks

Long-haul networks can generate enormous volumes of data traffic, so need monitoring tools to efficiently capture, store, and analyse the data (Credit: greenbutterfly/

Long-haul networks span vast distances, so managing the complexity of interconnected elements is crucial. These networks often incorporate diverse technologies, including fibre optics and satellite links, which demand versatile monitoring tools capable of accommodating these technological variations.

This is extremely important, as even minor delays or latency spikes can significantly impact performance, and the need for prompt detection and response to issues is critical. In addition, as long-haul networks can generate enormous volumes of data traffic, they need monitoring tools to efficiently capture, store, and analyse this data to identify patterns, trends, and anomalies. Another challenge lies in the terrain, network infrastructure may be located in remote or difficult-to-access areas, and exposed to various environmental factors, so monitoring equipment needs to be resilient.

Terrestrial networks present their own set of challenges, where monitoring terrestrial components like fibre optic cables, microwave links, and terrestrial wireless systems requires specialised tools and techniques. Urban congestion and rural accessibility issues can influence monitoring strategies, likewise, security concerns related to data interception and cyber threats. Subsea networks, on the other hand, provide unique challenges such as underwater deployment and repair, as well as vulnerability to damage from ship anchors, fishing activities, geological events, and marine life. Oceanographic conditions such as currents, tides, and saltwater corrosion can also degrade cable performance over time. Limited accessibility to remote or deep-sea regions further complicates maintenance and repair efforts. Moreover, international collaboration among telecommunications companies, governments, and regulatory bodies is often required to ensure network reliability and security. Both types of networks share concerns such as security, but their unique environments and infrastructure demand tailored monitoring strategies for reliable operation.

Products for long-haul network monitoring on the market now

Vendors of commercial solutions for testing, monitoring and analysing long-haul networks include Adva, which offers optical networking solutions such as wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) systems, optical amplifiers, and network management software for monitoring and controlling subsea and terrestrial long-haul networks.

Anritsu provides test and measurement instruments for networks, including spectrum analysers, optical time-domain reflectometers (OTDRs), and optical modulation analysers for testing and monitoring long-haul optical links. The Access Master MT9083C2 is able to test long haul fibre spans up to 200km.

Baur testing and measurement technology is designed to prevent damage to networks and systems, while allowing for accurate planning of investments for maintenance and fault location. Products and services include cable fault location; cable testing and diagnostics for reliability of cable systems; and dielectric insulation testing.

Cisco offers a range of networking equipment and solutions, including routers, switches, and network management software that can be used for monitoring terrestrial and subsea long-haul networks.

Exfo specialises in test and measurement solutions for optical networks, including high-speed optical spectrum analysers, OTDRs, and dispersion analysers for characterising and troubleshooting long-haul fibre optic links. The company’s FTB-7600E OTDR, with a dynamic range of up to 50.5 dB, can test over distances of up to 200km to locate faults on long links without compromising on resolution and distance.

Ciena provides a suite of optical networking solutions, including optical transport systems, packet networking platforms, and software-defined networking (SDN) solutions for monitoring and controlling long-haul networks.

Infinera specialises in optical networking solutions, offering products such as high-capacity optical transmission systems, coherent optical transport platforms, and network management software for long-haul network monitoring.

NetBeez offers a selection of network monitoring and performance management solutions. These include active network monitoring agents, synthetic monitoring tools, and network troubleshooting software for monitoring long-haul network performance.

Nokia provides networking infrastructure solutions, including optical transport platforms, IP/MPLS routers, and network management systems that support monitoring and management of long-haul networks.

PacketLight Networks specialises in optical transport solutions. The company offers compact DWDM and OTN platforms, as well as optical amplifiers and passive optical components for monitoring and optimising long-haul network performance.

Lumentum’s Inline Optical Tap Detectors are used to measure optical fibre power while preserving the continuity of the transmitted signal inside the core of the fibre. They can be used in 100/400G long haul, metro, FTTX, and data centre optical networks, as well as optical networking subsystems where low insertion loss and low PDL optical components are required.

Spirent provides test automation and network emulation solutions for long-haul network testing, including high-density traffic generators, impairment emulators, and performance monitoring tools for validating network resilience and performance.

Available from Tejas Networks is a range of optical networking and packet networking products, including optical transport platforms, packet transport switches, and network management systems for monitoring and managing long-haul networks.

Viavi offers a number of test and measurement tools for the whole life cycle of a submarine cable network. The range is designed to help operators maximise transmission capacity and network availability. Products include OTDR and ODM modules, spectrum analysers and hand-held probes and network testers.

Yokogawa can provide a range of test and measurement instruments for optical networks, including optical spectrum analysers, optical power meters, and OTDRs for verifying signal quality and troubleshooting long-haul links.

This is not an exhaustive list. If you provide products and solutions for long-haul network monitoring and would like your company to be included, please let us know:

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