Optical TAPs come across as simple passive devices, and generally, we tend not to talk much about them. However, this is not true because they have a significant role to play in the entire network architecture. The entire monitoring starts in layer 1, and if there are errors at this stage, then these errors are carried forward across the entire system at higher layers. This implies that even the probe will have problems to produce useful results if there are errors in layer 1.
Although the optical TAP is a passive device, this device must be tested to ensure the quality standards. The measurement of an optical TAP cannot be done precisely with any cheap power meter. A low-quality power meter would test every link, but there would be several shortcomings as listed below.
- The process is prolonged and time-consuming. In several cases, not every link is tested. A typical power meter would long delay the testing process on optical TAPs, especially on MTP TAPs.
- The repeat precision is reduced which means if you measure a link several times you get diverted results. It is likely that you would get a good result on the first measurement but a bad, maybe out of specification, on the second measurement. This can lead to risking the quality standards.
An optical power meter is not the right tool to measure an optical TAP. An optical power meter is designed to measure fibres and not optical splitters. "Cubro searched long for a commercial solution to get a good fast measured repeatable result, but there was no solution available. Eventually, we decided to develop our own product. We started a development process with the technical university of Vienna. The result of this long research and development process, is the Cubro Optomat, a fully automated test solution for optical TAPs. Our research allowed us to identify common mistakes, issues, and challenges associated with the measurement tool power meter. Based on these insights, we developed Cubro Optomat, which we verified and tested to see results. We are proud of this new product which offers several advantages compared to the previous tool used for measuring an optical TAP", said Christian Ferenz, CEO-Cubro Network Visibility.
Cubro Optomat Advantages
- Highly automated and integrated into the quality reporting
- Ultrafast measurement to measure every link
- Great value for money
- Outstanding repeatable results (see picture below)
- Temperature compensated
- Automated self-calibration
- The solution for LC and MTP connectors
The image shows the measurement row from an MTP TAP 8 links. Each is measured eight times in 10 seconds, and you can also see the repeated result which confirms the accuracy. A one-time measurement is not enough, especially for multimode TAPs.
About Cubro Network Visibility
For carriers, data centres, defence organisations and all enterprises who want to secure and manage the growing network traffic by having complete network visibility, Cubro Network Visibility offers solutions that deliver high ROI, cutting-edge features, and exceptional reliability. Unlike other companies, Cubro does not burden customers with annual port and software licensing fees. Our network visibility products offer simple and scalable solutions through applications like monitoring, filtering, aggregation, and metadata extraction which result in improved network performance.