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Everything You Need to Know About Dark Fiber: Pros & Cons

By: SmallBizClub


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Dark fiber is turning out to be a popular choice for organizations and businesses that want higher connectivity speed. The technology also allows them to have more control over the connectivity. It has encouraged many businesses to start investing in dark fiber and make use of the technology.Source

This article will address all the details, along with the pros and cons of dark fiber, so people know more about this high-speed technology.

What is Dark Fiber?

Dark fiber refers to the unused fiber that has no running traffic or data. Typically, there is plenty of dark fiber present in the organization’s telecom and networking departments that remain unused. This happens when companies overestimate the length of fiber while planning to implement it in an organization.

It is typical since it may help with future extensions and avoid problems such as shortages, which may end up costing the business plenty of money. The reason it is called “Dark” is due to the fact that there is no light pulsing through the wire. Hence, there is no data transmission occurring.

Organizations can implement dark fiber into numerous aspects of their operations, but that is not always a popular choice.

Dark Fiber Uses

There are different scenarios when businesses would seek to make use of dark fiber. They include:

  1. Increasing Bandwidth

Dark fiber can definitely give the company’s internet bandwidth a boost. It can assist in reaching up to 1 GBPS speed at a competitive cost compared to local ISP. However, in the long run, the cost can be higher.

  1. Make the Servers Secure

Another key benefit of dark fiber is that it may help in keeping the servers safe and secure. There are certain cases and applications in security which may benefit the dark fiber users more compared to typical users. With the help of dark fiber, organizations can easily improve overall security during the real-time transmission of data. Moreover, it also offers flexible security options, which help businesses configure security to their liking.

  1. Data Center Interconnect (DCI)

Dark fiber networks are also useful for providing high-capacity connections between two data centers. Businesses can take total control of the system and extend their data services as well. These data servers provide plenty of flexibility and control over the data center networks.

Pros and Cons of Dark Fiber

There are plenty of advantages and disadvantages of dark fiber. Mostly, the benefits may depend on the overall needs of the businesses or an organization.

Pros of Dark Fiber

  1. Higher Control
  2. Improved Overall Performance
  3. Improved Security
  4. Scalability

Cons of Dark Fiber

  1. High Cost
  2. Lack of Availability
  3. Constant Monitoring

Advantages of Dark Fiber

Let us take a closer look at the pros of dark fiber for businesses.

  •   Higher Control

With the help of dark fiber, organizations can ensure higher control over the data compared to typical ISP services. Since dark fiber is a leased connection, it gives users control over what data travels through the fiber. On many occasions, businesses have reported better latency and bandwidth.

Moreover, the dark fiber also ensures that it offers the customer control over the system, which makes it easier for them to make changes according to their personalized taste.

  •   Improved Overall Performance

With the help of dark fiber, businesses can scale up their speed significantly. The feature called Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) helps boost the servers and data transfer speed.

Apart from speed, dark fiber also helps businesses reduce the overall cost. This is due to the fact that technology requires less power compared to the traditional methods.

When comparing the progress with components such as copper and cable, dark fiber was more cost-effective and cheaper. Moreover, dark fiber allows seamless data transfer without any interference, which might be found in other materials.

  •   Improved Security

Dark fibers also ensure that the security remains optimum and intact throughout the period. It only offers point-to-point connections, which prevents any third-party interference. The technology can be self-managed and controlled within a company.

It proves to be a dedicated line that can be controlled with the help of light-generation equipment. This makes dark fiber a component and reliable means of securing the business data, including confidential information.

  •   Scalability

As we mentioned, dark fiber offers complete control of data and networks. It helps the business turn it off and on according to their liking. It works unlike other components, which require power all the time to ensure functionality. The fiber lines can be stretched into different channels, which makes extension and scalability easy.

Disadvantages of Dark Fiber

Despite the numerous benefits, there are a few disadvantages of dark fiber. They include:

  •   High Cost

Fiber is relatively more expensive than other components in the industry. The improvements in the latency are not massive either, which raises questions over going through the rigorous process of implementation. Most of the business may need minor changes and not a complete dark fiber overhaul.

  •   Lack of Availability

There are areas where fiber connections may not be available. This is especially true for rural areas with little development. Moreover, there are chances that the installation company did leave additional fiber during the installation process. It will be hard to implement dark fiber extension if that’s the case.

Chances are that the fiber installation may have happened plenty of years ago. And as a result, most of the additional fiber is already in use by the business.

  •   Constant Monitoring

Dark fiber requires constant monitoring of the system to work seamlessly. It may require the business to partner up with a company which will increase the overall operation cost.

Final Thoughts

Like any business implementation, there are always pros and cons when it comes to dark fiber. Dark fiber solutions may prove efficient for most businesses and offer significant returns on investment. It is always recommended to talk to professionals first before making a decision.

Author: Andrew Dowitski is a cybersecurity specialist based in Europe. When he’s not consulting with his clients or writing about the latest cybersecurity tech, you can find him flying kites with his two sons.

Published: March 31, 2022

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