Optical interface failure rates

Stephen Sprunk ssprunk at cisco.com
Mon Dec 23 15:59:56 UTC 2002

Thus spake "David Waitzman" <djw at bbn.com>
> Historically, optical interfaces have had lower reliability (MTBF) than
> electrical interfaces, of the same rate, due to a high burnout rate for
> lasers.  This has apparently changed now, and optical failure rates are
> lower.
> Do customers perceive this as true?

My experience is that product failure is almost exclusively due to design or
manufacturing problems, or customer damage (e.g. floods, ESD).

The best resource for this data would be your vendors' RMA departments.

> And in terms of all optical interface types, if you want roughly 10Gbps
> speed but are agnostic about how, what about OC192C POS interfaces
> versus 10Gig Ether?

In theory, both MTBF and price will be lower for the simpler technology, but
by the same token that simpler technology may not support all the features
you need.  It's hard to say what's best if you don't list your criteria.


More information about the NANOG mailing list