Undoubtedly, technology, in particular the internet, has revolutionized our lives. Businesses must carefully consider the environmental impact of relentless innovation as they take on digital transformation. Optical fiber can deliver a greener IT environment, increase bandwidth, and scale for the future.
Aside from carbon emissions, the extraction of raw copper ore causes environmental damage to surrounding ecosystems, significant land and water use, pollution from mining operations, and other environmental toxins. In contrast, we make fiber optic cables from silicon dioxide (SiO2), produced from two of earth's most abundant materials: silicon and oxygen. Among the glasses, fused amorphous silicon dioxide, also known as silica, is the dominating base material for optical fiber communications because it has many favorable properties, including a wide wavelength range and good optical transparency. People most often recognize it in the form of quartz.
Further, fiber is future-proof with its capability to handle the introduction of new devices and technologies. The ability to turn wavelengths on or off on demand supports easy provisioning of critical services and quick scaling for a growing business. Installed fiber prepares organizations for future growth needs of up to 15-20 years. The same fiber today will adapt as data demands increase, while the less-sustainable coaxial cable service will undoubtedly regress further.
Fiber cable allows for better airflow in the rack and cabinet for increased cooling efficiency. Fiber optic wiring is also thinner and lighter than copper. A 0.7-inch diameter optical cable supports the equivalent of 108 copper cables, 5-inches wide.
Another benefit to fiber compared with copper wire cable is lower energy consumption. Depending on distance, a 10G BASE-T transceiver in a copper system uses 2 to 5 watts per port at each end of the cable. A comparable optical transceiver needs less than 1 watt to transmit the same signal. That means a data center with 10,000 connections uses 50kW less power - a significantly reduced cost (financial and ecological) thanks to less power-hungry optical technology. Less power consumption decreases carbon dioxide emissions and reduces heat generation.
Optical fiber can enhance green data center installations by utilizing high-port-density electronics with meager power and cooling requirements. Optical systems require far fewer switches and line cards than copper for equivalent bandwidth. It would take three copper chassis switches to match the bandwidth of one optical chassis switch, allowing data centers and businesses to eliminate some power-hungry cooling systems when adopting more eco-friendly network infrastructures.
Sustainability stands shoulder to shoulder today with increasing revenues, reducing costs and providing a positive customer experience. Businesses can leverage a wide range of technologies to achieve digital sustainability initiatives. Popular tech trends, such as AI, IoT, Big Data, and edge computing, have proven critical to ensuring a more sustainable future. AI, for example, has advanced sustainable decision-making through complex data analysis and management in climate change, air and water security, biodiversity conservation, disaster resilience, and more.
Phonoscope Fiber's expansive, 100% fiber optic footprint supports next-generation, cloud-ready strategies, digital transformation and convergence, and blindingly fast data transfer. Contact one of our solutions engineers today to discuss leveraging our sustainable backbone infrastructure to implement cost-effective, eco-friendly network solutions.