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4 tips for choosing Passive Optical Distribution Frame

4 Tips for Choosing Passive Optical Distribution Frame

The (ODF) Optical Distribution Frame is a passive storage and distribution tool that enables efficient interconnections between cables for seamless communications. It is used to integrate the fiber terminations, end fiber adapters and fiber splices and excess cabling into a single modular unit. Thus, a passive optical distribution frame is an ideal device for efficient cable management, and also for protecting the cabling infrastructure from environmental extremities and manhandling. It is installed as a central cross-connection unit in the main distribution area from where the connections constituting the data center are stored and maintained. The optical distribution frame of passive type is available in various sizes and is mainly made of cold-rolled sheets that offer it beautiful structure and reliable locking mechanism. The ODF can be installed outdoors as well as indoors. The other popular materials used in manufacturing ODFs are thermo-set fiberglass and reinforced polyester body.

Various ODF types you can choose from

Wall or pole-mount passive ODFs: This ODF is a portable structure resembling a box in design and is fixed directly on a pole or a wall. The number of connections to be stored and maintained in the wall-mount ODF is fewer, and so, the fibers of smaller counts can ideally be secured in this distribution frame. The number of fiber counts to be stored in the wall-mount ODF is pre-determined.

Rack mounted ODF: This can be called an industry-grade ODF as it is capable of handling a large number of fiber counts. A large-scale fiber-optic network can suitably be terminated, spliced and managed in this rack-mount ODF. Mostly, it is available in a 19” rack mount design and can be fit into any standard transmission rack easily.

Why you need an ODF

A data center is the storehouse of a large number of optical fiber connections. The use of a large number of interconnects, splitters, extenders and adapters can easily convert a data center into a messy warehouse where the fiber cables are spread all over the place. Such scary sight is detrimental to the security of the connections too. The need to manage the cabling infrastructure and to ensure the longevity of the network can be best realized with the help of an ODF that does the job of fiber splicing and storing the fiber terminations securely in a tight-locked space.

Important benefits of an ODF are:

  • The ODF offers an ideal storage solution for connection storage of fiber cables. It is suitable for managing the fiber cable connections and also for distributing the fiber cable connections across space in an organized manner.
  • It is an ideal solution for the fiber splicing that defines the optical connector installation, and for fiber terminations
  • It offers suitable security solution for carrying out optical fiber communications across the network and reduces the instances of faulty connections as each fiber passes through a pre-determined and earmarked slot/passage. This makes the maintenance easier and helps identify the faulty connections faster when there is any instance of downtime or short circuit.
  • Thus, the ODF helps in carrying out the maintenance schedule easily and also ensures correct allocation and installation of fibers; tracking of connections is also made easier.
  • It is made of material with high mechanical strength, strong resistance to corrosion and has exceptional waterproofing capabilities offering fair protection to the cabling infrastructure against the environmental extremities.

Some tips for choosing the passive ODF ideal for your need

  1. Outline the application need: It is essential to outline the need of installing an ODF. Some ODFs are provided with a pre-determined number of slots; while other manufacturers are providing more customized solutions where the fiber counts to be stored can be increased as per the need. Thus, if space is small or you have fewer fiber cables to deal with, you can think of buying the wall-mount ODF.
  2. Easy accessibility and retrieval: The data centers of present times are undergoing lot many upgradations and expansions. Thus, the easy access to the cabling infrastructure is necessary and so, you can select from the ODF with doors or with open sides. Look for manual along with the product to find out how you can expand the network easily; also, try to understand the color codes provided in the ODF that helps in easy tracking.
  3. Level of protection: Think whether you need ODF only for distribution purpose or you need it as a protective device to carry out the networking schedule in an open space. This helps you determine the ODF type that is fit for both outdoors and indoors. The material choice should be picked according to the type of environment ODF is supposed to get exposed to.
  4. Compatibility with the types of connectors: What type of connectors you are going to require in your network is another premise worth pondering upon. The makers provide the ODF boxes with clear information about its compatibility with the connector choices. Picking the ODF according to its compatibility with the connector option enhances the viability of the product and offers you ideal solution in all respects.

Thus, ODF buying is an important process of network installation in a data center. The user should be well-versed with the product options available in the market so that the purchase process does not require undue repetitions. Correct knowledge and usage idea can help the buyer pick the option that complements his needs the best and offers him true value for the money.

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