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Deploying a Green Backhaul Network With Harmony

December 06, 2016
Posted By: Greg Friesen, VP of Product Management at DragonWave Inc.

The common focus of network equipment is capacity, network cost, and operational efficiencies.  However, power consumption is also becoming a more important factor.  Many operators have energy reduction targets, and reducing backhaul power consumption helps meet these targets, and can also help reduce recurring operating costs related to energy.

The easiest and most common item to look at is power consumption.  While this is important, one also needs to take into account the capacity being delivered.  A common metric used in backhaul networks is Watts/Gbit delivered.  Harmony EnhancedMC is leading the industry in this category, delivering in excess of 20Mbps per Watt. Another important step in reducing power consumption comes through equipment integration.  As the number of devices is reduced, commonality allows the total site power consumption to be reduced.  Harmony microwave products enable this through their all-outdoor capabilities, with integrated Ethernet and switching functions eliminating the need for an indoor unit and switch, as well as the associated power needed to provide cooling for that device.

In addition, Harmony products are implementing other innovative power saving features.  For example, in a dual radio system, if the capacity for both radios is not required, the system can intelligently put the 2nd system into a low power standby mode.  Furthermore, if Harmony is operating in good weather, transmit power can be reduced further decreasing power consumption of the system during a clear weather period.  This combination of features can reduce power consumption by 30-50% without degrading performance.

Moving forward, with a growing emphasis on energy usage, we expect to see increased customer demand for these types of features, and a desire to find other ways to reduce network energy consumption such as through further site integration.  DragonWave offers a very green solution today, and will continue to innovate for the environment in the future.

How important is minimizing power consumption for your network strategy?  Does this need to be a net positive business case?

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