Advantages of Optical Switching | Disadvantages of Optical Switching

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of Optical Switching. It mentions Optical Switching advantages or benefits and Optical Switching disadvantages or drawbacks. It also describes Optical Switching basics.

What is Optical Switching?

The process of controlling destination of individual optical signals through optical switches is known as optical switching. In this process high bit rate optical signals are switched between various optical lines.

Optical Switches are of various types viz. purely optical, purelt electronic and hybrid of both. Following are the types of optical switching.
• Optical Space Division Switching
• Optical Wavelength Division Switching
• Optical Time Division Switching
• Optical Hybrid Switching

Optical Switching

Refer Optical Switching basics and types>>, Optical Communication >> and What is Optical Switch >>.

Optical switching is further divided into following types.
• OCS-Optical Circuit Switching: It uses routers between source and destination for switching.
• OBS-Optical Burst Switching: The data in bursts form are switched optically. No buffering is used.
• OPS-Optical Packet Switching: The data in packets form are switched optically. They are buffered before forwarded to the next hop.
Refer Optical Circuit Switching vs Optical Burst Switching vs Optical Packet Switching >>. Each of these optical switching has their respective advantages and disadvantages as described below.

Benefits or advantages of Optical Switching

Following are the benefits or advantages of Optical Switching:
➨Reduces congestion found in previous networks as optical signals are transmitted as they occur.
➨Optical switches are more efficient and more faster compare to copper switches. This makes optical switching faster and efficient.
➨Optical signals are not affected due to interference as found in EM wave propagation.
➨It provides better security as optical signals travel through fiber optic cables and not through air.
➨(Optical Circuit Switching:) natural QoS levels are supported, commercially available
➨(Optical Burst Switching:) Higher flexibility, Efficient utilization of network
➨(Optical Packet Switching:) Reduced size of node, very much flexible utilization of network, very efficient network utilization

Drawbacks or disadvantages of Optical Switching

Following are the disadvantages of Optical Switching:
➨Installation requires expert technicians as well as specialized tools. This increases cost of the project.
➨The environment should be free from pollution before laying of the optical switches and other optical components in the network. This is time consuming and laborious task.
➨Optical switches are not suitable for low bandwidth transmission of data.
➨(Optical Circuit Switching:) high wavelength consumption, lower flexibility, low utilization, larger node size
➨(Optical Burst Switching:) Effort for traffic aggregation is complex, Resilience more complex, control is complex
➨(Optical Packet Switching:) Higher control complexity, requires more effort for the packet recording

Also refer advantages and disadvantages of fiber optic system >>.


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