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We have fiber optic internet coming to our office soon, and i would like to know if it would be worth installing fiber NIC's in our servers and machines instead of using cat6 gigabit.

Here is the layout:

(fiber) cable from distribution point in basement -> fiber optic modem -> Network gateway (debian lenny) -> network computers and servers

I was wondering if it would be worth installing a fiber connection from the modem to the gateway and the network clients. Will the costs be worth it in terms of speed, latency and stability?

Thanks, RayQuang

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2 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

It depends on the speed of your Internet connection but it's highly unlikely the amount of latency you get on your LAN or lack of bandwidth (especially running gigabit over CAT6) is going to negatively affect traffic going to the Internet where you're likely to pick up far more latency just hopping through your ISP.

Is your Internet connection >1GBps? If not then you're unlikely to see any benefit (in terms of speed and latency) from installing fiber.

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To the best of my knowledge, it is 200mbos to local connections and 15mbps for international connections (symmetric up/down) –  RayQuang Jan 7 '11 at 10:01
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Fiber NIC are expensive, both in servers and on switches, for a small benefit, if any.

Moreover, fiber patch cables are more fragile that their copper counterpart, thus more prone to failures.

Use fiber when you have more than 300 feet of distance, or for inter-buildings links, when an electrical isolation is necessary. For the other uses, copper cables are sufficient !

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