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Various protection mechanisms are used as part of the overall architecture in optical networks. Each protection technique meets a different set of requirements in terms of network availability/reliability. Amplifier features and reliability choices that lead to the single rail versus dual rail architectural choices are not obvious and bear some investigation. This paper explores single rail architectures with highly reliable amplifiers and dual rail architectures with conventional amplifiers using reliability predictions. End-to-end availability and number of maintenance events per year are computed for such single and dual rail systems using generic designs, generic failure rates for the equipment and parameterizing on the fiber failure rate.