Category Archives: SFP+ Transceiver

10G SFP+ DAC Cables for Intel X520 Adapter

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SFP+ Direct Attach Cables integrate SFP+ compatible connectors with a copper cable into a low-latency, energy-efficient, and low-cost solution. DAC are available in several lengths up to 10 meters (33 ft) and are currently the best cabling option for short 10 Gigabit Ethernet connections.

10G-sfp-passive-copper-cable

Top-of-Rack (ToR) switches use the SFP+ form factor to provide high port density 10 Gigabit Ethernet in an efficient 1U form factor. Server and network storage vendors use 10 Gigabit SFP+ network adapters on their equipment for the same reason. DAC simplify rack cabling and termination. Each server and network storage device can be directly connected to the ToR switch, eliminating the need for intermediate patch panels. DAC are flexible enough for vertical cabling management within the rack architecture. The only cabling outside the rack is the ToR switch uplink connection to the aggregation layer, making moving racks easy.

DAC for Top-of-Rack (ToR) switches application

On the market, there are many 10 Gigabit SFP+ network adapters available. Customers require flexible and scalable network adapters to meet the rigorous requirements of running mission-critical applications in virtualized and unified storage environments. Among Intel X520 adapters seem very popular. Do you use Intel X520 adapters for your servers? Can’t find right and cheap SFP+ DAC cables for the Intel X520? This blog will give the solution.

Intel X520 adapters are provided with 4 models: X520-DA2, X520-SR1, X520-SR2 and X520-LR1. X520-SR1 is shipped with 1 SR SFP+ Optic and X520-SR2 is shipped with 2 SR SFP+ Optics. X520-LR1 is shipped with 1 LR SFP+ Optic. Among X520-DA2 has dual SFP+ ports and has no SFP+ optics shipped, which is the most suitable one for direct attach copper cables and the most popular one on the market.

X520-DA2 X520-SR1 X520-SR2 X520-LR1
Dual-port DAC Single-port SR fiber Dual-port SR fiber Single-port LR fiber
X520-DA2 X520-SR1 X520-SR2 X520-LR1

By checking up the Intel X520 adapters data sheet, SFP+ DAC twinaxial cables and SFP+ optics that can be used with X520 adapters are as the following.

Part Name Intel Product Code FS.COM Supply
1m SFP+ DAC XDACBL1M $11.00 for same-day shipping
3m SFP+ DAC XDACBL3M $15.00 for same-day shipping
5m SFP+ DAC XDACBL5M $24.00 for same-day shipping
SR SFP+ Optic E10GSFPSR $16.00 for same-day shipping
LR SFP+ Optic E10GSFPLR $34.00 for same-day shipping

SFP+ direct attach copper twinax cables offer the smallest 10G form factor and a small overall cable diameter for higher density and optimized rack space in 10G uplinks and are ideal for switch and network card connection. FS.COM provides full series of 10G SFP+ cable, which covers a wide range of applications. Both generic and brand compatible versions are available. All SFP+ cables are 100% tested to ensure the compatible and quality.

Still Confused about CVR-X2-SFP10G Compatibility?

The Cisco OneX Converter Module (model CVR-X2-SFP10G), also known as a converter module, is a hot-swappable input/output (I/O) device that slides into a 10-Gigabit Ethernet X2 slot on a switch. It converts the 10-Gigabit X2 interface into a single 10-Gigabit SFP+ interface. It is supported on many platforms using X2 interfaces. Which platforms are they? In fact, many people are confused about the CVR-X2-SFP10G compatibility. In this blog, I will give some knowledge about the compatibility for Cisco OneX CVR-X2-SFP10G Converter Module.

Cisco OneX CVR-X2-SFP10G Converter Module

CVR-X2-SFP10G Supported SFP+ Modules and Patch Cords
Not all SFP+ modules can be used for Cisco CVR-X2-SFP10G OneX converter module. Table below lists the SFP+ modules and twinax cables that available.

SFP+ Module Number Description
SFP-10G-SR Cisco 10GBASE-SR SFP-Plus transceiver module for MMF, 850-nm wavelength
SFP-H10GB-CU1M Twinax cable assembly, 1m, 30 AWG
SFP-H10GB-CU3M Twinax cable assembly, 3m, 30 AWG
SFP-H10GB-CU5M Twinax cable assembly, 5m, 24 AWG

Table below lists the fiber-optic cabling specifications for the SFP+ modules that you install in the converter module. Each port must match the wavelength specifications on the other end of the cable, and the cable must not exceed the stipulated cable length. The SFP modules using fiber-optic connections need fiber-optic cables with LC/PC or LC/UPC connectors.

SFP Module Wavelength Fiber Type Core Size (micron) Modal Bandwidth (MHz/km) Cable Distance
10GBASE-SR 850 MMF 62.5

62.5

50

50

50

160

200

400

500

2000

85 feet (26 m)

108 feet (33 m)

216 feet (66 m)

269 feet (82 m)

984 feet (300 m)

CVR-X2-SFP10G Supported Switch Series and Models
There are many switches that have X2 ports, but not all can be supported for CVR-X2-SFP10G OneX converter module. According to Cisco 10-Gigabit Ethernet Transceiver Modules Compatibility Matrix, the CVR-X2-SFP10G is supported on Catalyst 3100 Blade Switches, Nexus 7000 Series Switches, Catalyst 3560-E Series Switches, Catalyst 3750-E Series Switches, Catalyst 4500 Series Switches, Catalyst 4900 Series Switches,Cisco ME 4900 Series Switches, Catalyst 6500 Series Switches.

Switch Series Model
Catalyst 3100 Blade Switches WS-CBS3110X-S-I, WS-CBS3120X-S, WS-CBS3130X-S
Nexus 7000 Series N7K-M108X2-12L
Catalyst 3560-E Series WS-C3560E-24TD, WS-C3560E-24PD , WS-C3560E-48TD, WS-C3560E-48PD, WS-C3560E-48PDF, WS-C3560E-12D,WS-C3560E-12SD
Catalyst 3750-E Series WS-C3750E-24TD, WS-C3750E-24PD, WS-C3750E-48TD, WS-C3750E-48PD,WS-C3750E-48PDF
Catalyst 4500 Series WS-X4516-10GE,WS-X4013+10GE, WS-X45-SUP6-E, WS-X4606-X2-E,WS-X45-SUP6L-E
Catalyst 4900 Series WS-C4948-10GE,WS-C4928-10GE,WS-C4900M,WS-X4904-10GE,WS-X4908-10GE
ME 4900 Series ME-4924-10GE
Catalyst 6500 Series VS-S720-10G-3C,VS-S720-10G-3CXL,WS-X6708-10G-3C,WS-X6708-10G-3CXL,WS-X6716-10G-3C,WS-X6716-10G-3CXL,VS-S2T-10G,VS-S2T-10G-XL,WS-X6816-10G-2T,WS-X6816-10G-2TXL, WS-X6908-10G-2T,WS-X6908-10G-2TXL

How to Convert a QSFP+ Port to a SFP+ Port?

As data communications technology migrates from 10GbE to 40GbE and beyond, it is often necessary to connect 40GbE equipment with existing 10GbE equipment. As we know 40GbE NIC or switch usually equipped with QSFP+ ports, and 10GbE switch usually equipped with SFP+ ports. That is to say we must know how to convert a QSFP+ port to a SFP+ port. At present, there exists three ways to solve this problem. I will explain it in this blog.

QSFP+ to SFP+ Cable
As shown in the figure below, a QSFP+ to SFP+ cable consists of a QSFP+ transceiver on one end and four SFP+ transceivers on the other end. The QSFP+ transceiver connects directly into the QSFP+ access port on the switch. The cables use high-performance integrated duplex serial data links for bidirectional communication on four links simultaneously. The SFP+ links are designed for data rates up to 10 Gbps each. QSFP+ cable is available in passive and active two types. Passive QSFP+ cable has no signal amplification built into the cable assembly, therefore, their transmission distance is usually shorter than an active one.

qsfp-cable

QSFP+ to SFP+ Adapter (QSA)
You can convert a QSFP+ port to a SFP+ port using the QSFP+ to SFP+ adapter. QSA provides smooth connectivity between devices that use 40G QSFP+ ports and 10G SFP+ ports. Using this adapter, you can effectively use a QSFP+ module to connect to a lower-end switch or server that uses a SFP+ based module. This adapter is very easy to use. As shown in the figure below, just plug one side of the QSA in your QSFP+ port, and plug a SFP+ module into another side of the QSA. Then you can convert a QSFP+ port to a SFP+ port easily.

qsfp-to-sfp-adapter-qsa

QSFP+ Breakout Cable
As we know, parallel 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ modules use 8 out of 12 MPO/MTP interface fibers transmitting 4 x duplex (DX) channels (4 x transmit and 4 x receive). The QSFP+ breakout cable uses a pinless MTP connector on one end for interfacing with the QSFP port on the switch. The other end contains 4 duplex LC connectors, which provide connectivity to the SFP+ ports on the switch. Thus higher-speed equipment (40G QSFP+) can be connected to slower-speed equipment (10G SFP+) successfully.

QSFP+ Breakout Cable convert qsfp+ to sfp+

Conclusion
When you want to connect a QSFP+ port to a SFP+ port, you can use QSFP+ to SFP+ cable, QSFP+ to SFP+ adapter or QSFP+ breakout cable. All these three options can meet your needs. FS.COM provides a full range of compatible QSFP+ cable, which can be 100% compatible with your Cisco, Juniper, Arista and Brocade switches and routers. Or you want to use QSFP+ breakout cable, you can also find it in our Fiberstore.

Knowledge of SFP-10G-SR Price and Compatibility

The SFP-10G-SR is a Cisco multimode 10G transceiver. It supports up to 400m link length when uses 4700Mhz KM OM4 multimode fiber (MMF ). Usually, it was used in a switch SFP slot and support on a wide range of Cisco switches and routers. In the market, the SFP-10G-SR price is various, from $ 10 to $ 800. Which one should I choose? Knowledge of SFP-10G-SR price and compatibility will be provided in this blog.

Details about Cisco SFP-10G-SR
The SFP-10G-SR is a Cisco 10G SFP+ transceiver module. It supports bi-directional, serial-optical data transfers across fiber optic networks. It is equipped with two connectors: a SFP+ male edge connector that plugs into the switch’s SFP+ port, and a duplex LC female connector for the fiber optic patch cable. Since it is hot-pluggable compliant, the Cisco SFP-10G-SR transceiver can be plugged directly into any Cisco SFP+ based transceiver port, without the need to power down the host network system. This capability makes moves, adds, and changes quick and painless.

sfp-10g-sr-price

Knowledge of SFP-10G-SR Compatibility
When you buy SFP-10G-SR transceivers for your switch, you are told to buy “brand” SFP-10G-SR from your network equipment manufacturer in order to keep your system running properly and safely. The “brand” SFP-10G-SR compatibility may never have any issues and the price is therefore very high, usually several hundred dollars. But since the transceivers are all manufactured based on MSA (Multi-source Agreement), which strictly define the operating characteristics of optical transceivers so that system vendors may implement ports in their devices that allow MSA compliant transceivers produced by name brand, as well a third party vendors, to function properly. Transceivers that manufactured by third party vendors usually called compatible transceivers, such as Cisco compatible SFP-10G-SR transceivers. Usually, these compatible transceivers are tested on the corresponding switch before selling, therefore, the compatibility can also be ensured. Cisco SFP-10G-SR matrix can be found here.

sfp-10g-sr-compatibility

SFP-10G-SR Price Comparison
Since equipment SFP-10G-SR vendors all rely on MSAs when designing their transceivers, every supplier can produce the transceiver modules with the same functions. For this reason, there are many module suppliers from which customers can choose freely. As we all know, freedom of choice is the foundation of the efficient operation of markets. In order to gain a bigger share of the market, those vendors may act as efficiently as possible, which may drive down costs and offer cheaper transceivers to customers. Following table gives a SFP-10G-SR price comparison based on several popular transceivers vendors for your reference.

Vendor MODEL/MFG. PART Brand Price
CDW SFP-10G-SR Cisco $691.99
Router-Switch SFP-10G-SR Cisco $262.00
FluxLight SFP-10G-SR FluxLight $54.00
10Gtek SFP-10G-SR 10Gtek $18.88
 Fiberstore SFP-10G-SR Fiberstore $16.00

Conclusion
From the table above, we can see that the SFP-10G-SR price of the Fiberstore is the cheapest. We offer the exact same SFP-10G-SR transceiver as Cisco, but at a much lower price! Just compare the cost of buying a brand name Cisco SFP-10G-SR from one of our competitors to the price of purchasing the same transceiver from Fiberstore, or another third-party supplier. Besides, all optical transceivers from Fiberstore are tested in our test assured program before selling, so the 100% compatibility can be ensured. When you purchase a SFP-10G-SR transceiver from Fiberstore you’ll not only get the best price but also get the best quality and compatibility.

sfp-10g-sr-compatibility

Can I Use SFP Transceiver in SFP+ slot?

A common confusion about SFP and SFP+ compatibility is that if I can use the SFP module in SFP+ slot. When I connect the SFP transceiver to SFP+ transceiver, can SFP+ negotiate down to 1G? Or is it possible to use SFP+ module in the SFP port on my switch? Can SFP+ copper twinax cable can negotiate down to 1G to support SFP? Can 1G and 10G can exist in the same link? All these questions usually create a giant headache for many engineers. After looking up many relevant documentation, now I will conclusion the answers in this article.

SFP Can be Plugged into SFP+ Ports in Most Situations
I’m not sure about the specific switch model, but as a general rule of thumb, SFPs will work in SFP+ slots, but SFP+ optics do not work in SFP slots. It’s just a power availability thing. When you plug the SFP module in SFP+ port, the speed of this port is 1G not the 10G. And sometimes this port will lock the speed at 1G until you reload the switch or do some fancy set of commands. Besides, the SFP+ port usually can never support speed under 1G. That is to say, we can’t plug the 100BASE SFP in the SFP+ port. In fact, for this question, it may depend greatly on the switch models – sometimes SFPs are supported in SFP+ ports, and sometimes not. For example, almost all SFP+ ports of Cisco switch can support SFPs and many SFP+ ports of Brocade switch only support SFP+. Though it’s feasible often, it’s safer to ask your switch vendor for some information.

SFP module in SFP+ port

SFP+ Can’t Auto-negotiate Down to 1G to Support with SFP Module
To my knowledge, unlike copper SFPs which are available in 10/100/1000 auto-negotiation, optics such as SFP and SFP+ do not support auto negotiation at all. In fact, Most (95+%) SFPs and SFP+s will only run at the rated speed, no more, no less. Besides, there is no such thing as a SFP+ that does 1G on one side (towards the fiber) and then does 10G on another side (towards the unit). Though we can use SFP in SFP+ ports in many cases, that doesn’t mean a SFP+ plugged into the SFP+ port can support 1G. In a fiber link, if we plug a SFP in the SFP+ port on one side (1G), and then plug a SFP+ in the SFP+ port on the another side (10G), this may not work! You just can’t have 10 GbE at one end and 1 GbE at the other. For this question, if you use SFP+ copper twinax cable, it also can’t negotiate down to 1G.

When use SFP and SFP+ modules in your network, make sure the speed of both ends of the fiber link is the same. SFP modules may can be used in SFP+ ports, but a SFP can never be connected to a SFP+ module. For their different speeds, transmission distance and wavelength. 10 SFP+ only can use for 10G SFP+ port, and can never auto-negotiate to 1G.

Compatible SFPs for Ubiquiti EdgeSwitch and UniFi switch

The Ubiquiti EdgeSwitch targets the Broadband / ISP / Carrier market, which offers an extensive suite of advanced layer-2 switching features and protocols, and also provides layer-3 routing capability. The UniFi switch targets the Enterprise / SMB market, which is designed for a wider IT audience, and therefore, tend to be simpler, and easier to use. Both these two types Ubiquiti switchs are supported for SFP fiber connectivity and widely used among people. However, which SFPs can I use with my EdgeSwitch or UniFi switch? This article may give the answer.

Which Ubiquiti EdgeSwitch Should I Use?

The EdgeSwitch offers the forwarding capacity to simultaneously process traffic on all ports at line rate without any packet loss. The EdgeSwitch provides total, non-blocking throughput. Among 8-Port model up to 10 Gbps, 16-Port model up to 18 Gbps, 24-Port model up to 26 Gbps and 48-Port model up to 70 Gbps. The following table lists the comparison between EdgeSwitch modules, according to your specific need to choose the right one.

Model Total Non-Blocking Throughput Gigabit RJ45 Ports SFP+ Ports SFP Ports Max. Power Consumption
ES- 8- 150W 10 Gbps 8 N/A 2 150W
ES- 16- 150W 18 Gbps 16 N/A 2 150W
ES- 24- 250W 26 Gbps 24 N/A 2 250W
ES- 24- 500W 26 Gbps 24 N/A 2 500W
ES- 48- 500W 70 Gbps 48 2 2 500W
ES- 48- 750W 70 Gbps 48 2 2 750W
ES- 24- LITE 26 Gbps 24 N/A 2 25W
ES- 48- LITE 70 Gbps 48 2 2 56W
ES- 12F 16 Gbps 4 N/A 12 56W
ES- 16- XG 124 Gbps 4 12 N/A 56W
EdgeMAX – Which SFPs are compatible with EdgeSwitch?

The ubnt edgeswitch provides fiber connectivity options for your growing networks. The 8, 16, and 24-port models include two SFP ports, providing up to 1 Gbps uplinks. For high-capacity uplinks, the 48-port models include two SFP and two SFP+ ports, providing uplinks of up to 10 Gbps. Take the ES‑8‑150W for example, it has 8 Gigabit RJ45 ports and 2 Gigabit SFP ports for 10G applications (shown in the figure below). For SFP ports, we should use SFP modules and fiber patch cable.

Ubiquiti ES- 8- 150W
According to an article titled “Which SFPs are compatible with the EdgeSwitch?”published in Ubiquiti Help Center, the following SFP transceivers are compatible with EdgeSwitch (only listed can be found in Fiberstore here).

SFP Model Description
Cisco GLC-SX-MM 1000BASE-SX SFP 850nm 550m Transceiver
Cisco GLC-SX-MMD 1000BASE-SX SFP 850nm 550m DOM Transceiver
HP J4858C 1000BASE-SX SFP 850nm 550m DOM Transceiver
HP J4858A 1000BASE-SX SFP 850nm 550m DOM Transceiver
Cisco GLC-LH-SM 1000BASE-LX/LH SFP 1310nm 10km Transceiver
HP J4859B 1000BASE-LX SFP 1310nm 10km DOM Transceiver
HP J4859C 1000BASE-LX SFP 1310nm 10km DOM Transceiver
Cisco GLC-T 1000BASE-T SFP Copper RJ-45 100m Transceive
Cisco SFP-H10GB-CU1M 1m 10G SFP+ Passive Direct Attach Copper Twinax Cable
Brocade 10G-SFPP-TWX-0101 1m 10G SFP+ Passive Direct Attach Copper Twinax Cable
Which Ubiquiti UniFi Switch Should I Use?

The UniFi POE switch offers the forwarding capacity to simultaneously process traffic on all ports at line rate without any packet loss. For its total, non-blocking throughput, the 24port model supports up to 26 Gbps, while the 48-port model supports up to 70 Gbps. The following table lists the comparison between UniFi switch modules, according to your specific need to choose the right one.

Model Total Non-Blocking Throughput Gigabit RJ45 Ports SFP+ Ports SFP Ports Max. Power Consumption
US- 8- 150W 10 Gbps 8 N/A 2 150W
US- 16- 150W 18 Gbps 16 N/A 2 150W
US- 24- 250W 26 Gbps 24 N/A 2 250W
US- 24- 500W 26 Gbps 24 N/A 2 500W
US- 48- 500W 70 Gbps 48 2 2 500W
US- 48- 750W 70 Gbps 48 2 2 750W
UniFi – Which SFPs are compatible with UniFi Switch?

Each model includes two SFP ports for uplinks of up to 1 Gbps. The 48port model adds two SFP+ ports for high-capacity uplinks of up to 10 Gbps, so you can directly connect to a highperformance storage server or deploy a longdistance uplink to another switch. Take the US- 8- 150W for example, it has 8 Gigabit RJ45 ports and 2 Gigabit SFP ports for 10G applications (shown in the figure below). For SFP ports, we should use SFP modules and fiber patch cable.

us-8-150w
According to an article titled “Which SFPs can I use with UniFi switch?”published in Ubiquiti Help Center, the following SFP transceivers are compatible with EdgeSwitch. Since among some SFP module types are the same as the EdgeSwitch, I only list the different SFPs here.

SFP Model Description
Fiberstore SFP-1G85-5M

Now: SFP1G-SX-85

1000BASE-SX SFP 850nm 550m DOM Transceiver
Cisco SFP-10G-SR 10GBASE-SR SFP+ 850nm 300m DOM Transceiver
Fiberstore SFP-10G85-3M

Now:
SFP-10GSR-85

10GBASE-SR SFP+ 850nm 300m DOM IND Transceive
Ubiquiti Compatible SFPs in Fiberstore

Fiberstore (FS.COM) provides a series of Ubiquiti compatible SFP transceivers that can be used with EdgeSwitch and UniFi switch. In Ubiquiti Networks Community SFP modules compatibility section, some people tested Fiberstore SFP modules in their EdgeSwitch. As shown in the figure below, SFP1G-SX-85, SFP1G-SX-31 and SFP-10GSR-85 SFPs are working.

sfp-modules-compatibility

What Is The Difference: SFP vs SFP+

As we know, a SFP module just looks the same as the SFP+ module. And most switches can both support SFP module and SFP+ module. So, do these two modules really refer to the same one? What’s the difference between them?

SFP vs SFP+

SFP Definition
SFP stands for Small Form-factor Pluggable. It is a hot-pluggable transceiver that plugs into the SFP port of a network switch and supports SONET, Gigabit Ethernet, Fibre Channel, and other communications standards. SFP specifications are based on IEEE802.3 and SFF-8472. They are capable of supporting speeds up to 4.25 Gbps. Due to its smaller size, SFP replaces the formerly common gigabit interface converter (GBIC). Therefore SFP is also called Mini-GBIC. By choosing different SFP module, the same electrical port on the switch can connect to different fiber types (multimode or single-mode) and different wavelengths.

SFP module Cisco

SFP+ Definition
Since SFP supports only up to 4.25 Gbps, SFP+ that supports data rates up to 16 Gbps was later introduced. In fact, SFP+ is an enhanced version of the SFP. The SFP+ specifications are based on SFF-8431. In today’s most applications, SFP+ module usually supports 8 Gbit/s Fibre Channel, 10 Gigabit Ethernet and Optical Transport Network standard OTU2. In comparison to earlier 10 Gigabit Ethernet XENPAK or XFP modules, SFP+ module is smaller and becomes the most popular 10 Gigabit Ethernet module in the market.

SFP+ module Cisco

SFP vs SFP+
Review the SFP and SFP+ definition mentioned above, we can know that the main difference between SFP and SFP+ is the data rate. And due to different data rate, the applications and transmission distance is also different.

Ethernet Application

SFP (1Gbps) SFP+ (10Gbps)
1000BASE-SX SFP 850nm 550m

1000BASE-LX/LH SFP 1310nm 20km

1000BASE-EX SFP 1310nm 40km

1000BASE-ZX SFP 1550nm 80km

10GBASE-SR SFP+ 850nm 300m

10GBASE-LRM SFP+ 1310nm 220m

10GBASE-LR SFP+ 1310nm 10km

10GBASE-ER SFP+ 1550nm 40km

10GBASE-ZR SFP+ 1550nm 100km

Fiber Channel Application

SFP (2G, 4G) SFP+ (8G)
2.125Gbps:

2G Fibre Channel SFP 1310nm 2km/15km/20km/40km

2G Fibre Channel SFP 1510nm 80km

4.25Gbps:

4G Fibre Channel SFP 850nm 150m

4G Fibre Channel SFP 1310nm 5km/10km/15km/20km

8.5Gbps:

8G Fibre Channel SFP+ 850nm 150m

8G Fibre Channel SFP+ 1310mn 10km/20km/40km

8G Fibre Channel SFP+ 1510nm 80km

SONET/SDH Application

SFP (155Mbps, 622Mbps, 2.5Gbps) SFP+ (10G)
155Mbps:

OC-3/STM-1 1310nm 2km/15km/40km

OC-3/STM-1 1510nm 80km

622Mbps:

OC-12/STM-4 1310nm 500m/2km/15km/40km

OC-12/STM-4 1510nm 80km

2.5Gbps:

OC-48/STM-16 1310nm 2km/15km/40km

OC-48/STM-16 1510nm 80km

OC-192/STM-64 850nm 300m

OC-192/STM-64 1310nm 2km/10km/20km/40km

OC-192/STM-64 1510nm 80km

Usually, SFP module plugs into SFP port of the switch and SFP+ module plugs into SFP+ port of the switch. But, sometimes SFP module can also be plugged into SFP+ port. Which SFP or SFP+ module should you choose all depends on your switch types. Fiberstore is a reliable SFP transceiver module manufactures, all SFP module and SFP+ module types are available in FS.COM. Besides, SFP+ cable is also provided. What’s more, the price of SFP module and SFP+ module is lower than many other manufactures. SFP test is strict in FS.COM. Matching fiber patch cable is also available.

Related Article: Compatible SFPs for Ubiquiti EdgeSwitch and UniFi switch

10G Cabling Solution: SFP+ Transceiver, SFP+ Twinaxial Cable or Cat6 Copper Cable?

When you’ve selected the server, storage and switch to setup your data center, then how do you connect it all together? There’s no doubt that the answer is “with cables.” Let’s look at the three most common cables that used to connect the servers and storage to switches in a 10G network. They are SFP+ transceiver (used with patch cable), SFP+ twinaxial cable and Cat6 copper cable. Which one should you choose? Let’s find the answer together!

10G Cabling Solution

SFP+ Transceiver
This connection methods requires two things on each device: 10G pluggable SFP+ transceivers and fiber optic patch cables. Once these are in place on both devices (server and switch), you can plug the patch cords into the transceiver on both sides. These SFP+ optical transceivers use approximately 1 W per transceiver and have a latency of less than 0.1 microsecond. SFP+ transceivers come in different types to drive signals across fiber optic cables with different maximum distances. The most common, and lowest in cost, is 10GBase-SR, which can span 300 meters. Other types can reach as far as 100 kilometers.

SFP+ transceivers

Pros: This connectivity method supports fiber cables that are really long, allowing you to connect a server at one end of a data center to a switch several racks away or even at the other end.
Cons: Pluggable transceiver parts are quite expensive.

SFP+ Twinaxial Cable
SFP+ twinaxial direct attach cable (DAC) integrates transceivers with twinax cables into an energy efficient, low-cost, and low-latency solution. It features SFP+ connectors on both ends, thus eliminating the need for expensive SFP+ transceivers. SFP+ twinaxial cables use only 1.5 watts of power per port and introduce only approximately 0.25 microsecond of latency per link. This makes it an optimal solution for handling high bandwidth transmission within short distances such as inside energy-efficient data centers.

SFP+ Twinaxial Cable

Pros: Lower latency, lower power and lower heat.
Cons: Transmission distance is usually less than 10 meter.

10GBASE-T: Cat6 Copper Cable
This option probably looks familiar – like the RJ-45 ports and cabling you use to connect your laptop to a normal network jack. The difference is that you need specialized network adapters with ports that support faster 10G throughput. Cat6 cables have more individual copper wires, twisted tighter, with better shielding to prevent outside signal interference. They cost more than CAT5 but ensure better signal communication, which is a requirement to speed up to 10G. Cat6 copper cables use 5 watts of power per port and introduce approximately c of latency per link, which is much higher than SFP+ optics and SFP+.

10GBASE-T structured-cabling

Pros: Longer distance – 100 meters. Backward compatibility to 1 gigabit Ethernet or 100 megabit Ethernet
Cons: Higher latency, higher power and higher heat. Not many data center switches support 10GBASE-T ports.

Conclusion
Vita differences of these three 10G cabling solutions are displayed in the table below. According to your demands to choose the right one.

Name Transmission Distance Latency Power
SFP+ Transceiver 300 m – 100 km 0.1 microsecond 1 watts
SFP+ Twinaxial Cable 10 m 0.25 microsecond 1.5 watts
Cat6 Copper Cable 100 m 2.6 microsecond 4 – 6 watts

10G SFP+ and 40G QSFP+ Transceivers Cabling Solutions

This article will discuss different connection methods between parallel Quad Small Form-factor Pluggable (QFSP+) transceivers and Small Form-factor Pluggable (SFP+) transceivers. As we know, a QFSP+ transceiver can be either an 8-fiber parallel link or a 2-fiber duplex link. In this document when QFSP is used we will be discussing an 8-fiber parallel link. A SFP+ transceiver is usually an 2-fiber duplex link. According to standard, since QSFP+ is 40G interface, SFP+ is 10G interface, therefore four SFP+ transceiver must be needed to connect to one QSFP+ transceivers to achieve 40G transmission.

Direct Connectivity Solutions
When directly connecting a QSFP port to the four corresponding SFP ports, an eight fiber MTP-LC harness cable is required. The harness will have four LC Duplex connectors and the fibers will be paired in a specific way, assuring the proper polarity is maintained. This type of direct connectivity is only suggested for short distances within a given row or in the same rack/cabinet.

10G SFP+ and 40G QSFP+ direct connection

  • Polarity Drawing for Above Scenario 

Polarity Drawing for Direct Connectivity Solutions

Interconnect Solutions
The interconnect solution shown in figure below shows one link with a breakout of the QSFP with the use of an MTP-LC module to four SFP links. A Type-B non-pinned MTP to non-pinned MTP cable is used between MTP-LC modulethe MTP-LC module and QSFP transceiver. The connection to the SFP transceivers is accomplished with Uniboot LC duplexed jumpers. This is a solution that is only recommended for short distances, where the patching takes place within a given row of racks/cabinets. This solution does present some disadvantages which are that ports 5 & 6 of the module are not being used thus reducing the patch panel density. It may also create some confusion when patching occurs since these two ports are dark.

SFP+ QSFP+ Interconnect Solutions

  • Polarity Drawing for Above Scenario Polarity Drawing for 10G SFP+ and 40G QSFP+ Interconnect Solutions

Unlike the patching approach in figure above, the solution shown in figure below has no dark fibers oLC-LC adapter panelr ports. The Type-B jumper is replaced with an eight-fiber harness. The modules are replaced with the LC-LC adapter panel. Using this approach allows full patch panel density that was lost in the previous example. Only two LC-LC adapter panels will be required for every three 8-fiber harnesses. All ports on the LC-LC adapter panels will be used and the connections to the 10GbE ports will be completed with an Uniboot LC duplexed jumper. This solution should also be deployed when there is a short distance between active components (within the same row). Note the LC panel does not support the LC Uniboot connector, only LC Duplex connectors with the triggers removed to avoid clearance issues with the panel cover.

10G 40G Interconnect Solutions

  • Polarity Drawing for Above Scenario 

Polarity Drawing for 10G SFP+ and 40G QSFP+ Solution

Fiberstore (FS.COM) provide all the products mentioned above, including 10G SFP+ transceivers, 40G QSFP+ transceivers, MTP patch cables, MTP-LC harness cable, MTP-LC module and LC-LC adapter panel. All in stock and can be shipped the same day.

Related article: It’s Time to Use MTP Cassettes in Your Network!

Unique Advantages of 10GBASE-T in Migrating Data Center to 10GbE

Over the last decade, large enterprises have been migrating data center infrastructures from 100MB Ethernet to 1/10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) to support high-bandwidth, mission critical applications. However, many mid-market companies found themselves restricted from this migration to 10GbE technology due to cost, low port density and high power consumption. For many of these companies, the explosive growth of technologies, data and applications is severely taxing existing 1GbE infrastructures and affecting performance. So it’s high time for them to upgrade the data center to 10GbE. With many 10GbE interfaces options such as CX4, SFP+ Fiber, SFP+ Direct Attach Copper (DAC), and 10GBASE-T offered, which one is the best? In fact, the answer is 10GBASE-T.

SFP+ , SFP+ Direct Attach Copper (DAC), and 10GBASE-T

Shortcomings of SFP+ in 10GbE Data Center Cabling
SFP+ has been adopted on Ethernet adapters and switches and supports both copper and fiber optic cables makes it a better solution than CX4, which is the mainstream 10GbE adoption today. However, SFP+ is not backward-compatible with the twisted-pair 1GbE broadly deployed throughout the data center. SFP+ connectors and their cabling were not compatible with the RJ-45 connectors used on 1GbE networks. Enterprise customers cannot just start adding SFP+ 10GbE to an existing RJ-45 1GbE infrastructure. New switches and new cables are required, which is a big chunk of change.

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Advantages of 10GBASE-T in 10GbE Data Center Cabling
10GBASE-T is backward-compatible with 1000BASE-T, it can be deployed in existing 1GbE switch infrastructures in the data centers that are cabled with CAT6, CAT6A or above cabling. As we know, 1GbE is still widely used in data center. 10GBASE-T is backwards compatible with 1GbE and thus will become the perfect choice for gradual transitioning from 1GbE deployment to 10GbE. Additional advantages include:

  • Reach
    Like all BASE-T implementations, 10GBASE-T works for lengths up to 100 meters giving IT managers a far-greater level of flexibility in connecting devices in the data center. With flexibility in reach, 10GBASE-T can accommodate either top of the rack, middle of row, or end of the row network topologies. This gives IT managers the most flexibility in server placement since it will work with existing structured cabling systems.
  • Power
    The challenge with 10GBASE-T is that even single-chip 10GBASE-T adapters consume a watt or two more than the SFP+ alternatives. More power consumption is not a good thing in the data center. However, the expected incremental costs in power over the life of a typical data center are far less than the amount of money saved from reduced cabling costs. Besides, with process improvements, chips improved from one generation to the next. The power and cost of the latest 10GBASE-T PHYs will be reduced greatly than before.
  • Reliability
    Another challenge with 10GBASE-T is whether it could deliver the reliability and low bit-error rate of SFP+. This skepticism can also be expressed as whether the high demands of FCoE could be met with 10GBASE-T. In fact, Cisco has announced that it had successfully qualified FCoE over 10GBASE-T and is supporting it on its newer switches that support 10GBASE-T in 2013.
  • Latency
    Depending on packet size, latency for 1000BASE-T ranges from sub-microsecond to over 12 microseconds. 10GBASE-T ranges from just over 2 microseconds to less than 4 microseconds, a much narrower latency range. For Ethernet packet sizes of 512B or larger, 10GBASE-T’s overall throughout offers an advantage over 1000BASE-T. Latency for 10GBASE-T is more than 3 times lower than 1000BASE-T at larger packet sizes. Only the most latent sensitive applications such as HPC or high frequency trading systems would notice any latency.
  • Cost
    When it comes to capital costs, copper cables offer great savings. Typically, passive copper cables are two to five times less expensive for comparable lengths of fiber. In a 1,000-node cluster, with hundreds of required cables, that can translate into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Extending that into even larger data centers, the savings can reach into the millions. Besides, copper cables do not consume power and because their thermal design requires less cooling, there are extensive savings on operating expenditures within the data center. Hundreds of kilowatts can be saved by using copper cables versus fiber.

Conclusion
The 10GbE standards are mature, reliable and well understood. 10GBASE-T breaks through important cost and cable installation barriers in 10GbE deployment as well as offering investment protection via backwards compatibility with 1GbE networks. Deployment of 10GBASE-T will simplify the networking transition by providing an easier path to migrate to 10GbE infrastructure in support of higher bandwidth needed for virtualized servers. In the future, 10GBASE-T will be the best option for 10GbE data center cabling!