Category Archives: SFP+ Transceiver

10G Twinax vs Fiber: SFP+ Copper Cable or SFP+ SR Module?

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Over the years, 10GbE has successfully stretch its reach from enterprise data centers to midmarket networks due to the increased bandwidth requirements and the growth of enterprise applications.   As the deployment of 10GbE is going boarder, it is important to understand how to effectively leverage the technology to better satisfy your network demand. Thus, all elements should be carefully reviewed to choose the appropriate cabling solution for your workloads. Many customers facing the problem to choose from 10G twinax vs fiber (SFP+ copper cable vs SFP+ SR) as both are viable options for short range. This is what we are about to figure out in this article.

10G Twinax vs Fiber: SFP+ DAC Cables Is Simple and Cost-Effective

10G twinax vs fiber for short reach connection? Before we go any further, it’s better to take a glimpse of what  SFP+ direct attach cable (DAC)are and what role they play. A SFP+ DAC cable, also known as SFP+ twinax copper cable, is effectively viewed as a transparent cable to the switch. It is a cable invented with each end physically resembling an 10g SFP+ transceiver, but with none of the expensive electronic components. Although being even more pricy than fiber optic cables, SFP+ Copper Cables effectively eliminate the expensive optical transceiver required in the equipment they connected.

10g twinax vs fiber - 10g dac

SFP+ Copper Cables comes to two different flavors: passive and active. Passive SFP+ Copper Cables requires little to no direct power to operate, and are extremely affordable with the length ranging from 0.5m all the way up to 7m. Active SFP+ Copper Cables integrates signal processing circuitry into its built-in connectors and actively powering those circuits with DC power provided by the switch. The circuitry in active sfp+ cable thus brings up the overall cost. This partly explains why active sfp+ cable is usually more expensive than its passive counterparts.

10G Twinax vs Fiber: SFP+ SR Is Flexible and Future-Proofing

For 10G twinax vs fiber, we cannot make our decisions until we clear knows each function. SFP+ SR are similarly used for short runs, and that is exactly “SR” stands for – short reach. SR transceivers are almost always multimode, and optimized for high speeds over relatively short distances. It operates at 850 nm, and can reach up to 300 m with laser-optimized OM3 and 400 m with OM4. The 10G SFP+ SR transceiver module offer a flexible connectivity option for data centers, enterprise wiring closets, and service provider transport applications. The price is the major issue that some customers turn to SFP+ Copper twinax cable instead of SFP+ SR transceivers for short runs, especially for those who are under tight budget. Fortunately, third-party optics has narrowed down the price gap by providing decent performance transceiver modules with only a fraction of the cost at the original ones.

10g twinax vs fiber - 10gbase sfp+ sr transceiver module

10G Twinax vs Fiber: Application Considerations

When choosing between 10G twinaxs vs fiber, the following factors have to be well considered.

10g twinax vs fiber - 10g direct attach cable dac vs 10g sfp+ sr module

Distance: Advocators of SFP+ twinax copper cable  insist that, if distance is not a problem, they tend to choose SFP+ cable  because of the lower power needs and lower latency it provides, and the power saving alone is significant. Not to mention that the cable itself is less fragile and more durable. As SFP+ twinax cable  only reach up to 10m, when distance happens to be a factor, SFP+ SR transceiver can get much longer reach and more compatibility anyway. Or if the switches are connected via patch panel, then your hand is forced to 10G SFP+ SR transceiver and fiber. To sum it up, SFP+ cables are used within the rack to connect servers and storage to ToR switches, it is an “intra-rack” thing, whereas SFP+ SR in for connection between racks – known as “inter-rack” cabling.

Cable management: in terms of managing cables, fibers are believed easier to work with – it has no limit of cable length as with SFP+ cables. As for bulky and thick SFP+ cables it is fine for same rack FEX extension or one or two servers, but load half a rack with a top of rack FEX/switch with twinax, you will have mass of inflexible copper at the back of the rack. And that can be a nightmare.

Cost: 10G optical transceivers are much expensive than 10G SFP+ copper cable – these might be the driven course for people using twinax over SR optics. However, the booming of third party optics well addressed the issue by providing full compatible and trustworthy transceiver modules, which on the other hand, significantly reduces the cost of optics. Since the price gap between SFP+ cables and SR SFP+ optics is reduced, it bestowed customers more chances to weight other affecting factors.

Uniformity: users prefer to use SFP+ SR when working with different vendors, it’s less likely to run into issues if you use optical transceivers. Truly, SFP+ SR indeed makes multi-vendor environment cabling much easier: imagine that you have to connect two switches from different vendor, simply use two SR transceivers that compatible with each brand switch can well solve the problem. However, if cost really matters, you can equally choose this special made SFP+ twinax cable from FS – different brands can be made at each ends, which are compatible with the major vendor on the market.

fs 10g dac twinax cable

Conclusion

10G twinax vs fiber, from a network perspective, the SFP+ twinax cable is fine and a lot cheaper for very limited short runs – typically intra rack cabling, while for mass adoption, they become absolutely thick and unmanageable. So it’s worth the savings if your switch is in the same rack as the equipment you are connecting, and if it goes to another rack, SFP+ SR with fiber and a patch panel can be a sound option. With SR optics, you have much more flexibility in the placement of servers and how you lay out your racks. It is the obvious choice once the demand for bandwidth and length becomes more acute and cable management and future growth becomes critical.

Related Articles:

SFP+ Direct Attach Copper Twinax Cable Deployment Considerations

SFP+ cable vs 10GBASE-T

Can I Connect Optical Transceivers of Different Brand?

Data centers generally accommodates hundreds or even thousands of network switches, it happens when you have to connect switches from different vendors (i.e. switch X from Cisco and switch Y from HP). As the switches only fit their own brand-based optical transceivers, the main issues thus falls into this: is it possible to contact two different vendor’s optical transceivers and form a viable link? The answer is yes – but you still have to take some critical aspects into account.

connect optical transceivers from different brand

A Basic Case Study: Standard of Optical Transceivers is the Key

Sometimes people have to mix switches and optical transceivers, mainly because the following reasons:

  • They already have brand X and they need more switches and they shop on price. Hence different brands
  • They need to replace switches but do not have money for all and they buy brand X and plan on going to brand X completely but it takes time to get there.

There exist quite a lot standards and protocols concerning optical transceivers. Although many installers are very familiar with linking different vendor’s switch, the others are still worried that the incompatibilities of two transceivers may impede the link performance. They may come across the questions like “Can I order a 1000BASE-LX transceiver from any source and it will be compatible with all others 1000BASE-LX?” or “Would a link with a Juniper 1000Base-LX and a Cisco 1000BASE-LX transceiver work?”

1000base-lx optical transceivers

Ideally it should work. 1000BASE-LX is a standard the same way 1000BASE-T is, except that it uses fiber as the transmission medium. You’ve already known that any copper interfaces with 1000BASE-T is interoperable since they are defined by the same 1000BASE-T standards. So you can expect the same with fiber 1000BASE-LX interfaces –  which are all defined by 1000BASE-LX. While this is true on the fiber side of the system, and should be true on the thing with the transceiver socket. In fact, you can rest assure as SFP is multi-vendor standard that specified by a multi-source agreement (MSA). And it is a popular industry format jointly developed by many network component vendors.

Further Consideration of Optical Transceivers: Protocol, Transmission Wavelength and Cable Type

Connecting SFP optical transceivers from two different vendors still have some other restriction, since SFP transceivers differs from one another in protocol, interface type and transmission distance.

Ethernet Protocol: You have to pay attention that you use optical transceivers of the same protocol at each end, for example: both sides with SX, LX or whatever is currently in use. Otherwise, you have to undertake the risk of link failure.

Cable Type: The optical transceivers on each end must use the same fiber type. An SFP made for multimode fiber isn’t going to work well, if it does at all, with single-mode fiber. Same applies with other multimode fiber types: although mixing various 50 um fibers (OM2 and OM4) may work OK depending on data rate and distance. As long as each end is the same fiber type, you can mix vendors and even connector types, such as SC on one end and LC on the other end.

Wavelength: It is vital the wavelength of the optical transceivers (850nm, 1310nm) matches on each end, as a 1310nm transceiver will NOT talk to a 850 nm transceiver. MMF has a lot of loss, and the wrong wavelength may cause loss and degradation on the longer runs. As for SMF, you need to be even more careful about wavelengths though, especially for long distance. So, if you are on the working range, all the transceiver will work normally.

wavelength for optical transceiver

Conclusion

It is hence safe to say that when connecting two optical transceivers from different vendors, you can expect you fiber patch cable to lead a consistent link as long as you use modules of the same Ethernet protocol, cable type and working wavelength. FS provides fully compatible optical transceivers with affordable price and decent performance. For more information, please visit www.fs.com.

How to Build a 10G Home Network?

The network has become the lifeblood for home and small business. It changes the way we live, work and communicate. Nobody today would deny the importance of the network, while it keeps evolving to satisfy the requirement of people. 10G home network, in this case, are no longer restricted to use in small and middle-sized business. It’s not uncommon for home to start with a 10G network setup. So how to get 10G home network? You may find some clues in this article.

Begin with Needs Assessment

Pretty much everything nowadays rely on a fast and reliable network, which leads to tremendous traffic and applications running on the networks and it keeps growing at high pace. Deploying 10G home network at home eliminates network congestion at busy times while improves your productivity.   Better planning before deployment to ensuring your network can handle your business needs. You should ask yourself a few questions, such as how many computers, printers and other peripherals will connect to your network? How much wireless coverage will you need at your location? What type of mobile devices will need access to your network?

10g-home-network-needs-assessment

What Makes a 10G Home Network?

10G Ethernet makes streaming and sharing files over local network much faster. And 10GBASE-T standard is going mainstream into the consumer segment thanks to its lower power consumption and compatibility with existing infrastructure.

10g home network

To build a 10G home network, several components are indispensable: 10G core switches, access switches with 10G uplinks, and 10G network interface cards for servers and storage devices. The past few years had witness the price dropping of 10G network switches. For example, the cost of Ubiquiti Unifi and Eageswitch switches are only $200. And FS 10G network switch like S3800-48T4S only cost $480 by offering 48 100/1000Base-T and 4 10GE SFP+. When it comes to access switches with 10G uplink, FS S3800 series switches offers 24 ports with 4 10G uplinks at very decent price. These switches are well suited for home network use.

fs 10G network switch

What About 10G Cabling – 10GBASE-T, DAC or SFP+?

Upgrading the existing 1G network to 10G can be simple. As 10G switches also support 10GBASE-T, you can use the same RJ45 network cable to connect the 10G switch with your servers, storage and some other switches. The only difference is to use Cat6a network cable instead of Cat5e and Cat6 cable, or choose SFP+ 10GBASE-T modules with 2.5W power consumption and a maximum distance of 30 m.

10g-copper-fiber

For 10G switches that support 10G SFP+, you should use these ports if you have devices that come with 10G SFP+ port, or you need a 10G connection to other switches over 100m away. SFP+ ports look just the same as SFP ports on your Gigabit switches, but they’re now running at 10 Gigabit. For servers or storage devices with 10G SFP+ port, the most cost efficient way to connect is to use 10G DAC (direct attach twinax cable). These are basically copper cables with SFP+ connector on both sides, and they come in various lengths.

10g-dac-cable

To connect switches over 100 m apart, a pair of SFP+ modules and the matching fiber cable are needed between them. Depending on the length required in home network, you can use 10G optics such as 10GBASE SR SFP module and multimode fiber to reach 300 meters. FS offers a wide range of 10G SFP+ modules and fiber patch cables for short and long distance transmission.

Conclusion

This article presents you some basic facts about 10 Gigabit Ethernet and how you can build a home network over 10 Gigabit. FS provides comprehensive 10G solutions: all the components mentioned to build a 10G home network are available at FS.COM, including Cat6a Ethernet cables, fiber patch cables, DACs and 10G SFP+ modules. For more details, please visit www.fs.com.

10G SFP+ DAC Cables for Intel X520 Adapter

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.

Related Article: 10G SFP+ and 40G QSFP+ Transceivers Cabling Solutions

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.

Related Article: Can I Use the QSFP+ Optics on QSFP28 Port?

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.

edgeswitch
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