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Can I Connect Optical Transceivers of Different Brand?

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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.

Differences Between SFP, BiDi SFP and Compact SFP

As we know, a common SFP transceiver is generally with two ports, one is TX port which is used to transmit the signal, and the other one is RX port which is used to receive signals. Unlike common SFP transceiver, BiDi SFP transceiver is only with one port which uses an integral WDM coupler to transmit and receive signals over a single strand fiber. In fact, the compact SFP is a 2-channel BiDi SFP, which integrates two BiDi SFP in one SFP module. Therefore, a compact SFP is also with two ports as the common SFP.

Differences Between SFP, BiDi SFP and Compact SFP

SFP, BiDi SFP and Compact SFP Connection Methods
All SFP transceivers must be used in pairs. For common SFPs, we should connect the two SFPs which have the same wavelength together. For example, we use a 850nm SFP at one end, then we must use a 850nm SFP on the other end (shown in the figure below).

common SFP

For BiDi SFP, since it transmits and receives signals with different wavelengths, we should connect the two BiDi SFPs which have the opposite wavelength together. For example, we use a 1310nm-TX/1490nm-RX BiDi SFP at one end, then we must use a 1490nm-TX/1310nm-RX BiDi SFP on the other end (shown in the figure below).

BiDi SFP
The compact SFP (GLC-2BX-D) usually uses 1490nm to transmit signal and the 1310nm to receive signal. Therefore, the compact SFP is always connected to two 1310nm-TX/1490nm-RX BiDi SFP over two single-mode fibers (shown in the figure below).

Compact SFP

BiDi SFP and Compact SFP Applications
At present, the BiDi SFP is mostly used in FTTx deployment P2P (point-to-point) connection. A FTTH/FTTB active Ethernet network consists of a central office (CO) connecting to the customer premises equipment (CPE). Active Ethernet networks use a P2P architecture in which each end customer is connected to the CO on a dedicated fiber. BiDi SFP allows a bi-directional communication on a single fiber by using wavelength multiplexing (WDM), which makes CO and CPE connection more simple. Compact SFP enormously increases CO port density by combining two single fiber transceivers into one SFP form factor. In addition, the compact SFP will significantly reduce the overall power consumption at the CO side.

Compact SFP FTTx

FS.COM BiDi and Compact SFP Sloutions
FS.COM provides a variety of BiDi SFPs. They can support different data rate and support transmission distance up to max 120 km that can meet the demands of today’s fiber services for carriers and enterprises.

FS SKU# Description
SKU00686G 1000BASE-BX SFP 1310nm-TX/1490nm-RX 10km Transceiver
SKU00687G 1000BASE-BX SFP 1490nm-TX/1310nm-RX 10km Transceiver
SKU00684G 1000BASE-BX SFP 1310nm-TX/1550nm-RX 10km Transceiver
SKU00685G 1000BASE-BX SFP 1550nm-TX/1310nm-RX 10km Transceiver
SKU10607Z 1000BASE-BX compact SFP 1490nm-TX/1310nm-RX 10km Transceiver

Related Article: Compatible SFPs for Ubiquiti EdgeSwitch and UniFi switch

How to Connect NETGEAR 10G Switch to Your Network?

With the growth of virtualization, cloud-based services and applications like VoIP, video streaming and IP surveillance, SMB networks need to extend beyond simple reliability to higher speed and performance. The NETGEAR ProSAFE XS712T and ProSAFE XS728T switches present the right solution for this requirement, delivering unprecedented non-blocking 10G bandwidth at an affordable cost. Have you ever used NETGEAR 10G switch in your network? This article may provide the knowledge of this switch series’s deployment and its interface requirement.

NETGEAR 10G Switch Overview
As shown in the figure below, the NETGEAR ProSAFE XS712T and ProSAFE XS728T are powerful smart managed switches that come with either 12 or 24 10G copper ports and either 2 combo SFP+ (XS712T) or 4 additional dedicated SFP+ ports (XS728T) for 10G fiber links. Using these 10G slots, you can create high-speed connections to a server or network backbone. For example, you can connect switches to each other with high-speed links or link them to high-speed servers. Please note that the XS712T can provide 100M/1000M/10G copper connectivity, but the XS728T can only provide 1000M/10G copper connectivity. Fast Ethernet is not available for XS728T switch.

netgear 10g switch

How to Connect NETGEAR 10G Switch to Your Network?
The NETGEAR ProSAFE XS728T and XS712T switch is designed to provide flexibility in configuring your network connections. It can be used as your only network traffic-distribution device or with 100 Mbps (XS712T only ) , 1000 Mbps, and 10 Gbps hubs and switches.

  • Connecting devices to the switch via RJ-45 copper port

The RJ-45 copper ports of the NETGEAR ProSAFE 10G series switch comply with IEEE 10GBase-T standards. It is backward compatible, auto-negotiating between higher and lower speeds. You can use Category 5e (CAT 5e) or better Ethernet cable (CAT 6, CAT 6a, or CAT 7) to make 10G connections. AMONG, CAT5/CAT5E are supported for Gigabit speeds up to 100 meters. CAT6 twisted pair copper cabling supports 10-Gigabit speeds up to 45 meters. CAT6A or newer CAT7 cabling will allow for up to 100 meter 10GBase-T connections. Desktop switching of NETGEAR ProSAFE XS728T is shown in the figure below.

NETGEAR ProSAFE 10G Series

  • Connecting devices to the switch via SFP+ fiber port

To enable you to use fiber connections on your network (shown in the figure below) , two combo SFP+ ports of XS712T switch and four dedicated SFP+ ports of XS728T switch accommodate standard 1000M and 10G SFP+ transceiver modules. Please note that not all SFP or SFP+ transceiver modules are aavailable for NETGEAR ProSAFE 10G series switch. Following table may give you some guidance for transceiver modules option.

Backbone switching
SFP /SFP+ transceiver modules and SFP+ cables supported for ProSAFE XS712T and XS728T switch

MFG PART# Description
AGM731F NETGEAR 1000BASE-SX 850nm SFP, up to 550m
AGM732F NETGEAR 1000BASE-LX 1310nm SFP, up to 10km
AXM761 NETGEAR 10GBASE-SR 850nm SFP+, up to 300m
AXM762 NETGEAR 10GBASE-LR 1310nm SFP+, up to 10km
AXM763 NETGEAR 10GBASE-LRM 1310nm SFP+, up to 220m (XS712T only)
AXM764 NETGEAR10GBASE-LR Lite 1310nm SFP+, up to 2km
AXC761 1m NETGEAR SFP+ to SFP+ Passive Copper Cable
AXC763 3m NETGEAR SFP+ to SFP+ Passive Copper Cable

3G HD Digital Video SFP Transceivers from FiberStore

As HD content becomes the norm in video and broadcasting industry, the limitation to transporting HD video on a network have a bigger impact on budget, responding to this demand in HD video transmission, FiberStore releases the 3G HD digital video SFP transceiver families address issues raised by the data-scrambling algorithms used in DV, enabling digital video to be transported over optical network using standard transceivers,” says Dan Ligon, director and principal analyst for SMPTE. “We are ensuring that we meet this demand in a highly-efficient and cost-effective manner, while providing a superior service experience to our customers.

Digital Video SFP transceivers are designed to affordably transmit SDI, HD-SDI, or DVB digital video component signals over fiber using standard optical transceivers. It is a dual channel optical transmitter module designed to transmit optical serial digital signals as defined in SMPTE 297-2006. It supports from 50 Mbps to 3Gbps and is specially designed for transmitting SMPTE 424M/292M/29M/259M pathological patterns video with reach of 10, 20, 40km over single mode fiber.

The digital video SFP transceiver offers a direct and affordable solution to the problems of digital video optical transport. They allow the transport of SDI, HD-SDI, or DVB ASI component video signals over any optical transport system that employs MSA standard optical transceivers.

FiberStore is a leading global suppliers of optoelectronic device solutions. We designs, develops, manufacturers and market a diverse portfolio of high performance, cost-competitive fiber optic communication products for all application. Our broad fiber optic portfolios includes CWDM DWDM network components, bulk fiber cables, fiber patch cable, cable management equipment, as well as series fiber testers & tools.