Category Archives: Fiber Cabling

High Density Fiber Adapter Panel User Guide

With the rapid development of optical network, data center cabling has become increasingly sophisticated, making cable management all the more important. Since cable spaghetti isn’t only extremely hard on your dignity and your eyes, a cable mess can actually hinder your ability to troubleshoot vital IT issues. Without well-organized cables, it could cost you more than just a headache. To save your data center from a tangled mess, some useful tools like fiber adapter panel can help you a lot. This article will mainly introduce FS.COM FHX high density fiber adapter panels to you.

Types of FHX Fiber Adapter Panel

FHX ultra fiber adapter panel is a kind of extractable high density fiber adapter panel, designed to provide easy management of MACs of connections in data center, as simple as Plug & Play. There are three different types of ultra high density fiber adapter panels, namely FHX LC adapter panels (3 Ports LC Quad Connector), FHX SC adapter panels (3 Ports SC Duplex Connector) and FHX MTP adapter panels (6 Ports MTP Connector). Without taking up a lot of space, these FHX fiber adapter panels are perfect for increasing the bandwidth and connection density of your fiber network.

 fiber adapter panel

Application of FHX Fiber Adapter Panel

FHX ultra adapter panels are available for one-hand installation and removal, which reduced MAC time, suitable for FHX series enclosure to allow for future growth, and allows for routing and protection of fibers without disturbing adjacent circuits. They can be loaded with 12 with FHX series enclosure to provide a means to connect backbone-to-backbone or backbone-to-horizontal fiber cabling. FHX ultra fiber enclosure is designed with optimum serviceability and manageability, which enables data center technicians to quickly and safely complete moves, adds and changes while simultaneously providing the scalability to increase density as business demands evolve.

Fiber Enclosure plus Fiber Adapter Panel

The small form factor is designed for more rugged cabling. Outside the fiber retaining fingers of fiber adapter panel can be routed straight back to avoid the possibility of kinking. It can also reduce congestion within and between racks for improved airflow, and less risk of downtime due to pinched or bent cables.

Benefits of FHX Fiber Adapter Panel

FHX fiber adapter panels highlight smaller form factor, more rugged cabling. The locking position exists on the slide tray of the fiber adapter panel to avoid the possibility of kinking. It can also reduce congestion within and between racks for improved airflow, and less risk of downtime due to pinched or bent cables. It is built for next-generation density demands. The main benefits and features of FHX fiber adapter panel can be summarized in the following points.

  • Easy one-hand installation and removal, reducing MAC time
  • Suitable for FHX series enclosure to allow for future growth
  • Allows for routing and protection of fibers without disturbing adjacent circuits
  • High-precision ceramic sleeve ensures maximum connection between fiber jumpers
  • Complies with UL-94-V-0, standard for safety of flammability of plastic materials
  • Equipped with Special Buckle that is ready to install, easy operation, maximum operability and minimum downtime

Summary

The importance of a good cable management is needless to say. Of course, it’s great to have a lot of space within a cabinet so that you can accommodate as many cables as you need, but having a bunch of cables with a lack of organization or structure can turn into a nightmare. And that’s why you need tools like fiber adapter panels to keep all the cables neatly and tightly secured in place. With the help of fiber adapter panel, you can build the system the way you please both technically and aesthetically.

GLC-LH-SM vs SFP-GE-L: What’s the Difference?

GLC-LH-SM and SFP-GE-L are two Cisco 1000BASE-LX/LH Ethernet transceivers. Due to the similar mode and performance such as supporting distance and working wavelength, users are often confused with Cisco GLC-LH-SM and SFP-GE-L when they are choosing these SFP modules. Then, what’s the difference between Cisco GLC-LH-SM and SFP-GE-L? This post intends to give a simple explanation of GLC-LH-SM vs SFP-GE-L.

GLC-LH-SM vs SFP-GE-L

Specifications of GLC-LH-SM and SFP-GE-L
GLC-LH-SM SFP Module

Cisco GLC-LH-SM is a hot-swapple optical transceiver that supports the maximum data rate of 1Gbps. It’s compatible with the IEEE 802.3z 1000BASE-LX standard, and can operate on standard single-mode fiber optic link spans of up to 10 km and up to 550 m on any multimode fibers.

Modules Interface Wavelength Tx power Receiver Sensitivity DOM Support Temperature Range
Cisco GLC-LH-SM LC duplex 1310nm -9.5 ~ -3dBm < -23dBm No 32℉to 158℉
(0℃ to 70℃)
SFP-GE-L SFP Module

SFP-GE-L transceiver has many similarities with GLC-LH-SM transceiver. It is also a Cisco 1000BASE-LX/LH Ethernet transceiver that designed for Gigabit Ethernet applications. This 1000BASE-LX/LH SFP, compatible with the IEEE 802.3z 1000BASE-LX standard, and can operate on standard single-mode fiber optic link spans of up to 10 km and up to 550 m on any multimode fibers.

Modules Interface Wavelength Tx power Receiver Sensitivity DOM Support Temperature Range
Cisco SFP-GE-L LC duplex 1310nm -9.5 ~ -3dBm < -23dBm Yes 23℉ to 185℉(-5℃ to 85℃)

Notes: no matter GLC-LH-SM or SFP-GE-L modules, mode conditioning patch cables are required when they are used for 1000BASE-LX/LH applications over FDDI-grade, OM1, and OM2 fiber cables.

GLC-LH-SM vs SFP-GE-L: What’s the Difference?

From the Cisco official notes, Cisco original GLC-LH-SM SFP and SFP-GE-L transceiver have been no longer for sale since March 8, 2013. But this doesn’t affect the market of these two SFP modules. Many users still choose to use them. As mentioned above, GLC-LH-SM and SFP-GE-L are easy to be confused. In fact, it’s not difficult to tell from them.

The first big difference between the two SFP modules is SFP-GE-L SFP supports DOM (digital optical monitoring) while GLC-LH-SM module doesn’t. DOM is an important function available on fiber optic transceiver. It allows users to monitor parameters of modules, such as optical output power, optical input power, temperature, laser bias current, and transceiver supply voltage, in real time, offering users more convenience when using optical modules. Another difference is the operating temperature range. The temperature range of Cisco GLC-LH-SM SFP is 32℉to 158℉(0℃ to 70℃), while the extended operating temperature range of SFP-GE-L module is 23℉ to 185℉ (-5℃ to 85℃).

GLC-LH-SM vs SFP-GE-L: Which One to Select?

From the contents above—GLC-LH-SM vs SFP-GE-L, we can draw a conclusion that GLC-LH-SM and SFP-GE-L nearly can be used as the same one type module sometimes, but their existing differences still differ them from some applications. For example, the WS-SUP32-8GE-3B does not support DOM SFP modules like the SFP-GE-L while supporting GLC-LH-SM SFP. Therefore, buying the suitable one for your devices when choosing from the two modules. As noted above, these two modules are end-of-sale in 2013. However, FS.COM provides these two modules at a cheap price. And other types of compatible optical transceivers such as GLC-LH-SMD are available too. Every optic module in FS.COM is 100% tested to ensure fully compatible. More details, please visit www.fs.com.

Related Articles: 

A Quick Overview of Cisco GLC-LH-SM SFP Module

Which One to Select, GLC-LH-SM Vs GLC-LH-SMD?

Advantages and Disadvantages of OM5 Fiber in Data Center

As the continuously increased bandwidth demand, the types of fiber patch cable are also updating quickly. OM5 fiber cable, also known as WBMMF (wideband multimode fiber), has arrived to meet the growing bandwidth requirements. However, there are different opinions on whether the adoption of OM5 fiber will benefit today’s data center. This post will focus on the advantages and disadvantage that OM5 brings for data centers.

om5 patch cable

Trends in Data Center Deployment

With the cloud computing and web services continuing to drive bandwidth need, data rates grow from 10G, 40G to 100G and beyond in many data center networks. According to the Cisco global cloud index, nearly 99 percent of global traffic will pass through data centers by 2020. That means higher bandwidth, faster services and greater access are required for data center deployments. Therefore, advanced technologies including fiber patch cable and optical transceivers will be needed for performance-improving in data centers.

Will OM5 Fiber Benefit Data Center?

OM5 fiber is a new generation of multimode fiber. It was just standardized in several months ago. Different from OM1, OM2, OM3 and OM4, OM5 fiber is designed to work over a wide range of wavelengths between 850 nm and 950 nm. And it supports SWDM (shortwave wavelength division multiplexing) technology which can reduce fiber counts in optical transmission. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of OM5 fiber cable in data center.

om5 fiber cable

Advantages

Firstly, it cannot deny that the emergence of OM5 is to meet the high bandwidth challenges. At this point, OM5 will definitely benefit data centers in some degree. The main advantages are in the following part.

Compatibility—OM5 cable has the same fiber size of OM4 and OM3, which means OM5 is fully compatible with OM3 and OM4 fiber. In other words, OM5 cabling supports all legacy applications in existing data center infrastructures. If a service provider wants to use OM5 for high speed data center, big changes will not be needed for existing cabling.

Distance—multimode patch cord is often the first choice for short reach connections. As we know, OM4 patch cord can support link length up to 100m with 100G-SWDM4 transceivers. While OM5 can extend the reach to 150m with the same types of fiber optic transceivers, providing another better choice for data center optimization.

Cost—when it comes to data center building, the cost is an important parameter to consider. OM5 cable is beneficial for data center deployments. Compared to single mode fiber cable (SMF), multimode fiber cable (MMF) is more cost-effective, because in most data centers, short reach connection are common. Besides, OM5 provides optimal support of emerging SWDM applications which reduce the amount of fibers needed for high speed transmissions.

Disadvantages

Each coin has two sides. Though OM5 fiber cable can benefit data center building, there are still some problems at present. It’s known to us that OM5 has just been standardized earlier this year. Even though many optical vendors have introduced OM5 fiber patch cables, in the market, the price is a little higher than OM4. And the production of the corresponding optical transceiver like 100G-SWDM4 is still limited. All these restrict the further adoption of OM5 fiber cables.

Summary

It’s getting more costly for fiber optic cabling systems in data centers. As a new MMF type, OM5 offers improved performance over popular OM4 and OM3. With the development of OM5 technology, it will bring more benefits for data centers.

Related Article: OM5 Multimode Fiber FAQs

Point-to-Point VS Structured Cabling: Which One Is Best for You?

With the emergence of the Internet of Things, the cloud and mobility, much of the conversation about network connectivity is focused on wireless. However, cabling isn’t going away. Requirements are evolving, but cabling is still an essential component of any IT environment. Because the life-cycle of a cabling system is typically much longer than most of your IT infrastructure, it is important to understand the primary cabling methods and plan carefully. This article will make a comparison between two basic cabling methods: point-to-point cabling and structured cabling.

What Is Point-to-Point Cabling?

Point-to-point cabling refers to a data center cabling system comprised of “jumper” fiber cables that are used to connect one switch, server or storage unit directly to another switch, server or storage unit. A point-to-point cabling system is adequate for a small number of connections. However, as the number of connections in a data center increases, point-to-point cabling lacks the flexibility necessary when making additions, moves or changes to data center infrastructure. When the first data centers were built, end user terminals were connected via point-to-point connections. This was a viable option for small computer rooms with no foreseeable need for growth or reconfiguration. As computing needs increased and new equipment was added, these point-to-point connections resulted in cabling chaos with associated complexity and higher cost. Therefore, there is a downside to point-to-point cabling. However, the point-to-point cabling is surfacing again with the use of top of rack (ToR) and end of row (EoR) equipment mounting options. ToR and EoR equipment placement relies heavily on P2P cables, which can be problematic and costly if viewed as a replacement for standards-based structured cabling systems.

p2p cabling

What Is Structured Cabling?

As it has been mentioned before, point-to-point cabling had aroused many problems. In response, data center standards like TIA-942-A and ISO 24764 recommended a hierarchical structured cabling infrastructure for connecting equipment. Structured cabling is a comprehensive network of cables, equipment and management tools that enables the continuous flow of data, voice, video, security and wireless communications. Instead of point-to-point connections, structured cabling uses distribution areas that provide flexible, standards-based connections between equipment, such as connections from switches to servers, servers to storage devices and switches to switches. Structured cabling is designed to meet Electronic Industry Alliance/Telecommunications Industry Association (EIA/TIA) and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards related to design, installation, maintenance, documentation and system expansion. This helps to reduce costs and risk in increasingly complex IT environments.

Comparison Between Point-to-Point and Structured Cabling

Traditionally, point-to-point cabling has been used in the manufacturing sector to establish a direct connection between devices and automation and control systems. However, point-to-point cabling lacks the flexibility, reliability, manageability and performance required for the exploding number of connections within today’s networks.

Structured cabling provides the flexibility that point-to-point does not, as well as the capability to support future technologies, faster connections and more intelligent networks. Although structured cabling has long been the preferred approach in IT, we cannot deny point-to-point cabling completely. Here, the pros and cons of selecting a structured cabling implementation versus point-to-point implementation are listed in the picture below:

Conclusion

Cabling is among the most important considerations for organizations managing a data center, and investing in the right technologies to enable flexibility and optimal performance is key. Although there are several instances where point-to-point Top of Rack or End of Row connections make sense, an overall study that includes total equipment cost, port utilization, maintenance, and power cost over time should be undertaken—involving both facilities and networking—to make the best overall decision. On the whole, point-to-point cabling can present data center many problems. Structured cabling is a better choice over point-to-point cabling.

LC-LC Patch Cable in Data Center

LC-LC patch cable has already become the main force of high density cabling network infrastructure. To future increase the profits of LC-LC fiber patch cable, manufactures has invented LC-LC patch cables of different features to meet various requirements in data center and increase the network performance.

What Kind of Fiber Patch Cable Is Required in Data Center?

Data center is a place of thousands fiber links. The selection of fiber patch cables will directly affect the network performance. More and more data centers choose to select fiber patch cable of high performance. Generally, insertion loss and return loss of connectors terminated on patch cable and light loss of optical fiber used for fiber patch cable are three most basic factors for fiber patch cable selection. To satisfy the increasing demands for higher density and easier management in data center, the optimization of fiber patch cable has never stopped. The following introduces several popular LC-LC fiber patch cables which represent the trends of fiber patch cable that data center is asking for.

LC-LC fiber patch cable

Low Insertion Loss and Bend Loss LC-LC Patch Cable

When a length of fiber patch cable is connected in network, optical light loss occurs at the optical fiber and the connectors terminated on it. There are different optical light losses, among which insertion loss at the connectors and bend loss in fiber optic cables are the two most commonly light losses that technicians are trying to overcome. Manufactures provides LC-LC fiber patch cables which can minimize these losses to the most.

Insertion loss refers to the fiber optic light loss caused when a fiber optic component insert into another one to form the fiber optic link. To provide low insertion loss patch cable, LC connectors terminated on the patch cable has been optimized. Standard LC-LC patch cable usually has an insertion loss less than 0.3 dB. However, for upgraded LC-LC patch cable, the insertion loss is usually lower than 0.2 dB. To decrease the bend loss, a type of bend insensitive fiber (BIF) has been used in fiber patch cable. With optimized LC connectors and bend insensitive fiber, LC-LC fiber patch cable could provide lower light loss during network transmission.

uniboot LC cable

High Density LC-LC Patch Cable

LC connector was invented for higher cabling density. standard duplex LC-LC fiber patch cable can provide much higher cabling density than other duplex fiber patch cables. To further increase cabling density in data center, the connectors and cable diameter of LC-LC patch cable are becoming smaller. Uniboot LC-LC patch cable is a typical example. This kind of fiber patch cable designed the two fibers of the duplex patch cable into a single cable. In adding the two connectors terminated at each end of the duplex patch cable share the same boot. With less using cable counts, uniboot patch cable can provide higher cabling density and better cooling environment in data center.

Polarity Switchable LC-LC Patch Cable

The development of patch cable won’t stop at low loss and high density. Making fiber patch cable easier-to-use is also important. Polarity of fiber patch cable matters a lot during installation of fiber patch cable, especially for duplex fiber patch cable and MTP patch cable. It is common to change the polarity of a duplex patch cable during deployment. Technicians might need tools to change the polarity of patch cable. However, a polarity switchable LC-LC patch cable can make things much easier. Without any tools you can polarity reversal could be really easy. The following picture shows the polarity reversal of a special designed LC-LC patch cable.

polarity switchable LC patch cable

Conclusion

LC-LC patch cable has been designed into many different types. A high performance fiber patch cable should not only provide low insertion loss and bend loss, but also higher cabling density and easy-to-use features. This is also the trend of data center development.