Category Archives: Fiber Cabling

10G SFP+ and 25G SFP28 Compatibility Analysis

In recent years, data centers are expanding at an unprecedented pace to drive the need for increasing bandwidth between the server and switches. 10GbE is not adequate bandwidth for today’s networks. There’s a tendency that 25GbE (based on SFP28) is on route to displace 10GbE (based on SFP+) from its leading role as the work horse in networking construction. As this transition takes place, questions about SFP+ and SFP28 compatibility arise for anyone who’s planning to upgrade the 10GbE to the higher and faster 25GbE. This post will provide a thorough presentation to 25GbE and clarify the compatibility issues between 10G SFP+ and 25G SFP28.

What Is 25G and Why Do We Need It?

25G Ethernet was based on the IEEE 802.3by standard and released in 2016. 25GbE specification makes use of single-lane 25 Gbps Ethernet links, providing a simpler path to future Ethernet speeds of 50 Gbps, 100 Gbps and beyond. By offering the advantages listed below, 25GbE is gained more and more momentum among service providers and data centers.

Backward Compatibility With 10GbE

The high performance 25G chips use single-lane 25G serdes technology similar in operation to 10GbE, supporting technology advancements from 10G in packaging and silicon. 25GbE allows existing switch architectures to support link speeds faster than 10G with no increase in cable/ trace interconnect.

Faster Network Performance

The 25G Ethernet based on the SFP28 form factor delivers 2.5 times more performance and bandwidth compared to 10G speeds. It also provides easy migration path to 50GE (2x25GE) & 100GE (4x25G), laying a path to higher networking speeds like 200G and 400G.

Significant Cost Benefits

25GbE delivers 2.5 times more data vs. 10GbE, thus reducing the power and cost per gigabit significantly. This power savings will in turn result in lower cooling requirements and operational expenditure for data center operators.

Available 25G Optical Modules and Cables

Every new Ethernet speed has gone through multiple pluggable form factor migrations to achieve higher density and lower power consumption goals. For instance, 10G moved successively to the X2 and XFP form factors before finally converging on the SFP+ form factor that allows for up to 48 ports per 1U. Similar form factor transitions happened for 40G (CFP to QSFP) and 100G (CFP, CFP2, CFP4 and QSFP), in achieving the highest density and lowest power. With the release of the 25GbE specification, 25 Gigabit Ethernet equipment is available on the market using the SFP28 form factors. For optical modules, FS offers cost-effective 25GBASE-SR, 25GBASE-LR, and 25G CWDM SFP28 transceivers to cut your hardware costs. For short-haul transmission, 25G SFP28 DAC (direct attach cable) and 100G QSFP28 to 4x SFP28 AOC (active optical cable) in various lengths are also available for all needs and specifications.

25G SFP28 DAC and AOC

10G SFP+ and 25G SFP28 Compatibility

With 10G and 25G Ethernet equipment coexisting on the market today, we may frequently encounter the compatibility issues related to SFP+ and SFP28 form factors. Anyway, the newer 25GbE technologies are backward compatible with 10GbE, allowing customers to build and cross-connect a heterogeneous-speed Ethernet network. Here we list the frequently asked questions coming through average customers.

1.What is the difference between SFP28 and SFP+?

The pinouts of SFP28 and SFP+ connectors are mating compatible. However, SFP+ is designed to operate at speed up to 10 Gb/s whereas SFP28 can handle 25Gbps, 10Gbps and even 1Gbps. SFP28 has increased bandwidth, superior impedance control and less crosstalk than the SFP+ solution. Besides, the SFP28 copper cable has significantly greater bandwidth and lower loss compared to the SFP+ version.

2.Can the SFP28 be used in SFP+ slot, and what speed will I get?

Theoretically, plugging an SFP28 transceiver or cable into the 10G interface is feasible for certain devices to get 10Gb/s data rate, but this solution is not recommended, because it would be limited by the NIC and switch port that you have. Only when your SFP28 module is 100% compatible with your server or switch can you ensure that the links can go seamlessly and efficiently.

3.Can the SFP+ be used in SFP28 slot, and what speed will I get?

Theoretically, plugging an SFP+ transceiver or cable into the 25G SFP28 slot is feasible. But you also need to make sure ensure that your existing modules will be compatible with your switch gear. That is to say, although a switch that accepts the SFP28 form factor can physically accept a SFP+ connector in the same port, it doesn’t mean that your SFP+ modules will work on your equipment.

Note: When shopping for new 25G leaf switches, if you have SFP+ modules you want to use, look for switches that accept the SFP28 form factor, which is physically capable of taking existing SFP+ modules. The same holds true for QSFP+ modules and QSFP28 ports. Carefully read the product specs to ensure that your existing modules will work with your new equipment.

Conclusion

As the majority of 25G switches and network interface cards offer backward compatibility to 10G, there is lots of flexibility to manage a gradual migration to higher speed servers and mix and match port speeds. Theoretically, all SFP28 based 25G ports on switches and 25G NICs can be used at 10G speed via port self-negotiation, but the premise should be that your existing modules are compatible with the NIC and switch port that you have. With a minimal premium for 25G based systems compared to 10G systems, it becomes a wise choice to deploy 25G capable systems to realize the performance advantages for migrations & future proofing initiatives.

Related Article:
10G – 25G – 100G Network Upgrade: An Inevitable Roadmap for Future Data Centers
FS 25G Portfolio for Data Center 25G/100G Leaf-Spine Network

MTP Solutions for High-Density Needs

With the ever-increasing demands for high-density backbone cabling. MTP solutions have enjoyed widespread popularity. In this post, we will have an exploration of two MTP solutions: MTP cable and MTP cassette. For those who are unfamiliar with this term, it’s necessary for us to get started from its basics.

Background Information on MTP

In this part, you are required to acquire three terms: MTP, MPO, and polarity.

MPO

MPO stands for “multi-fiber push on” connector. Usually, it refers to a type of a multiple fiber core connector, defined by IEC-61754-7 (common standard) and the U.S. TIA-604-5 Standard.

MTP

MTP is the short for “multi-fiber termination push-on” connector, which is the latest generation of MPO connector developed by US Conec. Fully compliant with the MPO standards, the multi-fiber termination push-on connector is considered as MPO fiber connector. For multi-fiber termination push-on or multi-fiber push on connector, they can both accommodate 8 to 24 fibers, which are the perfect choices for the 40G/100G network. Multi-fiber termination push-on or multi-fiber push on connector is available in a female version (without pins), or a male version (with pins) as shown in figure 1. The pins ensure the exact alignment of the fronts of the connectors, which protects the interfaces of the connectors from being offset.

MTP Connectors

Figure 1: MTP Connectors

Also, there are guide grooves (keys) on the top side of the factory terminated multi-fiber termination push-on connectors, which ensure that the adapter holds the connector with the correct ends aligned with each other. According to the key, the multi-fiber termination push-on connector comes with two types. One is “key-up to key-down”, which means the key is up on the one side and down on the other. The two connectors are connected turned 180°in relation to each other. The other one is “key-up to key-up”, which means both keys are up. The two connectors are connected while in the same position in relation to each other.

MTP Connector Structure

Figure 2:  Multi-fiber Termination Push-on Connector Structure

Polarity

In any installation, it is important to ensure that the optical transmitter at one end is connected to the optical receiver at the other. This matching of the transmitting signal (Tx) to the receiving equipment (Rx) at both ends of the fiber optic link is referred to as polarity.

MTP Solutions

For multi-fiber termination push-on solutions, there are two frequently used applications: MTP cable and multi-fiber termination push-on cassettes. They are the best choices for providing a simple, cost-effective, and structured cabling system.

MTP Solutions

Figure 3: MTP Solutions

Cables

Multi-fiber termination push-on cables usually consist of the multi-fiber termination push-on connectors and the fiber optic cables. Sometimes, the LC connectors are used, which we will expound in the following part. As for fiber cables, they are typically used in OS2, OM3 or OM4. With different applications, the multi-fiber termination push-on cable can be classified into multi-fiber termination push-on trunk cable and multi-fiber termination push-on harness cable.

Trunk Cable

Serving as a permanent link, the trunk cable is designed to connect multi-fiber termination push-on or multi-fiber push on modules to each other. It’s available in 12, 24, 48 and 72 fibers. For the ends, the cable is commonly found to be terminated with 12-fiber or 24-fiber multi-fiber termination push-on or multi-fiber push on connectors. When it comes with the polarity of the patch cord, there are three different types (type A, B, and C), which is defined in the TIA standard. In the following figures, the three different connectivity methods for 12-fiber and 24-fiber MTP/MPO trunk cable are showed respectively.

12-Fiber MTP Trunk Cable

Figure 4: 12-Fiber Multi-fiber Termination Push-on Trunk Cable

24-Fiber MTP Trunk Cable

Figure 5: 24-Fiber Multi-fiber Termination Push-on Trunk Cable

Harness Cable

Multi-fiber termination push-on harness cable is used to provide a transition from multifiber cables to individual fibers or duplex connectors. For instance, 8 fibers 12 strands MTP-LC breakout cable has eight LC fiber connectors and a multi-fiber termination push-on connector. According to data of FS.COM, the 8-fiber and 24-fiber MTP to LC breakout cables are the best-selling multi-fiber termination push-on connector harness cables. For the polarity, the 8-fiber multi-fiber termination push-on connector breakout patch cord has two types (Type A and Type B); while the 24-fiber harness cable has three types (Type A, Type B, and Type C). For details, please refer to the following figures.

12-Fiber MTP Harness Cable

Figure 6: 12-Fiber Multi-fiber Termination Push-on Harness Cable

24-Fiber MTP Harness Cable

Figure 7: 24-Fiber Multi-fiber Termination Push-on Harness Cable

 Cassette

MTP-cassette is a kind of pre-terminated cassette module. It enables the “transition” from ribbon cables terminated with multi-fiber termination push-on connector connectors to the LC or SC interface on the transceiver terminal equipment. Conventionally, the multi-fiber termination push-on connector cassette is loaded with 8, 12 or 24 fibers and have LC or SC adapters on the front side and multi-fiber termination push-on connector at the rear. Nowadays, the three most widely used cassettes are MTP-8, MTP-12, and MTP-24 cassettes, or also known as Base-8, Base-12, and Base-24 multi-fiber termination push-on cassettes. For MTP-8 cassette, it is only available in Type A. While multi-fiber termination push-on-12 and multi-fiber termination push-on-24 cassettes both come with Type A and Type AF. For their polarity details, please refer to the following figures.

MTP-8 Cassette

Figure 8: Multi-fiber Termination Push-on-8 Cassette

MTP-12 Cassette

Figure 9:  Multi-fiber Termination Push-on-12 Cassette

MTP-24 Cassette

Figure 10:  Multi-fiber Termination Push-on-24 Cassette

Summary

In this post, we make an overview of MTP, including what the multi-fiber termination push-on and multi-fiber push on, and what their the polarities are. Then we share three types of multi-fiber termination push-on solutions for high-density networking: MTP trunk cable, MTP harness cable, and MTP cassette.

FS Fiber Optic Cable Types

To date, fiber optic cables have brought high speed network services to companies, campuses and homes. And we have discussed fiber optic cables a lot in the past, such as Introduction of Fiber Optic Cable. However, the truth is we have just scratched the surface of this complicated system. Different fiber optic cable types are versatile in the function and installation. Today, we’ll introduce FS fiber optic cable types in order to further understand the optic cables.

Why Fibers?

Fibers are truly one of the greatest inventions of our world. They are slim cables that have thousands of optic fibers within the plastic, outer jacket. The optic fibers are incredibly hair-thin strands of glass that transmit data by light, which is quite different from the copper cables or RJ45 cables. Basically, compared with the copper cables, fiber cables are much more efficient and secure for network applications. They can deliver more data with a greater degree of fidelity over greater distances. In addition, because fiber cables are made of glasses, they are immune to any type of electrical interference. Therefore, these cables could be put in direct contact with soil or in close proximity to chemicals without concern.

FS Fiber Optic Cable Types

To make a clear product catalog, FS has classified the fiber cables by different applications. Therefore, people can select the cables more easily according to their various needs.

MTP/MPO Fiber Cable

MTP/MPO fiber cables consist of MTP/MPO connectors and fiber cables. Each cable can bring 8, 12 or 24 fibers together in a single MTP/MPO interface. And other connectors like SC or LC are also could be found in some MTP/MPO cables. MTP/MPO cables are designed for 40 or 100G applications in data centers for ultra-high density cabling. FS MTP/MPO cables have low insertion loss, and help you reach direct connection for 40G connectivity. As the figure shows, MTP/MPO cable is usually used for connecting optic transceivers, MTP cassettes and fiber adapter panels and so on.

mtp cables

Figure 1: MTP/MPO cable is widely used.

Fiber Patch Cables

Usually, fiber patch cables are terminated with fiber optic connectors such as LC, SC, ST and so on at each end of the cables. Through these connectors, optical cables can be connected to network switches, patch panels or other networking devices. Based on fiber cable mode, fiber patch cables are divided into single mode fiber like OS2, and multimode fiber such as OM3 and OM4. All FS fiber patch cables are made of PVC jacket material with low insertion loss and attenuation at different distances. They play important roles for indoor uses like server rooms. Commonly, fiber patch cables are used to connect transceiver modules. Note that, fiber cables with different connectors must be connected with the transceivers that have the corresponding interfaces. For example, the following cable is a LC to LC single mode cable. Therefore, the transceivers here must have LC interfaces.

fiber optic cable types- fiber cable

Figure 2: A fiber patch cable connects two transceivers.

Ultra HD Fiber Cables

In FS ultra HD fiber cables catalog, there are ultra low loss LC SMF/MMF, uniboot LC cables, BIF fiber cables and customized LC+ cables. Compared with traditional fiber cables, ultra HD fiber cables use a compact design with a flat clip model and a slimmer wire body, which saves about 50% of cabling space. This is extremely suitable for high density data centers.

ultra HD fiber cables

Figure 3: Ultra HD fiber cables save lots of space.

Conclusion

Where to buy fiber optic cables? FS is absolutely your preferred choice. Here we offer different fiber optic cable types, MTP/MPO cables, patch cables and ultra fiber cables for all your voice, video and data communication needs. In addition, FS provides customized services for fiber cables with a favorable fiber optic cable price. Any questions about fiber cabling, please contact us via sales@fs.com.

DSL vs Ethernet Cable vs Fiber Optic Cable Speed

Wifi is excellent, we all love it. But under the wireless work, there are serious cabling, and data travels through DSL, Ethernet cables and fiber optic cables. The question is, which one performs better? And what’s the difference between DSL, Ethernet cable and fiber optic cable speed? Don’t worry, we are here to help you understand the key differences among the different cables.

DSL vs Ethernet Cable vs Fiber Optic Cable Speed

What Is DSL?

DSL stands for Digital Subscriber Line. It’s a communication medium used to deliver digital signals via the copper telephone lines. DSL service functions much like dial-up Internet service. However, unlike dial-up service, the “two-wire” technology of DSL makes it possible for users to connect to the broadband internet and make or receive phone calls at the same time. Because DSL utilizes the existing telephone lines which means there is no requirement for extra cabling for DSL service. Thus, it allows users to download files, watch online videos and support cloud backups.

What Is Ethernet Cable?

Ethernet cable is the most common network cable type in our daily life, which is specifically designed to facilitate the communication between different electronic equipment such as computers, fax machines or scanners. Cat3, Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6, Cat7 are the different Ethernet cable types. Each new promotion of category supports increasingly faster bandwidth speeds and improves upon the signal-to-noise ratio.

What Is Fiber Optic Cable?

The fiber optic cable contains strands of glass fibers inside an insulated casing. Compared with the wired cables, fiber optic cable speed is faster which is designed for long distance and high performance data networking. Single mode fiber and multimode fiber are the primary types of fiber optic cable. Both of them can support the world’s Internet, cable television and telephone system.

DSL vs Ethernet Cable vs Fiber Optic Cable Speed

When we buy the cables, the speed is always an important consideration. Now we’ll compare DSL, Ethernet cable and fiber optic cable speed.

  • DSL speed

Download speed of DSL is generally in the 1-35Mbps range, while the upload speed ranges from 1Mbps to 10Mbps. When the DSL packages speed is around 1 megabit per second, it’s suitable for basic web browsing and sending or receiving emails. If the cable speed is up to 6Mbps or 7Mbps, you can enjoy online music and standard video streaming but may be a little slow for HD video.

  • Ethernet Speed

Ethernet cable download speed usually starts from 10Mbps to 500Mbps, and the upload speed is 5-50Mbps. Note that these ranges are the criteria you can achieve for home use. And for the specific areas, internet providers offer much higher speed which can be 1000Mbps. With a faster data speed, you can enjoy HD audio streaming and VoIP services.

  • Fiber Optic Cable Speed

Fiber optic cable speed is the fastest. Download speed of a fiber patch cord could be anywhere from 250Mbps to 1000Mbps. And fiber providers commonly provide “symmetrical” service, which means the upload speed is as high as the download speed. Though fiber optic cable price is usually a bit higher than DSL or Ethernet cable, it’s always worth buying it. You are free to enjoy heavy web browsing, file sharing and online backup, superior download and upload. And it’s a great option for hosting servers and complex cloud-based services.

Conclusion

As described above, fiber optic cable speed definitely wins. If you want a connection that can move at lightning speeds, fiber is the best choice. If you care more about the budget, both DSL and Ethernet cable can offer plans that allow you to get a decent network speed at a reasonable price. DSL is the cheapest for lower speed plans, while Ethernet cable is the cheapest for higher speeds. So choose the best Internet cable service based on your needs.

Proper Horizontal Cable Management for Rack

Cable management is a critical part of network cabling systems that require a large number of moves, adds and changes. The improper cable management may result in cable damage or cause transmission errors and performance issues as well as system downtime. In a horizontal manager system, the cable management for rack is important in telecommunications rooms for leased office space, brokerages and trading houses where the workstations will move or add additional ports frequently. This post will analyze why the horizontal rack cable management is important and offers FS horizontal cable management solutions for rack.

Why Is Proper Horizontal Rack Cable Management Important?

  • Poorly routed cables can lead to an assortment of problems over time. Jumbled cables would increase the risk of cables to be tangled up, and a possibility of interruption when reconnecting the cables.
  • The rack cable management is directly related to hardware safety. All equipment running on the server rack is going to generate heat, so organizing a rack with a conception involving space will help promote the airflow and hardware management.
  • Cable labels in a proper horizontal rack cable management can save a lot of time on troubleshooting. Just imagine how difficult it would be to trace a cable through that mess.
  • If rack cables were unorganized, a technician would spend hours tracing wires when something goes wrong. In most circumstances, we can’t afford to stay offline while a technician unravels a tangled nest of cables. Thus a proper horizontal cable management makes it easy for the technician to identify and access where goes wrong and fix it in far less time.

Horizontal Cable Management for Rack: Where to Start with?

Horizontal cable management system is often installed within racks or cabinets to manage cables on front racks and draw cables away from equipment neatly. The rack space of a horizontal cable management infrastructure is typically 1U or 2U high. The following part gives the FS plastic & metal horizontal fiber patch panel, cable managers, lacer panels to promote a proper cable management in your horizontal network cabling systems.

Horizontal Rackmount Fiber Patch Panel

Horizontal rackmount fiber patch panels help to organize cables and eliminate cable stress for your rack enclosure cabinet. FS offers 1U 19’’ blank rackmount fiber patch panels with plastic D-rings on the cable management panel and lacing bar. These rackmount fiber patch panels can be used to organize cables for fiber optic adapters, fiber enclosures, Ethernet switches, WDM chassis, etc.

ID 59576 72910
FS P/N FHD-1U-CMP300 FHD-FPP5DRL
Fiber Counts Max.96 Fibers Max.96 Fibers
Material Metal (SPCC) Metal+Plastic
No. of D-rings 5 (Metal) 5 (Plastic)
Detachability Yes (with Screws and Tools) Yes (Without Tool)
Horizontal Cable Managers with Finger Duct & Brush Strip

Horizontal cable managers with finger duct and brush strip allow neat and proper routing of the patch cables from equipment in racks and protect cables from damage. Fixed inset fingers on the front and back allow easier access to the ports for moves, adds, and changes. And the brush strip horizontal cable manager is constructed of high-quality steel with high-density nylon bristles, which can promote proper airflow through the rack and meet the demand for front-to-back cable runs.

ID 29038 29040 29039 68690 29033
FS P/N CMH-SFD1U CMH-DFD1U CMH-SFD2U CMH-4DRB1U 1U-BR-CMP
Material Plastic Plastic Plastic Metal (SPCC) Metal (SPCC)
Style Finger Duct Finger Duct Finger Duct Brush Strip & D-rings Brush Strip
Cable Capacity 44(Cat6) 44(Cat6) 100(Cat6) 100(Cat6)
Horizontal Lacer Panel with D-rings

Horizontal lacer panels are efficient tools for rack or enclosure cabling. These D-rings on the lacer panel are essential to avoid cable strain and prevent damage to the ports on your rack-mount equipment. The five rotating D-rings can be easily assembled or disassembled manually according to your needs.

ID 64457 72911
FS P/N FHD-1U-CMP100 FHD-CMP5DR
Style D Rings Plastic D Rings
Number of Rings 5 5
Material Metal (SPCC) Metal+Plastic
Detachability Yes Yes

Conclusion

This post provides users with a horizontal cable management solution that simplifies cable routing in a finished professional appearance. With proper and efficient horizontal cable management tools, cable spaghetti is not a problem anymore. You can just have a peace of mind and reap the great benefits of sound cable management. FS horizontal cable management tools provide an efficient way to manage high performance copper, fiber optic, or coaxial cables on any 1U or 2U rack. For more details, please kindly visit www.fs.com.

Related Article: FS.COM 1U Cable Management Solutions Guide

Related Article: Selecting the Right Horizontal Cable Manager