What Is SFP Cable And How Is It Used?

SFP cable, also known as 10G SFP+ cable, SFP+ DAC twinax cable or SFP+ AOC cable, is a form of high speed cable with Small Form Factor Pluggable Plus on either end. They are suitable for in-rack connections between servers and switches. SFP cable’s popularity can be attributed to that Cat5e copper cabling and 1000BASE-T have dominated data center interconnection application for years, however, the upgrading to 10GE, 40GE and beyond poses a significant hindrance in both power consumption and cost. At this point, 10G SFP+ direct attach copper swoops in and becomes a new favor of Top of rack switching.

10G SFP cable

What Is SFP Cable?

SFP twinax cable which replaces two optical modules and a connectorized optical fiber with a twinaxial copper cable assembly offers the higher density, lower cost, and lower power 10 Gigabit Ethernet solution than other cable types such as 10GBASE-CX4 and CAT6/CAT6A 10GBASE-T. The SFP cables can be classified to 10G SFP+ DAC cable and 10G SFP+ AOC cable. SFP+ AOC features longer transmission distances(>100m), isolation from signal interference and crosstalk and higher signal transmission capacities but it’s more expensive than SFP+ DAC. SFP+ DAC consists of active DAC and passive DAC. Passive DAC cables have no signal amplification built into the cable assembly hence for ultra short reach(<5m), whereas active DAC cables have signal amplification and equalization built into the cable assembly for a litter longer reach(5-15m) in the same time with a higher price.

10G SFP DAC vs AOC

SFP Cable: 10G SFP+ Cable vs. 25G SFP28 Cable

We’ve already known that SFP+ is made to operate at 10Gb/s. And SFP28, as the enhanced version of SFP+, is designed for 25G signal transmission. SFP28 utilizes the same familiar form factor as SFP+, but the electrical interface is upgraded to handle 25Gbps per lane. To put it simply, 10G SFP+ cable and 25G SFP28 cable just has the same form factor but with different speed. What’s more, 25G SFP ports can support a full range of 10G SFP+, which means 10G SFP+ cable can be plugged into 25G SFP ports.

How SFP Cable Is Used?

As 10G network is widely deployed in today’s data center, 10G SFP cables are commonly used in interconnect applications below 100m, such as server to switch or storage to switch interconnection in the same rack (Shown in the below picture). And now 25GbE is popular and 25G direct attach cable assemblies, such as SFP28 DACs, are already available in the market. For 40GbE, 40G QSFP+ DACs and AOCs are used. Of course, higher speed and more bandwidth are needed for spine switches. Thus, 100G DACs, like QSFP28 DACs are used in this case.

sfp cable application

Conclusion

With the convenience of plug and play technology, FS.COM’s family of 10G SFP cable delivers throughput that exceeds those of industry standards. Besides, they also offer a variety of high speed interconnect DAC assemblies including 40G/56G QSFP+ cable, and 100G QSFP28 cables to satisfy the demands from 10G to 100G interconnection. All of direct attach copper cables can meet the ever growing need to cost-effectively deliver more bandwidth, and can be customized to meet different requirements.

High Density Fiber Adapter Panel User Guide

With the rapid development of the optical network, data center cabling has become increasingly sophisticated, making cable management all the more important. Since cable spaghetti isn’t only extremely hard to 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 the 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 the 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.

48-Port 10GE Switch Selection: What Is the Right Choice?

The advent of big data, virtualization and cloud computing are pushing higher speed network adoption. As such, data center networks are going through a profound change – in which 40GE has become ubiquitous and 10GE a must. Network managers have reaped great benefits by deploying 10G Ethernet switch at the edge of the large professional network, which makes 10G SFP+ switch a choice for speed and productivity. In the midst of various 10G Ethernet switch, a 48-port 10Gb switch is considered as an optimal solution for handling data traffic that delivers great scalability. Then how to choose the right 48-port 10GE switch? We’re going to explore it in this article.

Why Do I Need a 48-Port 10GE Switch?

10G Ethernet switch is a cost-effective solution compared to multiple Gigabit Ethernet ports, while delivers substantially better throughput and latency. It is already well established in IT industry and we’ve seen massive adoption of 10G infrastructure. Density, power and cooling of 10G SFP+ switch are key motivators for deployment of data center network. With compelling improvement in bandwidth, port density, latency and power consumption. 10G SFP+ switch has become the interconnect of choice for latency sensitive application with enhanced reliability and network performance. 10G Ethernet switch comes into various port configuration, and a 48-port 10GE switch is the most future-proofing one with abundant application in business oriented network. It increases the total available bandwidth, the reduced power consumption in cables and switch ports, and overall reduction in infrastructure costs.

48-Port 10GE Switch Selection: What Is the Right Choice?

Common 48-Port 10GE Switch Comparison

As the need for 48-port 10 Gigabit switch spurring, vendors also compete to offer 10G Ethernet switch with advanced function and decreased cost. Here we compare some commonly seen 48-port 10GbE switch along with FS.COM N5850-48S6Q 48-port 10GE switch, including parameters about their port combination, switching capacity, latency, power consumption and 48-port 10Gb switch price.

Model
Edge-core AS5712-54X
Cisco WS-C3850-48XS-S
Dell Networking S4048-ON
HPE 5900AF (JC772A)
N5850-48S6Q
SFP+ Ports
48
48
48
48
48
QSFP+ Ports
6
4
6
4
6
Switch Class
L2 and L3
L3
L2 and L3
L3
L3
Switching Capacity
720 Gbps
1280 Gbps
1.44Tbps full-duplex
1280 Gbps
1.44Tbps full-duplex
Latency
720 ns
600ns
680 ns
Max Power Drew
282 W
234.35 W
260 W
200W
Forwarding Rate
1 Bpps
909 Mpps
1080 Mpps
1 Bpps
Price
$5,095.00
$7,970 00
$7,475.96
$9522.52
$4,419.00

When selecting a 10G SFP+ switch, it all comes down to two things: application and budget. Your application of the 48-port 10GE switch partially determines several factors, such as port configuration, switching capacity, power consumption and switch class. The port configuration and speed are relative to switching capacity. So you have to consider the amount of traffic to run through this 48-port 10GE switch and select one that can accommodate all the data flow. Power consumption on the other hand is also very essential as it defines the operating cost in the long run, a power efficient switch can save you a great amount of money. All the 10G Ethernet switch in the table have very similar port combination and they are all L2/L3 switches. As for these 48-port 10Gb switch price, N5850-48S6Q has unsurpassed benefits over the others.

Deep Dive into FS.COM 48-Port 10GE Switch N5850-48S6Q

This 48-Port 10GE switch N5850-48S6Q is a 10G SDN switch, which is designed to meet the high-performance, availability, and network-scaling requirements of enterprise and cloud data centers. It provides full line-rate switching at Layer 2 or Layer 3 across 48 x 10GbE ports and 6 x 40GbE uplinks, delivering 1.44Tbps switching capacity for the most demanding applications. This 48-port 10GE switch can be used either as a Top-of-Rack switch, or as part of a 10GbE or 40GbE spine-leaf fabirc. All ports support full L2/L3 features, IPv4/IPv6 and OpenFlow for high scalability and Software-defined Network (SDN) for ease of operation. Besides, N5850-48S6Q 48-Port 10GE switch delivers excellent low latency (680 ns) and power efficiency in a PHYless design. While support for advanced features, including MLAG, VxLAN, SFLOW, SNMP, MPLS etc, this 48-port 10G Ethernet switch is ideal for traditional or fully virtualized data center.

fs.com 48-port 10ge switch

Conclusion

48-port 10GE switch has made a great leap forward to satisfy the demand for increased network performance, reliability and scalability. The need for 10 Gigabit Ethernet spans all markets and business types, as technology marches forward, these 10G Ethernet switches will no doubt drop in cost and increase in capability. Equipped with higher level of hardware and software reliability design, FS.COM 48-port switch offers compelling reliability and scalability improvements. For more information, welcome to visit our site.

What Is a Core Switch and Why Do We Need It?

Network switches are categorized into different types according to different principles, such as fixed switch and modular switch based if you can add expansion module to it, and managed switch, smart switch and unmanaged/dumb switch depending on whether you can configure it and the complexity of the configuration. Another way to classify the type of a network switch is by the role it plays in a local area network (LAN). In this case, one switch is considered to be an access switch, an aggregation/distribution switch or a core switch. In small networks we do not see core switch. So many people are having questions about what core switches are. Do you know what is core switch? Is there only one core switch in a network? What are the differences between core switch and aggregation/access switch?

What Is Core Switch?

If we spend some time looking up dictionaries for the meaning of core switch, we will find a definition similar to “A core switch is a high-capacity switch generally positioned within the backbone or physical core of a network. Core switches serve as the gateway to a wide area network (WAN) or the Internet—they provide the final aggregation point for the network and allow multiple aggregation modules to work together (An excerpt from Techpedia).” The definition explains its high-capacity feature, the physical location and its function of connecting multiple aggregation devices in network.

What Are the Differences Between Core Switch and Other Switches?

The biggest difference between core switch and other switches is that, core switch is required to always be fast, highly available and fault tolerant since it connects all the aggregation switches. Therefore, a core switch should be a fully-managed switch. But if it is a switch not used in the core layer, it can be a smart switch or an unmanaged switch.

Another difference is that, the core switch is not always needed in a LAN while we may often have the aggregation switch and the access switch. Because in small networks that have only a couple of servers and a few clients, there’s no actual demand for a core switch vs aggregation switch. In the scenario where we don’t need the core layer, we often call it a collapsed core or collapsed backbone since the core layer and the aggregation layer are combined.

The third difference is that there’s generally only one (or two for redundancy) core switch used in a small/midsize network, but the aggregation layer and the access layer might have multiple switches. The figure below shows where the core switch locates in a network.

Core switch in the core layer

What Should Be Kept in Mind When Using Core Switch?

The first thing we should keep in mind is that core switch is urgently required in two occasions. One occasion is when the access switches are located in different places and there is a aggregation switch in each place, then we need a core switch to optimize the network. Another occasion is when the number of the access switches connecting to a single aggregation switch exceeds the performance of it, and we need to use multiple aggregation switches in a single location, then the use of core switch can reduce the complexity of the network.

With core switch and without core switch

As for specific type and number of core switch that we should adopt in a network, that depends on the scale and budget of our network, including how many servers, clients or lower layers switches we have. For example, say that a small network has 100 users and has 6 48-port Gigabit aggregation switches, a suitable core switch will be like Juniper EX2200, Cisco SG300, or FS.COM S5800-8TF12S 10GbE switch.

The second thing is that a core switch should be fully-managed, which means it should support different method of management, such as web-based management, command line interface and SNMP management. Also it should have some advanced features like support for IPv6, built-in Quality of Service (QoS) controls, Access Control Lists (ACLs) for network security.

And generally the connections to the core layer should be the highest possible bandwidth. In addition, since the core switch act as the center of a LAN, it should be able to reach any devices in the network, not directly but within the routing table. A core switch is usually connected to the WAN router.

Conclusion

In the design of a network, there might be access layer, aggregation layer and core layer. Though the core layer is not required in smaller networks, it is indispensable in medium/large networks. And the high-capacity core switch plays an important role in delivering frames/packets as fast as possible in the center of the network. Its contribution can not be underestimated especially in networks where speed, scalability and reliability are key to users.

Related Article: 48-Port 10GE Switch Selection: What Is the Right Choice?
Related Article: Optics Solutions for FS.COM 100G Switches

Recommendations for Gigabit Switch with 10G Uplink Port

Gigabit network switches connect Ethernet devices in a network while providing great performance capabilities. In many network structures, gigabit Ethernet switches are often used as access switches that connect devices in a local area network. As the pace of network migration is getting fast, the need for gigabit switch with 10G uplink is growing too. And numbers of network administrators desire to apply 1G switch with 10G uplink in their systems.

Understanding Gigabit Switch with 10G Uplink Port and Its Market

Gigabit switches with multiple port configurations enable the network capacity to expand in consumer or corporate environments. For example, an 8 port gigabit switch can provide fast transmission speed for office users, and an 24-port gigabit switch works effectively for small and mid-sized business networks (SMBs). While 802.11ac has changed the way business support the quantity of devices connecting to each other. For network switches in last three years, 10G uplink added significantly to the cost for the switches with less than 48 ports, which isn’t what the customer want.

FS gigabit switch with 10G uplink port

Over the years, gigabit switches in the market usually come with gigabit SFP port. When users want to find one 1G switch with 10G uplink port to speed their networks, they find most gigabit switches with 10G uplink port only exist in 48-port gigabit Ethernet switches. However, not every user needs a 48-port gigabit switch for their applications. But they have to pay for the extra ports which they do not use. Considering this, a multitude of vendors like Dell, FS.COM, MikroTik, Netgear and D-link begin to supply gigabit switch with 10G uplink in the market. Now except for the early 48-port gigabit switch, 8-port, 16-port and 24-port gigabit switches with 10G uplink are available in the gigabit switch market for different size applications.

Recommendations for Popular Gigabit Switches with 10G Uplink Port

48-port gigabit switches are the early type of network switches that provide 10G uplink port. And numbers of users are familiar with this switch. Now there is a multitude of 8-port and 24-port gigabit switches with 10G uplink port appear in the switch market, which satisfy users’ demand as well as boom the market. Here are popular 24-port gigabit switches coming with 10G SFP+ uplink port.

Gigabit Switch Mode 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports Gigabit SFP SFP+ Uplink ports Switching Capacity Forwarding Rate Layer Support Price

FS S3700-24T4S

24

/

4

128Gbps

95.232Mpps

Layer 2+

$289

MikroTik
CRS226-24G-2S+RM

24

/

2

88Gbps

No Info

Layer 3

$299

D-Link DGS-1510-28X

24

/

4

128Gbps

95.24Mpps

Layer 2+

$395

FS S3800-24T4S

24

/

4

128Gbps

95Mpps

Layer 2+

$299

Zyxel XGS4600-32

24

4 combo

4

136Gbps

101.1Mpps

Layer 3

$1477

From the chart we can see, all the gigabit switches listed above provide 24 port 10/100/1000 Ethernet RJ45 ports. Apart from the MikroTik CRS226-24G-2S+RM 24-port gigabit switch that only has 2 SFP+ ports, the leaf gigabit switches come with 4 10G SFP+ ports for uplink to fully exploit the power of 10G servers and storage supporting high bandwidth applications like data backup and replication, and high-volume transaction processing. And they support extensive Layer 2+ or 3 features, enabling them have the same performance as 48-port gigabit switches.

In addition, with the 10G uplink port, most 1G switches can realize stacking or uplink, which make the entire network more efficient. Lots of users have complained that 10G links are expensive, thus getting cheaper, but still not cheap. However, from the chart, the price of four 24-port gigabit switches with 10G uplink port above is less than $400, which is really cost-effective for today’s Ethernet networks.

Summary

Gigabit switches with 10G uplink port can provide high speed data pipes to servers and storage devices. By taking advantage of the SFP+ fiber optic connectivity, those 8-port or 24-port 1G Ethernet switches offer an ideal solution for remote and branch offices.

Related Article: Cheap PoE Switch: 24 Port PoE Switch Price Comparison
Related Article: FS.COM LAN Access 10G Switch Analysis