A Glimpse Into The Future: 25G & 50G Ethernet

With the ever growing usage of 10G network, 10G could not satisfy the requirement for some Ethernet network users who urge for a higher demand on speed, distance, media and cost. Under this circumstance, upgrading network is paramount. For 100G network upgrading, there are three available approaches, “10G—40G—100G”, “10G—25G—100G” or “10G—25G—50G—100G”. The latter two are announced to better satisfy the data center and cloud network. Comparing to 40G and 100G, people heard less about 25G and 50G. So what are they? This article would put emphasis on 25G Ethernet and 50G Ethernet as well as their optics.

25G-100G immigration

25G Ethernet

25 Gigabit Ethernet, abbreviating as 25G Ethernet, is standard for Ethernet network connectivity. Developed by IEEE P802.3by 25 Gb/s Ethernet Task Force, 25G Ethernet is a standard for Ethernet connectivity. The 25 Gigabit Ethernet Consortium is an open organization to all third parties who wish to participate as members to enable the transmission of Ethernet frames at 25 or 50 Gigabit per second (Gbps) and to promote the standardization and improvement of the interfaces for applicable products. The main features of 25G Ethernet are listed in the following:

  • A single lane per physical port maximizes the number of connected servers or uplinks per switch.
  • Single higher speed 25 Gb/s lanes maximize bandwidth and switch fabric utilization vs. 4 x 10 Gb/s lanes.
  • Overall higher port count, utilization and total server interconnect bandwidth vs. 40 GE.
  • Connections to switch ASICs is limited by SERDES count and bandwidth.

SFP28 Pluggable Modules

SFP28 is the abbreviation of Small Form-Factor Pluggable 28, which is the third generation of SFP interconnect systems. The SFP28 optical module is designed for 25G performance and developed by the IEEE 802.3by specification. According to the SFP28 Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) and SFP28 specification, the SFP28 is designed with a form factor, optical/electrical connection and digital diagnostic interface. In addition, the SFP28 optical transceiver has also been designed to meet the harshest external operating conditions including temperature, humidity and EMI interference. Below are the industry standard 25G optics:

industry standard 25G optics

50G Ethernet

Comparing to 40G Ethernet, 50G Ethernet is more rarely known by people. Being led by the 25G Ethernet Consortium, 50G Ethernet is initially based on 2 lanes of 25 Gb/s. IEEE802.3bs is the 50G per lane specifications to support Nx50G configurations. And the standard expected in September 2018 while the interface expected on the market in 2018+. Different from 40G Ethernet, 50G initial limited deployment as proprietary 2x25G. In terms of technology, 40G and 50G per lane (Serial) technology will be defined together (40G as reduced speed 50G). With the respect of cost, 40G and 50G Serial will have similar cost, i.e. 50G Serial will offer 25% more bandwidth for the same cost. The core features of 50G Ethernet are listed in the below:

  • A faster base signaling rate is needed to for higher capacity.
  • Similar to 25 GE, 50 GE extends existing common network topology for higher speed.
  • The server and data center market requirements vary widely.

50G Pluggable Modules

New 50 GE pluggable modules are in the same common form factor sizes as other common pluggable modules. There are two form factors of 50G modules, SFP56 and QSFP56. The SFP56 pluggable module has the same size as SFP, SFP+ and SFP28 while the QSFP56 pluggable module has the same size as QSFP, QSFP+ and QSFP28.

Conclusion

Through this article, we are cleared the 25G and 50G Ethernet as well as their optics respectively. With the ever increasing usage of network data due to millions of new connected devices to servers and storages data centers, 25G Ethernet and 50G Ethernet provide a flexibility, scalibilty, cost-efficient way for adapting to future network growth.

10G Technology: 10GBASE-T Vs. SFP+

As the basis of upgrading network, 10G network has been ubiquitous in data center, enterprise network and even home networking. 10GBASE-T and 10G SFP+ are two different kinds of technology which transmit data via copper and fiber respectively. 10GBASE-T technology provides the most flexible and economical solution while 10G SFP+ offers the compatible and user-friendly solution for 10G Ethernet connectivity option. This article would shed light on the difference between 10GBASE-T and 10G SFP+.

10GBASE-T Technology

As the fourth generation of IEEE standardized Base-T technologies, 10GBASE-T is designed to reduce overall costs and improve flexibility. By using RJ45 connectors and unshielded twisted pair cabling, 10GBASE-T allows 10Mbps, 100Mbps, 1Gbps, and 10Gbps data transmission, while being backward-compatible with prior generations. Merits and demerits of using 10GBASE-T are listed in the below.

Pros of 10GBASE-T
  • Cheap twisted pair cables.
  • Patch panels can be used without messing around with transceivers.
Cons of 10GBASE-T
  • Higher power consumption.
  • People may get tempted to use substandard cabling, and this would have a negative influence on the speed.
  • No good way to extend length beyond 100m (though this can be somewhat mitigated by choosing switches with mostly 10GBASE-T but also a handful of SFP+ ports) limited choice of equipment.
10G SFP+ Technology

The 10G SFP+ transceiver meets the standard of Multi-Sourcing Agreement (MSA), and provides the cost effective solution for 10G optical data communication. It supports both duplex and simplex LC optics interfaces. The 10G SFP+ transceiver consists of 10Gbit/s DFB/EML optical transmitter and PIN receiver, which allow 300m~120km 10G Ethernet and 10G fiber channel applications. Advantages and disadvantages of using 10G SFP+ transceivers are listed in the below.

Pros of SFP+
  • Lower latency
  • Lower power consumption
  • Cheaper NICs and switches
  • More choice of connected equipment.
  • With transceivers and fiber basically any run length can be covered.
Cons of SFP+
  • Apparently, it is not a big deal for transmission within short distance.
  • For longer runs or runs that need to go through patch panels needs transceivers and fiber. Fiber itself is cheap but transceivers, termination, patch panels, and etc for fiber would cost a lot.
10GBASE-T Vs. SFP+

This passage would mainly demonstrate the difference between 10GbE base T and SFP+ options from the respective of technology, latency, and power consumption.

—Technology

Generally, 10GBase-T is cheaper and easier to deploy than the alternative SFP+ technologies. You can further compare these two different technologies in the following table:

Table1 Comparison between 10GBASE T and SFP Plus

—Latency

Low latency is paramount to ensure fast response time and reduce CPU idle cycles. That increases data center efficiency and ROI. With the increasing of using private cloud applications, the need for low latency is growing fast in large scale data centers.

When it comes to 10GBase-T, the PHY standard uses block encoding to transport data across the cable without errors. The standard specifies 2.6 microseconds for the transmit-receive pair, and the size of the block requires that latency to be less that 2 microseconds. SFP+ uses simplified electronics without encoding, and typical latency is around 300 nanoseconds (ns) per link. You can further compare them in the below table.

latency comparison

Basically, there are only slight differences between 10GBASE-T and SFP+ in terms of application latency. Relatively speaking, 10G SFP+ has lower latency than 10GBASE-T. High latency would exert negative influence on CPU and therefore limiting data center efficiency and increasing operational costs.

—Power Consumption

10GBase-T components today require anywhere from 2 to 5 watts per port at each end of the cable (depending on the distance of the cable) while SFP+ requires approximately 0.7 watt (regardless of distance). The difference is clearly shown in the below chart.

power consumption comparison

(Resource: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com)

Conclusion

Through this article, we are clear about the pros and cons of 10GBASE-T and SFP+ as well as their differences in technology, application latency and power consumption. It is evident that SFP+ is the right technology to ensure optimal performance with lowest latency and lower power usage in the data center. The cost saving becomes obvious when deploying from 1000 to 10,000 cables in the data center.

Cloud Core Switch—An Economic Choice for L3 Switch

MikroTik Switches have been popularly received favorable reviews, and this is inseparable with their keeping on the bleeding edge of switching technology. As a new member of MikroTik Smart Switch series, cloud core switch, also called cloud router switch, combing the best features of a fully functional router and a Layer 3 switch. That is to say, this cloud router switch works as both switch and router to connect the VLAN. This article would mainly discuss about cloud core switch, CRS226-24G-2S+RM switch and its connectivity solutions, as well as the reasons why they are economic choice for L3 switch.

About Cloud Core Switch

The cloud core switch, or cloud router switch, abbreviated as CRS, is a highly configurable switch, powered by RouterOS. It has 24 Gigabit Ethernet port. The Ethernet port 2-24 are switched, and the device can be accessed via these ports through the IP 192.168.88.1. Ethernet port 1 is configured as a DHCP client and has firewall on it. The SFP port is configured the same way as Ethernet 1, with a firewall and DHCP client on it. For the cloud router switch, there are nine models currently available. Here lists three different cases of the cloud core switch:

  • CRS125-24G-1S-2HnD-IN (integrated wireless, indoor case)
  • CRS125-24G-1S-IN (indoor case)
  • CRS125-24G-1S-RM (rackmount case)

MikroTik cloud router switch

Figure1: MikroTik cloud router switches(Resource: www.MikroTik.com)

Cloud Core Switch CRS226-24G-2S+RM

As one of the cloud core switches, CRS226-24G-2S+RM have been highly favored by most people. CRS226-24G-2S+RM is a fully functional layer 3 cloud router switch powered by Router OS, which is also available in 1U rackmount case. It comes with a special switch menu which includes all the specific configuration options for switches. It has 24 Gigabit ports and two SFP+ cages for 10G connectivity in which first SFP port supports 1.25G/10G modules and second port only 10G modules. Ports can be removed from the switch configuration and used for routing purposes if needed. The most distinctive feature of CRS226-24G-2S+RM is that uses a new class of switch chips, which allows us to have two SFP+ ports for 10G connectivity. The main features of this cloud core switch are listed in the following:

  • Fully manageable L3 switch, full wire speed switching
  • Configure ports as switch, or for routing
  • If required, full RouterOS power right there
  • SFP+ ports for 10G connectivity

CRS226-24G-2S+RM_big

Figure2: cloud core switch CRS226-24G-2S+RM(Resource: www.MikroTik.com)

Connectivity Solutions for CRS226-24G-2S+RM

As being mentioned, the cloud core switch CRS226-24G-2S+RM has 24 Gigabit ports and 2 SFP+ ports. For the twenty-four 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, you could use both network cables and optical transceivers to connect. The transmission speed of Cat5 and Cat5e cables can be up to 100 Mb/s and 1G respectively. Besides, you can also use 10/100/1000BASE-T copper transceiver to make network connectivity. But it costs more than the network cables. In terms of 10G SFP+ ports, there are also two connectivity approaches. You can use both 10G SFP+ modules and 10G SFP+ DAC copper cable to connect. Relatively speaking, the 10G DAC cable is cheaper a lot than the 10G transceiver. But if transmission quality is your pursuit, and then 10GBASE SFP+ transceivers would be a good choice.

Why Are Cloud Core Switches Economic Choice for L3 Switch?

According to the above description, cloud core switches are powered by Router OS. RouterOS lets you add upper layer functionality. The cloud core switch is very far below wire speed when doing layer 3 or above. In fact, the cloud core switch is more of a bare-bones layer 2 switch that has an embedded low-horsepower router. In short, the switch features are useful for making bridges that work at wire speed, but they’re limited to simple forwarding and vlan handling. The bridge feature lets you glue almost anything together, and gives lots of filtering/manipulation tools, but it cannot perform at wire speed because it uses the main CPU. Last but not least, the average prices of Mikro Tik cloud core switches are not more than $150, you can check them by this link.

Conclusion

Cloud core/router Switch is a managed switch that runs RouterOS and SwitchOS, which delivers a high performance as a Layer 3 switch. They allow to manage port-to-port forwarding, apply MAC filter, configure VLANs, mirror traffic, apply bandwidth limitation and even adjust some MAC and IP header fields. The economic L3 switch including several switch models covering wide range applications, like enterprise network and home network.

Dell Powerconnect 2700 Vs. 2800 Series Switches

Both the Dell PowerConnect 2700 series and 2800 series switches are secure, fixed-port Gigabit switches. The Dell PowerConnect 2700 series was launched in the early 2000s, designed to deliver full wire-speed switching performance. Not long after the 2700 series, the 2800 series were released to support jumbo frames for networks that need to move large files across the network. They are both cost-effective solutions for small network environments, such as branch offices, schools and etc. However, it seems that it is hard to make a decision about purchasing these two series switches. This article would offer a satisfied solution to you and give a brief introduction to 2700 series and 2800 series switches.

Dell PowerConnect 2700 Series Switches

The Dell PowerConnect 2700 series switches are web-managed switches, the web-interface allows the user to easily manage the switch without learning CLI commands or integrating the switch into an SNMP-based application. These switches offer three port densities, including 8, 16, 24 and 48 Gigabit Ethernet 1 ports. Besides, the 2724 and 2748 have SFP slots in a combo port arrangement that deliver fiber capabilities. Auto MDI/MDIX and autonegotiation of speed, duplex mode and flow help deliver improved control over your network traffic. Totally, there are four models of 2700 series switch—Dell PowerConnect 2708, 2716, 2724, 2748. The main features of these switches are listed in the below:

  • There switches are prepared in advance for any elevated IT requirements.
  • They could eliminate the potential risks within the switch.
  • The 2700 series switches provide the flexibility to meet the requirement of various end users and applications environments.
  • They provide smartly balancing quality and the best prices.

dell-powerconnect-2716-overview

Figure1: Dell Powerconnect 2716 switch(Resource: www.DELL.com)

Dell PowerConnect 2800 Series Switches

As same as the 2700 Series Switch, Dell PowerConnect 2800 Series Switches are also web-managed Gigabit Ethernet switches. These switches offer four port densities, including 8, 16 , 24, and 48 port Gigabit Ethernet ports. In addition, the 2824 and 2848 have SFP slots in a combo port arrangement that deliver fiber capabilities (SFP transceivers optional). The PowerConnect 2800 family also supports jumbo frames for networks that need to move large files across the network. There are also four switch models of 2800 series switches—Dell PowerConnect 2808, 2816, 2824, and 2848. Main benefits of 2800 series switches are listed in the following.

  • Easy web access to the managed features provides a secure environment by offering password restricted access.
  • These switches offer enhanced security by allowing the user to specify which IP addresses have access to the switch.
  • The 2800 series switches support up to six link aggregation groups consisting of up to four ports per group.
  • Advanced cable diagnostics help improve network troubleshooting.

Dell 2800 series switch

Figure2: Dell 2800 Series Switches(Resource: www.DELL.com)

Dell 2700 Vs. 2800 Series switches

As being described, the Dell PowerConnect 2700 and 2800 series switches are nearly identical. But they still have some subtle differences in STP, management configuration, switching and price.

—Spanning Tree Protocol (STP)

Compared to Dell PowerConnect 2700 series switches, 2800 series support more STP protocols and support 9000 jumbo frames (not not 9014, etc.). If you do a ping -f on the 2724 with jumbo frames enabled it will go to 5000, 5500, 6000, but not 9000 – they get fragmented at that point. Granted that is only useful for iSCSI traffic, and even then it’s not 100% necessary. And the 9014+ jumbo frames is of the preference.

—Management Configuration

Both 2700 and 2800 series switches are small office switches with minimal management. They all not have LACP. BootP/DHCP IP address management or Static IP address assignment are set within the 2800 series switches. The 2800 series switches have CLI and SNMP Command Subset while the 2700 series switches do not.

—Switching

The link aggregation of both two series switches are up to eight aggregated links and up to eight member ports per aggregated link (IEEE 802.3ad). But the Jumbo frame of 2700 series switches support up to 9000 Bytes (2716, 2724, and 2748). The 2800 series switches have LACP support (IEEE 802.3ad).

—Price

Compared to 2700 series switches, 2800 series switches are cheaper. Just take the same 16-port switch for a example, a new Dell 2816 switch only needs $56 while a new Dell 2716 switch costs $112 on eBay.

Conclusion

Through this article, we are clear about the Dell 2700 and 2800 series Gigabit Ethernet switches as well as their differences in STP, management configuration, switching and price. They all powerful switches with outstanding cost and power savings. You can select an appropriate one according to your need.

QSFP-40G-UNIV vs QSFP-40G-SWDM4

Nowadays, the demand for high bandwidth increases and footprints for data center expands dramatically, which makes the migration from 10G to 40G much more necessary than ever before. Under this condition, many enterprises are ongoing or imminent to upgrade their data center network infrastructures. To better cater for our users, two transceivers 40G UNIV and 40G SWDM4 QSFP using SWDM (Short Wavelength Division Multiplexing) technology are compared in the following text, which intends to offer a cost effective transceiver solution for 10G to 40G migration applications. As parallel multimode MPO fiber cabling is much more expensive than Duplex-LC fiber cabling, Duplex-LC fiber patch cords will be used in these two SWDM applications, as a cost saving cabling method.

40G Direct Port-to-Port Connection

QSFP 40G UNIV Transceiver for SWDM Application

QSFP 40G UNIV is a kind of pluggable optical transceiver that fitted with Duplex-LC connector and can work with both single-mode and multimode fiber patch cable, originally released by Arista. Hence, it is also referred to as 40G SMF&MMF transceiver or 40G QSFP universal transceiver. When working with singlemode fiber, the Arista QSFP 40G UNIV can support 40G connection with a reach of 500m; and over OM3/OM4, the transmission distance can be up to 150m. Furthermore, the Arista QSFP 40G UNIV is designed with four 10G channels for transmitting and receiving four individual 10G signals through a single Duplex-LC fiber patch cord, for achieving a total 40G connection, as shown in the following figure.

Arista QSFP 40G UNIV

How does the Arista QSFP 40G UNIV work for 40G connection? The answer is SWDM technology. With the help of SWDM, Arista QSFP 40G UNIV will multiplex four wavelengths 1270nm, 1290nm, 1310nm and 1330nm to transmit four 10G signals over the single Duplex-LC fiber patch cord. And when the aggregate 40G signal passes through the receiver end, it will be demultiplexed into four individual 10G signals again. As a result, an aggregate 40G signal can be transmitted through a single Duplex-LC fiber patch cord. In short, Arista 40G universal transceiver is a very good choice for 40G migration which can work with LC-duplex single-mode or multimode fiber, instead of high-cost parallel multimode MPO fiber cabling.

QSFP 40G SWDM4 Transceiver for SWDM Application

QSFP 40G SWDM4 is an updated optical transceiver that basically works with Duplex-LC fiber patch cord for short 40G fiber link. It has the same working principle that uses SWDM technology as the QSFP 40G UNIV one, but can perform better. How does it do this? Unlike QSFP 40G UNIV working with both single-mode and multimode fiber, the QSFP 40G SWDM4 is designed to work with multimode fiber, which can transmit a multiplexed 40G signal over wide band OM5 at lengths up to 440m. It can also work in multimode fiber OM3 and OM4 with a reach of 240m and 350m, separately. What’s more, the power dissipation of QSFP 40G SWDM4 can be as low as 1.5W* since SWDM technology can match 4x WDM optical architecture with 4x electrical interface.

Similar to the QSFP 40G UNIV transceiver, four different wavelengths, 850nm, 880nm, 910nm and 940nm are used in the QSFP 40G SWDM4 transceiver. To transmit a total 40G signal, these four wavelengths will be multiplexed to carry four individual 10G signals, be transmitted through the Duplex-LC multimode fiber patch cord and finally demultiplexed. To better understand the principle of QSFP 40G SWDM4 transceiver, you can learn the above figure that illustrates how does the QSFP 40G SWDM4 work for a short distance 40G fiber link.

40G SWDM4 Transceivers

QSFP-40G-UNIV vs QSFP-40G-SWDM4, Which One is Better?

After discussion, we can learn that both QSFP 40G UNIV and QSFP 40G SWDM4 transceivers enable network operators to grow the capacity of their networks without laying new fiber cabling. In view of the transmission distance, QSFP 40G SWDM4 transceiver working with OM5 supports a longer 40G fiber link than QSFP 40G UNIV with OM3/OM4, but a shorter 40G fiber link than QSFP 40G UNIV with single mode fiber cable. When taking fiber cabling infrastructure cost into consideration, OM5 cabling costs about 50% more than OM4 and singlemode fiber is also very expensive. Then which one should be selected? Just depending on your network needs, such as the fiber link distance, the budget, etc. To better know the differences between QSFP 40G UNIV and QSFP 40G SWDM4 transceivers, here offers a table that shows their detailed parameters.

QSFP-40G-UNIV vs QSFP-40G-SWDM4

QSFP-40G-SR4 VS. QSFP-40G-UNIV

Due to the ever-increasing requirement for higher speed transmission, 40G Ethernet is introduced to networking world, and it will gradually dominates the market. Many vendors have released different kinds of devices to support 40GbE, among which 40G QSFP+ module is the most popular and available for short distance or long distance data transmission. There are two variants short distance QSFP+ modules: QSFP-40G-SR4, and QSFP-40G-UNIV, what are the differences among these two types? This passage will tell you and give more information.

Differences in Interfaces and Transmission Media

Commonly, for QSFP+ modules, there are mainly two connector interfaces: MPO/MTP and duplex LC(Note: LC interfaced QSFP+ uses serial transmission, while MPO/MTP interfaced QSFP+ uses parallel transmission. In serial transmission, bits are sent simultaneously on different channels within the same cable, and in parallel transmission, bits are sent sequentially on the same channel). QSFP-40G-SR4 uses MPO/MTP to achieve data transmission over multimode fiber. However, in order to avoid wasting cost and deployment time when installing in different cabling structure, duplex LC interfaced QSFP-40G-UNIV is designed to be used in both single-mode and multimode links without adding any hardware or software.

different interface between QSFP-40G-SR4 and QSFP-40G-UNIV

Differences in Working Principle

For MPO/MTP interfaced 40GBase-SR4, it offers 4 independent full-duplex transmit and receive channels, each capable of running up to 10G data rates per channel, achieving the total 40G data rates. These modules are often used with 12-fiber MTP trunk cable, four transmitting and four receiving, leaving the middle four unused. For duplex LC interfaced 40GBase-UNIV, it also uses four transmitters and four receivers but has built in optical multiplexing and de-multiplexing, which results in a duplex connector and hence operates over the same duplex fiber infrastructure as 10GBASE-SR.

different working principle of QSFP-40G-SR4 and QSFP-40G-UNIV

Differences in Transmission Distance

40GBase-SR4 module can support link lengths of 100 meters and 150 meters, respectively, on laser-optimized mutimode fibers, and it can also be used in a 4x10G mode interoperability with 10GBase-SR interfaces up to 100 and 150 meters on OM3 and OM4 fibers, respectively. 40GBase-UNIV can support the same transmission distance over OM3 and OM4 fibers, but it can also achieve link lengths of up to 500 meters over single-mode fiber.

Differences in Cost Consumption

40GBase-UNIV is much more expensive than 40GBase-SR4. Take FS.COM for example, 40GBase-UNIV is $340, while 40GBase-SR4 is $55. Besides the price of the unit itself, we should also take the whole deployment cost consumption into consideration. Migrating from 10G to 40G is inevitable. The existing 10G network uses two fibers for dual transmission. But most 40G network uses 12-fiber MTP based fiber optic cable for dual-way transmission over multimode fibers, which means if we use 40GBase-SR4 with MTP port for 10G to 40G migration, more optical fibers will be added and the cabling infrastructure will be changed. However, with 40GBase-UNIV module, it can support the same or longer transmission distance as the 40GBase-SR4 does, but it uses two strands of dual-way transmission like most 10G network, which will keep the existing 10G network when upgrade to 40G, greatly saving cost and time.

10G to 40G migration with QSFP-40G-SR4 and QSFP-40G-UNIV

Conclusion

We have introduced QSFP-40G-SR4 and QSFP-40G-UNIV modules for short distances transmission. These two module types have different features. Choosing which one totally depends on your practical applications and budgets. FS.COM has plenty of QSFP-40G-SR4 and QSFP-40G-UNIV optics in stock. For more information, please check FS.COM.

Enhance Your Network With 40G QSFP+ AOC

To meet the requirements for higher bandwidth and throughput, 40 Gigabit Ethernet has become a trend for data transmission. A series of 40G equipment are designed to achieve the seamless interconnection in the 40G network. Devices like 40G fiber optic transceivers and 40G direct attach cables are widely used for the high speed transmission. 40G direct attach cables (DAC) are optimal solutions for short range connectivity. It can be further divided into the direct attach copper cable and active optical cable (AOC). This article will focus on presenting you some cost-effective 40G QSFP+ AOC solutions to improve your network.

Basic Knowledge of Active Optical Cable

AOC is a cabling technology that accepts the same electrical inputs as a traditional copper cable, but uses optical fiber “between the connectors”. It adopts electrical-to-optical conversion on the cable ends to improve speed and distance performance of the cable without sacrificing compatibility with standard electrical interfaces. AOC is especially used for short-range multi-lane data communication and interconnect applications. It is made up of the multimode optic fiber, control chip and different connectors with one end terminated with QSFP+ connector and the other end terminated with QSFP+, SFP+, LC or else connectors.

active-optical-cable

Reasons for Choosing 40G QSFP+ AOC

However, why do we often use 40G QSFP+ AOC instead of 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ module? In fact, 40G QSFP+ AOC has many benefits that will provoke your interest for choosing it. First is the lower cost compared to the module since the AOC saves the need for extra fiber patch cables. Second is the low insertion and return loss. Although it is used for the same transmission distance, the repeatability and interchangeability performances of 40G AOC are better than 40GBASE-SR4 module. Thirdly, under the four-quadrant test, which is used to test whether the product still keeps better performance even under the lowest and highest voltage and temperature situations, the AOCs are qualified to meet all the demands.

40G QSFP+ AOC Solutions

Here provides some common 40G QSFP+ AOC solutions that are welcome in the market.

Each end of this AOC has a QSFP+ connector used for 40G data propagation. The maximum length can reach up to 100 meters. It is a 40 Gbps parallel active optical cable which transmits error-free parallel 4×10 Gbps data over multimode fiber (MMF) ribbon cables.

40g-qsfp-qsfp-aoc

QSFP+ to 4x SFP+ AOC is a breakout cable offering the professionals a cost-effective interconnect solution for merging 40G QSFP+ and 10G SFP+ between devices of adapters, switches and servers. Users can install this AOC between an available QSFP+ port on their 40Gbps rated switch and feed up to four upstream 10G SFP+ enabled switches.

40g-qsfp-4sfp-aoc

This is also a breakout AOC with a QSFP+ connector on one end and 8xLC connectors on the other. It is a high performance, low power consumption, long reach interconnect solution supporting the 40G Ethernet compliant with the QSFP+ MSA and IEEE P802.3ba 40GBASE-SR4. It is an assembly of 4 full-duplex lanes. Each lane is able to transmit up to 10 Gbps data rate providing an aggregated rate of 40 Gbps.

40g-qsfp-8lc-aoc

Conclusion

Along with the popularity of 40G Ethernet, the market of 40G QSFP+ AOC has been growing over the years. It is definitely a better choice for high speed transmission over short distances. Additionally, if you are looking for higher bandwidth AOCs, there are also 100G QSFP28 AOC and 120G CXP AOC suitable for your needs.

Pluggable Transceivers Used in Data Centers

Today’s data centers are going through unprecedented growth and innovation as emerging optical standards and customers’ demands for higher-level networking services converge. Bandwidth, port density and low-power demands come as the main drivers that populate the deployment of fiber optic networks. And in fiber optic network implementations, pluggable transceivers provide a modular approach to safe-proof network design and become the ideal choice to meet the ever-changing network needs in data centers. This text just mainly introduces pluggable transceivers deployed in data centers.

A Quick Question: What Are Pluggable Transceivers?

Pluggable transceivers are transceivers that can be plugged into routers, switches, transport gear, or pretty much any network device to transmit and receive signals. They are hot swappable while the device is operating, standardized to be interchangeable among vendors, capable of operating over many different physical medium and at different distances. For instance, pluggable transceivers can work through copper, through fiber optic cables available in both single-mode fibers (SMFs) and multi-mode fibers (MMFs), realizing 100m, 300m, 10km, 80km distance reach, etc. In addition, these hot-swappable transceivers are also able to support a wide variety of speeds, like 1Gbit/s, 10Gbit/s, 40Gbit/s, 100Gbit/s, or even higher.

Pluggable Transceiver – Standards & Protocols

Just as what has been mentioned above, pluggable transceivers are interchangeable. These interchangeable transceivers allow a single device to operate with a wide selection of protocols and functions. Listed below are commonly-used pluggable transceiver standards and protocols.

SFP—The small form-factor pluggable (SFP) supports a wide range of protocols and rates, such as Fast and Gigabit Ethernet (GbE), Fibre Channel (FC), and synchronous optical networking (SONET) for dual and bidirectional transmission. SFP medium are available in SMF, MMF, and copper. For MMF media, there exists 1000BASE-SX port type used in 1GbE applications. Take J4858C for example, this HP 1000BASE-SX SFP can realize a maximum of 550m reach at 1.25 Gbit/s over MMF.

J4858C, HP 1000BASE-SX SFP

SFP+—The enhanced small form-factor pluggable (SFP+) is an enhanced version of the SFP, supporting data rates up to 16Gbit/s. It was first published on May 9, 2006, and version 4.1 was published on July 6, 2009, supporting 8Gbit/s FC, 10GbE and Optical Transport Network standard OTU2. SFP+ is a popular industry format supported by many network component vendors.

XFP—The XFP (10G SFP) is a standard for transceivers for high-speed computer network and telecommunication links that use optical fiber. Its principal applications include 10GbE, 10Gbit/s FC, SONET at OC-192 rates, synchronous optical networking STM-64, 10 Gbit/s Optical Transport Network (OTN) OTU-2, and parallel optics links.

QSFP—The Quad Small Form-factor Pluggable (QSFP) is a also a compact, hot-pluggable transceiver used for data communications applications. QSFP+ transceivers are designed to carry Serial Attached SCSI, 40GbE (100G using QSFP28), QDR (40G) and FDR (56G) Infiniband, and other communications standards. They increase the port-density by 3x-4x compared to SFP+ modules. In 40GbE applications, these QSFP+ transceivers establish 40G links with distances up to 300m over MMF, and 40km over SMF. QSFP can also take copper as its media option when the required distance is short. Like QSFP-4SFP10G-CU5M, this product is the QSFP to 4 10GBASE-CU SFP+ direct attach passive copper cable assembly designed for relatively short reach, that is 5m. The image below just shows what this QSFP-4SFP10G-CU5M product looks like.

QSFP-4SFP10G-CU5M, QSFP to 4 10GBASE-CU SFP+

CFP—The C form-factor pluggable (CFP) is a multi-source agreement (MSA) to produce a common form-factor for the transmission of high-speed digital signals. The c stands for the Latin letter C used to express the number 100 (centum), since the standard was primarily developed for 100 Gigabit Ethernet systems.

Conclusion

Pluggable transceivers offer distance extension solutions, allowing flexibility in network reach and easy replacement in the event of component failures. They are the answer to today’s network architecture and performance demands. Fiberstore supplies various pluggable transceivers supporting different speeds, like SFP (J4858C), SFP+, XFP, QSFP, CFP, etc. Additionally, their transmission medium available in fiber and copper can also be found in Fiberstore. For more information about pluggable transceivers, you can visit Fiberstore.

Transceivers – How They Help Support Big Data in Data Centers?

Today’s data centers need to better adapt to virtualized workloads and the ongoing enterprise transition to hybrid clouds, since business owners always rely on big date technology to get timely information and make immediate decisions. Transceivers, one of the most critical designs in telecommunication field, are related to the promotion of big data in data centers, helping business owners get their data in real-time. This just explains the importance of being aware of the three ways in which transceivers help support big data in data centers.

Transceivers Facilitate High Speed Data Transfers

A growing number of enterprises are transiting to private and hybrid clouds, which drives the bandwidth and connectivity requirements. As high-speed data carrier, transceivers facilitate high speed data transfers. Enterprises that want to achieve faster transmission have to choose transceivers with high quality. There are many types of transceivers available in the market, such as SFP, SFP+, XFP, QSFP, etc. Each type of transceiver is designed to support different data rate. Capable of transmitting data at 10Gbit/s, 40Gbit/s, 100Gbit/s or even 120 Gbit/s, transceivers can realize the high-speed data transfer, ensuring bandwidth upgrades in enterprise data centers. Take 10GBASE SFP+ modules for example, these hot-pluggable transceivers (eg.SFP-10G-SR) deployed for 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) applications, though designed physically small, can handle fast transmission with the maximum data rate of 10.3125Gbps.

SFP-10G-SR, handles fast transmission

Transceivers Promote Data Transmission Process in Data Centers

Enterprise that need to manage big data can benefit from the use of transceivers. Data centers are places where enterprises store the barrage of data that comes from their offices. The information is usually stored in the cloud where employees and executives have access to the information in determining the actions they need to make in their organizations. The data centers need to transmit data accurately, securely, and rapidly. Transceiver technology can promote the data transmission process in data centers.

Transceivers Promote Data Transmission Process in Data Centers

Transceivers Support Big Data in Data Centers

Data centers have experienced the exponential growth as the demand for big data increases. Greater bandwidth is necessary to support many applications, like video download, live online show, and other types of data. Transceivers are a necessity in ensuring that the data is transmitted securely, expeditiously, and accurately via the fiber. Transceivers are used in conjunction with multiplexers and switches. When they work together, managing network capacity becomes an easy task.

Additionally, transceivers also have a role in companies’ sales. It’s known that big data can be accessible on mobile devices through the cloud. Transceivers are capable of facilitating the transmission from wireless cell tower base stations. Company employees like salesmen are always on-the-go to make sales, and to have access to information is really important. When they are able to obtain valuable information from the mobile devices which record the data, they can make decisions faster, thus more apt to make a sale for their companies.

Transceiver technology increases the speed of data transmission through the fiber deployed by enterprises in data centers. Executives can make faster decisions and maintain a competitive advantage when they have access to getting information timely. Transceivers help to support big data in data centers, and play a really important role in executives’ decision-making process. Without the use of transceivers, it’s impossible to transmit data at high speed over significant distances.

Conclusion

It’s necessary to mention that there are more than three ways that transceivers help support big data in data centers. Only three popular ways are discussed in this article. Transceivers, a key component designed in relation to the promotion of big data in data centers, are instrumental in managing big data. Fiberstore, as a professional transceiver supplier, several types of transceivers supporting different data rates, like SFP+ (SFP-10G-SR mentioned above), XFP (eg. XFP-10G-MM-SR), QSFP, etc. You can visit Fiberstore for more information about transceivers with high quality and competitive prices.

Interfaces for 40 GbE Architecture in Data Centers II

In the previous post “Interfaces for 40 GbE Architecture in Data Centers I”, we generally learned about the Chip-to-chip port side interface in the 40 Gigabit Ethernet architecture. And in this post, we will continue to learn the interfaces used for 40 Gigabit Ethernet. This article will focuses on the Chip-to-module direct attach interface.

Chip-to-module direct attach interface

A chip-to-module interface consists of a short PCB trace and a module connector between a port side IC and a module that is without retiming capability.

To increase the port densities to achieve the higher required bandwidth in chassis, the signal conditioning function was moved from inside of a 10 Gigabit pluggable module, such as XFI, to the port side interfaces. As a result, a new high-speed 10 GE serial electrical interface called SerDes Framer Interface (SFI) was defined by SFF MSA. SFI is applied for an interface between a host ASIC and the small form-factor pluggable module, SFP+ (the follwing picture shows the connection methods).

connection methods of chip to module

SFI is defined for both limiting and linear mode modules. In the limiting mode, SFI supports PHY connections to the limiting SFP+ optical transceivers, such as 10GBASE-SR optics(MMF 300m), 10GBASE-LR optics(SMF 10km), and 10GBASE-ER optics(SMF 40km). In the linear SPI interface, stronger signal conditioning capabilities are required to compensate for electrical dispersion. The linear SPI interface can be used with 10GBASE-LRM optics, and also the passive Direct Attached Copper (DAC) in the length from 1m to 7m, such as QSFP-H40G-CU5M DAC and EX-QSFP-40GE-DAC-50CM DAC.

To improve the port side densities in a chassis, the new XLPPI (40 Gbps Parallel Physical Interface) electrical specification was defined by IEEE 802.3. Another reason for the development of XLPPI is to address the incompatibility between the XLAUI and the QSFP+ module. Therefore, XLPPI is an interface with high port-density, supporting a direct connection to a Quad Small Form Factor Pluggable (QSFP or QSFP+) module (e.g. Brocade QSFP+ and Finisar QSFP+) without the necessity of a re-timer function.

Compared with XLAUI interfaces, XLPPI Interface is defined in 802.3ba Annex 86a as the interface between the PMA and PMD functions (where as the XLAUI dissects the PMA). The XLPPI is derived from the SFI interface and places higher signal integrity requirements on the host PMA than the XFI based XLAUI.

XLPPI is the electrical specification to both passive copper based 40GBASE-CR4 QSFP+ module and the optical modules such as the short reach 40GBASE-SR4 optical transceiver and 40GBASE-LR4 optical transceiver. Therefore, currently QSFP+ modules with XLPPI interfaces support 40GBase-CR4 (both passive and active) cables and 40GBase-SR4 (either AOC or using the MPO/MTP®connector) cables.

40G Transceivers: CFP, QSFP and CXP

In fiber optic communication, 40GbE transceivers are being developed along several standard form factors, such as CFP (C form-factor pluggable) transceiver, QSFP/QSFP+ (quad small-form-factor pluggable) transceiver and CXP optical transceiver. This article will introduce the three types of optical transceivers to further your understanding of 40G optics.

CFP Transceiver

CFP, short for C form-factor pluggable, is compliant with multi-source agreement (MSA) to produce a common form-factor for the transmission of high-speed digital signals. The C in the acronym “CFP” stands for the Latin letter C, which refers to the number 100 (centum), since the standard was primarily designed for 100 Gigabit Ethernet systems. In fact, CFP also supports the 40GbE. When talking about CFP, we always define it as multipurpose CFP.

CFP

The CFP form factor, defined in the MSA, supports both singlemode and multimode fiber and a variety of data rates, protocols, and link lengths, including all the physical media-dependent (PMD) interfaces contained in the IEEE 802.3ba Task Force. At 40GbE, target optical interfaces include the 40GBase-SR4 for 100 m and the 40GBase-LR4 for 10 km. There are three PMDs for 100 GbE: 100GBase-SR10 for 100 m, 100GBase-LR4 for 10 km, and 100GBase-ER4 for 40 km.

QSFP/QSFP+ Transceiver

QSFP/QSFP+ transceiver (Quad Small Form-factor Pluggable Plus) is a wildly used transceiver interfaces in data communications, connecting a network device motherboard (e.g. a switch, router, media converter and the like) with a fiber optic cable. It is a industry format that is jointly developed and supported by many network component vendors, such as Dell QSFP+, Juniper QSFP+, Mellanox QSFP+ and HP QSFP+. Additionally, QSFP supports both copper and optical cabling solutions.

Compared with the CXP, the QSFP (quad small-form-factor pluggable) is similar in size (shown as the following picture). It provides four transmitting and four receiving lanes to support 40GbE applications for multimode fiber and copper today and may serve single-mode in the future. Another future role for the QSFP may be to serve 100GE when lane rates increase to 25Gb/s.

QSFP-CXP

CXP Transceiver

“C” in the acronym CXP represents for 12 in hex, and the Roman number “X” means that each channel has a transmission rate of 10 Gbps. “P” refers to pluggable that supports the hot swap. Thus, CXP is a hot-pluggable transceiver with data rate up to 12×10 Gbps.

CXP is developed for the clustering and high-speed computing markets, so we also call it high-density CXP. the CFP is able to work with multimode fiber for short-reach applications, but it is not really optimized in size for the multimode fiber market, most notably because the multimode fiber market requires high faceplate density. The CXP was created to satisfy the high-density requirements of the data center. It is featured with the parallel interconnections for 12x QDR InfiniBand (120 Gbps), 100 GbE, and proprietary links between systems collocated in the same facility.

As stated above, these 40G optics have been very popular in the market, and they are able to keep the momentum in the future for 100G transmission.

1000BASE-T – Upgrade Your LAN Over Copper Cable

During the deployment of bandwidth-intensive applications over local area networks (LANs), many factors should be considered, like the speed, the infrastructure, the transmission media, etc. One of the most important things is the cost. Many LANs already use CAT-5 cabling. Replace these cables with fiber optic cable might cost a lot. For some companies which might have tight budgets and must leverage their existing infrastructure, 1000BASE-T would be a nice and cost-effective way to upgrade their LAN.

Cat5e UTP

What is 1000BASE-T?

1000BASE-T is Gigabit Ethernet that provides speeds of 1000 Mbps (1 gigabit is 1000 megabits per second) over four unshielded twisted pairs of cabling rated at Category 5/5e or better. 1000BASE-T specification allows a segment with a maximum length of 100 meters due to signal transmission limits, which can be used in data centers for server switching, LANs, for uplinks from desktop computer switches or directly to the desktop for broadband application. One of the advantages of 1000BASE-T is cost-effective.

A Cost-Effective Solution for Gigabit Ethernet

Fiber optic cables are gradually replacing copper cables in today’s telecommunication network. However, given the high cost of replacing copper cables with fiber optic cables and the low cost and good performances of 1000BASE-T, many companies might choose the 1000BASE-T system to upgrade their network and enjoy Gigabit Ethernet over copper cables. The following text illustrates the reasons why 1000BASE-T is one of the most cost-effective high-speed networking technology available.

SFP 1000BASE-T

  • No need to replace copper cables with fiber optic cables—it is known that copper solutions havtraditionally been lower than fiber-based solutions. As many companies still use Cat 5 twisted pairs, the replacing of copper into fiber optics will cost a lot of money and time. With the application of 1000BASE-T, companies can upgrades their local area network, data centers, etc. by using their existing copper cable place which would be time-saving and cost-saving.
  • No need to change Ethernet equipment and infrastructure investments—if you replace all the copper cables into fiber optic cables, you would be forced to replace cabling located in walls, ceilings, or raised floors. And the equipment connected to the fiber links should also be updated. It would be time-consuming and high-cost task, which won’t be the best choice of some companies with tight budget or lacking of time. With 1000BASE-T, these problems would be solved easily. 1000BASE-T preserves Ethernet equipment and infrastructure investments, including the investment in the installed Category 5 cabling infrastructure.
  • Flexible 100/1000 and 10/100/1000 connectivity—1000BASE-T support data rate ranging from 10 Mbps to 1000 Mbps. Flexible 100/1000 and 10/100/1000 connectivity will be offered and will enable the smooth migration of existing 10/1000 networks to 1000 Mbps-based networks. Used in conjunction with 1000BASE-T SFP transceivers, 1000BASE-T can provide highly cost-effective shared gigabit service. Various 1000BASE-T SFP transceiver modules that can enhance the performance of 1000BASE-T systems are being provided by current vendors.

1000BASE-T is a time-saving and cost-effective solution to upgrade the LANs to have Gigabit Ethernet. With the big advantage of cost-effective, 1000BASE-T are being widely applied. As technology advanced, various products are being provided to enhance the 1000BASE-T performances, like 1000BASE-T SFP transceivers. Fiberstore provides a wide range of telecommunication products including 1000BASE-T SFP transceivers and Category 5/5e products. You can visit Fiberstore for more detailed information about 1000BASE-T.

Why Choose Direct Attach Cable in 40G/100G Migration?

Advance technologies like Big Data and Cloud which require high speed of data rate become more and more popular. To meet the ever growing need to high speed data transmission, many data centers are migrating from 10 GbE to 40 GbE or even 100 GbE. And some are considering about the migration, during which the cost is one of the most important factors to consider. Direct attach cable also known as DAC is a cost effective solution during the migration to 40GbE or 100GbE.

What Is Direct Attach Cable

A direct attach cable also known as DAC is usually a fixed assembly supporting high speed data that uses a small form-factor connector module as an optical transceiver on each end of a length of cable. With significant cost-saving and power-saving benefits, direct attach cable is now being widely used in data centers for short reach applications. It can be connected to switches, servers, routers, network work interface cards (NICs), Host Bus adapters (HBAs) providing high density and high data throughput.

Why Choose Direct Attach Cable

Direct attach cable with many significant benefits can satisfy the growing need for high speed data. The main benefits of direct attached cable are described in the following text.

Cost saving: the modules on the end of direct attach cable looks like optical transceivers. However, actually they very much different from optical transceiver. These small form-factor connector modules leave out the expensive optical lasers and some electronic components. That’s the main reason why the DAC is much cheaper than optical transceiver. Direct attach cable in some case can be an alternative to optical transceivers as it eliminates the separable interface between transceiver module and optical cable. Thus, choosing DAC in some cases can save a lot of money as well as time.

Low power consumption: to identify the modules on the end and cable type to the Ethernet interface, in both active direct attach cable and passive direct attach cable a small electrical component is used, which is low cost and consumes very little power compared with optical transceiver.

Supporting high data rate: DAC can provide high speed I/O (input and output) data. The most commonly used DAC can support high data rate of 10 Gb/s and 40 Gb/s. However, as technologies advanced, some vendor can provide direct attached cable supporting 120 Gb/s, like 120G CXP Cables.

Meet small form-factor standards: the modules on each end of DAC meet small form-factor standards which means DAC inherits some advantages of the small form-factor module, like space saving. Some time there is no need to upgrade the equipment by using a DAC.

40GBASE QSFP+ Direct Attach Cable

With various benefits like abilities in data transmission and cost saving, direct attach cable is becoming increasingly popular for short distance top-of-rack (ToR) and middle-of row (MoR) data center deployments. It’s a cost-effective solution to 40G/100G migration. Currently direct attach cable are continuing to evolve to meet industry needs. Various types of directive attach cable are being provided. Fiberstore as a vendor of optical components provides DAC cable assemblies including 10G SFP+ Cables, 40G QSFP+ Cables, and 120G CXP Cables. For information please visit Fiberstore.

Optical Transceiver Selection Guide

As an important optical component being widely used in today’s optical network, optical transceiver has been developing rapidly. More and more vendors are providing various types of transceivers to meet the market calls. To select a matching transceiver for a given application and hardware is now an easy thing now. Many parameters should be considered. The following text is to provide the parameters should be considered during the selecting of the proper optical transceivers.

MSA (Multi-Source Agreement) Type

A transceiver is usually used to mechanically and electrically fit into a given switch and router. Transceiver MSAs define mechanical form factors including electric interface as well as power consumption and cable connector types. There are the following types of optical transceivers according to MSA: GBIC, XENPAK, X2, XFP, SNAP12, SFP, QSFP/QSFP+, CXP and CFP.

Protocol and Data Rate

As different switch or router supports different protocol and data rate. Before selecting the transceiver needed, make sure the protocol and data rate to be supported. The following provides the most common protocol and data rate types:

  • Gigabit Ethernet: 1 GE/10GE/40GE/100GE
  • Fiber Channel: 1GFC (1.25Gbps) / 2GFC / 4GFC / 8GFC / 16GFC
  • SDH STM-1 (155Mbps) / STM-4 (622Mbps) / STM-16 (2.5Gbps / STM-64 (10Gbps)
  • Multirate (155Mbps to 2.67Gbps)
  • CPRI up to 6Gbps (for Video Transmission)
Transport Media

The most commonly used transport media are cooper, single mode fiber (SMF), Multimode fiber (MMF). Maker sure the transport media, before choosing an optical transceiver.

Transceiver “Color”

The colored transceiver commonly known as CWDM transceivers and DWDM transceivers. In CWDM or DWDM system, each channel uses a different “color” transceiver because each lambd represents a different color in the spectrum

Equipment Compatibility

In what switch or router is the transceiver supposed to work. Now the third party transceivers are being provided. If the equipment open for third party transceiver, then the third party transceiver could be an option. However, if not, the brand, model and firmware version must be known.

IEEE Descriptions

The functions of the optical transceivers are various, thus understand the IEEE descriptions of the optical transceivers can help to select the match one quickly. The following provided are the translation of IEEE descriptions:

  • MM: multimode
  • SM: single mode
  • Base -T: “copper” SFP with electrical RJ45 interface
  • SX: SFP 850nm, MM, grey, 1GE, approx. 500m
  • LX: SFP 1310nm, SM, grey, 1GE, approx. 8km
  • EX: SFP 1310nm, SM, grey, 1GE, approx. 40km
  • ZX: SFP 1550nm, SM, grey, 1GE, approx. 70km
  • CX4: “copper” XFP with electrical IB4x connector
  • SR: SFP+ or XFP 850nm, MM, grey, 10GE, approx. 300m
  • LR: SFP+ or XFP 1310nm, SM, grey, 10GE, approx. 10km
  • ER: SFP+ or XFP 1550nm, SM, grey, 10GE, approx. 40km
  • ZR: SFP+ or XFP 1550nm, SM, grey, 10GE, approx. 80km
  • SR4: QSFP 850nm, MM, 40GE, approx. 100m
  • SR10: CFP 850nm, MM, 100GE, approx. 100m
  • LR4: CFP or QSFP 1310nm, SM, 40GE (CFP or QSFP) or 100GE, approx. 10km

Fiberstore-CWDM-TransceiverTaking the above parameters into consideration, to select a match optical transceiver would be much easier and more quickly. Fiberstore, an professional optical components provider, offers a wide range of optical transceivers of high quality including SFP, SFP+, CWDM transceiver, DWDM transceivers, etc. For more information, you can visit Fiberstore.

QSFP Transceiver – Economic 40G Transceiver Solution

The optical communication industry has been enjoying great growth for many years. Now the mobile and virtualized workloads, cloud applications, big data, heterogeneous devices are promoting the development of this industry further more. The demands for faster connection speed have been more and more significant. Many operators and data centers have been upgrading their networks, during which an optical component—fiber optic transceiver plays an important role.

Various fiber optic transceivers have been invented. However, there are several types can be regarded as the milestone of the development of fiber optic transceivers. Since 2002, SFP transceivers has replaced XFP transceivers gradually and has become the mainstream part of the 10GB/s market. Now the data rate of fiber optic networks is kept growing. The footstep of transceiver’s developing won’t stop here. This industry is moving to the 40GB/s time. The new kind of fiber optic transceivers has been invented—40G optical transceiver.

The most common optical transceiver that supports a data rate of 40Gb/s is QSFP transceiver. QSFP (quad small form-factor pluggable) transceiver is a hot-pluggable interface provides four channels of data in one pluggable interface. Each channel is capable of transferring data at 10Gb/s. Thus, a QSFP transceiver with four-high-speed-channel can support data rates up to 40Gb/s and is widely used in computing and telecommunication applications.

qsfp-transceiverThe QSFP transceiver designed to enable extremely high-density applications with stacked and ganged configurations has excellent features:

  • High density & Space saving—The QSFP module replaces four standard SFP modules in a space that is only 30 percent larger than a single SFP. However, QSFP transceiver has 4 channels in one interface which can provide 3 to 4 times density of SFP.
  • High data rate—the QSFP can support Ethernet, fiber channel, and SDH/SONET with data rates up to 10 Gb/s per channel, 40 Gb/s in total.
  • Economics—The QSFP transceiver demonstrates potential for aggregated higher volumes and can improve the economic benefits effectively.
Applications
  • Switches, Routers, and host bus adapters (HBA’s)
  • Enterprise storage
  • High density, high speed I/O (input/output)
  • Multiple channel interconnects, etc.
Fiberstore Solutions

QSFP currently is the most common optical transceivers that are applied for 40Gb/s use. Fiberstore provides a wide rage of 40Gbase QSFP/QSFP+ transceivers, including 40Gbase-PLRL4 QSFP+ transceiver and 40Gbase-LR4 QSFP+ transceiver which can be shipped in 12 hours. For more information please visit Fiberstore.

Some Common Fiber Optical Transceivers

Fiber optic transceiver including both transmitter and receiver in a single module is an important equipment transmitting and receiving data to support the normal operation of optical fiber data transmission system. The market currently offers a wide selection of fiber optic transceiver for use with different types of wire, fiber and wavelength and so on.

A group of companies joined together to agree on package standards also called multisource agreements (MSAs). The package standards help customers choose the best transceivers to their applications and make sure the they can use transceiver from multiple vendor without redesigning the board. In the following text, some common fiber optic transceivers according to package standards are introduced in details.

9-PIN&GBIC&SFF
9-Pin transceiver
 is also known as 1×9 optical transceiver. This transceiver has a single row of output pins at the rear of the device. The optical interface is usually ST or duplex SC receptacles. It is mainly used in fiber optic transceiver, optical switches, single/multi-mode converter as well as some industrial control applications.

GBIC transceiver, namely gigabit interface converter transceiver, is a plug-in interface designed to allow a pluggable interface for Gigabit Ethernet. It offers a standard, hot swappable electrical interface and can support a wide range of physical media from copper to long-wave single mode optical fiber, at lengths of hundreds of kilometers. However, this type of transceiver is gradually replaced by SFP transceiver which has more advantages.

SFF (small form-factor) transceiver is a compact optical transceiver used in optical communications for both telecommunication and data communications applications. Compare to 9-pin and GBIC transceivers, SFF transceivers is smaller allowing more ports in a given area. SFF transceivers have 10 or 20 I/O (input/output) pins that solder to the board.

SFP&SFP+&XFPSFP transceiver, small form-factor pluggable, small hot-pluggable optical module is a pluggable version of SFF transceiver and an upgraded version of the early GBIC module, with 10 I/O connections at the rear of the package. With smaller volume and higher integration, it is currently the most popular fiber optic transceiver.

SFP+ transceiver, also called enhanced SFP or SFP plus, with a higher transmission rate usually up to 8.5 G or 10 G, is a kind of optical transceiver module specified for 8Gbps/10Gbps/16Gbps fiber channel and 10Gigabit Ethernet applications.

XFP transceiver, 10Gigabit small form-factor pluggable transceiver, is the next generation SFP transceiver for 10Gbps application. This type of transceiver is hot-swappable and protocol-independent and is usually used to 10Gbps SONET/SDH, fiber channel, Gigabit Ethernet and other applications, but also of CWDM DWDM link.

X2&XENPAKXENPAK transceiver is a pluggable transceiver for 10Gbps applications, specifically 10 Gigabit Ethernet. The electrical interface is called XAUI, which provides four 2.5Gbps signals to the transmitter, which multiplexes or serialize them into a single 10Gbps signal to drive the source. It uses a 70-pin electrical connector. The optical interface is usually a duplex SC.

X2 transceiver is based on the XENPAK transceiver standards. It is shorter than XENPAK transceiver but uses same 70-position electrical and duplex SC interfaces. Unlike XENPAK, X2 devices mount on top of the board and are low enough to allow boards to be stacked side by side.

If you are look for fiber optic transceiver, you can visit Fiberstore which provides a wide selection of fiber optic transceivers with high quality.

Fiberstore QSFP+ to 4 XFP Breakout Cable – the Most Cost-effective 40GbE Transmission Solution for You

Jan. 8th, Shenzhen, Fiberstore News – To meet the needs for migration from 10 to 40 GbE, Fiberstore offers QSFP+ to Four XFP Direct Attach Breakout Cable. As part of the Fiberstore high speed data transport solution, it provide a cost-effective solution for merging 40G QSFP and 10G XFP enabled host adapters, switches and servers.

In today’s enterprise data center and networking enviroments, higher speeds, greater scalability, and higher levels of performance and reliability are needed to better meet the demands of business. In addition, to accommodate the ever-growing number of operating systems and applications residing on individual servers, server virtualization requires significantly increased data transmission between the servers and switches. According to recent industry forecasts, the amount of enterprise data being transmitted will grow at more than 20% between 2011 and 2016. Thus, finding a cost-effective solution to provide more bandwidth, while optimizing power consumption and supporting modularity and scalability is very imperative.

Meeting these ever growing requirements, Fiberstore has expanded its line of high speed data transport solutions to include QSFP+ to 4 XFP breakout direct attached cables. This series of QSFP breakout cables provide low cost and low power consumption interconnect solution for 40-Gigabit Ethernet. QSFP+ to 4 XFP breakout direct attached cable features a single QSFP connector (SFF-8436) rated for 40-Gb/s on one end and (4) XFP connectors (INF-8077i), each rated for 10-Gb/s on the other.

Except the high quality and cost-effective performance, Fiberstore’s R&D team also takes the brand compatibility into account on the QSFP+ to 4 XFP breakout direct attached cable. “To satisfy the compatibility of different brands, clients can order the QSFP+ to 4 XFP Breakout Cables according to their brand requirements. All our QSFP+ to 4 XFP Breakout Cables are 100% compatible with major brands like Cisco, Juniper, Enterasys, Extreme, H3C and so on.” said by Sunnie, the head of high speed data transport solution team in Fiberstore.

QSFP+ to 4 XFP Breakout Direct Attached Cable Introduction

QSFP Plus to 4 XFP breakout Direct attach cable
Product Model 1M(3.3ft) Passive AWG30 40GBASE QSFP+ to 4 XFP Breakout Cable Model# Q4X-PC-30-1-xx 2M(6.6ft) Passive AWG30 40GBASE QSFP+ to 4 XFP Breakout Cable Model# Q4X-PC-30-2-xx

Note: xx means compatible brand(For example: CO= Cisco, JU=Juniper, FD=Foundry, EX=Extreme, NE=Netgear,etc. The two characters are short for compatible brand)

Specifications Connector 1: (1) QSFP 40.0 Gb/s Rated Connector (SFF-8436 Compliant) Connector 2: (4) XFP 10.0 Gb/s Rated Connectors (INF-8077i Compliant) Economically Links up a QSFP port with an Upstream 10GbE-XFP Switch Length: 1m (3.3ft) or 2m (6.6ft) Wire AWG: AWG30 Protocol agnostic support of 40GbE, QDR InfiniBand, SAS & Fibre Channel Up to 10.3125 Gb/s transfer rate per XFP channel (40 Gb/s aggregate) Robust Zinc die-cast XFP & QSFP connectors with pull-to-release latching Bridge the gap between your 10G and 40G capable switches/host adapters Low cross-talk and pair-to-pair skew maintains signal integrity Fully compliant to the latest XFP & QSFP MSA (Multi-Source-Agreement) Supports all current 10-Gigabit Ethernet and 40-Gigabit Ethernet standards Fully RoHS compliant for environmental protection Designated form factor and electrical compliance for QDR InfiniBand
Application Supports all current 10-Gigabit Ethernet and 40-Gigabit Ethernet standards Protocol agnostic support of QDR InfiniBand, SAS & Fibre Channel

 

Warm Tips: If you are interested in this QSFP+ to 4 XFP Breakout Cable, or other high quality products for high speed data transport solution, you could order it on line directly or contact us over E-mail sales@fs.com. Our engineer will review the project and provide a quotation within 1-2 business days.


About Fiberstore:

Fiberstore is a professional manufacturer and supplier of optical networking solutions. We can supply 100% compatible Direct Attach Cable & Fiber Optic Transceiver modules of many brands with a incredible discount for 10GbE to 40GbE, or even 100GbE applications. In addition, according to your requirements, we welcome any inquiry for customized fiber optical transceiver. Fiberstore’s aim is offering the best quality products and perfect solutions, saving customers’s time and money, making customers enjoy personalization.

Article Source: http://www.fs.com/news/fiberstore-qsfp-to-4-xfp-breakout-cable-the-most-cost-effective-40gbe-transmission-solution-for-you-a-645.html

Ideal High-Speed Interconnect Solution – Direct Attach Active Optical Cables

What is the Ideal High-Speed Interconnect Solution?

The ideal high-speed interconnect solution should have such features as optimized for short distances, low cost, low power consumption, small cable bend radius, low cable weight, high density, and low link latency. The only one solution which can meet all the requirements is the direct attach active optical cables.

Fiberstore's 10G SFP+ AOC

Direct attach active optical cables, or active optical cables for short, are direct-attach fiber assemblies with optical transceiver (SFP+, XFP, QSFP+, CXP etc.) connectors. They are suitable for short distances and offer a cost-effective way to connect within racks and across adjacent racks. Nowadays the Active Optical Cable (AOC) is accelerating data connectivity for storage, networking, and HPC applications. It leverages fiber optic technology for the transmission of data while reducing the weight, density and power consumption of traditional copper solutions.Note: Active optical cables have signal amplification and equalization built into the cable assembly, while passive optical cables don’t.

Fiberstore's 40G QSFP+ AOC

Advantages of Active Optical Cables

The AOC assemblies provide the lowest total cost solution for data centers by having the key advantages as following:

  • Low weight for high port count architectures;
  • Small bend radius for easy installations;
  • Low power consumption enabling a greener environment.

Fiberstore's QSFP+ to 4×SFP+ AOC

Compared to Active & Passive Copper Cable Assemblies

1. Longer reach (> 7 meters)

2. Lower weight and tighter bend radius enable simpler cable management

3. Thinner cable allows better airflow for cooling

4. Lower power consumption

5. No need for power-hungry conditioning ICs on the host board

6. Can be used in architectures with challenging cable routing

Fiberstore's QSFP+ to 8×LC AOC

Compared to Optical Transceivers

1. Datacenter/Consumer friendly: No cleanliness issues in optical connector

2. Cost-optimized: Not constrained by optical interface specifications driven by longer reach applications

(Note: However, the active optical cables cannot be routed through fiber patch panels.)

Fiberstore's 120G CXP AOC

Ideal High-Speed Interconnect Solution

Today’s enterprise data centers and networking environments are undergoing an infrastructure transformation, requiring higher speeds, greater scalability, and higher levels of performance and reliability to better meet the demands of business. As speed and performance demands increase, the AOC assemblies have become an integral part of the overall system design. However, AOC design margins and parameters vary widely, and can be the difference between an optimized, highly reliable fabric and the incompatibility issues that drive up support costs. There are various types of AOC assemblies for 10G, 40G, and 100G applications on the market. Judging from the cost performance, Fiberstore is the only one who can provide the most ideal high-speed interconnect solution of AOC assemblies including 10G SFP+ AOC, 40G QSFP+ AOC, 40G QSFP+ to 4×SFP+ AOC, 40G QSFP+ to 8×LC AOC, and 120G CXP AOC.

Article Source: http://www.fiberopticshare.com/ideal-high-speed-interconnect-solution-direct-attach-active-optical-cables.html

What Technology Should be Valued at the Next Generation Data Center Network

With the continual?expansion of business data center, the most several difficult problems for them are mainly about divided network environments, simple says, separate data network, separate storage network, separate calculation?network, protocols and there are different disadvantages of standards. Different networks need different cards, space, power and cooling infrastructures for their business. Interspersed interlaced network cabling may make many administrators feel dizzy. Aimed at different network environments, the company needs a professional technical team to support, manage, maintenance, these problems all block the forward developments of data center, let alone meet the future of cloud computing.?The figure shows?modern data center.

Modern data center

You may ask, what qualities we are taken for the next generation data center networks? Now we can see the characteristics, such as simplicity, virtualization features, can accommodate the expansion of the size of the data center, support higher bandwidth, low latency, non-blocking and so on. But as for these features, mainstream network equipment vendors aimed the advantages of their products and solutions to this goal, so if there is an architecture able to support these features do? The answer is yes, unified architecture (Unified Fabric), regardless of Cisco UCS. Brocade VCS, juniper3-2-1 plan, H3C’s unified fabric, also exist Unified Fabric. This page we just say two points.

The key technology under Unified Architecture (Unified Fabric)

Gigabit Ethernet

With the reduction of gigabyte networks at the server connections, Gigabit Ethernet share is rising, which maily due to the growth in the enterprise data center network traffic.In fact, with the 40G / 100G standard developments, it is sure that Gigabit Ethernet replacing the gigabyte networks, the birth of the Gigabit sfp+ transceiver?standard which has low power, sfp+ direct attach cable?can be achieved in the case of low-cost Gigabit Ethernet. And just mainstream might not be enough, the following what I will be introduced to toward greater success.

FCoE protocol (Fiber Channel over Ethernet)

FCoE is one of the most shining technology data center network currently, any vendors have to talk about the technology of the developments of their products. FCoE refers to the Fiber Channel over Ethernet, it can insert fiber channel information into the Ethernet packet, so that the Fiber Channel storage devices -SAN server requests and data can be transmitted over an Ethernet connection, without the need for a dedicated Fiber Channel fabric . Its main benefits: First, make storage traffic and network traffic share the same Ethernet cable and a fusion of the card, simplifying management and reducing energy consumption. Second, provide the same performance with optics. The third is the ability to integrate effectively existing SAN.

Finally, you know, now i work for Fiberstore and in our website, we can provide the most advanced technology and the most effective way to help you solve the fiber optics problems, and at the same time, we also provide all the fiber optic products, such as 10 100 1000base t ethernet sfp, qsfp 4x10g aoc7m and glc fe 100lx rgd to buy. If you are interested, take a decision for it.

Talk About QSFP 40G SR4 to 4 SFP 10G SR Transceiver Module

As we know, SFP+ and QSFP+ fiber optic transceiver module and fiber optic cables bring to people a wide variety of high density and low power 40 Gigabit, 10Gigabit, 1 Gigabit, and 100 Megabit Ethernet connectivity options over fiber or copper media.

cisco

The example of 40G QSFP transceiver module will bring us to have knowledge of it. In 40G QSFP transceiver module data sheet, we can see that about SFP 40G SR4, cisco thinks, it can be used in a 4 x 10 G mode for interoperability with 10Gbase sr interfaces up to 100m and 150m on OM4 and OM3?cables respectively, in another word, if i connect Nexus 55772UP equipped with “six true QSFP ports” to Nexus 7706 using QSFP 40G SR 4 on the side of 5572UP, and 4 x cisco SFP 10G SR on the side of 7706? Somehow, i think that this is not impossible, but someone thinks that there are fiber optic cables with 40G interface on one side and 4 x 10G SFP (LC connector) on the other side. We can breakout the single 40G port into 4 seperate 10 G ports and use a QSFP to 4 LC breakout cable to link one or more of 10G ports to the 7706.

In fact, Cisco 10Gbase SR4 QSFP Module supports link lengths of 100m and 150m, respectively, on laser optimized OM3 and OM4 multimode fibers. It primarily enables high bandwidth 40G optical links over 12 fiber parallel fiber terminated with MPO/MTP multifiber connectors. It can be used in a 4 x 10G mode for interoperability with 10Gbase sr interfaces up yo 100m and 150m for OM4 and OM3?cables, respectively. The worry free 4 x 10G mode operation is enabled by the optimization of the transmit and receive optical characteristic of the Cisco QSFP 40G SR4 to prevent receiver overload or unnecessary triggering of alarm thresholds on the 10Gbase SR receiver, at the same time being fully interoperable with all standard 40Gbase sr4 interfaces. 4 x 10G connectivity is achieved using an external 12 fiber parallel to 2 fiber duplex breakout cable, which connects the 40GBASE SR4 module to four 10GBASE SR optical interfaces. Cisco QSFP 40G SR4 is optimized to guarantee interoperability with any IEEE 40GBASE SR4 and 10GBASE SR (in 4 X10G modes).

The transceiver consists of parallel electric and optical products along with both transmitter and receiver functions as a single module. It is designed to be compliant to IEEE 802.3-2012 for 40GBase SR4 over 100 m of OM3 multimode fiber at a rate of 41.25 Gbps. This transceiver module has an option to work with four independent 10GBase-SR, IEEE 802.3 Clause 52 Compatible 10 G transceivers through an MPO-to-LC breakout cable (compliant at 100 m over 50 μm OM3 fiber). The transceiver is also fully compliant with the QSFP+ MSA specification SFF-8436 Shown at the Figure.

10gbase sr

To support a good increasing range of 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet applications, Fiberstore offers many transceiver types, each optimized for a different media and distance reach (LR4, PLRL4, SR4, XSR4,CR4, CR, SRL, SR, LRL, LR, ER, ZR, and DWDM). Additionally, fiber SFP+ ports also support 3 Gigabit Ethernet SFP transceiver types for single mode fiber, multimode fiber, as well as Cat 5 copper cable.