Spend Less on Building 100GbE Network With QSFP28 AOC

Currently 10GbE and 40GbE network are efficient and enough for some users. However, to some large-scale data centers, 40GbE Internet speed can’t meet their demands as the Internet continues to grow in size and traffic. According to research predicts, global data center Internet protocol traffic will grow by 31% every year within next five years. So 100GbE technology will become the mainstream in the near future. Cisco, Juniper, Arista provide 100GbE switches, routers and supported QSFP28 transceiver, QSFP28 AOC. But many enterprises still can’t upgrade to 100GbE network since the switch and QSFP28 AOC are quite expensive. Don’t worry about the high cost. This article will help you find a way to spend less on building 100GbE network with QSFP28 AOC.

QSFP28 AOC

100GbE QSFP28 AOC is composed of an OM4 multimode cable connecting two QSFP28 connectors on each end. The form factor design is easy for plugging and removal. The QSFP28 AOC is compliant to the QSFP MSA (multi-source agreement). QSFP28 AOCs support 100G QSFP28 standards and are available in various lengths (usually from 1-30 meters). 100G QSFP28 AOCs provide an affordable low-power alternative to interconnect 100G QSFP28 ports in data center applications. It’s useful for simplified intra rack and inter rack configurations. The following table lists 100GbE QSFP28 AOC of several famous brands.

QSFP28 AOC

Brands QSFP28 AOC Price
Cisco QSFP-100G-AOC (1m-30m) Above US$ 1,000
Arista AOC-Q-Q-100G (1m-30m) Above US$ 3,000
Juniper JNP-QSFP28-AOC (1m-30m) Above US$ 2,000
FS.COM QSFP28 AOC (1m-30m) From US$ 540 to US$ 630

Table 1. QSFP28 AOC Price Comparison

Switches Supporting QSFP28 AOC

Cisco, Arista, Juniper are three famous fiber optic transceiver manufactures. Transceiver modules and switches of these brands are very common in the market. As the demand for 100GbE data center keeps moving, these manufactures produce switches including 100GbE QSFP28 ports. Here I list four switches which can support QSFP28 AOC, Cisco Nexus 7700, Arista 7500R, Juniper QFX5110 and FS.COM S5850-48S2Q4C.

  • Cisco Nexus 3232C—The Cisco Nexus 3232C switch is a low latency, dense, high-performance 100GbE switch designed for data center. It can not only meet customers’ current network needs but also suitable for future applications such as big data, cloud and virtualization. Each of 32 100GbE QSFP28 ports can operate at 10, 25, 40, 50, 100 GbE.
  • Arista 7500R—Arista 7500R switches (7500R-36CQ, 7500R-36Q, 7500R-48S2CQ) is designed to lower power per 100GbE port and produce more reliable and dense network. The switches are available in a compact system design of 12, 8 and 4 slot. 7500R-36CQ has 36-port 100GbE QSFP line card. 7500R-36 owns 1/10GbE line card with two 100GbE QSFP28 ports. 7500R-48S2CQ is available with up to 6 100GbE QSFP28 ports.
  • Juniper QFX5110—Juniper provides two switches with 100GbE port: QFX5110-48S and QFX5110-32Q. QFX5110-48S is a 10GbE/100GbE data center access switch offering 48x10GbE SFP+ port and 4x100GbE QSFP28 ports. QFX5110-32Q offers up to 32x40GbE QSFP+ ports, or 20x40GbE QSFP+and 4x QSFP28 ports.
  • FS.COM offers two switches for 100GbE network: S5850-48S2Q4C and S8050-20Q4C. S5850-48S2Q4C provides 48x10GbE SFP+ ports, 2x40GbE QSFP+ ports and 4x100GbE QSFP28 ports. S8050-20Q4C has 2x40GbE QSFP+ ports and 4x100GbE QSFP28 ports.
Switch Brands Model Supported QSFP28 AOC Switch Price
Cisco Nexus 3232C QSFP-100G-AOC (1m-30m) About US$ 19,500.00
Arista 7500R-36CQ 100GBASE-AOC(3m to 30m)gggg Average US$ 60,000.00
7500R-36Q
7500R-48S2CQ
Juniper QFX5110-48S QSFP28 AOC (10 m)gg Above US$ 16,500.00
QFX5110-32Q
FS.COM S5850-48S2Q4C Generic QSFP28 AOC (1m-30m) US$ 6,900.00
S8050-20Q4C

Table 2. Price Comparison of Switches Supporting QSFP28 AOC

Spend Less With FS.COM Switches and QSFP28 AOC

Based on Table 1 and Table 2, to build a 100GbE network with QSFP28 AOC will cost a lot, especially when you require for products from Cisco, Arista and Juniper manufacturers. By comparison, you can see the price of FS.COM switches for 100GbE network and QSFP28 AOC is quite lower. So FS.COM can help you spend less on building 100GbE network with QSFP28 AOC. But if you have already owned Cisco, Arista or Juniper switches, you can buy compatible QSFP28 AOCs which are more cost-effective and have been tested to assure 100% compatibility.

How to Convert SFP+ to 10GBASE-T/RJ45?

When migrating to 10G data center, you may have two choices: SFP+ or 10GBASE-T technology. 10GBASE SFP+ interface has always been widely deployed for 10 Gigabit ToR (top of rack) witches due to low power consumption. Due to advanced technology, switch manufacturers significantly reduce the power consumption and cost of 10GBASE-T server and switch. According to some researches, the cost of 10GBASE-T (RJ45 interface) switches is much lower than that of SFP+ switches. So many users prefer to add 10GBASE-T/RJ45 switches. But the problem is how to convert SFP+ to RJ45 port. This article will to introduce a necessary optical equipment–SFP+ to RJ45 media converter.

Introduction to SFP+ to RJ45 Media Converter

The secret to realize SFP+ to RJ45 conversion is 10 Gigabit SFP+ to RJ45 media converter. This converter has one 10G pluggable SFP+ port and one RJ45 port. SFP+ port is compatible with any SFP+ transceiver such as 10G SR SFP, 10G LR SFP and so on, which is the best suitable for your network and link lengths. 10 Gigabit SFP+ to RJ45 media converter is a cost-effective way to convert copper to fiber, or fiber to copper. Since it can deliver fast and reliable network access at longer distances than copper-based networks, it’s ideal for the applications in server rooms, workstations in remote areas or in other buildings.

sfp+ to-rj45 card

How to Convert SFP+ to RJ45?

As the following figure shows, existing ToR switch only has some SFP+ interfaces. This switch is connected to an aggregation switch in the data center with multimode fiber patch cords. And the servers below are connected to the ToR switch with twinax DAC cables. Now considering that 10GBASE-T servers are less expensive, we decide to add new 10GBASE-T servers to the rack. Then we face a problem: how to integrate 10GBASE-T RJ45 ports servers into the the rack? To deal with this problem, we need to add 10 Gigabit Ethernet media converters to this rack system. First, connect the media converter with existing ToR switch by inserting one end of twinax DAC cables into the SFP+ port of the 10 Gigabit Ethernet media converter. Second, connecting media converter with the new 10GBASE-T servers by plugging Ethernet patch cords (better Cat6a) into RJ45 port of this media converter and 10GBASE-T servers.

sfp+ to rj45

As the 10GBASE-T servers are connected to 10 Gigabit SFP+ to RJ45 media converters over short Ethernet patch cords, so we can enjoy the advantage of 10GBASE-T short reach mode, which means all devices can operate at lower transmit power. Short reach mode, specified in the IEEE 10GBASE-T standard, conserves energy and produces less heat.

FS.COM SFP+ to RJ45 Media Converter Solutions
Part number Description
21024 1x 10GBase-T to 1x 10GBase-X SFP+, Unmanaged
35609 1x 10GBase-T to 1x 10GBase-X XFP Unmanaged
35432 1x 10GBase-T to 1x 10GBase-X SFP+, Card Type
35433 1x 10GBase-T to 1x 10GBase-X XFP, Card Type
35610 1x 10GBase-T to 1x 10GBase-X SFP+ Managed
35431 1x 10GBase-T to 1x 10GBase-X XFP Managed
Conclusion

SFP+ to RJ45 conversion may be a very common issue in 10G data center. To solve this problem, the most cost-effective way is SFP+ to RJ45 media converter. It can bridge the interface disparities between equipment with 10GBASE-T RJ45 ports and existing rack servers or switches with fiber optic ports. FS.COM offers various high-performance 10G SFP+ to RJ45 media converters. For more product details, please contact us via email sales@fs.com.

Related article: 10G SFP or 10GBASE-T SFP for 10GbE Network?

How to Understand Tx Power vs. Rx Power of a Fiber Transceiver?

As we all know, single mode fiber optic transceiver is designed for long distance data transmission and multimode fiber optic transceiver is for short distance link. How to calculate the specific distance that a fiber optic transceiver can support at a certain occasion? What factors are crucial to the transmission distance? Do you have any idea of Tx (transmit) power and Rx (receive) power level of a fiber optic transceiver? This article will show you by introducing 10GBASE-SR SFP+ and 10GBASE-LR SFP module.

Tx Power and Rx Power of a Fiber Transceiver

First, let’s understand the most two important factors of the fiber optic transceiver: Tx power and Rx power. The optical Tx power is the signal level leaving that device and it should be within the transmitter power range. The Rx power is the incoming signal level being received from the far end device and it should fall within the receive power range.

10GBASE-SR SFP+ is a multimode fiber transceiver and can support the distance of 300 m over OM3 multimode fiber patch cable. While 10GBASE-LR SFP module is a single mode type and can run the network distance up to 10 km over single mode fiber patch cords. Before purchasing 10GBASE SFP+ module, you must carefully read the product details. The following lists the product details about 10GBASE-SR SFP+ and 10GBASE-LR SFP module from Fiberstore. As showing below, Tx power of this Cisco compatible 10GBASE-SR SFP+ is between -7.3 dBm and -1 dBm. The maximum receive power is below -11.1 dBm. With regard to Cisco compatible 10GBASE-LR SFP module, Tx power is from -8.2 to 0.5 dBm and the maximum Rx power is -14.4 dBm.

Tx Power and Rx Power of 10GBASE-SR SFP+

Tx Power and Rx Power of 10GBASE-SR

Tx Power and Rx Power of 10GBASE-LR SFP+ Module
Tx Power and Rx Power of 10GBASE-LR
Tx Power and Rx Power VS. Optical Power Budget

To calculate the specific distance of a fiber optic transceiver, we need to know its optical power budget (maximum allowable loss).

Optical power budget = Tx power – Rx power

Therefore, according to the Tx power and Rx power, we can calculate the maximum allowable loss of 10GBASE-SR SFP+ and 10GBASE-LR SFP module.

Optical Power Budget of 10GBASE-SR SFP+

Min Tx Power = -7.3 dBm
Max Rx Power = -11.1 dBm
Optical power budget (maximum allowable loss) = (-7.3 dBm) – (-11.1 dBm)=3.4 dBm

Optical Power Budget of 10GBASE-LR SFP+ Module

Min Tx Power = -8.2dBm
Max Rx Power = -14.4 dBm
Optical power budget (maximum allowable loss) = (-8.2 dBm) – (-14.4 dBm)=6.2 dBm

Tx Power and Rx Power VS. Transmission Distance

Except optical power budget, we have to consider other factors including the link length, fiber optical connectivity components, fusion splicing points and some unpredictable fiber attenuation caused by fiber patch cable bending (usually the attenuation is about 3 dB). The loss of each connector is 0.6 dB and 0.1 dB of each fusion splicing point. Suppose we use 10GBASE-LR SFP+ module to build a network covering 2 connectors, 4 fusion splicing points. This module is interfaced with LC single mode fiber patch cord. If the single mode fiber cable has the wavelength of 1310 nm, the cable loss is about 0.35 dB per kilometer.

The worst optical loss = Power Budget – Total Optical Power Loss=6.2 dB – 1.2dB (2×0.6 dB) – 0.4dB (0.1×4) – 3dB (safety factor) = 1.6 dB
Worst case distance = {Worst case OPB, in dB} / [Cable Loss, in dB/km]=1.6dB/0.35dB/km
So we can get 10GBASE-LR SFP+ module can support at least 4.57 km at this occasion. Data transmission distance is mainly influenced by the optical power budget and fiber cable loss. From the above content, the optical power budget of 10GBASE-SR SFP+ is smaller than that of 10GBASE-LR SFP+ module. The more the optical power budget, the further the fiber transceiver can support. What’s more, the cable loss of multimode fiber cable is larger than that of single mode fiber cable. Obviously 10GBASE-LR SFP+ module can support longer link distance than 10GBASE-SR SFP+.

network building

Note: The optical power budget is based on a theoretical calculation, and is just for reference. The transmission distance should be calculated based on the power budget of fiber transceiver module tested on the switch and some practical attenuation.

Conclusion

Tx power and Rx power level of a transceiver are the main factors of transmission distance. The more the optical power budget, the better the transceiver. Before purchasing a transceiver, you’d better calculate the optical power budget according to transceiver module details.

Why not Use Third-party Fiber Transceivers for Your Ubiquiti Switches?

Ubiquiti is famous for its switches such as Edge Switch, Edge Router, UniFi switch. Last year, this manufacturer officially released its own SFP and SFP+ fiber optic transceivers which are compatible with their switches. At the same time, it’s said that fiber transceivers from some fiber optic transceiver manufacturers such as Fiberstore can support Ubiquiti switches. This article will discuss what kind of third-party fiber transceivers are compatible with Ubiquiti switches and which fiber optic transceiver manufacturers is the most reliable.

Ubiquiti Fiber Transceivers

Ubiquiti switches are specially designed for 1G and 10G network. They didn’t produce their own fiber transceivers until last year. They only provide a small amount of single mode and multimode fiber transceivers. UF-MM-1G and UF-SM-1G-S are designed for SFP ports on Ubiquiti switches. And fiber transceivers like UF-MM-10G, UF-SM-10G, UF-SM-10G-S are for Ubiquiti switches’ SFP+ ports.

Third-party Fiber Transceivers For Ubiquiti Switches

Except their own SFP or SFP+ transceivers, those from other fiber optic transceiver manufacturers like Cisco, Dell, HP, Finisar, Brocade have been tested to be compatible with Ubiquiti switches by some users. Cisco, the world famous fiber optic transceiver manufacturer, has seven SFPs supporting Ubiquiti switches, Cisco GLC-LH-SM 30-1299-01 SFP, Cisco GLC-SX-MM, Cisco GLC-SX-MM 1000BASE-SX SFP, Cisco SFP-H10GB-CU1M, Cisco MGBSX1 Gigabit SX Mini-GBIC SFP Transceiver and Cisco GLC-T. Besides, for 10G network, Cisco SFP-10G-SR can be plugged in SFP+ ports on their switches.

Fiberstore Fiber Transceivers For Ubiquiti Switches

Fiberstore also has a wide variety of SFP and SFP+ transceivers compatible for Ubiquiti switches. Users have recommended some SFPs and SFP+s from Fiberstore, for instance, SFP1G-LX-31 1310nm (single mode SFPs), SFP-1G85-5M (multi-mode), SFP-GB-GE-T Module, SFP-10G85-3M (multi-mode).

Comparison Between Ubiquiti and Fiberstore Fiber Transceiver

There are so many third-party transceiver manufacturers providing compatible fiber transceivers fro Ubiquiti switches. But which fiber transceiver supplier should you choose? The answer is Fiberstore. Now let’s see why Fiberstore is more advantageous by comparing Ubiquiti with Fiberstore fiber transceiver.

    • Fiber Transceiver Category—Ubiquiti has only one single mode SFP and one multimode SFP. As to SFP+ transceivers, there only two single mode modules and one multimode module. The fiber transceiver category is very limited. While users have plenty of choices for SFPs and SFP+s from Fiberstore. As mentioned above, Ubiquiti switches support some fiber transceivers from third-party fiber optic transceiver manufacturers. Fiberstore offers many compatible brands like Cisco, Dell, HP, Finisar, Brocade, etc. Those SFPs and SFP+s have been tested to be suitable for Ubiquiti switches.
    • Fiber Transceiver Quality—Some fiber optic transceiver manufacturers produce SFP and SFP+ transceivers with low price. However, the quality of those fiber transceivers can’t be assured. In our test center, we have switches from Cisco, Dell, Extreme, Juniper and other famous brands. Every fiber transceiver offered by Fiberstore before shipping has to go through strict test to assure 100% compatibility and high performance.

fs fiber transceiver

    • Fiber Transceiver Price—Except fiber transceiver quality, fiber transceiver price is another important factor to be considered. Compare fiber transceiver price of Fiberstore with that of other fiber optic transceiver manufacturers, it’s obvious that Fiberstore has more advantages. That’s one of the reasons why Fiberstore wins popularity among customers. You can check the following screenshots about the feedback from customers.


customer review2

Conclusion

If you have to purchase fiber transceiver for your Ubiquiti switches, you can get SFP or SFP+ from Ubiquiti. Or you can buy from third-party fiber optic transceiver manufacturers. How to choose a reliable supplier from so many fiber transceiver manufacturers? When buying fiber transceiver, the quality, price, and after-sales service should be considered. As one of fiber optic transceiver manufacturers, Fiberstore is suggested to be a good choice for fiber transceiver needs. For more information about FS.COM fiber transceiver, please visit our site www.fs.com or contact us via sales@fs.com.

Related article of my blog: Transceiver Solutions for Ubiquiti UniFi Switches

QSFP+ to 4xSFP+ AOC and QSFP+ MTP Breakout Cable Solution

Migration from 10G to 40G is an inevitable trend in data center. Migration means you need new QSFP+ transceiver modules, fiber patch cables and other equipment. Common two methods to migrate from 10G to 40G for short distance are QSFP+ to 4xSFP+ AOC and QSFP+ MTP breakout cable solution. When you come across this issue, it’s hard to tell which one is better. This article will introduce their difference and tell you how to make the right decision.

40G QSFP+ to 4xSFP+ AOC

40G QSFP+ to 4xSFP+ AOC (active optical cable) is composed of a QSFP+ connector on one side and four individual SFP+ connectors on the other side. The QSFP+ connector (40Gbps rate) offers four parallel, bidirectional channels and each operates at up to 10.3125 Gbps. The QSFP+ connector can be installed into QSFP+ port on the switch and feed up to four 10G SFP+ links. And the link lengths can reach 100 meters on OM3 fiber. It’s a cost-effective interconnect solution for 40G and 10G switches and servers.

40G QSFP+ to 4xSFP+ Breakout AOC

QSFP+ MTP Breakout Cable

The other common solution for 10G to 40G short distance migration is to use breakout cable and of course corresponding transceivers. How to achieve the connection? You’re gonna need 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+, MTP to LC breakout cable and 10GBASE-SR SFP+. Here we are going to explain 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ and MTP-LC breakout cable in details.

First, 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ is designed for 40 Gigabit data center and can support the link length of 100 m and 150 m respectively on laser optimized OM3 and OM4 fiber cables. This module offers 4 independent channels for transmitting and receiving. Each lane is capable of running 10Gbps signal and is compliant to IEEE 10GBASE-SR specification. Connecting with 12-fiber MTP/MPO cables, it can support 40Gbps network. Or combine 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ with 4x10G breakout cable and send data to four 10GBASE-SR SFP+.

Second, MTP to LC breakout cable is suitable for high density network. It’s specifically designed for fast Ethernet, fiber channel, data center and gigabit Ethernet application. QSFP+ MTP to LC breakout cable is used for a direct connection between QSFP+ to 4xSFP+ ports with no patch panels or intermediate trunks in between. On one side, it’s an MTP connector with 8 or 12 fibers. On the other side, there are 4 duplex LC connectors. Each fiber cable transmits 10Gbps.

MTP-LC breakout cable

Differences of Two Solutions

Two methods of 10G to 40G migration over short distance have been introduced in above content. Comparing the two different solutions, you can find some obvious differences. The following lists some points for your convenience to make suitable decision.

  • Price—The second solution needs at one QSFP+, 4 SFP+ and an MTP-LC breakout cable. The price of these devices is higher than 40G QSFP+ to 4xSFP+ AOC. So 40G QSFP+ to 4xSFP+ AOC is cheaper.
  • Complexity—The second solution seems more complicated since it needs more optical equipment. You need to order and manage cables.
  • Distance—40G QSFP+ to 4xSFP+ AOC can only support the distance up to 100 m. While using MTP-LC breakout cable, the link distance can reach 150 m over OM4 cable.
Conclusion

You must have a full understanding of these two solutions. 40G QSFP+ to 4xSFP+ AOC is easier and cheaper than MTP to LC breakout cable. If you’re a new technician and have tight budget, you can buy AOC cable. But if you don’t care too much about money, you can select 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ and MTP to LC breakout cable to get a little longer link length. Hope this article can help you make the right decision.

What Distance Can 100G QSFP28 Transceiver Support?

The rapid growing bandwidth keeps driving the need for 100G transceivers to build data centers, enterprise, long-haul networks. Just as 1G, 10G optical modules, 100G QSFP28 transceivers also have single-mode and multimode categories to support short and long distance network links. So what kind of 100G QSFP28 transceivers are included? What distance can each 100G QSFP28 support?

100G QSFP28–Supported Distance Below 1km

Multimode 100G QSFP28 modules are used for short distance applications, such as QSFP28 Cisco QSFP-100G-SR4-S 100GBASE-SR4 transceiver. It provides 100GBASE-SR throughput at a wavelength of 850 nm by connecting with multimode MTP/MPO cable. It can support the link lengths up to 70 m over OM3 MPO fiber patch cable and 100 m over OM4 MPO fiber jumpers.qsfp28-sr4

But there is a special 100G QSFP28 transceiver–QSFP-100G-PSM4-S. This QSFP28 is a single-mode transceiver. It carries 100G data over 12-fiber single-mode MPO fiber patch cords. However, the maximum link lengths it can support is only 500 meters.

100G QSFP28–Supported Distance From 1km-10km

To support long distance signal transmission, single-mode transceivers are generally selected. The following will list some 100G QSFP28 modules which can reach the link distance from 1 km to 10 km.

QSFP28 100GBASE-CWDM4. This transceiver applies WDM multiplexing and demultiplexing technique and carries 100G Gigabit Ethernet signal over four wavelengths. Different from the above two 100G QSFP28 optics, it’s configured with duplex LC interfaces. With QSFP28 100GBASE-CWDM4 modules, you can build networks with link lengths up to 2 km over single-mode duplex LC patch cords.

QSFP28 100GBASE-LR4. This hot-pluggable 100G QSFP28 form factor can support 103.1Gbps data rate. It’s compliant with the QSFP28 MSA and IEEE802.3ba 100GBASE-LR4. The 100G data is transmitted over four wavelengths. Because of multiplexing and demultiplexing within this QSFP28 transceiver, it matches duplex LC patch cords. And it can support links up to 10 km over single-mode LC fiber cable.

qsfp28-lr4

100G QSFP28–Supported Distance Over 10km

In fact, 10km link lengths of 100G can’t meet users’ demands. So 100G QSFP28 which can support over 10km lengths are needed to build long-haul network. Due to the optic package size and the maximum power, the distance supported by 100G QSFP28 transceivers are restricted. Vendors are required to research and develop optics that allow for existing high power components and devices to consume lower power in a smaller space. It’s said there are 100G QSFP28 ER4 and 100G QSFP28 ZR4 transceivers in the market. Each can support the maximum network link lengths up to 30 km and 80 km. But consumers can’t easily get those 100G QSFP28 modules. But we believe that ER4 and ZR4 technology will be available in the market sooner or later.

At present, if your switch ports are QSFP28 and you need to build 100G network links over 10km, you are suggested to apply amplification technology. The other method is 100G CFP ER4 that support 40km link lengths. Of course your switch port should be CFP or you can find a device to convert QSFP28 to CFP.

Conclusion

Now people can get 100G QSFP28 transceivers for link lengths up to 10 km. Yet not too many transceiver vendors have enough stocks. In the Internet era, what is important is the speed. Thus, seek for reliable vendors who have huge stocks of 100G QSFP28 like FS.COM. And we will release 100G QSFP28 ER4 and 100G QSFP28 ZR4 in the future to support longer distances.

 

How to Match Fiber Patch Cable for Your Multimode SFP?

When you prepare to connect some SFPs with fiber patch cords, you may find SFPs are multimode modules while your fiber cables are single-mode. Try to connect those optics to fiber cable, but no green light and the link fails. So multimode SFPs can’t work over single-mode fiber cables. To avoid the wasting of time and money, you should better know well about single-mode and multimode SFPs and fiber patch cords.

Single-mode and Multimode SFP

SFP, small form factor pluggable transceiver, can support the data rate up to 1Gbps. SFPs can be divided into single-mode and multimode modules.

For single-mode SFPs, there are “LX” for 1310 nm and “EX” “EZX” for 1550 nm. Single-mode SFPs are designed to transmit signals over long distances. For example, Cisco GLC-LH-SM-15 compatible 1000BASE-LX/LH SFP 1310nm 15km DOM transceiver, main product information is shown as follows:

  • Wavelength: 1310 nm
  • Interface: LC duplex
  • Max Cable Distance: 15 km
  • Max Data Rate: 1000Mbps
  • Cable Type: SMF

Comparatively, multimode SFPs are identified with “SX”. This kind of optics is specially for short distance data transmission. For instance, Cisco GLC-SX-MM compatible 1000BASE-SX SFP 850nm 550m transceiver, this is a typical multimode SFP.

  • Wavelength: 850 nm
  • Interface: LC duplex
  • Max Cable Distance: 550m over OM2 MMF
  • Max Data Rate: 1000Mbps
  • Cable Type: MMF

SFP-LX and SFP-SX

Single-mode Fiber Cable and Multimode Fiber Cable

Fiber patch cables are used to connect transceivers on your switch/device. You have to buy the right fiber cable type for your optics. Fiber cable has two different categories: single-mode and multimode.

Generally, single-mode fiber cable can support further distance because of lower attenuation, but the price is higher. While multimode fiber cable has a larger core, usually multimode fiber cable is constructed in 50/125 and 62.5/125. It allows multiple modes of light to propagate. When the light passes through the core, the light reflections increases and more data can be transmitted at given time. As the high dispersion during signal transmission, the link distance gets reduced. So multimode fiber cable is for short distance application. Multimode fiber cable is a little more complex than single-mode fiber cable since it includes four different types of OM1, OM2, OM3, OM4. OM1 and OM2 fiber patch cable can support the data rate up to 10Gbps. OM3 and OM4 are laser optimized so that they can be used in high density data center to support the data rate of 40Gbps and 100Gbps. The following table shows how long each kind of fiber cable can reach running at different data rate.

Fiber Mode Cable Type 1GbE 10GbE 40GbE 100GbE
Single-mode OS2 100km 40km 40km 40km
Multimode OM1 275m(SX) 33m(SR) / /
OM2 550m(SX) 82m(SR) / /
OM3 550m(SX) 300m(SR) 100m 100m
OM4 1000m(SX) 400m(SR) 150m 150m

Note: “SR” implies multimode 10Gpbs SFP+.

For more information about single-mode and multimode fiber cable, you can refer to my previous articles:
What Is Single Mode Fiber?
What Are OM1, OM2, OM3 and OM4?

Solutions for Multimode SFP

If you have Cisco Catalyst 3650 WS-C3650-48PS switches with 4x1G uplink ports, to build a 300m-network link, you are gonna purchase fiber patch cable and SFP modules. What kind of optical equipment should you choose?

As to the SFP module, you need Cisco GLC-SX-MM 1000BASE-SX SFP. Or you can spend less money on third-party SFPs with 100% compatibility. Next step, you need to find suitable fiber patch cable to match this type of SFP. Since 1000BASE-SX SFP is multimode, of course you need multimode fiber cable. Considering the distance of 300 meters, OM1 can only reach 275 meters. So OM2 is the best choice for it’s the cheapest and can reach 550 meters.

1000BASE-SX SFP connection

Conclusion

It’s obvious that multimode SFPs can’t work over single-mode fiber cables. When buying SFPs, watch the standards on the label carefully and find if it’s “SX” or “LX”, “EX”. If it shows “SX”, then find multimode fiber patch cable. It’s not very difficult to choose right cable for your SFP modules.

How to Select Fiber Patch Cable for 40G QSFP+ Modules?

As the speed changes from 1 to 10 Gbps and now increases from 10 to 40 Gbps and even 100 Gbps, data centers develop into more complex systems. So different optical technologies and cabling infrastructure are required. For 40G data rates, the special transceiver module is QSFP+ (Quad Small Form-Factor Pluggable Plus). To build 40G data centers, you need to select suitable fiber patch cable for 40G QSFP+ Modules. But how?

40G transmission network needs advanced switch, matched patch cords and transceiver modules. The quality of these connections can largely affect the reliability and stability of the whole 40G network. However, connectivity of 40G is much more complex than ever. Thus, selecting the proper fiber patch cables for 40G network is more difficult and becomes a big issue in 40G migration. As mentioned, QSFP+ transceivers are suggested for 40G, this article will provide as detailed as possible about fiber patch cable selection for 40G QSFP+ transceivers.

40G QSFP+ transceivers

Patch cable is very important to 40G network not only because the switch connections necessity, but also because of the transmission principle of the fiber optic signals and the high density trend of 40G transmission. Several important factors like cable, connector and switch port should be taken into account when selecting patch cords for 40G QSFP+ transceivers.

Single-mode or Multimode Fiber Patch Cable

Fiber Patch Cable able is essential for the network performance. Optical signals perform differently when information transforms through the cables with different wavelengths. When people buy fiber optical patch cords for 40G QSFP+ transceiver, they often ask if a 40GBASE universal QSFP+ transceiver working on wavelength of 850nm can be used with OM1 patch cords. The answer is yes, but not suggested. Why? As the optical signal transmission distance gets shorter, the data rate increases. The transmission distance and quality would be limited by using OM1 optical cable with 40G QSFP+ transceiver. OM1 cable is only suggested for 100 Mb/s and 1000Mb/s transmission. Two upgraded cables—OM3 and OM4 are suggested for 40G QSFP+ transceivers in short distance.

IEEE has announced standards for 40G transmission in both long distance and short distance, which are 40GBASE-LR4 and 40GBASE-SR4. (LR stands for long reach and SR stands for short-reach and). For long reach, single-mode fiber is suggested for 40G transmission with the distance up to 10 km. For short reach, multimode fiber—OM3 (up to 100 meters) and OM4 (up to 150 meters) is suggested for 40G transmission. OM3 and OM4, which are usually aqua-colored, are accepted economic solutions for 40G in short distance with lower insertion loss and higher bandwidth.

MTP or LC Fiber Patch Cable 

The connector type of the patch cords should depend on the interface of 40G QSFP+ transceiver. Now there are two interfaces commonly adopted by 40G QSFP+ transceiver and they are MTP and LC. Usually 40G QSFP+ transceiver with MPO interface is designed for short transmission distance and LC for long transmission distance. However, several 40G QSFP+ transceivers like 40GBASE-PLR4 and 40GBASE-PLRL4 have MPO interfaces to support long transmission distance.

mtp and lc connectors for qsfp+

High density is the most obvious characteristic of 40G transmission, which is largely reflected in the MTP connectors on patch cords used with 40G QSFP+ transceiver. As QSFP+ transceiver uses four 10G channels, MTP cable which uses 4 pairs of fibers with can provide a time-save and stable solution for 40G QSFP+ transceivers.

Besides, 40G QSFP+ transceiver with LC interface is also available. This type of QSFP transceiver uses four lanes with each carrying 10G in 1310nm window multiplexed to achieve 40G transmission. For this type, patch cable with duplex LC connector should be used.

Switch Port

The importance of network flexibility gradually reveals as the speed of Ethernet increases. Cabling options for 40G network are 40G QSFP+ to 40G QSFP+, 40G QSFP+ to SFP+. It’s very common that 40G ports is needed to be connected with 10G port. In this case, fan out patch cable with MTP connector on one end and four LC duplex connectors on the other end is suggested (as shown in picture below).

Factors like single-mode or multimode fiber jumpers, fiber patch cable connector and switch port are important in selecting the right patch cords for 40G QSFP+ transceivers. They are closely related to the transmission distance, network flexibility and reliability of the whole 40G network. But in practical cabling for 40G QSFP+ transceivers, there are more need to be considered. Planning and designing takes a lot of time and may not achieve results good enough. However, Fiberstore can solve your problems with professional one-stop service including the cost-effective and reliable network designing and 40G products.

Originally published at http://www.articlesfactory.com/articles/communication/how-to-select-fiber-patch-cable-for-40g-qsfp-modules.html

Tips for Fiber Cable Installation You Should Know

Fiber cable installation is not an easy task for most of us. It’s thought as the job of professional engineers since special training is needed during the complicated process. But it would be better if you know knowledge of fiber cable installation in case that you need to run fiber cable in your home or business. This article is going to offer you some tips for fiber cable installation.

fiber-cable-installation

Before Fiber Cable Installation

Before starting fiber cable installation, please make sure there is fiber optic service in your area. If it’s available, find the nearest distribution box. What you need to do is to run fiber cable from the box to your house.

A considerate plan is the first step of successful fiber cable installation. Carefully design the cabling route. It would be better if you mark where the cable goes, into the walls, or underground, or through conduit… Point out all the termination points and splice points. At the same time, write down any potential problems you may come across during the installation. A good plan is also beneficial to avoid fiber cable waste.

Once finish the plan, you’re going to buy fiber optic cable for your applications. Except fiber optic cable, you need tools for cable management & installation, fiber splicing and fiber testing. So make a shopping list for your fiber cable installation. Then select a reliable fiber cable supplier who can meet the requirements of both high quality and low cost.

During Fiber Cable Installation
What You Should Do

Leave spare cable length—Each fiber cable for installation should be a few inches longer than the plan says. Because you can’t make sure everything goes as you wish. So you should leave plenty of spare fiber cables when beginning cable installation work.

Avoid electrical interference—Though fiber cable is not as vulnerable to electrical noise as copper cables, some devices, such as the boxes for fluorescent lights, may cause interference. So keep your fiber cable three or more feet from those devices.

Avoid end face contamination—The tip of fiber optic connector can be easily contaminated or damaged. So leave protective caps on until you are ready to plug into the equipment. Don’t forget to inspecting the end face before plugging in. If there is any contaminate, clean it.

Fiber network testing—Test each section of your fiber optic network. That’s easy to discover the problem and troubleshoot it. Don’t do this work until you finish the entire cable installation. In that situation, it’s hard to find out the trouble if the network fails.

What You Should Not Do

Don’t bend fiber cables. Fiber optic cables perform the best when it is running straight. But during installation in reality, sometimes bending can’t be avoided. Cables from different vendors may have different standards of bend radius. Or you can buy bend insensitive fiber cable for better performance.

Don’t pull too hard on the cable. Properly pull the fiber cable to avoid bending or snagging through the conduit or underground. However, don’t pull it too hard especially when the fiber cable is too short. Otherwise, it would ruin the cable or fiber optic connector.

Don’t mix and match different core sizes. Fiber optic cables are typically color coded. From the outside cable jacket, you can get information about fiber core sizes. To know more about fiber cable jacket, you can visit my last blog What Can We Get From Fiber Cable Jacket?

Don’t pinch the fiber cable. Pinch the fiber cable can squeeze the fiber and affect link performance. When use zip-ties, pay attention to this point.

Conclusion

Once you finish fiber cable installation, you can enjoy fiber optic network. See, fiber cable installation is not as tough as you think. Follow these tips mentioned above when you run cables for your house, you can keep away from most bothering issues.

What Can We Get From Fiber Cable Jacket?

Fiber optic cable is applied as the most advanced communication medium by more and more users. Compared with copper cable, it can support more and better optical signal transmission of voice, data, video, etc. and offer many other advantages. When purchasing fiber optic cables, you must see the cable jacket at first. So what information does the outside jacket tell? What type of cable jacket should you select? Come with me to find the secrets of fiber cable jacket.

Fiber Cable Jacket Introduction

Fiber optic cable is constructed very complicated from the inside core, cladding, coating, strengthen fibers to the outside cable jacket. The core made of plastic or glass is the physical medium for optical signal transmission. As bare fiber can be easily broken, cable outer jacket is needed for fiber protection. The cable jacket is the first line of moisture, mechanical, flame and chemical defense for a cable. Without the jacket, fiber optic cables are very likely to be damaged during and after installation.

fiber-cable-jacket

Fiber Cable Jacket Characteristics

In most situations, robust cable jacket is better because the environment above or underground may be harsh. For better applications, you’d better take cable jacket seriously. Cable jacket is not as easy as you think. There are many characteristics you need to consider. Except the flexibility, it should withstand very low and high temperature. Whether the cable jacket has the good features of chemical and flame resistance. All these characteristics depend on cable jacket materials.

Fiber Cable Jacket Materials

Cable jacket is made of various types of materials. As mentioned above, the cable jacket should stand the test of different environmental conditions, including the harsh temperature, the sun & the rain, chemicals, abrasion, and so on. The following shows several common cable jacket materials for your reference.

PE (Polyethylene)—PE is the standard jacket material for outdoor fiber optic cables. It has excellent properties of moisture and weather resistance. It also has the good electrical properties over a wide temperature range. Besides, it’s abrasion resistant.

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride )—PVC is flexible and fire-retardant. It can be used as the jacket materials for both indoor and outdoor cables. PVC is more expensive than PE.

LSZH (Low Smoke Zero Halogen)—LSZH jacket is free of halogenated materials which can be transformed into toxic and corrosive matte during combustion. LSZH materials are used to make a special cable called LSZH cable. LSZH cables produce little smoke and no toxic halogen compounds when these cables catch fire. Based on the benefits, LSZH cable is a good choice for inner installations.

Fiber Cable Jacket Color

Fiber cable jacket color depends on the fiber cable type. Fiber cable includes single-mode and multimode types. For single-mode fiber cable (Blog about single-mode fiber cable please read my blog What Are OM1, OM2, OM3 and OM4?), the jacket color is typically yellow. While for multimode cable ( more details on multimode fiber cable ), the jacket color can be orange (OM1&OM2 cable), aqua (OM3 cable) and purple (OM4 cable). For outside plant cables, the jacket color is black.

How to Choose Fiber Cables?

To choose a fiber optic cable depends on your own applications. I’ll talk about this from two sides of jacket color and jacket material. The cable jacket color is not just for good looking. Different color means different fiber mode. Which one suits you the most, the yellow or orange fiber cable? You should know well about the color codes before buying your fiber cables. What’s more, you should also consider the installation requirements and environmental or long-term requirements. Where will be your fiber cables installed, inside or outside the building? Will your cables be exposed to hash environment very long? This can help you decide which jacket material is the best.

Summary

As a popular data transmission medium, fiber cable plays an important role in communication field. To some degree, the success of fiber connectivity lies in a right fiber cable. How to buy suitable fiber optic cables? This article describes the method from cable jacket. When selecting fiber cable, many other factors still need to be considered. Hope you can get your own fiber cable.