Tag Archives: SFP+ cable

Fiber Optic Components for Building 10G Data Centers

10 Gigabit Ethernet is a telecommunication technology that can support the network speed up to 10 billion bits per second. It’s also known as 10GbE. As 10GbE greatly increases bandwidth, many companies start to upgrade the data centers to meet their growing needs. How to build a 10G data center? What kind of equipment will be used except the switch? This article will recommend you some basic 10G solutions.

10G SFP+ (small form-factor pluggable plus) modules are hot swappable transceivers that plug into SFP+ slots on switches and support 10G data center. With small form factor, SFP+ transceivers can ensure low power disruption and high port density. Since it’s hot pluggable, the transceiver modules can be added or removed without interrupting the whole network. And SFP+ modules deliver data transmission speed of up to 10Gbit/s, which is 10 times faster than Gigabit Ethernet.

10g-sfp-module

Currently, a wide variety of SFP+ modules can be purchased in the market. For the long distance transmission, modules include SFP-10GBASE-LR, SFP-10GBASE-ER, SFP-10GBASE-ZR, CWDM SFP+ and DWDM SFP+. For the short distance transmission, there are modules like SFP 10GBASE-SR, SFP-10GBASE-LRM. Brands are also versatile such as Cisco, Juniper, Arista, Brocade, etc. To get modules with lower costs, you can pick third-party transceivers which are compatible with these original brands.

Patch cables contain both fiber and copper types. Fiber patch cords, as one of the data transmission media, enjoy great popularity because they have large transmission capacity, strong anti-electromagnetic interference, high security and fast speed. LC fiber patch cord is one of the most common cables for 10G data center, covering single-mode and multimode categories respectively for data transmission over long distance and short distance. To increase panel density, flexible HD LC push-pull tab fiber patch cable is designed. With its unique design, this patch cable allows the connector to be disengaged easily from densely loaded panels without the need for special tools and give users easy accessibility in narrow areas for data center deployment applications. Another special LC patch cord is uniboot patch cord. It utilizes a special “round duplex” cable that allows duplex transmission within a single cable. It’s good for saving cable management space comparing to standard patch cords.

lc-patch-cable

10G SFP+ Direct Attach Cable Assemblies

10G SFP+ direct attach cable (DAC ) is a cost-effective solution for 10G data center. It’s a low-power alternative to optical SFP+ system. The 10G SFP+ cables provide low-cost and reliable 10G speed with either copper cables over distances up to 10 m or active optical cables reaching distances up to 100 m. Because there is no need for spending on fiber optic transceivers and cables. This kind of cables contain 10G SFP+ copper cables, both passive and active and active optical cable (AOC). Active copper cable and AOC are designed for long distance connection, while passive copper cable is for short distance, such as the interconnection of top-of-rack switches with application servers and storage devices in a rack.

10g-sfp-cables

Fiber Enclosure

Fiber enclosure is an equipment you must have in data centers. This component is used to provide a flexible and modular system for managing fiber terminations, connections, and patching in high density data center application to maximize rack space utilization and minimize floor space. Fiber enclosure can be divided into different configurations like rack mount (available in 1U, 2U, 3U, 4U), wall mount, indoor or outdoor. The rack mount enclosure come into three flavors. One is the slide-out type and the other two are removable type and swing out type. Fiberstore introduces high density fiber enclosures with 48 ports, 96 ports and even 288 ports loaded LC FAPs (fiber adapter panels) in 1RU or 4RU rack mount for 10G solutions. Or if you already have the unloaded fiber enclosures, you just need to buy fiber adapter panels.

288-pors-4u-patch-panel-enclosure

Conclusion

To build a 10G data center, you have to prepare the components, for instance, 10G SFP+ modules, LC patch cables, 10G SFP+ cables, fiber enclosures, etc. You may also need other instruments for testing and cable organization. And all those equipment can be got from FS.COM with higher quality but fewer costs. For more information, you can contact us via sales@fs.com.

10G SFP or 10GBASE-T SFP for 10GbE Network?

The dramatic growth in data center requires the higher-performance servers, storage and interconnects. From initial 100M, 1G, 10G, to 40G and 100G, high speed Ethernet has never stopped developing. The standard for 10 Gigabit Ethernet (IEEE802.3ae) was ratified in 2002. In 10 Gigabit Ethernet, engineers often find it puzzled to choose a more suitable physical media between fiber and copper. Take a look at the media options for 10GbE Network.

Media Options for 10GbE Network

SFP+ (small form-factor pluggable plus) supports both fiber optic cables and DAC (direct attach cable). It delivers a wide variety of 10GbE Ethernet connectivity options for data center, enterprise wiring closet, and service provider transport applications. But it has the limitations that will prevent the media from moving to every server.

SFP+ cable is designed for 10GbE access layer interconnection in data center. It includes direct attach copper cables and active optical cables. DAC is a lower cost alternative to fiber, but it can support limited transmission distance and it’s not backward-compatible with existing GbE switches. DAC requires the purchase of an adapter card and requires a new top of rack (ToR) switch topology. DAC is more expensive than structured copper channels, and cannot be field terminated.

10GBASE-T SFP

10GBase-T SFP enables 10GbE connections with unshielded or shielded twisted pair cables over distances up to 100 meters. 10GBase-T technology appears as SPF is not compatible with twisted pair cabling system typically used in data centers. With 10GBase-T SFP, the migration from 1GbE to 10GbE can be easily achieved.

Comparison of 10G SFP and 10GBase-T SFP
Latency

Low latency becomes so important since the adoption of private cloud applications increases. It’s beneficial for ensuring fast response time and reducing CPU (center processing units) idle cycles so that improve data center efficiency.

As to 10GBASE-T SFP, the physical connection (PHY) standard uses block encoding to transport data across the cable without errors. The block encoding requires a block of data to be read into the transmitter PHY, a mathematical function run on the data before the encoded data are sent over the link. It happens the same on the receiver side. This standard specifies 2.6 microseconds for the transmit-receive pair, and the block size requires latency to be less than 2 microseconds. While 10G SFP applies simplified electronics without encoding, and common latency is around 300 nanoseconds per link.

You may think that two microseconds are not high. But what if a TOR infrastructure where traffic is passing 4 hops to reach the destination? 10.4-microsecond delay will be caused when using 10GBASE-T SFP. The following table tells details about the latency of SFP+ cable, 10G SFP and 10GABSE-T SFP for different number of links.

Number of Links SFP+ Cable Latency 10G SFP Latency 10GBASE-T SFP Latency
1 0.3 0.1 2.6
2 0.6 0.2 5.2
3 0.9 0.3 7.8
4 1.2 0.4 10.4
5 1.5 0.5 13.0
6 1.8 0.6 15.6

From the above table, it shows that the latency of 10GBASE-T SFP is the highest. As network links grow, the latency turns to be higher. It’s known that the lower latency, the faster the network speed. High latency in the data center infrastructure results in delays in CPU and application works, therefore limiting data center efficiency and increasing operational costs.

Power Consumption

Power consumption is also one of the important factors to be considered in data centers. Engineers are sensitive to power consumption and find a way to seek the lowest possible power consumption technologies. It’s said that every watt of power consumed, typically two additional watts are needed for cooling.

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. But 10G SFP requires about 0.7 watt regardless of distance. The figure below compares the power consumption of three media options of 10GbE Ethernet.

10GBASE-T-SFP-power consumption

From this figure, suppose there are 10000 ports in the data center, 10G SFP can greatly save the power. On contrary, 10GBASE-T components consumes the most power. Thus, to save power in the data center, 10G SFP and SFP+ cable should better be selected when deploying thousands of cables in a data center.

Conclusion

From this article, 10G SFP and SFP+ cable solutions are better than 10GBASE-T SFP for 10G data center. But 10GbE is not the ultimate goal. Besides factors mentioned in this article, you should also select a cabling solution which can support not only current needs but also future data center deployments when you design 10GbE network. You can find various SFP+ modules and 40G QSFP+ from FS.COM.

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

SFP+ Cables And QSFP+ Cables Manufacturers

SFP+ Twinax Copper Cables

Active cables and passive cables. Active cables are copper cables for data transmission. They use silicon (semiconductor) to boost the performance of the cable. On the contrary, a cable without a chip is considered as a “passive cable”.

10Gb/s Passive Copper Cable used for very short link and lowest cost

  • Compliant to SFF-8431
  • SFP+ Multi‐Source Agreement and SFF-8461
  • SFP+ Copper Cable Multi‐Source Agreement
  • Up to 10m length (AWG24)

The SFP+ cables support 10G Ethernet, 8G Fibre Channel, 10G FCoE, 10G InfiniBand and various unified architecture link applications. SFP + cable is widely used in the top of the Rock switches and high-performance server for interconnection. Top of the Rock switch power consumption is less than 10GBASE-T ports switch. In the market waiting for more energy efficient 10GBASE-T switch, SFP + cables are more popular for at the Top of the Rock switch. 28 AWG and 24 AWG cables are available for DAC cables. The standard lengths for the sfp+ direct attach cable are 1m, 2m, 3m, 5m, 7m and 10m. Custom lengths are available upon request.

Fiberstore Provides Cisco Compatible SFP+ Twinax Copper Modules:

  • 10GBASE-CU SFP+ Cable 1 Meter, passive SFP-H10GB-CU1M
  • 10GBASE-CU SFP+ Cable 1.5 Meter, passive SFP-H10GB-CU1-5M
  • 10GBASE-CU SFP+ Cable 2 Meter, Passive SFP-H10GB-CU2M
  • 10GBASE-CU SFP+ Cable 2.5 Meter, Passive SFP-H10GB-CU2-5M
  • 10GBASE-CU SFP+ Cable 3 Meter, passive SFP-H10GB-CU3M
  • 10GBASE-CU SFP+ Cable 5 Meter, passive SFP-H10GB-CU5M
  • 10GBASE-CU SFP+ Cable 7 Meter, passive SFP-H10GB-CU5M
  • 10GBASE-CU SFP+ Cable 10 Meter, passive SFP-H10GB-CU5M
  • 10GBASE-CU SFP+ Cable 7 Meter, active SFP-H10GB-ACU7M
  • 10GBASE-CU SFP+ Cable 10 Meter, active SFP-H10GB-ACU10M

Fiberstore SFP+ Cables

SFP+ fiber cable solution is suitable for longer distance communication, while 10G SFP+ cables solution is best when utilized in short lengths, typically 15m or less, which is sufficient to link server cards and switches. But at present, the fiber and copper cable transmission standard of 10G Ethernet have been launched. However, there is only the fiber standard without copper standard for the 40G Ethernet transmission now.

QSFP+ cables and SFP+ cables

From the perspective of the development of wiring, generally, the standard of copper cable is always behind the fiber standard and the application standard. Currently, the TIA and ISO have already established a working group to carry out the research work of the copper standard.

Actually, the QSFP+ cable is a choice for short transmission distance. Generally, QSFP+ cables are used to connect the ToR switches.

40GBASE QSFP+ Cable

Fiberstore QSFP+ Cables

QSFP+ cables and SFP+ cables are both suitable for the short transmission distance. The fiber can be considered for the long transmission distance. The standard distance of OM3 multi-mode fiber is 100m and the OM4 is 50m. The single-mode fiber will not encounter the problem of transmission distance. Fiberstore provides qsfp 4x10g aoc7m.

qsfp 4x10g aoc7m cable

Fiberstore qsfp 4x10g aoc7m cable

For the high-density, high-performance, longer distance and high-speed and other requirements, the MPO/MTP will be a more reasonable choice.

Fiberstore is a leading company in developing and manufacturing advanced optical network solutions to the fiber optic network, CWDM/DWDM system, and Data Center system. Fiberstore always aims accurate lead time and best service with high quality products to customers. Today, Fiberstore offer customers a broad range of data Center networking and communication solutions in following categories: GBIC, SFP, SFP+, XFP, XENPAK, X2, QSFP+ 40G AOC/ACC, 120G CXP AOC/ACC, Ethernet Converter and Fiber Optical Patchcord, Total fiber solution with CWDM, Mux/Demux, Repeater products.

Read More Related Article about DAC Cables:

SFP+ Direct Attach Cable Wiki

Today, 10G SFP+ Direct Attach Copper (DAC) cable becomes cloud computing and cloud storage mainstream primary connection tool, but what is DAC cable? For this, different manufacturers of DAC cable have different presentations and descriptions. And here, we’ve got a number of related information together, mainly to discuss what exactly SFP + DAC cable is and its other details, as well as discuss the advantages and disadvantages between active and passive SFP + cable.

What Is 10G SFP+ DAC?

The 10G SFP+ DAC option is defined for 10G applications over copper cable. The 10G SFP+ DAC link utilizes a receive equalizer from the host PHY/SerDes to be able to compensate for the Inter Symbol Interference (ISI) introduced by the cable. Electrical and mechanical specifications for SFP+ optical modules, 10G SFP+ DAC, and hosts are defined in the SFF-8431 specification developed by the SFF Committee, with broad industry participation.

10G SFP+ DAC is made from the inexpensive copper twinaxial cable with SFP+ connectors on both sides based on SFP+ MSA (multi-source agreement). It uses SFP+ connectors for 10G links instead of utilizing an optical transceiver on each and every end as well as a length of fiber optic cable. It takes away the expensive optical lasers along with other electronic components. For both active and passive 10G SFP+ DAC cables, a smaller electrical component is used to recognize the SFP+ module and cable type to the Ethernet interface. 10G SFP+ DAC is known as the successor technology to 10GBASE-CX4. It has the advantages of low power, low cost, low latency with the more benefits of having the small form factor of SFP+, and thinner, more flexible cabling compared with 10G SFP+ transceivers. Due to the distance limitation, the target application of 10G SFP+ DAC is interconnection of top-of-rack switches with application servers and storage devices in a rack.

10G-SFP+-DAC

Passive and Active 10G SFP+ DAC Cables

Vendors provide both active and passive versions of the 10GSFP+ DAC. 10GSFP+ SFP+ DAC assembly is recognized as active in case there are signal processing electronics in the SFP+ module to increase signal quality and supply a longer cable distance. So the active DAC can make it a possibility to support longer and thinner cable assemblies. The lower priced approach is the passive DAC, which has a tendency to be shorter. Active 10G SFP+ DAC has a 10m distance limitation and passive 10G SFP+ DAC ranges from 1 m to 7 m. But you may discover variations in supported cable lengths among different vendors.

Passive 10G SFP+ DAC are much less costly but require the host to do the work of driving it properly.

Benefits:

  • Lower Costs
  • Higher Reliability

Tradeoffs:

  • No LOS
  • No TX Disable
  • No Interrupts
  • Limited Management Interface
  • Host must drive Cu cable

Active 10G SFP+ DAC provide the added benefit of being “optical-module” like.

Benefits:

  • Enhanced Signal Integrity
  • Longer Cable Lengths
  • Transmit Pre-emphasis
  • Active/Adaptive Receive Equalization
  • Tx Disable
  • Loss of Signal (LOS)
  • Interrupts
  • Management Interface
  • Looks like an optical module
  • Don’t have to worry about host Tx/Rx for Cu cables

Tradeoffs:

  • More Expensive
Summary

This low-cost 10G SFP+ DAC is beneficial, as an example, for interconnecting a collection of switches, as well as for short-distance connections between switch ports and Ethernet interfaces on servers as well as other devices. Before the growth and development of 10GBASE-T, it was the only real low-cost copper connection designed for 10 Gbps operation. For active and passive 10G SFP+ DAC, each has advantages and disadvantages. You can select according to your special needs. You can also get 10G SFP+ DAC of various compatible brands from here.

Related Article:  10GBASE-LRM vs. 10GBASE-LX4, Which One Wins?