Stackable Switch or Chassis Switch On the Network Edge?

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Network edge infrastructures can collect, transmit and record data passing the network. The infrastructures include gateways, routers, and switches. The switches on the network edge are located at the meeting point of two networks. The edge switches are closer to end-user than the backbone of the network. When it comes to choosing between stackable switch and chassis switch for the network edge, it may be difficult for you to make a decision. This article will provide you some points about choosing between stackable switches and chassis switches on the network edge.

What is a Stackable Switch?

As the name suggests, a stackable switch not only can operate alone but also can be connected with another stackable network switch. Stack cables, transceivers & patch cables, and DAC cables play important roles in connecting stackable switches. Generally speaking, the maximum number of switches in a stack depends on the brand and the type of stackable switches. For example, FS S3800 stackable switches support up to 4 switches stacking. The group of switches can be configured as one unit for they all share the same IP address. By setting up a group of stackable switches, you can add extra available ports on your switches. And they can operate like one single switch. So stackable switch solution is popular for its flexibility and simplicity.

Flexibility

With stackable switches, you don’t need to keep large amount redundant ports at very first. For example, you just need to add a new stackable Gigabit Ethernet switch on the stack when you require more 1G ports. Besides, various types and speeds of stackable switches can meet your different needs of ports.

Simplicity

Adding a new stackable switch to a stack is not a big deal. By using stack cables, transceivers & patch cables, and DAC cables, you can connect the individual switches as one entity in several minutes. More than that, the stack of switches can be managed as one single switch for they share the same IP address.

stackable switch

Figure1: stackable switch

What is a Chassis Switch?

Different from a stackable switch, a chassis switch works with various line cards. So it can provide different types and large amounts of ports that are required. A chassis switch has a certain number of fixed slots which are used to place line card of different types. By inserting extra line cards into a chassis switch, you can have more available ports. For example, you can insert both a line card with 100G ports and a line card with 10G ports in one chassis switch. Then the chassis switch has both the function of a 100GbE switch and the function a 10GbE switch. Besides, both the line cards with copper ports and that with fiber optical ports can be inserted into one chassis switch. Chassis switches are widely used for its consolidation and unified management.

Consolidation

Stackable switches are individual switches connected by cables and transceivers. While a chassis switch is one switch with various line cards and modules. It has its own system and even a firewall. A stackable switch has its common backplane, power supply modules, common processing modules and etc.

Unified Management

You can use only one application to manage all the line cards in a chassis switch. Besides, if you want to update the program of a chassis switch, you just need to update the only one application of the chassis. The unified management of chassis switches makes management more convenient and time-saving.

Stackable Switch vs Chassis Switch: Which to Choose on the Network Edge?

The switches using on the network edge connect directly to the end user devices. So they need to have high port density and low costs. Stackable switches and chassis switches have many characters in common. They both have many available ports, centralized management, and the possibility of adding ports in the future. But when it comes to choosing between them, there are three factors you need to consider, including reliability, flexibility, and longevity.

Reliability

Reliability is a significant character of an edge switch. When a stackable switch in one stack comes to a problem and goes out of order, you need to unhook the connection and take it out of the rack. Then you need to put a new one on the rack and connect the new one with other stackable switches. It is more time consuming than using a chassis switch. Because many line cards in a chassis switch are hot-swappable. When it comes to the breakdown of one line card, you just need to pull the line card out and insert a new one in. And then the chassis switch will operate normally again. Besides, a chassis switch has better air flow and bigger power supply than stackable switches. So a chassis switch may be less possible to break down than stackable switches.

Flexibility

The edge of a network is like the branches of a tree. So the flexibility of edge switches is important. Both stackable switches and chassis switches can offer the combination of different port speed and transmission types. But chassis switches can only be used with the equipment produced by a certain vendor. While stackable switches are more flexible on brands. Besides, unlike a stackable switch, there is no self-sufficient operation for individual line cards in a chassis switch. Last but not least, a chassis switch may occupy more rack space than stackable switches when the number of used ports is not that much.

Longevity

The longevity of edge switches may influence the costs in the long run. Chassis based switches tend to have a longer lifespan than stackable switches. When you want to improve the speed of one port from 1 Gigabit to 10 Gigabit on a stackable switch, you have no choice but to buy a new switch. If you use a chassis switch, you just need to remove a Gigabit port line card and insert a 10 Gigabit port line card. Then you go with the same old chassis switch. Although chassis switches have higher initial investment than stackable switches, chassis switches have a longer lifespan.

Summary

This article focuses on the introduction of stackable switches and chassis switches, and some considerations about choosing between stackable switches and chassis switches on the network edge, including reliability, flexibility, and longevity. If you need a little more help and advice with stackable switch and chassis switch, then please do not hesitate to let us know. For purchasing high-quality switches with low cost or for more products’ information, please contact us at sales@fs.com.

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Modem vs Router: What’s the Difference?

Modems, routers, hubs and network switches are widely used in building a network. When it comes to setting up a Wi-Fi network, it’s necessary to know what kind of network equipment you need. A modem and a router are the foundation of your Wi-Fi network. A modem can connect you to the Internet, while a router can connect your devices to Wi-Fi. This article will focus on what is a modem, what is a router, and modem vs router: what’s the difference.

Modem: a Bridge Connecting Your Local Network and the Internet

Short for modulator-demodulator, a modem serves as a bridge between your local network and the Internet. It encodes and decodes data. So the data can be transmitted between the home network and the Internet Service Provider (ISP). A modem connects to a router or directly to a computer, by using an Ethernet cable. Thus you can get an Internet connection. Besides, most modems have two ports: one connects to the Internet and another connects to a router or a computer.

Router: a Device Taking the Web Wireless

A router directs the Internet connection to all your computers, mobile phones and other connected devices you have. It connects to a modem through an Ethernet cable. And then the router passes that Internet connection to other devices in your house through an Ethernet cable or over a Wi-Fi network. It creates a private wireless network in a home, office, or place of business. For example, when you connect your cell phone to Wi-Fi, the cell phone is connected to a local router. A router lets all your devices communicate with one another over the local network. Besides, a router can protect your devices from being exposed directly to the Internet. To the Internet, all the traffic coming from your private network looks like it’s coming from a single device.

Modem vs Router

Figure 1: router to modem connection

Modem vs Router: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to connecting your home devices to the Internet, we can’t miss modems and routers. A modem brings the information in, and a router distributes it to different devices like computers and phones. The following chart will show you the differences between modem vs router in detail.

Modem
Router
Layer
Data link layer
Network Layer
Function
A modem is a translator between the public Internet and a private network.
A router creates a private network and allows multiple devices to connect to this network.
Ports
2 ports. One connects to the Internet and another connects to a router or a computer.
Big routers for carriers and providers can have more than 100ports, while little routers for small office or home have 2 to 8 ports.
Device Type
Inter-networking device
Networking device
Connections
A modem can only connect to one device: either a home PC or a router.
A router can connect to multiple devices in a network, either through Ethernet cables or through WiFi.
Necessary for Internet Connection?
Yes
No, but can provide additional security and allow for multiple connections.
Security
No security measures. Modems don’t screen the data it encodes or decodes, and so it passes on any potential threat to connected computers.
Provides security measures. Routers examine data packets to determine their destination, and so can contain firewalls to screen out attacks on the network.
Independent or Dependent
Independent. A modem can work without a router and deliver information directly to a single PC.
Dependent. A router can share information between computers, but cannot connect to the Internet without a modem.

Summary

A modem can connect you to the Internet, while a router can connect your devices to Wi-Fi. Modems and routers are both involved in connecting your home devices to the Internet. The differences between modem vs router include many aspects, such as layer, function, the number of ports, data transmission form, device type, etc. Except for modems and routers, switches such as Gigabit Ethernet switch and 10GbE switch also play an important role in building a network.

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How to Choose a Structured Wiring Panel?

As a popular data transmission system, the structured wiring system supports data, multiple voices, video, and various management systems. It consists of a number of standardized smaller elements such as structured wiring panel, network switch, cables, etc. This article will address the introduction of structured wiring panel and how to choose it.

What Is a Structured Wiring Panel?

The structured wiring panel plays an essential role in the network cabling. It consists of multiple ports to connect and manage the input and output fiber or copper cables. The structured wiring panel is usually attached to a structured wiring cabinet or a server rack. That rack can offer a certain location to make all your structured wiring panels, cables and other hardware connected neatly.

structured wiring panel

Figure 1: Structured wiring panel

Why Use a Structured Wiring Panel?

As an ideal solution in the cable management, the structured wiring panel has some key advantages:

Easy for cable management – With structured wiring panels, all cables can be collected in one place. This allows for easy and organized management.

Reducing wear of devices – Users can accomplish the connections on the patch panel, and there is no need to plug or unplug the cables directly and frequently from the devices. Thus, using the structured wiring panel helps reduce the wear of network devices.

Convenient for reconfiguration – Because multiple cables are terminated on the patch panel, the devices like switches won’t be disturbed when adding or removing some cables. And the patch panel’s ports are usually labeled. Therefore, it is convenient for you to make some changes of the cable.

How to Choose a Structured Wiring Panel?

Based on different application environments, structured wiring panel can be classified into various types.

1U Fiber Patch Panel

1U fiber optic patch panel is a flexible management solution for high-density cabling. This kind of structured wiring panel is the bridge of fiber patch cables. And it usually serves as 1U 19’’ rack, ODF and cabinets. Moreover, it can be loaded with LC duplex single mode or OM3/OM4 multimode adapters with 24 ports or even more ports. You also can find that the 1U 19″ rack blank panel is used in the structured wiring system.

1U Fiber Patch Panel

Figure 2: 1U 48 fibers, 24 ports LC SMF adapter panel

Ethernet Structured Wiring Panel

Sharing some similarities with the fiber optic patch panel in the structured wiring system, network patch panel can be provided with 24 ports, 48 ports, and even more if necessary. It is designed for both shield and unshielded copper cables such as Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a and so on.

Modular Patch Panel

There are two types of the modular patch panel. One is the multimedia adapter panel, which is getting more and more popular in the home structured wiring. It supports up to 6 modules for standard keystone jacks and LC, SC or MTP adapter. What’s more, the 6-port blank multimedia modular panel in FS is the most commonly used one in the market. Our blank multimedia patch panel is much flexible in copper and fiber mixed implementations. It allows users to aggregate up to six different types of ports at one time. The video below provides you with more details.

The other type of modular patch panel is the 1U rack mount modular fiber enclosure panel. It can hold up to 4 MTP cassettes or fiber adapter panels. Typically, it is designed for both front and rear-mounting capabilities. Besides, with a creative compatible design, this type of structured wiring panel is cost-effective for 10G/40G/100G cabling with both multimode and single mode options.

1U rack mount modular fiber enclosure panel

Figure 3: 1U rack mount modular fiber enclosure panel

Conclusion

Structured wiring panel is an indispensable component for a well-organized cable management. When choosing a structured wiring panel, you’d better take styles, cable types, count of ports, etc. into consideration. And you can choose the appropriate one based on the function and performance you actually need. FS provides high-quality structured wiring panels, racks, fiber optic enclosures, etc. If you have any needs, welcome to visit FS.COM.

Related Article: How to Install Patch Panel and Switch?

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Vertical Cable Management vs Horizontal Cable Management: Which One to Choose?

With the increasing of cable counts and devices, cable management is becoming more and more complicated. An efficient network cable management not only assistants increase the flexibility of cabling, but also helps improve the operation in the data center. Therefore, a well-organized cabling has been a hot spot now. In fact, the cable management solution can be generally classified into vertical cable management and horizontal cable management. However, faced with two options, which one to choose?

What Is Vertical Cable Management?

Vertical cable management refers to a solution to secure, bundle and route the cables in a vertical pathway within the server rack. In this rack vertical cable management system, vertical cable managers offer a vertical pathway for numerous cables from switches to patch panel. These vertical wire managers are available in the height sizes up to 48U and wide up to 10 inches.

Vertical Cable Manager Types

A range of vertical cable managers is provided in the market. Among them, three styles enjoy great popularity.

5U Plastic vertical cable manager with bend radius finger – The 5U cable management bend radius finger comes with rack mount enclosure, copper or fiber patch panel. It is designed to maintain cable bend radius effectively. What’s more, it enables mounting in all 19 in or 23 in EIA 2- and 4-post racks.

Single D-Ring vertical cable manager – Single D-Ring vertical cable manager features a one-piece design. It is easy to access to cables for MACs (moves, adds and changes). Besides, the 1.7’’ and 3’’ are the commonly used width size for single D-Ring vertical cable manager.

High-density vertical cable manager – The high-density vertical cable manager can be divided into single-sided version and dual-sided version. It can be mounted on the sides of open frame racks. And the 45U 4.9’’ dual-sided vertical cable manager is the most prevalent types in the market.

vertical cable management

Figure 1: Vertical cable managers

What Is Horizontal Cable Management?

The horizontal cable management is often installed within racks or cabinets. It allows for cables to be managed on front racks or drawn away from equipment tidily. Typically, the horizontal cable management is one or two rack high, or even higher if necessary. What’s more, it enables cable managers to manage all types of cables, including fiber, coax, patch cable, etc.

Horizontal cable management

Figure 2: Horizontal cable management

Horizontal Cable Manager Types

In the market, there are various types of horizontal cable managers, and each has its strengths for corresponding applications. In general, there are three commonly used types:

Horizontal cable manager with D-Ring – The horizontal cable manager with D-Ring is an open-access management tool. Moreover, it provides great flexibility as well. Therefore, components and cables can be easily added or removed depending on system requirements. For more information about it, please refer to How to Use D-Ring Cable Manager?

Horizontal cable manager with finger duct – When it comes to horizontal cable manager with finger duct, it is one of the most popular types of horizontal cable management solution. It provides a series of fingers and pass-through holes, which can route rack cables and reduce cable strains.

Horizontal cable manager with brush strip – Horizontal cable manager with brush strip is usually made of nylon bristles and steel. It enables cables to be passed from the front of the rack to that of the rear.

1U Horizontal Cable Managers

Figure 3: 1U Horizontal Cable Managers

Vertical Cable Management and Horizontal Cable Management Comparison

In terms of cable management, no matter a vertical or horizontal variety, they have some similarities. For instance, both of them contribute to network performance by enhancing airflow and cooling efficiency. And they protect cables from damages such as improper bends or dust. Moreover, the aesthetics of a data center can be improved by these managements. Actually, the two management varieties still own their individual advantages.

Advantages of Vertical Cable Management

Reduce signal interference – The vertical cable management can separate power and data cables within the racks. Therefore, the chance for crosstalk and interference between them can be reduced greatly.

Cost effective – If vertical rack cable management with bend radius fingers is used with angled patch panel directly, you don’t have to use the horizontal cable management panel. It will reduce the cost.

Advantages of Horizontal Cable Management

Minimize downtime – When something goes wrong, it will cost hours for technicians to tracing the unorganized wires. But the downtime can’t be afforded in most cases. With horizontal cable management, cables can be arranged neatly. This makes technicians identify and maintain devices easily and quickly.

Promote growth – By using horizontal cable management, cables will no longer be messed up. It is convenient for technicians to consolidate equipment within racks or add additional racks. In addition, new ports and cables also can be added without creating problems.

Conclusion

Vertical cable management and horizontal cable management each makes a unique contribution to the data center setups. Which to choose depends on the actual needs. Sometimes, they are used as a combination. FS.COM provides all the devices mentioned above. Whatever you need to tidy up your server rack cables, welcome to visit www.fs.com.

Related Article: Guidelines for Organizing Server Rack

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Rack Mount Patch Panel Wiki: What’s It? Why Use It? How to Use It?

The patch panel is an indispensable component of the network system. It serves as a static switchboard which connects a lot of devices to the central or critical hardware. Based on different application environment, patch panel can be classified into rack mount patch panel and wall mount patch panel. This article will focus on exploring the former: rack mount patch panel.

What Is a Rack Mount Patch Panel?

As a branch of the patch panel, rack mount patch panel is a mounted hardware assembly as well. It is generally constructed of steel, mental or plastic used in a home, enterprise networks and data center. What’s more, the rack mount patch panel consists of multiple ports to connect and manage the input and output fiber or copper cables. So it can provide a centralized location for users to manage connections.

rack mount patch panel cabling

Figure 1: rack mount patch panel cabling

Rack Mount Patch Panel Types

Generally, the rack mount patch panel is available in two versions: rack mount fiber optic patch panel and rack mount Ethernet patch panel.

Rack mount fiber optic panel is commonly designed for standard 19-inch rack mounting. According to the number of connections required, it is usually available in 1U, 2U, 4U configurations with flat or angled design. For unloaded rack mount fiber optic panel, LC or SC fiber adapter panels or cassettes can be installed preferentially or during the deployment. While, for loaded rack mount fiber optic panel, fiber cables can be installed directly. According to the requirements of your project, you can choose a proper one flexibly.

The other type is the Ethernet Patch Panel, which is also called RJ45 rack mount patch panel or rack mount copper patch panel. It can be inserted with both shielded or unshielded copper cables such as Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a, and Cat7. Besides, RJ45 rack mount patch panels are commonly available in 24 ports and 48ports.

rack mount patch panel

Figure 2: 24 ports 1U rack mount fiber patch panel (left)
and 24 ports 1U shielded Cat6 rack mount patch panel (right)

Why Use a Rack Mount Patch Panel?

As mentioned above, the rack mount patch panel plays an important role in network setups. The following highlights some of the advantages.

  • Simple for cable management – With rack mount patch panels, all cables can be collected in one location. It offers the easy and organized management of the network cabling.
  • Convenient for reconfiguration – Since cables are terminated on the patch panel, the networking hardware like switches won’t be disturbed when adding or removing some cables. And the patch panel’s ports are often labeled, which is easy for you to find the right slots. Therefore, it is convenient to make some changes of the cabling.
  • Saving wear and tear – Because all of the connections are made with the patch panel that there is no need to plug or unplug the cables directly from the devices. Thus, using a rack mount patch panel also saves wear and tear on the input ports of expensive networking devices.

How to Use a Rack Mount Patch Panel?

Generally, there are three main steps for you to install a rack mount patch panel.

Preparation

Before installation, the user should make some preparations:

  • Evaluate the number of rack units that will be used.
  • Determine the number and the size of the patch panel.
  • Choose the jacks that you are going to utilize.
  • Make sure the patch cords are matched to the installed cables.
Installation

When a pre-loaded rack mount is held, you can start installing a patch panel.

Installing a rack mount patch panel

Figure 3: Installing a rack mount patch panel

  1. Hold the drawer of patch panel in an upwards position and push it forwardly.
  2. Attach the patch panel assembly to the rack with the appropriate machine screws.
  3. Insert each cable into the matching port and then use a strap to secure the cables. (Notice: For fiber optical cables, a Velcro cable tie is suggested to strap. While for copper cables, a Nylon cable tie is recommended.)
  4. Write specific information on labels for identification if you need.
Validation

After completing the second step, you still need to make a visual inspection to ensure all devices are in a safe environment. Then, the installation is finished.

Conclusion

The rack mount patch panel provides an ideal solution to optimize your network setups. When choosing rack mount patch panels, port density, rack size and space should be considered. FS provides various types of patch panels such as rack mount coax patch panel, RJ45 rack mount patch panel, etc. If you have any needs, welcome to visit FS.COM.

Related Article: How to Use Fiber Patch Panel for Better Cable Management

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LC Fiber Connector Definition, Types And User Guide

Fiber optic connector is a flexible device that can connect and disconnect fiber optic cable quickly. A large variety of fiber connector types are available, including LC fiber connector, SC fiber connector, FC fiber connector, ST fiber connector and so on. Among them, LC fiber optic connector is one of the most common types of fiber optic connectors. This article will give a clear explanation to LC fiber connector and how to use it.

What Is an LC Fiber Connector?

The LC connector is a small form factor (SFF) connector, which is designed to join LC fibers where a connection or disconnection is required. The LC connector was first developed by Lucent Technology for TelCo environment uses. Hence, LC stands for Lucent Connector mostly. In addition, LC can also stand for Little Connector and Local Connector. These LC connectors utilize traditional components of the standard connector but with a 1.25mm ceramic ferrule.

LC fiber connector

Figure 1: LC fiber connector

LC Fiber Connector Types

LC connectors have single mode and multimode tolerances. The polishing types of the LC connector are available in UPC and APC. LC APC fiber connector has an eight-degree angle to minimize back reflection and can be recognized by its green colored housing and strain relief boot. While LC UPC fiber connector can be easily recognized by blue color. Generally, two versions of LC connectors are available: jumper connector and BTW connector.

LC fiber connector

Figure 2: LC APC and UPC fiber connector

The jumper connector can be used to terminate simplex and duplex 1.6 to 2.0 mm cordage. It is convenient to engage and disengage because of a trigger and the standard latch. What’s more, jumper connector is intended for use in LAN, central offices, and in patch cords for premise distribution systems.

The BTW (behind-the-wall) connector is a shorter version of the LC intended for mounting on 0.9 mm fiber. It is typically utilized on the back side of equipment. Besides, BTW connector usually uses finger catch and extended latch, which makes the BTW connector engage and disengage easily.

What Are the Advantages of LC Fiber Connector?

Nowadays, LC fiber optic connectors are very popular in the market. The following are several advantages of LC connector:

  •  With LC connector, the cost of the system can be reduced. LC connector is half the size of the traditional SC connector. Therefore it can doubles fiber density in shelves and outlets.
  • The polarized feature of LC connector helps maintain the transmitting or receiving direction and assures high repeatability.
  • LC connector has an anti-snag latch, which can improve durability and reduce the rearrangement work caused by the cross connection.
  • It is time-saving for installation, because there is no need to install the field mountable connectors.

LC Fiber Connector Family Brief Introduction

The LC connector family consists of adapters, attenuator, Jumpers, an assortment of connector modules and panels, etc. They are generally applied in telecommunications networks, LANs, data processing networks, device terminations, premises distributions, etc. There are several major LC-related devices:

LC adapter is designed to work together with the complete LC fiber optic family to offer an optimal, high-density solution for the network. It features a self-adjusting mechanism, which accommodates patch panels of thickness between 1.55 to 1.75 mm. And it is available in single mode, multimode, simplex and duplex options. LC simplex adapter connects one LC connector pair in one module space. While LC duplex adapter connects two LC connector pairs in one module space.

LC fiber adapters

Figure 2: LC fiber adapters

LC fiber cable with two LC connectors terminated on either ends, is the most commonly used fiber optic cable type. The LC connector used on the LC fiber cable has a trigger mechanism,  which allows the connector to be easily engaged and disengaged.

LC attenuator uses LC connector, which is a commonly used LC-related device as well. It is used in fiber optic communications to reduce the optical fiber power by a certain level. Usually, it has a male plug connector on one side, and has a female fiber optic adapter on the other side. In addition, its typical attenuation values are between 1 and 30 dB.

Conclusion

LC fiber connector provides the connection between two LC fiber cables, or a fiber optic cable and another optical component. Besides the above mentioned LC fiber connectors, adapters, attenuator, jumpers, FS.COM provides technical support for you as well. Kindly contact FS.COM for more details if you are interested.

Related Article: How Much Do You Know About Fiber Connector Cleaning?

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What Does SFP Stand for And How to Use It?

With the increasing demand for higher bandwidth, multiple types of transceiver modules are designed for data transmission, including GBIC, SFP, SFP+, QSFP and so on. Well, what do GBIC, SFP, SFP+ and QSFP stand for? Among them, SFP has been used in popularity for over 15 years. This article will give an answer about “what does SFP stand for?” and tell you how to use it.

What Does SFP Stand for in Networking?

SFP stands for small form-factor pluggable. It is a compact, hot-swappable optical transceiver module that used in telecommunications and data communications networks. Instead of being standardized by official standards, SFP is specified by the multi-source agreement (MSA). MSA is an agreement between many different transceiver manufactures to make standardized products. So the SFP is compatible across a range of telecoms vendors’ hardware. And SFP module is designed to support synchronous optical networking (SONET), Gigabit Ethernet, fiber channel and other communication standards. In addition, SFP module can be categorized into various types under Gigabit Ethernet standards and industry-accepted standards, including 1000BASE-EX, 1000BASE-ZX, 1000BASE-SR and so on.

what does sfp stand for

Figure 1: what does SFP stand for?

SFP vs Mini GBIC:What’s the Difference?

To understand the difference between SFP and Mini GBIC, we’d better get to know GBIC first. GBIC is short for gigabit interface converter, which is a hot-swappable transceiver developed in 2000. However, with the demand for higher bandwidth and faster transmission speed, Mini GBIC is developed. Mini GBIC was appeared in 2001. Just as its name, Mini GBIC is similar to the former GBIC in function but with a smaller form factor. Actually, Mini GBIC and SFP transceiver module refer to the same thing, which has replaced GBIC in most applications for the small size. SFP, also known as Mini GBIC, is a upgraded hot-pluggable module that can be installed and removed easily. It provides flexibility for the transmission in both data and telecommunication applications. In general, SFP and Mini GBIC are interchangeable, but the name of Mini GBIC is not officially defined in the MSA.

How to Use SFP Ports on Switch?

SFP port, a small form-factor hot pluggable interface, is used to extend switching functionality throughout the network. It enables Gigabit switches to allow both copper and optical links by inserting the corresponding Gigabit SFP module. And it is most commonly used for the uplink over either short and long transmission distances. There are several kinds of basic solutions:

  • Fiber SFP – When SFP ports on switches are inserted into fiber SFP module with optical port, fiber optic cables (SMF fiber / MMF fiber) with duplex LC connector are needed to support the connection.
  • SFP DAC/AOC – DAC consists of twinax copper cable with SFP DAC connectors on either end. AOC is defined as an fiber jumper cable terminated with SFP AOC connectors on either end. So the SFP DAC/AOC on the DAC/AOC cable can be inserted directly into the corresponding SFP ports on switch.
  • 1000BASE-T Copper SFP – When the SFP ports are plugged by 1000BASE-T copper SFP with electrical port, the network cables such as Cat5e must be used for 1Gbit/s data transmission. What’s more, it is ideal for short reach distance less than 100m.
  • BiDi SFP – Unlike traditional optical transceivers, BiDi SFP module is fitted with wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) diplexers. It combines and separates data transmitted over a single fiber based on the wavelengths of the light. So It has only one port to transmit and receive optical information on separate wavelength and supports a transmission distance up to 120km.

Conclusion

After reading this article, have you got the answer for “What does SFP stand for”? SFP module is a flexible and necessary device in fiber optical connections. When you choose SFP modules in the market, you’d better consider the corresponding switches and cables for the applications. FS.COM provides high-quality network switches, fiber cables and compatible SFP modules. If you have any needs, welcome to visit FS.COM.

Related Articles:
Single Mode SFP vs Multimode SFP: What’s the Difference?
SFP Module: What’s It and How to Choose It?

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What’s DAC Cable And Why Choose It Over Fiber Transceiver?

Driven by demand for higher speed fiber cables, network cabling has gone through great changes over the years. Cat5e copper cabling and 1000BASE-T have dominated data center interconnection application for years. However, SFP cable becomes a new favorite with less cost and lower power consumption, which is a form of the high-speed cable with pluggable connectors on either end. This direct attach cable can be classified to DAC cable and AOC cable. DAC cable is the most basic form of high speed direct attach cabling. This article intends to introduce the DAC cable and its benefits. For more information, read Active Optical Cable (AOC) – Rising Star of Telecommunications & Datacom Transceiver Markets

What Is DAC Cable?

Direct attach copper cable, short for DAC cable, is a kind of fixed high speed copper cable assembly. It consists of shielded twinax copper cable with pluggble  connectors on either end with varying gauges from 24 to 30AWG: The longer the distance, the higher the AWG rating should be. It can be used to connect switches to routers or servers for short transmission distance. In addition, DAC cables are commonly available in several different categories: SFP+ DAC, XFP DAC, QSFP DAC and so on.

DAC cable

Figure 1: DAC cable

Types of DAC Cable

Generally, according to the construction difference, the DAC cables can be classified into two types: passive DAC cable and active DAC cable.

Passive DAC cables have no electrical components built into the cable assembly. Hence, it has the minimal power consumption of no more than 0.15w and generally for short reach up to 7m.

Active DAC cables have signal amplification and equalization built into the cable assembly. Therefore, it allows a little longer transmission distance up to 15m and ensures better transmission quality. whereas it has a higher price and consumes more power around 0.5-1w.

passive and active DAC cables

Figure 2: passive and active DAC cables

Why Choose DAC Cables Over Optical Transceivers?

When considering whether to use DAC cables or optical transceivers, one may be confused. Nowadays, DAC cable is very popular with the following advantages:

  • Less Power Consumption – Compared to optical transceiver modules, DAC cables, especially passive copper cables consume less power.
  • Lower Price – DAC cables are less costly for they do not need patch panels or additional cables when connected to devices as optical transceiver modules.
  • Simpler Deployment – DAC cable has only one component to be interconnected. However, the optical transceiver has to be connected with more devices, which must be matched with each other. Besides, it is convenient for installers to conserve DAC cables, they don’t need to clean and inspect optical fiber before plugging cables.

Where to Use DAC Cables?

Utilized in various applications in a data center, the DAC cables can extend the life of the switch hardware without having to change the existing infrastructure. In general, this direct attach copper cable is effective for the following applications:

  • ToR/Adjacent Racks – Passive and active DAC cables both are suitable for shorter ToR or adjacent racks.
  •  Middle of Row – As long as the distance is no more than 15m, the active DAC cable may be the best solution in this application.
  • End of Row – DAC cables are ideal for the end of row architectures as long as the distance is suited.
application of DAC Cables

Figure 3: application of DAC Cables

Conclusion

According to the aforementioned details, we know that there are two types of DAC cables, namely passive DAC and active DAC. The former is recommended for the transmission which is no more than 7 m and the latter is suitable for 7-15 m. DAC cable is an ideal high-speed solution for data center interconnections. And all the DAC cables mentioned above are supplied in FS. If you need to know more details, please visit www.fs.com.

Related Article: SFP+ DAC Twinax Cable Deployment Considerations

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What Is RJ45 SFP Module And How to Use It?

Transceiver module, known as the essential optics for data transmission, is widely used to connect network applications like switches and network interface cards. Various types of transceiver modules exist, such as copper SFP, fiber SFP, CWDM SFP and so on. RJ45 SFP module is a kind of transceiver modules, which has been utilized as a legacy solution for some years. This article will give a clear explanation to RJ45 SFP module, its benefits and how to use it.

What Is RJ45 SFP Module?

RJ45 SFP module, also known as copper SFP, is a kind of hot-pluggable transceiver module. It supports 10/100/1000 Mbps data rate over Cat5e or Cat6 cables with RJ45 connector interface. And it allows communications over the twisted-pair copper cable of link lengths up to 100 m. So it is commonly used for transmitting data in a short distance, for instance, for server switching, LANs in data centers, for uplinks or directly to the desktop for broadband applications. In addition, with the increasing demand for high-speed communication links, some vendors started implementing a popular and updated copper module: 10GBASE-T SFP+ copper transceiver. It is the first 10G copper SFP RJ45 module, which requires 10 gigabit Ethernet over Cat 6a/7 cable and offers great savings and flexibility during network deployment.

RJ45 SFP module

Figure 1: RJ45 SFP module

Why Choose RJ45 SFP Module Over Optical SFP Module?

The battle between fiber optic SFP module and RJ45 SFP module still hot in the field of the transceiver module. Optical SFP module with LC or SC optical connectors is used in Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet allowing transmission distance up to 120km. Compared to optical SFP, RJ45 SFP module has the following advantages:

  • Cost-effective in Short Runs

Cost is an important factor in employment. When the link distance is under 100 m, choosing the copper SFP module to connect the switches might be more economical since copper SFP and Cat5e or Cat6 cables are lower-priced than optical SFP transceiver module.

  • Simpler Deployment

Copper SFP transceiver is convenient for operators to deploy their network systems. Copper SFP module can be plugged directly into the existing copper cabling system, which can make seamless upgrades and replacements by minimizing network disruptions. While if you choose optical transceiver, you have to tear down the existing copper cabling and redeploy the fiber cabling.

How to Use RJ45 SFP Module?

RJ45 SFP module is usually utilized to connect two switches with copper interface over Cat5e or Cat6 cable. The following will show you how to install, connect and remove the RJ45 SFP module in detail.

Installing A RJ45 SFP Module
  1. Attach an ESD preventive wrist strap to your wrist and to a bare metal surface.
  2. Remove the copper SFP module from the protective packaging.
  3. Find the copper SFP markings on the module and align them in front of the slot opening.
  4. Insert the copper SFP module into the slot on the switch until the copper SFP module snaps into position.
Connecting A Cat5 Cable
  1. Insert Cat5 cable into the RJ45 connector of the copper SFP module.
  2. Make sure the Cat5 cable has been pushed into the copper SFP module.
Removing A RJ45 SFP Module
  1. Attach an ESD preventive wrist strap to your wrist and to a bare metal surface as well.
  2. Disconnect the cable in the SFP module.
  3. Unlock and remove the copper SFP module
  4. Put the removed SFP module within the protective packaging or antistatic bag.

Conclusion

When you choose an RJ45 SFP module, the quality and cost matter a lot. So the three-party vendor may be a good choice. FS.COM not only supplies compatible RJ45 SFP modules which all meet the standards or MSA, but also provides reliable switches and patch cables. If you have any needs, welcome to visit FS.COM.

Related Article: Understanding of 10GBASE-T SFP+ Copper Transceiver Modules

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Single Mode SFP vs Multimode SFP: What’s the Difference?

SFP transceiver module, also known as small form-factor pluggable or mini GBIC, is a hot-pluggable optical transceiver module which is commonly used for both telecommunication and data communications applications. According to the cable type it used together with, SFP transceivers are divided into single mode SFP and multimode SFP. Single mode SFP works with single mode fiber, while multimode SFP works with multimode fiber. Well, what’s the other differences between single mode SFP and multimode SFP? Here has a detailed introduction for single mode SFP vs multimode SFP.

single mode SFP vs multimode SFP

Figure 1: single mode SFP vs multimode SFP

What are Single Mode SFP & Multimode SFP?

As mentioned above, single mode SFP (SMF SFP) works over single mode fiber whose typical core diameter is 9µm. And the cladding diameter of a single mode fiber is 125µm. Single mode SFP works mainly in 1310nm and 1550nm wavelength. Therefore, it is suitable for long-reach data transmission applications reaching 2 km, 10 km, 40 km, 60 km, 80 km and 120 km. There are many types of single mode SFP modules, for instance, 1000BASE-EX, 1000BASE-ZX and so on.

Multimode SFP (MMF SFP) works over multimode fiber with the core diameter of 50 µm and 62.5 µm, and the cladding diameter is 125µm as well. The common multimode SFPs work in 850nm wavelength and are used for short distance transmission, reaching 100 m and 500 m. There are many types of multimode SFP modules such as 1000BASE-SR and so on.

Single Mode SFP vs Multimode SFP: What’s the Difference?

There are several main differences between single mode SFP and multimode SFP:

Single Mode SFP vs Multimode SFP: Working Wavelength

Single mode SFP module has a narrower laser wavelength, which works mainly in 1310nm and 1550nm wavelength. Whereas multimode SFP module works in 850nm wavelength due to the larger core size.

Single Mode SFP vs Multimode SFP: Color Coding

The color coded bale clasp and color arrow of single mode SFP modules are generally designed in blue, yellow or purple. Blue is the 1310nm module, yellow is the 1550nm module and purple is the 1490nm module. And the color of compatible fiber optic patch cord is yellow. While the color coded bale clasp and color arrow on the label of multimode SFP modules are black and the used fiber optic patch cord is usually orange.

Single Mode SFP vs Multimode SFP: Transmitter

Single mode SFP and multimode sfp use different types of transmitters. VCSELs are typically used in multimode SFP transceivers. They can be tested on the wafer level and don’t need a hermetic package. Edge-emitting lasers, such as Fabry–Pérot, DFB and DBR lasers, are utilized in single mode SFP modules for different reaches and applications. They have complex layer structures and often require a hermetic package to achieve higher emission power and stable single mode operation. Therefore, Edge-emitting lasers are more costly than VCSELs.

Single Mode SFP vs Multimode SFP: Cost

When comparing single mode SFP vs multimode SFP in terms of cost, single mode SFP is more expensive than multimode SFP. The cost difference between single mode SFP and multimode SFP mainly arises from the different transmitters they use. As mentioned above, the transmitter of single mode SFP is more costly than that of multimode SFP. Hence, multimode SFP module is cheaper.

How to buy And Use Single Mode SFP & Multimode SFP?

When we buying single mode SFP or multimode SFP in the market, we must confirm the transmission distance and wavelength we need. This will help us to choose the right SFP types more efficiently. The cost for transceiver modules is also a significant factor considered by many users. Well, the compatible SFP module should be recommended as a simple and convenient choice. Because it not only sacrifices no quality or reliability but also has a low cost. Hope these tips could help you make an informed decision.

SFP module

Figure 2: how to buy single mode & multimode SFP

Tips on using Single Mode SFP & Multimode SFP

Single mode SFP and multimode SFP modules are both used in the switch slot and support communication over either fiber optic or copper networking cable. When you use single mode SFP or multimode SFP, you’d better keep these tips in mind:

  • Make sure that SFPs in both ends of the fiber patch cord are of the same wavelength and consistent in color coding.
  • To ensure the data accuracy, short-wave SFP modules are generally utilized with multimode fibers (ie. orange fiber patch cord), while long-wave SFP modules with single mode fiber (ie. yellow fiber patch cord).
  • Protect the optical port by dust plug when not using the SFP.

Single Mode SFP vs Multimode SFP:Which One to Choose?

After the comparison of single mode SFP vs multimode SFP, we can see that single mode SFP is suitable for long-reach data transmission applications while multimode SFP is generally utilized for short transmission distance. Which to choose depends on the actual needs. FS supplies various kinds of optic transceivers available in both single-mode and multimode. If you have any needs, welcome to visit FS.COM.

Related Article: How Many Types of SFP Transceivers Do You Know?

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