Optical Transceivers for Cisco 300 Series SMB Switch

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Cloud is the hot issue, and its fast adoption rate is mostly happening in larger organization. To make every money count in small business network, Cisco and other telecommunication vendors release small and medium-sized business (SMB) switches to stay ahead in a competitive marketplace. Cisco 300 series SMB switch is the fixed-configuration Ethernet switch, which features high-performance, easy-to-setup and energy efficiency. Are you ready to learn more about it? Do you know how to choose fiber optics for Cisco SMB switches?

Networking News for SMB Switch
According to analysis, in the last five years, SMB cloud adoption nationwide has gone through the roof due to the need for scalability and deployment. However, 60% of hacked SMBs go out of business after six months due to the security issue. Furthermore, 70% of the SMB haven’t deployed mobile management solutions for phones and other devices, which makes it even better if you can get ahead of the game. Cisco small business switches, featured with increased revenue, excellent efficiency and strengthened security, provide a better way to do IT. Figure 1 shows 28 Ports 10G SMB Switch.

S3700-24T4S SMB switches

Cisco 300 SMB Ethernet Switch—Powerful and Affordable
The Cisco 300 Series switches is part of Cisco Small and Medium-sized Business line of network solutions. These switches offer the perfect combination of affordable and advanced networking for small businesses, and help you create a more efficient, better connected workforce. Cisco 300 series are available with 8 to 48 ports of Fast Ethernet and 10 to 52 ports of Gigabit Ethernet connectivity, providing optimal flexibility to create exactly the right network foundation for your business.

Choose the Cisco Small Business Switches for:

  • Strong security: a high level of security and give you finegrained control to safeguard your network from unauthorized users.
  • Power over Ethernet: with up to 48 PoE ports of Fast Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet connectivity.
  • Support: with Cisco Small Business Support Service.
  • Advanced management options: with Web-based and command-line interfaces.
  • Performance: through VLAN scalability and a non-blocking switch fabric.
  • Intelligence: with security and quality of service.
  • Fan-less for quiet operation.

Models in Cisco 300 Small Business Switch:
Cisco SF 300-08, SF 302-08, SF 302-08MP, SF 302-08P, SG 300-10, SG 300-10MP, SG 300-10P, SG 300-20, SF 300-24, SF 300-24P, SG 300-28, SG 300-28P, SF 300-48, SF 300-48P, or SG 300-52 Managed Switch. Take Cisco SG 300-10 gigabit switch as an example, it is the fixed configuration managed switch with 2 Gigabit Combo Ports (RJ45+SFP).

FS Ethernet Switches

You can buy Cisco SG 300-10SFP 8-Port Gigabit SFP Switch with $457.67 in cozlink, or FS S3700-24T4S (24*10/100/1000Base-T Ports+4*10G SFP+) SMB Ethernet Switch at $289.

Unmanaged SMB Switch—Is It the Choice for Small Business Network?
Cisco Small Business Unmanaged Switch is the most cost effective scenarios that require only basic layer 2 switching and connectivity. As such, they fit best when you need a few extra ports on your desk, in a lab, in a conference room, or even at home. With unmanaged switches installed in your network, you can even get capabilities such as cable diagnostics, prioritization of traffic using default QoS settings, Energy savings capabilities using EEE (Energy Efficient Ethernet) and even PoE (Power Over Ethernet).

However, as the name implies, these switches generally cannot be modified/managed. You simply plug them in and they require no configuration at all. Therefore, Many customers prefer to use managed switches.

Cisco Transceiver Module for Compatibility Information
Supported SFP modules are listed below:

Cisco SFP modules

Based on the SFP (optical module form factor) Gigabit Ethernet standards, Besides the above Cisco SFP optics, 1000BASE-T, 1000BASE-SX, 1000Base-LX/LH, 1000BASE-ZX, 1000BASE-BX-D, 1000BASE-BX-U, 1000BASE-EX can be also used with Cisco small business 300 Series SMB switch.

Summary
The Cisco 300 series SMB Switches have been tested to deliver high availability and performance. This solution provides powerful and affordable services, e.g. speed up file transfer times, improve slow, sluggish network, keep business applications available and prevent costly downtime. These Ethernet switches support a huge number of Gigabit Ethernet SFP optical transceivers. You can find all the compatible ones at FS.COM. Besides SMB switches, we also offer 40G/100G data center switches with professional tech support.

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400G CFP8 PAM4 & 400GBASE-SR16 NRZ Transceiver Modules

With the price of 100G QSFP28 optics and CFP form factors (CFP module/CFP2/CFP4) dropping down in 2017, 100G technology is becoming more and more popular among data center managers and IT pros in order to cope with the ever-lasting bandwidth needs. However, 100G is not the finish line. CFP multimode source agreement (MSA) demonstrated CFP8 (16X 25 Gb/s) form factor for 400 Gigabit Ethernet at OFC 2017. Although CFP8 module is still in development, it is assured to be popular in the near future. Therefore, this article will have a clearer introduction to 400G CFP8 PAM4 and NRZ modules, and compare with the former CFP modules and 400G CDFP.

100G CFP to 400G CFP8

Introduction to 400GbE CFP8 Modules

CFP8 module is the latest developing CFP from factor version, which supports eight times and four times the bandwidth density of CFP and CFP2 form factors, respectively. The CFP8 interface supports up to 16 different lanes in each direction with nominal signaling rates of 25Gb/s or 26Gb/s per lane, and either NRZ or PAM4 signaling. As the above image shows, CFP8 is approximately the size of a CFP2 optics. This interface has been generally specified to allow for 16 x 25 Gb/s and 8 x 50 Gb/s mode.

CFP8 functional diagram

Example IEEE specifications supported by CFP8:

  • 400GBASE-SR16 parallel MMF (16x25G NRZ)
  • 400GBASE-FR8/LR8 duplex SMF (8x50G PAM4 WDM)
  • 400GBASE-DR4 parallel SMF (4x100G PAM4)
  • CDAUI-16, CDAUI-8

400G CFP8 FR8 and LR8 Transceivers with PAM4 Technology

CFP8 PAM4 optics, compliant with IEEE 802.3bs 400GBASE-FR8 & LR8 electrical interface specifications, offers higher receiver bandwidth capacity for reach up to 2km and 10km. The 400GBASE-FR8 & LR8 consumes less than half the power per GB compared to a 100G CFP4 msa solution. CFP8 optics uses LC duplex fiber cables.

PAM4 and NRZ

The PAM4 stands for pulse amplitude modulation with four levels. Instead of driving the laser to generate one of the two output amplitudes, like NRZ, PAM4 technology generates four different amplitude levels, meaning a network based on PAM-4 can send twice as much data as an NRZ version.

CFP8 400GBASE-SR16 with NRZ Technology

CFP8 400GBASE-SR16 modules focus on non-return to zero (NRZ) signal modulation Scheme. To use an analogy, it means you’re sending signals in the most simple format: “light on” and “light off.” A ‘1” is transmitted as pulse of light whereas ‘0” is no light output. Based on the currently available fast VCSEL light sources only achieving data rates of 25G, sixteen channels must transmit in parallel to create a 400G data stream.

Due to the design simplicity NRZ, the modulation format of choice for all data rates up to 25Gb/s. 400GBASE-SR16 CFP8 transceivers requires 16 fiber pairs to support a total of 400Gb/s with MPO multimode cables.

What’s New With CFP8 Module?

A CFP8 module is a hot pluggable module. Compared with the former modules, the control and status reporting functions between a host and a CFP8 module use non-data control and status reporting pins on the 124-pin connector. There are three Hardware Control pins, two Hardware Alarm pins, and four pins dedicated to the MDIO interface.

Compared to CFP2/CFP4 MSA Optics

CFP8 is the proposed CFP8 from factor by MSA member companies. It maintains the large size of CFP form factor (nearly the size of CFP2, larger than CFP4 MSA modules), but supports 4x100G i.e. 4x the CFP2. Besides this, CFP8 uses less power than the former CFP form factor modules. There are 400GBASE-SR16 for parallel MMF 16x25G NRZ, and 400GBase-FR8/LR8 duplex SMF 8x50G PAM4 WDM.

CFP8 Vs. CDFP

CFP8 is not the first released 16x25G= 400G modules, but CDFP. 400G CDFP module (CD=400 in Latin), is the four generation CFP form factor. Providing a high level of integration, performance and long-term reliability, the CDFP 400 Gbps interface is available in short- and long-body versions. The specifications are compatible for use with direct attach cables, active optical cables, and connectorized optical modules. The CDFP module will support:

  • 5 meter direct attach cables
  • 100 meter multimode fiber
  • 500 meter parallel single‐mode fiber
  • 2 kilometers of duplex single‐mode fiber

The compact modules are well suited for low power applications using copper, VCSEL or silicon photonics based technology. They also targeted InfiniBand EDR hydra cables and 128GFC applications but so far little market segment pick up. Though relatively new with 2014 and 2015 rev releases, CDFP may be short lived due to the smaller more efficient developing set of CFP8 solutions.

Latest Trend With 400 Gb/s in the Industry

While 400 GbE standard is still a few years away, the need for 400 Gb/s interfaces is here today. The CDFP form factor is already being used in proprietary interfaces to interconnect high performance servers and will soon be used to interconnect switch and router chassis. 400G CFP8 FR8/LR8 PAM4 and 400GBASE-SR16 modules had been displayed at OFC 2017. Finisar, Fujitsu, and oclaro, etc MSA member enterprises will introduce low profile 400G modules in a short period.

These proprietary chassis interconnects have always been massively parallel and will continue because they provide the massive bandwidth needed to interconnect equipment so that multiple chassis perform as one big chassis. While 16 lanes is a fairly wide interface, multiple applications need the maximum amount of bandwidth that can only be provided by many parallel lanes running at the fastest speed available. It seem that CFP8 with the same 16 MPO connectors has much potential than CDFP modules. FS.COM offers a large stock MSA-compliant optical transceivers, including 100G CFP/CFP2/CFP4 MSA, CXP, and QSFP28 transceiver modules. We will keep in path with the informative world, and provide the best services & telecom products to all of our customers.

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Why Third-party 40G QSFP+ Transceiver, Instead of OEM QSFP Module?

For the data center or network upgrade, 40G network is a trending choice. Then where do you buy the 40G QSFP transceiver? Will you choose an OEM one or a third-party one? There are some differences between third-party 40G QSFP transceiver and OEM 40G QSFP transceiver, which will be shown below.

third-party 40G optical transceiver Vs OEM 40G QSFP

Features of OEM 40G QSFP Transceiver Modules

As we know, the OEM 40G QSFP transceiver from name brand like Cisco, Juniper and Brocade is widely used in data center and enterprise network. They all have some great features. The Cisco 40G QSFP transceiver offers a wide variety of high-density and low-power 40 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity options for data center, high-performance computing networks, enterprise core and distribution layers, and service provider applications. Here are some benefits of Cisco 40 Gbps transceiver:

  • Hot-swappable input/output device that plugs into a 40 Gigabit Ethernet Cisco QSFP port
  • Flexibility of interface choice (for different reach requirements and fiber types)
  • Interoperable with other IEEE-compliant 40GBASE interfaces where applicable
  • Certified and tested on Cisco QSFP 40G ports for superior performance, quality, and reliability
  • High-speed electrical interface compliant to IEEE 802.3ba
  • QSFP Form factor, 2-wire I2C communication interface and other low-speed electrical interface compliant to SFF 8436 and QSFP

40G QSFP

The Brocade 40 Gbps transceiver supports highly reliable operations in data center and is optimized for Brocade switching platforms. It undergoes strict qualification and certification testing.

Why Choose 3rd 40G QSFP Optical Transceivers Over OEM?

40G QSFP transceiver from Cisco and Brocade is reliable and with high-quality, but why so many third-party 40 Gbps transceiver occurred on the market? The answer seems simple, the transceiver market need it. With high-speed development of the optical communication industry, the demand for 40G QSFP transceiver is increasing. The third-party 40G QSFP with good compatibility and high stability is the perfect choice for some customers. Here are some amazing advantages of the third-party 40 Gbps transceiver:

  • Price advantage

Optics that you buy directly from name brand is expensive because it includes the costs of testing and validation, and the majority of what you pay for goes into their pocket as pure profit. While the third-party providers may not use the same testing procedures as the name brand, but most have nearly 100% success in compatibility. The third-party providers don’t mark up the 40G QSFP as much as the name brand, so they offer better price for the customer.

  • Quality and Reliability

The third-party 40Gbps transceiver is reliable as the original one if you buy from a reliable optics provider. Usually, the reliable third-party provider will offer warranty and support after you buy from them, because they are highly focused and specialize in the optical transceiver market.

  • More choice for 40G QSFP transceiver

The third-party optical transceiver is compatible for most name brand transceivers, so it will have more choice for your data center and enterprise networks.

continuous-improvements-for-compatible-module-from-optics-manufacturer

For the 40 Gbps transceiver, FS.COM provides various of compatible brands for you, Cisco, Genetic, Juniper Networks, Arista Networks, Brocode, HPE, Dell, Intel, IBM, etc. All have passed the compatibility testing.

Conclusion

After the comparison, will you choose the third-party 40G QSFP transceiver? Using third-party optics instead of name brand optics is a smart and innovative way to embrace changes in the dynamic networking and date center hardware markets. FS.COM will be you good choice with good compatibility, support offerings and great reputation.

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100G CFP Transceiver – Ultra High Speed Transmission Solution

During the past few years, 40G technology has dominated telecommunications. But now, with the introduction of the 100G technology, everyone is talking about 100 Gbps as the next generation. Whether willing or not, IT managers and data center designers have to consider migrate their network to 100 Gbps in the near future. And CFP is designed to fulfil the deployment of 100G network for companies and enterprises.

Brief Introduction to 100G CFP Optics
CFP transceiver was designed after SFP transceiver interface, but it supports much larger internet speed, which is realized by using 10×10Gbit/s in each direction (RX, TX). Here the C stands for 100 in Roman numerals (centum). We can infer from the name that CFP is introduced to serve as optical transceiver for 100G interfaces. Since the electrical connection of the CFP uses 10×10Gbit/s lanes in every direction, the optical connection can support both 10×10Gbit/s and 4×25Gbit/s variants of 100Gbit/s interconnects (typically known as 100GBASE-LR10 and 100GBASE-LR4 in 10km SMF reach, and 100GBASE-ER10 and 100GBASE-ER4 in 40km SMF reach, and 100GBASE-SR10 in 100 meter MMF reach respectively.)

100G CFP optics

Different Types of 100G CFP
There are several CFP types to be introduced—CFP, CFP2 and CFP4. CFP2 and CFP4 are the upgraded generation of CFP. Among them, the size of CFP is the largest. CFP2 is half the size of CFP while CFP4 is the half size of CFP2. And the features of the three different types have been summarized in the following texts. One thing that needs to be noted is that although they are not interchangeable, but could be interoperable at the optical interface with appropriate connectors.

100G CFP

Features and Benefits of CFP:

  • Supports 40G and 100G Ethernet CFP optical transceivers
  • Capable of side by side mounting as well as “belly to belly” mounting
  • Provides full EMI shielding
  • Uses a universal rail for both left and right positions
  • Allows integration of host PCB to host bezel (face plate) by either of two methods for manufacturing flexibility.

Features and Benefits of CFP2 and CFP4:

  • Up to 28 Gbps per lane – 2.8 times faster than current CFP products
  • High density, 0.6mm contact pitch
  • Provides one of the industry’s leading Signal Integrity (SI) performance for 28 Gbps per lane
  • Features a ruggedized cage construction for a more robust solution to help mitigate cage warping
  • Flexible design options to address your needs including ganged cages, heat sinks, single-sided and belly-to-belly mounting styles, light-pipes, and the capability to support mid- to long-reach applications

FS 100G CFP Solution
As one of the leading providers in optical communication , FS provides customers with transceivers that are manufactured at the highest quality of standards in the industry. All the CFP transceivers mentioned above, including both CFP2 and CFP4, are available in our website. And every transceiver is individually tested on corresponding equipment such as Cisco, Arista, Juniper, Dell, Brocade and other brands, and passed the monitoring of our intelligent quality control system. Also, all the products in FS are fully warranted against defects in material and workmanship with a lifetime guarantee.

Conclusion
2017 has witnessed the prosperity of the telecommunication market. Many research company predicts that the market of 2018 for telecommunication field will continue to thrive. With such a bright future, fiber optics market attracts a wide attention and many vendors want a piece of the pie. At present, 40G is ubiquitous in the data center and 100G is accelerating. As for the optical transceiver, it has been developed in the past decades to adapt to the high-speed requirement from 1G to 40G even to 100G. Believe it or not, 100G is on the way. Don’t wait to get fully prepared for the upcoming 100G era with CFP transceivers.

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Introduction to Semiconductor Optical Amplifier (SOA)

Optical amplifier, with the introduction in 1990s, conquered the regenerator technology and opened doors to the WDM technology. It is mainly used to amplify an optical signal directly, without the need to first convert it to an electrical signal. There are many types of optical amplifiers, namely Raman amplifiers, erbium doped-fiber amplifiers (EDFAs), and semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA). This article will make a clearer introduction to SOA amplifier, and analyze its advantages and disadvantages.

transport network system

The Basics of Semiconductor Optical Amplifier (SOA)

SOA optical amplifiers use the semiconductor as the gain medium, which are designed to be used in general applications to increase optical launch power to compensate for loss of other optical devices. Semiconductor optical amplifiers are often adopted in telecommunication systems in the form of fiber-pigtailed components, operating at signal wavelengths between 0.85 µm and 1.6 µm and generating gains of up to 30 dB. Semiconductor optical amplifier, available in 1310nm, 1400nm, 1500nm, 1600nm wavelength, can be used with singlemode or polarization maintaining fiber input/output.

Key Points of SOA Amplifier

  • 1310 nm, 1400 nm, 1550 nm and 1610 nm wavelength selectable
  • High fiber-to-fiber gain of 20 dB
  • Up to 16 dBm output
  • 1 MHz with 10 ns pulse width (optional)
  • PM Panda fiber input/output (optional)
  • Similar to lasers, but with non-reflecting ends and broad wavelength emission
  • Incoming optical signal stimulates emission of light at its own wavelength
  • Process continues through cavity to amplify signal

Working principle of SOA amplifier

The basic working principle of a SOA is the same as a semiconductor laser but without feedback. SOAs amplify incident light through simulated emission. When the light traveling through the active region, it causes these electrons to lose energy in the form of photons and get back to the ground state. Those stimulated photons have the same wavelength as the optical signal, thus amplifying the optical signal.

working principle of SOA
SOA Over EFDA in DWDM Networks

As the solution below, 120km Metro Networks by Using an SOA amplifier. You may wonder why not use EDFA in the above networks.

SOA amplifier

Item No. ID# Description
1 29124 S5850-48S2Q4C (48*10GE+2*40GE+4*100GE) Carrier Grade 100G-uplink Switch
2 31238 10G DWDM SFP+ C21-60 80km DOM Transceiver
3 40191 1m LC UPC to LC UPC Duplex 2.0mm PVC 9/125 Single Mode Fiber Patch Cable
4 35887 40 Channels C21-C60 Dual Fiber DWDM Mux Demux, with 1310nm Port for 40G/100G LR4
5 35192 10dB Gain 1310nm Semiconductor Optical Amplifier
6 24422 40G QSFP+ LR4 1310nm 10km, LC Duplex Interface
7 65219 QSFP28 100GBASE-CWDM4 1310nm 2km Transceiver

Theoretically, SOA optical amplifiers are not comparable with EDFA in the terms of performance. The noise figure of SOA optical amplifier is typically higher, the gain bandwidth can be similar, SOAs exhibit much stronger nonlinear distortions in the form of self-phase modulation and four-wave mixing. Yet, the semiconductor optical amplifier is of small size and electrical pumped, which is often less expensive than EDFA. Additionally, SOA can be run with a low power laser.

How to Choose SOA Optical Amplifier?

When selecting SOA amplifier, you have to check the every detailed parameter in the product data sheet. But, seriously, do you understand it? No, please read the following part.

The key parameters used to characterize a SOA amplifier are gain, gain bandwidth, saturation output power and noise.

Gain is the factor by which the input signal is amplified and is measured as the ratio of output power to input power (in dB). A higher gain results in higher output optical signal.

Gain bandwidth defines the range of bandwidth where the amplification functions. A wide gain bandwidth is desirable to amplify a wide range of signal wavelengths.

Saturation output power is the maximum output power attainable after amplification beyond which no amplification is reached. It is important that the SOA has a high power saturation level to remain in the linear working region and to have higher dynamic range.

Noise defines the undesired signal within the signal bandwidth which arises due to physical processing in the amplifier. A parameter called noise figure is used to measure the impact of noise which is typically around 5dB.

Conclusion

SOA amplifier is the economic, high-performance solution for long-hual WDM networks. SOA amplifier, due to its features, can be used in Booster and in-line amplification, optical network, general purpose test and measurement and fiber sensing. However, it also has its limit. In semiconductor optical amplifiers, electron-hole recombination occurs which will affect the performance of the whole line. FS offers EDFA, SOA, Raman optical amplifiers of excellent quality and price. For more detailed information, please feel free to contact us.

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OM5 Fiber Cable – Is It Worthwhile for 40G/100G SWDM4 Cabling Solution

OM5 multimode fiber, as the advanced version of the old OM4 fiber, is thought to be the future of multimode cabling. It is the Wideband multimode fiber (WBMMF) that can support wavelengths between 850nm and 953nm. It is also designed to support the short wavelength division multiplexing (SWDM)—one of the new technology for 40G/100G connection. However, will it be the ideal transmission medium for 40GbE/100GbE cabling solution?

How OM5 Fiber Developed

Over the past thirty years, multimode fiber has been evolved from OM1 to OM5 multimode fiber. OM1 and OM2 fiber, released at the end of 20th century, are the legacy 125µm multimode fiber that are working fine in 10Mb/s, 100Mb/s and 1000Mb/s cabling solution. However, with the high speed data rate like 10Gb/s, 40Gb/s, 100Gb/s and beyond coming into our life, multimode cabling (OM1 and OM2 ) with LEDs can not meet the requirement. The laser-optimized OM3 and OM4 has been developed subsequently. OM4 fiber cable, with the internal construction, possess higher modal bandwidth than OM3 fiber, which is commonly used fiber medium for 40G/100G connection.

OM1-OM5 fiber

But there is a problem. In a 40G layout, fiber optic technicians have to use one MTP fiber and 4 OM4 duplex fibers (total 8 fibers), which is obvious not preferable for high-density cabling networks. So here comes the OM5 fiber. By utilizing SWDM technology, it can greatly reduce fiber count into 2 fibers (4×10G) in 40G networks, 2 fibers (4×25G) in 100G links. OM5 is the lime green multimode fiber, displayed as follows.

OM5 Fiber

OM5 Fiber for 40G/100G SWDM4 Cabling Solution

Reduce fiber count for 40G/100G connection—OM5 fiber as the advanced version of OM3/OM4 fiber, is backward compatible with OM3 and OM4 fiber cabling. And with the SWDM technology, this fiber can only use two OM5 fibers and 40/100G SWDM4 transceivers in 40G and 100G SWDM4 cabling.

Longer-transmission distance—OM5 is designed and specified to support at least four WDM channels at a minimum speed of 28Gbps per channel through the 850-953 window. Compared to OM4 fiber cable, it is specified only to work at the 850 nm window. OM5 multimode fiber delivers higher value to network owners for distances up to 440m (for data rates up to 40Gbps), and allows for smooth migration to 400Gbps for distances up to 150m. While OM4 fiber cover the distance of 350m, 100m over 40G/100G respectively.

Easy management & installation—in 40G/100G network, multimode connectivity together with MTP/MPO systems makes for a more user-friendly solution for data centers as well as building and campus backbones, especially in cable installation, troubleshooting, cleaning, and overall maintenance.

FS OM5 Cable Solution

FS offer Lime green OM5 fibers. All our OM5 fiber cables are guaranteed by End Face Geometry Test, Continuity Test, and 3D interferometry Test to be high quality. Available in LC, SC, FC, ST, etc. Connectors, and the cable length of OM5 fiber can be provided from less than 1 meter to more than 100 meters, which will well meet the needs for 400m transmission of 40G SWDM4 QSFP+ module and 100m transmission of 100G SWDM4 QSFP28 module, as well as the links on the same rack or row.

fiber optic cable

Not only the OM1/OM2/OM3/OM4/OM5 multimode fibers are provided at FS.COM, but fiber optic cables like singlemode fibers (OS1/OS2) , Twinax copper cables are also offered. For more information about the cost-effective fiber patch cables, Please feel free to contact us via www.fs.com.

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Cisco Vs Huawei – Which One is the better Choice for Ethernet Switches?

Cisco, as the big brother in the telecom industry, has dominated the market of networking devices (like routers and switches) for a long time. No one can compete with him. Huawei, however, is the rising star in Chinese market. It ranked 83rd in the latest Fortune 500 list on July 23, 2017. Many people assume that in the near future, Huawei will lead the world instead of Cisco. Thus, in this article, we are going to analyze the strength of Cisco and Huawei, along with the differences between Cisco and Huawei switches.

Cisco Vs Huawei

Cisco Vs Huawei — Brand Awareness and Market Share

Both Cisco and Huawei are the relatively young enterprises, which are founded in 1980s. With 30 years’ development, Cisco was at the top of respondent edge/core router and CES manufacturer leadership scores. Cisco systems mainly offers networking devices, networking management, Cisco IoS/NX-OS software, storage area networks, wireless equipment, data center devices, and interface & modules, etc.

Cisco Vs Huawei

The above table shows the basics of the two companies.

According to Fortune 2017, Huawei, with the revenues of $78.5108 billion rank No.83 in Fortune 500 List, which is also the first time in the top hundred. Huawei is famous for mobile and fixed broadband networks. Recently, their optical switches, multimedia technology, tablet computers also wins the heart of customers. Ren zhengfei, founder of the Huawei Technology, once said, Huawei’s secret of success is our focus and dedication to our customers. Huawei will embrace a better future.

IHS Markit Analysis

In the 2016 study, Cisco along with Juniper, Huawei and Nokia (including Alcatel-Lucent), form a top tier clearly separated by a wide margin from the other manufacturers. There was a big gap between these four and their competitors, with the sole exception being price-to-performance ratio.

Cisco Vs Huawei
We ask carrier survey respondents to rate their familiarity of service provider edge/core router and /or CES manufactures.

Looking at the individual manufacturer selection criteria, for technology innovation and product roadmap, Cisco and Nokia were numbers one and two, respectively. And for price-to-performance ratio, Huawei at number one.

Cisco Vs HuaweiAnd for the above table, we can see Cisco drops share in router market; Huawei, Juniper gain & market is rising.

For the full year 2016, Cisco declined 3.7% over 2015, while recording 57.0% market share (compared to 60.6% in 2015). In the hotly contested 10GbE segment, Cisco held 53.0% of the market in 4Q16, finishing essentially flat over the previous quarter.

Huawei continued to perform well in both the Ethernet switch and the router markets. For the full year 2016, Huawei’s Ethernet switch revenues grew 61.8%, leading to a market share of 7.0%, compared to 4.4% in 2015.

Why Would People Go for Huawei?

The reasons that Huawei becomes so strong are not only due to the support from the government, but also because of its powerful local support capability. There are bugs in the high-end devices, and this is inevitable. If two Cisco engineers are assigned to solve the problem, Huawei can assign 20 engineers to fix it. Besides, if one major client like CT has customized requirements, Huawei can ask product engineers to work in the CT office as soon as possible, even Cisco cannot do this. This kind of quick response ability is obviously the advantageous factor for Huawei to exceed Cisco in its own home court.

Cisco Vs Huawei — Switch Comparison

There is some relationship between Cisco Switch and Huawei Switch. So Cisco Switch or Huawei Switch? The following comparison simplifies the relationship of Cisco switch and Huawei switch, which can help you select the most suitable switch devices for your office, or company and organizations.

Cisco Switches Vs Huawei Swicthes

The popular series of Cisco switches are the enterprise switches, Catalyst series and Nexus switches. Cisco Catalyst series includes 2960 series, 3650 series, 3850 series, 4500E series, etc. Cisco Nexus series includes 9000 series, 7000 series, 6000 series, 5000 series, 3000 series, 2000 series, etc. Cisco Catalyst switches are designed for core layers in campus network, while the Nexus is mainly for data centers. Nexus series switches can support Ethernet, Fibre Channel and FCOE all in the same chassis but the catalyst don’t. The catalyst switches support only Ethernet.

Huawei switches also have various series, such as data center switches, campus switches and SOHO & SMB switches. The popular one is the campus switches. In all the campus switches, the S5700 series is the hottest switch. To have a further understanding, the following part will briefly compare Cisco WS-C3850-24T-L and Huawei S5700-28X-LI-AC switches.

Cisco WS-C3850-24T-L Vs. Huawei S5700-28X-LI-AC

WS-C3850-24T-L is Cisco Catalyst 3850 24 Port LAN Base equipped with stackable 24 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, and 350W AC power supply.

  • WS=Switch C=catalyst 3850=3850 series
  • 24=Ethernet Port Number
  • T=Ethernet Ports
  • L=LAN Base image

S5700-28X-LI-AC is the Huawei S5700 series 10G switches, which are equipped with 24×10/100/1000Base-T Ethernet ports and 4x10GE SFP+ ports.

  • S=switch
  • 57=5700 Series
  • 00=5700 Sub Series like 5710 series
  • 28=the biggest number of data interfaces is 48, including uplinks and downlinks
  • Li=S5700 series
  • AC=Ac power supply

To sum up, each Cisco Catalyst 3850 model, is similar to a S5700 model, or is equivalent to one of Huawei S5700 models, which will not be listed here.

FS.COM White Box switches and Compatible Transceiver Modules

FS 40G/100G white box switches provide high performance, increased availability, low latency and better serviceability for next-generation data centers and enterprise networks in different applications. And they also support spine-leaf network topology that leverage commoditized hardware for the best price/performance, just as shown below.

100g-switchesBesides the 40G/100G white box data center switches, we also provide a full series of compatible transceiver modules including the SFP, SFP+, QSFP+, SFP28, QSFP28, CFP, etc, which are compliant with major brand. Custom service is also available.

Summary

Cisco Vs Huawei, we can’t say which one is better than the other. To be considered the No.1 choice for your network, Cisco switches meet the needs of organizations and offices of all sizes and sorts. As for Huawei, it has several product lines that are similar to Cisco devices, but have their own network hardware lines and IT solutions for different network demands. Besides Cisco and huawei, there are other brand that are also effective and reliable, such as FS enterprise Ethernet switches. For more detailed information, please direct visit fs.com.

Related Article: Optical Transceivers for Cisco 300 Series SMB Switch

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25G Ethernet: Ready to Watch the Benefits

Today, with the requirements of the bandwidth, many data centers use 40G Ethernet for connectivity from their servers to their top-of-rack switches. Most Hyperscale public cloud providers and social media giants are even migrating to 100G Ethernet for their servers in the near future. However, for some proactive enterprises, they are finding a cost effective and power efficient solution – 25G Ethernet is the answer to this challenge. Indeed, a handful of powerful data center and cloud vendors and suppliers, such as Google, Microsoft, Broadcom, Arista and Mellanox, formed a consortium to promote and catalyze development of 25G in 2014. You may have heard plenty of buzz regarding 25G Ethernet. What is 25G? Why 25G? Let’s take a closer look.

25G Ethernet

What Is 25G Ethernet?

25G is a proposed standard for Ethernet connectivity that could benefit cloud and enterprise data center environments. In June 2014, the IEEE explored the standardization of 25G Ethernet. Subsequently, the standards organization has formed an 802.3by 25G Ethernet study group. They focus on market opportunities and requirements for a single-lane 25G Ethernet speed for server interconnects. Ethernet 25G  is an emerging network technology, which is mainly used for the next generation of data center server. Ethernet 25G  can provide a 25G media access control (MAC) that matches the single-lane 25G physical layer (PHY) technology. In web-scale data centers, 25G could provide an efficient server to increase top-of-rack (TOR) speed. That 25G technology can save cloud providers and enterprise data centers capital and operating expense.

We Are Ready for 25G Ethernet

Before 25G Ethernet exists, the only available option for higher speed server connectivity is 40G Ethernet. When top-of-rack switches move to high-density 40G Ethernet, the switches could still be connected to 10G servers, because 40G Ethernet consists of four lanes of 10G. And now, there are not only 40G standard under the way, but also the 25G Ethernet standards can be used to build a single-lane 25G Ethernet connection, a 2 x 25G configuration for 50G Ethernet or a 4 x 25G configuration for 100G Ethernet. With the availability of 4 x 25G per lane technology for 100G,  a single 25G lane can reduce cost in comparison to 40G based on four 10G lanes. So 25G Ethernet technology is ready now.

Ethernet 25G table

Ready to Watch the Benefits of 25G Ethernet
Ideal for the Cloud

Cloud computing is the most biggest attractions for Ethernet 25G. Cloud providers are looking forward to reducing cost and improving density, but 10G is no longer the need of server speeds. Under this condition, 10G requires more switches in the rack, so it needs higher cost. With the emergence of 25G technology, the IEEE has defined 100G Ethernet based on four lanes each at 25G. With the success of 100G Ethernet in data center networks for inter-switch links, Ethernet 25G has proven to be a reliable and cost effective technology. And Dell’Oro Group predicts that 25G will take over Ethernet server port sales by 2018.

Availability to the Server, Switch and Storage Infrastructure

Since the 25G Ethernet Consortium was formed in 2014, multiple suppliers have released silicon and system products that support the standard. Major server vendors offer 25G, 50G and 100G Ethernet adapters, while a broad range of switch vendors support 25G, 50G and 100G Ethernet speeds. In addition, the latest merchant silicon switches deliver up to 32 ports of 100G with single lane SerDes architectures with 128 lanes of 25G, making 25G a logical speed choice for migration of next generation server and storage. Therefore, there are 25G Ethernet solutions from all of the major switch and server vendors. As more and more of the server, switch and storage infrastructure converts to 25G, you will be able to recognize the performance and efficiency of the faster network speeds.

More Performance Improvement of 25G

25G solutions provide 2.5x more bandwidth, but they are not significantly more expensive than 10G Ethernet solutions. Furthermore, they are fully backwards compatible when connected to 10G equipment. When you upgrade data center network to 25G, you can refresh your network with 25G capabilities instead of upgrading the whole system. Compared with 40G solutions, the underlying technology for 40G Ethernet is simply four lanes at 10G speed. It does not offer the advantages of cost, power consumption and server rack density, which enable widespread speed transition. All in all, 25G Ethernet provides lower costs and power requirements, which can enable network bandwidth to be cost-effectively and support the next-generation server and storage solutions in cloud and web-scale data center environments.

Conclusion

25G Ethernet leverages the single-lane 25G physical layer technology to support 100G Ethernet, which offers higher speed, lower power consumption and lower cost. In the near future, 25G Ethernet deployments will become the highest server port deployment. You can be ready for 25G and begin seeing the benefits of better compute and storage efficiency in your data center today.

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Classification and Specification of Ethernet Cables

An Ethernet cable is one of the most popular forms of network cables used on wired networks for the purpose of transmitting network information. The commonly seen Ethernet cables are twisted pair cables, which can be divided into two categories: shielded twisted pairs (STP) and unshielded twisted pairs (UTP). In general, the most commonly used are unshielded twisted pairs which consist of four thin copper wires with each pair of copper wires twisted together, each copper wire wrapped in colored plastic insulating layer, and wrapped with a layer of plastic coat as a whole. Unshielded twisted pairs adopt RJ-45 interfaces, so they are also called RJ-45 cables. Normally, UTPs can be classified into 5 types: Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a, and Cat7. This post will explain the classification of UTPs and differences between them in detail.

Cat5

Cat5 provides performance of up to 100 MHz and is suitable for most varieties of Ethernet over twisted pair. Cat5 is mainly applied to 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX (Fast Ethernet), and 1000BASE-T (Gigabit Ethernet), and also used to carry other signals such as telephony and video. Cat5 has a long evolution history, and it’s developed based on Cat1, Cat2, Cat3, and Cat4. Cat1 is used for telephone communication, but not suitable for data transmission. Cat2 can be used for data transmission, the maximum speed of which is 4Mbps. Cat3 is used for 10BASE-T Ethernet, and the maximum speed of data transmission is 10Mbps. Cat4 is used for token ring and 10BASE-T/100BASE-T network with the maximum speed of data transmission being 16Mbps.

cat5

Cat5e

Cat5e (Cat5 enhanced) is an enhancement over Cat5, and has superseded Cat5 since 2001. It’s designed to greatly reduce crosstalk. Compared to Cat5, Cat5e is better at keeping signals on different circuits or channels from interfering with each other, and it has higher SNR (Signal to Noise Ratio), smaller delay error, and greater performance. It can handle 1000 Mbps speeds (gigabit Ethernet) at 100 MHz and it’s used for 1000BASE-T.

cat5e

Cat6

Cat6 is a major improvement over Cat5e. It has stronger resistance to signal interference. It’s suitable for up to 10 gigabit Ethernet at 250 MHz. Compared with Cat5 and Cat5e, Cat6 features more stringent specifications for crosstalk and system noise. To better tackle the problem of crosstalk, Cat6 installs an internal separator that isolates pairs from one another, and it has greatly improved the performance in echo loss. When used for 10/100/1000BASE-T, the maximum allowed length of a Cat6 is up to 100 meters (328 ft). For 10GBASE-T, an unshielded Cat6 should not exceed 55 meters.

Cat6 twisted pair

Cat6a

Cat6a (or Augmented Cat6) is capable of supporting data transmission rates of up to 10Gbps at a maximum bandwidth of 500MHz, twice that of Cat6. Compared to Cat6, Cat6a has improved strikingly, especially in the aspect of alien crosstalk. Since Cat6a has additional and tighter twists with additional insulation to reduce crosstalk, it has exhibited high alien noise in high frequencies. Besides, the size and weight of Cat6a have been reduced and slimmed down by 10% so as to make room for cable bend radius in the cable tray, patch panel and behind a wall outlet.

CAT 6a

Cat7

Cat7 UTP, informal name for the ISO/IEC 11801 Class F cable standard, is a kind of twist pair, and it is not currently recognized by TIA/EIA. It’s designed to support data transmission rates of up to 10Gbps at a maximum bandwidth of 600MHz over 100 m of copper cabling, 6 times larger than Cat5e and 2.4 times larger than Cat6.

cat-7

Conclusion

Hopefully, this brief guide will help you get to know your Ethernet cables. If you would like to know more or would like assistance in choosing the right cabling infrastructure, welcome to visit our website www.fs.com for more detailed information. FS will provide more choices and better services for our clients.

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Things to Consider When Choosing a WAP

Now since the intelligent mobile phone is more and more convenient, people have stronger and stronger demands for the Internet. As a result, the programs of wireless coverage have been increasing. At the same time, many people are confused about choosing a wireless access point (WAP). The post summarizes some tips for your reference when choosing a WAP.

Range

The distance covered is an important parameter in buying an AP. WAPs with range enhancements are advantageous as they reduce the number and general costs of access points. In general, adequate range lowers overall expenses to the client since fewer access points are required. Majority of enterprise wireless access points are able to give a coverage for an area between five thousand to ten thousand square feet. The range of a typical residential Wi-Fi network is dependent upon antenna sensitivity and one’s need.

Speed

This refers to the rate of information traveling, usually measured in bps (bits per second), kilobits, megabits or gigabits. In general, the speed of a wireless AP can reach 300Mbps or higher if the precise 802.11n protocol being supported, which is six times faster than 802.11n. While WAP supporting 802.11ac protocol can reach 1200Mbps.

Price

The price would depend on several factors. But one should keep in mind that not the higher the price is, the better an AP will be. High price would not only increase the cost, but also result in the waste of function and performance of product; on the contrary, low price would induce people to buy inferior-quality or fake products. So you should have a clear understanding of the actual performance of WAP in order not to be tempted by exaggerated advertising effect.

Purchase WAP

Features

Although there is a broad variety of features, they might not be what you need. You should select what you need most, and then do a bit of research into the device that you are going to buy. Be sure to take bps and range into consideration.

WAP Capacity

The capacity of a WAP is the number of users that it can support without a degradation of performance. Capacity is also an important factor when choosing a wireless AP. Although all manufactures will emphasize throughput in advertisements, few of them will reveal the specific number of users that their gadgets are capable of supporting.

Power over Ethernet (PoE)

Power over Ethernet has some evident advantages. For example, PoE support on wireless access points greatly simplifies the installation, reduces the cost, and saves data and power cables separately for each network device. It has high flexibility since the network device can be installed in any location without having to approach an existing power outlet. Last but not least, it has high reliability; a PoE device with SNMP capabilities can carry out remote detection and control, and can effectively handle or repair power consumption or malfunction of the device. Based on this, PoE is of great importance in choosing a WAP.

poe_raw

Gain Antenna

The antenna of wireless AP is basically built-in, unlike routers whose antenna is external. Therefore, the wireless AP antenna is very important, and it will directly affect the signal strength of wireless AP and the range of transmission. When you are purchasing a wireless AP, you’d better choose one with gain antenna.

Conclusion

Now there are a number of new devices which are more powerful and can support a wider area in the market for you to opt for, but be sure to find the right wireless access points based just on your needs and at the same time take a few factors into consideration such as range, speed, price, features, WAP Capacity, PoE, gain antenna, etc. And what’s more, it would be wise to checkout some of the feedback and reviews from a few products before you make your final decision.

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