How to Identify the Fiber Patch Cord Color Code?

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Fiber patch cord, often called fiber patch cable or fiber jumper, is a fiber optic cable terminated with fiber optic connectors (LC, SC, MTRJ, ST etc.) at each end. Fiber patch cord can be classified into various types based on different standards, such as fiber cable mode, transmission mode, jacket type, connector type and polishing type. And fiber patch cord plays an important role in server rooms and data centers. Well, it is not unusual for us to mix up so many types of fiber patch cables. Fortunately, fiber patch cord color code could help us identify a fiber patch cable from its jacket, buffer, tube, connector, etc.

Fiber Patch Cord Color Code for Outer Jacket

Colored outer jackets or print might be used on premises fiber cables like fiber patch cord. And there is a color code standard: EIA/TIA-598, which defines the jacket color codes for different fiber types. The colors don’t only apply for the application though, they also are meant to be of use in determining a cables properties. The differences in colors are based on different levels of OM and OS fiber (Optical Multimode & Optical Singlemode). In addition, for optical fiber cable that contains only one type of fiber we can easily identify it by its jacket color. Unless otherwise specified, the outer jacket of premises cable containing more than one fiber type shall use a printed legend to identify the quantities and types of fibers within the cable, for example, “12 Fiber 8 x 50/125, 4 x 62.5/125.” Here are the jacket color codes for different fiber types:

Fiber Patch Cord Color Code for Outer Jacket

Fiber Patch Cord Color Code for Inner Cable Organization

Fiber patch cord is separated into strands, which are the individual fibers within the out jacket. According to EIA/TIA-598, inner fibers are color coded in a group of 12 fibers and they are counted in a clockwise direction. Up to 24 individual strands can be manufactured loosely, and after that point, they are usually sectioned into tubes containing 12 each. So there are two situations for multi-fiber patch cords:

  • For cables that consist of multiple buffer tubes each with 12 or fewer strands, each tube will be numbered or colored following the same fiber color code.
  • For cables that have over 12 strands, the color code repeats itself. Each 12-strand group is identified in some other unique way such as adding a stripe or some other specific marks to the new group.
Fiber Patch Cord Color Code for Inner Cable Organization

Fiber Patch Cord Color Code for Connector

Connector color code is also a part of the fiber patch cord color code. Because there are different polish styles of fiber end-face, the connectors of the fiber patch cord are color coded for identification. LC fiber is one of the most commonly used fiber optic patch cords and the LC fiber connector is not hard to be color coded luckily. However, with the advent of metallic connectors like the FC and ST, connector color coding becomes difficult. Therefore, colored strain relief boots or shells are also used. The boot color may vary among manufacturers.

Fiber Patch Cord Color Code for Connector

Conclusion

Fiber patch cord color code assists us in distinguishing fiber patch cable types visibly from the colored fiber jacket, fiber connector, fiber boot, etc. What’s more, fiber color coding can be widely applied in identifying optical fiber types and is also practical for fiber optic engineering. FS.COM offers a broad range of standard fiber patch cord types. If you want to know more about fiber patch cord, kindly contact sales@fs.com for more details.

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Copper SFP vs Fiber SFP: Which One is Better?

The battle between copper and fiber has raged for many years. Copper has been used for a long time while fiber has already established a niche in the industry. Someone even held that fiber might replace copper. This competition of copper and fiber also exists in the field of transceiver module. Actually, there is a measurable distinction of copper SFP vs fiber SFP. This article will make a comparison of their strength and weaknesses.

What is Fiber SFP?

Fiber SFP is a type of compact, hot-pluggable optical transceiver module, which is widely used for both telecommunication and data communications applications. Fiber SFP modules are commonly available in several different categories:

  • The 1000BASE-SX SFP, operates on legacy 50 μm multimode fiber links up to 550 m and on 62.5 μm multimode fibers up to 220 m. It can support up to 1km over laser-optimized 50 μm multimode fiber cable.
  • The 1000BASE-LX/LH SFP, operates on standard single-mode fiber-optic link spans of up to 10 km and up to 550 m on any multimode fibers.
  • The 1000BASE-EX SFP operates on standard single-mode fiber-optic link spans of up to 40 km in length.
  • The 1000BASE-ZX SFP operates on standard single-mode fiber-optic link spans of up to approximately 70 km in length.

Fiber SFP with LC or SC optical connectors is used in Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet. Fiber SFP can offer different wavelengths and optical power budgets to allow transmission distances from 550m to 120km. Besides, there are other SFP types like CWDM SFP and DWDM SFP, which are used to increase the bandwidth of the fiber network. CWDM SFP modules come in 8 wavelengths covering from 1470 nm to 1610 nm, while DWDM SFP is designed for a longer transmission distance, whose maximum wavelength is 1620 nm and the maximum transmission distance is 200 km.

Fiber SFP

What is Copper SFP?

Copper SFP is also a kind of SFP (small form-factor pluggable) or mini GBIC (gigabit interface converter) transceiver module. Copper SFP supports 1000Mbps over Cat5 cables with RJ45 connector interface, which allows communications over the Cat5 unshielded twisted-pair copper cable of link lengths up to 100 m. It supports the standard of 10/100BASE-T, 1000BASE-T, 10/100/1000BASE-T transceivers. Among them, 1000BASE-T is the most commonly used which allows a segment with a maximum length of 100 m and allows auto-negotiation between 100Mbps and 1000Mbps. It can be used in data centers for server switching, LANs, for uplinks or directly to the desktop for broadband application.

Copper SFP

Copper SFP vs Fiber SFP

The difference between copper SFP vs fiber SFP will be described in the next part from the aspects of distance, operating temperature, security, interface, and cost.

Distance

Copper SFP supports the max cable distance of 100m, while the fiber SFP allows the transmission distance up to 120km, which demonstrates the high performance over longer distances. Generally, when the transmission distance is over 328 ft/100 m, fiber SFP must be considered instead of copper SFP, since 1000Mbps could only go as far as 100m over copper cabling.

Operating Temperature

Both copper SFP and fiber SFP support 0 to 70°C (32 to 158°F) case temperature as default. However, the power consumption and case surface will affect the temperature when copper SFP and fiber SFP operate in the specific applications. The typical power consumption of fiber SFP is 0.8W, the copper SFP is 1.05w. So copper SFP usually runs much hotter than the fiber SFP. Generally, the fiber SFP runs at 40°C (104°F) while the copper SFP should run around 52°C (126°F) in the same environment.

Security

When it comes to the security in the connection, fiber SFP is worthier of being recommended than copper SFP. The reason is that fiber doesn’t conduct electricity, which makes it resistant to lightning strikes.

Interface

The SFP devices allow the switch to connect to cables of different types. Copper SFP connects an Ethernet copper cable with the RJ45 connector interface. While fiber SFP commonly connects a fiber optic cable with LC connector. In addition, for short-distance links on a Gigabit switch, it makes no difference if you use SFP ports or RJ45 ports to interconnect switches. The SFP port is mainly used to allow longer distance fiber connections. The enterprise-class switches usually include two or more SFP ports. However, in some case, the switch on one side does not have standard Ethernet ports but only with SFP slots, and the switch on the other side only has RJ45 ports which can’t be fitted with fiber ports. Under this condition, you have to insert a copper SFP module into the SFP slot on the switch, then use a Cat5 Ethernet cable to connect the copper SFP and the RJ45 gigabit port on the other switch.

Cost

In fact, copper SFP may be more expensive than fiber SFP transceiver within the same short distance. Copper SFP is popular for short-range backbone applications, as it’s easier and cheaper to use 1G copper SFPs and patch cables. However, with the boom of third-party vendors, fully compatible and trustworthy fiber SFP transceivers have been developed to support lower cost fiber runs. The price gap between 100m copper SFP and 40km 1000BASE-EX SFP fiber SFP is reduced. Thus, added choices are offered for customers to meet their specific demands.

Conclusion

Through copper SFP vs fiber SFP comparison, we can see that each one has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Nowadays, the solution of mixing copper and fiber is the best practice to ensure the manageable data center. With the developing and unpredictable technology, we’d better think about all aspects of the product to meet our demands.

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Fast Ethernet vs Gigabit Ethernet

Ethernet is a group of networking technologies, which is used to connect multiple systems to develop a Local Area Network (LAN). Many types of Ethernet are there for use, but Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet are two main types which are more frequently used currently. This article will make a comparison between Fast Ethernet vs Gigabit Ethernet in detail.

Fast Ethernet vs Gigabit Ethernet

What is Fast Ethernet?

Fast Ethernet (FE) is a term of Ethernet in computing networking, which stands for carrying on the traffic at the speed of 100 Mbps. It came into the market in 1995 with the IEEE 802.3u standard and the original version was at the rate of 10 Mbps. Fast Ethernet makes use of 100BASE-T, 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX and so on. 100BASE-T is the most common Fast Ethernet, whose cable’s segment length is limited to 100m. 100BASE-TX is the predominant form of Fast Ethernet, and each network segment can have a maximum cabling distance of 100m. Besides, Fast Ethernet has different features such as several PHY layers, and both full duplex and half duplex modes are supported by it.

What is Gigabit Ethernet?

Another type of Ethernet offers 1000Mbps in computing networking, therefore, got the name gigabit. Gigabit Ethernet (GE) was released only a few years after Fast Ethernet coming about, but was not widely used until the internet demands increased around 2010. It uses a frame format of 803.2 and also runs on half duplex and full duplex modes. The maximum length of this system can be up to 70km, therefore most universities and companies use it. GE has different versions such as 1, 10, 40 and 100 gigabits. There are several typical varieties of Gigabit Ethernet, for example, 1000BASE-CX is an initial standard for Gigabit Ethernet connections with maximum distances of 25m, 1000BASE-KX is part of the IEEE 802.3ap standard for Ethernet operation over Electrical Backplanes and its specified distance is 1m, 1000BASE-SX is an optical fiber Gigabit Ethernet standard for operation over multi-mode fiber using a 770 to 860 nanometer, near infrared (NIR) light wavelength.

rate

Fast Ethernet vs Gigabit Ethernet: How They Differ From Each Other?

Both Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet are used for network connection. They can work with fiber switch, fiber optic cable, Ethernet cable and some similar devices. However, how they differ from each other? The following are some key differences between Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet.

  • The simplest difference between Fast Ethernet vs Gigabit Ethernet is their speed. Fast Ethernet runs at the maximum speed of 100 Mbps and Gigabit Ethernet offers up to 1 Gbps speed which is 10 times faster than Fast Ethernet.
  • Round-trip delay of Fast Ethernet is 100-500 bit times. As against, Gigabit Ethernet has the delay of 4000-bit times.
  • Configuration problems in Gigabit Ethernet are more complicated than Fast Ethernet. Sometimes Gigabit Ethernet needs high-compatibility fiber switch to work with, for instance, 10gbe switch.
  • The distance covered by Fast Ethernet is at most 10 km. However, the Gigabit Ethernet has the limit of 70 km.
  • Gigabit Ethernet is more expensive than Fast Ethernet. Upgrading of Fast Ethernet from Standard Ethernet is easy and cost-effective while upgrading of Gigabit Ethernet from Fast Ethernet is complex and expensive.
  •  Gigabit Ethernet requires specifically designed network devices that can support the standard 1000Mbps data rate like Gigabit Ethernet switch. Fast Ethernet requires no specific network devices.
Basis For Comparison
Fast Ethernet
Gigabit Ethernet
Basic
Offers 100 Mbps speed.
Provide 1 Gbps speed.
Delay
Generate more delay.
Less comparatively.
Configuration
Simple
Complicated and create more errors.
Coverage
Can cover distance up to 10 km.
Has the limit of 70 km.
Relation
Successor of 10-Base-T Ethernet.
A successor of fast Ethernet.
Round trip delay
100-500 bit times
4000 bit times

Conclusion

This article has looked upon and explained the two types of Ethernet: Fast Ethernet vs Gigabit Ethernet. Fast Ethernet is slower than Gigabit Ethernet, and provides maximum data speed up to 100 Mbps. And the latter has improved its speed at maximum to 1 Gbps by improving cabling technology, MAC layer, flow control protocols and quality of service.

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What Kind of RJ45 Patch Panel Should I choose?

RJ45 patch panels act as an important role in data centers, server rooms and other high-density cabling environments. . In the market, varieties of RJ45 patch panels can be found today, for example, Cat5e patch panel, Cat6 patch panel, Cat6a patch panel, blank patch panel, etc. However, what kind of RJ45 patch panel should you choose? Here I’d like to give you some recommendations.

RJ45 patch panel

What Is RJ45 Patch Panel?

RJ45 patch panel, also called copper patch panel or Ethernet patch panel, is designed for both shielded and unshielded copper cables like Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a and Cat7. This copper patch panel is commonly used in a local area network (LAN) as a mounted hardware assembly that consists of ports to connect and manage incoming and outgoing Ethernet cables. It is compliant with TIA/EIA 568 industry specifications and features both T-568A and T-568B wiring configurations. These patch panels can maximize the network performance and keep up with the growing changes in the network.

Why Choose RJ45 Patch Panel

RJ45 patch panel offers people easy cable management, it has been acknowledged far and wide by more and more users. RJ45 patch panel is made from steel materials so that they can stand up even the most extreme conditions. And it contains user-friendly number coding and can be used with horizontal cable manager at the front or rear. Besides, RJ45 patch panel can also be your first choice in copper/Ethernet cabling system as it is cost-efficient and durable.

What Are RJ45 Patch Panel Types

RJ45 patch panel can be categorized into the shielded or unshielded patch panel, flat or angled patch panel, etc. According to different connection cable types, some are recommended in the following part.

Cat5e Patch Panel

Cat5e patch panel is one of the RJ45 patch panel types, which is commonly used for high-speed LAN transmission. It meets the TIA/EIA 568 industry specifications and is available in 8, 12, 24, and 48-port versions. It’s convenient for identification with number labels. 12-port and 24-port are common patch panels, while high-density patch panels are available in flat and angled designs with 24 or 48 ports configurations. Compared to 48-port patch panel, the 24-port Cat5e patch panel is more popular in the market.

cat5e patch panel
Cat6 Patch Panel

Specially designed for Gigabit Ethernet applications, Cat6 Ethernet patch panel also meets and even exceeds TIA/EIA 568 industry specifications, and can match all kinds of Cat6 cables and accessories. In addition, Cat6 patch panel features high-density and offer the performance required for present and next generation data communications networks and applications. Cat6 patch panel is always designed with 12-port, 24-port, and 48-port configurations.

24-port cat6 patch panel
Cat6a Patch Panel

Cat6a patch panel supports all performance requirements of IEEE 802.3an (10GBase-T) and TIA Augmented Category 6 (Cat6) cabling specifications without requiring the use of individual jacks for the panel termination. This Ethernet patch panel can be utilized to future-proof your network connection for 10 Gigabit Ethernet. Moreover, it can be installed effortlessly in universal 19″ racks/cabinets, or 1U mount brackets.

cat6a patch panel

Conclusion

All in all, there are so many types of RJ45 patch panel in the market, and you can choose the appropriate one based on the function and performance you actually need. Of course, the reasonable price is also needed to be considered. Hope this article can help you make the right choice when you need to buy RJ45 patch panels.

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Overview of Commonly Used Multimode Fiber

In fiber optic cable market, the demand for single mode fiber and multimode fiber optic cable are increasing rapidly. Both of them are available for higher bandwidth and faster speed connections. Between them, multimode fiber is commonly used for shorter distance data transmission in LAN enterprise and data center applications. However, how much do you know about multimode fiber? Let’s have an overview of multimode fiber in this article.

What is Multimode Fiber

Multimode fiber (MMF) is a kind of optical fiber commonly used in communication for relatively short distances, for instance, inside buildings or corporate campuses. Multimode fiber optic cable has a larger core, typically 50 or 62.5 microns that enables multiple light rays or modes to be propagated simultaneously. However, the modes tend to disperse over longer lengths that the transmission distance of MMF is limited. The maximum transmission distance for MMF cable is around 550m at 10Git/s. Other typical transmission and distance limits are 2km at the speed of 100Mb/s and 1km at 100Mb/s.

Multimode Fiber

Multimode Fiber Types

Multimode fiber optic cables can be categorized into OM1, OM2, OM3, OM4 and OM5 fiber types by ISO 11801 standard. The next part will compare these fibers from the side of core size, bandwidth, data rate, distance, color and optical source in details.

Multimode Fiber Types
OM1 Fiber

Initially OM1 fiber typically comes with an orange jacket and has a core size of 62.5 micrometers (µm). It can support 10 Gigabit Ethernet at lengths of up to 33 meters. It is most commonly used for 100 Megabit Ethernet applications. This type is suited for using a LED light source.

OM2 Fiber

Conventional OM2 has a suggested jacket color of orange and works with LED based equipment as well as OM1. While it has a smaller core size of 50µm instead of 62.5µm. It supports up to 10 Gigabit Ethernet at lengths up to 82 meters, but is more commonly used for 1 Gigabit Ethernet applications.

OM3 Fiber

OM3 comes with an aqua color jacket. Like the OM2, its core size is 50µm, but the cable is optimized for laser based equipment. OM3 provides 10 Gigabit Ethernet at lengths up to 300 meters, which is its most common use. Moreover, this type enable its use with 40 Gigabit and 100 Gigabit Ethernet up to 100 meters.

OM4 Fiber

OM4 is completely a further improvement to OM3. They share the same distinctive aqua jacket, same core size of 50µm and both of them are optimized for laser based equipment. But OM4 supports 10 Gig/s at lengths up to 550 meters and it supports 100 Gigabit Ethernet at lengths up to 150 meters.

OM5 Fiber

OM5 fiber, also known as WBMMF (wideband multimode fiber), is backwards compatible with OM4. It has the same core size as OM2, OM3, and OM4. The official color of OM5 fiber jacket is lime green. It is designed and specified to carry at least four WDM channels at a minimum speed of 28Gbps per channel through the 850-953 nm window.

OM1 VS OM2 VS OM3 VS OM4 VS OM5:What’s the Difference

The primary difference between these types of multimode fibers depends on physical difference. Correspondingly, physical difference results in various transmission data rate and distance. The following part are their essential distinctions from physical and practical aspect.

Physical Difference

Physical difference mainly lies in diameter, jacket color, optical source and bandwidth, which is exposed in the following figure.

MMF Cable Type
Diameter
Jacket Color
Optical Source
Bandwidth
OM1
62.5/125µm
Orange
LED
200MHz*km
OM1
50/125µm
Orange
LED
500MHz*km
OM3
50/125µ
Aqua
VSCEL
2000MHz*km
OM4
50/125µm
Aqua
VSCEL
4700MHz*km
OM5
50/125µm
Lime Green
VSCEL
28000MHz*km
Practical Difference

The chart below illustrates the maximum reach of Ethernet variants over different types of multimode fiber.

MMF Category
Fast Ethernet
1GbE
10GbE
40GbE
100GbE
OM1
2000m
275m
33m
/
/
OM2
2000m
550m
82m
/
/
OM3
2000m
/
300m
100m
70m
OM4
2000m
/
550m
150m
150m
OM5
/
/
550m
150m
150m

The Advantages of Multimode Fiber

Although multimode fiber has distance limits, it still has many significant advantages.

  • Multimode fiber can support multiple data transfer protocol, including Ethernet, Infiniband, and Internet protocols.
  • Multimode fiber carries multiple signals concurrently in the same line. Besides, the total power inside the signals carries almost no loss. Therefore, multimode fiber generally is utilized for backbone applications in buildings.
  • Last but not the least, MMF and components are cost effective and are easier to work with other optical components like fiber adapter and various fiber connectors, and multimode patch cords are less expensive to operate, install and maintain.

Conclusion

In general, multimode fiber cable continues to be the most cost-effective choice for enterprise and data center applications with 500-600 meter range. As for whether to choose a single mode fiber or multimode fiber, the applications that you need, transmission distance to be covered as well as the overall budget should be taken into consideration.

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Ethernet Patch Panel: Keystone vs. Feed-Through vs. Punchdown

General Introduction on Patch Panel Ethernet

Patch panel is a device designed with a few jacks to monitor, interconnect and test circuits on network connecting and circuits routing. It is very convenient and is commonly used in computer networking, radio, audio, TV, etc.

Nowadays, patch panel ethernet, namely, ethernet patch panel, is almost the most common application of its kind. It is of great importance for cable management in data centers. Serving as the nerve center of the cabling network, the importance of patch panels cannot be neglected. There are different forms of ethernet patch panels. Here, let’s focus on the mostly used three, keystone patch panel, feed-through patch panel and punchdown patch panel.

Patch Panel Ethernet Comparison – Keystone vs. Feed-Through vs. Punchdown

Keystone Patch Panel Ethernet

Keystone patch panel is a traditional form of patch panel Ethernet. It is always in flat style with 1U rack space (24 ports). The clear numbering on the front provides a quick, easy way to identify cable runs, grounding wire included. In addition, keystone lets you create your own color coding scheme. You can choose to card into different color modules for color code management.

keystone-patch-panel

Feed-Through Patch Panel Ethernet

Feed-through patch panel is an in-line series of connections mounted onto a frame, which enables network cables to be terminated in an orderly manner. It is usually in 1U (24 ports) and 2U (48 ports) configuration. The feed-through patch panels have RJ45 ports on both sides for easy installation.

It can be repaired without punching a large amount of wires onto the back of the panel, which keeps the patch cable clean at the back of the panel. Without punching down the wires to the ports, it saves time and energy while maximize productivity. Among all the feed-through patch panels, Cat5e and Cat6 patch panel are commonly used in data centers nowadays.

cat6-patch-panel

Punchdown Patch Panel Ethernet

Punch down types are available in Cat5e or Cat6 patch panel. In the front of the panel, RJ45 ports (usually 24 ports) are used to directly connect Ethernet copper cable. And these ports have their own numbers as well for easy identification. In the rear, it has patch panel module with color markings for punching down Ethernet cable. This type of panel is a litter cheaper than other panels.

Normally, color coded labels are designed for T568A and T568B wiring configurations. You should insert each wire into its own slot and then terminate the wires with right configuration match. Once you finished the cable installation, you should have a double check with a cable tester to see if all the wires are correctly terminated.

punchdown-patch-panel

Summary on Patch Panel Ethernet Comparison

Among the different forms of patch panels, keystone can provide different color module management. Punchdown is cheaper but with complex cable installation steps. While, feed-through patch panel is more expensive but it is less messy and is quite suitable for high-density network system, which can protect cable and improve cable management efficiency.

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What Is Twinax Cable?

What Is Twinax Cable?

Speaking of Twinax cable, you might think of coax cable. They are two similar cable types. The difference is that the former one has two inner conductors in stead of one inside coax cable. The twin conductors of the Twinax do not carry individual signals, they work in a half-duplex mode, that is, both connectors are required to transmit data.

Twinax cable is often used for 10 Gigabit Ethernet Network. It has been used commonly to connect network hardware through SFP+ interfaces in short-range signaling applications such as in local area networks for its relatively low cost. To be exact, Twinax SFP+ is a copper 10 Gigabit Ethernet cable which comes in Twinax cable assembly and connects directly into an SFP+ housing.

twinax-sfp+

Twinax Active vs. Passive

You must know that Twinax cable has two different types, active Twinax and passive Twinax, whose classification normally depends on Twinax cable length.

Generally, Twinax cables shorter than 7 meters are passive and those longer than 7 meters are active, but this may vary from vendor to vendor.

An active Twinax has active electronic components carrying a 10 Gig Ethernet signal over long lengths in the SFP+ housing to improve the signal quality; a passive Twinax is mainly just a straight “wire” and contains few components. Therefore, active Twinax cables are a litter more expensive than passive Twinax cables.

twinax-active-vs-passive

Twinax Cable vs. Fiber

Normally, when choosing cables for network connecting, Twinax and fiber cable are two major considerations. However, which one is a better choice? Read on and find out the answer.

Twinax cable is a lower cost alternative to traditional fiber and twisted pair copper cabling in data center applications when you include switch, NIC and cable. Typically, we see Twinax being used between the server and the Top of Rack (ToR) switch. The advantage in this configuration is that the Twinax connection is much cheaper than a fiber optical cable. The disadvantage is that you are limited in distance and you may have some cable interoperability issues to deal with, which fiber cables won’t.

Nevertheless, if you want to create an ideal short distance connection scheme using Cisco 10GbE SFP+, Twinax cable Cisco is a better choice.

twinax-cable-cisco

Summary

From all the above, you will see that Twinax cable is divided into two types, namely, passive and active cable according to Twinax cable length. It is an ideal 10GbE solution used to integrate storage and data networks for servers connected to Top of Rack switches. It has low power consumption and higher reliability. Passive Twinax is recommended when the transmission distance is no more than 7m and active cable is suitable when the distance is over 7m.

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Can I Use Cat6 Cable on Cat5 Network?

Nowadays, internet data cabling has become an important part of our daily life. While, with fast update of technology, the old ethernet cable versions are being substituted by the new ones for better experience. For example, Cat6 cable is an advanced version over an older one Cat5. If I update to Cat6 cable on previous Cat5 network, will it work? Read through this post and find out the answer.

cat6-cable-on-cat5-network.

What Is Cat5 Cable?

Cat5 cable is a twisted pair cable for computer networks. Consisting of four twisted pairs of unshielded copper wire, Cat5 is a multimedia cable for carrying signals to transmit information, voice and other information communication services. It is widely used in broadband access projects such as broadband user premises networks. The cable standard provides performance of up to 100 MHz and is suitable for most varieties of Ethernet over twisted pair. Cat5 is also used to carry other signals such as telephony and video. The specification for category 5 cable was defined in ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-A, with clarification in TSB-95.

What Is Cat6 Cable?

Cat6 cable is a standardized twisted pair cable for Ethernet and other network physical layers that is backward compatible with the Category 5 cable standards. Similar to Cat5, Cat6 cable is made up of four twisted pairs of copper wire. Compared with the previous cable versions such as Cat5 and Cat5e cable, Cat6 cable has a better performance of up to 250 MHz and a faster speed of 10Gbps.

Cat6 cable must be properly installed and terminated to meet specifications. The cable must not be kinked or bent too tightly (the bend radius should be at least four times the outer diameter of the cable). The wire pairs must not be untwisted and the outer jacket must not be stripped back more than 12.7 mm.

Can I Use Cat6 Cable on Cat5 Network?

Of course, Cat6 Cable can work on Cat5 network. It is backward compatible with previous specifications, which means it can be effectively used with Cat5 network.

From the introduction above, the major components between Cat6 cable and Cat5 cable are similar. What makes them different are their electrical specifications, or signal transmission capabilities. Category 6 cable has better specifications than 5 or 5e, enabling it to support faster data transmission when installed with compatible devices.

In fact, it’s typical to use newer cabling types when upgrading a physical network infrastructure, even though the hardware is still using older standards. This is how a network admin can get newer cable installed in preparation for a future time when newer hardware will be deployed.

Things You Need to Know:

The major differences between these cables are their capabilities when put into use. Nevertheless, it is apparent that both Cat5 and Cat6 cables use the same end piece known as RJ-45, which is capable of connecting to Ethernet jack on a computer, router, etc. They can be plugged in to the same ports. Therefore, Cat6 cable works on Cat5 Network. However, Cat5 cable can’t be used on Cat6 network since Cat6 network has more requirements on cabling performances and capabilities, which Cat5 cable can not reach.

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What Is VXLAN and VXLAN Switch?

The past few years have witnessed a massive change in the world of information technology by reason of network virtualization and cloud computing. Virtualization brings the efficiency of physical resource and energy use as well as the challenge for network administrators to support large-scale and dynamic workloads with multitenancy. In order to seek a way for addressing the challenge of network scale and workload mobility, VXLAN is released as one of several network overlay technologies. In this article let us probe into the understanding of VXLAN technology and VXLAN switch.

VXLAN for cloud data center

Figure1: VXLAN for cloud data center

Understanding of VXLAN

VXLAN, also called Virtual Extensible Local Area Network, is a network virtualization scheme that enables users to create a logical network for virtual machines (VMs) across different networks. It is designed to provide layer 2 overlay network on top of a layer 3 network by using MAC address-in-user datagram protocol (MAC-in-UDP) encapsulation. In this way, you could possibly create 16 million networks by using VXLAN instead of 4096 VLANs. To be brief, VXLAN can provide the same service as VLAN does with greater extensibility and flexibility.

How Does VXLAN Work?

VXLAN adopts Layer 3 multicast to support the transmission of multicast and broadcast traffic in virtual network. In this environment, a VXLAN gateway device can be used to terminate the VXLAN tunnel and forward traffic to and from a physical network. The following picture helps to deeply understand VXLAN technology.

how does VXLAN work

Figure2: How VXLAN Works

VXLAN gateway: A VXLAN gateway is mostly a bridging between VXLAN and non-VXLAN environments by serving as a virtual network endpoint. For instance, it links a traditional VLAN and VXLAN network.

VXLAN segment: A VXLAN segment is a Layer 2 overlay network over which VMs can communicate. One thing to be aware of is that only VMs within the same VXLAN segment can communicate with each other.

VNI: Virtual Network Identifier (VNI) is also called VXLAN segment ID. The system uses the VNI along with the VLAN ID to identify the appropriate tunnel.

VTEP: The VXLAN Tunnel Endpoint (VTEP) terminates a VXLAN tunnel. And the same local IP address can be used for multiple tunnels.

VXLAN header: VXLAN header carries a 24-bit VNI to uniquely identify Layer 2 segments within the overlay.

Overview of VXLAN Switch

In data center, VXLAN is widely applied in creating overlay networks that sit on top of the physical network, enabling the use of a virtual network of switches, routers, firewalls and so forth. When it comes to VXLAN switch, it usually possesses the features of scalability and agility. What is more, VXLAN network switch can offer multiple solutions for private, public and hybrid cloud networks. Take FS S5850-48S2Q4C 10GbE switch as an example, it comes with 48 10G SFP+ ports and 6 hybrid 40G/100G uplink ports. It is a VXLAN fiber switch with advanced features, including MLAG, VXLAN, IPv4/IPv6, SFLOW, SNMP and etc., which is an ideal choice for traditional or fully virtualized data center.

FS S5850-48S2Q4C VXLAN switch

Figure3: FS S5850-48S2Q4C VXLAN switch

Conclusion

With the rapid development of VLAN technology and layer 2/3 networks, more higher network management technologies will arise definitely. VXLAN technology is one of them to solve the problem of limited scalability at present and bring more convenience for today and future networks. VXLAN support Gigabit Ethernet switch has been accepted as a better solution with sufficient links and capacity to handle massive traffic in cloud environment. If you are looking for professional and cost-efficient network switch solutions or VXLAN switches for networks and data centers, FS is a good choice.

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How to Choose an Appropriate Rack Mount Fiber Enclosure?

With the ability to create easy-to-manage cabling environment and effectively boost network performance, fiber enclosure is playing an increasingly important role in current equipment rooms, central offices and high-density data centers. When it comes to rack mount cabling applications, rack mount fiber enclosure is particularly popular. In order to meet the needs of various users, there are a number of rack mount fiber optic enclosures available in the market. In this article we are going to introduce several fiber enclosures with different configurations and types and provide some considerations for you to choose an appropriate one.

Rack Mount Fiber Enclosure Configurations

Rack mount fiber enclosures are usually made for 19 inch rack mounting with rack units (RU) of 1U, 2U, 3U and 4U which are loaded with fiber optic patch panel, cassettes or modules. For 1U and 2U rack mount enclosures, they offer full front and rear access with a drawer that slides forward and backward. 3U and 4U rack mount enclosures feature a fixed bulkhead design. Among them, 1RU rack mount fiber optic enclosures are the most commonly used size in data center server rack cable management.

different rack units of fiber enclosure

Figure1: different rack units of fiber enclosure

Rack Mount Fiber Enclosure Types

In general, there are three types of rack mount fiber optic enclosures: cover removable type fiber enclosure, slide-out type fiber enclosure and swing-out type fiber enclosure. The cover removable type is an early type of fiber enclosures which is more economic but harder to access. By contrast, slide-out type and swing-out type are more expensive than the cover removable type. While you can still benefit a lot from cable installation and maintenance. Since slide-out type and swing-out type respectively feature a convenient slide-out support tray and an integrated swing-out tray, you do not need to remove the whole fiber enclosure from the rack to gain internal access. It is proved to be time and energy saving in the long run.

three types of fiber enclosure

Figure2: three types of fiber enclosure

Considerations for Choosing an Appropriate Rack Mount Fiber Enclosure

In this part we will concentrate on the reference guides when selecting a rack mount fiber enclosure which is a troubling question in some data center operators.

  • Physical Requirement

Before buying a rack mount fiber optic enclosure, you should know precisely the external specification that you want. You can measure the height, depth, width and weight of your equipment which will help you determine what type of fiber enclosure you need. An important thing to note in this process is that you’d better choose a bigger one for your existing equipment and near-future growth.

  • Accessibility Requirement

A proper rack mount fiber enclosure should provide plenty of access points through the rear and top of the cabinet for installation and ongoing maintenance. Not only the fiber optic cables but also the hubs, routers, fiber patch panels and monitors are needed to be mounted in the enclosure. Remember that any accessories that are not rack-mountable will result in additional trays, shelves and mounting accessories.

  • Budget

Sometimes it is easy for people to get into the dilemma that whether to choose a budget-friendly equipment for the time being or the expensive one with high-quality for future. At this time, you need to combine your budget and other factors that matter to you and then make your investment decision.

Conclusion

As an expert of optimizing data center space, the rack mount fiber optic enclosure makes the fiber cabling system the most serviceable and manageable. It comes with different rack units of 1U, 2U, 3U, 4U and various mount types. You can choose the appropriate one according to the physical requirement, accessibility requirement and budget of rack mount fiber enclosure. If you are looking for high-quality fiber enclosures and fiber patch panels, FS would always be your nice choice.

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