Understanding SFP Ports on SFP Switch

Catching a glance of the modern network devices, one will see different ports are built in for different connection. For instance, we got USB interfaces in cellphones and RJ45 ports in copper switch. But how about SFP port? SFP port is built-in interface in various devices including gigabit switch, SFP switch, network interface card (NIC). This article will focus on the understanding of SFP ports on SFP switch.

What Are SFP Ports on SFP Switch?

SFP port (mini-GBIC port), a small form-factor hot pluggable interface, is designed for high speed and density SFP connection. It is typically built in 10Gb switch with SFP+ uplinks. Different from RJ45 ports for copper connection only, SFP ports on SFP switch support both copper and optical links. When SFP ports on SFP switches are inserted into SFP modules with electrical ports, Ethernet copper cables (Cat5e/Cat6/Cat7) are needed for data transmission. When SFP ports are plugged by SFP optical modules with optical ports, fiber patch cables are required for data transmission. Counting to this feature, SFP ports empower SFP switches the switching function to connect various Ethernet and fiber cables through the network. For the fiber one, single mode fiber (SMF) and multimode fiber (MMF), 1GE and 10 GE speed are all compatible. Moreover, it contributes to the adaptability of either short distance transmission by deploying RJ45 SFP or long distance transmission by fiber SFP.

FS SFP switch

Figure 1: This is a demonstration of SFP ports on FS SFP switch plugged by fiber SFP modules, then connect single mode fibers for data transmission.

SFP Ports Advantages on SFP Switch

·Small Size and Hot-pluggable Feature

Compared with early GBIC module port, SFP port for SFP module has much lower volume ratio. This small-sized optimization enables 2 times the density for SFP ports configuration on the same patch panel. Thus also expands the whole data capacity. Besides, SFP port is an I/O device, which is hot-swappable. Moreover, SFP ports on SFP switches can be exchanged with different port types, such as 1000Base-SX, 1000Base-LX/LH, 1000Base-ZX and 1000BX10-DU.

·High Reliability and Security

Fiber SFP plugged into SFP port on SFP switch usually connects with a fiber cable, which delivers data in light rather than electrical signal. First, for reliability concern, it largely diminished data loss and electromagnetic interference. Second, for security concern, fiber jumpers are less likely to catch on a fire than copper cables in severe environment. Sensitive data information is also more difficult to be illegally filched.

·10 GE SFP+ Uplink for Higher Network Capacity

Gigabit switch often has built-in SFP ports and SFP+ ports. They can support the load blancing of redundant links. Even though currently you only need 1GE network, for the concern of later system upgrade and future-proof technology, 10GE SFP+ ports are necessary for SFP switch.

How to Use SFP Ports on a SFP switch?

To illustrate the usage of SFP ports on a SFP switch, taking FS S5800-48F4S 10gb switch as an example. FS S5800-48F4S 48 port gigabit SFP switch comes with 48 x 1GbE SFP ports and 4 x 10GbE SFP+ ports. It has a 176Gbps switching capacity with low latency in a cmpact of 1U form factor. It is a 10GbE L2/L3 carrier access switch designed for a variety of data center enterprise Ethernet networks, including MPLS, IPv4/IPv6, sFLOW, PIM-SM, PIM-SSM. To use SFP ports on FS S5800-48F4S SFP switch, there are two solutions for network application.

·Enterprise Data Center Network

S5800-48F4S can not only provide access points for high density GE servers, but also 4 x 10GE uplink points to Aggregation or Core switches.

S5800-48F4S 48 port 10GE SFP switch application

Figure 2: Using S5800-48F4S for data center access network topology as ToR access devices.

·Carrier’s Metro Network

S5800-48F4S is ideal for service provider Metro Ethernet access deployment, allowing providers to offer convergent application portfolio to their enterprise or individual users. Typically S5800-48F4S SFP switch is installed in a building basement, which serves many customers in the branch building or at the head office. To use SFP switch, corresponding modules are required for connecting cables with SFP ports. Table below lists the FS supported SFP and SFP+ modules for S5800-48F4S SFP switch SFP ports and SFP+ ports.

FS SFP modules for SFP switch

Conclusion

From the above illustration, SFP port on SFP switch is a port type to cater for high-capacity long-reach networks. It can be either connected to Ethernet copper cable with RJ45 SFP module, or optical fiber cable with fiber SFP module. Thus it supports both short and long reach distance. It also owns the pros of small size, hot-pluggable capability, high reliability and security. FS S5800/S5850/S8085 series SFP switches are high compatible with mainstream band switches such as Cisco and Juniper. If you have any need in SFP switch, FS.COM can be a good choice.

8 Port Gigabit Switch Recommendation

For the issue of choosing an optimal Ethernet switch, one usually refers to its demand for network capacity (1G, 10G, 40G or 100G) and port quantity. As for gigabit switch, a 16, 24 or 48 port switch is commonly used for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to achieve both high performance and cost-efficiency. But how about 8 port gigabit switch? Are there any recommendations for it? This article will recommend 4 different 8 port gigabit switches for you in terms of managed or unmanaged and PoE or non-PoE.

Managed 8 Port Gigabit Switch Recommendation

·Non-PoE: D-Link DGS-1210-10 ($88.99)

DGS-1210-10 comes with 8 x 10/100/1000 Mbps gigabit ports and 2 x SFP ports. It is the latest generation of D-Link gigabit web smart non-PoE switch, characterized by D-Link Green 3.0 technology to save energy under non performance sacrifice. Moreover, for concerns of management and security, DGS-1210-10 8 port gigabit switch centralizes the pros of easy management, D-view 6.0 system and auto monitor VLAN (ASV) capability. This partly managed smart switch takes one step above “dumb” switch as well one step behind fully managed switch, thus it has absorbed both strengths. As a compromised gigabit switch, it is specially designed for SMEs.

D-Link DGS-1210-10 managed 8 port gigabit switch

Figure 1: D-Link DGS-1210-10 managed 8 port gigabit switch.

·PoE: FS S1130-8T2F ($159)

FS S1130-8T2F PoE+ managed 8 port gigabit switch comes with 8 x 10/100/1000 MbpsBase-T RJ45 Ethernet ports, 1 x console port and 2 x SFP ports. This fully managed PoE+ switch features long transmission distance of up to 120km, strong resistance to electromagnetic interference and superior performance stability. Besides, for concerns of noise, it is whisper-quite designed with no fans. It can easily placed in a rack, on a wall or on desktop, and is best fit for PDs such as WAP, IP phones and weather-proof IP cameras. FS S1130-8T2F has a maximum power consumption of 130W. If higher power budget is in demand, you can go for FS S1250-8T2F 8 port gigabit switch, which is up to 250W for your network expansion while only $30 extra cost is offed by FS.COM.

Unmanaged 8 Port Gigabit Switch Recommendation

·Non-PoE: Netgear GS108 ($46.99)

Netgear GS108 is an auto-switching 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet switch, targeted at business with plug-and-play and no-configuration demand. Netgear GS108 comes with 8 switched ports for PCs, severs and switches and a sturdy metal enclosure, with IEEE802.3az support for power savings and traffic optimization. It is also fanless designed to ensure silent and reliable operation. Though this desktop 8 port gigabit switch costs a little more than Linksys SE3008 ($35.99), the advantage of ProSAFE Lifetime Warrenty does makes it worth that.

Netgear GS108 8 port gigabit switch

Figure 2: Netgear GS108 unmanaged 8 port gigabit switch.

·PoE: TP-Link TL-SG 1008p ($59.99)

TL-SG 1008P unmanaged PoE 8 port gigabit switch comes with 8 x 10/100/1000 Mbps RJ45 ports and 4 PoE ports with maximum power budget of 55W. It is featured with no configuration need, overload arrangement, fanless design, high efficiency and limited lifetime warranty. The 4 PoE ports can supply powered devices (PD) such as wireless access points (WAP), IP cameras and IP phones with one single cable for both power and data transmission. It is best fit for expanding home and office network.

TP-Link TL-SG 1008p 8 port gigabit switch

Figure 3: TL-SG 1008P unmanaged 8 port gigabit PoE switch.

Summary

This article focused on the recommendation of 8 port gigabit switch for different requirements: unmanaged non-PoE switch, unmanaged PoE switch, managed non-PoE switch and managed PoE switch. Each one has its features in terms of different switch types and vendor characteristics. For managed PoE 8 port gigabit switch consideration, FS.COM will be a good place to go.

Related article: How to Choose 8 Port Gigabit Switch?

Buy Gigabit Switch: 2 x 24 Port Switch or 1 x 48 Port Switch

As for the issue of Gigabit network setups for more than 24 connections, we usually stick in the dilemma of choosing from different scenarios of Gigabit switch: deploying 2 x 24 port switch or 1 x 48 port switch, which one to take? We are here to weight their pros and cons for your selection guide.

Gigabit Switch: 2 x 24 Port Switch or 1 x 48 Port Switch Overview

Budget is always a big concern before touching other factors. It is somehow a common sense that buying 2 x 24 port switch costs less than a 48 port switch. Thus many people go for 2 x 24 port switch for cost savings. In fact, that’s not always the same case. For example, buying one S3800-48T4S 48 port switch ($499.00) will save you over 200 dollars than two S3800-24T4S 24 port switch ($369.00) from FS.COM. For people pursuing high performance but with tight budget, just go for FS S3800-48T4S 48 port switch, which best satisfies your dual demands. Table below shows the model comparison of FS.COM 24 port switch and 48 port switch.

specification of 2 x 24 port switch or 1 x 48 port switch

2 x 24 Port Switch Solution Pros and Cons

For concerning about 2 x 24 port switch solution, one should know its pros and cons. First, having 2 x 24 port switches gives you more sense of security. If one switch goes down, users in another switch will still be running. However the collapse of the sole 48 port switch will lead to the whole network’s breakdown. Second, 2 x 24 port switch solution provides more flexibility for separate placing. If you need to connect different devices in different floors or offices, 2 x 24 port switch is the way to go. However, it is noted that this solution has the cons of higher potential bottleneck, less available ports, extra uplink port demand, space consumption and management inconvenience.

1 x 48 Port Switch Solution Pros and Cons

Apart from the cost-efficiency of 1 x 48 port switch offered by FS.COM, there are other cases 1 x 48 port switch is preferred. First, 48 port switch is natural for high-performance network environments. In 2 x 24 port switch solution, due to one extra uplink port for connecting the 2 switches, a potential bottleneck/congestion is created and only 46 ports are left available for devices. So in cases only one uplink is available, 48 port switch is the choice. Second, 48 port switch has the pros of ease of management and rackspace saving even if 2 x 24 port switches are stacked. Third, one 48 port switch costs less power than the 2 x 24 port switch strategy. However, this solution will lose the redundancy for network outages and separate placing flexibility.

Gigabit Switch: 2 x 24 Port Switch or 1 x 48 Port Switch Selection Guide

After explaining the two solutions respectively, we made the following conclusion. For most concerns about performance, one should go for 1 x 48 port switch, which owns lower potential congestion at the uplink port and can travel at the wire speed. For concerns of space saving, management convenience and more port numbers, also go for the same way. But in terms of redundancy and separate placing, one should better take 2 x 24 port switch.

Table below lists the edges for selecting one solution over the other.

Solution 2 x 24 Port Switch 1 x 48 Port Switch
Edges over the other Redundancy: one more backup switch in network outages High performance: wire speed; power saving; less potential congestion
Separate placing: different floors or offices More available ports: saving extra uplink for connecting two switches
Generally less cost Rackspace saving; Ease of management

In some cases requiring for special conditions, pay attention to their built-in features. For instance, in quiet places such as classrooms, take fanless 24 port switches because 1 x 48 port switch can be noisy due to equipped fan radiator.

Conclusion

For Gigabit switch: 2 x 24 port switch or 1 x 48 port switch, it’s extremism to simply say which one is superior or inferior. We decide which to buy by the factors we are most concerned about and the respective edges over the other in each case. No matter you need 24 port switch or 48 port switch, FS.COM would be a good place to go.

Related Article: 2 * 8 Port Gigabit Switch or 1 * 16 Port Gigabit Switch

Patch Panel vs Switch: What’s the Difference?

In network setups we see everything is plugged into a switch, but before that fiber cables are also connected to another supply – patch panel. Thus one question is often confusing: patch panel vs switch: What’s the difference and what’s the significant function of them respectively?

What Is Patch Panel?

Patch panel (fiber optic patch panel, fiber optic enclosure) is a terminate unit of network ports centralized together. It is a cable management solution component used to organize fiber cables and keep everything neat for a clean wiring closet. In data centers, a mass of cable wires scattering all over and mixed together can be bothersome, in this case a patch panel is indispensable and rather helpful. It not only offers ease of management, but also protect the terminations from being knocked. Besides the fiber optic patch panel, other cable management accessories including cable ties and cable labels are also used to keep cables tidy and easy for identification.

patch panel vs switch: fiber optic patch panel

Figure 1: This photo shows the application of patch panel by FS.COM for cable management in a data center.

What Is Switch?

Switch, commonly known as network switch, is an appliance in a data center that connects all devices (such as PCs and servers) as a whole to achieve intercommunication and data sharing between different network devices. It channels the incoming data from multiple input ports to the specific output port so as to deliver the data toward its destination. In Ethernet LAN or WAN, modern network switch usually determines which output port to use by network address.

patch panel vs switch: network switch

Figure 2: This photo shows the application of network switch by FS.COM in a data center.

Patch Panel vs Switch: What’s the Difference?

Table below shows the main difference of patch panel vs switch.

Name Patch Panel Switch
Price Cheap Expensive
Role playing Cable management tool:
Centralizing cable wires together; protecting fiber cables from damage.
Functional performance: connecting all devices together to receive and transmit exact messages to the target device end.
Form feature  fiber optic patch panel  network switch
·Role in Date Center

Comparing patch panel vs switch, we can make the following conclusion. Patch panel is nothing but an essential cable management tool, which exerts no functional influence to the performance of data transmission. However, a switch is an irreplaceable functional supply in network setups.

Why Patch Panel Is Commonly Set Up in Network Installation?

As mentioned above, patch panel has no effect on the data transmission process. Can it be omitted in fiber optic cabling? Or can wires just directly plugged to a switch? The answer is yes when you just deal with several fiber cables. However, Ethernet patch panel is a must in data centers where there are a large number of Ethernet drops. No doubt you don’t want to see all the things tangled together. A patch panel in place provide ease management of classification, maintenance, repair, installation and upgrades.

Conclusion

This article gave an brief introduction to patch panel and switch respectively and then discussed the differences between them. Patch panel vs switch : what’s the difference, and why is a patch panel commonly set up in network installation whereas a switch is already used? Can you answer these questions now? Simply put, patch panel is an essential cable management tool whereas network switch is a significant functional supply in data center. Both of them play important role in their respective positions.

Three Popular 10GBASE-SR SFP+ Modules Introduction

Time has witnessed the history and development of optical transceivers over the years. As we can see, the modern transceiver modules are moving in the direction of hot-pluggable design, smaller size, lower cost, lower consumption and higher speed. To cater for the above needs, 10GBASE-SR SFP+ transceivers have been frequently used in data centers. So what’s the options for 10GBASE-SR SFP+ modules? This tutorial will introduce three popular types for you: E10GSFPSR, 455883 b21 and J9150A.

10GBASE-SR SFP+ Module

10GBASE-SR is a 10 Gigabit Ethernet port standard specified in IEEE 802.3 Clause 49 for multimode fiber. It adopts 850nm lasers, which have the advantages of low cost, low power consumption, small size, and high density. The letters “sr” refer to “short reach”, but the exact reach distance depends on the fiber types matched with transceivers. For instance, when used over OM1 fiber, the 10GBASE-SR has a maximum transmission length of 33 meters. However, nowadays 10GBASE-SR SFP+ is commonly connected with OM3 or OM4 fibers to reach up to respectively 300 or 400 meters. E10GSFPSR, 455883 b21 and J9150A are three popular 10GBASE-SR 300m SFP+ modules.

This table shows the detail information of the three popular 10GBASE-SR SFP+ modules.

Form Type SFP+ Data Rate 10.3125Gbps
Wavelength 850nm Max Distance 300m over OM3 MMF
Interface LC duplex Laser VCSEL
Fiber Type MMF DOM Support Yes
TX Power -7.3~-1dBm Receiver Sensitivity Below -11.1dBm
Temperature Range -40~85°C (-40~185°F) Protocols MSA Compliant

E10GSFPSR

E10GSFPSR is a 10GbE SR SFP+ transceiver type designed for Intel Ethernet 500 and 700 Series Network Adapters. It has a hot-pluggable SFP+ print and is built-in digital diagnostic functions. This 10GBASE-SR SFP+ optics has the installation benefits of small physical dimensions, less power consumption, tighter bend radius, lighter weight and longer reach distance compared to copper alternatives. FS.COM offers Intel E10GSFPSR compatible 10GBASE-SR and also LR for adapting different data centers.

E10GSFPSR 10GBASE-SR

Figure 1: This photo shows the Intel E10GSFPSR compatible 10GBASE-SR SFP+ 850nm 300m DOM transceiver module manufactured by FS.COM.

455883 B21

455883 b21 stands for HPE Blade System c-class 10GBASE-SR SFP+ module, which supports the 10 Gigabit SR standard. 455883 b21 10GBASE-SR transceiver module is in SFP+ form-factor specially for HPE blade switches and severs. It has the feature of low power consumption, under 0.8W. “HPE” refers to the brand name of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, which is the original equipment manufacture (OEM). The well-known brand superiority attracts customers to buy their expensive SFP+. However, FS.COM is a third-party vendor who can provide the exact same specifications and functions as the original 455883 b21 while offering a cost-effective price.

455883-B21 10GBASE-SR

Figure 2: This photo shows the HPE Blade System 455883 b21 compatible 10GBASE-SR SFP+ 850nm 300m DOM transceiver module manufactured by FS.COM.

J9150A

J9150A is a SKU code compatible for HPE X132 10G SFP + LC SR transceiver module, which is consistent with the 10 Gigabit SR standard in SFP+ form-factor. It is typically applied to some HPE Aruba switch series rather than HPE blade servers. However, the high compatible option of J9150A allows it to be used on blade switches too. HPE J9150A compatible 10GBASE-SR SFP+ is a compatible transceiver module produced by FS.COM under strict quality system verification. Meanwhile, it is supported on a wide range of HPE equipment and commonly used in data and optical networks.

J9150A 10GBASE-SR

Figure 3: This is a demonstration of FS.COM J9150A fits into HP 5900 Series Switch (JG510A).

To sum up, E10GSFPSR, 455883 B21 and J9150A are three most popular 10GBASE-SR SFP+ modules sharing much commons in manufacturing specifications and functional performance, such as 850nm wavelength, 10GbE data rate, 300m short reach and low consumption for using VCSEL lasers. However, they are different from original vendor brands and matched equipment.

Table below shows the detail information.

Type Brand Supportability Matched Equipment
E10GSFPSR Intel A wide range of Intel equipment Intel Ethernet 500 and 700 Series Network Adapters
455883 B21 HPE A wide range of HPE equipment HPE Blade switches and severs
J9150A HPE A wide range of HPE equipment Some HPE Aruba Switch Series

Conclusion

This article introduced three popular 10GBASE-SR SFP+ modules: E10GSFPSR, 455883 b21 and J9150A. First illustrated their general characteristics as 10GBASE-SR SFP+ modules. Then explained each one respectively. People choose what to use according to exact matched equipment and their personal requirements.

Cat5e vs Cat6 RJ45 Cable

Ethernet cable has never stopped its development to cater for the ever increasing demand of higher performance data center. Cat5e and Cat6 RJ45 cables are two most commonly used Ethernet cables in current market. As their names implied, the difference between them are defined by the number and letter “5e” and “6”. What do these terms mean? Cat5e vs Cat6 RJ45 cable: What’s the difference? This article is dedicated to answering this question.
cabling of Cat5e vs Cat6 cable

Figure 1: Cabling of Cat5e vs Cat6 RJ45 cable.

Cat5e vs Cat6 RJ45 Cable Overview

Cat5e and Cat6 are two different Ethernet cables classified by standard categories. The “Cat” refers to “Category of cable”, and the terms “5e” and “6” refer to different standard of category.

What Is Cat5e Cable?

Cat5e cable (Category 5e cable) is an enhanced version of Cat5. While inheriting the construction and 100MHz bandwidth of its predecessor, Cat5e improves performance by introducing optimized specifications in data rate and crosstalk defense. It transfers data at 10 times the speed of Cat5 cable, up to 1000Mbps. It supports Gigabit Ethernet and frequently used in home networking environment with various lengths and premise wiring.

Cat5e UTP Ethernet patch cable

Figure 2: This photo shows a Cat5e UTP Ethernet patch cable.

What Is Cat6 Cable?

Cat6 cable (Category 6 cable) is a standard twisted-pair cable for Ethernet and other network layers. It has a 250MHz bandwidth and can rate up to 10Gbps in a limited distance of 55 meters. It can also reach to 100 meters (328 feet) at a slow rate of 1000Mbps. For its high speed, Cat6 cable is widely used to handle 10GbE. Moreover, Cat6 has excellent capability to reduce crosstalk due to improved shielding and twisted-pair cable design.

Cat6 UTP Ethernet patch cable

Figure 3: This photo shows a Cat6 UTP Ethernet patch cable.

Cat5e vs Cat6 RJ45 Cable: What’s the Difference?
Category Cat5e Cat6
Interface RJ45 RJ45
4 twisted-pair Wires Yes Yes
Bandwidth 100MHz 250MHz
Maximum Length 100 m 100m in slow network (≦1000Mbps);
55m in high network (10Gbps)
Data Rate 1Gbps 10Gbps over short distance (33-55m);
1Gbps within 100m
Crosstalk Far Less than Cat5; More than Cat6 Less crosstalk; high SNR
Cost cheaper 20% higher

As the table shown, although Cat5e and Cat6 RJ45 cable share commons in RJ45 connector and construction feature of twisted-pair copper wires, they are totally different standards of Ethernet cable. Cat5e RJ45 cable has lower level of transmission performance, while Cat6 RJ45 cable is optimized with a 250MHz bandwidth, higher data rate and stronger resistance to crosstalk and noise. The following passage will focus on the illustration of their functional differences.

·Crosstalk

Both Cat5e and Cat6 are comprising of 4 twisted-pair copper wires with a longitudinal separator to isolate them. This design can reduce electromagnetic interface among different wires. Compared with Cat5e, while providing equal level far end crosstalk (FEXT), return loss and insertion loss, Cat6 features lower near end crosstalk (NEXT). Simply put, Cat6 cable have high SNR (Signal Noise Ratio), which provide less noise, fewer errors and higher data rate in signal transmission.

·Date rate

Cat5e cable is limited at a 100MHz bandwidth, while Cat6 cable has a high bandwidth of 250MHz, which leads to different data rate. Cat5e can reach up to 1Gbps at a distance of 100 meters. The data rate of Cat6 varies based on its maximum length. Over long distance transmission within 100 meters, maximum data rate of Cat6 is 1000Mbps. In short length limited in 55 meters, it can support 10 Gigabit Ethernet. It is noted that in high crosstalk condition a transfer distance only within 33 meters is available.

Conclusion

This article made a comparison and contrast between Cat5e vs Cat6 RJ45 cable. While finding some similarities, it focus on their functional difference: crosstalk resistance ability and data rate. Cat6, as a descendant of Cat5, it owns higher standard of SNR and data rate, which gives it an edge in higher performance conditions required 10 Gigabit Ethernet.

What’s the Difference: 10GBASE-LR vs 1000BASE-LX

With the rapid development of optical communication industry, fiber optic transceivers have been designed smaller and smaller with high diversification to cater for the need of Gigabit Ethernet. As a result, various types of standard for Mini GBIC (SFP, small form-factor pluggable) and SFP+ come out, such as 1000BASE-SX, 1000BASE-LX, 10GBASE-SR and 10GBASE-LR, etc. For these different Gigabit Ethernet standards, do you know the differences among them? 10GBASE-SR vs 1000BASE-SX: the differences have been illustrated before. In this post, the differences of 10GBASE-LR vs 1000BASE-LX will be explained.

What Is 10GBASE-LR?

As its name implies, 10GBASE-LR is a 10 Gigabit Ethernet standard specified to transmit data over long distance (the letters “LR” refers to “long reach”) through single mode fiber, which is defined in IEEE 802.3 Clause 49. For instance, HPE J9151A 10GBASE-LR SFP+ can reach up to 10 km at a rate of 10.3125 Gbp/s with 1310 nm wavelength, which is widely used in 10GbE, SDH and SONET.

HPE j9151a 10GBASE-LR SFP+Figure 1: This photo shows the HPE j9151a 10GBASE-LR SFP+.

What Is 1000BASE-LX?

1000BASE-LX is a Gigabit Ethernet standard in IEEE 802.3 Clause 38. 1000BASE-LX SFP rates up to 1.25Gbp/s with a long wavelength laser of 1,270 to 1,355 nm. Different from LR transceiver, LX SFP is available both in single mode and multimode systems, which gives it some advantages in multiple mode application. Although LX SFP is specified to transfer data over a long distance of up to 5 km through single-mode fiber, it also supports multimode fiber system with a maximum reach distance of 550 m. It is noted that for distance over 330 m in multimode fiber, a special launch adjustment patch cable is required to reduce the differential mode delay effect. 1000BASE-LX is frequently used in 1GbE and fiber channel. For Cisco SFP 1000BASE-LX, there are different types and Cisco GLC-LH-SM 1000Base-LX SFP is commonly accepted by end users.

Cisco SFP 1000BASE-LX

Figure 2: This photo shows the Cisco SFP 1000BASE-LX.

10GBASE-LR vs 1000BASE-LX: What’s the Difference?

As mentioned above, 10GBASE-LR and 1000BASE-LX both are types of Gigabit Ethernet standards for fiber transceivers. But what are the distinctions? The following table lists the differences of 10GBASE-LR vs 1000BASE-LX.

10GBASE-LR SFP 1000BASE-LX SFP
Data Rate 10.3125Gbps 1.25Gbps
Form Type SFP+ SFP
Interface LC duplex LC duplex
Fiber Type Single mode Single mode and multimode
Wavelength 1310 nm 1270-1355 nm
Transmission Distance 10 km 5-10 km over single mode fiber;
550 m over multimode fiber

Although 10GBASE-LR and 1000BASE-LX both support long distance transmission, they are distinct from data rate. The former is applied to 10GbE while the latter is used in 1GbE. Both of them play their own essential roles in different fields and can not be confused with each other.

Summary

Comparing and contrasting 10GBASE-LR vs 1000BASE-LX, we find they share some similarities in maximum wavelength and transfer distance, however, they are different Ethernet standards distinct from each other for their data transmission rate, transmission distance and fiber type. Generally speaking, both have their own leading place in the current market, people can say one standard gives an edge over others only under specific circumstance. One decide on which to choose by combining his own need and the characteristics of different standards and types.

ABC of GPON SFP: Understanding GPON OLT / ONU / ONT SFP Module

Since the advances in Ethernet technology, “last mile” connectivity is expected to realize between the network backbone and local area networks (end users). Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) is a cost-effective point-to-multipoint access network, which brings great improvement in data transmission distance (up to 20km) and bandwidth (an downstream capacity of 2.5Gbit/s and an upstream capacity of 1.25Gbit/s ). However, GPON’s higher bandwidth and split ratios are only achievable by using GPON-capable optical transceivers. It is well positioned to help meet the needs for higher bandwidth in FTTx applications, and continues to fuel growth in demand for GPON SFP modules. So this article will introduce the basics of GPON SFP, including GPON OLT, GPON ONU and GPON ONT SFP module.

gpon-network

What Is GPON SFP Module?

GPON SFP is a new higher-speed bi-directional optical transceiver, which can deliver 2.5 Gbits/sec of bandwidth. And it is a kind of single fiber transceiver which comes with SC connector and can transmit data up to 20km. In addition, it features a 28-dB optical loss budget to enable 1:64 split ratios and provides adequate optical loop lengths. Most EPON and some BPON systems deployed today use 25-dB optics, which limit the split ratio and loop length. For this reason, GPON transceiver enjoys the added advantage of industrial demand. The key performance advantage is to reduce the upstream split loss arising from utilizing the mode-coupled-receivers (MCR) in a PON application. Moreover, this innovative module dose not outweigh the costs over a standard module. For these two reasons, the GPON SFP modules are very attractive to the network operators to improve the utilization of GPON network. On top of that, GPON SFP transceiver is an essential part of GPON system which is necessary both for optical network unit (ONU) installed at the subscriber’s premises and for the optical line terminal (OLT) at the central office (CO). The following part will respectively introduce the GPON OLT, GPON ONU and GPON ONT SFP module.

GPON SFP

GPON OLT SFP Module

GPON OLT SFP is designed for OLT side in GPON network. OLT is a equipment integrating L2/L3 switch function, which is located in central office (CO). The main function is to control the information float in both directions: upstream and downstream. The GPON OLT module plays an inevitable role in the upstream and downstream transmission. In order to put across the transmission process, the downstream transmission is taken as an example. A single mode optical fiber coming from OLT (at the central office) PON port, runs to the passive optical splitter (POS) located near end users. And then the optical splitter will divide signals into separate paths which can provide service up to 64 end users. In this basic GPON topology, a GPON OLT module is used to connect a single-mode fiber patch cable to a passive optical splitter. Therefore, GPON OLT transceiver works to get the data, voice and video traffic from metro network or from a long-haul network.

GPON OLT SFP Module Application

GPON ONU/ONT SFP Module

Since the ONU and ONT are deployed at customer’s premises, they are connected to the OLT by means of optical fiber and no active elements are present in the link. In GPON network, the ONU/ONT transceiver is the physical connection between the customer premises and the central office OLT. This type of modules gets the signals from OLT, so they have the opposite characteristic of GPON OLT transceiver, incorporating a high performance 1310nm burst mode DFB transmitter and 1490nm CW mode APD receiver. By being plugged into advanced “triple play” (data, voice & video) ONT or ONU equipment (with SFP ports), such as Ethernet switches, routers, DSLAMs or home gateway, ONU/ONT SFP module fits seamlessly into existing communications equipment and provides end users with a smooth upgrade to GPON. Therefore, GPON ONU/ONT SFP module plays an important role in the applications for point-to-multipoint (P2MP) ONT / ONU equipment in GPON network.

GPON ONU ONT SFP Module Application

Conclusion

GPON SFP transceiver meets the the requirements of FTTx network to accelerate the speed or capacity. GPON OLT, ONU and ONT SFP module have their respective roles to play in the GPON networks. Many people may worry the high attenuation losses from optical splitter in the GPON networks, as above mentioned, the GPON optical module is just used to solve this problem in that it utilizes the MCR technology that protects large numbers of signals. In a word, this new module is a compelling network alternative to save cost and increase bandwidth and security.

Related Article: ABC of PON: Understanding OLT, ONU, ONT and ODN

Copper SFP vs Optical SFP: Which One Is the Best to Use?

The war of copper vs fiber has raged for years. Fiber seems to operate as a rival to copper rather than a replacement until now, it has already established a niche in the industry. However, with recent advances in copper technology, the copper presents the same step-ladder upgrade path. The speed difference between the two media is considerably smaller. In some ways, the copper matters most to IT experts and data center decision makers. But many end-user organizations still face tough decision about which type is the best overall value for their current and future projected needs. This battle is also being waged in SFP transceivers, there is a measurable difference in the copper SFP vs optical SFP. This article will explore their respective strengths and weaknesses and reveal insights into how IT experts are to proceed.

Copper SFP vs Optical SFP banner

Copper SFP vs Optical SFP: Copper SFP Is a Balanced Choice in Environment Restrictions

The Gigabit RJ45 copper SFP transceiver supports 1000Mbps over Cat5 cables with RJ45 connector interface, which operates on standard Cat5 unshielded twisted-pair copper cabling of link lengths up to 100 m (328 ft). GLC-T is a typical Cisco 1000BASE-T SFP copper RJ-45 transceiver. For short-distance links on a Gigabit switch, it makes no difference if you use SFP ports or RJ45 ports to interconnect switches. Copper SFP is popular to be used for short range uplinks, as it’s easier and cheaper to use 1G copper SFPs and patch cables. And SFP ports are primarily for allowing fiber connections over longer distances. Especially in some case, Copper SFP will make sense if the switch on one side does not have copper ports but SFP slots and the switch on the other side only has copper and can’t be fitted with fiber ports. Or if you don’t need the distance of fiber, you can consider converting SFP to RJ45, which will depend on the switch to determine what copper speeds (10/100/1000) are supported on a copper SFP. Moreover, using copper SFPs to connect the regular copper Gigabit ports is a wise choice to make the best use of the corresponding number of SFPs on existing connected switches.

Copper SFP

Copper SFP vs Optical SFP: Fiber SFP Is More Flexible in Long Distance

The optical fiber SFP modules with LC or SC optical connectors are available in Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet. And these SFP modules are industrially rated to perform in the most difficult operating environments. The SFP fiber module offers different wavelengths and optical power budget to allow distances from 550m to 120km. A variety of 1Gbps SFP modules in different distance can be found in FS.COM. Some statics also shows that the legacy SFP can hit 4.25Gb/s at 150m, or up to 1.25Gb/s for 160km runs and a variety of ranges/speeds in between depending on type of fibre. Generally, when the distance of the run is over 328 ft/100 m, fiber SFP module must be considered instead of copper SFP RJ45 module, since 1000Mbps could only go as far as 100m over copper cabling. In that sense, optical fiber SFP offers the substantial advantage over copper SFP.

Fiber SFP

Copper SFP vs Optical SFP

  • Operating Temperature

For the standard fiber SFP and copper SFP, there is no difference for the operating temperature – they support 0 to 70°C (32 to 158°F) case temperature as default. In fact, there is more heat dissipated for optical or electrical transmission in the specific applications. Generally, the copper SFPs run much hotter than the fiber SFPs. There are two factors that affect the temperature: power consumption and the case surface. The typical power consumption of fiber SFPs is 0.8W, the copper SFP is 1.05w, that’s why copper SFP have a higher case temperature. In the same environment, the fiber SFP runs at 40°C (104°F) while the copper SFP should run around 52°C (126°F).

  • Distance

As mentioned above, copper SFP supports the max cable distance is 100m, so it is commonly used to interconnect between switches and servers in horizontal and shorter-length backbone applications. While the fiber SFP allows the transmission distance up to 120km, which demonstrate the high performance over longer distances.

  • Security

When security could be considered as a problem in the connection, using fiber SFP module is better than RJ45 copper SFP module. Because fiber doesn’t conduct electricity that makes it resistant to lightning strikes.

  • Cost

Copper SFP transceiver might be more expensive than fiber SFP module in the same short distance. In Gigabit Ethernet applications, when copper SFP is used in combination with cooper cables in short runs, it is more cost effective as the copper cables are more cheaper than fiber cables. Besides, with the boom of third-party vendors, their full-compatible and trustworthy fiber SFP modules are developed to support lower cost fiber runs. The price gap between 100m copper transceiver and 40km 1000BASE-EX SFP fiber transceiver is reduced. More choices are provided for customers to meet their specific demands.

FS P/N Description FS.COM Price
SFP-GB-GE-T Cisco GLC-T Compatible 1000BASE-T SFP Copper RJ-45 100m Transceiver $ 21.00
SFP1G-SX-85 Generic Compatible 1000BASE-SX SFP 850nm 550m DOM Transceiver $ 6.00
SFP1G-EX-55 Cisco GLC-EX-SM1550-40 Compatible 1000BASE-EX SFP 1550nm 40km DOM Transceiver $ 24.00

Conclusion

Through copper SFP vs optical SFP, we can see that each technology has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Optical fibre SFP is not necessarily better than copper SFP. In fact, mixing copper and fiber solutions is the best practice for data center, as a versatile solution is critical to ensuring the data center remains both manageable and scalable when performance demands skyrocket. Network industry is unpredictable, and the demands of tomorrow may require facilities to investigate solutions they may have scoffed at a year ago.

Related Article: A Quick Overview of Cisco 1000BASE-T GLC-T SFP Copper Module

Choose 10GBASE-T Copper Over SFP+ for 10G Ethernet

24-Port Gigabit Switch Selection: Which Is the Suitable Choice?

An Ethernet switch acts as a bridge to connect different parts of a network together. Although many routers also possess the network switching capabilities and multiple Ethernet ports, the Ethernet switch is not the replacement for routers. It is worth emphasizing that Ethernet switches are smarter than routers in that they operate at the data link layer (Layer 2) and the network layer (Layer 3) of the OSI Reference Model and therefore support any packet protocol. Ideally, switches will make better use of bandwidth if you prefer wired to wireless connections but have more devices than available Ethernet ports. On the other hand, an Ethernet switch is a costly way to expend the network in home or small business. So it is very important to invest an Ethernet switch with the appropriate number of ports to fit your needs. In the midst of various Gigabit Ethernet switches, a 24-port switch is considered as the most common Gigabit switch that connect devices in a local area network. Then this article will explore how to select a suitable 24-port Gigabit switch.

Popular 24-Port Gigabit Switch in the Market

FS S3800-24F4S 24-Port Gigabit Switch

FS S3800-24F4S 24-port Gigabit switch comes with 20x 100/1000BASE SFP, 4x 1GE combo and 4x 10GE SFP+ slots. The flexible port combination form provide a high bandwidth aggregation connectivity for multiple switch in network to enhance network capacity. Moreover, it is a stackable SFP managed switch, which can provide true stacking of up to 4 switches in a stack acting as a single unit with totally 106 ports (96x 1G Ports and 10x 10G ports). The switching capacity is 128Gbps. This 24-port Gigabit managed switch fits for enterprise network operators who need high performance and low power processor to provide full speed forwarding and line-dormant capacity.

FS S3800-24F4S 24-Port Gigabit Switch

Figure 1: FS S3800-24F4S 24-Port Gigabit Switch

Cisco SGE2000 24-Port Gigabit Switch

Cisco SGE2000P comes with 24 10/100/1000BASE-T RJ45 ports and 4 shared Gigabit SFP slots. This 24-port Gigabit managed switch can provide ACL (access control lists), DoS (denial-of-service), VLAN and IEEE 802.1X port authentication. And the enhanced quality of service (QoS) and traffic-management features help ensure clear and reliable voice and video communications. This Gigabit network switch enable you to take advantage of the comprehensive feature set for a better-optimized, more secure network.

Cisco SGE2000 24-Port Gigabit Switch

Figure 2: Cisco SGE2000 24-Port Gigabit Switch (Source: Cisco)

NETGEAR ProSAFE GS724T 24-Port Gigabit Switch

The Netgear ProSafe GS724T is armed with 24 copper 10/100/1000 ports and 2 SFP 100/1000 ports. Each port can transfer data at maximum throughput for a total maximum switching speed of up to 48 Gbps. This 24-port switch is intended for SMB organizations using the switch for applications like VoIP, video conferencing, and system security, etc. And it features a fanless system, allowing the switch to work silently without overheating. This is great for use on homelab, as its quiet operation won’t cause a distraction.

NETGEAR ProSAFE GS724T 24-Port Gigabit Switch

Figure 3: NETGEAR ProSAFE GS724T 24-Port Gigabit Switch (Source: NETGEAR)

TP-Link TL-SG1024 24-Port Gigabit Switch

The TP-Link TL-SG1024 features 24 Gigabit Ethernet ports and non-blocking switching, which can provide large file transferring and also be compatible with 10Mbps and 100Mbps Ethernet devices. Moreover, this network switch has 48Gbps switching capacity with 8K MAC address table, 10KB Jumbo Frame and 4MB buffer memory. This TP-Link switch is a fanless rack mount design with LED diagnostic lights, so you can easily tell which ports are in use. It can automatically adjust power consumption according to the link status to limit the carbon footprint of your network. The price is $69.99 on Amazon. So this fanless Ethernet switch is good for your wallet both because it is inexpensive to buy and because of its energy-saving technology.

TP-Link TL-SG1024 24-Port Gigabit Switch

Figure 4: TP-Link TL-SG1024 24-Port Gigabit Switch(Source: TP-Link)

Comparison of 24-Port Gigabit Switch

Gigabit Switch Mode Ethernet ports Gigabit SFP SFP+ Uplink ports Switching Capacity Forwarding Rate Power Consumption Price
FS S3800-24F4S 24 4 combo 4 128Gbps 95Mpps ≤60W(Full-loaded) $449
Cisco SGE2000 24 4 / 48Gbps 35.7Mpps 90W $390
NETGEAR ProSAFE GS724T 24 2 / 48Gbps No Information 29W $219.99
TP-Link TL-SG1024 24 / / 48Gbps 35.7Mpps 13.1W $69.99

From the chart we can see, all the Gigabit switches listed above provide 24 port Ethernet RJ45 ports, only FS S3800-24F4S 24-port Gigabit switch has 4 SFP+ uplink ports. They have some characteristics in common that make them suitable for being used in places like home or small business office. In terms of the power consumption, TP-Link TL-SG1024 and NETGEAR ProSafe GS724T are lower than others, but the huge price spread exists between these two switches because NETGEAR ProSafe GS724T has another two SFP ports for more flexible application. Among these four switches, if you have no limited cost budget, FS S3800-24F4S is a good choice. It has more flexible port combination and higher switching capacity, that is why it may cost a little more than the other three switches. If you need stronger data transferring capability, FS S3800-24F4S is a better choice considering its forwarding rate. On the contrary, TP-Link TL-SG1024 is the best budget choice. If you want a fanless switch, NETGEAR ProSafe GS724T is an inexpensive and reliable choice, but the install program only works on Windows and the secure management is very difficult to be enabled.

Conclusion

When choosing a Gigabit Ethernet switch, the first factor to consider is how many devices need to be networked together. Purchasing a network switch with too few ports and not enough capacity will prove ineffective, and one that is too large can be a waste of money. Generally, small offices with a few employees should start with a 16-port switch, but a business that is looking to expand its operations soon needs a 24-port switch. So 24-port Gigabit switch is the most future-proofing and cost-effective choice in small business network. Except the above mentioned S3800-24F4S, FS.COM also provides other three cost-effective 24-port switch for different demands.

FS.COM 24-port Gigabit Switches Mode Description
S2800-24T4F Fanless Gigabit managed switch with 24 100/1000BASE-T ports and 4 combo SFP slots
S3700-24T4S Gigabit managed switch with 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports and 4 10GE SFP+ uplinks ports
S3800-24T4S Gigabit stackable managed switch with 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports and 4 10GE SFP+ uplinks ports

Related Article: 48-Port 10GE Switch Selection: What Is the Right Choice?