Which 10G SFP+ Optics Are Compatible with Intel X520 Adapter?

The escalating deployments of servers with multi-core processors and demanding applications are driving the need for 10 Gbps connections. Intel X520 10 GbE Adapter is the most flexible and scalable Ethernet adapters for today’s demanding data center environments. At the same time, 10G SFP+ optics play the most important role for its 10G connectivity. But seriously, do you know which 10G SFP+ optics are compatible with the Intel Ethernet converged network adapter X520 series? This blog will give you solutions.

Intel X520 Adapter

Intel X520 adapter is powered by reliable and proven 10G Ethernet technology, which offers high performance for high-IO intensive applications and showcase the next generation in 10 GbE networking features for the enterprise network and data center. It is designed for multi-core processors, which supports for technologies such as multiple queues, receive-side scaling, multiple MSI-X vectors and Low Latency Interrupts. It addresses the demanding needs of the next-generation data center by running mission-critical applications in virtualized and unified storage environments. In a multicore platform, the Intel X520 adapter supports Intel I/O Virtualization Technology (IOVT), which helps accelerate data across the platform, therefore improving application response times. For virtualized environments, it offers advanced features with VMDq (Virtual Machine Device Queues) that lower processor utilization and increase I/O performance.

Intel X520 Dual Port 10GbE SFP+ Adapter

Figure 1. Intel X520 Dual Port 10GbE SFP+ Adapter

The Intel X520 adapter provides SFP+ based connectivity options (fiber or DAC cabling). Intel X520 adapters are provided with 7 models: X520-QDA1, X520-DA2, X520-SR1, X520-SR2, X520-DA1OCP, X520-DA2OCP and X520-LR1. X520-SR1 is shipped with 1 SR SFP+ Optic,  X520-SR2 has dual-port and is shipped with 2 SR SFP+ Optics, X520-LR1 has single-port and is shipped with 1 LR SFP+ Optic, and X520-DA2 has dual-port and does not ship with any optics or cables, which is the most suitable one for 10G SFP+ Optics and the most popular one on the market. The following table lists the detailed information of Intel X520 adapter series in Table 1.

Intel X520 Adapter Product Code Connector and Cable Cable Type Ports
X520-QDA1 QSFP+ direct attach copper (4x10GbE mode) QSFP+ direct attached twinaxial cabling up to 10m Single port
X520-SR1 Fiber optic MMF up to 300 m Single port
X520-SR2 Fiber optic MMF up to 300 m Dual port
X520-DA2 SFP+ direct attach copper SFP+ direct attached twinaxial cabling up to 10 m Dual port
X520- LR1 Fiber optic SMF up to 10 km Single port
X520-DA1OCP SFP+ direct attach copper SFP+ direct attached twinaxial cabling up to 10 m Single port
X520-DA2OCP Copper SFP+ direct attached twinaxial cabling up to 10 m Dual port

Table 1: Intel X520 Series Adapters

10G SFP+ Optics for Intel X520 Adapter

A 10 Gigabit Ethernet network is essential for businesses that demand high bandwidth for virtualization and fast backup and restore for an ever-growing amount of data. To ensure maximum flexibility, Intel X520 adapters supports the ability to mix any combination of the SFP+ optical modules, direct attach copper cables or 1000BASE-T SFP modules. Besides, 10G SFP+ Optics are available in both short range (SR) 850 nm and long range (LR) 1310 nm options. This enables customers to create the configuration that meets the needs of their data center environment.

10G SFP+ Optical Modules

Intel Ethernet SFP+ SR optics and Intel Ethernet SFP+ LR optics are the only 10 Gbps optical modules supported. Other brands of SFP+ modules are not allowed and can’t be used with the X520 adapters. The following table lists the supported 10Gb Ethernet SFP+ optical transceivers for Intel X520 adapters in Table 2. (Note: Other brands of SFP+ optical modules will not work with the Intel Ethernet Server Adapter X520 Series.)

10G SFP+ Optical Modules
Name Intel Product Code (MFG PART#) FS P/N Type
Intel 10G SFP+ SR Optical module E10GSFPSR SFP-10GSR-85 Dual Rate 10GBASE-SR/1000BASE-SX
Intel 10G SFP+ LR Optical module E10GSFPLR SFP-10GLR-31 Dual Rate 10GBASE-LR/1000BASE-LX

Table 2: 10G SFP+ Optical Transceivers for Intel X520 Adapters

1000BASE-T SFP Modules

Some 1000BASE-LX and 1000BASE-SX modules can work with Intel Ethernet Converged Network Adapter X520 series. These modules referred to only highlight specifications and compatibility with Intel Ethernet server adapter X520 series. The table lists tested modules in Table 3. Other similar modules may work but have not been tested (many similar modules can be purchased in FS.COM). Remind you to use your own discretion and diligence to purchase modules with suggested specifications from any third party.

1000BASE-T SFP Modules
Name Intel Product Code (MFG PART#) FS P/N Type
Avago Gigabit Ethernet Module ABCU-5710RZ SFP-GB-GE-T 1000BASE-SX
Intel Gigabit Ethernet Module TXN22120 SFP1G-LX-31 1000BASE-LX

Table 3: 1000BASE-T SFP Modules for Intel X520 Adapters

10G SFP+ Direct Attach Copper Cables (10G SFP+Cu)

A direct attach twinaxial cable is a 2-pair shielded copper cabling terminated with SFP+ electrical modules. Intel X520 Adapters require that any SFP+ passive or active limiting direct attach copper cable should comply with the SFF-8431 v4.1 and SFF-8472 v10.4 specifications. SFF-8472 Identifier must have value 03h (You can verify the value with the cable manufacturer). Maximum cable length for passive cables is 7 meters. Support for active cables requires Intel Network Connections software version 15.3 or later. The following table lists the fully compatible 10Gb DAC cables for Intel Ethernet server adapter X520 series in Table 4.

10G SFP+ DAC Cables
Name Product Code (MFG PART#) FS P/N Type
Intel Ethernet SFP+ Twinaxial Cable, 1 meter XDACBL1M SFP-10G-DAC 10G SFP+ Passive Direct Attach Copper Twinax Cable
Intel Ethernet SFP+ Twinaxial Cable, 3 meter XDACBL3M SFP-10G-DAC 10G SFP+ Passive Direct Attach Copper Twinax Cable
Intel Ethernet SFP+ Twinaxial Cable, 5 meter XDACBL5M SFP-10G-DAC 10G SFP+ Passive Direct Attach Copper Twinax Cable

Table 4: 10G DAC cables for Intel X520 Adapters

QSFP+ Breakout Cables

The new QSFP+ single-port X520-QDA1 can connect the server to the latest 40GbE switches with a single cable operating in 4x10GbE mode. This adapter can also utilize existing 10GbE SFP+ switches using the QSFP+ to 4xSFP+ breakout cable. The QSFP+ adapter supports direct attach copper cables and Intel Ethernet QSFP+ SR optical transceivers. Intel Ethernet QSFP+ breakout cables have one QSFP+ connector on one end and break out into four SFP+ connectors on the other end for direct attachment to SFP+ cages. The following table lists the Intel Ethernet QSFP+ breakout cables for Intel adapter X520-QDA1 in Table 5.

Intel Ethernet QSFP+ Breakout Cables for Intel Adapter X520-QDA1
Name Product Code (MFG PART#) FS P/N
Intel Ethernet QSFP+ breakout cable, 1 meter QSFP-4SFP10G-CU1M QSFP-4SFP10G-DAC
Intel Ethernet QSFP+ breakout cable, 3 meter QSFP-4SFP10G-CU3M QSFP-4SFP10G-DAC
Intel Ethernet QSFP+ breakout cable, 5 meter QSFP-4SFP10G-CU5M QSFP-4SFP10G-DAC

Table 5: QSFP+ Breakout Cables for Intel Adapter X520-QDA1

Summary

From what we have discussed, 10G SFP+optics are determined to the data transmission of Intel X520 adapters. SFP+ SR Optics, SFP+ LR optics, 1000BASE-T SFP modules, 10G SFP+ direct attach copper cables and QSFP+ breakout cables are available stock in FS.COM. All SFP+ cables are 100% tested to ensure the compatible and quality. Welcome to visit www.fs.com.

Consider Two Things Before Deploying 10 Gigabit Ethernet

Over the years, Ethernet technologies have evolved rapidly and amazingly to meet the never-ceasing requirements of higher bandwidth and faster data transmission speeds for high quality network applications, such as live video and video download with high resolution. Through this great evolution, Ethernet technology standards have been designed, like 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE).

After IEEE Standard 802.3ae- 2002 for 10GbE was ratified several years ago, some enterprises have begun to deploy 10GbE in their data centers to support bandwidth-needing applications. Before deploying 10GbE, as matter of fact, there are many things that should attract your attention. Here this article lists two important things you need to consider for a reliable 10GbE deployment: 10GbE cabling choices, and 10GbE transceiver types.

10GbE Cabling Choices

Along with the technological revolution, cables used for transmission also experienced progressive development. There are two physical media available for 10GbE transmission: fiber and copper.

10GbE Fiber Cabling Choices

Fiber cables fall on two classifications: single-mode fiber (SMF) and multi-mode fiber (MMF). In SMF, there is only one path for light, while in MMF light flow through multiple paths. SMF is intended for long distance communication and MMF is used for distances of less than 300 m. Commonly used 10GbE ports designed for SMF are 10GBASE-LR, 10GBASE-ER and 10GBASE-ZR, and the ports specified for MMF are 10GBASE-SR and 10GBASE-LRM. It’s of great importance to choose these ports 10GbE transmission when link lengths matter. For example, you can choose a J9150A transceiver when the required distance is less than 300m. In a word, the form factor options depend on your link lengths.

10GbE Copper Cabling Choices

As the structured cabling techniques become mature, copper cabling technology also grasps the chance to develop itself. And more and more people start to choose copper cables as the medium for 10GbE transmission. 10GBASE-T and SFP+ direct attach cables (DAC) standards symbolize copper applications.

10GBASE-T, or IEEE 802.3an-2006, is a standard released in 2006 to provide 10Gbit/s connections over unshielded or shielded twisted pair cables, over distances up to 100 metres (330 ft). It requires the Cat 7 or Cat 6A to reach 100 meters, but can still work on Cat 6, Cat 5E, or even Cat 5 cable when reduced distances are required.

SFP+ DAC is the latest standard for optical transceivers, and it connects directly into an SFP+ housing. In SFP+ DAC cabling assembly, no optical transceiver is used at each end. A cable was invented with each end physically resembling a SFP+ transceiver, but with none of the expensive electronic components. This creation is known as DAC. Actually, besides 10GbE applications, DAC is also considered as a cost-effective solution to replace fiber patch cables sometimes in 40GbE systems. Like QSFP-H40G-ACU10M, this Cisco 40G cabling product is the QSFP to QSFP direct attach passive copper cable assembly designed for 40G links.

QSFP-H40G-ACU10M ,QSFP to QSFP direct attach passive copper cable assembly

10GbE Transceiver Types

After choosing cables, you need to select devices that connect these cables to your networks. These devices are transceivers. 10GbE has four transceiver types: XENPAK (and related X2 and XPAK), GBIC, SFP and SFP+.

XENPAK is a Multisource Agreement (MSA) that defines a fiber-optic or wired transceiver module which conforms to the 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) standard of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.3 working group.

X2 defines a smaller form-factor 10 Gb/s pluggable fiber optic transceiver optimized for 802.3ae Ethernet,ANSI/ITUT OC192/STM- 64 SONET/SDH interfaces,ITUT G.709,OIF OC192 VSR,INCITS/ANSI 10GFC (10 Gigabit Fibre Channel) and other 10 Gigabit applications.X2 is initially centered on optical links to 10 kilometers and is ideally suited for Ethernet,Fibre Channel and telecom switches and standard PCI (peripheral component interconnect) based server and storage connections. X2 is physically smaller than XENPAK but maintains the mature electrical I/O specification based on the XENPAK MSA and continues to provide robust thermal performance and electromagnetic shielding. The 10GB X2 fiber optic transceivers series include X2-10GB-SR, X2-10GB-LR, X2-10GB-ER and X2-10GB-ZR, they are designed based on the X2 MSA and IEEE802.3ae. They’re created for the integrated systems solution provide, fiber optics distributor along with other IT distributors.

SFP+, also called SFP Plus, is short for enhanced small form-factor pluggable, an enhanced version of the SFP that supports data rates up to 16Gbit/s. SFP+ 10GbE transceiver series include SFP+ 10GBASE-SR, SFP+ 10GBASE-LR, SFP+ 10GBASE-ER, and so on. Among these types, 10GBASE-SR is widely used when the required distance is less than 500m. Say SFP-10G-SR, this Cisco 10GBASE-SR SFP+ transceiver listed in Fiberstore is designed to support 10GbE applications with the maximum distance reach of 300m.

Conclusioni

After discussion, maybe you have obtained a better understanding of 10GbE cables and transceivers, which helps you to better choose the right devices for your 10GbE applications. Fiberstore supplies various numbers of 10GbE cables and transceivers which are quality assured. For more information about 10GbE solutions, you can visit Fiberstore directly.