10GbE Cables In Network Cabling

There are two basic cable types available for 10GbE applications: copper and fiber-optic cables. As interface speeds increase, expect increased usage of fiber optic cables and connectors for most interfaces. At higher Gigabit speeds (10Gb+), copper cables and interconnects generally have too much amplitude loss except for short distances, such as within a rack or to a nearby rack. This amplitude loss is sometimes called a poor signal-to-noise ratio or simply “too noisy”

Fiber-optic cables

There are two general types of fiber optic cables available: single-mode fiber and multi-mode fiber.

* Single-mode fiber (SMF)—typically with an optical core of approximately 9 μm (microns), has lower modal dispersion than multi-mode fiber and can support distances of at least 10 Km and as high as 80-100 Km (Kilometers) or more, depending on transmission speed, transceivers and the buffer credits allocated in the switches.

* Multi-mode fiber (MMF)—with optical core of either 50 μm or 62.5 μm, supports distances up to 600 meters, depending on transmission speeds and transceivers. Meter-for-meter, single-mode and multi-mode cables are similarly priced. However, some of the other components used in single-mode links are more expensive than their multi-mode equivalents.

Meter-for-meter, single-mode and multi-mode cables are similarly priced. However, some of the other components used in single-mode links are more expensive than their multi-mode equivalents.

When planning data center cabling requirements, be sure to consider that a service life of 15 to 20 years can be expected for fiber optic cabling, so the choices made today need to support legacy, current and emerging data rates. Also note that deploying large amounts of new cable in a data center can be labor- intensive, especially in existing environments.

There are different designations for fiber-optic cables depending on the bandwidth supported.

* Multi-mode: OM1, OM2, OM3, OM4
* Single-mode: OS1

OM3 and OM4 are newer multi-mode cables that are “laser optimized” (LOMMF) and support 10GbE applications. OM3 and OM4 fiber optic cable are also the only multi-mode fibers included in the IEEE 802.3ba 40G/100G Ethernet standard that was ratified in June 2010. The 40G and 100G speeds are currently achieved by bundling multiple channels together in parallel with special multichannel (or multi-lane) connector types. This standard defines an expected operating range of up to 100m for OM3 and up to 150m for OM4 for 40GbE and 100GbE. These are estimates of distance only and supported distances may differ when 40GbE and 100GbE products become available in the coming years. See the Connector Types section below for additional detail.

Newer multi-mode OM2, OM3 and OM4 (50 μm) and singlemode OS1 (9 μm) fiber-optic cables have been introduced that can handle tight corners and turns. These are known as “bend optimized,” “bend insensitive,” or have “enhanced bend performance.” These fiber-optic cables can have a very small turn or bend radius with minimal signal loss or “bending loss.” The term “bend optimized” multi-mode fiber (BOMMF) is sometimes used. OS1 single-mode fiber optics are used for long distances, up to 10,000m (6.2 miles) with the standard transceivers and have been known to work at much longer distances with special transceivers and switching infrastructure. Each of the multi-mode and single-mode fiber optic cable types includes two wavelengths. The higher wavelengths are used for longer-distance connections.

Indoor vs. outdoor cabling

Indoor Cable is  suitable for indoor building applications. Outdoor cables, also known as outside plant or OSP,are suitable for outdoor applications and are water (liquid and frozen) and ultra-violet resistant. Indoor/outdoor cables provide the protections of outdoor cables with a fire-retardant jacket that allows deployment of these cables inside the building entrance beyond the OSP maximum distance, which can reduce the number of transition splices and connections needed.

Fiberstore offers an extensive line of off the shelf bulk fiber optic cable to address your fiber installation needs. We stock 62.5/125, 50/125, and 9/125 bulk fiber optic cable in simplex, duplex (zip cord), breakout, and distribution styles.