Wednesday, August 16, 2017

100G CFP Transceiver – Ultra High Speed Transmission Solution

During the past few years, 40G technology has dominated telecommunications. But now, with the introduction of the 100G technology, everyone is talking about 100 Gbps as the next generation. Whether willing or not, IT managers and data center designers have to consider migrate their network to 100 Gbps in the near future. And CFP is designed to fulfil the deployment of 100G network for companies and enterprises.
Brief Introduction to 100G CFP Optics
CFP transceiver was designed after SFP transceiver interface, but it supports much larger internet speed, which is realized by using 10×10Gbit/s in each direction (RX, TX). Here the C stands for 100 in Roman numerals (centum). We can infer from the name that CFP is introduced to serve as optical transceiver for 100G interfaces. Since the electrical connection of the CFP uses 10×10Gbit/s lanes in every direction, the optical connection can support both 10×10Gbit/s and 4×25Gbit/s variants of 100Gbit/s interconnects (typically known as 100GBASE-LR10 and 100GBASE-LR4 in 10km SMF reach, and 100GBASE-ER10 and 100GBASE-ER4 in 40km SMF reach, and 100GBASE-SR10 in 100 meter MMF reach respectively.)
100G CFP optics
Different Types of 100G CFP
There are several CFP types to be introduced—CFP, CFP2 and CFP4. CFP2 and CFP4 are the upgraded generation of CFP. Among them, the size of CFP is the largest. CFP2 is half the size of CFP while CFP4 is the half size of CFP2. And the features of the three different types have been summarized in the following texts. One thing that needs to be noted is that although they are not interchangeable, but could be interoperable at the optical interface with appropriate connectors.
100G CFP
Features and Benefits of CFP:
  • Supports 40G and 100G Ethernet CFP optical transceivers
  • Capable of side by side mounting as well as “belly to belly” mounting
  • Provides full EMI shielding
  • Uses a universal rail for both left and right positions
  • Allows integration of host PCB to host bezel (face plate) by either of two methods for manufacturing flexibility.
Features and Benefits of CFP2 and CFP4:
  • Up to 28 Gbps per lane – 2.8 times faster than current CFP products
  • High density, 0.6mm contact pitch
  • Provides one of the industry’s leading Signal Integrity (SI) performance for 28 Gbps per lane
  • Features a ruggedized cage construction for a more robust solution to help mitigate cage warping
  • Flexible design options to address your needs including ganged cages, heat sinks, single-sided and belly-to-belly mounting styles, light-pipes, and the capability to support mid- to long-reach applications
FS 100G CFP Solution
As one of the leading providers in optical communication , FS provides customers with transceivers that are manufactured at the highest quality of standards in the industry. All the CFP transceivers mentioned above, including both CFP2 and CFP4, are available in our website. And every transceiver is individually tested on corresponding equipment such as Cisco, Arista, Juniper, Dell, Brocade and other brands, and passed the monitoring of our intelligent quality control system. Also, all the products in FS are fully warranted against defects in material and workmanship with a lifetime guarantee.
Conclusion
2017 has witnessed the prosperity of the telecommunication market. Many research company predicts that the market of 2018 for telecommunication field will continue to thrive. With such a bright future, fiber optics market attracts a wide attention and many vendors want a piece of the pie. At present, 40G is ubiquitous in the data center and 100G is accelerating. As for the optical transceiver, it has been developed in the past decades to adapt to the high-speed requirement from 1G to 40G even to 100G. Believe it or not, 100G is on the way. Don’t wait to get fully prepared for the upcoming 100G era with CFP transceivers.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

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

OM5 multimode fiber, as the advanced version of the old OM4 fiber, is thought to be the future of multimode cabling. It is the Wideband multimode fiber (WBMMF) that can support wavelengths between 850nm and 953nm. It is also designed to support the short wavelength division multiplexing (SWDM)—one of the new technology for 40G/100G connection. However, will it be the ideal transmission medium for 40GbE/100GbE cabling solution?
How OM5 Fiber Developed
Over the past thirty years, multimode fiber has been evolved from OM1 to OM5 multimode fiber. OM1 and OM2 fiber, released at the end of 20th century, are the legacy 125µm multimode fiber that are working fine in 10Mb/s, 100Mb/s and 1000Mb/s cabling solution. However, with the high speed data rate like 10Gb/s, 40Gb/s, 100Gb/s and beyond coming into our life, multimode cabling (OM1 and OM2 ) with LEDs can not meet the requirement. The laser-optimized OM3 and OM4 has been developed subsequently. OM4 fiber cable, with the internal construction, possess higher modal bandwidth than OM3 fiber, which is commonly used fiber medium for 40G/100G connection.
OM1-OM5 fiber
But there is a problem. In a 40G layout, fiber optic technicians have to use one MTP fiber and 4 OM4 duplex fibers (total 8 fibers), which is obvious not preferable for high-density cabling networks. So here comes the OM5 fiber. By utilizing SWDM technology, it can greatly reduce fiber count into 2 fibers (4×10G) in 40G networks, 2 fibers (4×25G) in 100G links. OM5 is the lime green multimode fiber, displayed as follows.
OM5 Fiber
OM5 Fiber for 40G/100G SWDM4 Cabling Solution
Reduce fiber count for 40G/100G connection—OM5 fiber as the advanced version of OM3/OM4 fiber, is backward compatible with OM3 and OM4 fiber cabling. And with the SWDM technology, this fiber can only use two OM5 fibers and 40/100G SWDM4 transceivers in 40G and 100G SWDM4 cabling.
Longer-transmission distance—OM5 is designed and specified to support at least four WDM channels at a minimum speed of 28Gbps per channel through the 850-953 window. Compared to OM4 fiber cable, it is specified only to work at the 850 nm window. OM5 multimode fiber delivers higher value to network owners for distances up to 440m (for data rates up to 40Gbps), and allows for smooth migration to 400Gbps for distances up to 150m. While OM4 fiber cover the distance of 350m, 100m over 40G/100G respectively.
Easy management & installation—in 40G/100G network, multimode connectivity together with MTP/MPO systems makes for a more user-friendly solution for data centers as well as building and campus backbones, especially in cable installation, troubleshooting, cleaning, and overall maintenance.
FS OM5 Cable Solution
FS offer Lime green OM5 fibers. All our OM5 fiber cables are guaranteed by End Face Geometry Test, Continuity Test, and 3D interferometry Test to be high quality. Available in LC, SC, FC, ST, etc. Connectors, and the cable length of OM5 fiber can be provided from less than 1 meter to more than 100 meters, which will well meet the needs for 400m transmission of 40G SWDM4 QSFP+ module and 100m transmission of 100G SWDM4 QSFP28 module, as well as the links on the same rack or row.
fiber optic cable
Not only the OM1/OM2/OM3/OM4/OM5 multimode fibers are provided at FS.COM, but fiber optic cables like singlemode fibers (OS1/OS2) , Twinax copper cables are also offered. For more information about the cost-effective fiber patch cables, Please feel free to contact us via www.fs.com.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Ubiquiti Unifi Switches Vs Cisco Catalyst 2960, Which One Should I Choose?

Recently, the hot debate between Cisco and Ubiquiti Unifi switches has aroused much attention. Data center managers reckon that Cisco catalyst series switch is undoubtedly the ideal choice than UBNT Unifi switches. While small enterprises have to choose the much cheaper Unifi switches. In the ideal world, they’d love to go with Cisco catalyst 2960, but with a limited budget, they can do nothing about it. So basically, this article will help you look for the best options between Cisco Catalyst 2960 and Unifi switches.
Takes a Big Leap With Cisco Catalyst 2960
Cisco Catalyst 2960 series switches are the layer 2/layer 3 edges, providing 10 and 1 Gigabit Ethernet uplink flexibility, Power over Ethernet Plus(PoE+) access connectivity for enterprise, midmarket and brand office networks. There are Catalyst 2960-S and 2960-X series switches.
Cisco 2960-S is the previous layer 2 access switch with the switching capacity of 176Gbps, 2 20G or 4 1G uplinks and PoE/PoE+ up to 740W.
Cisco 2960-X/2960-XR switches provides the convenience with layer 2 and layer 3 in a single switch with switching capacity of 216Gbps.
WS-C2960S-24PS-L
Figure 1 shows Cisco WS-C2960S-24PS-L  switches and its features.
FS.COM also offers compatible Cisco 2960 SFP modules, which are 100% tested assured. You don’t need to worry about the our Cisco 2960 x SFP compatibility.
The Benefits of Deploying Catalyst 2960 Switches
  • Scale/Performance
Cisco 2960 series supports gigabit access growth for wired and wireless/802.11ac, and more traffic through IP address scalability. And with PoE/PoE+ capacity, Cisco 2960 can be easily and rapidly deployed in many IP endpoints.
  • Efficient Switch Operation
Cisco Catalyst 2960 series switches provide optimum power savings, low power operations for industry best-in-class power management, and power consumption capabilities. The Catalyst 2960 ports are capable of reduced power modes so that ports not in use can move into a lower power utilization state. In all, Cisco Catalyst switches reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase energy cost savings and sustainable business behavior.
  • Sustainability
Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series Switches include the following features sets: Cisco EnergyWise technology, efficient switch operation, intelligent power management. Cisco Catalyst switching solutions enable greener practices through measurable power efficiency, integrated services, and continuous innovations such as Cisco EnergyWise, an enterprise wide solution that monitors and conserves energy with customized policies.
Get Big Saving on Ubiquiti Unifi Switches
Unifi Switches is fully managed Gigabit switch, delivering robust performance and intelligent switching for your growing networks. The most popular model of this Unifi Switches is US-24, US-48. According to Ubiquiti networks, Unifi switches have the four following features.
US-24-150W Unifi Switches
Figure 2 shows the Uniquiti Unifi US-24-250W port analyst.
    • Multi-Site Management
A single instance of the UniFi Controller running in the cloud can manage multiple UniFi sites within a centralized interface. Each site is logically separated and has its own network monitoring, configuration, maps, statistics, and admin accounts.
    • Optical Fiber Backhaul
Two SFP ports support uplinks of up to 1 Gbps. For high-capacity uplinks, each 48-port model includes two SFP+ ports for uplinks of up to 10 Gbps.
    • Non-Blocking Throughput
For its total, non‐blocking throughput, the 24‐port model supports up to 26 Gbps, while the 48-port model supports up to 70 Gbps.
    • Switching Capacity
The UniFi Switch offers the forwarding capacity to simultaneously process traffic on all ports at line rate without any packet loss.
What Features Does Cisco Switches Have That Are not Addressed by Ubiquiti?
Cisco—Solid brand and construction
    • Solid software packages
    • Very ala Carte on their service and components.
    • Requires Prior knowledge of Cisco Networking. And configuration help from Cisco.
    • Most will feed a good sized area but you have to configure for overlap.
    • the controller is a small rack mount box and should be in your data center.
    • Simple management
Ciisco APICEM
Figure 3 shows the network plug-n-play with Cisco APIC-EM.
What Are the Tempting Points of Unifi Switches, Except Costs?
Ubiquiti—Good Brand and construction
    • Good software and easy to understand
    • No extra fees other than buying equipment
    • If you can program a home router you can set this unit up and the guest network with ease.
    • The controller is software based and easy to install and move should the original crap out or need to be reworked.
    • You can feed a good size office off of 2 of the Long-Range APs. the controller will handle the overlap for you.
How to Make a Choice Between Ubiquiti and Cisco Switches?
Cost: Price is the biggest incentive in most of the case. A general quote for ubiquiti and Cisco, the Cisco is typically 3 times the cost of ubiquiti. Considering the cost differences between Unifi and Cisco catalyst switches, what makes Cisco so pricey. According to many fiber optic technicians, the ubiquiti system will give them 99% uptime while the Cisco system will give them 99.99% uptime.
Performance: Except the budget, another thing to add into the account is going to be bugs in the code/hardware failures. Within the telecommunication industry, you are not going to find much better, as far as stability is concerned, than Cisco.
Support: With Cisco, you will get some of the best support in the industry. Ubiquiti Unifi switches are quite easy to install and manage. Their controllers are software based, which are quite easy to work with.
Together, If your require a more secure, more robust solution to meet your enterprise and complexity needs, then Cisco is your best option. If you are small to medium sized company and are not trying to create a holo projection of the wheel at every desk. Ubiquiti will be a great fit and should more than meet your needs.
Recommended Information
FS.COM 1/10G Enterprise switches supports layer 2 switching capacity featuring Cumulus Linux, Intel Processor, Broadcom Chips, and 176Gbps switching capacity.
FS.COM S2800 LAN access switch
Figure 4 shows the S2800 (24*100/1000Base-T+4*GE Combo) switches.
Conclusion
Although there is exact answer to this question, I Insist that you ask several questions inner your mind before taking the next leap.
Q1: Is what case would you absolutely need Cisco and Ubiquiti wouldn't do the job?
Q2: What features does Cisco products have that are not addressed by Ubiquiti?
Q3: Is this the best solution for me? Can I use other branded switches like FS.COM?
If you have any comment about this topic, please leave your notes with us.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Four Basic Elements in a WDM System

We know that fiber can carry more data over long distances than any other physical medium. That makes fiber a very precious material. And how to make the most use of your fiber plant becomes a question. So there comes Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM).
DWDM MUX
Why Should We Deploy WDM ?
WDM can multiply your fiber capacity by creating virtual fibers. The foundation of WDM lies in the ability to send different data types over fiber networks in the form of light. By allowing different light channels, each with a unique wavelength, to be sent simultaneously over an optical fiber network, a single virtual fiber network is created. Instead of using multiple fibers for each and every service, a single fiber can be shared for several services. In this way WDM increases the bandwidth and maximizes the usefulness of fiber. Since fiber rental or purchase accounts for a large share of networking costs, substantial costs can be saved through the application of WDM. Next I will introduce to you the basic four elements in the form of a WDM system.
The Core Technology of WDM System
Generally speaking, a WDM system consists of four elements, that are transceiver, multiplexer, patch cord and dark fiber. The following text will explain them to you respectively.
optical multiplexer
  • Fiber Optic Transceivers. Optical transceivers are wavelength-specific lasers that convert data signals from SAN or WAN to optical signals that can be transmitted into the fiber. Each data stream is converted into a signal with a light wavelength that is an unique color. Due to the physical properties of light, channels cannot interfere with each other. Therefore, all WDM wavelengths are independent. Creating virtual fiber channels in this way can reduce the number of fibers required. It also allows new channels to be connected as needed, without disrupting the existing traffic services.
  • Optical Multiplexers. The WDM multiplexer, sometimes referred to as the Mux, is the key to optimizing, or maximizing, the use of the fiber. The multiplexer is at the heart of the operation, gathering all the data streams together to be transported simultaneously over a single fiber. At the other end of the fiber the streams are demultiplexed and separated into different channels again.
  • Patch cord. The transceiver transmits the high-speed data protocols on narrow band wavelengths while the multiplexer is at the heart of the operation. The patch cable is the glue that joins these two key elements together. LC fiber patch cables are popular, which connect the output of the transceiver to the input on the multiplexer.
  • Dark fiber. A requisite for any WDM solution is access to a dark fiber network. The most common way of transporting optical traffic over an architecture is by using a fiber pair. One of the fibers is used for transmitting the data and the other is used for receiving the data. This allows the maximum amount of traffic to be transported. At times only a single fiber is available. Because different light colors travel on different wavelengths, a WDM system can be built regardless. One wavelength is used to send data and a second one to receive it.
Conclusion
WDM has revolutionized the cost of network transport. Thanks to WDM, fiber networks can carry multiple Terabits of data per second over thousands of kilometers with a low cost that is unimaginable less than a decade ago. At FS, we offer a comprehensive portfolio of WDM transmission modules to support the network applications of enterprise and service provider customers. For more details, please visit www.fs.com.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

OM5 WB MMF Vs 50 µm Laser Optimized OM4 Vs Single-Mode Fiber Cables

Network speeds like 40G and 100G Ethernet have already become the mainstream in data centers, and the industry is still working collaboratively on the next-generation development for higher density and faster speed. Multimode fibers, for example, are treated as the cost-effective solutions for short-reach optical interconnects. OM5 fiber, certificated in 2016, is know as the wide band multimode fiber (WBMMF) designed to carry signals over short wavelength (850nm to 950nm). Many enterprise IT and data center managers nowadays are adopting single-mode fiber system or OM4 cabling in the network infrastructure. Will OM5 MMF be a good alternative for 40G/100G network system? This article will provide the detailed information about OM5 fibers, and make a clear comparison between OM5, OM4 MMF and single-mode fiber cables.
OM5 fiber
Is OM5 WB MMF Fiber A Good Solution for Data Centers?
No exact answer can be provided here as OM5 MMF is still a new product in 2017.
OM5 MMF fiber has the same geometry as OM4: 50 µm of core size and 125 µm of cladding, which make it fully compatible and intermateable with OM3 and OM4 cabling. OM5 fiber specifies a wider range of wavelengths between 850 nm and 953 nm. The additional specifications of effective modal bandwidth and attenuation at 953 nm is identical to specification of OM4.
It was created to support Shortwave Wavelength Division Multiplexing (SWDM), which is one of the new technologies being developed for transmitting 40 Gb/s, 100 Gb/s, and beyond. With the use of SWDM technology, it is desirable to reduce parallel fiber count by at least a factor of four to allow continued use of just two fibers (rather than eight) for transmitting 40 Gb/s and 100 Gb/s and reduced fiber counts for higher speeds.
OM5 MMF Vs OM4
The 40/100GbE expected maximum operational distances of OM5 fiber is displayed in the above table. OM5 fiber can support longer distance of 440m for 40G SWDM, and 150m for 100G SWDM system.
How Does OM5 Differ From 50 µm Laser Optimized OM4 Fiber?
Wavelength—OM5 WB MMF is intended for operation using vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) transceivers across the 846 to 953 nm wavelength range, while OM3 and OM4 50 micron laser optimized multimode fiber, whose bandwidth diminishes rapidly above the 850 nm operating wavelength.
OM5_WideBand_Multimode_Fiber_Bandwidth_Comparison
Effective Modal Bandwidth (EMB)—the best system performance is achieved by a combination of low chromatic dispersion and high EMB. OM5 EMB values are specified as following at both 850 and 953 nm.
• EMB>4700 MHz.km at 850 nm
• EMB>2470 MHz.km at 953 nm
However, the OM3/OM4 EMB values are 2000/4700 MHz·km at 850nm. We can see that the OM5 EMB is lower at 953nm compared to 850nm.
More capacity—OM5 is designed and specified to support at least four WDM channels at a minimum speed of 28Gbps per channel through the 850-953 window. Compared to OM4, it is specified only to work at the 850 nm window.
Even though signals illuminating at wavelengths greater than 850 nm will be transmitted by OM3 and OM4, the absence of specification and test data outside the 850 nm window makes it difficult to predict and model the performance of short wavelength-based WDM systems. In conclusion, OM5 is specifically designed to carry at least four channels between 850 nm and 953 nm, and guarantees that capacity increases four times.
• OM5 carries at least 4X more capacity than OM4 over a meter of fiber.
• OM5 carries 5.7X more capacity than OM3 over a meter of fiber.
• OM4 only carries 1.4X more capacity than OM3 over a meter of fiber.
Why Should I Consider OM5 Over Single-mode Fiber?
Cost-effective solution—even thought the costs of single-mode transceivers have declined considerably over the past few years, the delta relative to multimode remains approximately 50%. OM5 MMF fiber allows for more cost-effective migration to transmission speeds up to 400Gbps utilizing lower-cost optics as opposed to single-mode fiber.
Easy management & installation—in 40G/100G network, multimode connectivity together with MTP/MPO systems makes for a more user-friendly solution for data centers as well as building and campus backbones, especially in cable installation, troubleshooting, cleaning, and overall maintenance.
Seamless Migration to 400Gbps—OM5 multimode fiber delivers higher value to network owners for distances up to 500m (for data rates up to 40Gbps), and allows for smooth migration to 400Gbps for distances up to 150m. For distances beyond 500m, single-mode fiber is recommended.
Conclusion
OM5 MMF fiber has a long way to go even though it is being presented as a potential next-generation option for data centers. So far, I don’t see any tempting reasons to recommend OM5 relative to OM4 cables or single-mode fibers for 40G/100G data centers. But FS.COM will keep you upgraded with the latest development of wide band multimode fibers. For more about our 25G/40G/100G optical solutions, please directly visit our website.

Friday, June 2, 2017

DWDM System Helps Expand the 10GbE Network

Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) network is regarded as the feasible solution to achieve long-distance fiber expansion. DWDM system, with the channel density of 96, has much narrower channel spacing than CWDM system, which allows extremely high utilization of a single fiber strand to pass up to many clients. 10G DWDM SFP+ modules can support a link length of up to 80km. However, the transmission distance of fiber optical network will be affected by factors like date rate, optical signal loss, etc. This article will introduce three instances of how to use DWDM system to extend the transmission distance of 10GbE network.
Basic DWDM Concepts
DWDM uses single-mode fiber to carry multiple light waves of differing frequencies. With the advent of 10G DWDM optics, customers can easily connect up to 80 channels over a single pair of fibers for a maximum distance of 80 km without the need for complicated, bulky and expensive separate DWDM chassis systems. Figure 1 shows the basic working principle of DWDM system.
DWDM solution
On the client side, the DWDM node converts the local connection to a channelized frequency or wavelength, which is then multiplexed with other lambdas and transmitted over a single fiber connection. The Transponder interface in a DWDM node performs the conversion from the client side grey wavelength to a channelized lambda or colored wave.
The colored wave is then transported to an optical Mux/Demux port matching the tuned wavelength. Mux/Demux multiplexes multiple colored wavelengths together onto an aggregated signal over a single fiber. The aggregated signals are next passed into a Reconfigurable Optical Add-Drop Multiplexer (ROADM), which is configured to add specific lambdas from the node to the dark fiber line.
The aggregated signal from the ROADM is then passed on to an amplifier to boost the signal on the outbound connection. The node may also employ a pre-amplifier that boosts an incoming aggregated signal as it comes into the node from another location, prior to passing on to a ROADM to drop or pass signals at that node. This is the ring of DWDM system.
Several 10G DWDM Network Solutions
Different specifications of DWDM have different supporting transmission distances. For example, the theoretical transmission distance of 1G DWDM SFP optical modules can reach 100km, while 10G DWDM SFP+ optical module support theoretically up to 80km, so it is essential to choose a kind of optical module that meets the practical needs. However, in the some cases, we may need to extend the transmission distance of the network without replacing optical module, so that some other devices will be required to ensure the transmission quality of the optical signal. Here we will take the DWDM network of 10G DWDM SFP+ optical module as an example to explain the fact that how to extend transmission distance by increasing devices.
10g 80KM sfp+ dwdm
    • Instance 1: 31km DWDM network
There are two strands of optical signal transmitted between site 1 and site 2, which are operated over C21 and C50 10G DWDM SFP+ transceiver modules separately. The 80km DWDM SFP+ module can support an actual distance of 31 km without increasing other devices, and the data transmission rate can reach to 10Gbps. The light loss of whole solution is 9dB. 40CH DWDM mux/demux is needed for future proofing.
31km DWDM network
  • Instance 2: 57km DWDM network
For longer distance of the DWDM network, OEO is required to transfer all the regular signals into DWDM signals to decrease the risks of fault caused by high power consumption. According to the figure 3, there are two 1G signals and eight 10G signals that are operated on different wavelengths with 80km DWDM modules between site A and site B. The actual linking distance of this layout is 57km with the light loss of 17dB.
57km DWDM neywork
  • Instance 3: 24km + 47km DWDM network
This solution is the backup plan for instance 2. To overcome the light loss, apart from deploying OEO and DWDM MUX/DEMUX, OADM is also necessary to support the same 6 wavelengths added in Site 4 to ensure Link D and Link E to work independently.
71km DWDM network
Conclusion
The three instances above are the actual calculated transmission distance of 10G DWDM networks. The solution seems to be quite easy, but you need to pay attention to the optical loss and the budget of dispersion compensation. Besides the DWDM optics, FS.COM offers a full range of WDM devices including EDFA. OEO, DCM, OLP, VOA, etc. For the detailed information about the above layout, please contact us directly.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Introduction to 10GbE/25GbE/40GbE/100GbE Fiber Optic Cabling

Technology is changing rapidly. Just when you got used to Gigabit Ethernet speeds being a fast & reliable system, someone unveiled 10GbE, 25GbE, 40GbE or even 100GbE systems a few years later. The newer and higher performing iterations are indeed the great breakthrough for telecommunication industry, but also pose difficulty in choosing network migration path—10G to 40G to 100G, or to 25G to 50G to 100G. We have described 10G, 25G, 40G and 100G Ethernet technology before, now in this blog, we’d like to introduce the four fiber optic cabling, and compare two 100G migration paths.
Cost-effective 10GbE Fiber Optic Cabling
10 Gigabit Ethernet technology defined by IEEE 802.3ae-2002 standard, is matured nowadays. Just like the “old” Gigabit Ethernet, 10Gb network can be terminated with either copper or fiber cabling. 1000BASE-T standard usually uses the Cat5e cables as the transmission media, while 10GbE bandwidth requires high grade copper cables like Cat6/Cat6a/Cat7 cables to support 10Gbps data rate. For instance, 10G SFP+ 10GBASE-T transceiver modules utilize Ethernet copper cables (Cat6a/Cat7) for a link length of 30m. SFP+ direct attach cables (DAC) and active optical cables (AOC) are also regarded as the cost-effective solutions for 10G short-reach applications. Besides 10G copper cables, there are single-mode (OS2) and multimode fiber patch cables (OM3/OM4) applied to different 10GbE IEEE standards. For the detailed information about the 10G cabling options, please see the following table.
10G fiber optic cable
As to the 10G fiber optic transceivers, there are a series of optical form factors including the XENPAK, X2, XFP, SFP+. The former three 10GbE optical transceivers were released earlier than smaller 10G form factor—SFP+ module. However, owing to their larger footprint, they are not successful on the 10G hardware market. Furthermore, SFP+ optics, compliant with several IEEE standards (SR, LR, LRM, ER, ZR and 10GBASE-T...) wins the heart of 10G end-users.
Singe-lane Design Makes 25GbE Shine
When 25G Ethernet was developed to support a single-lane 25Gbps standard in 2014, it was treated as the “new” 10GbE technology but delivers 2.5 times more data. Compared to 40GbE that was based on 10GbE, 25GbE with one lane obviously improves the port density and cost requirement. 25GbE network can support both copper and fiber optic cables, seen in the below table.Similar to 10GbE networks, 25G Ethernet physical interface specification supports several 25Gbps capable form factors, including CFP/CFP2/CFP4, SFP28 (1x25 Gbps) and QSFP28 (4x25 Gbps), which is also used for 100GbE. SFP28 25GBASE-SR and 25GBASE-LR SFP28 are two popular 25GbE optical transceiver modules available on the market, the former supports up to 100m link length while the latter allows a maximum transmission distance of 10 km.
25G optical modules
The available optical switches of the market do not support direct 25GbE connections using an SFP28 direct attach copper (DAC) cable. It is recommended to use a breakout cable that allows four 25GbE ports to connect to a 100GbE QFSFP28 switch port. FS.COM SFP28 DAC cable lengths are limited to four meters (1m, 2m, 3m, 5m) for 25GbE. And if you prefer a longer length, the 25GbE active optic cable (AOC) solutions are good recommendations.
25G Optics SFP28TypeMedia/Reach
All 25G SFP28 Ports25GBASE-SR50µm MMF / 70m
25GBASE-LR9µm SMF / 10km
25GBASE-AOCPre-terminated in 3, 5, 7, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30m lengths
OM4 MMF MTP/MPO150m
25G Copper SFP28TypeMedia/Reach
All 25G SFP28 Ports25GBASE-CR Twinax / 'Direct Attach'Pre-terminated in 1m, 2m, 3m, 5m lengths
Fast & Reliable 40GbE Fiber Optic Cabling
Like the 10GbE fiber optic cabling, there are several IEEE standards of 40GbE transceiver in the whole evolution. 40G QSFP+ optical transceivers are the most commonly used optics for 40G network. So how to choose fiber optic cables for 40G optical transceivers? The following table will help you out.
40G modules
Besides the QSFP+ fiber transceivers and fiber optic cables, 40G DAC cables available in QSFP+ DAC cables and AOC cables enable short-reach options. For 40G cabling, QSFP+ to QSFP+ (40G to 40G) and QSFP+ to 4SFP+ (40G to 10G) breakout cables satisfy customers for various fiber types and reach requirements.
100GbE Fiber Optic Cabling For Future Proofing
With the price of 100G optics cutting down in 2017, 100GbE network is no longer out of customers’ reach. Telecom giants like Cisco, Arista, HPE launches series of 100G optical switches to meet the market demand. And for other 100G components like 100G optical transceivers, fiber patch cables, racks & enclosures, etc, those are ubiquitous on the market.
100G optical transceivers including the CFP, CFP2, CFP4, CXP and the most popular 100G QSFP28 optics in IEEE standards provide a great selection to the overall users.For 100G inter-rack connections, QSFP28 to QSF28 Direct Attach Copper (DAC) Cables and Active Optical Cables (AOC) as well as the QSFP28 to SFP28 breakout cables are the cost-effective solutions.
 
Conclusion
This article introduces 10G/40G/100G fiber optic cabling, and make a clear comparison between the two paths to 100GbE. Customers prefer 4×25Gbps for the reasons: Less parallel paths, less fibers, less optics, less everything. For those who want to upgrade from 40G to 100G, appreciate the reliable performance of 40G with the potential to run across 2 parallel 25Ghz rather than 4 required today.