Fiber Optic Components for Building 10G Data Centers

10 Gigabit Ethernet is a telecommunication technology that can support the network speed up to 10 billion bits per second. It’s also known as 10GbE. As 10GbE greatly increases bandwidth, many companies start to upgrade the data centers to meet their growing needs. How to build a 10GbE data center? What kind of equipment will be used except the switch? This article will recommend you some basic 10G solutions.

10G SFP+ Modules

10G SFP+ (small form-factor pluggable plus) modules are hot swappable transceivers that plug into SFP+ slots on switches and support 10G Ethernet. With small form factor, SFP+ transceivers can ensure low power disruption and high port density. Since it’s hot pluggable, the transceiver modules can be added or removed without interrupting the whole network. And SFP+ modules deliver data transmission speed of up to 10Gbit/s, which is 10 times faster than Gigabit Ethernet.

10g-sfp-lr

Currently, a wide variety of SFP+ modules can be purchased in the market. For the long distance transmission, modules include SFP-10GBASE-LR, SFP-10GBASE-ER, SFP-10GBASE-ZR, CWDM SFP+ and DWDM SFP+. For the short distance transmission, there are modules like SFP 10GBASE-SR, SFP-10GBASE-LRM. Brands are also versatile such as Cisco, Juniper, Arista, Brocade, etc. To get modules with lower costs, you can pick third-party transceivers which are compatible with these original brands.

LC Patch Cables

Patch cables contain both fiber and copper types. Fiber patch cords, as one of the data transmission media, enjoy great popularity because they have large transmission capacity, strong anti-electromagnetic interference, high security and fast speed. LC fiber patch cord is one of the most common cables for 10G network connection, covering single-mode and multimode categories respectively for data transmission over long distance and short distance. To increase panel density, flexible HD LC push-pull tab fiber patch cable is designed. With its unique design, this patch cable allows the connector to be disengaged easily from densely loaded panels without the need for special tools and give users easy accessibility in narrow areas for data center deployment applications. Another special LC patch cord is uniboot patch cord. It utilizes a special “round duplex” cable that allows duplex transmission within a single cable. It’s good for saving cable management space comparing to standard patch cords.

lc-apc-dumplex-single-mode

10G SFP+ Direct Attach Cable Assemblies

10G SFP+ direct attach cable (DAC ) is a cost-effective solution for 10G Ethernet. It’s a low-power alternative to optical SFP+ system. The 10G SFP+ cables provide low-cost and reliable 10G speed with either copper cables over distances up to 10 m or active optical cables reaching distances up to 100 m. Because there is no need for spending on fiber optic transceivers and cables. This kind of cables contain 10G SFP+ copper cables, both passive and active and active optical cable (AOC). Active copper cable and AOC are designed for long distance connection, while passive copper cable is for short distance, such as the interconnection of top-of-rack switches with application servers and storage devices in a rack.

10g-sfp-cables

Fiber Enclosure

Fiber enclosure is an equipment you must have in data centers. This component is used to provide a flexible and modular system for managing fiber terminations, connections, and patching in high density data center application to maximize rack space utilization and minimize floor space. Fiber enclosure can be divided into different configurations like rack mount (available in 1U, 2U, 3U, 4U), wall mount, indoor or outdoor. The rack mount enclosure come into three flavors. One is the slide-out type and the other two are removable type and swing out type. Fiberstore introduces high density fiber enclosures with 48 ports, 96 ports and even 288 ports loaded LC FAPs (fiber adapter panels) in 1RU or 4RU rack mount for 10G solutions. Or if you already have the unloaded fiber enclosures, you just need to buy fiber adapter panels.

288-pors-4u-patch-panel-enclosure

Conclusion

To build a 10GbE data center, you have to prepare the components, for instance, 10G SFP+ modules, LC patch cables, 10G SFP+ cables, fiber enclosures, etc. You may also need other instruments for testing and cable organization. And all those equipment can be got from us with higher quality but fewer costs. For more information, you can contact us.

Originally published at http://www.fiber-optic-equipment.com

Cat6 and Cat6a Copper Cable Differences

As the data speeds increase from Fast Ethernet to Gigabit Ethernet, cables for the network connection are also required to be improved. Cat6 and Cat6a are two kinds of copper cables for Gigabit Ethernet. “A” is short for “augmented”. Cat6a is an enhanced Cat6 cable. Do you know which you should use, Cat6 or Cat6a? Could these two categories replace each other? Now this article will tell some of their differences from several sides.

cat6-and-cat6a

Appearance

It’s not difficult to identify Cat6 and Cat6a cables from appearance. If you look at the jacket carefully, you will find the identifiers printed as Cat6 and Cat6a. You can also distinguish these two cables from thickness. Cat6a cables are much thicker than Cat6 cables.

Shielding

Copper cables have shielded twisted pair (STP) and unshielded twisted pair (UTP). STP cable means there is one or more additional jackets surrounding the inner twisted wire pairs for insulation. The shielding is beneficial for protecting cable from electromagnetic interference (EMI). (For more information about STP vs. UTP difference, you can refer to my blog “STP vs. UTP, Which One Is Better?” .) Cat6 and Cat6a cables also include these two types. Though shielded Cat6 cables are available in the market, unshielded versions are easier to get. On the contrary, shielded Cat6a cables are more common.

Transmission Distance

Cat6 cable can support the transmission distance up to 100 meters at the data rate of 10, 100, 1000 Mbps. But it can support only 55 meters at the speed of 10 Gbps when crosstalk is in an ideal situation. What’s worse, the transmission distance can only reach 33 meters when the crosstalk is high. So the lengths of Cat6 cables are influenced by the network speed and crosstalk conditions. While Cat6a cables can support the distance over 100 meters at the speed of 10 Gbps.

Cost

Take Fiberstore as an example, the average cost of 1m Cat6 cable is about 1.00 US$ and more than 3.00 US$ for 1m Cat6a cable (cables maybe more expensive on other sites.). The more cables you purchase, the bigger the price difference will be. And the price difference is not only caused by the cable. Other matched connection components should also be considered.

Durability

As mentioned above, Cat6a cable is thicker and heavier than Cat6 cable. Cable trays can not hold as many Cat6a cables as Cat6 cables. When laying cables on the trays, you should better not bend cables too much as this can damage the wiring and influence network performance. The minimum radius that a cable can be bent without damaging is called the bend radius. The lower the bend radius, the more you can bend the cable. As Cat6a cable is bulkier than Cat6, Cat6a cable has a larger bend radius than Cat6 cable.

Which One Should You Buy?

Although Cat5e cable can meet the current needs in your home or office, higher bandwidth will be required in the near future. So you should upgrade your network with Cat6 or Cat6a cables which can provide greater bandwidth. At that time, you need to figure out which one to buy. If you install cables in a small room or business offices where cables might get close to one another, then Cat6a is better than Cat6 due to the alien crosstalk. Cat6 cables especially the unshielded cables, are much more prone to alien crosstalk than Cat6a, which uses superior insulation to protect its wiring.

Summary

From this article, you can make a clear identification of Cat6 and Cat6a cables. When you plan to purchase cables, you need to consider their differences like shielding, transmission distance, cost, durability, etc. Hope you can choose the suitable cable and build a high performance network.

Originally published at http://www.fiber-optic-equipment.com

STP vs. UTP, Which One Is Better?

When you prepare to buy Ethernet cables, you have to choose between STP (shielded twisted pair) and UTP (unshielded twisted pair) cables. That’s really difficult to decide if you don’t have enough knowledge of these two kinds of cables. Do you want to know more? Read this article and you will find the answer.

Why Are There STP and UTP Cables?

In data communication, electromagnetic interference (EMI) exists in cables. EMI, also called radio frequency interference (FRI), is a disturbance. This disturbance is caused by an external source affecting an electrical circuit by electrostatic coupling, electromagnetic induction, or conduction. The external source can be natural or man-made. For example, the natural sources include the sun, thunder storms, etc., while the man-made sources are vehicle ignition systems, cell phones, etc. EMI may cause data error and influence the transmission quality of cabling systems. In consideration of decreasing or avoiding EMI, shielding is one of the methods applied to protect cabling systems.

What Are STP Cables?

STP cable has a shield inside which is composed of copper tape, a layer of conducting polymer or a braid (made of copper or aluminum mostly). There are different types of shielding, such as braided shield, foil and screening. That makes different levels of shielding, including STP, SSTP (screened shielded twisted pair), FTP (foil twisted pair). The shield can be applied to each one of the pairs in a cable or to all pairs together.

stp-ceble

Advantages of STP Cables

First, the shield of STP cables can reduce EMI. It’s good for increasing data transmission quality in buildings containing microwave equipment, HVAC (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning) systems or radio transmitters. It blocks interference generated from devices such as power tools and vacuum cleaners. Although UTP cables are still able to reduce interference, their performance is not as good as STP cables.

Second, STP cables can reduce crosstalk with proper installation and maintenance. STP cables can resist signals from passing through the outer coating and entering nearby wires by accident because of the special cable constructure. STP cables are quite necessary for dealing with crosstalk especially when your building contains numerous network devices.

What Are UTP Cables?

UTP cables don’t have shielding to reduce interference. UTP cables reduce EMI through the way that the pairs are twisted inside the cable. Thus, UTP cables are lighter and thinner than STP cables.

utp-cale

Advantages of UTP Cables

First, easier to install and maintain. UTP cables contain no shields and they are thinner than STP cables, which is easier for cable installation and maintenance, particularly in limited space. While the shields of STP cables are quite fragile and rigid. If the shield suffered damage, cabling systems are likely to be affected by interference. What’s worse, it’s not easy to be repaired and needs special handling.

Second, more flexible. UTP cables are comparatively lighter. On one side, it makes the installation, transport and maintenance work easier. On the other side, it makes UTP cables more suitable to be used in narrow space.

Third, fewer cost. UTP cables are cheaper than STP cables. So are the related hardware. Besides, as mentioned above, UTP cables are easy to install and maintain. You don’t have to spend too much money on maintenance since UTP cables don’t rely on an outer shield. So they are beneficial to save you investment on installation and maintenance.

Applications

Due to different characteristics, the two types of cables are used in different environment.

STP cables are often used in situations nearby equipment causing EMI. For example, airports, medical centers and factories have lots of machines that can produce interference, so STP cables are typically applied. STP cables are also useful when cables must be run next to fluorescent lights, microwave ovens or powerful motors. What’s more, STP cables can be used in outdoor settings. Some people connect outdoor surveillance cameras to STP wiring. In that way, the video feed can avoid the interference generated by vehicles and power lines. And it can stop criminals from using jammers to interrupt communications between cameras and indoor monitors or recording equipment.

UTP cables are suitable to be used in offices and homes. They are less expensive than STP cables. So if the interference or crosstalk is not your main concern, you are suggested to choose UTP cables for saving you cabling cost. Remember not to select UTP cables if your place is full of powerful magnetic fields which can slow down the network speed or cause the network failure. Therefore, you’d better carefully evaluate the potential sources of interference.

Conclusion

Choosing the right cable can improve your network performance and extend the life span of your equipment. Before making the decision, it’s important to get well known of STP and UTP cables. You must know exactly each one’s advantages and application areas. If you need better anti-interference capabilities, you can select STP cables. If you put cost as the first factor, you may choose UTP cables. For both kinds of cables, you can find in FS.COM. Any question, please contact us via sales@fs.com.

Originally published at http://www.fiber-optic-equipment.com

Which Ethernet Cable Should You Choose?

Ethernet cable is one of the media transmitting signals to a home or business network place. Although the world is going wireless today, Ethernet cable is still used in many situations due to its advantages of fast speed, high reliability and security. But when you decide to buy the Ethernet cables, you will get confused about which category to choose. This article will discuss how to make your decision among these Ethernet cables like Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6 and Cat7.

Ethernet Cables Types
Cat5 Cable

Cat5 cable can handle 10/100 Mbps speed (Fast Ethernet) at the bandwidth up to 100 MHz. Cat5 cable is the oldest of these three kinds of cables. Over the years, Cat5 cable was used majorly in networking especially when pairing older routers, switches and other myriad networking devices. Nowadays it’s not used for too many installations. But it can support gigabit speeds if the cable is shorter sometimes.

cat-5-cable

Cat5e Cable

The letter “e” means “enhanced”. As the name says, Cat5e is an improvement on Cat5 cable. Currently it’s the most popular cable used in new installations. It’s designed to support 1000 Mbps or gigabit speed. It can also greatly reduce the crosstalk. The crosstalk is the interference existing sometimes between wires that are sealed inside a cable. With this feature, Cat5e can better keep signals on different circuits or channels from interfering with each other. In a word, Cat5e cable can provide a faster, more reliable and steady network than Cat5. And Cat5e is also compatible with Cat5 cable.

cat5e-cable

Cat6 Cable

Cat6 is an improvement over Cat5e. It has more sophisticated constructure and can support the speed up to 10 gigabit and the bandwidth up to 550 MHz over long distances. Cat6 is a good choice for those who want to install future-proof network. But Cat6 cable is not very good for the applications at home. This kind of cable is recommended for large organizations which deal with pretty bulk files.

cat6

Cat7 Cable

Cat7 cable is designed to be used in Gigabit Ethernet and can support bandwidth up to 600 MHz. It greatly improves the capacity and reliability of Cat6. Another big advantage of Cat7 is the shielding of its twisted pairs, which significantly improves noise resistance. Cat7 is thought as the most durable and has a longer lifespan than Cat 5 and Cat 6. It’s the best choice for future use. But it’s comparatively expensive.

cat-7-cable

Which One Should You Choose?

First, you need to think about the question seriously how you like your current network speed. If you are satisfied with the current network speed, you don’t need to upgrade it. But if your hardware can handle 1 Gigabit and you are still using Cat5 cable, then you should better upgrade your Ethernet cables. You may choose Cat5e cable which is enough for your network needs. Or you can select Cat6 cable.

Second, you should know that network speed is not the same to internet speed. There is a chance that even though you upgrade your Ethernet cable, your internet speed won’t change too much. As it’s affected by many other factors. However, upgrading networking cables have a tremendous effect on file transfer speeds between computers. So to emphasize, when buying Ethernet cable, you should also consider your hardware compatibility.

Conclusion

From this article, you can find it’s not very hard to decide which kind of Ethernet cable to use. To make the right decision, it depends on your situations. Usually Cat5 or Cat5e cable is enough for home network use. If you transfer lots of data over your network, then you can upgrade your network cables from Cat5 to Cat5e or Cat6 to guarantee your network speed. But if you are satisfied with your current network speed, you don’t need to replace Cat5 with other cables. Of course, the cost is also an important factor. So if budget allows, Cat7 is a nice choice. At last, no matter what kind of cable, please notice that the Ethernet cable should be less than 100 meters in length to achieve higher efficiency.

Originally published at http://www.fiber-optic-equipment.com