What Should You Know About Fibre Channel?

Before Fibre Channel appears, SCSI (small computer system interface) was used as the transmission interface between servers and clustered storage devices. But as the high speed demands keep increasing, Fibre Channel replaces SCSI inevitably due to its higher transmission data rate, flexibility, and long distance. This article is going to introduce you some details about Fibre Channel.

What Is Fibre Channel?

Fibre Channel, short for FC, is a technology for transmitting data between computer devices at data rate of 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 128 Gbps. It’s mainly used in storage area networks (SAN) in commercial data centers. It’s useful for connecting computer servers to shared storage devices and for interconnecting storage controllers and drives.

Fibre Channel Transceivers

Except optical fiber cable, Fibre Channel transceiver is the other vital equipment to connect the Fibre Channel network in data centers. It provides the interface between Fibre Channel systems and the optical fibers of the SAN. FS.COM offers SFPs and SFP+s that are compatible with Fibre Channel. Fiberstore Fibre Channel SFPs support the distance up to 80km and the data rate of 2G/4G. As to our Fibre Channel SFP+ transceivers, they can support the data rate up to 8Gbps and 10Gbps. In Fiberstore, you can also find some compatible brands of FC transceivers including Cisco, Juniper, Brocade, HPE, etc. What’s more, all these modules have been tested to assure 100% compatible. For your information, the following table shows some hot FC transceivers for 2G/4G and 8G/10G network applications.

fs-fc-sfps

fibre-channel-sfp-sfp-plus
Transfer to High Speed Fibre Channel

However, as the need for high-bandwidth never stops increasing, the data rate of 2G, 4G or even 8G can’t meet the high speed requirements. So many data centers move to higher Fibre Channel standards, for example, 16G Fibre Channel. 16G FC links increase the network speed twice as 8G FC and 40% faster than 10G FC. The transition to 16G FC makes data transfer smoother, quicker and cost-effective from the good side. But from the other side, the transition still faces some challenges. There might be some data communication error rates that may affect the network performance. And the physics of 16G FC can possibly bring some new restrictions on fiber cabling and transceiver modules. Therefore, before starting to transfer to higher speed Fibre Channel infrastructure, you should better follow the tips listed below.

First, cleaning issue. In fiber optics connection, contamination is thought as a big problem which may lead to link failure. So you should clean all the transceiver modules, connectors and other cable junctions to ensure there is no contamination in the fiber optic connection. Some fiber testers and cleaning tools are necessary for your cleaning work.

Second, analyze the optical power budget between transmit and receiver ports. It requires that the power margin (transmit power minus power loss during the data transmission through the cable) should be more than the receiver power of the optical transceivers. At the same time, it also should meet the FC protocol specification.

Third, measure the light level on the transmitting side and receiving side. You can use suitable fiber optical light source or optical power meter to measure the power level on critical links. If the power level were not in the right station, check whether the cable length is suitable or cable bend radius reaches the maximum. Then you are suggested to purchase customized bend insensitive fiber cable for your special use.

Summary

Fibre Channel is commonly used for the connection of SAN in enterprise storage. You can find 2G/4G FC SFPs, 8G/10G FC SFP+ modules and matching fiber patch cables from FS.COM. If you need to upgrade your Fibre Channel network to 16G or even higher, remember the above tips and make sure the 16G FC are compatible with 4G FC and 8G FC.

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

Transceiver Solutions for Ubiquiti UniFi Switches

UniFi switch is one type of the switches Ubiquiti has introduced into the market (The other kind is Ubiquiti EdgeSwitch). The UniFi switch provides fiber connectivity options for easy expansion of your networks. This article will introduce the main features of UniFi switches, supportable SFP and SFP+, and easy tips for building network with UniFi switch.

Introduction to UniFi Switches

UniFi switch delivers high performance to satisfy your growing network. The Ubiquiti UniFi switches include US-24 and US-48. US-24 can support data rates up to 26 Gbps while US-48 can support the network speed up to 70 Gbps of non-blocking throughput. Main features of these two switches are described as below.

unifi-switch-ports

Features of US-24 switch:

  • 24 Gigabit RJ45 ports
  • 2 SFP ports
  • 52Gbps switching capacity
  • 250W max. power consumption
  • Rack mountable

Features of US-48 switch:

  • 48 Gigabit RJ45 ports
  • 2 SFP+ ports
  • 2 SFP ports
  • 140Gbps switching capacity
  • 56W max. power consumption
  • Rack mountable

Except the above two switches, there are some other kinds containing US-8-150 (with 8 Gigabit RJ45 ports and 2 SFP ports) and US-16-150W (with 16 Gigabit RJ45 ports and 2 SFP ports). Both switches are available with different models. You can find the details about these models from the following table.

unifi-switch-comparison

SFP and SFP+ for UniFi Switch

If you are wondering which SFP and SFP+ are suitable for UniFi switch, you can get the answer now. You have two choices for getting suitable transceiver modules. Ubiquiti produces single-mode and multimode SFP and SFP+ modules for UniFi switches. UF-MM-1G and UF-MM-1G-S are designed for SFP ports. Three modules such as UF-SM-10G, UF-SM-10G-S, and UF-MM-10G are appropriate for SFP+ ports.

Of course, transceiver modules for UniFi switch are not limited to these original SFP/SFP+. A wide range of third-party transceivers can also work with UniFi switch. The following table will show you some compatible transceivers from FS.COM.

Fiberstore SFPs

ID # Description
20363 Cisco GLC-SX-MM-RGD Compatible 1000BASE-SX SFP 850nm 550m DOM Transceiver
11774 Cisco GLC-SX-MM-RGD Compatible 1000BASE-SX SFP 850nm 550m DOM Transceiver
32658 Finisar FTLF1318P3BTL Compatible 1000BASE-LX and 1G Fibre Channel SFP
16450 Finisar FTLF8519P2BNL Compatible 2G Fibre Channel SFP 850nm 300m EXT DOM Transceiver
14951 Finisar FTLX1371D3BCL Compatible 10GBASE-LRM SFP+ 1310nm 220m DOM Transceiver
16453 Finisar FTLF8524P2BNL Compatible 4G Fibre Channel SFP 850nm 150m EXT DOM Transceiver
32140 HPE J4858C Compatible 1000BASE-SX SFP 850nm 550m DOM Transceiver

Fiberstore SFP+s

ID # Description
48895 1m Brocade 10G-SFPP-TWX-0101 Compatible 10G SFP+ Active Direct Attach Cable
36671 1m Brocade 10G-SFPP-TWX-0101 Compatible 10G SFP+ Passive Direct Attach Cable
30849 1m Cisco SFP-H10GB-CU1M Compatible 10G SFP+ Passive Direct Attach Copper Twinax Copper Cable
48884 1m Cisco SFP-H10GB-ACU1M Compatible 10G SFP+ Active Direct Attach Copper Cable
14945 Finisar FTLX8571D3BCL Compatible 10GBASE-SR/SW SFP+ 850nm 300m DOM Transceiver
Building Connection

To build the UniFi network, you have to prepare installation screwdriver, at least 1U rack, UTP Cat 5 (or above) for indoor applications and STP Cat5 (or above) for outdoor applications. It’s quite easy.

  • First, install the UniFi switch on the rack with four mounting screws. Then plug one end of the power cord into the power port of the UniFi switch and the other end into the power outlet.
  • Second, connect Ethernet cables from your devices to RJ45 ports of UniFi switch.
  • Third, plug an SFP transceiver into the SFP port if you need to use it. After that, connect the SFP module with a fiber patch cable.
Conclusion

UniFi switches are very commonly used for network connection. To build the network, you don’t need to spend much time on searching cables or modules from the internet. FS.COM offers fiber patch cables and Ethernet cables for your connection. We also provide some transceiver modules definitely compatible for UniFi switch. Every module has been strictly tested to make sure high quality. Just come to our site and you must get the transceiver module you need for your UniFi switch.

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

Economically Increase Network Capacity With CWDM Mux/DeMux

As the demands for voice, video and data networks are increasing dramatically, more bandwidth and higher transmission speed over long distances are needed. To meet these demands, it means that service providers should depend on more fiber optics which definitely cause more costs for optical devices. But they apply Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) technologies which is a cost-effective way to increase capacity on the existing fiber infrastructure.

CWDM Technology

WDM technology multiplexes multiple optical signals onto a single fiber by suing different wavelengths, or colors, of light. WDM can expand the network capacity using existing fiber infrastructure in an economical way. It includes CWDM (Coarse Wavelength Division Multiplexing) and DWDM (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing).

CWDM is a technology multiplexing 16 channels onto one single fiber between the wavelengths from 1270 nm to 1610 nm. It’s designed for city and access network. Since the channel spacing is 20 nm, CWDM is a more cost-effective method to maximize existing fiber by decreasing the channel spacing between wavelengths. CWDM is a passive technology, therefore, CWDM equipment needs no electrical power.

cwdm-channel

Figure 1

CWDM technology has been applied into wide areas, such as CWDM optical transceivers, CWDM OADM and CWDM Mux/DeMux. CWDM Mux/DeMux modules are multiplexers and demultiplexers which provide long distance coverage with premium optical technology to enhance fiber optic systems. It multiplexes signals of different wavelengths on one single fiber and demultiplexes wavelengths to individual fibers. CWDM Mux/DeMux can offer low-cost bandwidth and upgrade the existing system without leading spare costs on more fibers. CWDM Mux/DeMux can hold up to 18 channels of different standards (for example, Fibre Channel, Gigabit Ethernet) and data rates over one fiber optic link without interruption. FS.COM offers a full series of CWDM Mux/DeMux, including 2, 4, 8, 9, 12, 16, 18 channels with or without monitor port and expansion port in 1RU 19” rack chassis or pigtailed ABS module. The following will show you how to use a 18-channel CWDM Mux/DeMux to increase the data rates up to 180 Gbps on a fiber pair.

In Figure2, all Cisco compatible 10G CWDM SFP+ 1270-1610 nm 40km DOM transceivers on the switch are connected with the CWDM Mux/DeMux by LC-LC fiber patch cords. This CWDM Mux/DeMux has 18 channels and is designed as 1 RU rack mount size, covering the wavelengths from 1270 nm to 1610 nm and supporting LC UPC port. During the long distance transmission, only one single-mode armored LC fiber patch cord is needed to achieve 180 Gbps by connecting the two 18-channel CWDM Mux/DeMux. Thus, it greatly saves the cost for increasing the bandwidth on the existing fiber infrastructure.

cwdm-mux-18ch

Figure 2

FMU CWDM Mux/Demux

To increase the capacity, it requires more space and cable management is also a big trouble. So Fiberstore independently researched and developed FMU CWDM Mux/DeMux to solve this problem. We provide FMU 16-ch 1U Rack CWDM MUX/DEMUX specially designed as 2-slot plug and play style, which allows you to add or remove fiber fiber optic cables and plug-in-modules freely according to your applications. There are two separate CWDM plug-in modules. One is high band (1470nm-1610nm) module with an expansion port and the other is low band (1270nm-1450nm, skip 1390nm, 1410nm) module without expansion port. Via this expansion port, channels can be expanded over one pair of fiber without interruption. You can also insert two CWDM Mux/DeMux FMU-plug-in modules without expansion port for two separated 8-channel connections. Besides, you can mix CWDM and DWDM system by adding CWDM Mux/DeMux FMU-plug-in modules and DWDM Mux/DeMux FMU-plug-in modules with matching wavelengths.

2-slot-cwdm-mux2

Figure 3

FS.COM FMU Plug-in Modules

The table below lists both single fiber and dual fiber FMU plu-in modules for 2-slot CWDM Mux/DeMux. You can choose suitable modules according to you specific requirements. Custom service is available, too.

cwdm-mux-plug-in-module

Conclusion
If you would like to increase your network bandwidth while spend less money on changing existing infrastructure, CWDM Mux/DeMux is an economical solution. FS.COM brings you high quality CWDM Mux/DeMux module and newly self-developed FMU 2-slot CWDM Mux/DeMux modules & FMU plug-in modules. For detailed information, please visit our site http://www.fs.com or contact us through sales@fs.com.

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