Tag Archive | SFP

SFP and SFP+ Compatibility Issues

Recently, People have gotten the question about whether I can use the SFP transceivers in a 10g SFP slot. Users who purchase a 10G switch wondered if they could use SFP modules in the SFP+ slot (since they both have the same size and use the LC connectors) to achieve 1G data rate. Or can I use the SFP+ modules in SFP slot to have the 10G data links? To deal with this doubt, researches have been made to provide the objective solutions here.

In Most Cases, SFP Can be Plugged into SFP+ Ports

If you are asking if an SFP+ port will accept an SFP, then the answer is almost certainly yes. Not all SFP transceivers will be compatible with all devices though. Some device makers require that the SFP or SFP+ transceiver have a branded firmware on it. That is why some SFPs are marketed as Cisco brand or HP brand or Dell brand or whatever. The hardware is all from the same Chinese factory but before they are shipped they are loaded with a firmware that marks them as being compatible with a particular brand of device. You don’t need the same brand of transceiver at both ends unless you use the same brand of switch on both ends. The transceiver should be purchased to be compatible with the device you are inserting it into (not connecting the cable to). This isn’t always necessary, only some devices have strict compatibility requirements. However, you really never know until it is too late so make sure you buy your SFPs from somewhere that will assure the compatibility and has a good return policy.

sfp-10g

The most I have had to do to make an SFP work in an SFP+ slot is to configure the interface before inserting the SFP. Sometimes you have to tell the switch/router vendors that the port is going to run at 1000 megabit before you insert the SFP.

SFP+ Can’t Auto-negotiate to Support SFP Module

Most SFP+ ports accept SFP optics, but it can’t auto negotiation to the 1G SFP modules. In fact, most (95+%) SFPs and SFP+s will only run at the rated speed, no more, no less. Besides, there is no such thing as a SFP+ that does 1G on one side (towards the fiber) and then does 10G on another side (towards the unit). Though we can use SFP in SFP+ ports in many cases, that doesn’t mean a SFP+ plugged into the SFP port can support 1G. For example, a Cisco Meraki SFP-10GB-SR can only support 10G data rate plugging into a SFP+ slots in the 10G switch.

1g-connect-to-10g

Additionally, in a fiber link, if we plug a SFP in the SFP+ port on one side (1G), and then plug a SFP+ in the SFP+ port on the another side (10G), this may not work! You just can’t have 10 GbE at one end and 1 GbE at the other. For this question, if you use SFP+ copper twinax cable, it also can’t negotiate down to 1G.

Conclusion

To sum up, the SFP+ slots will take 1Gb SFP optics though, SFP modules can not be connected with SFP+ optics. And make sure you use the same fiber link at the both ends in a fiber optic network. This is actually a complex question, there is no exact answer now. Always remember to talk with your vendors first before making the next move, or you will end up with an error. FS.COM as a professional telecom supplier, offers a full range of optical devices including fiber optic cables, optical transceivers (SFP/SFP+/QSFP+/CFP, etc.), fiber patch panels, DAC/AOC cables. If you want to know more about our company, please contact us directly.

10GBASE-T SFP+ Copper Transceiver Module – Innovative But Controversial

The past few years have seen the broad adoption of 10Gbps connectivity at network edge equipment. SFP+ optics including SFP+ fiber devices and SFP+ direct attach copper (DAC) cables, dominates the 10Gbps connectivity solution in the core or spine due to the longer link lengths and higher aggregated data bandwidth, however, 10GBASE-T cable (Cat 6a/7) is proven to be unbeaten for its lower cost, ease of installation and reliable performance for 10Gbps edge network with a link length of 100 m. In order to get most of your cat6a cabling, last year HPE and some other vendors launched a 10GBASE-T SFP+ transceiver module, which claimed to give equipment designers and data center professionals a new option in architecting their network solution. This article will provide detailed information about the innovative but controversial SFP+ 10GBASE-T copper module from a positive point of view.

SFP+ 10GBASE-T Copper Transceiver—RJ45 connector, 30 m, 2.5 W

SFP+ 10GBASE-T copper transceiver is specifically designed for high-speed communication links that require 10 gigabit Ethernet over Cat 6a/7 cable with a link limit of 30 m. Compared with standard SFP+ SR/LR fiber optics, the added benefit is that it uses standard-based technology with the familiar RJ45 connector and provides backward compatibility with legacy networks.

SFP+ 10GBASE-T module usage

SFP+ 10GBASE-T transceiver, compliant with MSA standard, is the first transceiver that offers 10GbE communication over copper. Seen from the above image, you can directly plug the 10GBASE-T SFP+ module into SFP+ port of the NIC or switch. The power usage and heat generated for 10GBASE-T is 4-8 watts, but SFP+ 10GBASE-T copper transceiver consumes 2.5 watts. Obviously, the specification of SFP+ copper module has been optimized to save more than 0.5 W per port when compared to an embedded 10GBASE-T RJ45 port for link distances up to 30m.

Nowadays SFP+ 10GBASE-T transceiver, owing to the compatible issue with switches, is not offered by many vendors. However, from a network equipment designer’s perspective, 10G SFP+ copper modules will become popular in the near future.

The Innovative Points of SFP+ 10GBASE-T Transceiver Module

It is true that Cat 6/Cat6a cabling can provide limited support of 10GBASE-T in some environments, but the reality is that there are several compelling reasons to specify SFP+ 10GBASE-T copper modules in a new 10 Gbps-ready data center.

  • Smaller Form Factor: Interoperable with any SFP+ cage and connector system
  • Reliability: The RJ45 connector interface is rock solid. No surprises when deployed in your data center
  • Reach: Up to 30 m over Cat 6a UTP cable, sufficient for all network access use cases
  • Innovation: Hot-pluggable with a managed soft-start
  • Performance: Full PHY presentation, which means nothing is missing
  • Cost: Pay-as-you-grow model that performs for today and scales for tomorrow
The Controversial Points of SFP+ Copper Module

Q1: Vendors thought that it would never be possible to create a 10Gb copper transceiver as SFP+ specification use less power than 10GBASE-T requires. But theoretically, SFP+ 10GBASE-T copper module indeed reduces the power consumption of more than 0.5 watts.

Note that SFP+ 10GBASE-T transceiver module meets the SFP+ spec, but it is not meeting 10GBASE-T official spec.

Q2: With the cheap SFP+ DAC Twinax and reliable SFP+ fiber optics available for 10Gbps application, why should people use the SFP+ copper modules?

In terms of application, some server NICs and gears don’t work well with DAC twinax. In this case, instead of replacing all your copper devices into the fiber cabling, you’d better stick to the copper-based network. The following part displays two scenarios of 10G connectivity by using SFP+ copper modules.

Scenario 1: Use Case Between Server and Storage Appliance

10GBASE-T-Copper-applications-and-use-cases

Scenario 2: Use Case Between Edge Switches

Scenrio 2 network-upgrade-to-10G

From the technical point of view, 10G SFP+ copper twinax cable and 10G SFP+ modules share some differences in power consumption, latency, linking length and cost.

The power usage, latency and heat generated for 10GBASE-T is 4-8 watts, which is considerably higher than using DAC twinax or fiber optics (nearly 1 watt). SFP+ 10GBASE-T copper module, however, uses 2.5 watts (max). Furthermore, SFP+ DAC cables (both passive and active) can only support up to 10 m, but the SFP+ 10GBASE-T transceiver connected with cat6a cables can cover a distance of 30 m.

The low-cost of twinax DAC makes it a better choice for performance in ToR deployments. With 10m twinax you can usually cover up to 3-adjecent racks. While the existing SFP+ 10GBASE-T transceivers usually charge even higher than the regular SFP+ fiber optics. Besides, you should factor in the power and cooler requirement overhead that 10GBASE-T optics brings with it.

Q3: Is it reliable to use SFP+ 10GBASE-T modules in your network?

So far, customers still feel skeptical about this product. Many professionals said that technically it could work, but it is not supported for most of the switches.

Final Words

Data center managers are taking the advantages of the convenience and flexibility provided by deploying 10 Gbps technology over twisted-pair copper cabling and leveraging their investment in installed copper infrastructure. To have a great interoperability between existing fiber switches and those with 10G copper ports, 10G copper SFP+ is introduced. However, owing to the unsolved compatible issues and limited usage, customers nowadays still choose to use DAC Twinax or SFP+ fiber optics for 10Gbps connectivity. We believe, in the incoming future, all the problems will be solved.

Original Source : 10GBASE-T SFP+ Copper Transceiver Module – Innovative But Controversial

FS.COM SFPs for UniFi and Ubiquiti EdgeSwitch

There are a number of different switch options from Ubiquiti to power your devices. Ubiquiti EdgeSwitch and UniFi switch are the two commonly used type. Some users say that they are pretty much identical. But some said the differences appear very minor, I can definitely see that I would use each of the different models in distinctively different places to achieve the least headaches. Thus, today’s article have put together a comparison detailing the differences between each model to help you form the basic understanding of them.

UniFi Switch vs. Ubiquiti EdgeSwitch

According to the Ubiquiti, the Ubiquiti EdgeSwitch delivers forwarding capacity that simultaneously processes traffic on all ports at line rate without any packet loss. Ubiquiti EdgeSwitch targets the Broadband / ISP / Carrier market, which offers an extensive suite of advanced layer-2 switching features and protocols, and also provides layer-3 routing capability.

While The Ubiquiti UniFi Switch is available with either 24 or 48 RJ45 Gigabit ports. The UniFi Switch delivers robust performance, PoE+ support, and intelligent switching for growing networks. The UniFi switch targets the Enterprise / SMB market, which is designed for a wider IT audience, and therefore, tend to be simpler, and easier to use.

In short, both of them have four models and can support 1G SFP connectivity. The following part will go on to talk about these two switches and the compliant SFPs.

Introduction to Ubiquiti UniFi Switches

The UniFi Switch range has 4 models, offering either 24 or 48 ports at either 250 or 750 watts, which offers the forwarding capacity to simultaneously process traffic on all ports at line rate without any packet loss. The table below lists the comparison between the UniFi switches. For its total, non-blocking throughput, the 24port model supports up to 26 Gbps, while the 48-port model supports up to 70 Gbps. You can just pick the one that meet your current needs.

unifi-switch

Cmpatible SFPs From FS.COM

From the above table, we know that each model includes two SFP ports for uplinks of up to 1 Gbps. The 48-port model adds two SFP+ ports for high-capacity uplinks of up to 10 Gbps, so you can directly connect to a high-performance storage server or deploy a long-distance uplink to another switch. For instance, the final model in the UniFi Switch series is the Ubiquiti UniFi US-48-750W. The US-48-750W is a 750W switch supporting 48 Gigabit RJ45 ports, 2 SFP ports and 2 SFP+ ports. For SFP ports, we can use SFP modules and fiber cable.

Available Ubiquiti EdgeSwitch

The Ubiquiti EdgeSwitch is a fully managed, PoE+ Gigabit switch, delivering robust performance and intelligent switching for growing networks. The EdgeSwitch offers an extensive suite of advanced Layer-2 switching features and protocols, and also provides Layer-3 routing capability. Just like the UniFi switch, the EdgeSwitch provides total, non-blocking throughput. Among 8-Port model up to 10 Gbps, 16-Port model up to 18 Gbps, 24-Port model up to 26 Gbps and 48-Port model up to 70 Gbps. The following table lists the comparison between EdgeSwitch modules.

edgeswitch-switch

Compatible SFPs With EdgeSwitch

The ubnt edgeswitch provides fiber connectivity options for your growing networks. The 8, 16, and 24-port models include two SFP ports, providing up to 1 Gbps uplinks. For high-capacity uplinks, the 48-port models include two SFP and two SFP+ ports, providing uplinks of up to 10 Gbps. Let’s take the ES-24-500W as an example, it is a powerful enterprise switch that offers an extensive suite of advanced Layer-2 switching features and protocols, and also provides Layer-3 routing capability. It also has 24 Gigabit RJ45 ports and 2 Gigabit SFP ports for 1G applications.

If you have purchased the Ubiquiti EdgeSwitch and want to buy some compatible modules and fiber optic cables. Then an article entitled “Which SFPs are compatible with the EdgeSwitch?” in Ubiquiti Help Center may help you out. Or you can directly come to FS.COM, we offer the following SFP transceivers that are tested to be fully compatible with EdgeSwitch switch. We also have a full range of fiber optics for sale.

compatible-sfp-module

Conclusion

The EdgeSwitches only support static routing, there are no routing protocols implemented. While UniFi Switches don’t support routing at all. Always ask your manufacturers first before buying the switches. FS.COM offers a series of Ubiquiti compatible SFP transceivers that can be used with EdgeSwitch and UniFi switch. In Ubiquiti Networks Community SFP modules compatibility section, some people tested Fiberstore SFP modules in their EdgeSwitch. The SFP1G-SX-85, SFP1G-SX-31 and SFP-10GSR-85 SFPs are working.