10GBASE-CX4 vs DAC Cable vs 10GBASE-SR: Which Is the Best Option for 10G Network in Short Reach?

10 Gigabit Ethernet, defined by the IEEE 802.3ae, was first ratified in 2002. With the increasing demand for faster data transmission and greater capacity over the network, 10GbE has been widely deployed. Nowadays, for short range, data center administrators have some 10GbE solutions to choose from, including 10GBASE-CX4, DAC cable, and 10GBASE-SR modules. Well, which is the best option for 10G network in short reach? In this article, we will discuss 10GBASE-CX4 vs DAC cable vs 10GBASE-SR.

10GBASE-CX4, DAC Cable and 10GBASE-SR Basics

To understand the difference among 10GBASE-CX4, DAC cable, and 10GBASE-SR, we’d better get to know some basic information about them first.

10GBASE-CX4

10GBASE-CX4 is the first favorite for 10GbE deployment. It uses the XAUI-lane PCS (Clause 48) and copper cabling. This cable is rigid, bulky and has a large diameter that brings difficulties to cable management. And the size of the CX4 connector is too large to allow the large-scale deployment in the high-density switch. However, 10GBASE-CX4 cable offers low power and low latency.

DAC Cable

DAC cable (direct attach copper cable) is a kind of fixed high speed copper cable assembly for short-range. It consists of shielded twinax cable with pluggable connectors on either end with varying gauges from 24 to 30AWG: The longer the distance, the higher the AWG rating should be. With these features, DAC cable can greatly reduce the latency, power consumption and installation time. In addition, DAC cables are commonly available in two types: passive DAC cable and active DAC cable.

DAC cable

Figure 1: DAC cable

10GBASE-SR

As an SFP 10G module, it adopts 850nm lasers and has a data transmission rate of up to 10.3125 Gbps. The letters “SR” refer to short reach, thus this standard is designed to be used in short distance. But the exact transmission distance depends on fiber cables. For example, it can reach link length up to 33 m over OM1 and up to 300 m when connected with OM3. What’s more, 10GBASE-SR should be operated within the specified temperature and voltage limits, and the LC duplex connector is the best fit for it.

10gbase-cx4 vs DAC cable vs 10gbase-sr

Figure 2: 10GBASE-SR transceiver

10GBASE-CX4 vs DAC Cable vs 10GBASE-SR Comparison

10GBASE-CX4, DAC cable and 10GBASE-SR bear some similarities. For instance, they can be used for 10G network connectivity. However, they also have some differences.

10GBASE-CX4 vs DAC Cable vs 10GBASE-SR: Transmission Distance

10GBASE-CX4, DAC cable, and 10GBASE-SR are all suitable for the short distance. But the exact transmission distance is different. 10GBASE-CX4 is designed to work at the transmission distance up to 15 m. The liking distance of passive DAC cable is limited to 7 m and the active DAC cable reaches from 7 m to 15 m. And 10GBASE-SR can reach the max. link length up to 400 m over OM4 fiber.

10GBASE-CX4 vs DAC Cable vs 10GBASE-SR: Cost

DAC cable is cost-effective as it does not need patch panels or additional cables for cable management. Compared to DAC cable, 10GBASE-CX4 is more expensive. 10GBASE-SR is even more costly for SFP+ fiber electronics are expensive. What’s more, 10GBASE-SR needs more devices including fiber patch cables, patch panels, fiber optic cassettes, etc. in application. Besides, the maintenance of 10GBASE-SR still costs much when its reach is over 100 m.

10GBASE-CX4 vs DAC Cable vs 10GBASE-SR: Application

Conventionally, 10GBASE-CX4 is suitable for the deployment of switch to switch and switch to server in a rack or same room. DAC cable is commonly employed in intra-rack and inter-rack connections, including interconnection of top-of-rack switches with servers and storage devices in ToR or adjacent racks. Due to the longer transmission distance, 10GBASE-SR can be used in large buildings, enterprise wiring closet, and service provider transport applications.

10GBASE-CX4 vs DAC Cable vs 10GBASE-SR: Which Is the Best Option for 10G Network in Short Reach?

10GBASE-CX4 is an early favorite for 10G network, but it is now outdated due to its relatively large connector and high price. DAC cable costs less and consumes less power than 10GBASE-SR, but it reaches only up to 15 m. You can choose the DAC cable if your switch in the same rack. 10GBASE-SR has the longest transmission distance (up to 400 m) among them and it can provide a smaller cable profile and flexibility in the placement of servers. As mentioned above, 10GBASE-SR is the most expensive solution. Fortunately, the booming of the third party reduces the price of it. All in all, since the demand for bandwidth and link length is not gonna slack, 10GBASE-SR may be the best option for short connections.

Conclusion

10GBASE-CX4 vs DAC cable vs 10GBASE-SR: which is the best option for 10G network in short reach? You might already get the answer. When you choosing 10 GbE transceivers for short reach in the market, you can refer to the comparison in this article. And FS provides various cables and transceivers with high quality. If you have any needs, welcome to visit www.fs.com.

Related Articles:
10 Gigabit Ethernet Overview
What’s DAC Cable And Why Choose It Over Fiber Transceiver?

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How to Choose Managed Switch for Home?

As a kind of Ethernet network switch, the managed switch is now widely used for home network. Therefore, choosing a well-performing managed switch for home is a significant task. Well, how do you choose a managed switch for home? Here will have a thorough introduction to the managed Gigabit switch, its benefits and how to choose it.

Managed switch for home

Figure 1: Managed switch

What Is Managed Switch?

The managed switch is a device that can be configured. It is designed with diverse advanced features such as VLAN, SNMP, CLI, IP routing, QoS, etc. Therefore, this manageable switch is usually used in the core layer of a network to offer the most comprehensive functions. What’s more, managed gigabit switches are available in two types: fully managed switches and smart switches.

Fully managed switches are usually employed in large enterprise or complex data center, offering all capabilities of the managed switch. When users want low cost and do not need so many features of the managed switch, the smart managed switch is an optimal choice. It has a limited number of options for configuration and is ideal for home or office use. As shown in the figure below, FS S3900-24T4S fanless switch has an advanced feature set that brings robust multicast control, high availability, security and simple management. It is also a stack switch and is easy to be employed in the home, SMB and schools with a cheap price.

FS fanless 24-port managed switch

Figure 2: FS fanless 24-port managed switch

Why Choose the Managed Switch for Home?

Conventionally, the unmanaged switch is used for home. However, as a plug & play switch, it has limited performance and doesn’t support any configuration interface or options. With more requirements of home users, the managed switch gets more popular for home. There are three main advantages of choosing the managed switch for home network.

Security and resilience – Managed switches deliver the most precise control of data, bandwidth and traffic control. And additional firewall rules can be set up into it directly. Therefore, the managed switch can provide good protection of the data plane, control plane, and management plane.

Redundancy – Redundancy means a back up data path to network traffic to safeguard the network when a connection or cable fails. The managed switch can incorporate Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) to provide path redundancy in the Ethernet network. And this also prevents loops which are created by multiple active paths between switches.

Prioritize bandwidth for data subsets – The managed switch can prioritize one type of traffic over another. This enables more bandwidth to be contributed through the network. Therefore, this function brings higher network performance and better transmission of delay-sensitive data.

How to Choose Managed Switch for Home?

When choosing a managed switch for home in the market, you’ll find there are many options. Here is a guide for you.

Features and performance – As mentioned above, the managed switch has many features. There is no need for you to select a managed switch with all features for home. Except for the basic features such as advanced QoS, VLAN, security, etc, you’d better take switching capacity, max power consumption, continuous availability into consideration. Beside, fanless and stack designs are important factors as well. Fanless design help reduce the power consumption and stack design can save the place makes.

Switch ports – The managed switch often comes with copper or optical ports, PoE or PoE+ ports, and a console port. Usually, there are three types of ports on a managed switch. The copper port can connect with Cat5e or Cat6. Compared with the copper port switch, the switch with optical port connects with fiber transceivers and optic cables to uplink to the backbone switch for longer transmission. PoE or PoE+ ports are designed for home IP camera systems, or for situations where there is no power source for PoE enabled devices. The count of the main ports often come with 8, 24 or 48. Besides, the 8-port and 24-port managed switches are commonly used for home. You can choose a suitable one based on your need.

Costs – The cost of copper port switch is lower than that of the optical port switch. What’s more, devices connected with copper port like Cat5e or Cat6 are cheaper than the device needed by the optical port including transceiver and fiber patch cable. When you already have determined the type of managed switch you want, you can compare the price from different companies. Usually, managed switches from famous brands are expensive. If you have limited costs, you can choose managed switches from other reliable firms. All in all, cost-effective product is a better choice.

Conclusion

The best network switch is the one that suits your network most. When you buying a managed switch for home, remember to consider the factors mentioned above. FS provides various managed switches with high-quality and high performance. If you have any needs, welcome to visit FS.COM.

Related Article: Managed vs Unmanaged Switch: Which One Can Satisfy Your Real Need?

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Inter VLAN Routing Layer 3 Switch vs Router: Which One to Choose?

VLAN plays a significant role in network build and management. With the development of VLAN technology, different VLANs can communicate with each other by inter VLAN routing. And inter VLAN routing is achieved by using inter VLAN routing layer 3 switch or router. Well, which one to choose between them to carry out inter VLAN routing? This article will expound what is inter VLAN routing and how to configure inter VLAN routing on layer 3 switch or router.

What Is Inter VLAN Routing?

To understand the Inter VLAN routing, we’d better get to know VLAN (virtual LAN) first. VLAN is a technology that segments network into multiple broadcast domains. Each broadcast domain is isolated and data on separate groups can’t communicate with each other by default. This improves the network efficiency and controls the broadcast traffic. However, connections between different VLANs are still needed sometimes. There is a way to realize intercommunication between VLANs. It’s inter VLAN routing.

inter VLAN routing

Figure 1: VLAN1 and VLAN2 are connected by inter VLAN routing

Inter VLAN Routing Layer 3 Switch & Router Basics

The layer 3 switch is a network switch that forwards traffic based on layer 3 information of the OSI model. It combines some features of layer 2 switch and some of the router. That is to say, it can switch packets by checking both IP addresses and MAC addresses. As a category of multilayer switches, layer 3 switch is widely used to improve network routing performance on large LANs.

The router is a hardware commonly used in home and small business networks. It functions to route packets based on layer 3 information like layer 3 switch, but using IP address. This enables the network to go across different protocols.

Inter VLAN Routing Layer 3 Switch vs Router

As mentioned above, each VLAN is a unique broadcast domain and the data between multiple VLANs is non-interfering. Layer 3 switches and routers both can realize the information transmission across multiple VLANs.

Inter VLAN Routing by Layer 3 Switch

Using a layer 3 switch is one of the ways to configure inter VLAN routing. You can simply configure inter VLAN routing on layer 3 switch step by step according to the VLAN configuration command below.

Inter VLAN routing layer 3 switch

Figure 2: Inter VLAN routing on layer 3 switch

1. Create VLANs on layer 2 switches in the switch database.
2. Assign two ports to two VLANs respectively and create trunk port on layer 2 switches.
3. Enable layer 3 routing and create VLANs on layer 3 switches in the switch database.
4. Create trunk ports and configure SVI (switch VLAN interfaces) to act as a virtual layer 3 interface on the layer 3 switch.

Inter VLAN Routing by Router

Connecting a router to the switch infrastructure is the other way to carry out inter VLAN routing. The following is the configuration guide.

1. Assign an IP address to the router and enable the interface you want to configure inter VLAN routing.

step 1

2. Create a sub-interface for each VLAN with interface command and assign IP address from different networks for each VLAN.

step 2

3. After seeing the result with “do show ip interface brief” from sub-interface area, you can do the same to create a sub-interface for VLAN-B.

step 3

(Note: Don’t forget set IEEE 802.1q with encapsulation command before assigning an IP address to a sub-interface. Otherwise, you’ll see the error with red color, which is just like the above figure.)

In general, layer 3 switches and routers are available for inter VLAN routing. However, the traffic between VLANs grows increasingly and layer 3 switches have higher performance and capacity than that of routers. Therefore, layer 3 switch is a better choice for inter VLAN routing.

Conclusion

After reading this post, we know that inter VLAN routing is an approach that allows devices on different VLANs to communicate using default gateways. And the inter VLAN routing layer 3 switch is more preferable than the router for inter VLAN routing. You can refer to the configuration guide above to realize the information transmission across VLANs. Knowing more configuration about network switch, welcome to visit FS.COM.

Related Article: VLAN: How Does It Change Your Network Management?

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What Is a Multilayer Switch and How to Use It?

With the increasing diversity of network applications and the implementation of some converted networks, the multilayer switch is thriving in data centers and networks. It is regarded as a technology to enhance the network routing performance on LANs. This article will give a clear explanation for multilayer switch and how to use it.

What Is a Multilayer Switch?

The multilayer switch (MLS) has 10gbe switch and Gigabit Ethernet switch. It is a network device which enables operation at multiple layers of the OSI model. By the way, the OSI model is a reference model for describing network communications. It has seven layers, including the physical layer (layer 1), data link layer (layer 2), network layer (layer 3) and so on. The multilayer switch performs functions up to almost application Layer (layer 7). For instance, it can do the context based access control, which is a feature of layer 7. Unlike the traditional switches, multilayer switches also can bear the functions of routers at incredibly fast speeds. In addition, the Layer 3 switch is one type of multilayer switches and is very commonly used.

Seven layers in OSI model

Figure 1: Seven layers in OSI model

Multilayer Switch vs Layer 2 Switch

The Layer 2 switch forwards data packets based on the Layer 2 information like MAC addresses. As a traditional switch, it can inspect frames. While multilayer switches not only can do all the job that Layer 2 switches do, it has routing function as well, including static routing and dynamic routing. So multilayer switches can inspect deeper into the protocol description unit. For more information, you can read Layer 2 vs Layer 3 Switch: Which One Do You Need?

Multilayer Switch vs Router

Generally, multilayer switches and routers have three key differences. Firstly, routers typically use software to route. While multilayer switches route packets on ASCI (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) hardware. Another difference is that multilayer switches route packets faster than routers. In addition, based on IP addresses, routers can support numerous different WAN technologies. However, multilayer switches lack some QoS (Quality of Service) features. It is commonly used in LAN environment. For more information about it, please refer to Layer 3 Switch Vs Router: What Is Your Best Bet?

Why Use a Multilayer Switch?

As mentioned above, the multilayer switch plays an important role in network setups. The following highlights some of the advantages.

  • Easy for use – Multilayer switches are configured automatically and its Layer 3 flow cache is set up autonomously. And there is no need for you to learn new IP switching technologies for its “plug-and-play” design.
  • Faster connectivity – With multilayer switches, you gain the benefits of both switching and routing on the same platform. Therefore, it can meet the higher-performance need for the connectivity of intranets and multimedia applications.
Multilayer switch

Figure 2: Multilayer switches

How to Use a Multilayer Switch?

Generally, there are three main steps for you to configure a multilayer switch.

Preparation
  • Determine the number of VLANs that will be used, and the IP address range (subnet) you’re going to use for each VLAN.
  • Within each subnet, identify the addresses that will be used for the default gateway and DNS server.
  • Decide if you’re going to use DHCP or static addressing in each VLAN.
Configuration

You can start configuring the multilayer switch after making preparations.

  • Enable routing on the switch with the IP routing command. (Note: some multilayer switches may support the protocols like RIP and OSPF.)
  • Log into multilayer switch management interface.
  • Create the VLANs on the multilayer switch and assign ports to each VLAN.
Verification

After completing the second step, you still need to offer a snapshot of the routing table entries and list a summary of an interface’s IP information and status. Then, the multilayer switch configuration is finished.

Conclusion

The multilayer switch provides high functions in the networking. It is suitable for VLAN segmentation and better network performance. When buying multilayer switches, you’d better take multilayer switch price and using environment into consideration. FS.COM offers a full set of network switch solutions and products, including SFP switch, copper switch, etc. If you have any needs, welcome to visit FS.COM.

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What Is Structured Cabling And Why Use It?

The term structured cabling is like a buzzword in the cable management world. It plays an important role in dealing with the complicated and specific cabling. As a data transmission system, structured cabling supports data, multiple voices, video, and various management systems such as security access and energy system. Well, what is structured cabling? This article will address the importance of structured cabling and offer some tips on structured cabling installation.

What Is Structured Cabling?

What is structured cabling? Structured cabling is defined as building or campus telecommunications cabling infrastructure. Typically, it consists of a number of standardized smaller elements. In a structured cabling system, there is a structure created by a series of patch panels and trunks. It allows for a connection from hardware ports to a patch panel at the top of the rack. Then, that patch panel is connected to another patch panel through a trunk in the MDA. And the MDA (Main Distribution Area) is the main aspect of structured cabling. It provides a place for all the MAC’s (Moves, Adds, and Changes) to be made with short length patch cords.

Besides, a structured cabling system is specified by some standards like TIA/EIA-568. These standards provide guidelines for data center design, management and operation.

what is structured cabling

Figure 1: what is structured cabling

Six Subsystems of a Structured Cabling System

Generally, there are six key subsystems of a structured cabling system:

  • Entrance facility

Entrance facility includes the network demarcation point, cables, protection devices, connecting hardware, and other devices that connect with the on-premises cabling at the customer premises.

  •  Equipment room

The equipment room is a centralized location to house equipment and wiring consolidation points. It usually serves users inside the building or campus.

  • Telecommunications room or enclosure

Telecommunications room or enclosure should be an enclosed area. It is designed to house telecommunications equipment, cable terminations, cross-connects and distribution frames. Generally, each building has at least one telecommunications room or enclosure. And the size of the telecommunications room or enclosure is various based on the size of the service area.

  • Backbone cabling

The backbone cabling is also called vertical cabling or wring. It offers the interconnection between entrance facilities, telecommunication rooms, and equipment rooms. Commonly, this type of cabling is done from floor to floor, or even between buildings. And the equipment should be connected by cables of no more than 30 m. What’s more, the cables for backbone cabling can be fiber optic cable, coaxial cable, unshielded twisted-pair (UTP) cable, and shielded twisted-pair (STP) cable.

  • Horizontal cabling

The horizontal cabling refers to the cabling between telecommunications information outlet in the work area and the horizontal cross-connect in the telecommunications room (TR) or telecommunications enclosure (TE). It contains the telecommunications outlet, optional consolidation points, horizontal cable, mechanical terminations, patch cords or jumpers located in the TR or TE. This kind of wiring usually runs above the ceiling or below the floor. What’s more, both Ethernet cable and fiber optic cable are usually used for horizontal cabling.

  • Work Area

Work Area is a place where work-area components are used to connect end-user equipment to communication outlets. The work-area components are also called cable components, including patch cables, communication outlets, and station equipment.

structured cabling solutions

Figure 2: structured cabling solutions

Why Use Structured Cabling?

Unlike the traditional point-to-point cabling system, the structured cabling system can avoid the jungle of wiring and carry increasing data at high rates. It plays a significant role in communication infrastructure. The following highlights some of the benefits:

Cost effective – The structured cabling is an organized simple cabling system. It can reduce power and maintenance costs, and it avoids spending money on locating and rectifying.

Reducing the risk of downtime – There is a high risk of human error when people managing the multiple, unorganized cabling structure. These mistakes can cause flow disruptions and network downtime. The structured cabling is organized and it’s easy to identify, which can help reduce the risk of downtime.

Time-saving – Structured cabling is flexible that can accommodate moves, adds and changes quickly. It saves installation time as well as maintenance time.

Tips for Structured Cabling Installation

When you install a structured cabling system, you’d better keep these tips in mind:

  • Before the installation, you’d better make a good structured cabling design.It includes planning the cabling patch ways, considering the airflow and cooling issues, and choosing the right cabling solution.
  • There are various devices used in the structured cabling such as Cat5e/6, fiber optic cable, fiber patch panel, copper patch panel, network switch. You can choose different devices flexibly based on your needs.
  • Don’t bend cables beyond their specified bend radius during the installation. The bend radius defines how strong the data signal will flow.
  • Utilizing fiber raceway. It can make sure the validity of cabling and reduce congestion in the termination panel.

Conclusion

After reading this article, have you got the answer for “what is structured cabling?” To put it simply, structured cabling is a cabling infrastructure that provides an organized, standardized approach to cabling. And choosing the right structured cabling solution can have an impact on a range of issues, consisting of data transmission speed, network performance, power consumption, cost, etc. FS provides high-quality products for your structured cabling solution, including Ethernet patch panel, fiber patch cables, and rack mount enclosure. If you have any needs, welcome to visit FS.COM.

Related Article: Basic Knowledge & Tips for Data center Cabling

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