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10G SFP+ Copper Transceiver Solution

10G SFP+ Copper Transceiver Solution

It’s said that switch manufacturers are entering into the new fiber transceiver era. Only SFP+ or SFP cages are implemented for future flexibility. And copper ports were only implemented for management purpose so far. However, we cannot deny the fact that there are some applications in the past with 1G where Servers or other components do only have 1G copper ports. So 1G copper SFPs have the right to exist. Now all connections moved from 1G to 10G and the copper ports disappeared so far. But a while ago some vendors started implementing 10G SFP+ copper transceivers to their devices again. One of the main applications in data centers is using SFP+ DAC cables. But the use of RJ-45 cables is often easier than using a copper DAC.

Basic Information on 10G SFP+ Copper Transceiver

The 10G SFP+ copper transceiver is specifically designed for high speed communication links that require 10 gigabit ethernet over Cat 6a/7 cable. This is the first SFP+ transceiver that offers 10Gb/s communication over this type of media. 10G SFP+ copper transceiver uses 10GBASE-T technology, which enables 10 Gigabit Ethernet to operate over balanced twisted-pair copper cable, including Cat6a unshielded and shielded cabling. Compare with 10G optical transmission, 10G SFP+ copper transceiver uses copper cables, which offers great savings and flexibility during network deployment.

Just as all other BASE-T implementations, 10G SFP+ copper transceiver supports lengths up to 100 meters, which gives IT managers a far greater level of flexibility in connecting devices in the data center and accommodating top of rack, middle of row, or end of row network topologies. Moreover, it also gives IT managers the most flexibility in server placement, since it works with existing structured cabling systems.

Reasons to Buy/Advantages of 10G SFP+ Copper Transceiver

With more and more 10GBASE-T network equipment available on the market , data center decision makers will consider to take advantage of the cost savings, convenience, and flexibility provided by deploying 10G technology over balanced twisted-pair copper cabling.

There exist several compelling reasons to buy a 10G SFP+ copper transceiver, both from a network equipment designer and data center manager prospective. And the advantage of 10G copper transceiver can be summarized as follow:

  • Reach: Up to 30m over CAT6a UTP cable, sufficient for all network access use cases
  • Cost: Pay-as-you-grow model that performs for today and scales for tomorrow
  • Reliability: The RJ-45 connector interface is rock solid. No surprises when deployed in your data center.
  • Innovation: Hot–pluggable with a managed soft-start
  • Performance: Full PHY (physical level) presentation, which means nothing is missing
  • Smaller Footprint: Interoperable with any SFP+ cage and connector system
Application Scenarios For 10G SFP+ Copper Transceiver

As it has been mentioned before, 10G SFP+ copper transceiver is based on 10GBASE-T, which has the advantage of being an interoperable, standard-based technology that uses the familiar RJ-45 connector and provides backwards compatibility with legacy networks. Supporting top of rack, middle of row or end of row architectures, 10G SFP+ copper transceiver can extend the life of any switch hardware, without having to change the existing infrastructure. The following pictures present the two application cases for 10G SFP+ copper transceiver.

Case one: Connecting server and/or storage appliances with 10GBASE-T RJ-45 to a SFP+ network switch

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

Case two: Network upgrade to 10G at edge switches

network-upgrade-to-10G

FS 10G SFP+ Copper Transceiver Solution

FS 10G SFP+ copper transceivers are high performance, cost effective modules supporting a data rate up to 10Gbps with 30 Meter link length over Cat6A /Cat7. It is designed for application where optical connections not possible or direct attached cable (DAC) Connection are too short. Moreover, FS 10G SFP+ copper transceivers are compliant with brands like Cisco and Arista. And every transceiver from FS is individually tested on corresponding equipment such as Cisco, Arista, Juniper, Dell, Brocade and other brands, passed the monitoring of FS intelligent quality control system. For further information on our products, please contact us at www.fs.com.

A Glimpse Into the Business of White Box Switches

A Glimpse Into the Business of White Box Switches

White boxes are not something new to us. Since they promise a high level of freedom for networking at a low cost, they have been gaining more and more popularity among customers in recent years. As a piece of hardware, a white box switch can be purchased separately from the software. According to the relevant statistic, this decoupling can save up to 52 percent over the traditional vertically-integrated switch, which often comes at a premium price for the software and fancy logo. When picking up a white box switch, customers can purchase different components from different suppliers. Next, I will show the current situation for the suppliers in the ecological chain of white box switches.

White Box Switches

Current Situation of Suppliers for White Boxes’ Three Major Components
Silicon Suppliers

With little switch silicon suppliers on global market, silicon suppliers that can be selected by white box manufacturers are even lesser because the compatibility must be taken into consideration. Across the world, the main silicon supplier is Broadcom with the newly emerged Cavium being flashed occasionally in the white box market. In China, the largest player in this area is Centec.

Hardware Suppliers

Hardware suppliers are the most important part in the ecological chain of white box switch. They may seem insignificant but the whole cost in this ecological chain hinges entirely on them. Large companies in the Over the Top (OTT) Market may be not interested in software developed by others, so they tend to work on their own software. However, they will never make a hardware by themselves. So, it is impossible for white box manufacturers to cut the price down without the cooperation of hardware suppliers. At present, the main suppliers in this area is Quanta and Accton in Taiwan, China as well as Celestica in Canada. And in China’s mainland, similar enterprises are also on the rise. All these suppliers have their own factories with the ability to manufacture or design the hardware for white box switch. All of them are collectively known as ODMs. Besides, some suppliers may don’t own a factory but they are equipped with strong ability to design the hardware, they can also provide hardware to customers through their cooperated factories.

Software Suppliers

The most exciting changes often fall on the software. There has to be software sitting on the box that makes it possible to program the silicon in the box to do something. That’s the job of the network operating system (NOS). The main commercial software suppliers are mainly distributed at abroad, such as Cumulus, BigSwitch (mainly for SDN), Pica8, Snaproute (with both open-source and commercial version). In China, Centec has its own Centec Network OS (CNOS) as well. In addition to the commercial software, there are also some open source programs on the market such as the OpenSwitch launched by HP, Sonic by Microsoft and OPX by SnapRoute. However, these programs are not mature enough. By comparison, OPX may be a better choice. In China, some large companies have been developing their own white boxes on the basis of OPX.

Way out for Different Suppliers

white box market

ODMs

With the advantages to take costs and quality in control, these ODMs can make hardware for white boxes in a mass production. Whereas, inadequate capacity for software design and technical support is their disadvantage. Besides, they don’t conduct production unless they get an order, which often leads to a long delivery time. For these hardware OEMs, it is difficult for them to do business with those small-medium sized normal companies. The best way out for them is to make deal with the large OTT enterprises for those customers often come with a large demand and some of them would even pay for part of the deposit in advance. In addition, ODMs are not required to provide software support for those OTT customers. All they need to do is to ensure the quality and control the cost, which can just make up for their limitations and maximize their advantages. Another customer group for ODMs is white box software suppliers. But due to the limited demand and costs, this kind of model has not been developed very well.

Software Suppliers

At present, the most popular software suppliers are Cumulus, Pica8, and SnapRoute. All these companies have their own features and market share. But for most software suppliers, they have been during a hard developing period. The main reason for this is that, for most of the large customers, they tend to have their self-developed operating systems. And as for the small customers, the price advantage for integrating software and hardware is not obvious. So the main customers are mainly distributed at abroad, because their price advantage is more prominent compared with Cisco. The best model for these software players is to focus on other medium or large-scale customers besides those OTT customers. More importantly, they need to persuade hardware ODMs to give them a better price so that they can be combined together to explore the market. For hardware OEMs and software suppliers, cooperation will bring benefits both of them while confrontation can only hurt each other.

Brite-Box Switch Suppliers

Brite-Box switches is another choice for white box switches. They are supported by brand companies like Dell, HP and Juniper. These companies have a strong motivation to gain market share of switches against big brands like Cisco. With their own software and hardware provided by ODMs, they can offer white box switches to customers at a relatively low cost. Although with the advantage of massive channels that allow much more geographic availability and customer care than other white box switch suppliers, these Brite-Box switch suppliers have the embarrassment to compete with their own products line and they can’t meet the requirement of customized service very well.

Conclusion

There exist multiple players in the ecological chain of white box switches, each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages. To find the best way to survive, they have to develop the strong points and avoid the weak points. For example, as it has been mentioned before, hardware ODMs and software suppliers must work and support with each other to cut the cost down, thus creating a broader marker for both of them.