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Cabling Options for 40G QSFP SR4 and 40G QSFP BiDi Transceivers

Cabling Options for 40G QSFP SR4 and 40G QSFP BiDi Transceivers

The boosting global data traffic spurs the demand for faster data transmission and greater capacity over the network, and the demand is not gonna slack. Thus migration from 10G to higher speed 40G or 100G becomes an inevitable trend yet a necessity for network managers to accommodate the data boom. For 40G short-reach data communication and interconnect applications, 40G QSFP SR4 and 40G QSFP BiDi transceiver modules are generally involved. This article guides you through the working principles of the two 40G transceivers, and then presenting the cabling options for each.

40G QSFP SR4 and 40G QSFP BiDi at a Glance

Before we go any further, it’s better to first obtain some basic information about 40G QSFP SR4 and 40G QSFP BiDi transceiver. As they both used to support short-range (SR) 40G connectivity, the major difference lies in the protocols, namely the way to achieve data transmission for 40G application. 40G QSFP SR4 operates over MMF ribbon with MPO connectors, utilizing 4 parallel fiber pairs (8 fiber strands) at 10Gbps each for a total of 40Gbps full duplex.

40g qsfp sr4

40G QSFP BiDi uses the same 10-Gbps electrical lanes, however, they are combined in the optical outputs. Thus requiring two fibers with a LC connector interface. Each fiber simultaneously transmits and receives 20-Gbps traffic at two different wavelengths. Which means that 40G QSFP BiDi module converts four channels each of 10Gbps transmit and receive signals to two bidirectional channels of 20Gbps signals. The connection can reach 100 m on OM3 MMF or 150 m on OM4 MMF, which is the same as 40-Gbps SR4.

40g qsfp bidi

Cabling Solutions for 40G QSFP SR4 and 40G QSFP BiDi Transceivers

Whether for 40G QSFP SR4 or BiDi Transceivers, there basically exist three cabling approaches: direct connection, interconnection and cross-connection. This section respectively illustrates the three approaches for 40G transceiver cabling.

Options for 40G QSFP SR4 Transceiver

40G SR4 operates over 12-fiber strands terminated by MPO-12 connectors, 8-fiber strands carry traffic and 4 are unused. So there are three cabling options for parallel 40G QSFP SR4 connectivity:

  • Solution 1: No conversion and uses traditional 12-fiber MTP connectivity.
  • Solution 2: Use conversion module. Converts two 12 fiber links to three 8 fiber links through a conversion patch panel.
  • Solution 3: Converts two 12-fiber links to three 8-fiber links through a conversion assembly and standard MTP patch panels.

Here we offer cabling options for parallel 40G QSFP SR4 transceiver based on these three solutions.

Scenario One: Direct Connection for 40G QSFP SR4 Transceiver

Direct connection between two parallel optics 40G Ethernet transceiver, a Type-B (key up to key up) MTP patch cable should be used. With fiber 1 on one end goes to fiber 12 on the other end, this reverse fiber positioning ensures the signal to flow from transmission on one end of the link to reception on the other end. The picture below shows an MTP patch cable directly connects two switch ports.

40g-QSFP-SR4 direct connection

Scenario Two: Interconnection for 40G QSFP SR4 Transceiver

The most basic structured cabling solution is an interconnect. The following picture shows several interconnect approaches with various patch panel options.

a. The 2×3 conversion modules allow 100% fiber utilization and constitute the most commonly deployed method. It also greatly reduced jumper complexity. The female to female Type-B polarity cable here is used to directly connect two parallel optic transceivers. That same jumper is used on both ends of the interconnect link, thus eliminating concerns about correct pinning.

b. The same trunk used in method a is adopted, but the jumper type is now male to female Type-B polarity. Thus, when you install the MTP patch cable, you would install the male end in the patch panel, and you would install the female end in the electronics.

c. This combined solution might be deployed when cabling between a spine switch, where the module is placed, and a ToR leaf switch, where the conversion harness and MTP adapter panel are located.

40g-QSFP-SR4 interconnection

Scenario Three: Cross-Connection for 40G QSFP SR4 Transceiver

The picture below shows two cross-connection link designs for cabling a 40G QSFP SR4 transceiver.

a. This link design shows a conversion module example, which again is the most common and preferred method. All the three jumpers in the link are female to female MTP patch cable with Type-B polarity. Thus, in a conversion module deployment, only one jumper type is used for a direct-connect, interconnect, or cross-connect cabling scenario.

b. Standard MTP patch panels are deployed in this method. Here the MTP patch cables at the electronics are female (into the electronics) to male (into the patch panel), although the patch cords at the cross-connect are male-to-male going into the patch panel.

40g-QSFP-SR4 cross-connection

Options for 40G QSFP BiDi Transceiver

Cabling for 40G QSFP BiDi transceiver is relatively easy. Three methods are presented here.

Scenario One: Direct Connection for 40G QSFP BiDi Transceiver

In an unstructured cabling system, devices are directly connected with fiber optic cable. This direct-attachment design can be used to connect devices within short distances in a data center network. Direct connection between two 40-Gbps devices can be provided by MMF cables with QSFP BiDi transceivers at two ends.

40g-QSFP-SR bidi direct connection

Scenario Two: Interconnection for 40G QSFP BiDi Transceiver

When it comes to structured cabling, more permanent links should be considered. The interconnection link between two 40G bidirectional ports basically consists of an MTP trunk, MTP module cassettes and LC fiber patch cables. Future migration can be achieved simply by changing the patch panels on each end, without the need to disrupt the cabling infrastructure.

40g-QSFP-SR bidi interconnection

Scenario Three: Cross-Connection for 40G QSFP BiDi Transceiver

The cross-connection design involves two structured cabling links, which connect two switches via a centralized cross-connect. This design delivers much flexibility when new equipment need to be installed: only patch cables are required to make the connection from the equipment to the patch panels.

40g-QSFP-SR bidi cross-connection

Conclusion

Judging from the cabling solutions for 40G QSFP SR4 and BiDi transceivers, it is clear that QSFP BiDi transceivers provide immense flexibility and simplicity compared to parallel 40G QSFP SR4 transceivers, while removing cost barriers for migration from 10G to 40G in data center networks. However, the main advantage of 40G SR4 transceiver over 40G BiDi transceiver is the reach. Hope what we discussed in the article could help make an informed decision.

Three Patching Configurations for Data Center Rack Management

Three Patching Configurations for Data Center Rack Management

In today’s data center, distribution patch panels and active equipment such as switches, routers, and so on are usually arranged in either the same rack or in two racks located directly next to one another. Thus, to choose a proper patching configuration which is suitable for your network is very necessary. In this post, three commonly used patching configurations are presented.

Interconnect

The interconnect patching solution is usually applied in the application that components are divided over two racks. As the following picture shown, the patch cables here are separated from cabinet to cabinet.

data center patching method-interconnect

Cross-Connect

As shown in the following picture, the cross-connect configuration is similar to the interconnect configuration—components are divided over two racks. But the cross-connect configuration uses pre-terminated cables to create the connection between cabinets or distributors and active equipment.

data center patching method-cross connect

Combined

As its name suggests, in combined configuration, all the components are set in one rack. Thus, it only needs simple patch cabling between height units in this case. See the picture below:

data center patching method-combined

Learning the above three ways to patch equipment, which do you prefer in your network? No matter which one do you choose, always be noted that a clear patching cabling system will make installation and maintenance more efficient and easier. Thus, choose the most proper one according to your needs.

What Loaded Options Can You Choose for Rack Mount Fiber Enclosures?

What Loaded Options Can You Choose for Rack Mount Fiber Enclosures?

Rack mount fiber enclosure with various rack unit configurations, such as 1U, 2U, 4U, etc. plays a very important role in cable patching, storage and protection for rack fiber cable management in the data center. With various loaded options, they can satisfy all kinds of applications according to users’ requirements. This tutorial will present the common loaded options that you can choose for rack mount fiber enclosures.

Loaded With Fiber Adapter Panels (FAPs)

Rack mount fiber enclosures loaded with fiber adapter panels are very commonly used in fiber optic cabling, e.g. backbone cabling. The adapter panels are generally available in LC, SC and MPO/MTP, etc. According to varying quantities of adapters loaded on the FAPs, they can support up to 96 fiber distributions. For the universal 12-fiber and 24-fiber FAPs, rack mount enclosures with different rack unit configurations can hold varying quantities of them. Generally, 1U enclosure can support up to 4 FAPs, while 4U enclosure can support up to 12 FAPs. Some common FAPs options are listed below:

LC Fiber Adapter Panels
LC-FAP for fiber enclosures

MPO/MTP Fiber Adapter Panels
MTP-FAP for fiber enclosures

Rack mount fiber enclosures loaded with FAPs can be applied in both pre-terminated and field-terminated cabling environments. Depending on your applications, spools or splice trays are required to be installed.

spool&splice of fiber enclsoures

Loaded With MPO/MTP Cassettes

In addition to FAPs, rack mount fiber enclosures can also be loaded with MPO/MTP cassettes, providing secure transition between MPO/MTP and LC or SC discrete connectors. The MPO/MTP cassettes are available in LGX and HD type which can meet the demands on both universal and high-density applications. Moreover, using cassettes with TAP ports, users can easy to access and monitor the data. Similar to the FAPs option, rack mount enclosures with different rack unit configurations can hold varying quantities of cassettes. In general, 1U enclosure can support up to 4 cassettes, while 4U enclosure can support up to 12 cassettes. Rack mount enclosures loaded with MPO/MTP cassettes are an ideal solution for 10G to 40/100G migration in today’s data centers. The following picture shows us some common types of MPO/MTP cassettes.

LGX Cassettes
LGX-cassette for fiber enclsoures
HD Cassettes
HD-cassette for fiber enclsoures

Conclusion

The above contents presented the basic loaded options for rack mount enclosures. Actually, you may have more options in practice, for different types of rack mount fiber enclosures. To obtain the most cost-effective effects on your applications, you had better seek advice from a reliable vendor. FS.COM may be a good choice for you. For more details about FS.COM, you can visit www.fs.com.

The Best Pratices to Identify Cables in Rack

The Best Pratices to Identify Cables in Rack

Good cable identification is very important for data center infrastructure. It helps users install and route cables in an easier and more accurate way, as well as reducing time required to identify and trace a cable in troubleshooting or MAC (move, add, change). This post presents the best two basic good practices to identify cables.

Use Color Coding for Quick Visual Identification

Use of color coding is an ideal solution to simplify management of equipment inside the rack, as it can provide quick visual identification. Users can easily and rapidly trace cables according to the specific color coding. Furthermore, to apply color coding to ports on a patch panel, such as different colored jacks or inserts that surround jacks, can also help users simply the management. It is the best practice to apply color codes to identify the role or function of a cable or a type of connection. Besides, use of different color cables for similar equipment is also a good practice to simplify management.

colored-cables

An example color scheme for patch cables are shown below:

Color Type Application
Aqua OM3 Fiber LAN/SAN device to device
Yellow SMF LAN/SAN device to device over long distance
Orange OM1 or OM2 Fiber LAN/SAN device to device
Blue Copper LAN device to device
Green Copper KVM host to KVM switch, KVM switch to LAN switch, KVM switch to KVM switch
Yellow Copper Serial host to Terminal Server, Terminal Server to LAN switch
White Copper Power strip to LAN switch

Note: the color scheme depends on the cable manufacturer and your color coding plan. If you use colors to identify cable functions or connections, be sure to build in redundancy to accommodate individuals with color blindness or color vision deficiency.

Label the Cables and Panels

Labeling system can clearly identify all components of the structured cabling system including racks, cables, panels and outlets. The ANSI/TIA 606-B labeling standard has been approved since April 2012 and provides clear specifications for infrastructure labeling and identification for cables, racks, electrical and custom panels, patch panels, and punch blocks. It is always a good practice to label both ends of a conduit, cable or wire with identical tags.

label

Summary

Use of the color coding or labels is the best practice to identify cables in a rack. They are extremely important for keeping your power, voice and data cables organized and running effectively, by helping you quickly identify the cable when issues occur or network upgrade is required.

Have demands on custom colored cable or label tools? FS.COM may be your good and reliable choice!

12-Fiber MTP Based TAP LGX Cassettes for 40GbE Cabling With Network Monitoring

12-Fiber MTP Based TAP LGX Cassettes for 40GbE Cabling With Network Monitoring

40GbE is now becoming prevalent in data center. Unlike 10GbE that is used duplex LC infrastructure, the 40GbE uses a different style of fiber cabling, known as MPO/MTP cabling. Meanwhile, network monitoring is also necessary for 40GbE networks. This post present 40GbE cabling with network monitoring using 12-fiber MTP based TAP LGX cassette.

Introduction to 12-Fiber MTP Based TAP LGX Cassettes

The 12-fiber MTP based TAP LGX cassette is designed with four 12-fiber MTP connectors for network ports and monitor ports. All the connectors are on the front. The working principle and polarity inside the cassette are shown in the following picture:

principle

40GbE Direct Connection With Network Monitoring

With two 12-fiber MTP ports for live data transmit and two for monitoring, the 12-fiber MTP TAP LGX cassette can offer high performance used in the 40GbE link, namely between two 40GBASE-SR4 ports, for both signal transmission and data monitoring. See the picture below:

40GbE  connection

Related Product:
Item ID Description
1 17931 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ 850nm 150m MTP/MPO DOM Transceiver
2 41251 3M MTP 10G OM4 50/125 Multimode Fiber Optic Trunk Cable, 12 Fiber, Polarity B, Female-Male, LSZH, Bunch
3 63013 4xMTP Female, 70/30 Split Ratio, 12 Fibers, OM4 40GBASE SR4 TAP LGX Cassette
4 61714 12 Fibers MTP Male to 6xLC Duplex 10G OM4 Multimode Staggered Harness Cable, 3.0mm Bunch LSZH Jacket
5 31033 1RU Rack Mount LGX Fiber Enclosure unloaded, holds up to 3 LGX Cassettes
6 61714 12 Fibers MTP Male to 6xLC Duplex 10G OM4 Multimode Staggered Harness Cable, 3.0mm Bunch LSZH Jacket
7 41251 3M MTP 10G OM4 50/125 Multimode Fiber Optic Trunk Cable, 12 Fiber, Polarity B, Female-Male, LSZH, Bunch
8 17931 Generic Compatible 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ 850nm 150m MTP/MPO Transceiver for MMF
10GbE to 40GbE Migration With Network Monitoring

Using a MTP harness cable assembly, we can easily achieve the 10GbE to 40GbE migration with monitoring based on the above applications:

10GbE to 40GbE migration

Related Product:
Item ID Description
1 17931 Generic Compatible 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ 850nm 150m MTP/MPO Transceiver for MMF
2 41251 3M MTP 10G OM4 50/125 Multimode Fiber Optic Trunk Cable, 12 Fiber, Polarity B, Female-Male, LSZH, Bunch
3 63013 4xMTP Female, 70/30 Split Ratio, 12 Fibers, OM4 40GBASE SR4 TAP LGX Cassette
4 61714 12 Fibers MTP Male to 6xLC Duplex 10G OM4 Multimode Staggered Harness Cable, 3.0mm Bunch LSZH Jacket
5 31033 1RU Rack Mount LGX Fiber Enclosure unloaded, holds up to 3 LGX Cassettes
6 61714 12 Fibers MTP Male to 6xLC Duplex 10G OM4 Multimode Staggered Harness Cable, 3.0mm Bunch LSZH Jacket
7 42482 3M MTP-4LC Duplex 10G OM4 50/125 Multimode Fiber Optic Harness Fan-out/Breakout Cable, 8 Fiber, Polarity B, Male, LSZH-Magenta, Bunch
8 11589 Generic Compatible 10GBASE-SR SFP+ 850nm 300m DOM Transceiver

 

Reference: TAP LGX CASSETTE Optics Cabling Connection in Date Center Hosting