Compatible Transceivers and Cabling Solution for Mikrotik CRS317-1G-16S+RM Switch

The business models today have become increasingly digital, which requires an increasingly faster and reliable network. There has never been so much traffic and applications running on the networks and it keeps growing, bringing much pressure to enterprises’ networks. Although 40G and 100G are predicted to be the mainstream in the future, for some small business, a 10G network is enough. A 10G switch is one of the most important parts for upgrading to 10G network. Here in this article we will expound on a popular model of 10G switch—Mikrotik CRS317-1G-16S+RM.

Mikrotik CRS317-1G-16S+RM Switch

The new Cloud Router Switch 317-1G-16S+RM is a rack-mountable manageable 10G switch with Layer3 features, equipped with 16 SFP+ ports for high performance 10GbE connectivity and a 1GbE copper port for management. Mikrotik CRS317-1G-16S+RM has a next-generation switching chip inside, which can offer you wire speed performance for all sixteen 10GbE ports with any Ethernet frame size.

CRS317-1G-18S+RM_1200

New features such as hardware-based Spanning Tree Protocol (MSTP) and Link Aggregation (LACP) provide enhanced protection and true professional performance for your demanding network. More detailed information of this switch can be obtained from the table below.

Mikrotik CRS317-1G-16S+RM Switch

Compatible Transceivers and Cabling Solution

To upgrade to 10G network, only with 10G switch is far from enough. You have to prepare 10G transceivers also, which are one of the workhorses of modern networking. When picking up for 10G transceivers, many people may consider the original switch manufacturer or brand companies such as Cisco first. For this Mikrotik CRS317-1G-16S+RM switch, many engineers may buy its 10G transceivers from Mikrotik directly for fear that transceiver from other vendors may not match their Mikrotik switch. However, they can have another choice—comaptiable transceiver.

10G sfp+

The reality is that you don’t have to buy a Mikrotik SFP for a Mikrotik switch just as you don’t have to use a Cisco 10 gig SFP with Cisco switch. Some third party suppliers like FS can provide 100% compatible transceivers for this Mikrotik CRS317-1G-16S+RM switch, which is as good as any other but at a much lower price. Part of the products from FS that are compatible with this Mikrotik switches are listed below for your reference.

FS 1000BASE SFP & 10G SFP+ Transceivers

ID

Description

Connector Type

Fiber Type

34976

Generic Compatible 10/100/1000BASE-T SFP Copper RJ-45 100m Transceiver

RJ-45

Cat 5

11779

Generic Compatible 1000BASE-ZX SFP 1550nm 80km DOM Transceiver

LC duplex

SMF

11552

Generic Compatible 10GBASE-SR SFP+ 850nm 300m DOM IND Transceiver

LC duplex

MMF

11556

Generic Compatible 10GBASE-LRM SFP+ 1310nm 220m DOM Transceiver

LC duplex

MMF

11555

Generic Compatible 10G SFP+ 1310nm 2km DOM Transceiver

LC duplex

MMF

48813

Generic Compatible 10G SFP+ 1310nm 40km DOM Transceiver

LC duplex

SMF

36436

Generic Compatible 10GBASE-ZR SFP+ 1550nm 80km DOM Transceiver

LC duplex

SMF

 

FS 10G SFP+ Cables

ID

Description

40109

0.5m (2ft) Generic Compatible 10G SFP+ DAC

30862

3m (10ft) Generic Compatible 10G SFP+ DAC

48882

4m (13ft) Generic Compatible 10G SFP+ DAC

30890

5m (16ft) Generic Compatible 10G SFP+ AOC

30895

10m (33ft) Generic Compatible 10G SFP+ AOC

40095

20m (66ft) Generic Compatible 10G SFP+ AOC

 

Conclusion

The above-mentioned 10G transceivers and SFP+ cables are not only compatible with Mikrotik CRS317-1G-16S+RM switch. Each transceiver has been individually tested on some other brands such as Cisco, Arista, Juniper, Dell, and Brocade to ensure the compatibility, which is nothing different from the brand-named transceivers but for the price. Except for those listed products, FS also provide a customized service to satisfy the varied demands of our customers. For more details, please visit www.fs.com.

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RJ45 vs SFP: Which Should I Use to Connect Two Switches?

When switches have both SFP port and Ethernet port for 1000Mbps connections, it is always the case for us to decide whether to use SFP fiber optic module or RJ45 Ethernet cable solution. Although it really depends on many factors, there are some principles that we could follow in our situation so as to meet our requirements.

 SFP vs RJ45

Common Principles for Using RJ45 vs SFP

The first principle is appropriate for any cases of 1000Mbps deployment. That is when the distance of the run is over 328 ft/100 m, fiber SFP module must be considered instead of copper RJ45 port or copper SFP RJ45 module. Since 1000Mbps could only go as far as 100 m over copper cabling.

When the link distance is under 100 m, there are some other principles that we should follow when we decided to use RJ45 or SFP.

1. Considering security issue, using fiber SFP module is better than Cat5e/6 RJ45 Ethernet cable or SFP RJ45 module in some of the worst circumstances. RJ45 is using electric current so it is easier to caught on a fire/lightning while fiber SFP module has no such problem. Also using fiber optic module is safer in terms of Internet security, because intercepting data transmissions by tapping copper cable is less complicated than tapping on fiber optic cable. So when security could be a problem in the connection, using fiber SFP is better than RJ45 port.

2. Reliability is also a key factor in transmission. Fiber is often considered more reliable due to its properties. Copper RJ45 Ethernet cable has the risk of interference since it uses electric signal. The issue is usually called EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) when the electric signal is affected by some external elements, such as something with high voltage. So when the cable run is going through some places that the electric signal can be interfered, choose fiber rather than copper RJ45 cabling.

copper cables use electric signal

3. Future consideration. If you’re planning to move to higher bandwidth, e.g. 10Gbps, in the near future, fiber optic cable is more future-proof compared with Cat5e/Cat6 RJ45 Ethernet cable.

4. Cost is also important in deployment. When the three issues above do not matter in our situation, cost is what we care. Since Rj45 Ethernet port and the SFP port actually run at the same speed, choosing the RJ45 ports to connect the switches might be more economical since Cat5e/6 cable is lower-priced than SFP transceiver module.

RJ45 vs SFP: Go to the Real Cases for 1000Mbps Switch Connections

These rules are found on the basis of some typical cases. If it is right the situation we’re in, we might feel lucky to get the direct answer. But most of the time even if we have known the principles for 1000Mbps deployment, it will still be confusing in real cases. Let’s see some cases of our fellows.

RJ45 vs SFP: Latency Makes a Difference

Case description: Right now my switches are connected on Gigabit Ethernet ports over about 300 ft or so. Would it be better to replace that line with a fiber line even though my port is only SFP and not SFP+ and locked at 1Gb? One switch houses 24 heavy active users and the other houses about 80 active devices and is my core switch. My goal is to clear any/all latency that I can between the two buildings.

1000Mbps switches are in different buildings

Case analysis: The two switches in this case are in two different buildings. The link distance is around the maximum transmission distance (100 m) for Cat5e/Cat6 Ethernet cable but does not exceed it, so that’s why the transmission was going well with the Rj45 Ethernet ports. The key purpose is about minimizing the latency. But in fact, the latency difference for using fiber will not be significant. Other factors are what should be considered since the switches are in two different buildings. Firstly, if the two buildings have separate electrical power inputs, then running copper between them could cause ground loop issues, so go fiber. Secondly, lightning strike might matter when using copper cable across the buildings, so go fiber. If neither of fiber or copper run is feasible, go wireless.

RJ45 vs SFP: Power Consumption Is a Challenge

Case description: I’m very confused. When connecting switches in the same rack it seems SFP is always used instead of a normal RJ45 Ethernet cable, even if the SFP port is only GB like the other ports on the switch. Why use SFP in that situation? SFP transceiver costs a lot.

Cisco 3560 switch RJ45 connections

Case analysis: This is about connecting 1000Mbps switches on the same rack. Fiber SFP port is used instead of RJ45 port maybe because there is electrical interference. Another reason could be the large amount of links. When there are more than 100 links, choosing SFP is more power saving than Ethernet ports. Also if there is a need to save the Ethernet ports for end-point connections, choose fiber for the switch connection. Keep in mind that we can use one type or the other but not both at the same time in a switch trunking.

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10G Stacking Over Cat6a or DAC

We have got benefits from the stacking of 10G SFP+ switches for the past decades, and the 10G SFP+ direct attach cable (DAC) makes the stacking low-cost. But when 10GBASE-T becomes a new port choice on 10G switches, stacking on 10G switches has to meet the issue about whether to choose Cat6a or SFP+ DAC. At first people think that Ethernet cable is cheaper and easier to deploy than SFP+ DAC, but later they realized the issue is not only about the cable cost.

  10G stacking-cat6a or DAC

Comparison of Stacking 10G Over Cat6a and SFP+ DAC

Before going on, it should be noted that this discussion is focused on 10G stackable switches that have both 10GBASE-T ports and SFP+ ports (such as Cisco 550X series switches, Dell 8024).

In terms of the cost, one Cat6a cable costs just one third of a 10G SFP+ DAC of the same length. But cable price is not the only factor that contributes to the total budget in building a network. Let’s see some properties of these two technologies.

Power Consumption
SFP+ DAC Cat6a
Power Consumption Per Port 1-1.5 W 4-6 W
Max. Reach 10 m 100 m

Obviously, SFP+ DAC uses much less power than Cat6a cable. It is important to know that for every watt of power consumed, typically two additional watts are needed for cooling. If there is a lot of ports in the stacking, this power consumption will be significant. So when power consumption matters a lot in your stacking, it will be a huge saving to choose SFP+ DAC instead of Cat6a.

10G cable power consumption

More ports mean more power consumption.

Latency

Also in a case when low latency is strictly required, like in automated financial trading, it is also better to use SFP+ DAC for 10G stacking. Because for the same links and lengths, Cat6a presents higher latency than SFP+ DAC.

automated financial trading low latency

Automated financial trading requires low latency.

Distance

When you have many stacked 10G switches located at different places, i.e. at separate floors or at opposite ends of a hallway, Cat6a can achieve the stacking connection if it is less than 100 m. But typically you’ll be suggested to use fiber link, because the power consumption in long-term could exceed the extra cost for buying 10G fiber optics and cables.

10G stacking distance

The stacking distances affect the cable choice.

As for distances more than 100 m, neither SFP+ DAC nor Cat6a can work. You have to turn to fiber optic patch cable and 10G SFP+ transceiver module.

Conclusion

Considering the total cost and performance of Cat6a and SFP+ DAC for 10G stacking, SFP+ DAC appears to be a better choice in short range. The low power consumption and low latency properties can help accomplish a good stacking, and thus shortening the downtime, improving resiliency, and simplifying administration.

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Things You Should Know About InfiniBand

In today’s high speed information era, more and more people are expecting much for high bandwidth and low latency of Internet, which are the two most common parameters used to compare link performance. To cater to most people’s requirements, InfiniBand is designed to take advantage of the world’s fastest interconnect, supporting up to 56Gb/s and extremely low application latency. So what is InfiniBand exactly? You may find answer in this post.

Introduction to InfiniBand

InfiniBand (IB) is a computer-networking communication standard used in high-performance computing that features very high throughput and very low latency. It is used for data interconnect both among and within computers. InfiniBand is also utilized as either a direct, or switched interconnect between servers and storage systems, as well as an interconnect between storage systems.

Basic InfiniBand Structure

InfiniBand creates a private, protected channel directly between the nodes via switches, and facilitates data and message movement without CPU involvement with Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) and send/receive offloads that are managed and performed by InfiniBand adapters. The adapters are connected on one end to the CPU over a PCI Express interface and to the InfiniBand subnet through InfiniBand network ports on the other. This provides distinct advantages over other network communications protocols, including higher bandwidth, lower latency, and enhanced scalability.

Basic InfiniBand Structure

How InfiniBand Works

Instead of sending data in parallel, which is what PCI does, InfiniBand sends data in serial and can carry multiple channels of data at the same time in a multiplexing signal. The principles of InfiniBand mirror those of mainframe computer systems that are inherently channel-based systems. InfiniBand channels are created by attaching host channel adapters (HCAs) and target channel adapters (TCAs) through InfiniBand switches. HCAs are I/O engines located within a server. TCAs enable remote storage and network connectivity into the InfiniBand interconnect infrastructure, called a fabric. InfiniBand architecture is capable of supporting tens of thousands of nodes in a single subnet.

InfiniBand architecture

Features and Advantages of InfiniBand

InfiniBand has some primary advantages over other interconnect technologies.

  • Higher Bandwidth—InfiniBand constantly supports the highest end-to-end bandwidth, towards the server and the storage connection.
  • Lower latency—RDMA zero-copy networking reduces OS overhead so data can move through the network quickly.

bandwidth and latency

  • Enhanced scalability—InfiniBand can accommodate flat networks of around 40,000 nodes in a single subnet and up to 2^128 nodes (virtually an unlimited number) in a global network, based on the same switch components simply by adding additional switches.
  • Higher CPU efficiency—With data movement offloads the CPU can spend more compute cycles on its applications, which will reduce run time and increase the number of jobs per day.
  • Reduced management overhead—InfiniBand switches can run in Software-Defined Networking (SDN) mode, allowing them to run as part of the fabric without CPU management.
  • Simplicity—InfiniBand is exceedingly easy to install when building a simple fat-tree cluster, as opposed to Ethernet which requires knowledge of various advanced protocols to build an IT cluster.
Summary

InfiniBand is a high-performance, multi-purpose network architecture based on switched fabric. It has become a leading standard in high-performance computing. Over 200 of the world’s fastest 500 supercomputers use InfiniBand. If you are planning to deploy InfiniBand, feel free to ask FS.COM for help. We have 40G QSFP+ modules compliant to InfiniBand standard and various optical fiber cables for you to choose. FS.COM, as a company specialized in optical communications, offers customized network solution for each customer. You will find a best solution here.

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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.

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