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Introduction to 10GbE/25GbE/40GbE/100GbE Fiber Optic Cabling

Introduction to 10GbE/25GbE/40GbE/100GbE Fiber Optic Cabling

Technology is changing rapidly. Just when you got used to Gigabit Ethernet speeds being a fast & reliable system, someone unveiled 10GbE, 25GbE, 40GbE or even 100GbE systems a few years later. The newer and higher performing iterations are indeed the great breakthrough for telecommunication industry, but also pose difficulty in choosing network migration path—10G to 40G to 100G, or to 25G to 50G to 100G. We have described 10G, 25G, 40G and 100G Ethernet technology before, now in this blog, we’d like to introduce the four fiber optic cabling, and compare two 100G migration paths.

Cost-effective 10GbE Fiber Optic Cabling

10 Gigabit Ethernet technology defined by IEEE 802.3ae-2002 standard, is matured nowadays. Just like the “old” Gigabit Ethernet, 10Gb network can be terminated with either copper or fiber cabling. 1000BASE-T standard usually uses the Cat5e cables as the transmission media, while 10GbE bandwidth requires high grade copper cables like Cat6/Cat6a/Cat7 cables to support 10Gbps data rate. For instance, 10G SFP+ 10GBASE-T transceiver modules utilize Ethernet copper cables (Cat6a/Cat7) for a link length of 30m. SFP+ direct attach cables (DAC) and active optical cables (AOC) are also regarded as the cost-effective solutions for 10G short-reach applications. Besides 10G copper cables, there are single-mode (OS2) and multimode fiber patch cables (OM3/OM4) applied to different 10GbE IEEE standards. For the detailed information about the 10G cabling options, please see the following table.

10G fiber optic cable

As to the 10G fiber optic transceivers, there are a series of optical form factors including the XENPAK, X2, XFP, SFP+. The former three 10GbE optical transceivers were released earlier than smaller 10G form factor—SFP+ module. However, owing to their larger footprint, they are not successful on the 10G hardware market. Furthermore, SFP+ optics, compliant with several IEEE standards (SR, LR, LRM, ER, ZR and 10GBASE-T…) wins the heart of 10G end-users.

Singe-lane Design Makes 25GbE Shine

When 25G Ethernet was developed to support a single-lane 25Gbps standard in 2014, it was treated as the “new” 10GbE technology but delivers 2.5 times more data. Compared to 40GbE that was based on 10GbE, 25GbE with one lane obviously improves the port density and cost requirement. 25GbE network can support both copper and fiber optic cables, seen in the below table.Similar to 10GbE networks, 25G Ethernet physical interface specification supports several 25Gbps capable form factors, including CFP/CFP2/CFP4, SFP28 (1×25 Gbps) and QSFP28 (4×25 Gbps), which is also used for 100GbE. SFP28 25GBASE-SR and 25GBASE-LR SFP28 are two popular 25GbE optical transceiver modules available on the market, the former supports up to 100m link length while the latter allows a maximum transmission distance of 10 km.

25G optical modules

The available optical switches of the market do not support direct 25GbE connections using an SFP28 direct attach copper (DAC) cable. It is recommended to use a breakout cable that allows four 25GbE ports to connect to a 100GbE QFSFP28 switch port. FS.COM SFP28 DAC cable lengths are limited to four meters (1m, 2m, 3m, 5m) for 25GbE. And if you prefer a longer length, the 25GbE active optic cable (AOC) solutions are good recommendations.

25G Optics SFP28 Type
Media/Reach
All 25G SFP28 Ports 25GBASE-SR 50µm MMF / 70m
25GBASE-LR 9µm SMF / 10km
25GBASE-AOC Pre-terminated in 3, 5, 7, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30m lengths
OM4 MMF MTP/MPO 150m
25G Copper SFP28 Type Media/Reach
All 25G SFP28 Ports 25GBASE-CR Twinax / ‘Direct Attach’ Pre-terminated in 1m, 2m, 3m, 5m lengths

 

Fast & Reliable 40GbE Fiber Optic Cabling

Like the 10GbE fiber optic cabling, there are several IEEE standards of 40GbE transceiver in the whole evolution. 40G QSFP+ optical transceivers are the most commonly used optics for 40G network. So how to choose fiber optic cables for 40G optical transceivers? The following table will help you out.

40G modules

Besides the QSFP+ fiber transceivers and fiber optic cables, 40G DAC cables available in QSFP+ DAC cables and AOC cables enable short-reach options. For 40G cabling, QSFP+ to QSFP+ (40G to 40G) and QSFP+ to 4SFP+ (40G to 10G) breakout cables satisfy customers for various fiber types and reach requirements.

100GbE Fiber Optic Cabling For Future Proofing

With the price of 100G optics cutting down in 2017, 100GbE network is no longer out of customers’ reach. Telecom giants like Cisco, Arista, HPE launches series of 100G optical switches to meet the market demand. And for other 100G components like 100G optical transceivers, fiber patch cables, racks & enclosures, etc, those are ubiquitous on the market.

100G optical transceivers including the CFP, CFP2, CFP4, CXP and the most popular 100G QSFP28 optics in IEEE standards provide a great selection to the overall users.For 100G inter-rack connections, QSFP28 to QSF28 Direct Attach Copper (DAC) Cables and Active Optical Cables (AOC) as well as the QSFP28 to SFP28 breakout cables are the cost-effective solutions.

Path 1: 10G to 40G to 100G

Many of the largest data centers has already moved to 40GbE, which are constructed out of 4 parallel SerDes 10Gb/s links between the Ethernet chip and the QSFP pluggable. The short-reach QSFP interfaces (QSFP+ SR4 modules) use 4 pair of fiber between them, and the copper Direct Attach Cable (DAC) equivalent carry the same on several copper cables inside the big cable. Longer-reach QSFP interfaces (QSFP+ LR4 optics) put the 4 10Gb/t streams onto separate Wave Division Multiplexing (WDM) waves which can be carried over a single pair of fiber. This is part of the reason why QSFP optics are fairly expensive still, especially for longer distances.10GbE to 40GbE to 100GbESimilarly for the 100GbE interfaces that are available today, these are really constructed out of 10 parallel paths of 10Gb/t streams. 100G SR10 modules is the optical transceiver modules that support 10×10Gb/s modes. But neither the CXP SR10 modules or CFP 100G SR10 optics are not popular on the 100G hardware market owing to their larger form factors. Eventually, they need to utilize the smaller footprint 100G modules—QSFP28 transceiver, which is mentioned above as the optical transceivers that can be used in 25GbE and 100GbE.

Result: Although the migration path from 10G to 40G to 100G requires more ports and increases cost per bit, 40GbE between switches is expected to be remain and will not be affected in the near future.

Path 2: 25G to 100G—The Move From 10 Lanes to 4

The old transition path of Ethernet has increased by 10X in speed like the 10G to 40G to 100G. However, 25 Gbps over a single lane for server makes 100G migration be 4×25Gb/s mode.100-gbe-block-diagramUsing four-lane variants like QSFP28 is more economical in several ways:

  • The single-lane design makes four 25 Gbps lanes transceivers less expensive than ten 10Gbps lanes because the transceiver is simpler and less costly to manufacture.
  • The power required to run SFP28 transceivers is much less than required for a typical 10-lane transceiver, it is the same case as the cooling costs.
  • For fiber connections, moving from 10GbE to 40GbE may require an upgrade to four times the number of fibers (MPO), but a 25GbE connection does not because it is the same as 10GbE (single TX and single RX, not four each for TX and RX).
  • Moving from 10GbE to 40GbE typically requires a forklift upgrade to thicker, more expensive cables, but a 25GbE direct attach copper connection does not.

Result: There are few switches and NIC cards that directly support 25GbE. But the curve for 25GbE won’t fade away, rapid development and pre-standard 25GbE products coming soon!

Conclusion

This article introduces 10G/40G/100G fiber optic cabling, and make a clear comparison between the two paths to 100GbE. Customers prefer 4×25Gbps for the reasons: Less parallel paths, less fibers, less optics, less everything. For those who want to upgrade from 40G to 100G, appreciate the reliable performance of 40G with the potential to run across 2 parallel 25Ghz rather than 4 required today.

Several 100G DWDM Solutions for Arista 7500E Series

Several 100G DWDM Solutions for Arista 7500E Series

To keep up with the global demand for higher bandwidth, Arista has designated 7500E series switch to address 100G long-hual dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) connectivity. Arista 100G interconnect solution combines Layer 2/Layer 3 switching, wire-speed encryption and coherent DWDM into a high-density line card for the Arista 7500E data centers. Along with the introduction of Arista 7500E series switches, this article will illustrate several 100G DWDM solutions for distance up to 80 km, 150 km and 3000 km as well.

Arista 7500E Series Switch & Line Card

Arista 7500E series is the second generation of 7500 series switch that delivers scalable and deterministic network performance for mission critical data centers, enterprise and HPC environments. Available in a compact 7RU (4-slot) or 11RU (8-slot), Arista 7500E offers over 30Tbps of total capacity for 1,152 ports of 10GbE, 288 ports of 40GbE and support for 96-port 100GbE with a broad choice of interface types that support flexible combinations of 10G, 40G and 100G modes on a single port.

The 7504 and 7508 are the two types of Arista 7500E series switches. The 7508 systems support 8 linecards, dual supervisor modules and 6 fabric modules to provide a full 30Tbps of capacity. The smaller 7504 systems share a common architecture with the 7508 with the primary difference being support for 4 linecards and 15Tbps of forwarding capacity. The most unique feature of this switch is that it can connect with 10G SFP+, 40G QSFP+, 100G QSFP28 and CFP2 modules.

arista-7500E-switch

Arista 7500E series line card for addressing 1/10G, 40G and 100G with full support for industry standard connections and comprehensive layer 2 and 3 features for flexible deployment choice. The line card delivers error-free performance up to 3000 km of fiber and consumes less than 140W per 100Gbps. Similar to any other Arista platform, the DWDM line card utilizes the single binary image of Arista’s extensible operating system (EOS). Line cards with CFP2 and QSFP support standard 100G for both single and multimode fiber for distance up to 40 km.

Why Need 100G DWDM Solution?

100G optical transceivers provide the most straightforward method to connect 100G traffic over long-hual applications. 100G optics like CFP and QSFP28 offer cost-optimized solutions for connecting 100G switches together in a rack or data center. Nevertheless, the small and cost-effective QSFP28 100G optics now can only handle connections over distances of less than 10 km. For example, QSFP28 LR4 is compliant with 100GBASE-LR4 standard that operates over duplex LC cables for a link length of 10 km.

As to the CFP form factors, coherent CFP modules is designed to support metro and long-hual DWDM applications. CFP 100GbASE-ER4 can support up to 40 km. However, owing to its large size and high power consumption, CFP transceivers are less popular on the market. If you want to use CFP optics for 100G deployment, keep in mind, CFP modules are too large to fit in the Ethernet switches and will significantly reduce port counts and increase power usage, making 100G switches poor performance in cost-effectiveness. Therefore, customers who want to upgrade 100G network can only cover a distance of 10 km, which is obviously insufficient for geographically separated data centers or metro infrastructures. Figure 2 shows the basics of DWDM system.

DWDM-System

To realize 100G long-distance transmission, Arista 100G DWDM solution combines DWDM optics with a fully passive Mux/Demux system that can handle up to 3,000 km. Arista 100G DWDM solution is a 6 x 100G Coherent DWDM line card for the 7500E series with integrated wire-speed encryption and analog coherent CFP2 optical interfaces. Several use cases for the Arista 7500E Series DWDM card in multi-site data center networks exist. The following sections identify three use cases for Arista 7500E DWDM solutions.

Use Cases for Arista 7500E DWDM Solutions
  • Use Case 1—Less Than 80KM Dark Fiber Connection

For a typical metro link that is less than 80 km, Arista 7500E Series DWDM line cards can directly terminate a dark fiber connection providing a point-to-point connection between two locations.

DWDM solution for 80 km

Just as figure 3 shows, Arista DWDM solution is ideal for metro applications transmitting up to 9.6Tbps traffic without the need for any additional amplification.

  • Use Case 2—Greater Than 80 km But Less Than 150 km

When extending the distance beyond 80 km, there is a need to amplify the signal to offset heavy signal loss that occurred in the light signal when passing through fiber cables, patch panels and other optical devices. Under this circumstance, EDFA’s or Erbium Doped Fiber Attenuators are employed to give the aggregated wave a boost.

100G DWDM solution about 100 km

By using EDFAs (seen in Figure 4) to the transmit side of each end of the dark fiber link, the signal can be boosted to achieve distances of up to 150 km. Exact distances will be dependent on the number of patches, fiber splices and quality of the fiber.

  • Use Case 3—Greater Than 150 km But Less Than 3,000 km

Arista 7500E DWDM solutions can also cover the distance of greater than 150 km but less than 3000 km. Employing further EDFAs at a spacing of approximately 80 km along the fiber route allows the length of a connection to be extended to over 3,000 km. As shown below, EDFAs are used on both paths to boost the signal.

DWDM solution for 3000 km

Supported Optics for Arista 7500E Series

All Arista 10G SFP+ transceivers, with the exception of LRM, are supported on the Arista 7500E SFP+ ports.

Interface Type SFP+ ports
10GBASE-CR 0.5m-5m
10GBASE-AOC 3m-30m
10GBASE-SRL 100m (OM3) / 150m (OM4)
SFP-10G-SR 300m (OM3) /400m (OM4)
SFP-10G-LRL 1km
SFP-10G-LR 10km
SFP-10G-ER 40km
10GBASE-DWDM 80km
SFP-10G-ZR100 100km
100Mb TX, 1GbE SX/LX/TX Yes

The 40G QSFP+ transceivers and cables allow for 4x10G mode support with the use of fiber breakout cables, MTP to LC cassettes, or QSFP to SFP+ cables. See the below table for details on the latest supported 40G transceivers.

Interface Type QSFP+ ports
40GBASE-CR4 0.5m-5m
40GBASE-AOC 3m-100m
QSFP-40G-UNIV 150m (OM3) / 150m (OM4), 500m (SM)
QSFP-40G-SRBD 100m (OM3) /150m (OM4)
QSFP-40G-SR4 100m (OM3) / 150m (OM4)
QSFP-40G-XSR4 300m (OM3) / 400m (OM4)
QSFP-40G-PLRL4 1km (1km 4x10G LR/LRL)
QSFP-40G-PLR4 10km (10km 4x10G LR/LRL)
QSFP-40G-LRL4 1km
QSFP-40G-LR4 10km
QSFP-40G-ER4 40km

100G QSFP28 and CFP2 Optics

Interface Type 100G CFP2 Ports 100G QSFP Ports
100GBASE-XSR10 300m OM3 / 400m OM4 Parallel MMF
100GBASE-SR4 100m OM3 / 150m OM4 Parallel MMF
100GBASE-LR4 10km SM Duplex 10km SM Duplex
100GBASE-LRL4 2km SM Duplex
100GBASE-ER4 40km SM Duplex
100GBASE-CWDM4 2km SM duplex
100GBASE-PSM4 500m SM Parallel
100GBASE-AOC 3m to 30m
100GBASE-CR4 1m to 3m
Conclusion

Arista 7500E DWDM solution works in conjunction with passive Optical Mux/Demux devices and in-line amplifiers to support additional bandwidth and extended reaches. Arista 7500E DWDM solution can directly reach up to 80 km without requiring in-line amplification, which is ideal for metro applications. With an Optical Signal to Noise ratio (OSNR) of 11.6dB, it can be used effectively for point to point long-haul applications up to 3,000kms with in-line amplifiers and multiplexers.

Will Single-mode Fiber Work Over Multimode SFP Transceiver?

Will Single-mode Fiber Work Over Multimode SFP Transceiver?

Network installers usually come across a situation that device you have in your network does not always fit and work perfectly with the fiber. They plan to make a cable plant based on the multimode cabling, but owing to the link limitation or other reasons, they have to connect multimode equipment with single-mode devices. Is it feasible? Or put it more specifically, can I use the multimode SFP over single-mode fibers or vice versa? This article will give you a detailed illustration about the feasibility of the solutions, and introduce two relevant devices (mode conditioning cable and multimode to single-mode fiber media converter).

Single-mode Fiber Over Multimode SFP—You Can If You Are Lucky

This is the question that has been asked so many time, but no one can give the exact answer—yes or no. Hence, let’s illustrate it in details.

Most people think single-mode and multimode fibers are not interchangable because of the wave length of the laser and core size of the fiber. Single-mode fiber (MMF) uses a laser as a light source (the light beam is very concentrated), while multimode fiber (MMF) uses an LED to generate the signal. This would require two significantly different devices to generate the signal.

The core sizes are drastically different between SMF and MMF. SMF is 9 micron and multimode is 62.5 or 50 micron. If users try to mix the single-mode and multimode cabling in the same network, they might have trouble dealing with the two different types of signal.

However, it is possible to interconnect two devices using SMF interfaces at one end and MMF receiver at the other end. Keep in mind that it depends on the devices, so you can if you are lucky. When plugging LC single-mode duplex fibers on the multimode fiber transceiver (1000GBASE-SX) in the network, you will find the link came up (the light on the switch turns green). Therefore, the multimode fiber transceiver connected by the single-mode fibers works for short-reach application. The following image is the real screenshot of the single-mode fibers inserting into the 1000BASE-SX SFP.

real screenshot of inserting single-mode fiber over multimode fiber transceivers

While it should be stressed that the link is not reliable and it only works for particular brand devices with a very short link length. Many sophisticated vendors like Huawei, Alcatel or Cisco do not support it. Nevertheless, owing to the differential mode delay (DMD) effect, signal loss of this connection is not acceptable, either.

To sum up, this might be feasible but not advisable. If you need to make a connection between single-mode and multimode interfaces, you’d better use the intermediate switch that is able to convert the signals between single-mode and multimode fibers. The following part will introduce two solutions that might be helpful for the multimode and single-mode conversion.

Solution 1: MCP Cable—Single-mode In and Multimode Out

As to the multimode fiber with single-mode SFPs, most people mention the mode conditioning patch (MCP) cables. The MCP cable is launched to support 1000BASE-LX optics over multimode cable plant. The mode conditioning cables allow customers to successfully run Gigabit Ethernet over our multimode cable using single-mode fiber transceivers, Cisco 1000BASE-LX/LH SFP is the special type of transceiver that can both support single-mode and multimode fibers. The image below displays the difference between standard SC multimode patch cable and SC mode conditioning patch cable.

comparison between standard SC multimode fiber patch cable and SC MCP cable

Then, in this situation, you can run successfully from a single-mode fiber transceiver over multimode fiber with the use of MCP cables, but the distance will not exceed the link specification for multimode transceivers. Otherwise, there will be much signal loss in the cable run.

In general, if you want to run multimode fiber optic cable over 1000BASE-LX SFPs, you can use the mode conditioning cable. However, mode conditioning patch cords are required for link distances greater than 984 feet (300 meters). For distance less than 300 m, please omit the mode conditioning patch cords (although there is no problem using it on short links).

Solution 2: Fiber to Fiber Media Converter—Conversion Between Multimode and Single-mode Fibers

As noted before, mode conditioning cables, to some extent, can realize the connection between single-mode to multimode, but you can not say that you can convert single-mode to multimode or vice versa. Mode conversion between multimode and single-mode fibers often requires fiber to fiber media converters or the single-mode to multimode fiber converter.

F2F-10G-Multimode-to-Single-mode

In the above diagram, two Ethernet switches equipped with multimode fiber ports are connected utilizing a pair of fiber-to-fiber converters which convert the multimode fiber to single-mode and enable network connectivity across the distance between Gigabit switches.

Conclusion

It doesn’t really make much sense to use the single-mode fiber transceivers with multimode fibers in your network or vice versa, although the link will come up. Like I said above, you can if you are lucky connect. MCP cables and fiber to fiber converter are the two available options for single-mode and multimode connection. If you bought the wrong fiber optic cables, just replace it into the right one. Fiber optic cables and optical transceivers modules nowadays are very cheap. You won’t need to risk of mixing them in the same network.

Optical Transceiver Modules: How Much Do You Know about “Hot-swappable”?

Optical Transceiver Modules: How Much Do You Know about “Hot-swappable”?

hot-swappable-transceiverAt present, almost most of the optical transceivers are with “hot-swappable”, or also called “hot-pluggable” functions (the following contents consistently use hot-swappable) in the optics market. However, there are few articles written for hot-swappable optical transceiver, because people generally consider it just a function that will help us save money or make our work more convenient and there is unnessary to know much about it. How about you? Are you really not interested in it or just because you don’t have the resource to learn it? Here is an opportunity for you to learn much about the hot-swappable optical transceiver module, mainly the “hot-swappable” in this paper.

What’s “Hot-swappable” Optical Transceiver?

Hot-swappable optical transceiver, is a device with a function that can support inserting or pulling out the module without shutting down the system or without significant interruption to the system and significant interruption to the operation of the system. This function can help us to avoid complete redesigns and cutdown the exorbitant costs associated with the practice, e.g. system updating. Now, optical transceivers, such as GBIC, SFP (Small Form Pluggable), SFP+ (Small Form Pluggable Plus), 40G QSFP etc. are all hot-swappable.

Why “Hot-swappable” is So Important to Optical Transceiver?

As we know, optical transceiver module is an important part in optical transmission system. For each management or upgrade, we should power down the device until we finish the pluggable process, if we used a “non-hot-swappable” optical transceiver. However, because of the importance of telecommunications and data transmission systems, if power cuts carry on a long time, there will be a great loss. Additionally, the restart time of some operation systems is long which also leads
a big loss. This is why it is so important to find devices that are hot-swappable. Nowadays, the hot-swappable technology is widely used in data communication and transmission industry and becomes more and more important.

Key Technologies of “Hot-swappable” Function

When people wanted to add the “hot-swappable” function to the optical transceiver modules, a cascade of problems must be solved to ensure the device work well. First, the we should guarantee the safety of the laser. As we know, laser is the most important and expensive part of an optical transceiver module. It is easy to be damaged and vulnerable to static electricity damage as it is a static sensitive component. In addition, we should also consider the surge current and system bus to avoid damaging the components of optical transceiver and causing interference to data transmission.

To solve these problems, people use some of the technologies to ensure safty and feasibility of hot-swappable optical transceiver modules. MSA (Multisource Agreement) defines using the TX_fault (Transmitter fault) to indicate whether the optical transceiver module works in good condition. When we inserted an optical transceiver, there is a initializing program. And the optical transceiver begin to test by itself after the power on. If the self test is approved, it will dirve the IC (integrated circuit) to offer the current to the laser, and then laser work. Otherwise, it will not offer current to the laser. In addition, adding a shutdown pin to the circuit that can close the LD (laser diode) when failure occurs is also a solution to ensure the saftey of laser.

Meanwhile, to reduce the surge current, we can use a specific sequence of power on. Moreover, we can also add a filter circuit as well as current limit switch to further reduce the surge current. Furthermore, in order to reduce the interference of hot-swappable module on the system bus, we usually employ connect pullup resistors and precharge technologies. These are also defined by MSA.

Ensure They are Hot-Swappable When You Buy Optical Transceiver

After reading the above contents, you will understand more about the “hot-swappable” function of optical transceiver and know how it is so important. This is why “hot-swappable” optical transceiver was so popular with users. We can never underestimate the power of optical transceiver modules that are hot-swappable. They can reduce expenditures for companies, especially when devices fail prematurely because they do not have to completely shut down the system to replace the device. When devices have more flexibility and functionality, companies save money and time. In a word, to ensure the optical transceiver module is hot-swappable when you decide to buy it.

A Complete Guide of Installing or Removing Transceiver Modules (Part I)

A Complete Guide of Installing or Removing Transceiver Modules (Part I)

After learning more about a variety basic or conclusive knowledge of transceiver modules these days, I believe you must have a new understanding or a deeper perception on the transceiver modules. In fact, that’s just a tip of iceberg. My blog will continue to bring more information about the transceiver modules, also the other knowledge of fiber optic communication, network, telecom etc. to all of my friends who like this field and like my blog. Since we discuss so much about the theories of the transceiver modules, today, I prefer to talk about something practicle, for instance, some knowledge about installing or removing different kinds of transceiver modules.

As we know, the commonly used transceivers include the following 8 types:

The following content will cover the knowledge of installing or removing for these types of transceiver modules, namely today’s main topic. But first of all, I want to talk about some preparations and considerations before starting the main topic.

What equipment should we need to install a transceiver module?
When installing a transceiver module, some tools you should need in order to make your installation go well. The following is a list of such tools which are recommended:

  • A Wrist strap or similar personal grounding device designed to stop ESD occurrences.
  • An Antistatic mat or similar which the transceiver can be placed on.
  • Fibre-optic end-face cleaning tools and inspection equipment.
  • A flat head screw driver is require to install a XENPAK transceiver module.

What should we need to know before or during installing or removing a transceiver module?
In order to ensure the safety and avoid leading the unnecessary losses, there are some items which we should consider before and during installing and removing the transceiver modules.

  • To preventing the cables, connectors, and the optical interfaces from damage. We must disconnect all cables before removing or installing a transceiver module.
  • Please be aware that the regular removal and installation a transceiver module can shorten its useful life. Thus, transceivers should not be removed or inserted more often than is required.
  • Transceiver modules are sensitive to static, so always ensure that you use an ESD wrist strap or comparable grounding device during both installation and removal.
  • Do not remove the dust plug from the transceiver slot if you are not installing the transceiver at this time. Similarly, we must use the dust plug to protect the optical bore if we don’t use the transceivers.

How to Install or Remove Transceiver Modules
1. How to Install or Remove GBIC Transceiver Module
GBIC Installing Steps
step 1: Firstly you should attach your ESD preventive wrist strap to your wrist to prevent ESD occurrences.
step 2: Remove the GBIC transceiver from its protective packaging.
step 3: Verify that the GBIC transceiver module is the correct model for the intended network.
step 4: Using your thumb and forefinger, grip the sides of the GBIC transceiver and carefully align it with the GBIC socket opening on the device.
step 5: You can now carefully insert the GBIC transceiver module through the socket flap and slide it into the GBIC socket. A click will be heard once the GBIC is locked into the socket. Please ensure that the GBIC is inserted carefully straight into the socket.
(Please note: you should keep the protective dust plugs in place until making a connection. You should also inspect and clean the SC connector end faces immediately prior to making a connection.)
step 6: The dust plugs from the network interface cable SC connectors can now be removed, ensuring that these are saved for later use.
step 7: Next, inspect and clean the SC connector’s fiber optic end faces.
step 8: Remove the dust plugs from the optical bores on the GBIC transceiver module.
step 9: You can now attach the network interface cable SC connector to the GBIC.

GBIC Removing Steps
Please be aware that GBIC transceiver modules are static sensitive so you should always use an ESD wrist strap or similar grounding device when coming into contact with the device. Transceiver modules can also reach high temperatures so may be too hot to be removed with bare hands.
step 1: Disconnect the cable from the GBIC connector.
step 2: Release the GBIC from the slot by pressing the two plastic tabs located on either side of the GBIC (They must be pressed at the same time).
step 3: Once released carefully slide the GBIC straight out of its module slot.
step 4: The GBIC transceiver module should now be placed safely into an antistatic bag.

2. How to Install or Remove SFP Transceiver Module
SFP/SFP+ Installing Steps
SFP modules can have 3 different types of latching devices which secure the SFP into the module socket, so please determine which latching device your module has before installation or removal of the device.
step 1: Firstly you should attach your ESD preventive wrist strap to your wrist as well as to the ESD ground connector. A metal surface on your chassis is also acceptable.
step 2: Next, remove the SFP transceiver module from its packaging.
(Please note: You shouldn’t remove the optical bore dust plugs yet.)
step 3: Check the SFP transceiver to ensure that it is the correct model for the network
step 4: Locate the send (TX) and receive (RX) markings. These will allow you to identify the top of the SFP transceiver module.
(Please note: Certain SFP transceiver modules may represent the TX and RX marking with arrowheads. The direction of these will allow you to determine the send and receive.)
Pointing from the SFP transceiver module connector = Transmit/TX
Pointing toward the connector = Receive/RX
step 5: Align the SFP transceiver module with the module port.
(Please Note: Devices can have different SFP module socket configurations. It is possible to have either a latch-up or a latch-down orientation. Firstly make sure that you are installing an SFP transceiver module with the correct latch orientation for your device.)
step 6: Insert the SFP Transceiver Module into the socket until you feel the SFP’s connector latch into place. Ensure that you press the SFP firmly into the slot using your thumb.
(Please note: For those SFP transceiver modules which have an actuator latch, you must press on both the transceiver faceplate and the actuator button to ensure that the transceiver is correctly connected.)
step 7: Verify the SFP transceiver module installation. Attempt to remove the SFP without releasing the latch, if it cannot be removed then it is correctly seated. If it can be removed reinsert the SFP and press harder with your thumb, until you can verify that it is correctly seated.
step 8: You can now remove the dust plugs from the network interface cable LC connectors. You should save the dust plugs for future use.
step 9: Inspect and clean the fibre-optic end-faces on the LC connector.
step 10: You can now remove the dust plugs from the SFP transceiver module’s optical bores. As soon as this has been completed you must attach the network interface cable LC connector to the SFP.
(Please note: If you are connecting a 1000BASE-T SFP transceiver module to a copper network you should firstly insert the Category 5 network cable RJ-45 connector into the SFP transceiver module RJ-45 connector. Then Insert the other end of the network cable into an RJ-45 connector on a 1000BASE-T-compatible target device.)
step 11: Check the port status LED, if it turns green the SFP transceiver module has established a link with the target device. If the LED is off please ensure that the target device is powered on before troubleshooting. The LED will turn amber for approximately 30 seconds prior to turning green.
step 12: Reconfigure and reboot the target device if required.

SFP/SFP+ Removing Steps
Please be aware that SFP transceiver modules are static sensitive so you should always use an ESD wrist strap or similar grounding device when coming into contact with the device. Transceiver modules can also reach high temperatures so may be too hot to be removed with bare hands.
step 1: Attach your ESD wrist strap and the ESD ground connector to a metal surface on the device chassis.
step 2: Next disconnect the network cable from the SFP transceiver module connector. You should then reinstall the dust plugs on the optical bores and fibre optic cable LC connectors.
step 3: Release and remove the SFP transceiver module from the socket connector.
Mylar Tab Latch: for SFPs with a Mylar Tab Latch, you should first pull the tab in a downward direction until the SFP is released from the socket connector. Then the SFP module can be pulled directly out, ensuring not to twist or pull the Mylar tab.

Actuator Button Latch: for SFPs with an Actuator Button Latch, you should gently press the button on the front of the transceiver until it clicks. This should release the SFP transceiver module from the socket connector, following which the SFP transceiver module can be carefully removed from the module slot. This should be done straight, ensuring not to twist or bend the module.

Bail Clasp Latch: For SFPs with a Bail Clasp Latch, the latch should be pulled out and down to eject the SFP transceiver module from its socket.
step 4: The removed SFP transceiver module should now be placed safely in a protective environment such as an antistatic bag.

Warm Tips
About how to install or remove XENPAK, X2, XFP, QSFP/QSFP+ and CFP will be continued in the next blogs. Please focus on my blog update on next Monday.