Author Archives: Scarlett.Fan

Things to Know About SFP+ DAC

Over the years, network cabling has undergone profound changes. 10GbE has successfully extended its coverage from enterprise data centers to medium network market. As the demands increase, it’s important to find an optimized solution for 10GbE applications. In this case, SFP+ DAC serves as a good option. This post will introduce basic information about SFP+ DAC.

What Is SFP+ DAC?

SFP+ DAC (direct attach cable), also named SFP+ DAC twinax cable or SFP+ direct attach copper cable, is a fixed assembly with a fixed length, and the SFP+ connector modules permanently attaches to each end of the cable. By connecting two SFP+ slots directly, SFP+ DAC effectively eliminates the costly optical transceivers required by the device and significantly reduces power consumption, latency, and installation time. Meanwhile, it uses an enhanced SFP+ connector to send data up to 10Gbps through a pair of transmitters and receivers over a thin twinax cable. Thus SFP+ DAC has become an optimized choice for modern short-range, high-speed 10 Gigabit Ethernet applications.

SFP+ DAC

Types of SFP+ DAC

SFP+ DAC comes to two different types: passive SFP+ DAC and active SFP+ DAC.

Passive SFP+ DAC

Passive SFP+ DAC contains no electrical components, thus it requires little to no direct power to operate. So the host networking device must support the signal processing functions. When a SFP+ is inserted, networking gear compatible with passive SFP+ DAC reads the module type, and the signal conditioning is activated only when a passive SFP+ DAC is detected. Passive SFP+ DAC can afford the length ranging from 0.5m to7m, but it’s more susceptible to degradation due to attenuation and crosstalk.

Active SFP+ DAC

Active SFP+ DAC needs DC power to integrate signal processing circuitry into its built-in connectors. That’s one of the reasons why active SFP+ DAC is usually more expensive than passive SFP+ DAC. Active SFP+ DAC has a silicon chip to improve the performance of the cable. It allows cables to be smaller, thinner, longer, and transmit data faster. It affords the length ranging over 7m.

Passive SFP+ DAC vs Active SFP+ DAC

Passive SFP+ DAC Benefits
  • It has a lower cost and higher reliability.
  • It has fewer components (No Active Tx /Rx Components) and only has capacitors, resistors, EEPROM and cable.
Active SFP+ DAC Benefits
  • It improves signal integrity and allows longer cable lengths.
  • It provides Transmit Pre-emphasis and Active/Adaptive Receive Equalization.
  • It allows no worries about host Tx/Rx for Cu cables

From the above, we can come to the conclusion that passive SFP+ DAC is much less expensive but requires the host to do the work of driving it properly, while active SFP+ DAC offers added benefits but cost a lot. When the distance is no more than 7m, passive SFP+ DAC is recommended. As for link distance is beyond 7m, active SFP+ DAC would be required.

Conclusion

SFP+ DAC is a cost-effective option to traditional fiber and twisted-pair copper cables in data center deployments. It can provide better performance for high-density deployments and improve electrical characteristics for the most reliable signal transmission. It’s typically used for connections between in-rack and inter-rack. So if you are looking for one, FS.COM offers various of high quality SFP+ DAC with different lengths. And we also offer customized services to meet your special needs. If you’re interested, please contact us at FS.COM.

Related Articles:
SFP+ DAC Twinax Cable Deployment Considerations
Introduction to 10G SFP+ Twinax Cabling
SFP+ DAC Vs. 10Gbase-T: Which One Benefits You Most?

Web Smart Switch vs Managed Switch

Speaking of today’s market of network switches, there are three main fiber switches having to be mentioned: unmanaged switch, managed switch and web smart switch. In the previous articles, we compared managed switch with unmanaged switch for home network. In this article, we will continue to make a contrast. So web smart switch vs managed switch, which one should you choose, the decision depends on the size of your network and how much control you need over that network.

alt Web Smart Switch vs Managed Switch

What Is Web Smart Switch?

A web smart switch, also named smart switch or smart managed switch, is a popular option for mid-sized networks that require management. It provides features like QoS (Quality of Service), RSTP (Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol), SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol), CLI (Command Line Interface), LACP, VLANs, redundancy capability, and so on. Web smart switch is managed via a web browser that provides intuitive guidance for users to manage their networks. It has limited selection of advanced management, poorer scope of configuration flexibility and little to no security features.

What Is Managed Switch?

Similar to web smart switch, a managed switch can be configured and managed correctly to provide a more tailored experience for users. It not only offers tools and means to monitor the network but also gives the network administrator greater control over managing and prioritizing LAN (local area network) traffic. Managed switch allows users in charge of setting everything up, but users have to take all the responsibility for the operation.

Web Smart Switch vs Managed Switch: What’s the Difference?

The differences between web smart switch and managed switch have always been discussed. Here are some obvious differences between them.

Function

Web Smart Switch
  • It offers options like QoS, VLANs, and so on.
  • It’s ideal for VoIP phones, small VLANs, and working groups for places like labs.
  • It allows you to configure ports, basic settings and set up virtual networks.
  • It allows you to assign higher priority to critical traffic.
  • It can divide your network into multiple virtual networks for better traffic security and reliable connectivity.
  • It helps to allocate network bandwidth the way you work.
Managed Switch
  • It provides high-levels of network security, control and management.
  • It can limit access to specific devices, prioritize user traffic and partition a network.
  • It can use layer 3 routing capability to link smaller networks into much larger business-wide networks.
  • It can remotely monitor network performance, detect and repair network problems without having to physically check devices or requiring network services.
  • It can optimize a network’s speed and resource utilization.

Application

A web smart switch is an entry-level managed switch. It’s especially suitable for a business network hosting less than 100 active users. If there is no advanced applications required, web smart switch is the best solution for simple applications such as small and midsize enterprise networks.
An managed switch is ideal for businesses that need to remotely and securely manage and troubleshoot their network. It enables network managers to monitor and control traffic to achieve optimal network performance and reliability. It allows the network to be expanded with flexibility.

Price

Considering the features and functions provided by web smart switch and managed switch, there is no doubt that managed switch is more expensive than web smart switch. Since managed switch allows the network to grow in the future, it worth the price over time.

Web Smart Switch vs Managed Switch: Which Is Best for You?

Web smart switch vs managed switch, the differences do exist. No matter which type to choose, you have to consider your demands first. If you have no limit of expenditure and want to have more control over the network, managed switch is the best choice. If you want to support one small company or colleague with a lower price, web smart switch is good enough. If you don’t know which one suits you best, FS.COM provides various switches to satisfy all your needs.

Related Articles:
Managed Gigabit Switch Buying Guide
Managed vs Unmanaged Switch: Which One Can Satisfy Your Real Need?
Managed or Unmanaged Switch for Home Network

Review on Fiber Cable Connectors

Fiber cable connectors are designed to provide perfect alignment of the microscopic glass fibers that were used in fiber cables to transmit data. These kinds of connections must be highly accurate in order to facilitate high speed fiber optic networks. This article helps to review some common fiber cable connector types available on the market today.

What Is Fiber Cable Connector?

Fiber cable connector, also named fiber optic connector or optical fiber connector, is a hardware installed on fiber cable ends. It provides cable attachment to a transmitter, receiver or other cable. There are various fiber cable connectors, for which different connectors have different characteristics and functions. According to statistics, about 100 different types of fiber cable connectors have been introduced to the market.

Fiber Cable Connector Constructions

The most popular used ones are ST, SC, FC and LC style connectors, which vary differently from characteristics, applications and performances. But all the connectors have three major components: the ferrule, the connector body, and the coupling mechanism. Among those, the ferrule is used for protecting and aligning the stripped fiber end. The connector body holds the ferrule and attaches to the jacket and strengthens fiber cable. The coupling mechanism is a part of the connector body that keeps the connector in place when connected to other devices.

Common Fiber Cable Connectors and Their Differences

ST Connector

ST connector was developed by AT&T. It’s a high-performance fiber optic connector with cylindrical ceramic ferrules and bayonet locking features. Most ferrules are ceramic, but some are metal or plastic. ST connector is constructed with a metal housing and is nickel-plated, can be inserted into and removed from a fiber optic cable both quickly and easily. It’s commonly used in network environments such as campuses, corporate networks, industrial and military applications.

altST Connector of Fiber Cable Connectors

SC Connector

SC connector is a snap-in connector with a round 2.5mm ferrule used to hold a single mode fiber (SMF). It sometimes refers to “square connector” because of its “square shaped” connector body. It’s intended for Gigabit Ethernet networking with features of low price and excellent performance. SC connector is ideal for data communication and telecommunications applications, and still popular over the years.

altSC Connector of Fiber Cable Connectors

FC Connector

FC Connector is the first optical fiber connector to use a certain ferrule. It utilizes a round screw-type fitment made from nickel-plated or stainless steel. The end face relies on an alignment key for correct insertion and is then tightened into the adaptor/jack using a threaded collet. It’s commonly used in data communication, telecommunications, measurement equipment, and single-mode lasers. SC and LC connector deliver similar performance to FC connector but both of them have less expensive components, thus FC connector with screw-on collet performs effectively in high-vibration environments.

altFC Connector of Fiber Cable Connectors

LC Connector

LC connector is featured with a ferrule of 1.25mm, which makes it perfect for high density cabling. It’s available in simplex and duplex versions. It has half the footprint of the SC connector, thus it becomes the most popular connector in data communication and other high-density patch applications. LC connector is ubiquitous nowadays, especially for connections with SFP and SFP+ fiber transceivers.

altLC Connector of Fiber Cable Connectors

Conclusion

There are about 100 fiber cable connectors introducing to the market, but only a few represent the majority of the market. Here is a brief review on fiber cable connectors that have been the leaders of the industry. If you’d like more information on different fiber cable connectors, FS.COM has a complete fiber cable connector guide for you.

Related Articles:
Tips on Buying Fiber Optic Cables
Fiber Optic Cable Core-How Much Do You Know About It?
How Many Fiber Connector Types Do You Know?

Managed or Unmanaged Switch for Home Network

A network switch is a computer networking device, which uses packet switching to connect devices together on a computer network in order to receive, process and forward data to the destination device. There are two common types of switch: managed switch and unmanaged switch, both of which play an important role in home network. So should I use managed or unmanaged switch for home network?

Managed or Unmanaged Switch for Home Network

What Is a Managed Switch?

A managed switch can be configured and managed correctly to provide a more tailored experience for users. It not only offers tools and means to monitor the network but also gives the network administrator greater control over managing and prioritizing LAN (local area network) traffic. Managed switch allows users in charge of setting everything up, but users have to take all the responsibility for the operation.

What Is an Unmanaged Switch?

An unmanaged switch, on the contrary, is a plug-and-play switch that already has all the required program settled, and does not require user intervention, setup or configuration. Here’s one thing to note: the unmanaged switch is manufactured with a standard configuration that cannot be changed, you should think twice before you buy it.

Managed or Unmanaged Switch for Home Network?

Managed switch is able to be configured for more advanced functions while unmanaged switch can’t. Knowing the differences between the two will do a favor in selecting managed or unmanaged switch for home network.

Differences and Similarities Between Managed and Unmanaged Switch

Similarities
  • They allow multiple devices to connected to the network to communicate with each other.
Differences
  • An unmanaged switch is a “plug and play” switch, simply allows Ethernet devices to communicate with one another, such as a desktop PC or router.
  • A managed switch not only provides all the features of an unmanaged switch but also gives you the tools and means to monitor your LAN traffic for a stable and ideal network.
  • A managed switch prioritizes through configuration changes whereas an unmanaged switch is shipped with a fixed configuration and does not allow any changes to this configuration.

Managed Switch for Home Network

A managed switch offers high-levels of network security. It incorporates STP (Spanning Tree Protocol) to provide path redundancy to keep your network safe. So if you need to handle some sensitive information at home, we recommend going with managed switch. It is able to implement VLANs, which allow network administrators to group devices together without running new cables or changing the network infrastructure, to prioritize user traffic for a better performance in a network. A managed switch allows you to configure port mirroring to forward copies of traffic to a single port on the same switch for analysis by a network analyser. The benefit of using managed switch at home is you can diagnose and fix problems without taking the network out of service. In short, a managed switch is ideal for operations that require monitoring and control capabilities. It costs the most, but worth the price over time.

Unmanaged Switch for Home Network

However, an unmanaged switch will work in the most basic form. It can’t be modified or managed. It allows your devices to connect with one another, handles everything automatically. If you’re using unmanaged switch in your home or a small network of fewer than 5-10 computers, it provides ample support. To sum it up, an unmanaged switch is ideal for primary learners with cheaper price.

Conclusion

Now that you know the advantages of managed and unmanaged switches, also the differences between them, you should be able to decide managed or unmanaged switch for home network. For home network, managed switch is for configuring, managing, and monitoring, while unmanaged switch is for simple operating, low in cost. If you are still unsure about the features mentioned above or are confused about the problem confronted, please do not hesitate in getting in touch with FS.COM, we will be more than happy to help with your networking needs.

Related Articles:
Managed Gigabit Switch Buying Guide
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Getting to Know the DWDM Transceivers in DWDM Systems

To keep pace with the rapid growth of Internet traffic, service providers have been seeking to improve fiber capacity and wavelength spectrum efficiency in their networks. In response to this situation, DWDM technology is emerging. DWDW is an optical multiplexing technique for increasing the bandwidth of existing fiber networks. DWDM transceivers are important parts of DWDM network, which provide high-capacity and long-distance transmissions. Let’s take a closer look together.

dwdm transceivers

What are DWDM and DWDM Transceiver?

DWDM refers to dense wavelength division multiplexing, which is a technology that gathers data signals from different sources, enables them to share a single optical fiber pair while the separation of data streams is ensured. It supports up to 80 simultaneous wavelength channels, with each of the channels only 0.8nm apart. The technology creates multiple virtual fibers thus multiplies the capacity of the physical fiber cable. It is applied to increase bandwidth over existing fiber networks and transmit data for longer distances.

DWDM transceiver is a kind of fiber optic transceiver with its own features and functions. It is designed for single-mode fiber transmission and operates at a nominal DWDM wavelength from 1528.38 to 1563.86 nm (Channel 17 to Channel 61) as specified by the ITU-T. Like other transceivers, it converts the electrical signal to optical signal and vice versa. The transceiver can support up to 10 Gbps and span a distance up to 120 km, which makes itself stand out in high-capacity and long-distance transmissions.

Types of DWDM Transceivers for DWDM Networks

DWDM transceivers are available in different types, which can support transmission rate from 155 Mbit/s to 10 Gbit/s. Here are the common types of DWDM transceivers classified based on data rate, form factor and fixed or tunable wavelength.

From the Perspective of Data Rate

In the case of data rate, DWDM transceiver usually can be divided into two types: 1G   DWDM transceiver and 10G DWDM transceiver. 1G DWDM transceiver includes DWDM SFP transceiver. 10G DWDM transceiver can be further divided into DWDM SFP+ transceiver, DWDM X2 transceiver, DWDM XFP transceiver and DWDM XENPAK transceiver. DWDM SFP transceiver provides a signal rate range from 100 Mbps to 2.5 Gbps, usually used as part of a DWDM optical network to provide high-capacity bandwidth. DWDM SFP+/X2/XFP/XENPAK transceivers support 10-Gigabit data rates from 9.9G to 11.25G (LAN, WAN, and OTU2/OTU2e) which are applied in different applications.

From the Perspective of Form Factor

In terms of form factor, DWDM transceiver can be classified into DWDM SFP transceiver, DWDM SFP+ transceiver, DWDM X2 transceiver, DWDM XFP transceiver and DWDM XENPAK transceiver. Among those transceivers, DWDM SFP and SFP+ transceivers are the most commonly used ones, based on the SFP form factor which is an MSA standard build. DWDM X2 transceiver is based on the X2 form factor, designed for high speed data transmission for data center networking. It’s an ideal choice for data communications and telecommunications switches and routers. DWDM XFP transceiver is based on the XFP form factor which is also an MSA standard build. DWDM XENPAK transceiver is SC duplex receptacle module and is designed for backbone Ethernet transmission systems, which is the first 10GbE transceiver that supports DWDM. It can support 32 different channels for transmission distance up to 200 km with the aid of EDFAs.

From the Perspective of Fixed or Tunable Wavelength

Considering fixed or tunable wavelength, DWDM transceiver can be divided into fixed wavelength DWDM transceiver and DWDM tunable transceiver. Fixed wavelength DWDM transceiver, as the name implies, the wavelength is fixed. It can only transmit a certain number of wavelength, regular fixed wavelength transceiver transmits wavelength at 1310nm and 1550nm for 10G data transmission applications. The Tunable DWDM transceiver is a unique product which enables you to set the channel or “color” that the laser emits. Typically these tunable optics are for the C-Band 50GHz. Around 88 different channels can be set with intervals of 0.4nm. Tunable transceivers are typically used as “spare-optics”, in case of emergency.

Conclusion

In DWDM systems, a large number of DWDM transceivers with different wavelengths, data rates and form factors are required to satisfy network flexibility in optical network. Now that you know all the types of DWDM transceivers, you can compare them with each other and find the one you need. FS.COM provides a variety of transceivers including those mentioned above. High-quality and cost-effective products, intimate service only at FS.COM. You won’t want to miss it.

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