February 2017

QSFP+ to 4xSFP+ AOC VS. QSFP+ MTP breakout cable

28. february 2017 at 9:00 | jack
As the demand for fast-speed data transmission ever-increases, it is inevitable to migrate from 10G to 40G in data center. However, with the existence of 10G infrastructure, it will cost an amount of money to replace them with 40G devices or equipment. So there come fan-out cabling solutions. Commonly, there are two methods used to migrate from 10G to 40G for short distance transmission: QSFP+ to 4xSFP+ AOC and QSFP+ MTP breakout cable. This post aims to introduce these two types of fan-out cables and tell some differences between them.

40G QSFP+ to 4xSFP+ AOC Overview
40G QSFP+ to 4xSFP+ AOC is a cable assembly, which is composed of a QSFP+ connector on one end and four SFP+ connectors on the other end. This type of fan-out cable can transmit four separate streams of 10Gbps data over ribbon cables in a point-to-multipoint configuration for the link length of 100 meters over OM3 fiber. It offers IT professionals a cost-effective interconnect solution for merging 40G QSFP+ and 10G SFP+ enabled host adapters, switches and servers. Users can directly install this breakout cable between an available QSFP+ port on their 40Gbps rated switch and feed up to four upstream 10G SFP+ enabled switches as shown below.

10G to 40G connection with 40G QSFP+ to 4xSFP+ AOC
QSFP+ MTP Breakout Cable Overview
QSFP+ MTP breakout cable is composed of one MTP or MPO connector on one end for interfacing with QSFP+ port on the 40G switch, while the other end is terminated with four duplex LC connectors for providing connectivity to the SFP+ port on the 10G switch. When we need to achieve the connection between 10G and 40G devices for short distance transmission, besides MTP LC breakout cable, it also requires 40GBase-SR4 or 40GBase-CSR4 and 10GBase-SR4 as shown below.

10G to 40G connection with MTP LC breakout cable

40GBase-SR4 or QSFP-40G-SR4 can be used in a 4x10G mode for interoperability with 10GBase-SR interfaces up to 100 and 150 meters on multimode (OM3 or OM4) MTP to LC breakout cable respectively, while 40GBase-CSR4 or QSFP-40G-CSR4 can be also used in a 4x10G mode for interoperability with 10GBase-SR interfaces, but it extends the distance up to 300 and 400 meters on multimode (OM3 or OM4) MTP to LC breakout cable respectively.

Differences Between QSFP+ to 4xSFP+ AOC and QSFP+ MTP Breakout Cable
Performance: As we have mentioned above, both of these fan-out cables can support short link length. Generally, when the transmission distance is less than 100 meters, QSFP+ to 4xSFP+ AOC and QSFP+ MTP Breakout Cable both can be applied, but when it comes to distance over 100 meters, MTP breakout cable has more reliable and better performance than QSFP+ to 4xSFP+ AOC.

Cost: When comparing these two cable types from the aspect of cost, we should take two factors into consideration, one is material cost, and the other is maintenance cost. Actually, in 10G to 40G connection, the total material price of QSFP+ to 4xSFP+ AOC is higher than QSFP+ MTP breakout cable with a 40GBase-SR4 or 40GBase-CSR4 module. For example, 1m QSFP+ to 4xSFP+ AOC is about $200, while 1M MTP to LC breakout cable is $29 with a $55 40GBase-SR4 QSFP+ module and four $16 10GBase-SR SFP+ from FS.COM as show below. However, in modern data center, the value of maintenance cost is much more important than the value of material cost. With QSFP+ to 4xSFP+ AOC, IT managers no longer have to clean the connector as well as terminate plug and test regularly, which can greatly save time and cost.

QSFP+ to 4xSFP+ AOC VS. QSFP+ MTP breakout cable

Installation: As we know, QSFP+ to 4xSFP+ AOC is a cable assembly which has been pre-terminated with one QSFP+ connector on one side and four SFP+ connectors on the other side, so when using it, we just need to plug the connectors directly into the switches, and it works. But for MTP breakout cable, the installation process is a little more complicated. First we have to plug the MTP breakout cable into the QSFP+ and SFP+ interface, and then plug the whole assembly into the switch port.

Which Fan-out Cable Should We Choose?
Both QSFP+ to 4xSFP+ AOC and QSFP+ MTP breakout cable are two good fan-out solutions for the migration from 10G to 40G. But to choose the right one, you have to take some factors into consideration. If the link length you need is long and requires good performance, you should turn to MTP breakout cable and QSFP+ module. But if you are a fresh man in optical deployment, you'd better choose QSFP+ to 4xSFP+ AOC for easier installation and more free from maintenance.

Deploying MPO/MTP Cassettes for 10G, 40G & 100G Connectivity

23. february 2017 at 8:23 | jack
With bandwidth capabilities, port density, security, upgradability and ease of installation, pre-terminated fiber cabling has dominated in today's data centers and high speed networks. MPO/MTP based networking has established itself as the leading technology within the pre-terminated fiber portfolio. MPO/MTP cassette, as an indispensable device used in high-density data center, has gained much popularity. In this post, we're going to learn some knowledge about MPO/MTP cassette and how to deploy MPO/MTP cassette for 10G, 40G and 100G connectivity.

MPO/MTP Cassette Overview
MPO/MTP cassette is a modular module, which is loaded with 12 or 24 fibers and has LC or SC adapters on the front side and MPO/MTP at the rear, enabling users to take the fibers brought by a MTP trunk cable and distribute them to a duplex cable as shown below. MTP LGX cassette, HD cassette and TAP cassette are three variants of the MTP cassette, which provide secure transition between MTP and LC or SC discrete connectors, allowing for rapid deployment of data center infrastructure as well as improved troubleshooting and reconfiguration during moves, adds, and changes.

MPO MTP cassette structure
Advantages of MPO/MTP Cassette
  • Reliable Interface: MPO/MTP cassettes is interfaced with LC and MPO/MTP, featuring superior optical and mechanical properties.
  • Optimized Performance: Low loss MPO/MTP elite, discrete premium connectors and OM4 fiber grade assures low insertion loss and power penalties in tight power budget, high-speed network environments.
  • High Density: Generally, 12 and 24-fiber MPO/MTP cassettes are commonly used ones. They can be mounted in 1U scaling up to 72 or in 3U scaling up to 336 discrete LC connectors.
How to Use MPO/MTP Cassette in 10G, 40G & 100G Connectivity?
MPO/MTP Cassette for 10G to 10G Connectivity
For 10G to 10G connectivity, as we know, we often use a duplex LC patch cable for direct connection when the distance between these two 10G devices is short, but how about long distance connection? We can use MPO/MTP cassette for interconnection or cross connection. The image below shows 10G to 10G connectivity with 1xMTP(12-Fiber) to 6xLC duplex cassette.

10G to 10G connectivity with 1xMTP(12-Fiber) to 6xLC duplex cassette
MPO/MTP Cassette for 10G to 40G Connectivity
Likewise, for 10G to 40G migration, if the distance between 10G device and the 40G device is short, we can use a MTP-4 duplex LC patch cable for direct connection. But when long distance connection is needed, we may also have to deploy MPO/MTP cassette for interconnection or cross connection. The image below shows 10G to 40G connectivity with 1xMTP(24-Fiber) to 12xLC duplex cassette.

1xMTP(24-Fiber) to 12xLC duplex cassette to achieve the migration from 10G to 40G network
MPO/MTP Cassette for 10G to 100G Connectivity
If we need to upgrade our 10G network to 100G or need to connect 10G device to 100G device, we can also use MPO/MTP cassette. In 10G upgrade to 100G connectivity scene, if the distance between the 10G device and the 100G device is short, we can directly connect these two devices with MTP-10 duplex LC patch cable. But once the distance is extended, a MPO/MTP cassette is needed. We should use it to interconnect or cross-connect the 10G device and 100G device. The following image shows 10G to 100G connectivity with 2xMTP(2*12-Fiber) to 12xLC duplex cassette.

2xMTP to 12xLC duplex cassette for 10G to 100G migration
Conclusion
MPO/MTP cassette is widely used in today's high density data center. FS.COM provides a wide range of MPO/MTP cassettes, including 1xMTP(12-Fiber) to 6xLC duplex cassettes, 2xMTP(2*12-Fiber) to 12xLC duplex cassettes and 1xMTP(24-Fiber) to 12xLC duplex cassettes to meet different demands. All of these cassettes are the combination of high quality components and manufacturing quality control, which could provide great reliability.

Attaching More Importance to Fiber Optic Adapter

16. february 2017 at 5:00 | jack
Fiber optic adapter is a small but critical, part of hardware in the fiber optic cabling system. Available for more than a decade, the fiber optic adapter has been a relatively stable device with no really revolutionary breakthrough in its technology, and its importance is often overshadowed by connectors, but product manufacturers continue to stress the significant role that these devices play in overall interconnection performance.

Getting to Know the Concept of Fiber Optic Adapter
Fiber optic adapter is often used to join two terminated fiber optic cable or pigtails together, or to form a fiber optic jack on a wall plate or panel for patching. Like the copper cable adapter, it creates a permanent mating point somewhere for users to plug into as needed. Fiber optic adapter is also called as fiber coupler, it allows fiber optic patch cables to be attached to each other singly or in a large network, which permits many devices to communicate at once.

Note: fiber optic adapter and fiber optic coupler shape a little differently-if the two fiber assemblies to be connected have different style connectors, then we always call adapter; on the contrast, the two patch cables have the same style connectors, we call adapter. This can be clearly distinguished in the following image.

adapter-and-coupler
How Do Fiber Optic Adapter Work?
Unlike a copper connection that two copper conductors can be joined directly by a solder or by connectors that have been crimped or soldered to the wires, the key to a fiber connection is the precise alignment of each fiber core. This alignment is achieved by two precision components: the ferrule within each connector and the alignment sleeve within each adapter as shown below. The alignment sleeve is the critical component in an interconnection, which is aimed to bring together the ferrules of the two connectors being mated within the adapter's sleeve and at its approximate midpoint. The performance of the adapter, defined as how well it aligns two connector ferrules, is determined by the amount of spring force in, and the tolerance of, the split sleeve.

adapter working principle
Three Common Fiber Optic Adapter Types
According to different shapes and structures, fiber optic adapters can be classified in several types, such as bare fiber optic adapter, mating sleeves and hybrid fiber optic adapters. The following text will introduce them respectively.
Bare Fiber Optic Adapter-Bare fiber optic adapter is structured with optical fibers on one side and the adapter on the other side, which is used to link the bare optical fiber cable to fiber optic equipment. The adapter side is a connector that can plug into the devices and enables a quick and easy termination for the optical fiber, making it widely used for emergency situation for fast and temporary fiber optic or urgent connection. According to the connector style on the fiber patch cable, there are LC, SC, FC bare fiber adapters available on the market as shown below.

Bare Fiber Adapter

Mating Sleeve-Mating sleeve means the fiber optic adapter is used to connect the same type of fiber optic connectors as shown in the image below. Bare fiber type and plug-in type are available for the mating sleeve. The LC, SC, FC fiber optic adapter are the common mating sleeve types that we often see in networking applications. LC adapter greatly increases the density of fiber optic connector, SC adapter enables a high precision alignment with a low insertion, return loss and back reflection, and FC adapter is easy to operate but sensitive to dust.

Fiber_Mating_Sleeve

Hybrid Fiber Optic Adapter-Unlike mating sleeve, hybrid fiber optic adapter provides interconnections between two different fiber connector types as shown below. It includes male-female and female-female hybrid fiber adapter. Female-to-female hybrid adapter is with two different ends, which is bulk type hybrid fiber adapter, such as FC female at one end and ST female at the other end. Male-to-female hybrid adapter is built out type with a connector plug end and an adapter socket end. Hybrid fiber adapter is often with compact size and widely used for network environments, integrating different configurations and networks.

hybrid fiber optic adapter
Conclusion
Don't look down upon any components in telecommunication applications, since any small devices play an important role in connection, and improving work efficiency, like fiber optic adapter that we have mentioned above. Choosing the right fiber adapter type, you have to check the fiber optic patch cable you need to connect.

40GbE Transmission With Parallel Optics

10. february 2017 at 10:51 | jack
As data center virtualizes more of their servers and storage, the need for speedy network connections increase, which means that 10GbE transmission can't satisfy users' need any more and it is time to migrate to 40GbE transmission. Many famous vendors has provided various 40G products and technologies to cope with the development of 40GbE network, like parallel optics. This post will give a detailed introduction of parallel optics for 40GbE transmission in the following part.

What Is Parallel Optics?
Parallel optics, also known as parallel optical transceiver, are a term which refer to a type of optical communication technology as well as the devices on either end of the link that transmit and receive information. Different from traditional fiber optic communication, parallel optical communication deploys a different cabling structure, which is primarily targeted for short-reach multimode fiber systems that are less than 300 meters. In parallel optical communication, the devices on either end of the link contain multiple transmitters and receivers. For example, four transmitters on End A communicate with four receivers on End B, spreading a single stream of data over four optical fibers.

Benefits of Parallel Optics
As we have mentioned above, parallel optical communication uses multiple paths to transmits a signal at a greater data rate than the individual electronics can support. It can either lower the cost of a given data rate by using slower, less expensive optoelectronis or enable data rates that are unattainable with traditional optical transmission. Besides, parallel optics offer an economical solution that utilizes multimode fiber, which is optimized with VSCEL sources, meaning that for speeds faster than 16G, parallel optics is the most practical and cost-effective solution.

Common Parallel Optics for 40GbE Transmission
To enable high-bandwidth 40G optical link, 40G parallel optical transceivers typically use the left four 10G channels to transmit and the right four 10G channels to receive over 12-fiber parallel MPO or MTP fiber cable, leaving the middle four channels unused as shown below. Taking the advantages of small size and high performance, 40G parallel QSFP+ optical transceiver has become the dominant transceiver module for 40G Ethernet applications. In parallel optical communication, 40G-QSFP-SR4 and 40G-QSFP-CSR4 are the two mainly deployed modules for 40GbE transmission.

12-fiber-MTP-parallel-connection

40G-QSFP-SR4: 40G-QSFP-SR4 primarily enables high-bandwidth 40G optical link over 12-fiber parallel fiber terminated with MPO/MTP multi-fiber female connectors, which can support link lengths of 100 meters and 150 meters, respectively, on laser-optimized OM3 and OM4 multimode fibers. It can also be used to connect with four 10GBase-SR optical interfaces using an 8-fiber MTP to LC breakout cable.

40G-QSFP-CSR4: 40G-QSFP-CSR4 extend the reach of the IEEE 40GBase-SR4 interface t0 300 meters and 400 meters on laser-optimized OM3 and OM4 multimode parallel fiber respectively. It can be used for native 40G optical links over 12-fiber parallel cables with MPO/MTP female connectors or in a 4x10G mode with parallel to duplex fiber breakout cables for connectivity to four 10GBase-SR interfaces.

40GbE Connectivity Solutions With Parallel Optics
Solution 1: Direction Connection By MTP Trunk Cable.
40g-connection
Solution 2: 10GbE to 40GbE Transmission by MTP to LC breakout Cable.
QSFP+ to SFP+
Conclusion
The need for bandwidth continues to rise steadily and many technologies are already waiting in the wings with 40GbE or even 100GbE. Parallel optics have proven to be an excellent solution for delivering 40G or 100G transmission especially within a data center environment. It provides a flexible, high density option for quickly connecting service and is a reliable high speed solution for many data networks. If your data center hasn't shifted from 10Gbps to 40Gbps, now it's your chance by deploying 40GbE with parallel optics.

Essential Tools for Easy Cable Management

6. february 2017 at 9:08 | jack
Modern data center and home have become sophisticated with the increase use of technology. With this, the mass of cables have also grown proportionately, which has resulted in the chance of getting lost in tangle. Cable failure or malfunctions are often the cause of machine downtime, which can have a direct effect on productivity and efficient operations. However, with the availability of cabling products and accessories, the task of cable management has become lot easier. This post will introduce some essential tools for easy cable management for your reference.

Why Should We Manage Cables?
Cable management is extremely important in creating an aesthetically pleasing and clean environment, whether the setting is professional, industrial, or in your home. Coordinating and managing cabling helps to maintain basic funtionality, while also protecting equipment from blocked airflow due to messy, and unorganized cables. Tangled wires and cables oftentimes can be stressful and time-consuming to untangle and keep straight.

Essential Cable Management Tools
When you choose cable management products, you should know that there are two main functions of them: one is to ensure the protection of cables in applications, and the other is to guide cables through entry points. Besides cable ties, wire loom, there are many other useful tools for easy cable management that we will introduce in the following text.

J Hook
Cable ties and brindle rings are common cable management tools to hang and support cable bundles, but these narrow-base fasteners could exceed the bend radius of the cable itself, leading to network failure. Horizontal cabling trays can be used to solve the problem, but they are expensive and time-consuming to install. A more practical solution is the use of J Hook. As its name suggest, it looks like the letter "J", which is usually made of galvanized steel or sometimes of plastic polymers, allowing for both indoor and outdoor installation. This fastener type features a wide base with smooth, rounded corners to eliminate the potential for snags during installation, while preventing the development of stress where the cable bundle is supported as shown below.

J Hook for cable support
Cable Lacing Bar
Cable lacing bar, also referred to as lacer bar, is made of a metal bar that mounts to the rear of a standard 19'' rack or cabinet, behind a patch panel. It provides support and management of cables that are secured with cable ties or adjustable clips as shown in the image below in telecommunication rooms, which offers strain relief, bend radius control, superior aesthetics and improves organization and routing of cable. To meet different cabling management needs, there are various types of cable lacing bar available on the market, and the most commonly used ones are round lacing bar, rectangular lacing bar, and L-shaped lacing bar, etc.

cable-lacing-bars
D-Ring Cable Manager
In modern data center, patch panels and rack enclosures are widely used to build the well-organized cabling system, however, there might still be cable dangling or cable mess on the IT rack after installing cables on patch panels or rack enclosures. To solve this problem easily and cost-effectively, D-ring cable manager is a good solution. D-ring cable manger is a simple accessory which can be used individually on any suitable plat like wall or installed on cable management panel to provide easy and orderly cable routing. It can accommodate large amount of cable with its robust structure and give protection to cables. Deployed for different applications, D-ring cable manager can be with different sizes, shapes and materials, and there are two D-ring cable manager types for vertical cable management and horizontal cable management as shown below.

D-ring-cable-management
Conclusion
Organized cable management keeps system maintenance easier and more efficient. This means reduced downtime which can save your money. We have introduced three essential cable management tools in the previous text, and make sure to invest in appropriate wire and cable management devices to keep network cables safe and secure.