Transceiver Optics and Cable Options for HP 5820AF-24XG Switch (JG219B)

The requirements of virtualization and cloud trends are changing enterprise business environments, high port density, high throughput and very low latency are bedrock requirements in the data center. The HP 5820 switch series are built to meet these requirements, and help enterprises to reduce operating costs and build agile and resilient enterprises. As a member in the family of HP 5820 switch series, the HP 5820AF-24XG switch is a managed L3 switch supporting Gigabit Ethernet and 10 Gigabit Ethernet SFP+ optics and cables. It can serve as a leaf or access top-of-rack 10 Gigabit Ethernet switch in data centers. This article will provide the optical solutions such as fiber optic transceivers and direct attach cables that are supported by HP 5820AF-24XG switch.

HP 5820AF-24XG switch

HP 5820AF 24XG Switch JG219B

In the family of HP 5820 switch series, HP 5820AF-24XG switch (JG219B ) thus obtains several features of the series. It provides a versatile, high-performance and 1/10GbE top-of-rack data center switch architecture with deployment flexibility. The switch can be deployed for data center top-of-rack server access; or as high-performance Layer 3, 10GbE aggregation switches in campus and data center networks. JG219B offers Gigabit and 10 Gigabit connectivity. It includes 24 fixed 1000/10000 SFP+ ports and 4 RJ-45 autosensing 10/100/1000 ports. The total switching capacity of this switch can reach up to 484 Gbps supporting as much as 363mpps throughput.


Fiber Optic Transceivers and Direct Attach Cables for HP 5820AF 24XG Switch

As stated above, the HP 5820AF 24XG switch is available with 1 GbE and 10 GbE data links. The SFP transceivers, SFP+ transceivers, 10G SFP+ to SFP+ direct attach copper cables and 40G QSFP+ to 4x10G SFP+ direct attach copper breakout cables for HP 5820AF 24XG switch are shown in the following tables.

SFP Transceivers
MFG PART# Description Cable Type Interface
JD061A HP Compatible 1000BASE-LH SFP 1310nm 40km DOM Transceiver, $ 14.00 SMF LC Duplex
JD062A HP Compatible 1000BASE-LH SFP 1550nm 40km DOM Transceiver, $ 24.00 SMF LC Duplex
JD063B HP Compatible 1000BASE-LH SFP 1550nm 70km DOM Transceiver, $ 24.00 SMF LC Duplex
JD089B HP Compatible 1000BASE-T SFP Copper RJ45 100m Transceiver, $ 16.00 Cat 5 RJ45
JD118B HP Compatible 1000BASE-SX SFP 850nm 550m DOM Transceiver, $ 10.00 MMF LC Duplex
JD119B HP Compatible 1000BASE-LX SFP 1310nm 10km (SMF Distance) DOM Transceiver, $ 12.00 SMF/MMF LC Duplex
SFP+ Transceivers
MFG PART# Description Cable Type Interface
JD092B HP Compatible 10GBASE-SR SFP+ 850nm 300m DOM Transceiver, $ 16.00 MMF LC Duplex
JD093B HP Compatible 10GBASE-LRM SFP+ 1310nm 220m DOM Transceiver, $ 34.00 MMF LC Duplex
JD094B HP Compatible 10GBASE-LR SFP+ 1310nm 10km DOM Transceiver, $ 34.00 SMF LC Duplex
JG234A HP Compatible 10GBASE-ER SFP+ 1550nm 40km DOM Transceiver, $ 149.00 SMF LC Duplex
10G SFP+ to SFP+ Direct Attach Copper Cables
MFG PART# Description
JD095C 0.65m HP JD095C Compatible 10G SFP+ Passive DAC, $ 22.00
JD096C 1.2m HP Compatible 10G SFP+ Passive DAC,$ 23.00
JD097C 3m HP Compatible 10G SFP+ Passive DAC, $ 29.00
JG081C 5m HP Compatible 10G SFP+ Passive DAC, $ 56.00
40G QSFP+ to 4x10G SFP+ Direct Attach Copper Breakout Cables
MFG PART# Description
JG329A 1m HP Compatible QSFP+ to 4SFP+ Passive Breakout DAC, $ 78.00
JG330A 3m HP Compatible QSFP+ to 4SFP+ Passive Breakout DAC, $ 91.00
JG331A 5m HP Compatible QSFP+ to 4SFP+ Passive Breakout DAC, $ 120.00

HP 5820AF 24XG switch (JG219B) provides a simplified network architecture designed for scalability and reliability. It is a good option for 1 GbE and 10 GbE networks over buildings, campus and data centers. The fiber optic transceivers and direct attach cables for the HP 5820AF 24XG switch are always available at FS.COM.


How to Choose a Suitable Network Switch?

A network switch is a small hardware device that centralizes communications among multiple connected devices within one local area network (LAN). Network switches come in different sizes, features and functions, so choosing a switch to match a particular network sometimes constitutes a daunting task. This blog will give you a few useful things to consider when choosing the appropriate switch for a layer in a particular network.

network switch

Network Switch Technology

While switching capabilities exist for several kinds of networks, including Ethernet, Fibre Channel, RapidIO, ATM, ITU-T and 802.11, network switch can operate at one or more layers of the OSI model. Switches provide multiple advantages in network designs. All switches provide the basic traffic filtering functions, which improves network bandwidth. Besides, the internal switching circuits allow traffic flows to simultaneously occur between multiple ports. Currently, mainstream network switches support Gigabit Ethernet speeds per switch port, but high-performance switches in data centers generally support 10 Gbps per link. Different models of network switches support varying numbers of connected devices. Home network switches provide 4/8 connection for Ethernet devices, while SMB switches typically support between 32 and 128 connections.

Considerations for Choosing the Suitable Network Switch

Careful planning before purchasing a switch will save you money. At the same time, it can help you ensure the equipment has the functionality that you organization is needed, or the switches can expand their capabilities as your requirements change and grow. Here are some suggestions you can use to help guide your switch purchase.

Connection Requirements

Connection requirements are a good place to start, since they usually dictate what types of switches will be needed, and they can affect pricing dramatically. Here are something you need to consider in advance:

1. Consider the number of users that your network will have to support

2. Consider your basic network infrastructure

3. Determine the network needs of the users (Fast Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet)

4. Choose the role of the switch (core switch, distribution switch, access switch)

5. Pick a vendor and/or company (for example: Cisco, Juniper, HP, Dell, Arista, Brocade, FS.COM)

Number of ports

The number of users and the basic network infrastructure determine the number of ports. Common numbers of ports on network switches are 5, 8, 10, 24, and 48 ports. If you only have 5 or 6 users, then a small 8 port switch will probably be enough for your needs. Number of ports is one of the biggest factors in the cost of a switch, so if you buy a switch that only supports the number of users that you will have, you will likely save a fair amount of money.

FS network switch

Port Speeds and Types

Fixed switches come in Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet. Fast Ethernet allows up to 100 Mb/s of traffic per switch port while Gigabit Ethernet allows up to 1000 Mb/s of traffic per switch port. These ports may be a combination of SFP/SFP+ slots for fiber connectivity, but more commonly they are copper ports with RJ-45 connectors on the front, allowing for distances up to 100 meters. With Fiber SFP modules, you can go distances up to 40 kilometers. Currently, Gigabit Ethernet is the most popular interface speed though Fast Ethernet is still widely used, especially in price-sensitive environments.

Link Aggregation

If you have a 24-port switch, with all its ports capable of running at gigabit speeds, you could generate up to 24 Gb/s of network traffic. If the switch is connected to the rest of the network by a single network cable, it can only forward 1 Gb/s of the data to the rest of that network. Due to the contention for bandwidth, the data would forward more slowly. That results in 1 out of 24 wire speed available to each of the 24 devices connected to the switch. Therefore, the more ports you have on a switch to support bandwidth aggregation, the more speed you have on your network traffic.


Core Layer Switches: These types of switches are routed at the core layer of a topology, which is the high-speed backbone of the network and requires switches that can handle very high forwarding rates. The switch that operates in this area also needs to support link aggregation to ensure adequate bandwidth coming into the core from the distribution layer switches. Because of the high workload carried by core layer switches, they tend to operate hotter than access or distribution layer switches. Virtually, core layer switches have the ability to swap cooling fans without having to turn the switch off.

Distribution Layer Switches: Distribution layer switches plays a very important role on the network. They collect the data from all the access layer switches and forward it to the core layer switches. Distribution layer switches provides advanced security policies that can be applied to network traffic using Access Control Lists (ACL). This type of security allows the switch to prevent certain types of traffic and permit others.

Access Layer Switches: Access layer switches facilitate the connection of end node devices to the network. For this reason, they need to support features such as port security, VLANs, Fast Ethernet/Gigabit Ethernet, Power over Internet, and link aggregation. Port security allows the switch to decide how many or what type of devices are permitted to connect to the switch.

The Three-Layered Hierarchical Model

Power requirements

At any layer, a modern switch may implement power over Ethernet (PoE), which avoids the need for attached devices, such as a VoIP phone or wireless access point, to have a separate power supply. Since switches can have redundant power circuits connected to uninterruptible power supplies, the connected device can continue operating even when regular office power fails. Another characteristic you consider when choosing a switch is PoE. This is the ability of the switch to deliver power to a device over the existing Ethernet cabling. To find the switch that is right for you, all you need to do is choose a switch according to your power needs. When connecting to desktops which do not require PoE switches, the non-PoE switches are a more cost-effective option.

Future Growth: Stackable VS. Standalone

As the network grows, you will need more switches to provide network connectivity to the growing number of devices in the network. When using standalone switches, each switch is managed, troubleshot, and configured as an individual entity. In contrast, stackable switches provide a way to simplify and increase the availability of the network. With a true stackable switch, you can connect the stack members in a ring. If a port or cable fails, the stack will automatically route around that failure, many times at microsecond speeds. You can also add or subtract stack members and have it automatically recognized and added into the stack.


Managed Switch VS. Unmanaged Switch: Which to Choose?

Switches are devices used in connecting multiple devices together on a Local Area Network (LAN). In terms of networking, the switch would serve as a controller, which allows the various devices to share information. Switches can be used in the home, a small office or at a location where multiple machines need to be hooked up. There are two basic kinds of switches: managed switches and unmanaged switches. The key difference between them lies in the fact that a managed switch can be configured and it can prioritize LAN traffic so that the most important information gets through. On the other hand, an unmanaged switch behaves like a “plug and play” device, which cannot be configured and simply allows the devices to communicate with one another. This blog will compare the difference between managed switch and unmanaged switch, and why would choose one over the other?

managed switch vs. unmanaged switch

Managed Switch

A managed switch is a device that can be configured. This capability provides greater network flexibility because the switch can be monitored and adjusted locally or remotely. With a managed switch, you have control over network traffic and network access. Managed switches are designed for intense workloads, high amounts of traffic and deployments where custom configurations are a necessity. When looking at managed switches, there are two types available: smart switches and fully managed switches. Smart switches have a limited number of options for configuration and are ideal for home and office use. Fully managed switches are targeted at servers and enterprises, offering a wide array of tools and features to manage the immediate network.

FS Managed Switch

Unmanaged Switch

Unmanaged switches are basic plug-and-play switches with no remote configuration, management, or monitoring options, although many can be locally monitored and configured via LED indicators and DIP switches. These inexpensive switches are typically used in small networks, such as home, SOHO or small businesses. In scenarios where the network traffic is light, all that is required is a way for the data to pass from one device to another. In this case there is no need for prioritizing the packets, as all the traffic will flow unimpeded. An unmanaged switch will fill this need without issues.

The Managed Switch Will Retain Predominance as the Switch of Choice

Managed and unmanaged switches can maintain stability through Spanning Tree Protocol (STP). This protocol can prevent your network from looping endlessly, because it can search for the disconnected device. However, the managed switch is still the best solution for long-range usability and network performance. And it will cover the trends in the near future.

benefits of managed switches

Benefits of Managed Switches

Network Redundancy: Managed switches incorporate Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) to provide path redundancy in the network. STP provides redundant paths but prevents loops that are created by multiple active paths between switches, which makes job for a network administrator easier and also proves more profitable for a business.

Remote management: Managed switches use protocols such as or Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) for monitoring the devices on the network. SNMP helps to collect, organize and modify management information between network devices. So IT administrators can read the SNMP data, and then monitor the performance of the network from a remote location, and detect and repair network problems from a central location without having to physically inspect the switches and devices.

Security and Resilience: Managed switches enable complete control of data, bandwidth and traffic control over the Ethernet network. You can setup additional firewall rules directly into the switch. And managed switches support protocols which allow operators to restrict/control port access.

SFP: The benefit of having multi-rate SFP slots is the network flexible expansion possibility, which allows the user to be able to use 100Mbps and 1Gbps SFP modules for either multi or single-mode fibre optic (or copper) as needed. If requirements change, the SFP module can be replaced and easily protect your switch investment.

Support multiple VLAN as per requirement: Managed switches allow for the creation of multiple VLANs where an 8-port switch functionally can turn into two 4-port switches.

Prioritise bandwidth for data subsets: The switches are able to prioritise one type of traffic over another allowing more bandwidth to be allocated through the network.

The disadvantages of unmanaged switches
  • Open ports on unmanaged switches are a security risk
  • No resiliency = higher downtime
  • Unmanaged switches cannot prioritize traffic
  • Unmanaged switches cannot segment network traffic
  • Unmanaged switches have limited or no tools for monitoring network activity or performance

For end users, network visibility and control can be highly valued in their plants and they are willing to pay for it. Although managed switches are costlier than unmanaged switches, managed switches definitely have more benefits and consistent network performance. When the network requirements may be expanded or better control and monitoring over network traffic is needed, managed switches may be considered.


Why Choose PoE Switch for Your Network?

PoE is a technology which enables electrical power to pass over Ethernet cable at distances up to 100m. It is developed to reduce the cost of network planning, cabling and installation. PoE is primarily used for low-powered terminal devices, typically VoIP phones, IP cameras and wireless access points, but it can also provide a redundant power supply for switches to increase the network’s reliability. Until recently, the PoE switches are commonly found in industrial Ethernet network deployments.


802.3af and 802.3at PoE Standards

The IEEE is responsible for creating PoE standards. Currently, there are two PoE standards available: 802.3af and 802.3at. The 802.3af standard supports 15.44 watts of power. But even though 802.3af powered sourcing equipment (PSE) are able to transmit 15.44 watts of power, powered devices (PDs) can only reliably receive 12.95 watts of power due to power dissipation. In 2009, IEEE introduced the higher powered 802.3at standard, which is known as PoE+. The standard supports 30 watts of power, but similar to the 802.3af standard, power dissipation causes powered devices to receive slightly lower amounts of power, specifically 25.5 watts of power. The IEEE Committee is now developing a new standard (IEEE802.3bt) which will power up 70+ Watt loads.

PoE Power System

A PoE system comprises of four pieces of equipment: power sourcing equipment (PSE), a device which supplies power to the rest of the system; powered device (PD), a device which receives power from the PSE device; Ethernet cable, the power and data transmission medium of a PoE system; and power supply. The figure below shows the basic principle of a PoE system.

PoE System

As PoE changes to meet growing technology and application requirements, it is being classified by classes. PoE classes ensure efficient power distribution by specifying the amount of power that a PD will require. PDs that require less power than the lowest PoE standard receive a low-ranking power classification and allows the PSE to allocate the surplus amount of power to other connected devices. PoE systems provide high reliability, convenience and low cost. The available 25 watts per port is sufficient to power many common applications. Since PoE systems are classified as low-power systems, they need not be installed nor maintained by licensed personnel.

PoE Switch – Allotting Sufficient PoE Power to Your Network

A PoE switch is a dedicated device that contains multiple Ethernet ports to provide power and network communications to IP cameras. At the same time, it is a kind of PSEs to allocate power to the desired amount of connected powered devices. For example, S1400-24T4F gigabit switch is an 802.3af PoE compliant PSE that boasts a total PoE power budget of 400 watts. There is 25% redundant power peak, which can fully allocate IEEE802.3af PD devices, and half allocate the IEEE802.3at PD devices, such as IP cameras, VoIP phones or wireless access points. It can automatically adjust energy consumption according to the ports’ actual flow, dynamically sense idle periods between traffic bursts and quickly switch the interfaces into a low power idle mode, in result to save 30% power dissipation. By the way, when you utilize PoE managed switches, installation of controllers and access points is greatly simplified. You won’t need to provide separate power cables or install plugs near Wi-Fi locations. You’d simply run your Cat5e or Cat6 cable from your hotspot to your switch. All in all, PoE switch is the best option for SMB or entry-level enterprise solution which demands industrial surveillance, IP phone, IP camera or wireless applications.

PoE Switch


PoE switch provides the availability of critical business applications, protects the sensitive information, and optimizes the network bandwidth to deliver information and applications more effectively. It is the best option for SMB network. Before ordering your PoE switch, you should consider what your goals are for the network. In many cases, future-proofing with a better PoE switch may actually be a much better investment.


Which 10G SFP+ Optics Are Compatible with Intel X520 Adapter?

The escalating deployments of servers with multi-core processors and demanding applications are driving the need for 10 Gbps connections. Intel X520 10 GbE Adapter is the most flexible and scalable Ethernet adapters for today’s demanding data center environments. At the same time, 10G SFP+ optics play the most important role for its 10G connectivity. But seriously, do you know which 10G SFP+ optics are compatible with the Intel Ethernet converged network adapter X520 series? This blog will give you solutions.

Intel X520 Adapter

Intel X520 adapter is powered by reliable and proven 10G Ethernet technology, which offers high performance for high-IO intensive applications and showcase the next generation in 10 GbE networking features for the enterprise network and data center. It is designed for multi-core processors, which supports for technologies such as multiple queues, receive-side scaling, multiple MSI-X vectors and Low Latency Interrupts. It addresses the demanding needs of the next-generation data center by running mission-critical applications in virtualized and unified storage environments. In a multicore platform, the Intel X520 adapter supports Intel I/O Virtualization Technology (IOVT), which helps accelerate data across the platform, therefore improving application response times. For virtualized environments, it offers advanced features with VMDq (Virtual Machine Device Queues) that lower processor utilization and increase I/O performance.

Intel X520 Dual Port 10GbE SFP+ Adapter

Figure 1. Intel X520 Dual Port 10GbE SFP+ Adapter

The Intel X520 adapter provides SFP+ based connectivity options (fiber or DAC cabling). Intel X520 adapters are provided with 7 models: X520-QDA1, X520-DA2, X520-SR1, X520-SR2, X520-DA1OCP, X520-DA2OCP and X520-LR1. X520-SR1 is shipped with 1 SR SFP+ Optic,  X520-SR2 has dual-port and is shipped with 2 SR SFP+ Optics, X520-LR1 has single-port and is shipped with 1 LR SFP+ Optic, and X520-DA2 has dual-port and does not ship with any optics or cables, which is the most suitable one for 10G SFP+ Optics and the most popular one on the market. The following table lists the detailed information of Intel X520 adapter series in Table 1.

Intel X520 Adapter Product Code Connector and Cable Cable Type Ports
X520-QDA1 QSFP+ direct attach copper (4x10GbE mode) QSFP+ direct attached twinaxial cabling up to 10m Single port
X520-SR1 Fiber optic MMF up to 300 m Single port
X520-SR2 Fiber optic MMF up to 300 m Dual port
X520-DA2 SFP+ direct attach copper SFP+ direct attached twinaxial cabling up to 10 m Dual port
X520- LR1 Fiber optic SMF up to 10 km Single port
X520-DA1OCP SFP+ direct attach copper SFP+ direct attached twinaxial cabling up to 10 m Single port
X520-DA2OCP Copper SFP+ direct attached twinaxial cabling up to 10 m Dual port

Table 1: Intel X520 Series Adapters

10G SFP+ Optics for Intel X520 Adapter

A 10 Gigabit Ethernet network is essential for businesses that demand high bandwidth for virtualization and fast backup and restore for an ever-growing amount of data. To ensure maximum flexibility, Intel X520 adapters supports the ability to mix any combination of the SFP+ optical modules, direct attach copper cables or 1000BASE-T SFP modules. Besides, 10G SFP+ Optics are available in both short range (SR) 850 nm and long range (LR) 1310 nm options. This enables customers to create the configuration that meets the needs of their data center environment.

10G SFP+ Optical Modules

Intel Ethernet SFP+ SR optics and Intel Ethernet SFP+ LR optics are the only 10 Gbps optical modules supported. Other brands of SFP+ modules are not allowed and can’t be used with the X520 adapters. The following table lists the supported 10Gb Ethernet SFP+ optical transceivers for Intel X520 adapters in Table 2. (Note: Other brands of SFP+ optical modules will not work with the Intel Ethernet Server Adapter X520 Series.)

10G SFP+ Optical Modules
Name Intel Product Code (MFG PART#) FS P/N Type
Intel 10G SFP+ SR Optical module E10GSFPSR SFP-10GSR-85 Dual Rate 10GBASE-SR/1000BASE-SX
Intel 10G SFP+ LR Optical module E10GSFPLR SFP-10GLR-31 Dual Rate 10GBASE-LR/1000BASE-LX

Table 2: 10G SFP+ Optical Transceivers for Intel X520 Adapters

1000BASE-T SFP Modules

Some 1000BASE-LX and 1000BASE-SX modules can work with Intel Ethernet Converged Network Adapter X520 series. These modules referred to only highlight specifications and compatibility with Intel Ethernet server adapter X520 series. The table lists tested modules in Table 3. Other similar modules may work but have not been tested (many similar modules can be purchased in FS.COM). Remind you to use your own discretion and diligence to purchase modules with suggested specifications from any third party.

1000BASE-T SFP Modules
Name Intel Product Code (MFG PART#) FS P/N Type
Avago Gigabit Ethernet Module ABCU-5710RZ SFP-GB-GE-T 1000BASE-SX
Intel Gigabit Ethernet Module TXN22120 SFP1G-LX-31 1000BASE-LX

Table 3: 1000BASE-T SFP Modules for Intel X520 Adapters

10G SFP+ Direct Attach Copper Cables (10G SFP+Cu)

A direct attach twinaxial cable is a 2-pair shielded copper cabling terminated with SFP+ electrical modules. Intel X520 Adapters require that any SFP+ passive or active limiting direct attach copper cable should comply with the SFF-8431 v4.1 and SFF-8472 v10.4 specifications. SFF-8472 Identifier must have value 03h (You can verify the value with the cable manufacturer). Maximum cable length for passive cables is 7 meters. Support for active cables requires Intel Network Connections software version 15.3 or later. The following table lists the fully compatible 10Gb DAC cables for Intel Ethernet server adapter X520 series in Table 4.

10G SFP+ DAC Cables
Name Product Code (MFG PART#) FS P/N Type
Intel Ethernet SFP+ Twinaxial Cable, 1 meter XDACBL1M SFP-10G-DAC 10G SFP+ Passive Direct Attach Copper Twinax Cable
Intel Ethernet SFP+ Twinaxial Cable, 3 meter XDACBL3M SFP-10G-DAC 10G SFP+ Passive Direct Attach Copper Twinax Cable
Intel Ethernet SFP+ Twinaxial Cable, 5 meter XDACBL5M SFP-10G-DAC 10G SFP+ Passive Direct Attach Copper Twinax Cable

Table 4: 10G DAC cables for Intel X520 Adapters

QSFP+ Breakout Cables

The new QSFP+ single-port X520-QDA1 can connect the server to the latest 40GbE switches with a single cable operating in 4x10GbE mode. This adapter can also utilize existing 10GbE SFP+ switches using the QSFP+ to 4xSFP+ breakout cable. The QSFP+ adapter supports direct attach copper cables and Intel Ethernet QSFP+ SR optical transceivers. Intel Ethernet QSFP+ breakout cables have one QSFP+ connector on one end and break out into four SFP+ connectors on the other end for direct attachment to SFP+ cages. The following table lists the Intel Ethernet QSFP+ breakout cables for Intel adapter X520-QDA1 in Table 5.

Intel Ethernet QSFP+ Breakout Cables for Intel Adapter X520-QDA1
Name Product Code (MFG PART#) FS P/N
Intel Ethernet QSFP+ breakout cable, 1 meter QSFP-4SFP10G-CU1M QSFP-4SFP10G-DAC
Intel Ethernet QSFP+ breakout cable, 3 meter QSFP-4SFP10G-CU3M QSFP-4SFP10G-DAC
Intel Ethernet QSFP+ breakout cable, 5 meter QSFP-4SFP10G-CU5M QSFP-4SFP10G-DAC

Table 5: QSFP+ Breakout Cables for Intel Adapter X520-QDA1



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.


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.

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.


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.

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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Fiber Optic Cable VS. Copper Cable

In recent years, it has become apparent that fiber optic cables are steadily replacing copper cables as an appropriate means of signal transmission. A fiber optic cable is a network cable that contains strands of glass fibers inside an insulated casing. It is designed for long distance and high performance for data networking and telecommunications. This article will make a comparison between fiber optic cable and copper cable, which can help customers make an educated choice about cabling options.

 Fiber Optic Cable VS. Copper Cable

Figure 1: Fiber Optic Cable VS. Copper Cable

Transmission Media

A fiber optic system is similar to the copper cable system. The difference is that optical fiber use light pulses to transmit information instead of using electronic pulses (copper cable) to transmit information. Photons used in fiber optic cable travel at the speed of light, whereas electrons used in copper wire travel at less than one percent of the speed of light in nature. Though fiber optic cables don’t travel at the speed of light, they are just slower about 31 percent. So the transmission media of fiber optic cable supports higher transmission speed than copper cable.


Both fiber and copper will experience a loss of signal in long cable runs. However, when traveling over a long distance, fiber optic cables experience less signal loss than copper cabling, known as low attenuation. Research shows that fiber loses only 3 percent signal when going over 100 meters (320 feet) in distance. By contrast, copper loses 94 percent over the same distance. Repeaters or boosters can improve those rates, but fiber retains a higher bandwidth over greater distances than copper. In a word, fiber optic cable experiences less signal loss at great distances than copper cable.

OS2 Single-mode Fiber Patch Cable

Figure 2: OS2 Single-mode Fiber Patch Cable

Electromagnetic interference

Because copper cables operate through electrical signals, they can be prone to the effects of electromagnetic interference (EMI) from lightning, nearby power lines or RFI radio signals. Besides, if not properly installed, copper wires will produce electromagnetic currents that can interfere with other wires and decrease the network performance. However, fiber optic cable can not be affected by the external magnetic field. Fiber is a dielectric, which means that no electrical current flows through it. So it is resistant to fire and electromagnetic interference. Generally speaking, fiber is more resilient to the environmental factors that can affect copper cable, so data transmission through fiber is slightly more reliable. In short, fiber optic cable is more resilient to EMI than copper cable.


Is copper cheaper than fiber? There is no clear answer, as there are many different scenarios to consider. As a general rule, fiber optic cable is 1-5% more in cost than copper cable. However, the long-term effect of a choice have to be weighed against immediate costs. The growing demand for fiber cables is resulting in dropping prices. What’s more, many organizations are being converted to fiber. The reason is that fiber optic cable is greater capacity and longer distance in transmission. Fiber optic cable gives the providers greater reliability and flexibility. With an optimized network fiber system, you can take advantages of fiber’s strengths. On the other hand, copper just costs less at the beginning, it will be more expensive than fiber over the lifetime of the installation, maintenance costs and downtime. We may make a conclusion that fiber optic cables become more cost effective in larger applications; on a small scale, for home networks or small office network, copper cable remains the best option and most cost effective. All in all, fiber optic cable costs lower than copper cable in the long term.

Cat5e UTP Patch Cable

Figure 3: Cat5e UTP Patch Cable


copper cables are quite fragile and have a lower tension limit than fiber cable, which may make copper installations slightly more complicated. Fiber is lighter than copper, which means it’s easier to pull and install. Because of its dielectric, there’s no need to worry about EMI and the proximity to power cables. For this reason, fiber optic cable is more easily installed than copper cable.


A comparison between fiber optic cable and copper cable has been presented. The invention of fiber-optic technology is a revolutionary departure from the traditional copper cable. With the fiber optic systems being used in the backbone applications of most major companies, there is no doubt that fiber optic technology will be continuously researched and expanded to cater for future demands. So in the long term, fiber optic cable will offer more advantages than copper cable.


How Is Active Optical Cable Used in Modern Data Centers?

With the advent of big data, the data center landscape is changing rapidly. There are an increasing amount of high density, high bandwidth applications on the market. At this point, the passive cable or copper cable system are in the cart. Active optical cables (AOCs), as the main transmission medium in high performance computers (HPCs) and data centers ensures the stability and flexibility of transmission. Active Optical Cable (AOC) is used for short-range multi-lane data communication and interconnect applications. This article will introduce the basis and applications of AOC cables, and analyze the advantages of AOC cables from the buyer perspective.

What Is an AOC Cable?

AOC cable is a cabling technology that accepts same electrical inputs as a traditional copper cable, but uses optical fiber “between the connectors”. AOC uses electrical-to-optical conversion on the cable ends to improve speed and distance performance of the cable without sacrificing compatibility with standard electrical interfaces. In general, AOCs are used for short interconnection (100-200 meters) as the cost-effective alternative solution. They are widely used in high performance computers (HPCs) and hyperscale, enterprise and storage systems.

AOC Cable

AOC Cable Advantages from the Buyer’s Perspective

An AOC cable uses two optical transceivers with integrated fiber. So, what on earth are the differences between AOC and optical transceiver? And what are AOC advantages over the optical transceivers? We will talk about these question from the buyer perspective.

Firstly, AOC is a “plug and play” cable solution rather than a “plug, assemble and clean” solution as with optical transceivers. Therefore, AOCs do not have optical connectors to manually clean, as a single speck of dust inside the connector can completely block the 50-um or 9-um diameter fiber light transmission. On the other hand, an optical transceiver has two fiber ends and two transceiver ends to clean. Besides, the personnel cost of the connector cleaners can cost upwards of $250 each and stocked.

Secondly, there are big operational power cost savings. AOCs consume 2.2Watts per end compared to 2.8-4.5W for optical transceivers, because AOCs are less complex than optical transceivers and offer lower power consumption.

Last but not least, AOC cables have a short bend radius and much thinner able thickness than most DAC cables. This makes them easier to deploy and frees up a lot of space for increased air flow cooling in crowded systems.

All in all, AOCs have the lowest optical power consumption, and there is no optical connectors to clean and maintain. Both of these two elements can save the operating expenses and increases reliability.

How Are AOCs used in Modern Data Centers?

Because of the power and cost savings, AOCs have become a popular way to link Top-of-Rack switches upwards to aggregation layer switches. Additionally, AOCs are also used in storage subsystems and some hyperscale builders who often run 10G or 25G AOCs from a Top-of-Rack switch to subsystems at reaches greater than DAC limits of 3-7 meters.

Figure 1 is an example of how AOCs are typically used inside systems racks to link subsystems together and between switches and systems:

typical applications of AOC

Figure 1: Typical applications of AOCs

Here is a more detailed view in Ethernet configurations showing the 40Gb/s based AOCs and Cisco switches.

As a high performance integrated cable, AOCs can provide protection from environmental pollutants and other user trouble during installation. Figure 2 shows one Cisco 40 QSFP+ to QSFP+ AOC cable connected by two switches directly.


Figure 2: One Cisco 40 QSFP+ to QSFP+ AOC Cable Connected by Two Switches Directly

For the long haul transmission between the two Cisco switches, figure 3 shows a suggested suitable solution by using single-mode patch cable and OEO Converters. The two QSFP to QSFP 40G OEO Converters which are connected by 40G transceivers, can provide seamless integration of different fiber types by converting multi-mode fiber to single-mode fiber.


Figure 3: Cisco 40GbE QSFP+ to QSFP+ AOC Interconnection Solution


Compared with the traditional cable, AOC has the advantages of high transmission rate, long transmission distance, low energy consumption, easy to use and so on. It can help the communication equipment enjoy the great advantage of optical transmission. It is ideal for data center and consumer electronics of the transmission cable.


Armored Patch Cable VS. Standard Patch Cable

When transmitting data or conducting power in harsh environments, protecting your cables is crucial to safe and reliable operation. This is why armored cables come into being. Armored fiber optic cable refers to the robust construction of the inner core and jacket. It utilizes an interlocking armored design to eliminate the installment of rigid conduit required by building codes. The armor provides added protection for installation in high traffic areas where security is required. It is ideal for industrial networking applications.

The Construction of Armoured Cable

Armored patch cords are constructed with a helical stainless steel tape over a buffered fiber surrounded by a layer of aramid and stainless steel mesh with an outer jacket. This will help make the armored fiber patch cord resistant of high tension and pressure. It can resist the weight of an adult person, and it is not easy to break when bent or dragged. The inside armored can protect the whole cable from rodent. The armored tube provides additional protection where mechanical stress has the potential to cause damage to the cable, such as direct burial, outdoors or underground. It also enables the cable to bear higher pulling loads.

armoured cable

Armored Patch Cable VS. Standard Patch Cable

First, resistance of damage and rodent bite. The biggest difference between armored patch cable and standard patch cable is that the armored patch cables are easy to use in harsh environment. In fact, armored fiber optic cables retain all the features of standard patch cords, but they are much more stronger. The armored fiber optic cables will not get damage even it is stepped by an adult. And they are anti-rodents, people do not need to worry that the rodent animals like the rats may bite the cables and make them broken.

Second, excellent elasticity and light weight. Armored fiber optic cables are light weight and flexible with about an 8 inch bend radius. Due to the excellent elasticity metallic tube, they have the max bending radius and strong tensile strength. All of these make them prolong the service life and be easy to install.

Third, lower insertion loss and higher return loss. Insertion loss and return loss are two important data to evaluate the quality of many passive fiber optic components. Maximum acceptable fiber patch cable insertion loss is usually 0.35 dB, while the return loss should be more than 50dB. Basically, armored patch cables have lower insertion loss and higher return loss than standard patch cables, so they can provide more stable transmission.

All in all, armored fibre optic cables are designed in harsh environment, including environments with excessive dust, oil, gas, moisture, or even damage-causing rodents. They can provide stronger protection of the optical fibers than standards fiber optic cables. Moreover, the installation procedure and maintenance are also easy. They are ideal choice for people who is looking for fiber optic patch cords with additional durability and protection as well as light weight.

armored patch cable vs standard patch cable

FS Armored Patch Cable Solutions

FS provides an extensive line of high performance armored fiber assemblies. Available in a variety of configurations including OS2, OM1, OM2, OM3, and OM4 fiber along with common connectors such as the LC, SC, FC, and ST. These fiber cables are the perfect options to any fiber network in hazardous environments, they can provide flexible interconnection to active equipment, passive optical devices and cross-connects.

Ordering information:
 os2 armored cable Armored OS2 9/125 Singlemode 3mm

OS2 Laser Optimized fiber with 3.0mm cable diameter is perfect for 10G, 40G and 100G higher bandwidth application.

 om4 armored cable Armored OM4 40/100Gb 50/125 MMF

OM4 Laser Optimized fiber with 3.0mm cable diameter is perfect for 10G, 40G and 100G higher bandwidth application.

 om3 armored cable Armored OM3 10Gb 50/125 Multimode

OM3 Laser Optimized fiber with 3.0mm cable diameter is perfect for 10G, 40G and 100G higher bandwidth application.

 om1 om2 armored cable Armored OM1/OM2 Multimode

62.5/125 μm fiber with 3.0mm cable diameter with 3.0mm cable diameter designed for Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet and Fiber Channel application

The products above are just four major categories we offer. We provide armored fiber optic patch cables with any connector configuration in single-mode or multimode and in any length you need. What’s more, if you have some customized requirements, you can give us a call or e-mail us to get a quote on custom armored patch cables.


FS’s armored cables offer distinct advantages and deliver maximum performance and ease of installation for a broad range of commercial, industrial and utility applications. Featuring aluminum interlocked armor, FS’s armored cables demonstrate excellent crush, heat, moisture and chemical resistance to meet the requirements of harsh industrial conditions and hazardous locations.


Ultra High Density MPO/MTP Cassette in Data Center

Today’s data centers and telecommunication environments heavily depend on the foundation of the optical network. So what makes your optical network different to others? The design and performance of the pre-terminated optical cabling systems will contribute more to your data environments. It’s achievable with FS ultra high density solutions that take your data environments beyond the next level. This article will mainly talk about the ultra high density MPO/MTP cassette in data centers.

MPO/MTP Cassette Overview

MPO/MTP cassette is a module, which is used for interconnect or cross connect if the distance between two devices is too long. As a pre-terminated fiber product, MPO/MTP cassette is loaded with 12 or 24 fibers and have LC or SC adapters on the front side and MPO/MTP at the rear. The cassettes come in a variety of connector styles and modes, including multimode, single-mode, SC, LC, etc. It is designed to reduce the installation time and effort associated with connecting a fiber optic network, as well as, improving overall network reliability through factory tested terminations. The cassette itself is comprised of four parts:

(1) MPO/MTP adapters in back

(2) MPO/MTP connectors to SC/LC fan out assembly inside the cassette

(3) SC, ST, MTRJ and LC adapters in the front

(4) The cassette module body can be configured to multiple manufacturers.

MTP MPO Cassette Drawing

MPO/MTP Cassette Drawing

Benefits of MPO/MTP Cassette
(1) Rapid Deployment and Tool-less Installation

For additional flexibility, the cassettes can be loaded in rack or wall mount enclosures, and the scalable designs can grow with your network system.

(2) Small Form Factor for Maximum Density
  • High density pre-terminated fiber optic system
  • Aluminum alloy shell protect the inner fibers effectively
  • Improved reconfiguration during moves, adds and changes
(3) Small Design and Compatible with Fiber Enclosures
  • MPO/MTP cassettes provide faster and easier conversion between MPO/MTP and LC interfaces, which becomes the prefect choice for ultra high density MPO/MTP cabling system.
  • MTP/MPO cassettes loaded into high-density fiber enclosures ensure data center space optimization, providing high fiber density and serviceability for high-performance data centers.
  • MTP/MPO cassettes make the high-density fiber cabling system the most serviceable and manageable on the present market. They are used for optimum serviceability and manageability, providing the scalability to increase density as business demand evolves.
Ultra High Density MPO/MTP Cassette

FHX-1MTP3LCQSMFA is a ultra high density MPO/MTP cassette, which is fitted with 12 fibers and has array adapters on the front side and MTP at the rear. It could be loaded in FHX series enclosures by plugging in the MTP connector through the back. From the front you can connect 3 LC UPC patch cords and patch your data to your switch, converter, or server. This cassette addresses today’s requirements for increasingly higher density levels. After that, FHX series MTP/MPO cassettes are used for high density pre-terminated optical cabling solutions offering industry-leading connector density. Each individual cassette of the whole series comes with test results that include insertion loss and return loss for both the MTP connector as well as the fan out to the SC or LC connections. What’s more, the cassettes come pre-loaded and pre-assembled to your specifications.

The following are main highights of FHX series MTP/MPO cassettes:

(1) Small Size, Excellent Performance
  • Ultra high density pre-terminated fiber optic system
  • Flat design maximizes space savings & improves flexibility
  • Specially designed for quick loading and removal of modules
(2) Best Choice for the Perfect End-to-End Solutions
  • US Conec MTP Adapter

Key up to key down type, which is fully compliant with IEC Standard 61754-7 and TIA 604-5.

  • Ultra- thin Design

Ultra light, ultra- thin design provides great space savings in the network.

  • The Flame Retardant Grade – ABS UL94 V0

Made by the halogen free, flame retardant material, which meets the ABS UL94 V0 Grade.

  • The Special Buckle

Ready to install, easy operation, maximum operability and minimum downtime.

(3) Reshaping the Traditional High-Density Fiber Cassette

The system carries a high-density enclosure to optimize data center space, with innovative cable management, making the ultra high density fiber cabling system the most serviceable and manageable on the market today.

Ultra HD MPO MTP Cassette.png

Application of Ultra High Density MPO MTP Cassette

Method A Guidelines for Duplex Signals 10G Ethernet and Fiber Channel Applications


FS.COM provides a comprehensive solution of ultra HD MTP/MPO cassettes and the associated ultra high-density fiber enclosures. These MTP/MPO cassettes provide secure transition between MTP/MPO and LC or SC discrete connectors, used to interconnect MTP/MPO backbones with LC or SC patching. They allow for rapid deployment of high density data center infrastructure as well as improved troubleshooting and reconfiguration during moves, adds, and changes. Moreover, they enable users to take the fibers brought by a trunk cable and distribute them to duplex cable. I believe that FS.COM ultra high density MPO/MTP cassettes can be your best solution to save space, time, and energy.

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