Server Adapter vs Computer Adapter: What’s the Difference

Server adapter and computer adapter are two types of network interface cards. Both the two types can serve the same purpose that connects the server or computer to the internet for data communications. Then do you know what’s the difference between the two NIC card types? Here first introduces the two network adapter types, then explains their differences in transmission speed, CPU utilization and reliability.

What Is Server Adapter?

Server adapter, as the name implies, is installed on the motherboards of a network server. Nowadays, newer server motherboards may have multiple network interfaces built-in, which can bring functions like load balancing, separation of traffic and so on. This makes server network more reliable and secure. Network interface card is an indispensable component of a sever. Server cannot work without a network card, since the primary mission of the network server is to query, calculate and analyze the computer instructions from the internet, then deliver the final results via the network card to the destination clients like a computer, or a network switch. Therefore, a NIC card means everything to the server.

server adapter

Figure:Example of server adapter.

What Is Computer Adapter

Computer adapter is the device that allows a computer to be connected to a network. Most computers are designed with one network interface that has been built into the motherboard. Unlike the network server, computers without a network adapter can still function. For example, two computers may exchange data with each other via bluetooth, or USB flash disk.

Server Adapter vs Computer Adapter: What’s the Difference?

The main differences between server adapter vs computer adapter are shown in three aspects, transmission speed, CPU utilization and reliability.

Transmission Speed

Commonly, Ethernet card supports transmission speeds including 10M/s (out of the stage of the history), 100M/s, 10/100M/s self-adoption, 1000M/s, 10G/s or even higher speed. A network server usually needs to support several or even hundreds of Ethernet switches or computers. It is responsible for all incoming and outgoing data between the internet and clients, dealing with large data traffic. So it requires the server adapter with higher speed like 10G, 25G, 40G or even 100G for data delivery. For ordinary PC use, 100M/s, 10/100M/s self-adoption and 1000M/s network adapters are enough.

CPU Utilization

As mentioned above, network server needs to handle large amounts of data. For example, a website receives hundreds or thousands of access requests from people over the world, and the server has to response those request at the same time. If not, the server may be paralyzed and may result in big loss for service providers. So it’s very important for server adapter to has low CPU utilization. Server adapter card is designed with a special network control chip which can take over many tasks from CPU, reducing the working burden of CPU and ensuring the server’s performance won’t be affected. On the other hand, for desktop adapter, it doesn’t have any requirements in CPU utilization since one computer doesn’t need to manage the mass of data as the server does.

Reliability

An accidental shutdown of a server may result in huge loss of business since the server deals with lots of data. To avoid it happens, the important components like network adapter, power supply of the server usually use redundancy designs. Thus server adapter features with NIC bonding, loading balancing, etc. And it may come in dual or quad port design. As a result, the server adapter’s reliability can be ensured which helps avoid server network paralysis caused by malfunction. But the most common computer adapter only has one port for delivering data.

Network Interface Card Price

The price of server and computer adapter varies greatly. Server adapter costs more than PC adapter, since the server adapter requires higher speed, lower CPU utilization and higher reliability. For example, a 10/100/1000Mbps Gigabit network adapter named 5722 from DELL only costs about 75 dollars. But Dell’s server card like 57416 type is much more expensive. It’s a 10G server network card with dual ports with a price of about 764 dollars.

Conclusion

Both server and computer adapter can provide connectivity between a server/computer and the internet. But the server adapter features with higher transmission data, lower CPU utilization and higher reliability, and it costs more than a computer adapter. Knowing their differences may help you purchase the correct device for your server or computer, and allows you to provide the best possible experience for your network.

Wall Mount Cabinet Selection Guide

Large server cabinet or network cabinet are typically used in large data centers. However, for individuals and small businesses, a wall mount cabinet can be much more effective. The wall mount cabinet is compact in size so that it can be placed almost anywhere. It helps save floor space while providing security and accessibility for your network components and other hardware. It is the perfect solution for safely storing small devices. This post describes the wall mount rack and gives you the selection guide.

alt Wall Mount Cabinet Selection Guide

What Is Wall Mount Cabinet And What’s the Type of It?

A wall mount cabinet, also known as wall mount rack or enclosed wall mount, designed to be attached to the wall, and mainly used for housing network equipment like fiber patch panels and switches. It generally comes in open frame or cabinet style. The open frame wall mount cabinet is an effective and less expensive option, but it won’t necessarily keep your equipment secure. Since it’s an open frame rack, equipment installation, wiring, and cable management tend to be easier than with an enclosed cabinet, and airflow is not an issue. However, to discourage equipment tampering, wall mount enclosure cabinet adds panels to the top, bottom and sides, as well as a front cover. It is more secure for your devices.

alt Wall Mount Cabinet Selection Guide

Things to Consider Before Buying A Wall Mount Cabinet

Wall mount cabinets vary considerably in their functionality and appearance, so it is necessary to do some research before you buy one. No matter what decision you make, finding a suitable wall mount cabinet for your network will help save your time and money by keeping your equipment safe and organized. Here we will provide three factors for you to consider before you buy a wall mount cabinet rack.

How Much Room Do I Need for My Network?

It’s important to consider the space required by the network. Think about the existing network you have and any additions you may get in the future so that you don’t end up realizing you still don’t have enough space. To determine the height of the wall mount cabinet you need, you should accurately assess the total height of your current equipment and allow for future growth. Remember that 1U is equal to 1.75 inches. The depth of the wall mount cabinet rack is adjustable from minimums of either 3 or 17 inches to maximums of 16.5, 20.5 or 32.5 inches. To determine the maximum depth you need, measure the depth of your equipment and add 3 inches to allow space for cabling. As for the weight, make sure that the capacity of the rack is greater than the total weight of the mounted equipment. Also, make sure there are proper studs on the wall that can support the weight of the rack and housed equipment.

Which Door Should I Choose?

Most wall mount cabinet comes with two different types of doors such as perforated metal or glass front doors, depending on your airflow requirements. The difference between a glass and a perforated door is clear. A glass door is often used when choosing patch solutions without extreme heat generation. It is also more soundproof than its perforated counterpart. A perforated door provides better ventilation and is typically used when multiple servers are placed in the cabinet.

What Kind of Equipment Can I Put In A Wall Mount Cabinet?

As your network grows, your network space will undoubtedly expand as well. To keep up with your IT equipment needs, you’ll discover the need to invest in physical space where your hardware and equipment can be stored. The wall mount cabinet is primarily used for racking network equipment such as network switches, patch panels, servers and more. It’s an ideal solution to support organization in your space.

What Are the Recommended Wall Mount Cabinets for You?

If you run small or home-based offices or larger offices that are looking to add an additional rack to an existing system, wall mount cabinets are an affordable option. FS provides hinged wall mount cabinet and wall mount enclosure cabinet with standard size to satisfy your needs. The hinged wall mount cabinet is capable of managing 12 rack units of active and passive equipment. It’s designed to house EIA-standard 19-inch rack equipment in network wiring closets, retail locations, classrooms, back offices and other areas with limited floor space. The wall mount enclosure cabinet designed with excellent cable management and a fully adjustable mounting rail system. It is ideal as a mini telecommunications room or for remote network distribution and consolidation points in open, unprotected spaces. If you are looking for a wall mount cabinet, why not visit www.fs.com for a try?

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Shocked! Most Cat5e/Cat6 Ethernet Cables Fail to Meet the Rated Specification

Recently, a number of reports indicate that most open-market patch cords, such as Cat5e/Cat6 Ethernet cables, do not meet the standard specifications. In fact, the result comes as no surprise. There are two versions of the specifications, TIA and ISO (ISO is more stricter than TIA), but neither of these standards involves enforcement organization or licensing. Vendors get away with inferior Ethernet cable because the average consumer is the least able to buy the equipment worth $10,000 to check the purchase against specifications.

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Why Cat5e/Cat6 Ethernet Cable Do Not Meet the Standard?

The cat5e patch cable we used is designed to meet performance specifications up to 100 MHz (as specified in TIA-568-C.2), enabling it to handle common 100Base-T and 1000Base-T wired networks. The cable cat6 has higher performance confirmed to 250 MHz; enabling it to handle 10GbE wired networks. However, many vendors do not take specification compliance seriously because the transmission rate of the standard Ethernet cable and inferior Ethernet cable cannot be judged easily by non-professionals, but only by cable test devices. So some vendors manufacture Ethernet cables to very lax quality standards, which leads the good and the bad patch cords are intermingled on the market.

What Are the Consequences of Cat5e/Cat6 Not Meeting the Standard?

Assuming that your network switches are all set up correctly, the bad links will slow down by themselves, but the rest of the network will run at full speed. Otherwise, the switches will turn down the speed of every link due to one bad link, and the whole node slows down. This will affect your network transmission rate and data transmission. What’s worse, inferior Ethernet cables sooner or later will cause poor network performance and could even damage active equipment. Installing counterfeit cables is a risk that eventually will have an expensive cost of maintenance.

How to Avoid Buying Inferior Cat5e/Cat6 Ethernet Cables?

So if you want to avoid buying counterfeit cables, you have to make sure the following four points.

alt Cat5e/Cat6 Ethernet Cable

Use Ethernet Cable Passed the Fluke Test

The Fluke test is considered as the most authoritative criteria for telling the quality of an Ethernet cable. This test includes patch cord testing and channel testing for Ethernet patch cables, and permanent link testing for bulk network cables. For Ethernet patch cables, the channel standard is not the applicable specification and is much easier to pass. Therefore cables passing the patch cord testing have higher performance.

Use Ethernet Cable With Oxygen-Free Copper Wire

The conductor material of copper-clad-steel or copper-clad-aluminum is a classic method manufacturer use in order to save money, which is easy to cause high attenuation and poorly signal. It is the purity of copper that determines the Ethernet cable quality. The purer the copper wire is, the less signal loss you will suffer. The purity of copper in descending order is oxygen-free copper > pure copper > bare copper > copper clad aluminum > copper-clad-steel. So you’d better choose oxygen-free copper wires. To learn more about choosing the best network cable wire, please read Network Cable Wire: Oxygen-Free Copper VS Pure Copper VS Copper Clad Aluminum VS Aluminum

Use Ethernet Cable With Fire-Proof Cable Jacket

There are two types of Ethernet cable jacket, non-flame retardant, and flame retardant jacket. Maybe not every application requires a cable to have a flame retardant jacket, but when needed, it is critical for cables to have a flame retardant jacket for safety concern. Normally Ethernet cables with PVC CM and CMP jacket are commonly used in patch cabling environment. However, some manufacturers replace CM and CMP flammability rating with inferior non-fireproof jacket material. That’s one point you would not want to miss.

Use Ethernet Cable Made By Reliable Manufacturers

Last but not least, instead of buying the cable test devices, you need to select reliable sellers that can provide the Fluke test reports and product details of above. Buying cables from a reliable manufacturer is directly related to your cable performance.

Conclusion

Choosing reliable manufacture is half the success of choosing a qualified Ethernet cable. Every Ethernet patch cables FS sells comes with its individual Fluke test report, showing that it meets the rated specification. If it doesn’t, FS won’t sell it. We manufacture the patch cable with top-quality oxygen-free copper and environment-friendly CM flame retardant jacket, and we certification-test every cable to ensure the performance. You’re welcomed to visit www.fs.com to find what you need.

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Network Cable Wire: Oxygen-Free Copper VS Pure Copper VS Copper Clad Aluminum VS Aluminum

There are many Ethernet network cable wires used for data center applications such as Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a, and Cat7 cables. The conductor metals adopted by those network patch cables vary in different kinds such as oxygen-free copper wire, pure copper wire, copper clad aluminum wire, and aluminum wire. This article discusses the above network cable wire and compares the differences.

alt Network Cable Wire: Oxygen-Free Copper VS Pure Copper VS Copper Clad Aluminum VS Aluminum

What Is Oxygen-Free Copper Wire?

An oxygen-free copper wire is the highest conductivity copper cable wire that is refined to reduce the amount of oxygen to less than 0.003%, the total impurity content to less than 0.05%, and the purity of copper to more than 99.95%. Thereby, improving the conductivity and oxidation resistance.

What Is Pure Copper Wire?

The pure copper wire has a slightly lower copper content than that of oxygen-free copper wire, which is around 99.5% to 99.95%. The other impurities are some metals such as iron and oxygen. The pure copper wire has excellent conductivity, thermal conductivity, plasticity, and is easy to be pressed.

What Is Copper Clad Aluminum Wire?

The copper clad aluminum wire is an electric conductor composed of an inner aluminum core and an outer copper cladding. Since it contains aluminum, it is significantly lighter and weaker than pure copper wire or oxygen-free copper wire, but stronger than pure aluminum wire. Copper clad aluminum wire is not compliant with UL and TIA standards, both of which require solid or stranded copper wires, but it’s a cheap alternative for category twisted-pair communication cables.

What Is Aluminum Wire?

An aluminum wire is made of pure aluminum. Due to the lightweight nature of aluminum, aluminum wire is quite malleable. However, when compared with copper wire, it has lower electrical and mechanical properties, which is a relatively poor electrical conductor.

Aluminum VS Copper Wire: Which Is the Better Network Cable Wire?

Despite being the best material, copper is a little expensive than aluminum. Thus, people prefer to use aluminum to save money without compromising quality. However, when the aluminum wire warms, it expands, and when it cools, it shrinks. With each gradual warm-cool cycle, the tightness of the wiring decreases, resulting in sparks, even fires. Aluminum wire will also corrode when it encounters certain metal compounds, which increase the resistance to the connection. Thus, aluminum wire requires higher maintenance than copper wire. In contrast, copper has one of the highest electrical conductivity rates among metals. Copper has high tensile strength so it can withstand extreme stress and is more durable. Due to its high elasticity, high durability, low maintenance, and high performance, it is a more stable material than aluminum. So a good manufacturer will use a great deal more copper in the wire to ensure the performance.

Conclusion

Now we know that copper wire outweighs aluminum wire when used in wired networks. The higher the copper content of the network cable wire, the better the conductivity and transmission capacity. However, most of the network cables sold on the market are pure copper wires or copper clad aluminum wires. FS provides oxygen-free copper wires, which outperforms among the peers. These oxygen-free copper wires are 100% pass the Fluke Channel Test with PVC CM jacket material, making them the best choice for you in terms of price and quality. If you’re interested, please visit www.fs.com.

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PAM4 for 100G and 400G Applications

Hyper-scale data centers have been seeking for transceiver solutions with higher port densities and lower cost per bit, which has driven the development of PAM4 (Four-Level Pulse Amplitude Modulation) technology. Compared to the expensive multi-state coherent modulation scheme, simple PAM4 can deliver the right combination of speed, low cost, and low power consumption in data centers. This article is intended to introduce PAM4 for 100G and 400G applications.

What Is PAM4?

PAM4 is a technology that uses four different signal levels for signal transmission and each symbol period represents 2 bits of logic information (0, 1, 2, 3). By transmitting two bits in one symbol slot, PAM4 halves the signal bandwidth. With half of the bandwidth, PAM4 can achieve 50Gb/s data rate transmission in the 25Gb/s electrical tolerance environment. Also, PAM4 can minimize signal degradation and double the data rate. PAM4 allows us to put more data onto the existing fiber. In other words, if you want to increase bandwidth, you don’t have to reconfigure the data center with more fibers, just using advanced modulation PAM4 technology to increase the data rate. These components for single-lambda 100G can be extended to 400Gbps transceivers with four-channel drivers and CWDM4 wavelengths. However, these advanced modulation techniques impose additional requirements on the optical components used, especially consume higher amounts of electrical power.

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PAM4 or CWDM4 for 100G and 400G Applications

Although speed is important in the data center, economics and special constraints make cost and complexity more important than speed. Most of the data centers have already worked toward 100G, 200G, and even 400G with the technology of PAM4 and CWDM4, so which is the best for 100G and 400G application?

PAM4 for 100G and 400G Applications

PAM4 is considered to be a cost-effective and efficient alternative solution for 100G and 400G construction. For 100G transceiver modules, single-wavelength PAM4 technology reduces the number of lasers to one and eliminates the need for optical multiplexing. For 400G, the largest cost is expected to be optical components and related RF packages. PAM4 technology uses four different signal levels for signal transmission. It can transmit two bits of logic information per clock cycle and double the transmission bandwidth, thus effectively reducing transmission costs. This effectively solves the problem of high cost while meeting bandwidth improvements.

CWDM4 for 100G and 400G Applications

CWDM4 (Coarse Wavelength Division Multiplexing) technology is another cost-effective solution for large-scale deployment and migration in data centers. For 100G and 400G networks, the network architecture uses four lanes of 25 Gb/s, using CWDM technology to transport 100G and 400G optical traffic on duplex single mode fiber (SMF). WDM reduces the number of fibers required to achieve this type of transmission, ultimately reducing the cost of the entire board.

Conclusion

As a popular signal transmission technology for high-speed signal interconnection in next-generation data centers, PAM4 signals are widely used for electrical and optical signal transmission on 100G, 200G, and 400G interfaces. There are also a large number of PAM4 QSFP28 and PAM4 SFP28 modules available on the market to help you build your network.

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