Are You Ready For 400G Ethernet?

The rapid development in telecom industry is driving massive demand for higher bandwidth and faster data rate, from 10G to 40G and 100G, will this keep going on? The answer is definitely “Yes”. Some time ago, migration from 10G to 40G or 25G to 100G has been a hot spot among data center managers. While recently, 400G solutions and 400G components are coming. Are you ready for 400G? This article will share some information about 400G Ethernet.

Overview of 400G

In the past couple of years, modules with four 25/28G lanes or wavelengths are the solutions for 100G Ethernet. However, they were expensive at the beginning. Until 2016, the optical components industry has responded to the demands with 100G solutions that already cost less per gigabit than equivalent 10G and 40G solutions, and new developments to further drive down cost and increase bandwidths. The next generation is 400G Ethernet. The IEEE has agreed on PSM4 with four parallel fibers for the 500 meters 400GBASE-DR4 specification that is part of the IEEE802.3bs standard being developed for approval by the end of 2017. The industry is already developing optical components for 400G Ethernet solutions. The following figure shows telecom and datacom adoption timelines.

Telecom and datacom adoption timelines

We can visually see that telecom/enterprise applications first adopted 100G technology in the form of CFP modules. Data centers generally did not adopt 100G interfaces until the technology matured and evolved towards denser, lower power interfaces, particularly in the form of QSFP28 modules. However, as the hyperscale data center market scales to keep pace with machine-to-machine communications needs, data center operators have become the first to demand transmission modules for data rates of 400G and beyond. Therefore, the 400G era is now upon us.

Modules for 400G

We know that the QSFP28 modules for 100G Ethernet and SFP28 modules for 25G Ethernet are now the dominant form factors. Though CFP, CFP2 and CFP4 modules remain important for some applications, they have been eclipsed by QSFP28 modules. To support higher bandwidth, what is the right module for 400G? The first CFP8 modules are already available. QSFP-DD is backward compatible with QSFP, and OSFP may deliver better performance, especially as networks move to 800G interfaces.

CFP8 module: CFP8 module is the newest form factor under development by members of the CFP multisource agreement (MSA). It is approximately the size of CFP2 module. As for bandwidth density, it respectively supports eight times and four times the bandwidth density of CFP and CFP2 module. The interface of CFP8 module has been generally specified to allow for 16 x 25 Gb/s and 8 x 50 Gb/s mode.

100G CFP to 400G CFP8

QSFP-DD module: QSFP-DD refers to Quad Small Form Factor Pluggable Double Density. It uses eight 25G lanes via NRZ modulation or eight 50G lanes via PAM4 modulation, which can support optical link of 200 Gbps or 400 Gbps aggregate. In addition, QSFP-DD module can enable up to 14.4 Tbps aggregate bandwidth in a single switch slot. As it is backwards compatible with QSFP modules, QSFP-DD provides flexibility for end users and system designers.

QSFP-DD vs QSFP

OSFP module: OSFP (Octal Small Form Factor Pluggable) with eight high speed electrical lanes is able to support 400G (8x50G). It is slightly wider and deeper than the QSFP but it still supports 36 OSFP ports per 1U front panel, enabling 14.4 Tbps per 1U. The OSFP is able to meet the projected thermal requirements for 800 Gbps optics when those systems and optics become available in the future.

OSFP module

Conclusion

Judging from the current trends, 400G will become the mainstream in the near future. But there are still some challenges for it to overcome, such as high capacity density, low power consumption, ever lower cost per bit, and reliable large-scale manufacturing capabilities. You never know what surprise the network will bring to you, let’s wait and see the 400G’s time.

A Closer Look at HP ProCurve 2910al-24G Switch (J9145A)

Today, big data centers are upgraded from 10G to 40G or 100G, and some small homelabs migrate from 1G to 10G. For some small business data center, 24 port switch is enough. The switches produced by HP are popular with many data center designers for the high quality and low price. The HP ProCurve 2910al-24G Switch (J9145A) is highly recommended in many forums. This article will guide you to have a closer look at HP ProCurve 2910al-24G Switch (J9145A) switch.

Overview

The HP ProCurve 2910al-24G switch (J9145A) is a 24 port switch that can be used to build high-performance switched network. It offers low latency for high-speed networking. For port configuration, it has twenty 10/100/1000 ports, four dual-personality ports, one RJ45 serial console port and four 10G ports. The HP ProCurve 2910al-24G switch can provide the most flexible and easy-to-deploy uplinks in its class. It can be deployed at enterprise edge and remote branch offices, converged networks, and data center top of rack.

HP ProCurve 2910al-24G Switch (J9145A)

Applications of HP ProCurve 2910al-24G Switch

This part will give a detailed introduction to the network ports on HP ProCurve 2910al-24G switch and cabling solutions for the switch.

Ports on HP ProCurve 2910al-24G Switch
  • Twenty 10/100/1000 ports: All these ports have the “Auto MDIX” feature, which means you can use either straight-through or crossover twisted-pair cables to connect any network devices to the switch.
  • Four dual-personality ports: Each port can be used as either an RJ45 10/100/1000 port or as a mini-GBIC slot for use with mini-GBIC transceivers. By default, the RJ45 connectors are enabled. If a mini-GBIC is installed in a slot, it is enabled and the associated RJ45 connector is disabled and cannot be used. If the mini-GBIC is removed, the associated RJ45 port is automatically re-enabled.
  • Four 10G ports: These ports provide connectivity for 10G speed though either copper or fiber optic media.
Cabling Solution

Since HP ProCurve 2910al-24G switch has 10/100/1000 ports, it can be used for 1G to 1G connection. As shown in the following figure, two 1000BASE-SX SFP transceiver modules are respectively plugged into 1G ports on two HP ProCurve 2910al-24G switches. Then these two 1000BASE-SX SFP transceiver modules are connected via a LC multimode fiber optic cable.

HP ProCurve 2910al-24G Switch (J9145A) for 1G connection

Designed with 10G ports, HP ProCurve 2910al-24G switch can realize 10G to 10G connection just like the above 1G connection. Just replace the 1000BASE-SX SFP transceiver module with 10GBASE-SR SFP+ transceiver. Besides, you can also accomplish 10G to 10 connection by using a 10G SFP+ to SFP+ DAC twinax cable. The following figure shows the cabling solution for you.

HP ProCurve 2910al-24G Switch (J9145A) for 10G connection

Conclusion

The HP ProCurve 2910al-24G switch (J9145A) is a high-performance Gigabit Ethernet switch. It is a good selection for small business network deployment. If you need compatible fiber optic transceiver and fiber optic cable for HP ProCurve 2910al-24G switch, you can have a look at FS.COM. The following table shows some compatible optical components. For more details, you can visit our site.

ID NO. Model Number Description
13261 HPE 1000BASE-SX SFP HPE J4858A Compatible 1000BASE-SX SFP 850nm 550m DOM Transceiver, US$ 10.00
30531 HPE 1000BASE-LX SFP HPE JD119B Compatible 1000BASE-LX SFP 1310nm 10km DOM Transceiver, US$ 12.00
32156 HPE 1000BASE-LH SFP HPE JD061A Compatible 1000BASE-LH SFP 1310nm 40km DOM Transceiver, US$ 14.00
36784 HPE 10G SFP+ DAC 1m (3ft) HPE J9281B Compatible 10G SFP+ Passive Direct Attach Copper Twinax Cable, US$ 22.00
11559 HPE 10GBASE-SR SFP+ HPE J9150A Compatible 10GBASE-SR SFP+ 850nm 300m DOM Transceiver, US$ 20.00
31597 HPE 10GBASE-LRM SFP+ HPE JD093A Compatible 10GBASE-LRM SFP+ 1310nm 220m DOM Transceiver, US$ 34.00
15427 HPE 10GBASE-LR SFP+ HPE JD094B Compatible 10GBASE-LR SFP+ 1310nm 10km DOM Transceiver, US$34.00

How Far Can 25G Ethernet Go?

Seeing from the evolution of data transmission speed and size of data centers, it is not difficult to find that the pressure on the data centers to manage data quality and transmission speed continues to grow, which leads to the need for faster data transmission over the network. Ethernet industry has laid a path to higher networking speeds like 100GbE, and 25G Ethernet has been developed to provide a simpler path to future Ethernet speeds of 50 Gbps, 100 Gbps and beyond. The release of the 25GbE specification provides cost-effective solution for server-to-switch connectivity. However, network will not stop the pace of development. How far can 25G Ethernet go? This article is going to focus on the question.

Overview of 25G Ethernet

25G Ethernet is a standard for Ethernet connectivity in a datacenter environment, developed by IEEE 802.3 task force P802.3by. The IEEE 802.3by standard uses technology defined for 100 Gigabit Ethernet implemented as four 25 Gbps lanes (IEEE 802.3bj). In 2016, 25G Ethernet equipment was available on the market, such as 25G SFP28 transceiver and DAC cable. In addition, 25G Ethernet supports for 100G using QSFP ports that can be converted to 4 lanes of 25 Gbps, like 100G QSFP28 transceiver. Here is a table of 25G Ethernet specification for you.

25G Ethernet specification

Advantages of 25G Ethernet

For 10G ToR to 10G Server connectivity, the simplest cabling solution is to use two 10G SFP+ transceivers and one fiber optic cable. When the network has to be upgraded to 25G Ethernet, the data center manager only needs to replace 10G SFP+ transceivers with 25G SFP28 transceivers. In the same way, we know that in 40G ToR to 10G Server connectivity, one 40G QSFP+ transceiver, four 10G SFP+ transceivers and one MTP to LC breakout cable are utilized. When this network deployment is upgraded to 100G ToR to 25G Server connectivity, the work can be quickly finished by replacing 40G QSFP+ transceiver with 100G QSFP28 transceiver, four 10G SFP+ transceivers with four 25G SFP28 transceivers. It can be easily found that there are some advantages when upgrading from 10G to 25G or 40G to 100G:

  • It can offer both CapEx and OpEx savings through backward compatibility, for investment protection and seamless migrations with consistent rack-design and reuse of the existing cabling infrastructure, avoiding costly and complex changes.
  • The technology utilized in 100G to 25G connectivity is similar to that in 40G to 10G connectivity, but the performance is increased by 2.5 times, thus reducing the power and cost per gigabit significantly.
  • 25G Ethernet provides higher port and system density than a comparable 40G solution.
  • Both power savings and higher density results in lower cooling requirements and operational expenditure for data center operators.

advantages of 25G Ethernet

How Far Can 25G Ethernet Go?

Considering the significant benefits and compelling economics of 25G Ethernet, it is no surprise that the move to 25G is accelerating—a recent five-year forecast by industry analysts at the Dell’Oro Group predicts 25G Ethernet will be the dominant Server port speed for new systems by 2018. You can learn about it from the following figure.

forecast for 25G Ethernet

However, never underestimate the need for industry consensus building. At present, 25G is mainly used for switch-to-server applications. If it can realize switch-to-switch application, 25G Ethernet may go further.

Conclusion

To be frank, 25G Ethernet indeed gains ground in some aspects compared to 10G and 40G Ethernet. If you plan to deploy 25GbE network, you can visit FS.COM which provides quality 25G SFP28 transceiver and various fiber optic cables.

400G CDFP Vs. CFP8 Module

400 Gigabit Ethernet was planned to be released in December this year. It is designed to meet IEEE P802.3bs Task Force standard and to apply to both metro and long-haul networks. The 400GbE operates over 100 m of multimode fiber, 500 m of singlemode fiber, 2 km of SMF, and 10 km of SMF. 400G CDFP and CFP8 are two form factors of 400G Ethernet technology. This article would give a introduction to 400G CDFP and CFP8 modules and make a comparison between them.

400G Ethernet

Introduction to 400G CDFP Module

The CDFP is short for 400 (CD in Roman numerals) Form factor Pluggable, which is designed to provide a low cost, high density 400 Gigabit Ethernet solution. It features as front panel, hot-pluggable, 16 channel and 400 Gbps module. CDFP will be a short reach module, which enables 4 Terabit line cards. From the perspective of interface, it is very similar to the QSFP and CXP modules. CDFP developers have targeted using the developing IEEE802.3bs specification for Ethernet 400GBaseSR, 400GBaseLR.

  • 5 meter direct attach cables
  • 100 meter multimode fiber
  • 500 meter parallel singlemode fiber
  • 2 kilometers of duplex singlemode fiber

400G CDFP Module

Figure2: 400G CDFP Module

Information About 400G CFP8 Module

Following CFP2 and CFP4 naming, CFP8 module was proposed in the year 2015. CFP8 is a new form factor which is still under development by members of the CFP multisource agreement (MSA). The form factor of CFP8 is amounting to CFP2, but it supports 4 × 100G and 400G, for example, 4×CFP2’s 1×100G. The CFP8 uses a new 16 × 25G electrical I/O connector. The CFP8’s interface has been generally specified to allow for 16 × 25 Gb/s and 8 × 50 Gb/s mode. From the point of bandwidth density, the CFP8 module is eight times larger than the CFP module and four times larger than the CFP2 module.

400G CFP8 module operation

Figure3: 400G CFP8 module operation

Example IEEE specifications supported by CFP8:

  • 400GBASE-SR16 parallel MMF (16x25G NRZ)
  • 400GBASE-FR8/LR8 duplex SMF (8x50G PAM4 WDM)
  • 400GBASE-DR4 parallel SMF (4x100G PAM4)
  • CDAUI-16, CDAUI-8

Form factors of CFP modules

Figure4: Form factors of CFP modules

Among all the specifications on the above, 400GBaseDR4 is the most revolutionary one. 400GBaseDR4 uses 4x100G parallel SMF PAM4 signaling technology. This technology is also aimed at fitting in the CFP4 21.5-mm width module size, while using 12 (SMF) fibers within a 1×12 MPO optical connector and the host board electrical 56-pin edge connector.

Low power consumption is also a distinctive feature of CFP8. Active optical modules have been widely deployed in the process of data transmission, but some of them or some copper applications really cost a lot and consumes much power. CFP8 module uses internal mid-board optical or electrical interconnect flyovers and bulkhead MPO or MXC connectors to connect the switch. This reduces power consumption to a great extent.

400G CFDP Vs. CFP8
—Form factor

CDFP was proposed earlier than CFP8, it has larger form factor than CFP8.

—Supported fiber type

CDFP supports passive and active copper cable, active optical cable and multimode fiber while CFP8 supports singlemode and multimode fiber.

—Transmission distance

CFP8 modules support longer data link distance compared with CDFP modules.

—Applications

The CDFP modules provide a very versatile solution for data center interconnects. CFP8 would be used in high-density 4x100GbE fan-out applications, such as datacom applications or in ITU-T for telecom applications.

Conclusion

This article mainly discussed about CDFP, CFP8 and their differences in form factor, supported fiber type, transmission distance and applications. There is no doubt that 400G Gigabit Ethernet is an irresistible trend for future Ethernet development.

The Application of Fiber to the Desk (FTTD)

As communication technology develops rapidly, the demand for higher bandwidth is increasing. To solve this problem, optical cable is widely used as the backbone of communications network cabling, especially in big data center. In recent years, projects like FTTH (Fiber to the Home) and FTTB (Fiber to the Building) are carried out to provide better services for customers. To future capitalize on the benefits of optical cable, Fiber to the Desk (FTTD) is recommended for enterprises, financial institutions and federal agencies, which need high security and high data transmission speed. This article will guide you to have a closer look at application of FTTD.

Overview

FTTD refers to the extension of the fiber optic infrastructure directly to user locations, just as the following figure show, optical cables are directly connected to desktops, laptops, or other communications equipment. FTTD can be used for virtual networks using thin clients and LAN networks with extended distances to workstations. It can satisfy the requirement for increasing bandwidth availability, moving large amounts of data at high transmission rates. In addition, it is able to bring service to locations where power is limited or unavailable as well as provide a more secure connection for organizations who are concerned about tapping or other security vulnerabilities.

FTTD

Advantages

We know that RI45 Ethernet cable can also be used as transmission media. What makes optical cable superior to RJ45 Ethernet cable? This part will show you the advantages of using optical cable for FTTD project.

Security

Optical cable is immune to electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio-frequency interference (RFI), so it is more difficult for hackers to tap on optical cable. Besides, optical cable uses light that is completely shielded, so hackers would have to physically splice into the line, which is difficult to do and easily detected. While RJ45 Ethernet cable emits electromagnetic signals which allows hackers to read data from nearby without physically touching the lines. In contrast, optical cable is a more secure option for applications concerned with data security.

Bandwidth And Distance

Optical cable is able to support higher data rates than any other cable type, with capacity to transmit up to 100 Gbit/s. As demand for higher bandwidth is ever-growing, optical cable has the absolute advantage. What’s more, connected with appropriate optics, the transmission distance of optical cable can reach dozen kilometers. Although higher grades of RJ45 Ethernet cables can transmit 10G data signals, they will only be able to do so over very short distances. Therefore, optical cable is the best choice for transporting higher speed and higher bandwidth signals over longer distances.

Lower Overall Cost

Optical cable used to be more expensive than RJ45 Ethernet cable. As demand has increased, manufacturing costs have dropped. Also, if properly designed, the FTTD project could be affordable. Apart from this, optical cable can ensure your network cabling can keep up with the growth in network traffic over time and upgrade your network to higher bandwidth in the future without recabling. Considering the cost of cabling, this can be a huge advantage. Though the initial cost of fiber equipment may be slightly higher than copper, the benefits realized can save organizations significant cost in the long term.

optical cable vs. RJ45 Ethernet cable

Optical cable Vs. RJ45 Ethernet cable

Conclusion

FTTD is a high-bandwidth solution that expands the traditional fiber backbone system by running fiber directly to desktops. FTTD is a horizontal wiring option that pushes the available bandwidth beyond 10G. It is an intriguing, underestimated and overlooked way to create a beneficial system that is expandable and performance-driven. The optical cable, fiber optic wall plate, PoE media converter and some other fiber optics used in FTTD are available in FS.COM. For more details, you can visit our site.