The Truth About Single Mode Fiber Types

OS1 and OS2 single mode fibers are the essential communication medium that works by delivering optical signals in extremely pure glass or plastic fiber. However, for the layperson, all fiber cables look like the same, with differences hidden in their dimensions. But if you study deeper, there are countless changes between them, such as the performance, cost and so on. And choosing the right fiber optic cable is also critical. In this post, I’d like to focus on single mode fiber types.

What Is Single Mode Fiber?

Single mode fiber optic cable is a type of fiber optic cable, which features a core diameter of nominally 9µm. This is the most basic difference between single mode and multimode fibers. Due to its small diameter, there’s only one transmission mode of light. Thus, compared with the multimode fiber, single mode fiber prohibits light reflection so that attenuation of signal could be reduced and offers the highest transmission speed. As a result, light in single mode fiber can go further, which means its transmission distance is longer. In addition, the core number of single mode fiber includes 24, 48, 72, 96 and so on. And you can customize the fiber product with the specific core number.

single mode fiber types on patch panel

Figure: Single mode fibers are connected in a patch panel.

Single Mode Fiber Types: OS1 VS OS2

OS1 and OS2 fiber are the two single mode fiber types that are generally well known today.

What Is OS1?

OS1 is an indoor cable that uses the tight buffered cable construction. And this single mode fiber is compliant with all ITU-T G.652 standards including ITU-T G.652A, ITU-T G.652B, ITU-T G.652C, ITU-T G.652D. In general, the maximum attenuation of OS1 can achieve 1.0 dB/km.

What Is OS2?

OS2 is an outdoor loose tube fiber optic cable. It’s widely used in outdoor applications where the cabling process applies no stress to the optical cables. Unlike OS1, OS2 cables just meet the ITU-T G.652C or ITU-T G.652D standards. And the maximum attenuation of OS2 is 0.4 dB/km. Therefore, the maximum transmission distance of OS2 is much longer than that of OS1, and OS2 fiber optic cable price is higher than OS1.

OS1 VS OS2: Differences

The difference between OS1 and OS2 are quite clear. They have different construction, standards, attenuation and transmission distance. As a result, OS1 and OS2 are applied in different applications. OS1 is commonly used in a campus or data center, whereas OS2 is applied in outdoor constructions like the street etc.

How to Choose Single Mode Fiber Types

Knowing single mode fiber types can help us to choose the suitable fiber cable. Transmission distance is always the most important part when buying the cable. Besides, fiber optic cables price is also very critical when making the final choice. When you need fibers for indoors application, choose OS1. And choose OS2 for outdoors uses. However, considering that there’s not a big difference between OS1 and OS2 price and future’s network upgrade, I recommend you choose the OS2 fiber which has better performance. The following is single mode fiber optic cable price comparison between FS.COM and another vendor.

OS2 Types
FS Price(USD)
C2G(USD)
LC to LC Duplex (1m)
2.8
42.99
LC to SC Duplex (1m)
2.8
32.99
SC to SC Duplex (1m)
2.8
38.99
LC to LC Simplex (1m)
1.4
39.99
LC to SC Simplex (1m)
1.4
21.99
SC to SC Simplex (1m)
1.4
21.99

We can see, FS.COM offers OS2 fibers with reasonable price and good quality.

Conclusion

OS1 and OS2 are the two single mode fiber types used in telecommunication infrastructure. When you decide to buy single mode fiber cables, consider the transmission distance and price based on your actual need. FS.COM offers you fiber products with good quality and favorable price. For further information on optical fiber products, please contact us via sales@fs.com.

Why Use A Patch Panel?

When we set up a network, we are accustomed to buying a patch panel as usual. And people always say they buy patch panels for cable management, as they are asked why use a patch panel. However, are there any other benefits of a patch panel? Yes, of course, here explains why use a patch panel in networking.

why use a patch panel

Figure 1: Patch panels in a rack for managing the fiber and copper cables.

Why Use A Patch Panel?

As shown in the picture above, patch panels are usually attached in the network racks. All the cables from the individual desktop, computer or printer go to the patch panel. Then the patch panel provides a protection and management for the cables, which contributes to ensure the cables’ performance in the whole network. This is the greatest benefit of using a patch panel. Whenever cables change direction, the bend of the cables is likely to change the electrical properties. If one cable bends too far, unfortunately, damages may occur inside where you can’t see it. So patch panels can help to protect the delicate cables.

Besides, using a patch panel improves working efficiency and workflow. How? For example, telecommunication and cable companies always use patch panels in strategic locations in their coverage areas. Therefore, the technicians can connect or disconnect services to the specific places without going to the actual locations just by managing the patch panels.

Finally, using a patch panel also improves the aesthetics of your work area. All cables are in place and accessible represent a well managed workstation, which also shows your professional quality.

Why Not Use A Switch Instead of Patch Panel?

When someone connects the cables, he may wonder why use a patch panel is a requirement and why they aren’t connected to network switches directly. The answer is that patch panel and switch play different roles in the cabling system. Patch panel acts just as a connector which will not make any influences on data transmission, but a network switch connects hardware within a network to enable them to access the Internet, share data etc. In a data center rack, there are many network switches with numbers of ports. Routing cables from one rack to another is a tough job. So you have to use patch panels to manage these cables.

Fiber and Copper Patch Panels Recommendation

Designed for specific cables like Cat5e, Cat6 copper cables and OS2, OM3 fiber cables, patch panels types are different.

Fiber Optic Patch Panel

This type of patch panel takes the simplex, duplex and quad model designs at FS.COM. There are 24 port patch panel and 48 port patch panel available for you to choose. All products are produced strictly in accordance with national standards. The following is a 24 port LC duplex fiber optic patch panel used to connect 48 OS2 single mode fibers. It uses the standardized jack that makes it easy to insert and remove fiber cables, so that to ensure the long-term and stable performance of the fiber cables.

fiber patch panel

Figure 2: 24 Port LC Duplex Fiber Patch Panel

Ethernet Patch Panel

FS.COM offers punch down and feed-through Ethernet patch panel. And the feed-through patch panel falls into unshielded and shielded types to wire the unshielded and shielded Ethernet cables. The following is a 24 port Cat6 unshielded feed-through patch panel. Design with SPCC and ABS plastics materials, the Ethernet patch panel is sturdy and durable that can work in the environment of -25°C to 70°C.

Ethernet patch panel

Figure 3: 24 Port Cat6 Unshielded Feed-Through Patch Panel

Blank Keystone Patch Panel

When you are unable to decide in advance which type of cables will be used to connect your hardware, you can use a blank keystone patch panel. The following is a 48 port blank keystone patch panel that provides flexibility in the type of jacks. As a result, you can make a mixed connection based on your actual demands.

blank keystone patch panelFigure 4: Cables connected on 48 port blank keystone patch panel.

Conclusion

What is the purpose of patch panel in networking, or why use a patch panel? I think now you have a good understanding. Today’s fast changing technology makes more and more electrical and electronic devices connected to each other, so don’t hesitate to use a patch panel to simplify the cabling.

Unicast vs Multicast vs Broadcast: What Are the Differences?

Unicast, multicast and broadcast are the three simple methods used to transmit packets over a network. However, do you really have a good understanding of these networking terms? Here focus on unicast vs multicast vs broadcast to tell you their differences.

What Is Unicast?

Unicast is defined as the connection that only between a server and a client, which means it’s a one to one transmission. In computing world, it’s the most common kind of traffic in TCP/IP networks. For example, when you send or receive the email, you have to connect to the email server. And here you use the unicast transmission. In this case, a unicast frame contains the unique unicast MAC address of the destination receiver. Therefore, only the specified destination can receive the unicast traffic, and all other destinations will ignore or can’t receive unicast traffic. Using this transfer method, the server can send personalized and accurate information to each client with different requests. However, when the same information needs to be sent to a large audience, multicast and broadcast methods will be more efficient.

unicast of unicast vs multicast vs broadcast

Figure 1: Example of Unicast One to One transmission

What Is Multicast?

Multicast is a one to many technology that efficiently sends data from one source to many destinations simultaneously, generally within a Local Area Network. A multicast frame contains the unique multicast MAC address of an application, protocol or data stream. To implement IP multicast communication, equipment like data switch, router between the source and receivers is required to support IP multicast function. In multicast model, the network traffic will not increase since the data packet can be sent to different destinations of one multicast group by sending one copy of the data, which means the overall network load can be reduced. However, as we mentioned above, the operation of multicast requires the assistance of switches with IP multicast function, so no matter you choose a 10gb ethernet switch or Gigabit PoE switch, please make sure the switch has that function.

multicast

Figure 2: Example of Multicast One to Many Transmission

What Is Broadcast?

Broadcast is a one to all technology. When a device sends a packet to the broadcast MAC address (FF:FF:FF:FF:FF:FF), it will be delivered to all receivers that connected on the LAN no matter the receiver needs it or not. Cable television network is the typical broadcast network example. However, broadcast is not the suitable choice for the public Internet, because it will generate unnecessary interference and tons of unwanted data.

broadcast

Figure 3: Example of Broadcast One to All Transmission

Unicast vs Multicast vs Broadcast: What Are the Differences?

After knowing the definitions of unicast, multicast and broadcast, we’ll make a comparison of unicast vs multicast vs broadcast.

Multicast vs Unicast

The basic difference is that, in unicast, there is only one sender and one receiver, while there is a single sender but multiple receivers in multicast. When we want to send the message to a number of people, we’d better choose multicast transmission since it can utilize the bandwidth more efficiently.

Multicast vs Broadcast

In broadcast, the packet transmission is one to all, but in multicast the transmission is one to many. Besides, multicast requires group management, in order to ensure the message can be sent to those hosts which are interested in receiving the message. And the traffic on the multicast network is under control.

Unicast vs Broadcast

The process of data transmission is different. Unicast only sends the data to one receiver, but broadcast sends the same data to all receivers connected in one LAN. Moreover, if you want to share some private or unique information with another person, you must use unicast network but not the broadcast.

Here is a table to give you a clear comparison of unicast vs multicast vs broadcast.

 Unicast Multicast  Broadcast
 Transmission
One to one
One to many
One to all
Bandwidth
Wasted
Utilized efficiently
Wasted
Group management
No
Yes
No
Security
Safest
Safe
Not safe

From the table, we can see that multicast is the most efficient method for data transmitting. To meet the market demand, almost all FS network switches have multicast function.

Conclusion

As regard with unicast vs multicast vs broadcast, we know the key difference between them is the different transmission paths. So when you need to transmit some information, choose the suitable transmission method based on your actual needs.

Will Cat6 Patch Panel Work with Cat6a Cable?

As information technology develops, we have to upgrade our network products such as the cables, patch panels, etc. Besides, to reduce our data center’s cost, we are tempted to use the old and new ones to make a mixed connection. For instance, run Cat6a cables on Cat6 patch panel. However, does it work? Is it a reliable connection? Here we’ll discuss it in this article.

Comparison of Cat6 and Cat6a Cabling

Cat6a and Cat6 are both designed for Gigabit Ethernet. They can handle 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-TX, and 10GBASE-T rate. Cat6 and Cat6a sound almost the same, but a single lowercase “a” sets the two terms apart. The word “a” stands for augmented, which makes them behave differently in performance, size and so on.

Cat6 usually has 23 AWG wire conductors, and can support transmission speed of up to 10Gbps at 250MHz. But the theoretical top distance with 10Gbps speed is only 33-35 meters. While Cat6a also has 23 AWG wire conductors, but doubles the capability by delivering data at 500MHz. Moreover, it supports 10Gbps standard over the full 100 meter distance. Note that Cat6a is usually thicker than Cat6 cables, because Cat6a uses extra thick plastic. Therefore, Cat6a takes more space in a patch panel than Cat6.

Can I Use Cat6a Cables on Cat6 Patch Panel?

Ethernet patch panel is the easiest method currently for your networking needs by providing a reliable and neat Cat6 and Cat6a cabling. Usually, we use Cat6 patch panel to connect Cat6 cables, and Cat6a patch panel is for Cat6a cables. However, there isn’t much practical difference between Cat6 and Cat6a patch panel. Then how about installing Cat6a on cat6 patch panel, will it work? There are several things to consider before answering it.

cabling of Cat6 patch panelExample of Cat6 Cabling

Do the Connectors Match?

Cat6a is the updated version of Cat6, they share the same RJ45 connectors. Therefore, it’s no doubt that Cat6a cables can be plugged into the Cat6 patch panel.

Is It Safety?

Cat6a cable’s size is bigger, so the corresponding minimum bend radius is larger, which will change installation requirements for routing and handling as well as design of pathways and spaces. For example, when we install Cat6a on a 48 port Cat6 patch panel, the larger wire may end up bending. So it’s not entirely safe to wire Cat6a on the 48 port patch panel, you have to manage it with much more patience and caution.

It Might Work

Commonly, conductors determine whether the connection works or not. Thus, in this respect, Cat6 patch panel will work with Cat6a cables, since they have the same RJ45 conductors. But from the above we know it’s not safe enough to do so.

Conclusion

To sum up, Cat6a cables are able to run on Cat6 patch panel. However, there are some disadvantages exist in this job. So I’d like to suggest that if you just want to make an experiment at home, it’s surely OK. But if you want to use Cat6 patch panel with Cat6a in your data center, that’s not inappropriate. Because the cables may be out of work, which will cause damages to your business. If you would like to know more about designing or choosing the right cabling infrastructure, please contact us via sales@fs.com.

Related Article: Does Cat6 on Cat5e Patch Panel or Cat5e on Cat6 Patch Panel Work?

Home Server Rack Setup: Making Your Home Intelligent

As we know, the server rack can organize numbers of network equipment into standard-sized rack, which greatly improves the working and management efficiency throughout the data center. Meanwhile, with the 5G IoT era approaching, more and more intelligent home appliances gradually enter our lives. People especially the IT men desire to use a centralized management to run these equipment. Of course, the best solution is the home server rack. But how much do you know about home server rack setup?

smart home

Figure 1: Intelligent Life is Coming.

What Can I Do With Home Server Rack?

Home server rack is the centralized point in your house where the wiring meets switches, routers etc. The most obvious thing that we can do with home server rack is protecting our hardware. Mounting them into the rack instead of putting them on or under a desk can avoid the risk of getting knocked over, having water or other liquids spilled on them. Besides, for the IT passionate and technology enthusiasts, they can use home server rack to build a small data center. With this, they can control and add whatever they please, like installing some game servers and email server in the meantime. So they can build their own services and have fun in running the services.

Considerations of Home Server Rack Installation Guide

As for the home server rack build, here are two aspects that must be considered so as to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Equipment numbers. Before you start the home server rack setup, you should take an inventory of your equipment such as switches, routers. Only know the specific numbers, we can determine the home server rack size. And here I suggest leaving some extra rack space, which is beneficial for cables go through the patch panel rack.

Rack location. We should determine the rack location based on convenience and available space. Because all the interior wiring like Cat5e, Cat6 for network and coax for television may join the home rack. Besides, an airy room is good for rack cooling. Thus choosing the right place in your building is critical.

How to Set Up a Server Rack?

Unlike the racks in the server room, there is no need to use a large server rack at home. So some people are fond of DIY. But I think to make a server rack may spend lots of time and energy. And most of them use the wood as the main material, which is not good for protecting the environment. Here I recommend the 12U server rack from FS.COM to you. Only cost 110 dollars, you can get a server rack that can be mounted on walls and placed on floors. It uses SPCC cold roll steel, which is more sturdy and durable than the wood ones. This equipment is specially designed with glass door to offer a better protection for your network devices, and cooling vents on the back to ensure airflow.

home server rack setup

Figure 2: Server Rack for Home

Now, we can place the 12U home server rack in the determined location. Then mount your various devices into the rack. If you have a budget for cable management tools, you can buy a keystone patch panel to manage your cables on racks. Thus, a home server rack setup has been established, you can manage your home network devices conveniently and enjoy the customized services.

Conclusion

Home server rack brings many advantages which may make your life a lot easier and intelligent. After all the work in home server rack setup, you can pride yourself in the creation and effort. So let’s design a home server rack, and start our smart life.