Intel Network Adapters for Dell PowerEdge R710 Servers

With the growing prevalence of Dell PowerEdge Servers, Dell PowerEdge R710 servers gradually caught Ethernet users’ eyes for its competitive price, superb quality and low power consumption. As one part of the Dell PowerEdge Select Network, Intel Ethernet Network Adapters are high performance adapters for 1/10/25/40GbE Ethernet network connections. This article would give a brief introduction to Dell R710, Intel NDC for Dell R710 and optics for Intel NDC.

About Dell PowerEdge R710

The Dell PowerEdge R710 is a 2U rack server that can support up to two quad- or six-core Intel Xeon 5500 and 5600 series processors and to eight SATA or SAS hard drives, giving you up to 18TB of internal storage. It has 18 memory slots allow for a maximum of 288GB of memory, allowing the R710 to support and memory-intensive task you can throw at it. It has low power consumption and high performance capacity, which helps you save both money and time. We would provide detailed information about Dell PowerEdge R710 in the next two parts.

Dell R710 2U Rack Server

Figure1: Dell R710 2U Rack Server

Dell R710 Dimensions

Dell R710 Dimensions

Main Features:
—Processors

Dell PowerEdge R710 adapted Intel’s E5-2600 processors, which have up to 20MB cache and up to 8 cores versus the 5500 and 5600 processors which max out at 12MB Cache and 6 cores. These 8-core processors are ideal for increased security, I/O innovation and network capabilities, and overall performance.

—Storage

The R710 supports a high level of internal storage maxing out at 18TB. That includes up to six 3.5″ hard drives or eight 2.5” hard drives. It provides support for 6Gb/s SAS, SATA, and SSD drives.

—Controller

The R710 sports Dell’s new iDRAC6 management controller, which has a dedicated network port at the rear of the server. It provides a web browser interface for remote monitoring and viewing the status of critical server components, and the Enterprise upgrade key brings in virtual boot media and KVM-over-IP remote access.

—Remote Management

Based on Symantec’s Altiris Notification Server, the Management Console takes over from Dell’s elderly IT Assistant and provides the tools to manage all your IT equipment, instead of just Dell servers. Installation is a lengthy process, but it kicks off with an automated search process that populates its database with discovered systems and SNMP-enabled devices.

Intel network Adapters for Dell PowerEdge R710 servers

According to Dell PowerEdge R710 datasheet, the Dell PowerEdge R710 servers support dual port 10GB enhanced Intel Ethernet server adapter X520-DA2. This Dell Intel Ethernet Network Daughter Card X520/I350 provides low cost, low power flexibility and scalability for the entire data center. The Intel Ethernet Network Daughter Card X520-DA2/1350-T2 provides two 1000BASE-T ports and two 10G SFP+ ports as shown in Figure 2 to support 1GbE/10GbE Ethernet network connectivity.

Intel Ethernet Network Daughter Card X520-DA2

Figure2: Intel Ethernet Network Daughter Card X520-DA2

Cables And Optical Modules for Intel NDC X520-DA2

As we mentioned before, the Intel Ethernet Network Daughter Card X520-DA2 provides two 1000BASE-T ports and two 10G SFP+ ports respectively. We can plug two Intel compatible SFP transceivers into the two 1G ports on the Intel NDC X520-DA2 respectively to achieve 1G network connection. Likewise, we can also connect Intel compatible SFP+ transceiver to the 10G port on the Intel card for making 10G data transferring. In addition, we can also use Direct Attach Cable (DAC) to achieve 10G network connectivity, such as 10Gb fibre optic cable, Intel 10G SFP+ DAC cable. DAC cables are suitable for data transmission over very short link length while optical modules are more appropriate for longer transmission distance.

Intel NDC X520-DA2 with 10G optical modules

Figure3: Intel NDC X520-DA2 with 10G optical modules

Conclusion

The Dell PowerEdge R710 server with the high performance of Intel Ethernet Network Daughter Card X520-DA2 offers you a 2U rack to efficiently address a wide range of key business applications. With the great Intel NDC card, it also provides you a perfect solution for 1G and 10G Ethernet network connectivity. You can rest assured to enjoy a low consumption but high capacity server to keep your business.

10GBASE-T Cabling Vs. 10G SFP+ Cabling in 2017

When it comes to 10G network, we usually make a choice between 10GBASE-T cabling and 10G SFP+ cabling. In fact, many people still prefer 10G SFP+ cabling that uses SFP+ DAC cable, because they think it matches better for the requirements and emerging trends of today’s data center. Now the 10G network is quickly becoming mainstream, especially on consumer desktop systems. That means the cost of 10GBase-T switches will need to come down. Also, other “IOT” home components that decide to offer 10G will probably go for 10GBASE-T, such as game consoles, streaming boxes, etc. So, do you still recommend 10G SFP+ over 10GBASE-T nowadays for network deployment? This article will discuss this topic.

10GBASE-T Vs. 10G SFP+

Vote for 10GBASE-T
  • The 10GBASE-T ports are physically smaller which is important for non-data center devices. They are also easier to use. You just plug in an ethernet cable and it works. No need to deal with optical transceiver compatibility and all of those problems.
  • 10GBASE-T cabling is backwards compatible with 1G ports which will still be used for things like IPMI and other low bandwidth devices. You could just get one 10GBASE-T switch and connect up everything you have to it. Going with 10G SFP+ makes it difficult to find something that juggles enough of both kinds of ports for all of your 10G and 1G devices.
Vote for 10G SFP+
  • 10G SFP+ is better for future-proof cabling system. You can migrate to 40G QSFP+ smoothly and keep the existing cables. Even OM4 can do 100Gbps up to 150 meters. It is not known if Cat6a, Cat7 or even Cat8 will be able to pull off anything above 10Gb. And this will be stuck at 10G for quite some time.
  • 10G SFP+ interface that has been widely deployed for 10G ToR switches continues to use less power, typically less than 1 W per port. It also offers better latency—typically about 0.3 microseconds per link. While 10GBASE-T latency is about 2.6 microseconds per link due to more complex encoding schemes within the equipment.
  • 10GBASE-T switches are still expensive and there is a very limited choice of those that actually work. Also 10GBASE-T NICs add a premium over 10G SFP+. From a cost perspective, it is cheaper to go the 10G SFP+ cabling since you can find so many used 10G switches for deals, along with decent NICs. In addition, there is more support, driver wise for 10G SFP+ NICs than 10GBASE-T.

By comparison, we find that if flexibility and scalability are more important, 10GBASE-T cabling is a better option; but if power consumption and lower latency are critical, 10G SFP+ cabling may be more suitable. We also find that the cost of 10GBASE-T cabling is no longer in the ascendant. If 10GBASE-T want to acquire an absolute advantage, the primary goal now is to get 10GBASE-T cheaper and more power efficient and bring the cost way down so it can finally replace Gigabit as the next base level networking.

A Third Choice

If you do not have to choose vanilla or chocolate, you could have both 10GBASE-T and 10G SFP+ in the same switch, such as Ubiquiti EdgeSwitch 16 XG and UniFi Switch 16 XG. Both of them feature twelve 10G SFP+ ports and four RJ45 10GBASE-T ports to efficiently deliver and aggregate data at 10G speeds. But some people point out that the 10GBASE-T ports on the Ubiquiti switches actually don’t work reliably at 10Gbps speed. Therefore, before you buy it for those four RJ45 10GBASE-T ports, you have to make sure that they can work without issues. Here is a figure of them for you.

Ubiquiti EdgeSwitch 16 XG and UniFi Switch 16 XG

Conclusion

If you were building out a 10G cabling system from scratch today, which technology would you choose for your 10G network connectivity? Both 10GBASE-T cabling and 10G SFP+ cabling have their own advantages. And both of them occupy an important position in the future of network design and best practices. As for which one to choose, it all depends on your specific need. FS.COM can provide cost-effective solution for your 10G network deployment, such as Cat5e bulk cable, 10G SFP+ transceiver, 10G SFP+ DAC cable, 10GBASE-T SFP+ Transceiver and so on. For more details, please visit our site.

Broadcom or Intel Network Adapter for Dell PowerEdge Server?

The NDC, Network Daughter Card (also known as Select Network Adapters), is an innovation technology developed by Dell. As an advanced technology on server, the NDC provides the customers with a flexibility of choosing what they want ( 4 x 1GbE, 2 x 10GbE or 2 x Converged Network Adapter.) With this small, removable mezzanine card, we are no longer limited to use network interface cards (NICs) on the motherboard. And it has been used in the twelfth-generation Dell PowerEdge server. This article will focus on Broadcom or Intel network adapter for Dell PowerEdge Server.

About Select Network Adapter

Network adapter plays an irreplaceable role in a server system, as it can reduce CPU usage on the server, which improves the overall system performance. NDC is a paramount member of Dell PowerEdge Select Network Adapters family. There are two form factors of Select Network Adapters—blade servers and rack servers. (You can see the two servers clearly in the following figure.) The Blade Select Network Adapter provides dual port 10GbE from various suppliers. The Rack Select Network Adapter provides a selection of 1GbE and 10GbE port options, such as 1000Base-T, 10GBASET and 10Gb SFP+.

Rack Mount Servers & Blade Servers

Figure1: Rack Mount Servers & Blade Servers

PowerEdge Platforms That Support Select Network Adapters

The Blade Select Network Adapter is offered on the PowerEdge M620 blade server.

The Rack Select Network Adapter is offered on the following PowerEdge platforms:

  • R620
  • R720
  • R720xd

PowerEdge R720 Rack Server

Figure2: PowerEdge R720 Rack Server

Available NDC options
PowerEdge rack servers:
  • Broadcom 5720 Base-T
  • Intel I350 Base-T
  • Broadcom 57800 Base-T and SFP+
  • Intel x540 Base-T
PowerEdge blade servers:
  • Broadcom 57810S KR
  • Intel x520 KR
  • QLogic QMD8262 KR
Form factors of Blade Servers & Rack Servers

Blade servers: There are three form factors of blade servers offered by Dell: Intel x520 Dual Port 10Gb KR NDC, Broadcom 57810S Dual Port 10Gb KR NDC, and QLogic QMD8262-k Dual Port 10Gb KR NDC. Both the Broadcom and Intel blade NDCs will support both 1Gb and 10Gb speeds, while the QLogic blade NDC will run only at 10Gb speeds.

Rack servers: There are mainly two brands of NDC support rack servers—Intel and Broadcom, which would be further explained as follows:

Intel:
  • Intel Ethernet x540 Dual Port 10Gb BT + i350 DP 1Gb BT NDC: A quad-port rack NDC with 2 ports x 1GbE + 2 ports x 10GBASE-T based on the Intel I350 and x540 chipsets.
  • Intel Ethernet i350 Quad Port 1GbE NDC: A quad-port rack NDC with 4 ports x 1GbE based on the Intel I350 chipset.
    An Intel 2x1Gb + 2x10Gb Base-T rack NDC, as shown in the following figure, offers two types of interconnects to meet various connectivity needs.

Rack 2x1Gb+ 2x10Gb BT NDC

Figure3: Rack 2x1Gb+ 2x10Gb BT NDC

Broadcom:
  • Broadcom 57800S 2x1Gb+2x10Gb SFP+ NDC: A quad-port rack NDC with 2 ports x 1GbE + 2 ports x 10G SFP+ based on the Broadcom 57800S chipset. Just shown as the following figure.
  • Broadcom 5720 4x1Gb Base-T NDC: A quad-port rack NDC with 4 ports of 1GbE based on the Broadcom 5720 chipset.

Rack 2x1Gb+ 2x10Gb SFP+ NDC

Figure4: Rack 2x1Gb+ 2x10Gb SFP+ NDC

How to Choose the Optical Cables and Modules for Broadcom or Intel Network Adapter?

Just take Broadcom 57800S 2x1Gb+2x10Gb SFP+ NDC for example. A Broadcom 2 x 1G + 2 x 10G SFP+ NDC provides two 1000BASE-T ports and two 10G SFP+ ports as shown in Figure 6. We can plug two Dell compatible SFP transceivers into the two 1G ports on the Broadcom NDC respectively to achieve 1G network connection. Likewise, we can also connect Dell compatible SFP+ transceiver such as 10Gb Base SR connector to the 10G port on the Broadcom card for making 10G data transferring. Besides, we can also use Direct Attach Cable (DAC) to achieve 10G network connectivity, such as multimode 10Gb fiber optic cable, Dell 10G SFP+ DAC cable. DAC cables provide a cost-effective solution for very short transmission while 10G optical modules are more suitable for data transferring over long distance.

Broadcom 57800S NDC with Dell SFP+ module

Figure5: Broadcom 57800S NDC with Dell SFP+ module

Conclusion

As technology advanced and 10Gb Ethernet became more prevalent in the data center, there must be a prosperous market ahead for blade servers and rack servers. SFP+ modules and Direct Copper Attached is the current preference for 10GbE connectivity of rack servers. Boardcom and Intel are both famous vendors for providing NDCs for Dell PowerEdge Server, you can select a proper one for your server according to your port needs.

 

Cisco Nexus 7010 Vs. Nexus 7710

We know that fiber optic cable and transceiver are important components to complete the whole optical link. In addition, there is another core component in data center—switch, which is the nerve center of the whole network deployment. This article will introduce two Cisco switches—Cisco Nexus 7010 switch and Cisco Nexus 7710 switch, and make comparison between them.

Overview of Cisco Nexus 7010 Switch And Cisco Nexus 7710 Switch

Characterized by high availability and scalability, comprehensive Cisco NX-OS Software data center switching feature set, Cisco Nexus 7010 switch and Nexus 7710 switch are designed to satisfy the demand for high switching capacity in data centers. As Cisco Nexus 7700 Series switches are the latest extension to the Cisco Nexus 7000 Series switches, there are similarities and differences between Cisco Nexus 7010 switch and Nexus 7710 switch. How much do you know about them? Keep reading and you will find the answer. The following figures show Cisco Nexus 7010 switch and Cisco Nexus 7710 switch.

Cisco Nexus 7010

Figure 1. Cisco Nexus 7010 switch

Cisco Nexus 7710

Figure 2. Cisco Nexus 7710 switch

Cisco Nexus 7010 Vs. Nexus 7710

From the above figures we can have a basic knowledge of Cisco Nexus 7010 switch and Cisco Nexus 7710 switch. And the following part will focus on the similarities and differences between them.

Similarities Between Cisco Nexus 7010 Switch And Cisco Nexus 7710 Switch
  • Both of them are 10-slot chassis switch with 2 dedicated supervisor modules and 8 I/O modules.
  • Both of them are structured with 384 x 1 and 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports.
  • Both of them utilize front-to-back airflow which can ensure that switch addresses the requirement for hot-aisle and cold-aisle deployments to help provide efficient cooling.
  • Both of their I/O modules and supervisor modules are accessible from the front, and fabric modules and fan trays are accessible from the back of the chassis.
  • Both of their fan trays are composed of independent variable-speed fans which can automatically adjust to the ambient temperature, and this helps reduce power consumption in well-managed facilities while enables optimum operation of the switch.
  • Both of their systems not only allow hot swapping without affecting the system, but also support air filter to promote clean airflow through the system.
Differences Between Cisco Nexus 7010 Switch And Cisco Nexus 7710 Switch
  • Cisco Nexus 7010 switch has 48 x 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports, and 16 x 100 Gigabit Ethernet ports. While Cisco Nexus 7710 switch has 192 x 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports, and 96 x 100 Gigabit Ethernet ports.
  • Cisco Nexus 7010 switch has 5 fabric module slots and 3 power supply slots. While Cisco Nexus 7710 switch has 6 fabric module slots and 8 power supply slots.
  • Cisco Nexus 7010 switch supports Fabric—1 and Fabric—2 modules while Cisco Nexus 7710 switch supports only Fabric—2 modules.
  • Cisco Nexus 7010 switch is designed with 21RU height, bigger than Cisco Nexus 7710 switch’s 14RU height.
  • Cisco Nexus 7010 switch uses dual system and fabric fan trays for cooling. While Cisco Nexus 7710 switch uses three redundant fan trays for cooling.
  • The maximum inter-slot switching capacity with the Cisco Nexus 7010 switch is 550 Gbps while Cisco Nexus 7710 switch can achieve the maximum inter-slot switching capacity of 1.2 Tbps.
  • Cisco Nexus 7010 switchsupports F1, F2 and F2e line cards while Cisco Nexus 7710 switch supports F2e and F3 line cards.
  • Cisco Nexus 7010 switchsupports SUP1, SUP2 and SUP2E supervisors while Cisco Nexus 7710 switch supports only SUP2E supervisor engines.
  • Cisco N7K-C7010-FAN-Sis US $1,100.00 on eBay while Cisco N77-C7710-FAN is US $1,299.99.
Which One to Choose?

Both Cisco Nexus 7010 switch and Cisco Nexus 7710 switch are designed to meet the scalability requirements of the largest cloud environments. As for which one to choose, it all depends on your individual requirements. If you need higher switching capacity and smaller size, you can choose Cisco Nexus 7710 switch; if your budget is tight, Cisco Nexus 7010 switch is a good option; if you want your switch to support F1 line card and SUP1 supervisor engineer, you have to buy Cisco Nexus 7010 switch. FS.COM provides large stock single mode fiber patch cables and multimode fiber patch cables. Also, you can find various types of Cisco compatible transceiver modules for your Cisco switch. For more details, please visit our site.

Cisco 3650 Vs. 3850 Catalyst Switches

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and 3850 series switches are enterprise class stackable switches. Cisco Catalyst 3650 series was unveiled in 2013 which designed to converge wired and wireless networking. Just in the same year, Cisco launched its first flagship Catalyst 3850 series switches . That provide a converged wired and wireless platform as well. With they have many things in common, many people confused about them and found it hard to decide which one to buy. This article would introduce Cisco 3650 and 3850 series switch as well as their main differences.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series Switch

There are 21 Cisco 3650 Series Switch models in total. All Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series Switches have fixed, built-in uplink ports. The Catalyst 3650 features line rate 24 and 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and an integrated wireless controller. It can be stacked in groups of nine switches for support of up to 25 access points and 1,000 clients at 40Gbps. The uplink ports of all switch models can be divided into the following five types:

  • Four Gigabit Ethernet with Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP)
  • Two 10 Gigabit Ethernet with SFP+ and two 10 Gigabit Ethernet with SFP or four Gigabit Ethernet with SFP
  • Four 10 Gigabit Ethernet with SFP+ or four Gigabit Ethernet with SFP
  • Eight 10 Gigabit Ethernet with SFP+ or eight Gigabit Ethernet with SFP
  • Two 40 Gigabit Ethernet with QSFP+

Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series Switch

Figure1: Cisco 3650 48Port PoE+ Switch

Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series Switches

The Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series Switches are modular and field-replaceable network modules, which has RJ45 and fiber-based downlink interfaces, and redundant fans and power supplies. It fully supports IEEE 802.3 at Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+). Compared with 3650 Series Switches, they have less switch modules—14 switch modules. Besides, they are stackable 3K switches, which can fully meet your requirement for evolving business. Some main features of Cisco 3850 are just listed in the following:

  • Functionality added traffic aggregation. All Unified Access intelligent services can be persevered and delivered across the entire network from the access layer to the aggregation layer.
  • Long distance transmission. The 3850 switches can be used to connect branch offices and small campus buildings. The fiber connections can support up to 80 km of physical distance.

cisco-switches-catalyst3850-3

Figure2: Cisco 3850 PoE+ Switch

  • High compatibility. The 3850 switches support a variety of optical modules and connectors, therefore allowing many deployment options.
  • Enhanced security. It comes with native TrustSec functionality such as Security Group Tag (SGT) so that you have it enabled everywhere—from access to aggregation. Also, fiber connections provide strong physical security.
Differences
—Flexibility

The flexibility of the 3850s is greater than the 3650s, because they are stacking and optional stacking switches respectively. The 3850s can do power stacking, that is an exclusive feature compared to the 3650s. Stacking is built in, and the short stacking cables are included. Larger stacks might require the longer stacking cables, that is a potential downside.

3650s can do stacking as well, but you need to buy the modules separately (and they are like $1,000 a pop list price), which adds up quickly.

—Power

The 3850s is the more powerful device than the 3650s, which featured as the great horsepower. Besides, as we mentioned before, the 3850s can do power stacking while the 3650s cannot.

—Capacity

Compared with the 3650s series switches, the 3850s series switches have higher capacity. The maximum switching capacity of the 3850s switches can arrive at 1280 Gbps on 48-port 10 Gigabit Ethernet SFP+ model while the 3650s switches at 472 Gbps on 48-port Multigigabit models.

Cisco 3650 24Port PoE+ switch

Figure3: Cisco 3650 24Port PoE+ switch

—Price

There are only slight differences between the two switches in terms of price. Just take the 24-port switches of two different series for example, you can see the differences more clearly by clicking the following link:

Cisco-WS-C3850-24P-S:

https://www.amazon.com/Cisco-WS-C3850-24P-S-Catalyst-Networking-Device/dp/B00BDRUDIS/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1502433942&sr=8-6&keywords=Cisco+Catalyst+3850

Cisco-WS-C3650-24PD-S:

https://www.amazon.com/Cisco-WS-C3650-24PD-S-Catalyst-Networking-Device/dp/B00FWJ842U/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1502434837&sr=8-1&keywords=Cisco+Catalyst+3650

Conclusion

This article chiefly discussed the Cisco Catalyst 3650 and 3850 series switches as well as their differences. How to choose? They are both great switches. It depends on what you really want to do and what you want out of your switches, and what your budget is. Besides, if you are looking for the compatible optical modules for those two switches, you can take FS.COM a try. We offer large and in-stock Cisco SFP, SFP+, 40G QSFP+ and 100G QSFP28 optical transceivers with high quality but low cost. For more details, please visit www.fs.com.