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Understanding High Speed Connection Technology

By Tony Farinholt Subscribe to RSS | March 20th 2012 | Views:
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Even though quite a few people understand consumer based product standards, few know about the ones that keep data centers and the Internet working on a daily basis. Although the standards are very related in specifications, there are major differences involving the consumer products and professional ones. Understanding these technologies is really rather easy once one understands some of the fundamentals behind them.

The main standard that organizations use today is the small form-factor pluggable (or SFP) module. Much like many other widespread connections, like USB or Ethernet, this interface simply links a component to the motherboard for a connection. The plug form can handle traditional copper wire communication as well as fiber optic based on what the slot’s application is. The benefit that these interfaces provide is large because they can be upgraded or repurposed easily based on what the current need for the owner is. They also give the system more adaptability since it can be completely repurposed as the company’s needs progress over time.

As time has gone on, a new standard had to be created to support the new data rates that have come to be possible. New interfaces support all the way up to 10 gigabits of data and are called SFP+. In order to stay more open and provide more possibilities of future adaptation, SFP+ implemented a method to allow the host board to do more of the processing than the module itself. This method provides a seemingly infinite upgrade capability considering that the board that hosts the SFP+ standard can be upgraded to support both newer and older modules. Additionally, this decreases the cost of the standard Cisco brand SFP modules themselves to make it much easier for upgrades or changeovers.

A number of these devices are similar to what is found in many homes, and most still do not understand why they are created so differently. This is due to the fact that there is a need for an interchangeable device that can be packed into a smaller space while attaching to another unit that can also be updated. The best way to illustrate this is having a PCI card within a computer that serves as a host for SFP modules. The modules themselves can be replaced, and as time goes on, the card itself can be replaced if necessary. This provides the latest cutting edge Cisco GLC-T modules to be used and their replacements later on without costing a lot of money. Since data centers are not places with unrestricted amounts of space available, these systems perform best when contained within the smallest area achievable.

Tony Farinholt - About Author:
FluxLight was founded in 2003. Our focus has been on providing quality fiber optic interfaces, Cisco brand SFP modules, Cisco GLC-T, and related products for local and wide area networking products. We stock optical transceivers from top vendors. FluxLight is convinced the path to success is through excellence and customer service. Our customers are our number one priority. We know you have many choices of where to buy so we do our best to provide the best SFP and GBIC products, at the best prices with the best possible support.

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