If you manage a 40 Gigabit (40G) data center or application, you need a cabling infrastructure to match. While 1G and 10G networks can use small form factor pluggable (SFP), 40G networks are quad small form-factor pluggable (QSFP). They require their own infrastructure to maintain seamless connectivity. Learn about these requirements and how you can ensure your 40G data center’s consistent functionality.
What Does the IEEE Say?
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is dedicated to advancing global technological innovation. This institute sets standards of excellence for cabling infrastructures around the world. According to IEEE 802.3ba, the standard for multimode 40G is a multi-fiber push-on (MPO) connector for standard-length MPO/MTP. These connectors are ideal for 40G data centers due to their small, high-density form factors that can handle high-speed Ethernet equipment.
Typically, a 12-fiber MTP connector interface works well to support 40G. With an MPO plug-and-play system, managers implement a 12-fiber trunk split into six channels, running up to 10G Ethernet, depending on the length of the cable. The 12-fiber trunk can create a Tx/Rx link by dedicating four fibers for each 10G of upstream signal transmitted, and four fibers for each 10G of downstream signal reception. It’s easy to upgrade this type of system – all it takes is to replace the cassette with an adapter module for MPO to MPO.
Most data centers use 40G direct attach cables (DACs) or MPO/MTP trunk or patch cord assemblies with QSFP+ transceivers. DACs are high-speed cables that have transceivers on both ends, used to connect switches to servers or routers. DACs are optical transceiver assemblies but are not real optics. Their components do not use optical lasers and are therefore much cheaper to purchase than regular optics. Many 40G data center managers and those operating high-functioning computing environments prefer DACs for their low cost and consistent high performance.
Tips for Your 40G Data Center Cabling Infrastructure
In a 40G data center, avoiding costly optical cables and fiber transceivers can equal attractive cost savings. DACs can garner lower costs of connectivity, providing inexpensive yet reliable 40G connections using copper or optical cables. An active optical cable (AOC) uses a single-mode fiber or bend-insensitive multimode cable terminated with a connector. They are embedded with transceivers that can convert optical signals to electrical signals and vice versa. Active optical cables can transmit signals over longer distances than copper cables while using the same interface as copper.
Using a highly efficient active optical cable, your 40G data center can successfully lower power consumption and limit heat generation. Today, you can purchase an AOC assembly that uses just 475mW per end. These lower-power AOCs exude less heat, keeping your data center cooler and reducing costs of ownership. AOCs are also incredibly reliable, helping your business stay ahead of the competition and deliver consistent returns to your customers. Keeping costs manageable is an integral part of data center success – and by extension – the success of your company.
Get Your Cabling Infrastructure from a Trusted Provider
As the need for higher data transmission rates grows, so will the need to support faster 40G Ethernet connectivity. Data center managers would be wise to purchase AOCs with quality assurance from the provider for their cabling infrastructures. Otherwise, they may invest in a “solution” with the potential for failure, due to the small electronic parts that make up an active optical cable.Purchasing infrastructure components from C Enterprises gives you the means to support 40G connectivity with reliable high-quality cabling. Our decades in the industry place us in a unique position to offer our customers the very best in active optical cables and dozens of other fiber and copper cabling. We have what you need to support your 40G data center.