FAQs: How to Buy Best KVM Switch and Why

KVM (keyboard, video, mouse) switch is hardware device that can ease local or remote monitoring on multiple computers/servers via a single keyboard, video monitor and mouse console. Best KVM switch is not typically the most expensive but the one that has the exact features you need, not more or less. Before buying a KVM switch, ask yourself the following questions to figure out the best KVM switch that suits you.

How many computers/servers do I want to monitor?

This is the key factor in choosing the best KVM switch. It is like buying Christmas gifts for your kids, one gift for one kid and the number should not be less than the kid. Since the KVM switches are available with different port counts, you can choose the one the can connect all your computers/servers while having no ports wasted, unless you have near plan for adding more networking devices. A single KVM switch can usually connect directly 2 to 32 computers/servers. It should be noted that though multiple devices are connected to the KVM switch, you can only access one device at a time.

Which type of KVM switch do I need?

After a brief search you may find there are various types of KVM switches in the market. They are grouped into desktop KVM, rack-mount KVM and rack-mount console KVM. If you have no more than four computers to be controlled and have your own keyboard, monitor and mouse, the desktop model is the best KVM switch for you. Rack-mount KVM switch and rack-mount console KVM switch are commonly used for controlling multiple servers in data centers. They can save space of the rack by simplifying the one-server-one-keyboard to multi-servers-one-keyboard. A user can locally control all the servers in the rack. In addition, a rack-mount console KVM switch is equipped with a built-in keyboard, LCD (liquid crystal display)display and touchpad in a single console that collapses when not used, taking up only 1RU space.

Should I choose KVM switch with IP access or not?

Some KVM switch are just for local users while some KVM switch designed with network port allow users to control far-distance computers/servers. If it is just for controlling computers/servers locally, you can choose a KVN switch without IP access function.

Which port is for connecting the computer and which is for the monitor?

A KVM switch are designed with colorful KVM connection ports or/and copper RJ45 ports. You should choose the best KVM switch with the ports that fit your computer/server connectors.

The KVM switch has different ports for connecting keyboard and mouse, like PS/2, USB, Sun (DB13W3), Mac.

ports for keyboard and mouse

Also there are different ports for the video monitor like VGA, HDMI, DVI, display ports and ADC (Apple display connector). Rj45/DB9 serial port and network LAN port for local and remote control.

port for video monitor

To directly connect the computers/servers being involved, you can use KVM cable, Cat5/5e/6 Ethernet cable and SIU (server interface unit). Since KVM switches are designed with different port type for computers/servers.

computer server RJ45 & VGA ports

There are different forms of cable kit for connecting the computer/server to the KVM switch, some manufacturers make products that combine several cable types in one unit.

kvm cable Ehternet cable and SIU

What is the best KVM switch for controlling hundreds of devices?

A single KVM switch have limited number of ports to control devices. Some enterprise KVM switches have daisy chain port that allows several KVM switches to be cascaded together to control hundreds of computers/servers.

daisy chain KVM switch


This article sums up some common questions that are asked when buying a best KVM switch for controlling multiple computers/servers. The primary question is based on your existing computer/server number and type. If you have more questions about buying or using KVM switches, welcome to discuss.



Common Power Cord Types: C13, C15, C19 and NEMA 5-15P

Electricity is one of the things that we rely on most in modern life and work, which is even more fundamental than the Internet. It has been utilized to serve human beings for centuries, and the technologies and standards in this filed have been developed and improved for better usage globally. The computer power cord C13 is a typical example of the achievements through power cord standardization. Do you know why use the letter C and the number 13 to name it? This post will explain the standards that power connectors comply to and the most commonly used power cord types.

International Power Cord Types: C13, C15 and C19

C13 power cord is specified by the power cord standard IEC 60320, which is recognized as an international standard by most countries in the world. The standard determines the electrical, mechanical, thermal requirements and safety operations of the specified power cord type. It also describes the shape, size and dimensions of the appliance to be connected to with the power cords. Among IEC 60320 standard power cord types, C13, C15, and C19 are the most commonly used connectors in both daily lives and data centers. Here are their specifications and appliances they apply to.

Connector Type Configuration Max. Current/Voltage Max. Pin Temp. (°C) Common Application
C13 C13 connector 10A/250V 70 C13 connectors commonly work with inlets on computers and devices that can be attached to computers.
C15 C13 connector 10A/250V 120 C15 connectors are for use in high temperature settings, such as electric kettles, computer networking closets, and PoE switches with high wattage power supplies.
C19 C13 connector 16A/250V 70 C19 connectors are common for devices that require higher current than which can be provided by C13 and C15 connectors. Typical applications are on enterprise-class servers, data center rack-mounted power distribution units (PDUs) and chassis switches.


IEC 60320 specifies female connector by odd number and the appliance inlet by even number one greater than the number assigned to the connector. Since C13, C15 and C19 are popular connectors, the popular power cord types with these connectors are C14 to C13 and C20 to C19. Other popular variants are C14 to C15 power cord and C20 to C15 power cord.

IEC 60320 power cord

NEMA 5-15P of NEMA Standard

Apart from the IEC 60320 standard, NEMA standard is also widely used in North American countries and other countries that adopt it. NEMA 5-15P plug is the most popular power cord type specified in NEMA standard. It has three-wire circuits (hot, neutral and ground), and is rated at 15 A at 250 V, although it usually carries 110 V. NEMA 5-15P (plug) to NEMA 5-15R (receptacle) is the most common power cord type in North American countries. As NEMA 5-15P is already accepted as an international plug standard, other typically used power cord types that adopt NEMA 5-15P plug include NEMA 5-15P to C13 and NEMA 5-15P to C15.

NEMA 5-15P power cord

Benefits of Universal Power Cords

Actually before the standards for power cords are made, most countries have used different wall-plugs and sockets. In the old days the problem arrived when a power cord manufacturer wanted to sell the products worldwide or when a traveler took his laptop from one country to another, because some countries run on 230V and others on 110V.

After the renouncement of the IEC 60320 standard, it has gradually become universal for electronic equipment. Modern computer power supplies don’t care which region you’re in and what voltage or frequency your electricity has or what types of wall-plugs you use, they transfer whatever AC you give them into the right sort of DC. In fact, if you go into a real server-room or data-center you will find that the wall-plugs of whatever region you are in are really non-existent, all the electronic devices connect directly with C13-C14 extension cords into the power supply of the server-room, usually redundantly and with some sort of emergency power in case of blackout being involved. The specifications of shape and size for different power cord types also keep people from accidentally matching incompatible plugs and inlets. So the danger of burning down the device or hurting people can be avoided.

Words in the End

Although different countries still have their own standards for power cords, the IEC 60320 standard and NEMA standard have been recognized globally. They have made it easy to use common power cord types all over the world. The ones that we frequently used in data centers and for computer power cord are best examples of their contribution, such as C14 to C13, C14 to C15, C20 to C19 and NEMA 5-15P to C13, etc.

Comparison of 48-Port PoE Switch Price and Functionality

When it comes to connecting a lot of VoIP phones and IP cameras, a 48-port PoE switch is great for powering them. Whether it is for home use or business use, a 48-port PoE switch can best solve the problems of installing these PoE network devices in places that has no power lines. Due to the high capacity and power supply feature, a 48-port PoE switch price is often higher than a standard 48-port Ethernet switch with no PoE. In this post, we will introduce some cheap 48-port PoE switches and do a comparison between them.

48-port PoE switch for VoIP phone IP camera

Comparison of Four 48-Port PoE Switches Prices and Functions

The four 48-port PoE switches that we’re going to discuss are UniFi US-48-500W, TP-Link T1600G-52PS, D-Link DGS-1210-52MP/ME and FS S1600-48T4S. They are inexpensive compared with most enterprise class 48-port PoE switches. Let’s have a look at these switches.

Difference Between the Four 48-Port PoE Switches

The table below gives some basic parameters of these four switches, including the port type, supported data rate, the maximum PoE power consumption, switching capacity and forwarding rate.

Switch Model UniFi US-48-500W TP-Link T1600G-52PS D-Link DGS-1210-52MP/ME FS S1600-48T4S
10/100/1000Mbps RJ45 Ports 48 48 48 48
Gigabit SFP Ports 2 4 4 0
SFP+ Ports 2 0 0 4
Max. PoE Power Consumption 500 W 470.4 W 479.5 W 600 W
Max. Power Per Port (PoE+) 30 W 30 W 30 W (ports 1-8) 30 W
Switching Capacity 140 Gbps 104 Gbps 104 Gbps 180 Gbps
Forwarding Rate 104.16 Mpps 77.4 Mpps 77.4 Mpps 130.94 Mpps
Price US$760.00 to US$1,230.90 US$481.99 to US$725.99 US$988.06 to US$1,028.01 US$689.00

The UniFi US-48-500W is a 48-port Layer 2 access switch. In addition to 48 Gigabit RJ45 ports, it has 2 fiber ports of Gigabit SFP and 2 fiber ports of 10G SFP+. It has a non-blocking throughout of 70 Gbps, which is sufficient for typical home use and most small business use. But compared with the other three 48-port PoE switches, it lacks some Layer 3 features. The other three are Layer 2+ switches that support static routing and access resolution protocol (ARP) inspecting, which are simple but efficient approaches in segmenting and securing the network.

Outwardly, the TP-Link T1600G-52PS and D-Link DGS-1210-52MP/ME are similar in many aspects. They both have 4 Gigabit SFP ports and their switch fabric capacity and forwarding rate are identical. However, the 48 RJ45 ports of T1600G-52PS are all IEEE 802.3at/af-compliant PoE+ ports, while the 48 RJ45 ports of DGS-1210-52MP/ME are not. Only ports 1-8 are PoE+ and the ports 9-48 are PoE. The price of T1600G-52PS is much lower than DGS-1210-52PS but the former one is released in 2015 while the latter one is 2017’s new model. Both T1600G-52PS and DGS-121052MP/ME has no 10G ability.

Obviously the switching capacity (or backplane bandwidth) and forwarding rate of the FS S1600-48T4S are the highest among these four switches. It has four 10G uplink ports, which allows large traffic from the access switch to the core switch and ensures high speed and precise transmission and recording without delay. Meanwhile, it supports the largest power to the device, which is suitable for connecting more PoE network devices. This 48-port PoE switch’s price is lower than two of the other switches.

48-port PoE switch FS S1600-48T4S

Common Benefits and Features of the Four 48-Port PoE Switches

These four 48-port PoE switches’ prices are much lower than that of high-end PoE switches. They are all managed PoE switches equipped with 48 10/100/1000Mbps Rj45 ports of auto-sensing IEEE 802.3af (PoE), which provides a maximum per PoE port output power to each device of 15.4 W. They also support IEEE 802.3at (PoE+), which enhanced the max. per port power consumption to 30 W. All of them have been equipped with fiber uplink ports.

Another common feature is that these four 48-port PoE switches all support easy management. And the managing function is not limited to only one type. They all have an RJ45 console port or a serial port for managing through web-based graphical user interface (GUI, IPv4/IPv6) or command line interface (CLI).


This post has compared some 48-port PoE switches’ prices and functions. They are generally inexpensive and suitable for both home use and business use. The managing functions are simplified compared with high-end switches, in order to help better management of the network. If you want 10G uplink, UniFi US-48-500W or FS S1600-48T4S are recommended. Before purchasing a 48-port PoE switch, be sure to check the power requirement for your total PoE devices, the standard it complies to and the overall PoE budget of your installation.

Source: http://www.fiber-optic-equipment.com/comparison-48-port-poe-switch-price-functionality.html




Affordable 10G SFP+ Switches for SMB Hyper-Converged Appliance Expansion


Hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) has been earning a good reputation in data centers, whether it is of the entire branch offices, the IT duties of small and medium businesses (SMBs) or the virtual desktop infrastructure deployments. HCI offers numerous integrated services such as backup, data protection and solid-state drive storage, and allows seamless management and expansion of various compute, storage and network devices, i.e., users can scale the network flexibly by adding a new appliance to the hyper-converged cluster. For SMBs, the requirements for network switches is not the same as large enterprises when adding a 10G appliance. This post is to suggest some affordable 10G SFP+ switches for SMBs during hyper-converged appliance (HCA) expansion.

10G SFP+ Switches Requirements for SMB HCA Expansion

In today’s SMBs, applications are requiring higher data rate and some management features. For a SMB with a considerable size, the core switches might be required to a fully-managed switch with strong capacity, high bandwidth and high port count. The switches for the connectivity of the cluster (compute, storage and network devices) may also have many ports. But when adding new appliance to the cluster, the switch usually needs not to be high port count or with high data rate. A 8-12 ports 10G SFP+ switch is generally enough for hyper-converged appliance expansion, which is rational considering the expenditure for expansion as well. The following table gives some 8-12 ports 10G SFP+ switches in the market for your reference.

Switch Model Ports Switching Capacity Fowarding Rate Switching Layer Price
Dell X4012 12 x 10G SFP+ 240 Gbps 178.6 Mpps L2+ $1,063.54
Netgear M4300-8X8F 8 x 10G SFP+ and 8 x 10GBASE-T 320 Gbps 238.1 Mpps L3 $1,719.00
Cisco SG500XG-8F8T 8 x 10G SFP+ and 8 x 10GBASE-T 320 Gbps 238.1 Mpps L3 $2,146.59
FS S5800-8TF12S 12 x 10G SFP+ and 8 x 1GBASE-T/SFP Combo 240 Gbps 178.6 Mpps L3 $1,699.00
D-link DXS-1210-12SC 10 x 10G SFP+ and 2 x 10GBASE-T/SFP+ Combo 240 Gbps 178.6 Mpps L3 $1,055.00

fs s5800-8tf12s

According to the information available, these switches can be got online well under $3K in brand new condition. Suppose that a SMB has a core switch which has a fabric capacity of 960 Gbps, and now it needs to add 5 nodes of 10G speed to the cluster for downstream, an 8-12 ports 10G SFP+ switch will not only give enough ports for current nodes and for uplink to the core, but also gives the SMB space to grow.

These switches have some features in common. These common features are very helpful in SMB network managing and ensuring data quality.

Management and Functionality Services

For all the switches mentioned above, some of them are fully managed switches while some are smart managed switches. But all of them are not limited to web interface management. They also support Command Line Interface (CLI), Telnet (multi-session support), SSH and SNMP (simple network management protocol). The most functions that a SMB might need are all equipped, such as VLAN, port mirroring, LACP (link aggregation control protocol) and RMON (remote network control).

QoS and Security Features

The QoS (Quality of Service) features include ARP (Address Resolution Protocol) inspection, ACLs (Access Control Lists), DSCP remark, etc. These features can contribute a lot in securing the SMB network, for example, with the help of ARP inspection and ACLs, the switch can block fake ARP entries outside the system, so that data frames will not be easily sniffed or modified. Broadcast Storm Control is also supported in order to avoid traffic disorder caused by malicious attack from intruders.

How to Connect These 10G SFP+ Switches?

Although these 10G SFP+ switches chosen for SMB hyper-converged appliance expansion are relatively low-priced, but the OEM 10G SFP+ fiber transceivers can overburden a SMB if bought in large quantity. Four OEM 10G SFP+ transceivers can cost as much as a 10G SFP+ switch we have found above. Fortunately, there is way to release the SMBs from expensive OEM optics. That is cost-effective 10G SFP+ compatible modules. So the total cost for the HCA expansion will not exceed $3k either. In addition, most OEM switches support third party transceiver modules and DAC cables from third party transceiver vendors.


In sum, for SMB hyper-converged appliance expansion, the 10G SFP+ switches used to connect the core switch and the cluster need not to be high port count, but should be equipped with enough management functions for SMB applications.



How to Buy Right 48 Port 10GBASE-T Switch?

For recent years, the advent of 10Gbase-t copper solutions has seen growing adoption. Compared to fiber optics, copper has made great advances in latency and power consumption. 10Gbase-t is thus becoming more popular in network switches and servers. If you have not got any 10G switches, you should get 10Gbase-t switches, such as 12 port, 24 port, or 48 port 10gbase-t switches which are cost-effective 10g sfp+ copper switches for data centers. This post mainly talks about 48 port 10gbase-t switch.

Why You Need 48 Port 10gbase-t Switch?

Like other BASE-T technologies, 10gbase-t uses the standard RJ45 Ethernet jack. 10gbase-t is backward compatible, auto-negotiating between higher and lower speeds, thereby not forcing an all-at-once network equipment upgrade. It means that the 10G copper connections can also work with 1 Gigabit Ethernet devices without requiring any expensive hardware replacements. The ability to autonegotiate between 1 and 10 gigabit speeds allows 10gbase-t server upgrades to occur on an evolutionary, as-needed basis. Cat5/Cat5e are supported for 10 Gigabit speeds up to 100 meters.

48 port 10gbase-t switch

48 port 10gbase-t switches help to resolve the congestion issue between network edge and core, which is caused by the broader adoption of Gigabit-to-the-desktop. The utilizing of 48 port 10gbase-t switch provides more design flexibility and it can be used at the center of a small business network or as an aggregation/access switch in a larger organization. 48 port 10gbase-t switch is ideal for expanding network capacity, removing performance bottlenecks and support of premise expansion needs. In simply put, deploying 48 port 10gbase-t switch can be less expensive to install and maintain while meeting the requirements of most short-distance connections within a data center.

What to Consider When Buying 48 Port 10gbase-t Switch?

Once there is a need for 48 port 10gbase-t switch, you shall buy the right switch from multiple vendors on the market? Which should you buy? What to consider when buying 48 port 10gbase-t switch? Here would give some guidelines by providing a comparison among three 10gbase-t switches 48 port from different vendors—Cisco (Cisco SG550XG-48T), NETGEAR (NETGEAR XS748T-100NES) and FS (FS S5850-48T4Q).

Model Cisco SG550XG-48T NETGEAR XS748T-100NES FS S5850-48T4Q
Ports 48×10 Gigabit Ethernet 10GBase-T copper port; 2x 10 Gigabit Ethernet SFP+ (combo with 2 copper ports); 1x Gigabit Ethernet management port 44×10 Gigabit Ethernet 10GBase-T copper port; 4×10 Gigabit Ethernet SFP+ 48x 10 Gigabit Ethernet 10GBase-T copper port; 4×40 Gigabit Ethernet QSFP+; Management and Console Ports (RJ45)
Switching capacity 960 Gbps 960 Gbps 1.28Tbps
Forwarding performance 714.24 Mpps 714.2 Mpps 952.32Mpps
Packet Buffer 4 MB 3MB 9MB

From the table, we can see that they have different features and capabilities. In comparison, the third one FS 10gbase-t switch 48 port has the best switching performance. This 48 port 10gbase-t switch is built with 10 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity, giving you the speed you need to share information quickly. Moreover, it supports low-latency, line-rate 10g copper base-t technology with backward compatibility to Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet. The 48 port 10gbase-t switch is also able to cost-effectively migrate current network to 10G capacity by utilizing the existing cat6 RJ45 short connections up to 30 meters and cat6a/cat7 connections up to 100 meters. In short, the 10gbase-t switch 48 port can deliver substantial productivity gains today and help future-proof your network for the demanding applications of tomorrow. Furthermore, it’s simple to manage and can get the fast data speeds, nonstop availability, and advanced security you need in LAN. Generally speaking, when buying such high-performance 48 port 10gbase-t switch, you should pay attention to the following aspects.

48 port 10gbase-t switch

Port Density & Speed

When buying a 48 port 10gbase-t switch, you should also pay attention to other speed of ports besides the 48x 10 Gigabit Ethernet 10gbase-t copper port. Typically, the 48 port 10gbase-t switches also come with 10 Gigabit Ethernet SFP+ ports or 40 Gigabit Ethernet QSFP+ ports. With different vendors, the port numbers vary. There are 48x10gbase-t + 4x40g qsfp+, and 48x10gbase-t + 6x40g qsfp+ in the market, or network switches with 48x10gbase-t + 2x10g sfp+ are also available. Normally, with too few ports and not enough capacity will prove ineffective and one that is too large can be a waste of money. It is prudent to have an extra port or two available for future demand. The 48 port 10gbase-t switch with four qsfp+ ports can meet next generation Metro, Data Center and Enterprise network requirements.

Power and Latency

Advancements have allowed switch vendors to significantly lower power consumption on 10gbase-t switch ports. While early versions of 10gbase-t switches required up to 12 Watts per port, switch vendors now offer a range of 1.5 to 4 W per port depending on distance. The FS 48 port 10gbase-t switch has rather low power consumption and low latency and remains relatively flat across all packet sizes.

Cost per Port

As power consumption has dropped, 10gbase-t switch prices have also dropped with per-port prices at less than $350. Take FS 48 port 10gbase-t switch as an example, its price is $4599 with 48x10gbase-t ports and 4×40 gigabit qsfp+ ports. So the cost per port would definitely be less than $350.


The 48 port 10gbase-t switch presents the right solution for extending beyond simple reliability to higher speed and performance while delivering unprecedented non-blocking 10 gigabit bandwidth at an affordable cost. When buying the 10gbase-t switch 48 port, make a network plan first and take into consideration what has mentioned above. If you are not aware of which 48 port 10gbase-t switch to buy, FS would be a good place to consult, who can help to make network planning by your requirements and recommend the suitable network switches.


How to Select Waterproof Fiber Optic Patch Cable


Fiber optic waterproof cables are widely used in outdoor applications to connect the major fiber optic lines or receivers or splice enclosures. According to different requirements, both fiber optic patch cords and fiber optic pigtails are available. Water proof fiber cable usually adds a water blocking material between the outer jacket and the inner fiber (or inner jacket) to protect the fiber surface from unwanted damage, such as an armored cable or loose-tube gel-filled cable, or water-tolerable tight-buffered cable. Since there are different types of structure for waterproof cables, is there an easy way to determine which waterproof fiber optic patch cable to choose? In order to help select a right waterproof fiber optic cable quickly, this post will introduce the basic knowledge of waterproof ratings and the features of our waterproof fiber optic cable.

How Is a Waterproof Cable Rated?

Like choosing any other fiber optic patch cables, the connector type, fiber count, fiber type (single-mode or multimode), polish type, cable length and cable jacket are factors that should be considered as well. When buying waterproof fiber optic patch cords, the IP (International Protection or Ingress Protection) rating is an important parameter. Knowing the IP code can help you find your wanted waterproof cable.

IP rating system is a classification showing the degrees of protection from solid objects and liquids. IP rating codes do not include hyphens or spaces, and consist of the letters IP followed by one or two figures. The first number refers to the degree of protection against the entry of foreign solid objects, such as dust. These protection levels range from 0 to 6. The second number of the IP code refers to the degrees of protection against moisture/liquids, which are raging from 0 to 8. The first and second number of the IP code can be replaced by the letter “X” when the protection capacity against solid objects (the first number) or moisture (the second number) has not been tested, for example, IPX7 and IP6X.

The following two tables explain the two types of protection levels in details.

Table 1: Protection levels against solid objects.

IP Code Protection Object Size
0 No protection. N/A
1 Protection from contact with any large surface of the body, such as the back of a hand, but no protection against deliberate contact with a body part, such as a finger. Less than 50mm.
2 Protection from fingers or similar objects. Less than 12.5mm.
3 Protection from tools, thick wires or similar objects. Less than 2.5mm.
4 Protection from most wires, screws or similar objects. Less than 1mm.
5 Partial protection from contact with harmful dust. N/A
6 Partial protection from contact with harmful dust. N/A

Table 2: Protection levels against moisture.

IP Code Protection Test Duration Usage
0 No protection. N/A N/A
1 Protection against vertically dripping water. 10 mins Light rain.
2 Protection against vertically dripping water when device is tilted at an angle up to 15 degrees. 10 mins Light rain.
3 Protection against direct sprays of water when device is tilted at an angle up to 60 degrees. 5 mins Rain and spraying.
4 Protection from sprays and splashing of water in all directions. 5 mins Rain, spraying and splashing.
5 Protection from low-pressure water projected from a nozzle with a 6.3mm diameter opening in any direction. 3 mins from a distance of 3 meters Rain, splashing and direct contact with most kitchen/bathroom faucets.
6 Protection from water projected in powerful jets from a nozzle with a 12.5mm diameter opening in any direction. 3 mins from a distance of 3 meters Rain, splashing, direct contact with kitchen/bathroom faucets, outdoor use in rough sea conditions.
7 Protected from immersion in water with a depth of up to 1 meter (or 3.3 feet) for up to 30 mins. 30 mins Rain, splashing and accidental submersion.
8 Protected from immersion in water with a depth of more than 1 meter (manufacturer must specify exact depth). Varies Rain, splashing and accidental submersion.
Features of Waterproof Fiber Optic Patch Cable

Take FS.COM as exmaple, it provides IP67 waterproof fiber optic patch cable, including simplex, duplex, 12 fibers, 24 fibers, and various kinds of connect interfaces are optional, such as LC-LC fiber patch cord, SC-SC fiber patch cord, MPO-MPO fiber patch cord, etc. Other degrees of waterproof fiber optic patch cords can also be customized. Its waterproof fiber patch cables are designed with strong PU jacket and armored structure, which can resist high temperature and fit for harsh environment. Its IP67 waterproof fiber patch cords are featured with high temperature stability and low insertion loss. It is also very convenient to install these waterproof, dust-proof and corrosion-resistant patch cords. The plug and socket design can be used to extend the cable length. They are very suitable for FTTH (fiber to the home) and LAN (local area network) applications.


The IP code for waterproof devices is not that difficult to understand and you can get some basic information about the protection degree of a device after you know the meaning of each number. You can use it as a reference in choosing a waterproof cable, but you should also consider other factors according to your specific applications.



The Role of Parallel Fiber in 40GbE and Beyond

In order to meet the overwhelming trend of growing bandwidth, different standards for single-mode and multimode fibers are published, and parallel fiber connector (MTP/MPO) is designed to solve the problem of increasing fiber count. Though the fiber types are changing, the use of the parallel connector seems not to be outdated, not only for present 40G and 100G applications, but also for future 200G and 400G. This post will discuss the issue on a new fiber type and the role of parallel fiber in 40GbE and beyond networks.

Overview on Multimode and Single-mode Fibers


Since the establishment of multimode fiber in the early 1980s, there has been OM1 and OM2, and laser optimized OM3 and OM4 fibers for 10GbE, 40GbE and 100GbE. OM5, the officially designated wideband multimode fiber (WBMMF), is a new fiber medium specified in ANSI/TIA-492AAAE. The channel capacity of multimode fiber has multiplied by using parallel transmission over several fiber strands. In terms of single-mode fiber, there are only OS1 and OS2; and it has been serving for optical communications without much change for a long time. Compared with the constant updates of multimode fiber and considering other factors, some enterprise customers prefer to use single-mode fiber more over the past years and for the foreseeable future. With the coming out of the new OM5 fiber, it seems that multimode fiber might last for a longer time in the future 200G and 400G applications.

The Issue on the Upcoming Fiber Type

The new fiber medium OM5 is presented as the first laser-optimized MMF that specifies a wider range of wavelengths between 840 and 953 nm to support wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) technology (at least four wavelengths). It is also specified to support legacy applications and emerging short wavelength division multiplexing (SWDM) applications. Although OM5 has been anticipated to be “performance compliant and superior to OM4” based on the following parameters, there are still some arguments on the statement that OM5 is a better solution for data centers.

OM4 & OM5 comparison

Figure 1: OM4 and OM5 comparison.

OM5 supporters talk about the problems of present multimode fibers in long-term development. The opinion holds that the future 400GBASE-SR16 which will reuse 100GBASE-SR4 technology specified in IEEE 802.3bs Standard draft, calls for a new 32 fibers 2-row MTP/MPO connector instead of a 12 fibers MTP/MPO connector. It will be hard for current structured cabling that uses MTP-12 to move to MTP-16 requirements.

12f MTP connector (left) and 32f MTP connector (right).

Figure 2: 12f MTP connector (left) and 32f MTP connector (right).

However, the OM5 fiber solution, which can support 4 WDM wavelengths, will enable 4 fiber count reduction in running 40G, 100G and 200G using duplex LC connections. Combined with parallel technology, 400G can also be effectively transmitted over OM5 fibers using only 4 or 8 fibers.

10G, 100G, 200G, and 400G WDM transmission over OM5 fiber

Figure 3: 40G, 100G, 200G, and 400G WDM transmission over OM5 fiber.

On the other side, some people don’t support the idea that OM5 is a good solution for future 400G network. They argue that OM5 isn’t that optimized than current MMF types. The first reason is that for all the current and future multimode IEEE applications including 40GBASE-SR4, 100GBASE-SR4, 200GBASE-SR4, and 400GBASE-SR16, the maximum allowable reach is the same for OM5 as OM4 cabling.


Figure 4: Multimode fiber standard specifications.


Figure 4 continued.

The second reason is that, even by using SWDM technology, the difference on the reaches for OM4 and OM5 in 40G and 100G is minimal. For 40G-SWDM4, OM4 could support a 400-meter reach and OM5 a 500-meter reach. For 100G-SWDM4, OM4 could support 100 meters and OM5 is only 50 meters more than OM4.

And thirdly, the PAM4 technology can increase the bandwidth of each fiber from 25G to 50-56G, which means we can stick to current 12-fiber and 24-fiber MTP/MPO connectors as cost-effective solutions in the 40G, 100G and beyond applications.


The options for future higher speed transmission are still in discussion, but there is no doubt that no matter we choose to use new OM5 fiber or continue to use single-mode fiber and OM3/OM4 fiber, the “parallel fibers remain essential to support break-out functionality” as stated in WBMMF standardization. It is the fact that parallel fiber solution enables higher density ports via breakout cabling and reduces cost per single-lane channel.

Source: https://goo.gl/WDNwC1