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The Different Types of Ethernet Cables

December 31 2014 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Networking

As the standard cables that are commonly used to connect a modem to a router, and to connect a router to a computer’s network interface card (NIC), Ethernet cables have many different categories, such as Category 3, Category 5, Category 5e, Category 6, Category 6a, and Category 7. These types of Ethernet Cables have been developed, and each category has different specifications as far as shielding from electromagnetic interference, data transmission speed, and the possible bandwidth frequency range required to achieve that speed. It may be hard to decide which one you need while looking at all the available options for Ethernet cabling. Actually, the category of cable is usually clearly printed on the cable’s sheath, so there can be no doubt as to the type of cable being used. But do you know about the main differences between these categories of Ethernet cable? So in the following part we will tell about the main features of each type of Ethernet Cable.

Category 3

Category 3 Ethernet cable, also known as Cat 3 or station wire, is one of the oldest forms of Ethernet cable still in use today. It is an unshielded twisted pair (UTP) cable that is capable of carrying 10 megabits per second (Mbps) of data or voice transmissions. Its maximum possible bandwidth is 16 MHz. Cat 3 cable reached the peak of its popularity in the early 1990s, as it was then the industry standard for computer networks. With the debut of the faster Category 5 cable, however, Cat 3 fell out of favor. It still can be seen in use in two-line telephone systems and older 10BASE-T Ethernet installations.

 

Category 5

Category 5 (Cat 5) Ethernet cable is the successor to the earlier Category 3. Like Cat 3, it is a UTP cable, but it is able to carry data at a higher transfer rate. Cat 5 cables introduced the 10/100Mbps speed to the Ethernet, which means that the cables can support either 10 Mbps or 100 Mbps speeds. A 100 Mbps speed is also known as Fast Ethernet, and Cat 5 cables were the first Fast Ethernet-capable cables to be introduced. They also can be used for telephone signals and video, in addition to Ethernet data. This category has been superseded by the newer Category 5e cables.

 

Category 5e

The Category 5e standard is an enhanced version of Cat 5 cable, which is optimized to reduce crosstalk, or the unwanted transmission of signals between data channels. This category works for 10/100 Mbps and 1000 Mbps (Gigabit) Ethernet, and it has become the most widely used category of Ethernet cable available on the market. While Cat 5 is common in existing installations, Cat 5e has completely replaced it in new installations. While both Cat 5 and Cat 5e cables contain four twisted pairs of wires, Cat 5 only utilizes two of these pairs for Fast Ethernet, while Cat 5e uses all four, enabling Gigabit Ethernet speeds. Bandwidth is also increased with Cat 5e cables, which can support a maximum bandwidth of 100 MHz. Cat 5e cables are backward compatible with Cat 5 cables, and can be used in any modern network installation.

 

Category 6

One of the major differences between Category 5e and the newer Category 6 is in transmission performance. While Cat 5e cables can handle Gigabit Ethernet speeds, Cat 6 cables are certified to handle Gigabit Ethernet with a bandwidth of up to 250 MHz. Cat 6 cables have several improvements, including better insulation and thinner wires, that provide a higher signal-to-noise ratio, and are better suited for environments in which there may be higher electromagnetic interference. Some Cat 6 cables are available in shielded twisted pair (STP) forms or UTP forms. However, for most applications, Cat 5e cable is adequate for gigabit Ethernet, and it is much less expensive than Cat 6 cable. Cat 6 cable is also backwards compatible with Cat 5 and 5e cables.

 

Category 6a

Category 6a cable, or augmented Category 6 cable, improves upon the basic Cat 6 cable by allowing 10,000 Mbps data transmission rates and effectively doubling the maximum bandwidth to 500 MHz. Category 6a cables are usually available in STP form, and, as a result, must have specialized connectors that ground the cable.

 

Category 7

Category 7 cable, also known as Class F, is a fully shielded cable that supports speeds of up to 10 Gbps (10,000 Mbps) and bandwidths of up to 600 Mhz. Cat 7 cables consist of a screened, shielded twisted pair (SSTP) of wires, and the layers of insulation and shielding contained within them are even more extensive than that of Cat 6 cables. Because of this shielding, they are thicker, more bulky, and more difficult to bend. Additionally, each of the shielding layers must be grounded, or else performance may be reduced to the point that there will be no improvement over Cat 6, and performance may be worse than Cat 5. For this reason, it’s very important to understand the type of connectors at the ends of a Cat 7 cable.

 The following table summarizes the most common types of Ethernet cables, including their maximum data transmission speeds and maximum bandwidths. 

 

Cable Type

Maximum Data Transmission Speed

Maximum Bandwidth

Category 3

UTP

10 Mbps

16 MHz

Category 5

UTP

10/100 Mbps

100 MHz

Category 5 e

UTP

1000 Mbps

100 MHz

Category 6

UTP or STP

1000 Mbps

250 MHz

Category 6 a

STP

10,000 Mbps

500 MHz

Category 7

SSTP

10,000 Mbps

600 MHz

With each successive category, there has been an increase in data transmission speed and bandwidth. To fully future-proof a network installation, the highest categories are recommended, but only if all of the other equipment on the network is capable of similar speeds. Otherwise, expensive cables will be only as fast as the slowest piece of hardware on the network.

 

Ethernet Cable Connectors

The ends of Ethernet cables that connect into a NIC, router, or other network device are known by several names. Modular connector, jack, or plug are the most commonly used terms. Shorter lengths of Ethernet cable are usually sold with the connectors already installed, but for custom installations requiring longer lengths, cable is often sold in bulk quantities, and connectors must be installed on the ends.

The most common type of connector for Ethernet installations is referred to as an "RJ-45" connector. It is officially known as an 8P8C connector, but this term is rarely used in the field, and the term "RJ-45" which was the telephone industry’s term for this connector’s wiring pattern, has become the customary colloquial name for the connector itself. Categories 3 through 6 all use the RJ-45 connector, but Cat 7 utilizes a specialized version of the RJ-45 called the GigaGate45 (GG45), which grounds the cable and allows for higher data transmission rates. There are two standard pin assignment configurations for RJ-45 connectors: T568A and T568B. The T568A standard is typically used in home applications, while T568B is used in business applications.

In every case, the specifications of the cable, such as its category, whether or not it is shielded, and whether or not it needs to be grounded, must match the specifications of the connector. For those who are confused or uncertain about crimping and installing connectors to cables manually, it is best to buy cables that already have connectors professionally installed.

 

Other Qualities of Ethernet Cables to Consider

There are a few important considerations that apply to all Ethernet cables. Data transmission rate and bandwidth both decrease with the increase of cable length, so the shorter the length, the better. For 10/100/1000BASE-T networks (those that have maximum speeds of 10, 100, or 1000 Mbps, including all the aforementioned cable types except for Categories 6a and 7), 100 meters is the maximum allowable cable length before the signal will degrade. For category 6a cables running at 10 Gbps speeds, 55 meters is the maximum allowable length, and even this length is only allowed in very good alien crosstalk conditions, or areas of low interference, such as when the cable is located far away from other cables that could cause interference.

There are some other terms regarding cable terminations that can complicate the shopping experience. Some cables are referred to as patch cables, while others are called crossover cables. Even though crossover and patch cables may look the same, they function differently. A patch cable is one that terminates with the same type of connector standard at both ends. The connectors terminating a patch cable can use the T568A or T568B standards, but both ends must be the same. A crossover cable, on the other hand, has one end that terminates in a T568A connector and another that terminates in a T568B connector. Patch cables are used to connect devices that are different from one another, such as a switch and a computer. Crossover cables are used to connect similar devices, as when a switch is connected to another switch, for example.

Another important distinction in Ethernet cables is whether they contain solid or stranded conductors.

Stranded-vs.-Solid-Core.gif

Solid conductor cables have one solid wire per conductor, while stranded conductor cables have several strands of wire (typically seven) wrapped around each other to form a single conductor. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. Solid conductor cables are best for fixed wires within the walls or structure of a building. The single conductors are sturdy enough to be punched down into wall jacks and patch panels, but not as easy to install into a typical RJ-45 connector. Stranded conductors, on the other hand, can fray when punched down into wall jacks, so they are better suited to be crimped into an RJ-45 connector. They are also more flexible and forgiving when bent at sharp angles, so they are better suited for patch cables and applications where the cable may be rolled up or otherwise moved around.

So when you’re setting up an Internet connection in your home or office, you’ll need to obtain the proper Ethernet cable to attach your computer to the modem. While connecting the cable is typically a simple task, finding the right one may be a bit more complex. While Ethernet cables may all look similar to one another, their specifications vary widely. It’s important to research what type of cable will work with your equipment, and you’ll also want to consider things like the price and quality of the cable, as well as the types and number of devices you’ll be connecting to your network. You could go for a cheap, industry standard solution such as Cat 5e cable or future-proof your network by opting for a Cat 7 cable. If you’re looking to connect one switch to another or bypass a router, maybe crossover cables are the solution, or maybe you need a lot of patch cables to connect more devices to your network. In any case, you’ll also want to ensure you’re purchasing the right length of Ethernet cable, and properly addressing any interference concerns. No matter what your networking needs are, eBay is sure to have the category, length, and condition of Ethernet cable to get you connected.

 

More Related Ethernet Cable Tips

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EoS and EoL Announcement for the Cisco Catalyst 4948 Switch Accessories

December 24 2014 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Cisco News

Have you used Cisco 4900 Series switches? Pay attention here, Cisco announced the end-of-sale and end-of-life dates for some Cisco Catalyst 4948 Switch Accessories. You need to check the product part numbers affected by this announcement as well as the last day to order the affected products. The day is January 23, 2015. Firstly let’s check the product part numbers affected by this announcement.

Product Part Numbers Affected by This Announcement

End-of-Sale Product Part Number

Product Description

Replacement Product Part Number

Replacement Product Description

Additional Information

C4948-BKT-KIT=

C49xx front and rear mount brackets

See the Product Migration Options section below for detailed information on replacing this product.

   

C4948-BKT-REC=

C49xx front 2inch rec mounting brackets

See the Product Migration Options section below for detailed information on replacing this product.

   

C4948-REAR-BKT=

C49xx rear mount brackets

See the Product Migration Options section below for detailed information on replacing this product.

   

PWR-C49-300AC

Catalyst 4948 300-Watt AC Power Supply

See the Product Migration Options section below for detailed information on replacing this product.

   

PWR-C49-300AC/2

Catalyst 4948 300-Watt AC Power Supply Redundant

See the Product Migration Options section below for detailed information on replacing this product.

   

PWR-C49-300AC=

Catalyst 4948 300-Watt AC Power Supply (Spare)

See the Product Migration Options section below for detailed information on replacing this product.

   

WS-X4948-19CNTR

4948, 4948-10G, 4928, ME4924 Center Mount 19 Inch Rack Kit L/R

See the Product Migration Options section below for detailed information on replacing this product.

   

WS-X4948-19CNTR=

4948, 4948-10G, 4928, ME4924 Center Mount 19 Inch Rack Kit L/R

See the Product Migration Options section below for detailed information on replacing this product.

   

WS-X4948-23CNTR

4948, 4948-10G, 4928, ME4924 Center Mount 23 Inch Rack Kit L/R

See the Product Migration Options section below for detailed information on replacing this product.

   

WS-X4948-23CNTR=

4948, 4948-10G, 4928, ME4924 Center Mount 23 Inch Rack Kit L/R

See the Product Migration Options section below for detailed information on replacing this product.

   

WS-X4991=

Catalyst 4948 Fan Tray (Spare)

See the Product Migration Options section below for detailed information on replacing this product.

 

Customers with active service contracts will continue to receive support from the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) as shown in the following table of the EoL bulletin. In the table it describes the end-of-life milestones, definitions, and dates for the affected products. For customers with active and paid service and support contracts, support will be available under the terms and conditions of customers' service contract.

End-of-Life Milestones and Dates for the Cisco Catalyst 4948 Switch Accessories

Milestone

Definition

Date

End-of-Life Announcement Date

The date the document that announces the end-of-sale and end-of-life of a product is distributed to the general public.

July 25, 2014

End-of-Sale Date

The last date to order the product through Cisco point-of-sale mechanisms. The product is no longer for sale after this date.

January 23, 2015

Last Ship Date:
HW

The last-possible ship date that can be requested of Cisco and/or its contract manufacturers. Actual ship date is dependent on lead time.

April 23, 2015

End of Routine Failure Analysis Date:
HW

The last-possible date a routine failure analysis may be performed to determine the cause of hardware product failure or defect.

January 23, 2016

End of New Service Attachment Date:
HW

For equipment and software that is not covered by a service-and-support contract, this is the last date to order a new service-and-support contract or add the equipment and/or software to an existing service-and-support contract.

January 23, 2016

End of Service Contract Renewal Date:
HW

The last date to extend or renew a service contract for the product.

April 20, 2019

Last Date of Support:
HW

The last date to receive applicable service and support for the product as entitled by active service contracts or by warranty terms and conditions. After this date, all support services for the product are unavailable, and the product becomes obsolete.

January 31, 2020

HW=Hardware    OS SW=Operating System Software   App. SW=Application Software

 

More about Product Migration Options

Customers are encouraged to migrate to the Cisco Catalyst 4948E switch platform, which has equivalent accessories. Information about this product can be found at: http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/switches/catalyst-4948e-ethernet-switch/index.html.

Customers may be able to use the Cisco Technology Migration Program (TMP) where applicable to trade-in eligible products and receive credit toward the purchase of new Cisco equipment. For more information about Cisco TMP, customers should work with their Cisco Partner or Cisco account team. Cisco Partners can find additional TMP information on Partner Central at http://www.cisco.com/web/partners/incentives_and_promotions/tmp.html.

 

Reference from http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/collateral/switches/catalyst-4900-series-switches/eos-eol-notice-c51-732334.html

 

More Cisco’s EoL and EoS Announcements

End-of-Sale Models of Catalyst 6500

EoL & EoS Announcement for the Cisco Catalyst 4500 Supervisor Engine 6L-E

How to Move Cisco’s Catalyst 6500 to the Nexus 9000?

 

More you can read this page: http://blog.router-switch.com/category/news/

Read more

A Layer-3 Switch or A Router?

December 19 2014 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Cisco Switches - Cisco Firewall

Do you think that it’s not easy to select the very suitable network hardware for setting up your network, layer-3 switch or a router? What factors do you need to consider when you decide to buy network hardware? Generally, to choose a layer-3 switch or a router is not so complicated. Someone listed more differences between layer-3 switch and a router, which can help you make a smart decision. Let’s take a look.

In fact, a Layer 3 switch works much like a router. Why? Because it has the same IP routing table for lookups and it forms a broadcast domain. But pay attention, the “layer 3” feature makes the switch looks more like a “switch”.

The “switch” part of “Layer 3 switch” is there because:

  1. The layer 3 switch has 24+ Ethernet ports and no WAN interfaces.
  2. The layer 3 switch will act like a switch when it is connecting devices that are on the same network.
  3. The layer 3 switch is the same as a switch with the router’s IP routing intelligence built in.
  4. The switch works very quickly to switch or route the packets it is sent.

What-is-the-difference-between-a-Layer-3-switch-and-a-Route.jpg

Layer 3 Switch is really like a High-Speed Router without the WAN connectivity. When it comes to Layer 3 Switching, there are two kinds: hardware and software. With a hardware-based solution, the device is using an ASIC (A Dedicated Chip) to perform the function. With the software implementation, the device is using a computer processor and software to perform the function. Generally, Layer 3 Switches and High-End Routers route packets using Hardware (Asics) and General-Purpose Routers Use Software to Perform Routing Functions.

In General, A Layer-3 Switch (Routing Switch) Is Primarily A Switch (A Layer-2 Device) That Has Been Enhanced Or Taught Some Routing (Layer 3) Capabilities. A Router Is A Layer-3 Device That Simply Do Routing Only. In The Case Of A Switching Router, It Is Primarily A Router That Uses Switching Technology (High-Speed Asics) For Speed And Performance (As Well As Also Supporting Layer-2 Bridging Functions).

Why we need a Layer 3 switch:

  •  Network with a lot of broadcasts that needs better performance.
  • Subnets and/or VLANS that are currently connected Via a router.
  • Higher Performance VLANS.
  • Departments Need Their Own Broadcast Domains For Performance Or Security.
  • Considering Implementing VLANS.

 

Difference between a Layer-3 switch and a Router:

  •  Performance versus Cost— Layer 3 switches are much more cost effective than routers for delivering high-speed inter-VLAN routing. High performance routers are typically much more expensive than Layer 3 switches.
  • Port density— Layer 3 switches are enhanced Layer 2 switches and, hence, have the same high port densities that Layer 2 switches have. Routers on the other hand typically have a much lower port density.
  • Flexibility— Layer 3 switches allow you to mix and match Layer 2 and Layer 3 switching, meaning you can configure a Layer 3 switch to operate as a normal Layer 2 switch, or enable Layer 3 switching as required.
  • Layer 3 Switch is used to route traffic between Ethernet networks, without having to worry about the complexities of supporting WAN technologies such as Frame Relay or ATM. Routing over WAN networks, simply by plugging a traditional router that connects to the WAN networks into the LAN network.
  • The key difference between Layer 3 switches and routers lies in the hardware technology used to build the unit. The hardware inside a Layer 3 switch merges that of traditional switches and routers, replacing some of a router’s software logic with hardware to offer better performance in some situations.

If we sum up the main features of a layer-3 switch, we can get some key points as follows:

Layer 3 Switch is used Primarily for Inter-VLAN Routing. It don’t Have WAN Connectivity. It Has 24+ Ethernet Ports And No WAN Interfaces. The Layer 3 Switch will act like a switch when it is connecting devices that are on the same network. It works very quickly to switch or route the packets it is sent. The Layer-3 switch is the same as a switch with the router’s IP Routing Intelligence built in.

 

More Related Network Hardware Topics

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To Read about the Cisco Nexus 5548P Switch

December 12 2014 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Cisco Switches - Cisco Firewall

Cisco Nexus 5548P Switch, the first platform in the Cisco Nexus 5500 Switches, is a one-rack-unit (1RU), 1 and 10 Gigabit Ethernet and FCoE access-layer switch built to provide 960 Gbps of throughput with very low latency. It has 32 fixed 1 and 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports that accept modules and cables meeting the Small Form-Factor Pluggable Plus (SFP+) form factor. One expansion module slot can be configured to support up to 16 additional 1 and 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 8 Fibre Channel ports plus 8 1 and 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports. The switch has a single serial console port and a single out-of-band 10/100/1000-Mbps Ethernet management port. Two N+N redundant, hot-pluggable power supplies and two N+N redundant, hot-pluggable fan modules provide highly reliable front-to-back cooling.

Cisco Nexus 5548P-

All ports are at the rear of the switches, simplifying cabling and reducing cable length. Cooling is front-to-back, supporting hot- and cold-aisle configurations that help increase cooling efficiency. The front panel includes status indicators and hot swappable, N+N redundant power supplies and their power entry connections and cooling modules. All serviceable components are accessible from the front panel, allowing the switch to be serviced while in operation and without disturbing network cabling.

Cisco Nexus 5548P Rear Panel

Cisco Nexus 5548P Rear Panel

Cisco Nexus 5548P Front Pane

Cisco Nexus 5548P Front Pane

The Cisco Nexus 5500 platform is equipped to support expansion modules that can be used to increase the number of 10 Gigabit Ethernet and FCoE ports or to connect to Fibre Channel SANs with 1/2/4/8-Gbps Fibre Channel switch ports, or both. The Cisco Nexus 5548P supports one expansion module from the following offerings:

• Ethernet module that provides sixteen 1 and 10 Gigabit Ethernet and FCoE ports using the SFP+ interface

Ethernet Expansion Module

Ethernet Expansion Module

• Fibre Channel plus Ethernet module that provides eight 1 and 10 Gigabit Ethernet and FCoE ports using the SFP+ interface, and 8 ports of 1/2/4/8-Gbps native Fibre Channel connectivity using the SFP interface

Combination Expansion Module

Combination-Expansion-Module.jpg

The Cisco Nexus 5548P control plane runs Cisco NX-OS Software on a dual-core 1.7-GHz Intel Xeon Processor C5500/C3500 Series with 8 GB of DRAM. The supervisor complex is connected to the data plane in-band through two internal ports running 1-Gbps Ethernet, and the system is managed in-band, or through the out-of-band 10/100/1000-Mbps management port. Table 1 summarizes the control-plane specifications.

Cisco Nexus 5548P Control Plane Components

Component

Specification

CPU

1.7 GHz Intel Xeon Processor C5500/C3500 Series

(dual core)

DRAM

8 GB of DDR3 in two DIMM slots

Program storage

2 GB of eUSB flash memory for base system storage

Boot and BIOS flash memory

8 MB to store upgradable and golden image

On-board fault log

64 MB of flash memory to store hardware-related fault and reset reasons

NVRAM

6 MB of SRAM to store syslog and licensing information

Management interface

RS-232 console port and 10/100/1000BASE-T mgmt0

The Cisco Nexus 5548P is equipped with seven UPCs: six to provide 48 ports at 10 Gbps, and one used for connectivity to the control plane. Figure 6 shows the connectivity between the control plane and the data plane.

Cisco Nexus 5548P Data Plane and Control Plane Architecture

Cisco-Nexus-5548P-Data-Plane-and-Control-Plane-Architecture.jpg

 

More details about Cisco Nexus 5500 and Nexus 5548P you can read her http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/collateral/switches/nexus-5548p-switch/white_paper_c11-622479.html

 

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Cisco Nexus 5500 Overview, More Models, Features and Comparison

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Cisco Nexus 9000 Models Comparison: Nexus 9500 & Nexus 9300 Series

Three Cisco Nexus 9300 Models Overview

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CAT5 vs. CAT5e vs. CAT6

December 3 2014 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Networking

What is the difference between CAT5, CAT5E and CAT6 cable? Most people may be familiar with them. Because they are often used in computer networks, and also can be used to move data in home theatre applications. Category 5 (CAT5), Category 5E (CAT5E) and Category 6 (CAT6) cables are all twisted pair cables, available in solid and stranded varieties. What are their own features? In the following part, we will talk about the main difference between CAT5, CAT5e and CAT6.

Cable-comparison.jpg

Cat-5--Cat-5e-and-Cat-6.jpg

CAT5 cable is the most common, and comes in two types—Unshielded Twisted Pair, known as UTP, and Screened Twisted Pair, called SCTP. The SCTP cable has an extra shield to limit outside interference, and is generally only used in Europe. UTP cables are used all over the states and come either solid or stranded. Solid CAT5 cables are stiff and the best choice for long distance transmissions. Stranded CAT5 is bendier and is often used as patch cable. The standard amount a CAT5 cable can handle is 100MHz, with the option for 10 or 100 Mbps Ethernet. A CAT5 cable can also carry more than one signal—such as two phone lines and a single 100BASE-T channel in one cable.

utp-stp.png

CAT5e is very similar to CAT5,the ‘e’ standing for enhanced. This cable has more ability for data transmission, with the option to transfer data at 1000 Mbps. Cat5e can also be used with Gigabit Ethernet and generally has less near-end crosstalk, or NEXT than standard CAT5 cables. When installing a new system, CAT5e cables are almost always used over CAT5, though most existing installations are still CAT5.

The most sophisticated of the three cables is CAT6. Although it is also comprised of four pieces of twisted pair copper wire, it has a longitudinal separator. This allows the cables to be separated from each other and, in turn, allows not only for an increased data transfer speed, but less crosstalk and double the bandwidth. CAT6 cabling is a good choice for most new systems, especially those that are evolving and might need more options in the future. CAT6 is perfect for 10 Gigabit Ethernet and can work at up to 250 MHz. The really intelligent aspect of CAT6 is that it is compatible with already installed CAT5 and CAT5e cabling.

With the ever-changing landscape of technology, when you are installing a new system, the best choice for an easily adaptable future is CAT6. However, CAT6 is more expensive, and often some companies just don’t need anything quite that sophisticated. If you are just wanting to expand your network a bit, CAT5e is a more cost-effective and the simpler choice. CAT5, though perfectly adequate for many existing systems, will just not be able to keep up with the speed and performance needs of tomorrow.

Category 5 Network Cable

Bandwidth up to 100MHz

Supports 10/100 Ethernet (Ethernet and Fast Ethernet)

Category 5E Network Cable

Bandwidth up to 350MHz

Supports 10/100/1000 Ethernet (Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, and Gigabit Ethernet)

Backwards compatible with CAT5 cable

Reduced crosstalk compared to CAT5

Category 6 Network Cable

Bandwidth up to 550MHz

Supports 10/100/1000 Ethernet (Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, and Gigabit Ethernet)

Backwards compatible with CAT5/CAT5E cable

Reduced crosstalk compared to CAT5/CAT5E

CAT5E supports Gigabit networking, but CAT6 is certified for Gigabit networking and will perform better over longer distances. Keep in mind that your network is only as fast as your slowest component, so unless every piece of your network (routers, cables, etc.) supports Gigabit Ethernet, you will not be able to reach those speeds.

 

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Cat5e vs. Cat6 Cables

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How to Create a Console Cable & Make a Console Connection?

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10 gigabit Ethernet /10 GbE Overview

December 2 2014 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Cisco Modules - Cisco Cables - Cisco Memory

Most companies these days are familiar with the 10 GbE technology. Why 10 GbE? Why 10 Gigabit Today? In the following part, we will share what the exact 10GbE is and more examples of using 10 GigE technology.

 

What is the Exact 10 GbE Technology?

10 gigabit Ethernet, a telecommunication technology, offers data speeds up to 10 billion bits per second. 10 gigabit Ethernet (10-Gigabit Ethernet) is also known as 10GE, 10GbE or 10 GigE.

The 10 GbE standard is fully interoperable with existing Ethernet protocols. It differs from traditional Ethernet in that it is a full-duplex protocol, meaning it does not need Carrier Sense Multiple Access/Collision Detection (CSMA/CD) protocols. In every other way, 10 GbE is the same as the original Ethernet protocol. This is important for network managers because as the demand for speed increases, 10 Gb Ethernet can easily be deployed within existing networks, providing a cost-effective technology that can support high-speed, low-latency requirements.

10-Gigabit Ethernet is often described as a disruptive technology that offers a more efficient and less expensive approach to moving data on backbone connections between networks. The IEEE 802.3ae standard permits distances between physical locations up to 40 kilometers over a single-mode fiber. Both single-mode and multi-mode fiber systems can be used with 10 GbE applications.

Similar to existing Ethernet protocols, 10 Gb Ethernet is a Layer 1 and Layer 2 protocol that adheres to key Ethernet attributes, including the Media Access Control (MAC) protocol, the Ethernet frame format, and minimum and maximum frame size. 10 Gb Ethernet connects current to fiber optic cable but is expected to be compatible with twisted-pair copper as well. The standard supports connections to both LANs and WANs, and can connect to SONET and SDH wide area networks.

Challenges to deploying 10 Gb Ethernet are primarily based on the costs to deploy versus the benefits received, along with issues associated with the potential replacement of legacy network technologies, such as point-to-point private lines and/or multiprotocol label switching (MPLS). 

 

For Many Companies & Enterprises, Why 10 Gigabit Today?

More for Less

In the past, 10GbE was neither necessary nor affordable. As with most burgeoning technologies, those dynamics are changing. Technological advancements have resulted in higher performance at lower costs. As such, gigabit and 10GbE bandwidth has become affordable for most companies.

Regardless of cost, there is also a distinct need. An increasing number of applications require considerable bandwidth to support the transfer and streaming of large data, video and audio files. As bandwidth-intensive applications and latency sensitive traffic types become ubiquitous, so does the need to support and transport them.

In addition, many companies are seeking tofuture proof” their network to ensure they can support emerging technologies and preserve their initial investments. In the past, fiber and wire cabling systems were installed with a 10-year lifespan in mind. However, with the rapid, ongoing evolution of network technologies, companies must be concerned with their current infrastructure’s ability to keep pace.

Costs associated with re-cabling a network can be exorbitant and organizations should take precautions to ensure their cabling systems can last well into the future. 10GbE provides the very best assurance for being able to support forthcoming technologies and delivers utmost investment protection.

 

Data Centers

For many institutions–especially those that utilize automated trading – uptime and response time is critical. Delays longer than a second can be exceedingly costly. With servers now being able to transmit near gigabit bandwidth and network downtime proving catastrophic, today’s enterprise data centers need extended bandwidth.

10GbE is an ideal technology to move large amounts of data quickly. The bandwidth it provides in conjunction with server consolidation is highly advantageous for Web caching, real-time application response, parallel processing and storage.

 

Campus Backbone Links

Many organizations wish to connect their campus buildings with high-speed links. Carrier-based services offload the burden of establishing and maintaining a 10GbE backbone, but limit flexibility and oftentimes prove too costly with expensive, unending monthly bills. This ongoing expense can be overwhelming for educational institutions, government organizations and hospitals as well as enterprises that do not have a set budget year to year.

Establishing a 10GbE campus backbone is a one-time expense that can provide significant cost savings when compared to monthly communications link bills.

Enterprise data center with 10GbE backbone

Enterprise-data-center-with-10GbE-backbone.jpg

 

Metro Area Transmission

Many companies also need to send and receive data beyond their campus, oftentimes in the form of large or streaming files that require high-speed links. Traditionally an area for carriers, 10GbE now offers an attractive alternative to costly monthly charges for long distance data transmission.

Many carriers offer expensive transmission services utilizing SONET OC-48 or OC-192c standards. These are considered “lit” services where a company has to add protocol conversion to be able to link from end to end.

Conversely, “un-lit” fiber–called Dark Fiber–is now being offered by carriers to companies able to provide their own connectivity. In these cases, routing switches supporting the 10GbE standard can provide their own transmission. Taking advantage of 10GbE performance in tandem with carriers’ Dark Fiber services can drastically reduce costs when compared tolit” transmission services.

 

About 10GbE Transceivers

IT professionals must also consider the devices that connect their cabling to their network. Transceivers provide the interface between the equipment sending and receiving data and the cabling transporting it. Just as there are distinct cabling technologies that coincide with distinct gigabit technologies, various transceivers are also available to match each gigabit standard.

Both gigabit and 10GbE technologies have “pluggable” transceivers. For gigabit technology, there are two defined transceiver types: Gigabit Interface Connector (GBIC) with its large metal case for insertion into low-density interface modules and units (switches), and the newer “mini-GBIC” or Small Form Factor Pluggable (SFP).

10GbE has four defined transceiver types. These transceivers are the result of Multi-Source Agreements (MSAs) that enable vendors to produce 802.3ae-compliant pluggable transceivers.

The four types are:

XENPAK–the first 10GbE pluggable transceivers on the market to support the 802.3ae standard transmission optics. They are large, bulky and used mainly in LAN switches. These transceivers are “hot pluggable” and support the new 802.3ak Copper standard with vendors now producing transceivers to connect CX4 cables.

XPAK–used primarily in Network Interface Cards (NIC) and Host Bus Adapter (HBA) markets for use in Servers and NAS devices.

X2the smaller brother of the XENPAK pluggable transceivers, the X2 form factor is about 2/3 the size of the XENPAK. With the same “hot pluggable” specifications and supporting all the 10GbE standards (including copper), the X2 form factor allows for more port density on switches. X2 is being used by ProCurve and Cisco thereby providing customers with a strong sense of assurance that this technology is the best choice for today and will have strong vendor support.

XFP–the newest pluggable transceiver on the market, XFP is the closest in size to the SFP pluggable transceiver now used for gigabit technology. Because it relies on a high-speed interface (10.3125Gbps), high-priced serializer/deserializer (SERDES) are required inside the switch to support it. Over time, the cost of such SERDES will decline, but today they add an unacceptable cost to the base system. Still, the positive aspect of the XFP form factor is it will allow switch vendors to increase port density in a smaller area for cost savings. A drawback of the XFP will be its inability to support the current Copper (802.3ak) or the 10GBASE-LX4 standards.

SFP+-As the industry brings down the cost and power of 10G optical devices, effort to increase the capacity of the existing SFP is being considered. For many customers, the possibility of achieving 10G speeds and a mechanical form factor that allows 1G or 10G to reside in the same footprint, might prove attractive. ProCurve continues to evaluate SFP+ as an alternative for the future.

As organizations grow their networks and support bandwidth-intensive applications and traffic types, 10GbE technology is becoming evermore pervasive. 10GbE functionality can provide immediate performance benefits and safeguard a company’s investment well into the future.

Just as there are many manifestations of the gigabit and 10GbE standards to suit various networking environments, there are also many copper and fiber cabling technologies to support them. Companies must have a solid understanding of not only their environment and need, but also the different standards and cabling technologies available to them. Doing so will help them develop a sound migration and cabling strategy, enabling them to reap the benefits of 10GbE for years to come.

 

More related Cisco 10GbE Transceivers

Catalyst 4500E & 4500X Series 10 GbE Review

About Transceiver & Cisco Transceiver Modules

Cisco XFP vs. SFP vs. SFP+

Cisco SFP vs. GBIC vs. XEP vs. SFP Plus

Cisco 10GBASE SFP+ Modules Overview

Cisco 10GbE Optics Modules & Optical Standards


Reference from http://searchnetworking.techtarget.com/definition/10-Gigabit-Ethernet and more...

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