Overblog
Follow this blog Administration + Create my blog
Cisco & Cisco Network Hardware News and Technology

cisco modules - cisco cables - cisco memory

Comparison of FlexStack, FlexStack-Plus, and FlexStack-Extended

June 27 2018 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Networking, #Cisco Technology - IT News, #Cisco Switches - Cisco Firewall, #Cisco Modules - Cisco Cables - Cisco Memory, #Technology

Cisco 2960-X Series support FlexStack-Plus and FlexStack-Extended technologies. What are these two stacking solutions that are supported by Catalyst 2960-X Series? And what are differences between them? The following part will list the main features and differences of FlexStack, FlexStack-Plus, and FlexStack-Extended.

Cisco FlexStack-Plus is a hot-swappable, modular stacking solution that provides a true stacking capability, with all switches acting as a single switching unit with a unified data plane, using a single IP address. Cisco FlexStack-Plus is supported by the Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Series and allows the stacking of up to eight switches, with a throughput of 80 gigabits per second.

Cisco FlexStack-Extended enables long-distance out-of-the-wiring-closet stacking. FlexStack-Extended allows back-panel stacking of up to eight Cisco Catalyst 2960-X or 2960-XR Series Switches. FlexStack-Extended can be added to the Cisco Catalyst 2960-X or 2960-XR Series with a back stacking slot. 

FlexStack-Extended is available in two module configurations: Fiber module (C2960X-FIBER-STK) and Hybrid module (C2960X-HYBRID-STK).

And the FlexStack-Plus and FlexStack-Extended technologies are similar to FlexStack technology with the differences listed in the Table below.

Table. Comparison of FlexStack, FlexStack-Plus, and FlexStack-Extended

Platform

Members

Bandwidth

Convergence

FlexStack

4

40 Gbps

1–2 sec

FlexStack-Plus

8

80 Gbps

100 msec

FlexStack-Extended

8

40 Gbps

100 msec

STACKING Comparison of Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series Switches

Feature

2960-XR

2960-X

2960-S

2960

CPU

Dual core at 600 MHz

Dual core at 600 MHz

Single core

Single core

Stacking

FlexStack-Plus, FlexStack-Extended

FlexStack-Plus, FlexStack-Extended

FlexStack

No

Stack bandwidth

80 Gbps (FlexStack-Plus); 40 Gbps (FlexStack-Extended)

80 Gbps (FlexStack-Plus); 40 Gbps (FlexStack-Extended)

40 Gbps

Stack members

8

8

4

More Q and A tell you about FlexStack combinations, Possible mixed-stack combinations

Q. What are the FlexStack-Plus high-availability features?

A. The following features enhance high availability and manageability across a stack:

●   Cross-stack EtherChannel

●   SPAN

●   FlexLink technology

●   Hitless voice calls

Q. What is the difference between the Hybrid (C2960X-HYBRID-STK) and Fiber (C2960X-FIBER-STK) modules of FlexStack-Extended?

A. The Hybrid module has one copper port that enables short-reach connectivity across a local stack of switches and one SFP+ port for long-range connectivity. The Hybrid module provides investment protection and compatibility with FlexStack-Plus.

The Fiber module has two SFP+ ports supporting long-reach out-of-the-wiring-closet stacking.

Q. What optics are supported on the FlexStack-Extended modules?

A. For information about supported SFP+ modules, refer to the transceiver compatibility matrix at cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/modules/ps5455/products_device_support_tables_list.html.

Q. Which cables are supported with the copper port of the Hybrid module (C2960X-HYBRID-STK) in Cisco FlexStack-Extended?

A. CAB-STK-E-0.5M stacking cable with a 0.5 m length .

CAB-STK-E-1M stacking cable with a 1.0 m length .

CAB-STK-E-3M stacking cable with a 3.0 m length.

Q. What is the minimum Cisco IOS Software version required for FlexStack-Extended?

A. FlexStack-Extended is supported from version 15.2(6)E onward.

Q. What are the stackable models of the Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Series?

A. The LAN Base and IP Lite feature set models are stackable models in the Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Series. The LAN Lite feature set model is a standalone model. 

Note: The fanless SKU (WS-C2960X-24PSQ-L with Lan Base) does not support stacking.

Q. Can LAN Base and IP Lite feature set models stack together in the Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Series?

A. No, LAN Base and IP Lite feature set models cannot be stacked together. LAN Base feature set models can stack with LAN Base feature set models only. Similarly, IP Lite feature set models can stack with IP Lite feature set models only.

Q. Can Cisco Catalyst 2960-X switches stack with Cisco Catalyst 2960-XR switches?

A. No. Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR switches can’t stack together since they don’t share common feature set model.

Q. Is FlexStack-Plus stacking backward compatible with FlexStack?

A. Yes. Unlike competing products, the FlexStack-Plus stacking is backward compatible with FlexStack to preserve customer investment. This allows mixed stacking of Cisco Catalyst 2960-S and Cisco Catalyst 2960-SF LAN Base series with 2960-X LAN Base series for investment protection.

Q. Is FlexStack-Extended supported with FlexStack-Plus?

A. Only the Hybrid module (C2960X-HYBRID-STK) can connect to the FlexStack-Plus module using the copper port.

Q. Is FlexStack-Extended supported with FlexStack?

A. No, FlexStack-Extended is not supported with FlexStack.

Q. What is a mixed stack?

A. The stack is called a mixed stack if it has both the Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch and Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Series Switches. The mixed stack features are limited to Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series features. (See Table1.)

Table1. FlexStack combinations

Stack combination

Max stack bandwidth

Stack limit

Cisco IOS license

2960-XR

80G

8

IP Lite

2960-X

80G

8

LAN Base

2960-S/SF

40G

4

LAN Base

Mixed stack: 2960-X (C2960X-STACK) and 2960-S/SF (C2960S-STACK)

40G

4

LAN Base

Q. Does mixed stacking require any configuration on Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Series Switches?

A. Yes. The switch stack speed should be set to 40 using configure mode command “switch stack-speed 40” on Cisco Catalyst 2960-X switches to stack with Cisco Catalyst 2960-S switches. While forming a homogenous stack of Cisco Catalyst 2960-X revert back the stack speed to 80 using “no switch stack-speed 40”.

Q. Can Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series Switches stack together?

A. No. Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series Switches can’t be stacked together. Even though they belong to the same 2960-X Series, they do not share same Cisco IOS license models.

Q. What are the possible mixed-stack combinations?

A. The LAN Base models can only form mixed stacks. The possible mixed-stack combinations are listed in Table2.

Table2. Possible mixed-stack combinations

Mixed-stack combination

2960-XR

IP Lite

2960-X

LAN Base

2960-S/SF LAN Base

2960-XR IP Lite

Yes

No

No

2960-X LAN Base

No

Yes

Yes (C2960X-STACK only)

2960-S/SF LAN Base

No

Yes (C2960X-STACK only)

Yes

Q. Which SDM template should be selected on the Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Series with LAN Base to form a mixed stack with Cisco Catalyst 2960-S?

A. If Cisco Catalyst 2960-S is running the “default” SDM template, then Cisco Catalyst 2960-X must use the “default” template. If Cisco Catalyst 2960-S is running the “lanbase-routing” template, then Cisco Catalyst 2960-X must use the same.

Q. Can Cisco Catalyst 2960-S be the stack master in a mixed stack of 2960-S and 2960-X switches?

A. Yes. Cisco Catalyst 2960-S can be stack master in a mixed stack.

Q. In a mixed stack of Cisco Catalyst 2960-S and 2960-X, must all the switches be on the same Cisco IOS Software release?

A. Yes. All the switches in the stack, regardless of model, must be on the same Cisco IOS Software release. This includes the rebuild number. The minimum Cisco IOS Software release that will support both 2960-S and 2960-X is 15.0(2)EX.

Q. Can we use FlexStack stacking modules with Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Series?

A. No. The form factors of FlexStack-Plus and FlexStack modules are different. The FlexStack stacking module cannot be used with the Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Series. Similarly, the FlexStack-Plus module cannot be used with the Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series.

Info from https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/collateral/switches/catalyst-2960-x-series-switches/qa_c67-728348.html

More Related

How to Stack Cisco Catalyst 2960-X or 2960-XR Series Switches?

C2960X-STACK vs. C2960X-FIBER-STK vs. C2960X-HYBRID-STK

Why SELECT Cisco 2960-X Series?

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X vs. 2960-XR Series Switches

Cisco 2960S and 2960-X Series’ Problems from Users

How to Install or Replace an AC Power Supply in a Cisco 2960-X Switch?

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Comparison & Features

WS-C2960X-48TD-L & WS-C2960XR-48TD-I Tested, from Miercom

FlexStack vs. FlexStack-Plus

Read more

How to Stack Cisco Catalyst 2960-X or 2960-XR Series Switches?

March 20 2018 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Networking, #Cisco & Cisco Network, #Technology, #Cisco Modules - Cisco Cables - Cisco Memory

Stacking Cisco Catalyst 2960-X or 2960-XR Series Switches is often asked by Cisco users. When we talk about the Catalyst 2960-X or 2960-XR stacking, we need to know Cisco FlexStack-Extended and FlexStack-Plus technology. What’s the FlexStack-Extended and FlexStack-Plus technology? What benefits can we get from this tech? And how to stack Cisco Catalyst 2960-X or 2960-XR? We will share the typical example of Stacking Cisco Catalyst 2960-X or 2960-XR Series Switches in this article.

  1. Cisco FlexStack-Extended and FlexStack-Plus technology allows stacked installation of Cisco Catalyst 2960-X or 2960-XR Series Switches within the same wiring closet, across wiring closets on different floors of a building, or across different buildings in a campus, with a single point of management that reduces IT management overhead.
  2. The Cisco Catalyst 2960-X FlexStack-Plus Stack Module provides high-bandwidth stacking capability over short distances to simplify management and improve resiliency.
  3. The Cisco Catalyst 2960-X FlexStack-Extended Stack Module–Hybrid provides investment protection for Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series Switches that are already stacked and installed with FlexStack-Plus modules.

These modules act as interconnects between FlexStack-Plus and FlexStack-Extended stacked switches.

The FlexStack-Extended and FlexStack-Plus modules enable stacking within and across wiring closets. Up to eight Cisco Catalyst 2960-X or 2960-XR Series Switches can be stacked, with a single management and control plane. All management tasks, such as configuration, Cisco IOS Software upgrades, and troubleshooting, can be performed for all stacked switches from a single point of management through a command line or a simple graphical interface with Cisco Catalyst Configuration Professional.

The FlexStack-Plus and FlexStack-Extended modules are simple-to-install plug-and-play modules, with no preset configuration requirements. They simplify troubleshooting of multiple switches spread over large areas of the campus.

The FlexStack-Extended module uses the same rules for stack master election as FlexStack-Plus switches. These modules can be inserted into the stack module slot at the rear of the Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series Switches. Up to eight switches can be stacked in a ring topology using the FlexStack-Plus or FlexStack-Extended modules.

Learn more: FlexStack vs. FlexStack-Plus

C2960X-STACK vs. C2960X-FIBER-STK vs. C2960X-HYBRID-STK

Stack Module Slot Location

How to Stack Cisco Catalyst 2960-X or 2960-XR Series Switches?

●   Stack modules are plug and play; no configuration is required to bring up the stack.

Command: “show inventory” to see the modules inserted:

switch#show inventory

NAME: "3", DESCR: "WS-C2960XR-48TD-I"

PID: WS-C2960XR-48TD-I , VID: V01  , SN: FOC1720Y3WK

-----Output omitted-----------------------

NAME: "Switch 1 - FlexStackPlus Module", DESCR: "Stacking Module"

PID: C2960X-HYBRID-STK , VID: V01  , SN: FDO211827QG

The ports of the modules are in a stack port configuration by default.

Command:  “show switch hstack-ports” to ensure that the ports are stack ports.

Example: On the FlexStack-Extended fiber module:

The ports of the modules are in a stack port configuration by default.

Command:  “show switch hstack-ports” to ensure that the ports are stack ports.

Example: On the FlexStack-Extended fiber module:

Example: On the FlexStack-Extended hybrid module:

Note: The fiber port of the module does not show up with this command.

● When connecting the FlexStack-Extended hybrid module to FlexStack-Plus modules, the stack bandwidth of the switch with the FlexStack-Plus module should be manually configured to 10 Gbps

Command: “switch stack port-speed 10G” to set the stacking bandwidth to 40 Gbps:

Example: switch(config)#switch stack port-speed 10

Command: ‘show switch stack-ring  speed’

Example: switch#show switch stack-ring  speed

Stack Ring Speed        : 10G

Stack Ring Configuration: Half

Stack Ring Protocol     : FlexStack

● Once the stack cables (fiber or FlexStack-Plus cables) are connected to the switches to stack them:

Command: “show switch” to see all switches in the stack. The master is indicated with an asterisk (*).

switch#show switch

Switch/Stack Mac Address : d0c7.896b.9480

                                H/W   Current

Role   Mac Address     Priority Version  State

----------------------------------------------------------

 2       Member d0c7.aaaa.xxxx     1      4       Ready

*3       Master d0c7.bbbb.yyyy     1      4       Ready

Command: “show switch stack-ports” to see the status of the stack ports.

Example: switch#show switch stack-ports

 Switch #    Port 1       Port 2

  --------    ------       ------

    2          Down          Ok

    3          Down          Ok

Ok: Port status up

Down: Port status down

Note: When adding a switch to an existing stack, power off the new switch, connect the stack cables, and then power on the new switch. This will prevent any downtime in the existing stack.

How to Pick a Stack Module

● If the switches in the stack are less than 3 m (10 ft) apart or high stacking bandwidth is a requirement, the C2960X STACK module would be best suited for stacking

● If the stack switches are spread across wiring closets on different floors of a building or across multiple buildings in a campus (switches are more than 3 m [10 ft] apart), the C2960X-FIBER-STK module would be best suited

● If the stack is a mix of switches in the same wiring closet and switches spread across wiring closets, the stack modules will be a mix of C2960X STACK, C2960X-FIBER-STK, and C2960X-HYBRID-STK

Points to Remember

● Fast convergence is not supported on stack switches with FlexStack-Extended ports

● The fiber stack ports will support 10-Gbps transceivers only. Refer to the list of supported 10-Gbps transceivers mentioned earlier

● The FlexStack-Extended modules support up to 40-Gbps stack bandwidth over longer distances

● The FlexStack-Plus module supports up to 80-Gbps stack bandwidth over short distances

● When adding a new switch to an existing stack, power off the new switch and then connect the stack cables. This is to prevent reload of the existing stack and stack master reelection

● To use FlexStack-Extended modules, all switches in the stack require upgrade to Cisco IOS Software Release 15.2(6)E or later

Reference from https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/collateral/switches/catalyst-2960-x-series-switches/white-paper-c11-739615.html

More Related

Why SELECT Cisco 2960-X Series?

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Switches: Enterprise Ready

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X vs. 2960-XR Series Switches

Cisco 2960S and 2960-X Series’ Problems from Users

How to Install or Replace an AC Power Supply in a Cisco 2960-X Switch?

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Comparison & Features

The Latest Updated: SFP Modules for Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Series Switches

WS-C2960X-48TD-L & WS-C2960XR-48TD-I Tested, from Miercom

Read more

Discussion about the Cisco 6807-XL Slots

January 4 2016 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Cisco Modules - Cisco Cables - Cisco Memory

Mechanical View of Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL

Mechanical View of Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL

We talked about the Cisco Transceiver Modules a lot before, such as the S-Class Optics vs. Non-S-Class Optics, the CVR-X2-SFP10G & CVR-X2-SFP10G=, and the Cisco 10GBASE X2 Module & SFP Compatibility.

These are all the popular questions asked by customers. Here in this article we will continue to share the Cisco 6807-XL Slots issue put forwarded by Cisco users. What did they discuss about that? Let’s see the details…

The Question: “I want to choose 6807-XL as a core switch in my project, but I have question! Can I use 6 cards as a module and 1 as SUP 2T or I must use 5 Slots for modules cards?? Because I need One SUP 2T and I want to use the rest of 6 slots for module cards, Can I do that?”

…The pinouts between the module slots and sup slots are different. So slots 5 and 6 are reserved for sups and can't be used with regular modules.

So is there any model more than 7 slots from 6800 series?

Another Question: “There is a difference between X2-10GB-SR= and SFP-10G-SR= because I want to replace the WS-X6816-10G-2T card with C6800-32P10G-XL which can carry 32 ports 10G with One card so I can save one slot! Can I do that?”

…The Cisco 6807 is the larger chassis you can get on the 6800 series. As for 16 port 10Gig vs. 32 port 10Gig, you can defiantly use the 32 port 10gig module to solve the issue if not having enough slots for all your 10Gig interfaces. Also, you can enable VSS on the 6800 series to give you the redundancy you need without using HSRP/VRRP, etc...

“And but 16port 10Gig uses Pluggable transceivers X2-10GB-SR= and 32port 10Gig uses Pluggable transceivers SFP-10G-SR=?! Is there any difference between them? Or both them the same!”

You need the 16 port 10Gig SFP+ or the 32 port 10Gig SFP+

See this link for part numbers and descriptions:

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/collateral/switches/catalyst-6800-series-switches/datasheet-c78-733662.html

Two models:

C6800-16P10G, a 16-port 10-Gigabit Ethernet Fiber Module with DFC4, and C6800-16P10G-XL, a16-port 10-Gigabit Ethernet Fiber Module with DFC4XL

C6800-32P10G, a 32-port 10-Gigabit Ethernet Fiber Module with DFC4, and C6800-32P10G-XL, a 32-port 10-Gigabit Ethernet Fiber Module with DFC4XL

The difference between WS-X6816-10G-2T card and C6800-32P10G-XL?

X2 and SFP are different form factors. On some of these, you CAN get a twinGig adapter to convert an X2 into multiple SFP ports, but I don't think these can be 10G SFP+ (although it may be possible on the newer modules).

There shouldn't be a performance difference between SFP+ or X2. However, check the capability of the line card / chassis backplane - if you have 16 10G ports, make sure the line card plugged into supports what you expect. Remember, if all ports are 10G running flat out, your total backplane for that line card is 160G, unless it's between servers in the same VLAN connected to the same blade.

The original discussion from https://supportforums.cisco.com/discussion/12736701/6807-xl-slots-issue

What’s your opinion about the Cisco 6807-XL Slots issue? Welcome to share with us here…

…More Related

The New 32-port 10-Gb Line Cards on Catalyst 6800 &6500-E Series

About Cisco Catalyst Multigigabit Ethernet & Cisco Multigigabit Ethernet Switches

The Time of Multigigabit, Cisco’ s New Campus LAN Switches

The Questions about the Cisco 10GBASE X2 Module & SFP Compatibility

Cisco 10GBASE SFP+ Modules Overview

Cisco XFP vs. SFP vs. SFP+

About Transceiver & Cisco Transceiver Modules

Read more

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...

Read more

More about Cisco 10GbE Optics Modules

October 16 2014 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Cisco Modules - Cisco Cables - Cisco Memory

There have been numerous different form factors and optics types introduced over the past years. The oldest, XENPAKs, remain very popular as the install base is large, while the newest SFP+ offer a much smaller form factor and the ability to offer 1G/10G combo ports on hardware for the first time. Like the move from GBIC to SFP the move from XENPAK to SFP+ seems inevitable, but currently there are several types of standard modules/form-factors available. In the following part there is a guide to these main module types and optical standards currently available.

XENPAK-the original 10GbE pluggable optics. Presents SC connectors

X2-the successor to the XENPAK. Presents SC connectors

XFP-the first of the small form factor 10GbE optics. Presents LC connectors

GBIC-the hot-swappable Gigabit Interface optical module with SC connector

SFP-also called mini-GBIC, is upgraded version of GBIC transceiver

SFP+-a 10GbE optics using the same physical form factor as a gigabit SFP. Because of this, many of the small SFP+ based 10GbE switches use 1G/10G ports, giving an added degree of flexibility. Presents LC connectors

Within these form factors are many different types of optical and electrical specifications; the only requirement is that the optics type match. It is perfectly acceptable to connect an X2 to an SFP, or a XENPAK to an SFP+, or any other combination.

 

Optical Standards

Electrical/Copper

10GBase-CX4
CX4 modules use Infiniband 4X cabling, and have a maximum distance of 15 meters. CX4 is an early copper standard, and due to the physical size of the connector, is not available in SFP+ form, or in XFP form from Cisco (Dell Networking, though, offers a CX4 XFP). CX4 was designed as a drop-in replacement for legacy Infiniband switching hardware – the existing Infiniband cable plant can be reused in a CX4 based network.

10GBase-CX1/10GBase-CU
10GBase-CX1 is the SFP+ copper standard. The standard has a maximum distance of 10 meters, though Cisco currently only offers lengths up to 5m. This is actually a cable with SFP+ ends, not a module with a separate cable.

Here is a picture

Cable-for-10GBase-CX1.jpg

Notice that the cable is permanently integrated into the SFP+ ends. Because of this, both devices must present SFP+ ports. While the cables are somewhat inconvenient to work with due to the integration, CX1 modules are used due to a very low cost, extremely low power consumption (0.25W per cable), and a negligible latency penalty.

 

Multimode Fiber

10GBase-SR
10GBase-SR is the original multimode optics specification, and is still by far the most commonly used. As it uses a single, low cost solid state laser assembly, it is also the least expensive of the optical modules available for a 10GbE platform. However, 10GBase-SR is very sensitive to fiber type. Below is a list of cable specs and maximum distance with SR optics.

Core Size
(microns)

Modal Bandwidth
(MHz*km)

Max
Distance

Notes

62.5

160

26m

This is standard multimode fiber.

62.5

200

33m

 

50

400

66m

 

50

500

82m

 

50

2000

300m

AKA: OM3 or 10GbE-optimized fiber

 

Because of this, it is highly recommended that any new deployment of multimode fiber be done with OM3 fiber. This will ensure an easier transition to 10GbE for future needs.

10GBase-LX4
To overcome the distance limitations of SR optics, the 10GBase-LX4 standard was developed. LX4 uses 4 lasers, each operating at a different wavelength, at a 2.5Gbps data rate. This results in a range of 240-300 meters, depending on cable grade. However, due to the complex laser assembly, it is not possible to get LX4 optics in XFP or SFP+ versions. With the ready availability of OM3 fiber and newer standards that provide long reach over multimode with a single laser, LX4 is rapidly becoming obsolete.

10GBase-LRM
The replacement to LX4, 10GBase-LRM will reach up to 220m over standard multimode fiber, but without the complexity of the LX4 optics. Instead, a single laser operating at 1310nm is used. This allows LRM optics to be packaged in XFP and SFP+ form factors.

 

Singlemode Fiber

10GBase-LR
10GBase-LR can reach up to 10km over singlemode fiber. There is no minimum distance for LR, either, so it is suitable for short connections over singlemode fiber as well.

10GBase-ER
10GBase-ER can reach up to 40km over singlemode fiber. Due to the laser power, attenuation is required for links less than 20km long.

10GBase-ZR
ZR optics can reach up to 80km over singlemode fiber. Due to the very high transmit power, significant attenuation is needed for shorter links. Use of ZR optics should be preceded with an optical power test of the fiber span in question to ensure a problem-free deployment. Interestingly, 10GBase-ZR is actually not an IEEE standard, though most vendors offer a ZR option.

10GBase-LW
10GBase-LW optics use the same laser, and have the same specifications as the 10GBase-LR optics. However, the LW optics present SONET/SDH physical signaling, allowing LW-equipped devices to interface directly with an existing OC192 transport infrastructure. LW optics are only available in XENPAK and X2 form factors. XFP-based cards move this functionality from the transceiver to the card itself, so make sure that if this functionality is needed, that the card itself has this support. The primary example is the as in the SPA-1X10GE-L-V2 vs the SPA-1X10GE-LW-V2.

10G over DWDM
With 10GbE, it is possible to get optics modules that output at DWDM wavelengths, allowing for much simpler DWDM deployments, and with these optics no additional transponder hardware is required. Current innovations in 10GbE/DWDM optics include full C-band tunability for ease of sparing, ordering, and provisioning of DWDM channels, as well as features like forward error correction (FEC) and OTN/G.709 support integrated directly onto the optic.

 

More about Cisco SFP, SFP+ Purchasing

Being used and interchanged on a wide variety of Cisco products, the hot Cisco SFPs can meet Cisco users’ different needs, for example, GLC-SX-MM, The 1000BASE-SX SFP, can support up to 1km over laser-optimized 50 μm multimode fiber cable; GLC-LH-SM, Cisco 1000BASE-LX/LH SFP transceiver module, operates on standard single-mode fiber-optic link spans of up to 10 km and up to 550 m on any multimode fibers; GLC-T over unshielded twisted pair (UTP) Category 5 Cable, etc. And module numbers, such as SFP-10G-SR, GLC-ZX-SM, SFP-GE-T, GLC-BX-D and so on. Cisco SFP+, the 10G fiber optical module, can connect with other type of 10G modules.  The popular SFP+ modules, for instance, SFP-10G-SR, used for high-speed data transmission applications, supports 300m by MMF; SFP-10G-LRM supports 220m on standard FDDI grade multimode fiber (MMF) and 300m on standard single-mode fiber (SMF, G.652); SFP-10G-LR, supports 10 km on standard single-mode fiber (SMF, G.652). And more detailed SFP, XEP, SFP+, GBIC modules and other Transceivers you can get from router-switch.com. It will offer you a good warranty and more free technical support. More info you can visit the page http://www.router-switch.com/Price-cisco-optics-modules_c8

 

More Cisco Optics Modules Topics

Cisco 10GBASE SFP+ Modules Overview

Cisco 10GbE Optics Modules & Optical Standards

Cisco Interface Cards for Cisco 1900, Cisco 2900 and Cisco 3900 Series

Why Should We Care About 10 Gigabit Ethernet Pluggable Optics?

Cisco XFP vs. SFP vs. SFP+

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

Read more

How to Make Serial Cable to Connect PC to CTS-PHD1080P4XS1 A.k.A. Sangam Camera?

January 16 2014 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Cisco Modules - Cisco Cables - Cisco Memory

Sometimes it is required to investigate camera problems by connecting a serial cable from a DB9 PC/MAC serial port to the RJ45 camera connector. This article describes the pinouts used on the camera RJ45 and pinouts used on DB9 PC/MAC side so people can make their own cable.

DB 9 pin layout

A PC/MAC with a normal DB9 serial connector presenting itself as a DTE is shown in the picture below.

DB9_DTE.png

Camera RJ45 pinout

The camera RJ45 pinout can be found in this PDF file. Copy of the layout is below. It shows the normal cable we use to hookup camera to the codec. The DB9 side of the connector is standard DTE presentation. The RJ45 side is non-standard.

RJ45_camera_layout.png

How to make your own cable?

Using above information we can build our own cable using RJ45 to DB9 connector wired as follows:

RJ 45                            DB 9
========================================================
   7     GND           GND         5
   6      TX            RX         2
   3      RX            TX         3

Reference from https://supportforums.cisco.com/docs/DOC-27285

 

More Topics Related to Cisco Console Cable:

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

Ethernet Crossover Cable vs Ethernet LAN Cable

Cisco Console Cables, Popular Types You Used

How to Select the Right Serial Cables for Your Network?

Read more

Four Optional Network Modules for Cisco Catalyst Switches

October 11 2013 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Cisco Modules - Cisco Cables - Cisco Memory

The Cisco Catalyst 3750-X Series and 3560-X Series Switches support four optional network modules for uplink ports. The 4 optional network modules are C3KX-NM-1G, C3KX-NM-10G, C3KX-NM-10GT and C3KX-SM-10G=.

What are the exact four optional network modules? Let’s have an overview on them.

C3KX-NM-1G: The module has four 1-Gigabit SFP module slots. Any combination of standard SFP modules is supported. SFP+ modules are not supported. If you insert an SFP+ module in the 1-Gigabit network module, the SFP+ module does not work, and the switch logs an error message.

Figure1: C3KX-NM-1G-1 Gigabit Ethernet Network Module

C3KX-NM-1G-1-Gigabit-Ethernet-Network-Module.jpg

1

Network module

3

LEDs

2

1 Gigabit Ethernet SFP slots

4

Captive screws

C3KX-NM-10G: The module has four slots. Two slots support only 1-Gigabit SFP modules. Two slots support either 1-Gigabit SFP or 10-Gigabit SFP+ modules. (Note:  The GLC-T SFP is not supported on the SFP+ slots of C3KX-NM-10G.) The four slots are grouped as two pairs, with each pair consisting of one SFP slot and one SFP+ slot. Each pair supports either two 1-Gigabit SFP modules or one 10-Gigabit SFP+ module. A 10-Gigabit SFP+ module cannot operate at the same time as the corresponding 1-Gigabit SFP module in the pair.

Figure2: C3KX-NM-10G-10-Gigabit Ethernet Network Module-SFP Ports
C3KX-NM-10G-10-Gigabit-Ethernet-Network-Module-SFP-Ports.jpg

1

Network module

4

LEDs

2

1 Gigabit Ethernet SFP slots

5

Captive screws

3

1 Gigabit or 10 Gigabit Ethernet SFP+ slots

 

 

Supported combinations of SFP and SFP+ modules:

  • Slots 1, 2, 3, and 4 with 1-Gigabit SFP modules
  • Slots 1 and 2 with 1-Gigabit SFP modules and Slot 4 with one 10-Gigabit SFP+ module
  • Slot 2 with one 10-Gigabit SFP+ module and Slots 3 and 4 with 1-Gigabit SFP modules
  • Slot 2 and Slot 4 each with 10-Gigabit SFP+ modules

A 10-Gigabit SFP+ module takes precedence over a 1-Gigabit SFP module except when an SFP module is first inserted in Slot 1 and has link. When you insert an SFP+ module in Slot 2, the SFP in Slot 1 retains link. The SFP+ module in Slot 2 does not operate.

When the SFP module in Slot 1 is shutdown, loses link, or is removed, the SFP+ module in Slot 2 turns on. The SFP module in Slot 1 does not work as long as an SFP+ module is in Slot 2, whether it has link up or not. The same precedence applies to Slots 3 and 4.

C3KX-NM-10GT: This module has two (copper) ports that support speeds of 1Gps or 10Gps.

Figure3: C3KX-NM-10GT-Two Port 10G BaseT Network Module

C3KX-NM-10GT-Two-Port-10G-BaseT-Network-Module.jpg

C3KX-NM-10GT-Two-Port-10G-BaseT-Network-Module02.jpg

C3KX-SM-10G=: This module has two slots that support either 1-Gigabit SFP or 10-Gigabit SFP+ modules (Te1/Gi2 and Te2/Gi4). The service module supports Net Flow and MACSec Uplink Encryption (switch- to-switch encryption between uplinks).

Figure4: C3KX-SM-10G-10G Service Module

C3KX-SM-10G-10G-Service-Module.jpg

1

Service module

2

1-Gigabit or 10-Gigabit Ethernet SFP+ slots

3

LEDs

4

Captive screws

C3KX-NM_BLNK=: The module has no ports.

Figure5: Blank Network Module

Blank-Network-Module.jpg

1

Network module

2

Captive screws

More Related Cisco Network Modules:

Cisco Interface Cards for Cisco 1900, Cisco 2900 and Cisco 3900 Series

GBIC Module, Main Function & Key Features

How to Connect 2 WAN, 1 LAN through a Cisco Router?

Basic Knowledge Related to Popular Cisco Cards and Cisco Modules

Read more

Cisco USB Console Ports

May 29 2013 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Cisco Modules - Cisco Cables - Cisco Memory

Scott Hogg wrote the article “Cisco USB Console Ports” that is a popular one in a list of the top 10 articles in his blog. Here we will share it with network and Cisco fans.

Cisco USB Console Ports

Cisco products now come with USB ports that allow console access

For years I have been wondering when Cisco would activate the USB ports on their devices. I have been hoping for all kinds of USB functionality to routers, switches, firewalls but Cisco has been slow to unlock the power of these USB ports. Wouldn't it be cool if you could connect the myriad of USB devices to a Cisco router to further the list of amazing things you could do? Cisco has started to put mini-USB ports on their devices to allow for console port connectivity.

I am hoping that this new method continues to be spread to other devices. I also hope that Cisco will enable all of the USB Type-A ports on their other devices for similar connectivity. For years I have hauled around two console cable sets. Because I often connect to multiple devices at the same time, such as redundant supervisors on Catalyst 6500s or to two supervisors in redundant Catalyst 6500s or VSS, I need two serial cables. Here is a picture of one of my typical USB cables. I use a Keyspan USA-19HS USB to serial adapter. I realize that this is expensive but it is the most reliable and its driver seems universally accepted by laptop operating systems. Note that the end on the light-blue console cable has been replaced and a yellow boot added because of excessive wear. You know you have logged into a lot of Cisco routers when you wear out the RJ-45 connector on the end of your favorite console cable.

Cisco-USB-Console-Ports01.jpg

Cisco has now given us the ability to connect our laptops to the USB ports for console access. Cisco has added USB Type-B ports to their devices and these ports can be used as a console cable.

Cisco-USB-Console-Ports02.jpg

You will need three things to get this working.
1) A device that uses this type of USB Type-B port
2) A USB Type A to 5-pin mini Type-B cable
3) A driver from Cisco to make this work with your laptop operating system

You still need to install a driver on your laptop to use the USB interface as a serial communications port. Don't worry that this link shows the download location for 3900 ISR G2 routers. The same utility works for the entire ISR-G2 line. The latest version of the USB Console Software is version 3.1 The filename of the software is "Cisco_usbconsole_driver_3_1.zip" and the current version was release on Jan 20, 2010 with a file size of 14692.83 KB (15045453 bytes).
Currently, Cisco has USB console drivers for the following operating systems:

  • Windows 2000, Windows XP 32- and 64-bit, Windows Vista 32- and 64-bit
  • Mac OS X version 10.5.4
  • Redhat / Fedora Core 10 with kernel 2.6.27.5-117
  • Ubuntu 8.10 with kernel 2.6.27-11
  • Debian 5.0 with kernel 2.6
  • Suse 11.1 with kernel 2.6.27.7-9

Once you install the driver you need to create a connection using your favorite terminal emulation software. My favorite one happens to be SecureCRT from VanDyke. You need to set the terminal emulator to use the proper COM port that is being used by the USB port on your laptop. Then you set the serial communications to the old-reliable standard: 9600 baud, 8 data bits, no parity, and 1 stop bit, no flow control. However, I have been told that these console ports can be run up to 12Mbps but the baud rate of the serial port can only go as high as 115,200 bps. That could have come in handy many moons ago when I had to upload IOS files using XMODEM.

The other caveat is that the Cisco devices are still coming with the traditional RJ-45 console ports. You can use both of these ports but only one will allow for commands to be entered. It appears that the USB port trumps the RJ-45 port. It is like the USB port is the default console media-type. Since the USB port takes precedence over the RJ-45 port then you will want to set the inactivity timeout for the USB port so that if it is unplugged that the RJ-45 port can become active again.

This is done with the following command.
Switch# configure terminal
Switch#(config)# line console 0
Switch#(config-line)# usb-inactivity-timeout 30

I believe that the usb-inactivity-timeout command is not supported on 2900 series routers. To restore USB console port connectivity after the timeout period then you will need to unplug and re-plug the USB port to re-activate the USB console port connection.

For security reasons you may want to disable this USB port. In this case you can configure the device to only allow console connectivity with the RJ-45 port. This can be performed with the following commands.
Switch# configure terminal
Switch(config)# line console 0
Switch(config-line)# media-type rj45

When I logged into the USB port of an ISR G2 router I was prompted for the same console login method configured for "line con 0". Therefore, there is no need to worry about the security of the USB console ports unless you haven't configured proper security for your serial line console port. In other words, you don't have to specify AAA for the USB port. It simply uses the same AAA strategy defined for "line con 0" for both the RJ-45 serial and USB interfaces.

Right now, from what I can tell, the only devices that can use this special USB interface as a console port are the Cisco ISR G2 routers (1900s, 2900s, 3900s, 5500 Wireless controllers, 3750-X, 3560-X, and 2960-S switches).

Does anyone know of any other Cisco product that has these USB/Console ports?

---From http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/cisco-usb-console-ports

More…

Upgrade a Cisco 2960 IOS with a Console Cable

How to Make Your Ethernet Crossover Cable?

How to Make Cisco Console Cables?

How to Select the Right Serial Cables for Your Network?

Tutorial: How to Wire an RJ-45 Console Cable?

Cisco USB Console Port

Read more

Cisco Memory & Flash, Mainly Used for Cisco Router and Switch

February 23 2012 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Cisco Modules - Cisco Cables - Cisco Memory

I usually share some information and ideas about Cisco network equipments in yahoo answers, friends from different vocations can talk about Cisco products. And recently, I pay more attention to Cisco memory and flash, so I would like to share some info about Cisco memory and flash with friends who want to buy Cisco memory.

 

Firstly, let’s see some questions asked by Cisco fans in Yahoo answer

Where can i get online Cisco FLASH memory in us?”

“Where can I find Cisco Memory?”

“What type of memory for Cisco 2811 Routers? Registered or Unbuffered?”

What kind of memory does cisco 3640 router needs?

“I want to upgrade my memory router. But I didn't know which kind of memory I should buy. Mine has 64 Mb , occupied half of them. I still need to create 4 virtual serial adapters (9 already). My service provider required us to buy extra memory (256Mb)”

“What is the max memory on a Cisco 3640 Router?”

“Where can i get online Cisco FLASH memory in us?”

 

From the questions above, we generally get the points that Cisco users concerned: where to buy, the price, the type…

 

Looking for a memory upgrade for your equipment? There are some Cisco memories for Cisco router 1800/2800/3800, Cisco 1900/2900/3900, for Cisco switch 4000/4500, switch 6000/6500

 

MEM1800-128CF Details

Product Type Flash memory card

Storage Capacity 128 MB

Form Factor CompactFlash Card

Compatible Slots 1 x CompactFlash Card

 

Notes: RouterSwitch.com is a professional Cisco supplier who can provide almost all the Cisco

items for customers.

Cisco routers: Cisco 800/1800/1900/2800/2900/3800/3900/7200/7600,

Cisco switches: Cisco Catalyst 2960/3560/3750/4500/6500, etc.

Other products like Cisco Firewalls Security, Cisco IP Phones VOIP, Cisco Wireless AP, Cisco Modules & Cards, Cisco Cables Accessories, Cisco Optics Modules, Cisco Memory & Flash, and Cisco Power Supply also offered.

 

Tips: The flash memory on a router cisco is for the system image, startup config (via NVRAM emulation), VLAN and firewall configuration, and possibly a backup or alternative version of any of the above.

 

More guide: Guide: Cisco Memory Helps You Stretch IT Budget

Read more

How to Make Crossover Network Cables?

February 20 2012 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Cisco Modules - Cisco Cables - Cisco Memory

How to properly construct a Crossover network cable? This cable can be used to directly connect two computers to each other without the use of a hub or switch. The ends on a crossover cable are different from each other, whereas a normal 'straight through' cable has identical ends. Their uses are shown in the following diagrams.network_cables.jpg

 

Typically the ports on a hub are MDIX ports. This allows the machine at the other end to utilize its MDI Port (which is what typically a NIC card uses) without the need for a crossover cable. When I say that the ports on the hub are MDIX ports, what I mean is that one of the functions of the hub is to automatically perform the crossover functions, which are required to properly align the cables with each other. When no hub or switch is used, your cable itself must physically perform these crossover functions.

 

To expand on this a little, when using a hub or switch, the Transmit wires on the workstation need to be connected to the Receive wires on the hub; likewise, the Receive wires on the hub need to be connected to the Transmit wires on the workstation. But if you remember what we stated earlier - cables which are run from PC to Hub are 'straight through' type cables. This is because the hub is providing the required crossover functions internally for you. Thus, when you connect two machines together without the use of a hub or switch, a crossover cable is required - because both 'ends' are essentially the same - a NIC Card. The crossover function must take place somewhere, and since there is no hub or switch to do it for you, the cable must.

 

Now that we know what a crossover network cable is for, let's talk for a few about types of cabling. The two most common unshielded twisted-pair (UTP) network standards are the 10 Mbit (10BASE-T Ethernet) and the 100Mbit (100BASE-TX Fast Ethernet). In order for a cable to properly support 100 Mbit transfers, it must be rated Category 5 (or CAT 5). This type of low loss extended frequency cable will support 10 Base T, 100 Base-T and the newer 100VG-AnyLAN applications. Other types of cabling include Category 3 which supports data rates up to 16 Mbps, and Category 1 which only supports speeds up to 1Mbps. The cable we are about to make is considered Category 5, and will work on both 10 Mbit and 100 Mbit systems, assuming all components used (cables and jacks) are rated for Category 5.

 

What you need

Cable - Be sure the cable(s) you are using is properly rated for CAT 5. It should state clearly on the jacket of the cable, what it is rated at. One option that you have when selecting your cable is to use a pre-made normal 'straight through' cable, and simply whack off one of the ends, and replace with a new "Crossed Over" end. For the purpose of this article, though, we aren't going to go that route. We are going to make the whole thing from scratch - using bulk CAT 5 cable.

 

Keep everything within hands reach of you...

Connectors - Crossover cables are terminated with CAT 5 RJ-45 (RJ stands for "Registered Jack") modular plugs. RJ-45 plugs are similar to those you'll see on the end of your telephone cable except they have eight versus four contacts on the end of the plug. Also, make sure the ends you select are rated for CAT 5 wiring. There are also different types of jacks which are used for different types of cabling (such as Solid Core wire). Make sure you buy the correct jacks for your cabling.

 

Crimper - You will need a modular crimping tool. My advice on what brand to get? Well, I really don't have a preference at this point, but make sure you buy a good one. If you spend about 40 to 50 bucks, you should have one that will last ya a lifetime. Spend 10 to 20 bucks, and you might be able to make a few cables with it if you're lucky. You definitely get what you pay for when it comes to crimpers!

 

Stripper - No I'm not talking about what Spot had at his bachelor party, I am talking about a tool to strip the ends off the wires you pervert! There are several specialized tools, which can be used to strip the jackets off of cabling. If you do not have access to one of these tools, cautious use of a razor blade or knife should work just fine - but keep in mind if you go the razor blade / knife route, extra special care must be used as to not damage the wires inside the jacket.

 

Cutters - You need a pair of cutters that will allow you to cut a group of cables in a straight line. It is very important that all the wires are the same lengths, and without proper cutters, this can be a difficult task.

 

Doing the deed

You now know what crossover cables are used for. You know why you need one. You also know what you need to make one, so I guess we're ready... First thing you will want to do it cut off the appropriate length of cable that you will need. Be sure that it is plenty long enough. If you screw up, and don't cut it long enough, you will have to start all over, and you will not only waste you time, but cable and the RJ-45 ends as well. If you are pulling this cable through a wall, or ceiling, make sure the pulling is completed first. It is much more difficult to pull a cable with the ends already on it. So you have all the parts, you understand the concepts, and you have your cable, lets get started!

 

Basic steps...

1) - Start by stripping off about 2 inches of the plastic jacket off the end of the cable. Be very careful at this point, as to not nick or cut into the wires, which are inside. Doing so could alter the characteristics of your cable, or even worse render is useless. Check the wires, one more time for nicks or cuts. If there are any, just whack the whole end off, and start over.

 

2) - Spread the wires apart, but be sure to hold onto the base of the jacket with your other hand. You do not want the wires to become untwisted down inside the jacket. Category 5 cable must only have 1/2 of an inch of 'untwisted' wire at the end; otherwise it will be 'out of spec'. At this point, you obviously have ALOT more than 1/2 of an inch of un-twisted wire, but don't worry - well take care of that soon enough.

 

3) - Up to this point, things have been pretty easy. Things will get a little bit tricky here, but don't worry, we'll get through this together. We are at a point in this article where a decision needs to be made. You need to decide which end of the cable you are making at this point in time. If you are making your cable from scratch like I am doing while writing this article, you have 2 end jacks, which must be installed on your cable. If you are using a pre-made cable, with one of the ends whacked off, you only have one end to install - the crossed over end. Below are two diagrams, which show how you need to arrange the cables for each type of cable end. Decide at this point which end you are making and examine the associated picture below.

 

Begin to untwist the twisted exposed wires on your cable. Use caution so that you do not untwist them down inside the jacket. Once you have all the wires untwisted begin to arrange them in the proper order based on the pictures above. This stage can be a pain in the ass, especially some of the middle wires. Once you get all the wired arranged in the proper order, make sure your wire cutters are within reach then grasp them right at the point where they enter the jacket. Make sure you keep them in the proper order! Grab your cutters now. Line them up along your prepared wires about 1/2 inch above the jacket. Be sure at this point that you are both 1/2 inch above the jacket, and that your cutters are aligned straight across the wires. You want to make a clean cut here - also make sure you don't let go of that jacket / wires!

 

4) - Don't worry. From this point forward things get a lot easier. Grab your jack, and begin to slide the wires into the jack. Once you get to the point where the jacket begins to enter the jack things might get a little tough, but just have some patience and hold onto those wires. It will fit in there just fine. Once it is in as far as it will go the wires should extend almost to the front of the jack, and about 3/8 of an inch of the jacket will be inside the jack. Like the pictures below.

 

5) - Grab those crimpers - because not all crimpers are exactly the same your pictures may not match exactly what you see below. Be sure to keep a good grip on that jack and the cable. Insert the jack into the crimper. It should only go in one way, so you don't have a whole lot to worry about inserting it. Begin to compress those crimpers. You will more than likely hear a clicking sound. Keep squeezing. If you try to let go to early, nothing will happen. They will not release. Keep going until they stop clicking / stop moving all together. At this point, you should be able to let go of the jack, and the crimpers. The crimpers should release now leaving you with a crimped jack. If the crimpers do not release, you probably are a wimp and didn't press hard enough. Go ask your mom to help you at this point. She can probably finish what you started.

 

6) - It's time to examine what we have done. If you look at the end of the jack (distal), you should see that the copper connectors should not be pressed down into the wires. Toward the back of the jack (where the jacket meets the jack) it should be crimped securely holding the jacket / cable in the jack. If something has gone wrong, don't worry, its not the end of the world. Grab those cutters, and just whack the whole jack off and start back at step 1 (a pain in the ass I know, but its better to have a cable that works, than to spend hours trouble shooting your PC trying to figure out why you can't see the other machine). If everything is cool, all you have to do now is make the other end of the cable (unless you are using a pre-fab cable and have whacked one of the ends off), so go back to step one, and make the other end now.

 

In closing

You should now have a fully functional CAT 5 Crossover cable. It's a good idea to label it as such, especially if you have a lot of other cables lying around. So what are ya waiting for... install the cable and test it out. If it doesn't work, double-check the ends. There is always a possibility that you have overlooked something. If so just whack the bad end and make new one. Remember the more jacks you install, and the more cables you make, the easier it gets. It's really not that hard to do, the first time is definitely the most difficult.

 

Here are a few other things to keep in mind...

Maximum Cable length for including connectors is 100 meters (or about 328 feet)

Do not allow the cable to be sharply bent, or kinked, at any time. This can cause permanent damage to the cables' interior

Do not overtighten cable ties

Do not use excessive force when pulling cable through floors, walls or ceilings

Do not use staples to secure category-5 cable, use the proper hangers, which can be found at most hardware stores

 

---Article resources from http://www.littlewhitedog.com/content-8.html

More Related: How to Make Your Ethernet Crossover Cable?

Read more