Monthly Archives: September 2017

400G CDFP Vs. CFP8 Module

400 Gigabit Ethernet was planned to be released in December this year. It is designed to meet IEEE P802.3bs Task Force standard and to apply to both metro and long-haul networks. The 400GbE operates over 100 m of multimode fiber, 500 m of singlemode fiber, 2 km of SMF, and 10 km of SMF. 400G CDFP and CFP8 are two form factors of 400G Ethernet technology. This article would give a introduction to 400G CDFP and CFP8 modules and make a comparison between them.

400G Ethernet

Introduction to 400G CDFP Module

The CDFP is short for 400 (CD in Roman numerals) Form factor Pluggable, which is designed to provide a low cost, high density 400 Gigabit Ethernet solution. It features as front panel, hot-pluggable, 16 channel and 400 Gbps module. CDFP will be a short reach module, which enables 4 Terabit line cards. From the perspective of interface, it is very similar to the QSFP and CXP modules. CDFP developers have targeted using the developing IEEE802.3bs specification for Ethernet 400GBaseSR, 400GBaseLR.

  • 5 meter direct attach cables
  • 100 meter multimode fiber
  • 500 meter parallel singlemode fiber
  • 2 kilometers of duplex singlemode fiber

400G CDFP Module

Figure2: 400G CDFP Module

Information About 400G CFP8 Module

Following CFP2 and CFP4 naming, CFP8 module was proposed in the year 2015. CFP8 is a new form factor which is still under development by members of the CFP multisource agreement (MSA). The form factor of CFP8 is amounting to CFP2, but it supports 4 × 100G and 400G, for example, 4×CFP2’s 1×100G. The CFP8 uses a new 16 × 25G electrical I/O connector. The CFP8’s interface has been generally specified to allow for 16 × 25 Gb/s and 8 × 50 Gb/s mode. From the point of bandwidth density, the CFP8 module is eight times larger than the CFP module and four times larger than the CFP2 module.

400G CFP8 module operation

Figure3: 400G CFP8 module operation

Example IEEE specifications supported by CFP8:

  • 400GBASE-SR16 parallel MMF (16x25G NRZ)
  • 400GBASE-FR8/LR8 duplex SMF (8x50G PAM4 WDM)
  • 400GBASE-DR4 parallel SMF (4x100G PAM4)
  • CDAUI-16, CDAUI-8

Form factors of CFP modules

Figure4: Form factors of CFP modules

Among all the specifications on the above, 400GBaseDR4 is the most revolutionary one. 400GBaseDR4 uses 4x100G parallel SMF PAM4 signaling technology. This technology is also aimed at fitting in the CFP4 21.5-mm width module size, while using 12 (SMF) fibers within a 1×12 MPO optical connector and the host board electrical 56-pin edge connector.

Low power consumption is also a distinctive feature of CFP8. Active optical modules have been widely deployed in the process of data transmission, but some of them or some copper applications really cost a lot and consumes much power. CFP8 module uses internal mid-board optical or electrical interconnect flyovers and bulkhead MPO or MXC connectors to connect the switch. This reduces power consumption to a great extent.

400G CFDP Vs. CFP8
—Form factor

CDFP was proposed earlier than CFP8, it has larger form factor than CFP8.

—Supported fiber type

CDFP supports passive and active copper cable, active optical cable and multimode fiber while CFP8 supports singlemode and multimode fiber.

—Transmission distance

CFP8 modules support longer data link distance compared with CDFP modules.

—Applications

The CDFP modules provide a very versatile solution for data center interconnects. CFP8 would be used in high-density 4x100GbE fan-out applications, such as datacom applications or in ITU-T for telecom applications.

Conclusion

This article mainly discussed about CDFP, CFP8 and their differences in form factor, supported fiber type, transmission distance and applications. There is no doubt that 400G Gigabit Ethernet is an irresistible trend for future Ethernet development.

Intel Network Adapters for Dell PowerEdge R710 Servers

With the growing prevalence of Dell PowerEdge Servers, Dell PowerEdge R710 servers gradually caught Ethernet users’ eyes for its competitive price, superb quality and low power consumption. As one part of the Dell PowerEdge Select Network, Intel Ethernet Network Adapters are high performance adapters for 1/10/25/40GbE Ethernet network connections. This article would give a brief introduction to Dell R710, Intel NDC for Dell R710 and optics for Intel NDC.

About Dell PowerEdge R710

The Dell PowerEdge R710 is a 2U rack server that can support up to two quad- or six-core Intel Xeon 5500 and 5600 series processors and to eight SATA or SAS hard drives, giving you up to 18TB of internal storage. It has 18 memory slots allow for a maximum of 288GB of memory, allowing the R710 to support and memory-intensive task you can throw at it. It has low power consumption and high performance capacity, which helps you save both money and time. We would provide detailed information about Dell PowerEdge R710 in the next two parts.

Dell R710 2U Rack Server

Figure1: Dell R710 2U Rack Server

Dell R710 Dimensions

Dell R710 Dimensions

Main Features:
—Processors

Dell PowerEdge R710 adapted Intel’s E5-2600 processors, which have up to 20MB cache and up to 8 cores versus the 5500 and 5600 processors which max out at 12MB Cache and 6 cores. These 8-core processors are ideal for increased security, I/O innovation and network capabilities, and overall performance.

—Storage

The R710 supports a high level of internal storage maxing out at 18TB. That includes up to six 3.5″ hard drives or eight 2.5” hard drives. It provides support for 6Gb/s SAS, SATA, and SSD drives.

—Controller

The R710 sports Dell’s new iDRAC6 management controller, which has a dedicated network port at the rear of the server. It provides a web browser interface for remote monitoring and viewing the status of critical server components, and the Enterprise upgrade key brings in virtual boot media and KVM-over-IP remote access.

—Remote Management

Based on Symantec’s Altiris Notification Server, the Management Console takes over from Dell’s elderly IT Assistant and provides the tools to manage all your IT equipment, instead of just Dell servers. Installation is a lengthy process, but it kicks off with an automated search process that populates its database with discovered systems and SNMP-enabled devices.

Intel network Adapters for Dell PowerEdge R710 servers

According to Dell PowerEdge R710 datasheet, the Dell PowerEdge R710 servers support dual port 10GB enhanced Intel Ethernet server adapter X520-DA2. This Dell Intel Ethernet Network Daughter Card X520/I350 provides low cost, low power flexibility and scalability for the entire data center. The Intel Ethernet Network Daughter Card X520-DA2/1350-T2 provides two 1000BASE-T ports and two 10G SFP+ ports as shown in Figure 2 to support 1GbE/10GbE Ethernet network connectivity.

Intel Ethernet Network Daughter Card X520-DA2

Figure2: Intel Ethernet Network Daughter Card X520-DA2

Cables And Optical Modules for Intel NDC X520-DA2

As we mentioned before, the Intel Ethernet Network Daughter Card X520-DA2 provides two 1000BASE-T ports and two 10G SFP+ ports respectively. We can plug two Intel compatible SFP transceivers into the two 1G ports on the Intel NDC X520-DA2 respectively to achieve 1G network connection. Likewise, we can also connect Intel compatible SFP+ transceiver to the 10G port on the Intel card for making 10G data transferring. In addition, we can also use Direct Attach Cable (DAC) to achieve 10G network connectivity, such as 10Gb fibre optic cable, Intel 10G SFP+ DAC cable. DAC cables are suitable for data transmission over very short link length while optical modules are more appropriate for longer transmission distance.

Intel NDC X520-DA2 with 10G optical modules

Figure3: Intel NDC X520-DA2 with 10G optical modules

Conclusion

The Dell PowerEdge R710 server with the high performance of Intel Ethernet Network Daughter Card X520-DA2 offers you a 2U rack to efficiently address a wide range of key business applications. With the great Intel NDC card, it also provides you a perfect solution for 1G and 10G Ethernet network connectivity. You can rest assured to enjoy a low consumption but high capacity server to keep your business.