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FAQS

FAQs

Get the facts straight from the ENET experts!

Are all third (3rd) party optics the same?

No.  Third party optics vary quite a bit between suppliers/manufacturers.  There are many attributes that play a factor between them all resulting in hundreds of different end-products in the market.  The most important differences are TOSA/ROSA, programming, and final testing.  The TOSA/ROSA (Transmit Optical Sub-Assembly) (Receive Optical Sub-Assembly) are the separate lasers that transmit and receive the fiber optic signals inside the transceiver.  There are countless manufacturers that produce these laser components throughout Asia and the quality varies greatly.  The TOSA/ROSA quality affect the reliability and stability of the transceiver.  Lower quality TOSA/ROSA will result in variations in the wavelength and inconsistent transmit and receive power.  The TOSA/ROSA utilized in ENET transceivers are high-quality-OEM grade, many of which are procured from the same factories as the OEM products.  The end result is a stable and reliable product that we can stand behind.

The programming of the transceivers is equally as important as the quality of the hardware itself.  If the programming is not correct, the module will not work properly or be recognized correctly.  The programming is a key element for each of our transceivers with each one being specifically programmed to meet the same technical and functional specifications of the OEM product.  Each transceiver that ENET provides has different coding parameters that vary between each of the 40+ manufacturers that we support.  Each manufacturer’s OS (Operating Software) look for different attributes in the coding of the transceiver to not only recognize, identify, and display it correctly, but also enabling it to function properly and identically to the OEM product.  The coding parameters in all of our transceiver products are programmed to be compatible with not only today’s OS (Operating Software) requirements, but for future releases as well.

Testing after programming is a crucial final measure.  The application for which a transceiver is programmed must be tested in the exact manufacturer that it is being sold for.  ENET performs the most extensive and comprehensive appliance specific testing in the industry.  Our in-house test lab contains over 60+ routers, switches, and servers from over 20 different manufacturers.  Each of our machines is running the latest versions of OS (Operating Software) that is available.  By running the most current revisions of OS (Operating Software), this ensures absolute compatibility.  The final testing also enables us to substantiate our claims as well as provide unparalleled support to our customers when they are in need.

Will Using ENET Compatible Products Void Your Warranty?

Although the OEM's discourage the use of such third-party/compatible networking products being used in their hardware application, they cannot void your warranty such as SMARTnet and other extended service programs. Unless the nature of the problem can be directly related to the use of said compatible products, the OEM will continue to provide support for their specific product device. Read more.

How Can ENET Sell Their Products at Significantly Lower Prices Than the OEMs?

When purchasing OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) products through the proper channels, you are not paying a price based on a material cost. You are paying for not only development of the products through its intended platforms, but for the marketing of such products. Our pricing structure is based on material and R&D costs which are much lower than the OEMs passing the savings to our customers. Material margins from an OEM perspective can run up to 1000% or more and are often the most profitable product lines offered by them. See this article for further explanation: Cisco's Secret Franchise.

What is a Router?

A router is a device that forwards data packets along networks. A router is connected to at least two networks, commonly two LANs or WANs or a LAN and its ISP's network. Routers are located at gateways, the places where two or more networks connect, and are the critical device that keeps data flowing between networks and keeps the networks connected to the Internet.

Router

What is a Switch?

A switch is used in a wired network to connect Ethernet cables from a number of devices together. The switch allows each device to talk to the others. Switches aren't used in networks with only wireless connections, since network devices such as routers and adapters communicate directly with one another, with nothing in between.

Although you can use the ports on the back of a router or modem to connect a few Ethernet devices together, depending on the model, switches have a number of advantages:

  • Switches allow dozens of devices to connect.
  • Switches keep traffic between two devices from getting in the way of your other devices using the same network.
  • Switches allow control of who has access to various parts of the network.
  • Switches allow you to monitor usage.
  • Switches allow communication (within your network) that's even faster than the Internet.
  • High-end switches have pluggable modules to tailor them to network needs.

Switch

What is Gigabit Ethernet?

Gigabit Ethernet, a transmission technology based on the Ethernet frame format and protocol used in local area networks (LANs), provides a data rate of 1 billion bits per second (one gigabit). Gigabit Ethernet is defined in the IEEE 802.3 standard and is currently being used as the backbone in many enterprise networks.

Gigabit Ethernet is carried primarily on optical fiber (with very short distances possible on copper media).

What is a GBIC?

Short for Gigabit Interface Converter, a transceiver that converts serial electric signals to serial optical signals and vice versa. In networking, a GBIC is used to interface a fiber optic system with an Ethernet system, such as Fibre Channel and Gigabit Ethernet.

ENET Transceiver Group

Why use a GBIC?

GBIC modules allow technicians to easily configure and upgrade electro-optical communications networks. The typical GBIC transceiver is a plug-in module that is hot-swappable (it can be removed and replaced without turning off the system). The devices are economical, because they eliminate the necessity for replacing entire boards at the system level. Upgrading can be done with any number of units at a time, from an individual module to all the modules in a system.

gbic, transceiver, optic, network, hardware, peripheral

What is an SFP?

SFP stands for small form-factor pluggable. They function the same as a GBIC however, they are much smaller in size.

sfp, transceiver, optic, network, hardware, peripheral

 

What is a XENPAK?

XENPAK is a standard that defines a type of fiber-optic or copper transceiver module which is compatible with the 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GE) standard.

xenpak, transceiver, optic, network, hardware, peripheral

What is an X2?

In effect, an X2 functions the same as a XENPAK but is smaller in size and package.

x2, transceiver, optic

What is XFP?

XFP is a small form factor pluggable 10Gbps transceiver. Functions the same as XENPAK and X2, but comes in a much smaller package.

xfp, transceiver, optic, network, peripheral

What is an SFP+?

SFP+ is a Small Form Factor Pluggable 10Gbps transceiver. Functions the same as XENPAK, X2, and XFP but in a smaller package.

sfp+, transceiver, optic, network, peripheral, hardware

How far can a 1000BASE GBIC transmit data?

Depending on the transceiver and type of fiber used, data can be transmitted up to distances of 120km. Below are the standard distances for each type.

T-Based or Copper transceivers can transmit 10/100/1000Mbps of data up to 100M over standard Category 5 unshielded twisted pair copper cabling

SX or Short Wave transceivers can transmit 1000Mbps of data up to 550m over multi-mode duplex fiber. Standard wavelength for SX transceivers is 850nm

LX or LH Long Wave transceivers can transmit 1000Mbps of data up to 550m over multi-mode duplex fiber and up to 10km over single-mode duplex fiber. Standard wavelengths for LX transceivers is 1310nm

EX or Extended Reach transceivers can transmit 1000Mbps of data up to 40km over single-mode duplex fiber. Standard wavelength for EX transceivers is 1310nm

ZX or Extended reach transceivers can transmit 1000Mbps of data up to 70km over standard single-mode duplex fiber, with distances up to 100km possible over premium or dispersion shifted single-mode duplex fiber. 120km distances are possible through custom builds. Standard wavelength for ZX transceivers is 1550nm

BX or Bi-Directional transceivers can transmit 1000Mbps of data up to 10km over a single strand of single-mode simplex fiber. Longer distances up to 120km (not offered by most OEMs) can be achieved through custom builds. Bi-Directional transceivers are sold with their inverse pair. There is an "Upstream" and "Downstream" version of each where they transmit and receive opposite their counterpart allowing a bidirectional flow of data over the same strand of fiber.

CWDM (Coarse Wavelength Division Multiplexing) transceivers can transmit 1000Mbps of data up to 80km over single-mode duplex fiber. There are 8 standard wavelengths for CWDM transceivers. 1470nm, 1490nm, 1510nm, 1530nm, 1550nm, 1570nm, 1590nm, and 1610nm. Lower wavelengths and longer distances are possible through custom builds.

DWDM (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing) transceivers can transmit 1000Mbps of data up to 80km over single-mode duplex fiber. Approximately 80 wavelengths or channels are possible ranging from 1519.48nm to 1577.03nm

How Far can a 10GB (XENPAK, X2, XFP, and SFP+) transceiver transmit data?

SR or Short Reach transceivers can transmit 10Gbps of data up to 300m over multi-mode duplex fiber. Standard wavelength for SR transceivers is 850nm

LRM transceivers can transmit 10Gbps of data up to 220m over FDDI multi-mode duplex fiber. Standard wavelength for LRM transceivers is 1310nm

LR or Long Reach transceivers can transmit 10Gbps of data up to 10km over single-mode duplex fiber. Standard wavelength for LR transceivers is 1310nm

ER or Extended Reach transceivers can transmit 10Gbps of data up to 40km over single-mode duplex fiber. Standard wavelength for ER transceivers is 1550nm

ZR also Extended Reach transceivers can transmit 10Gbps of data up to 80km over single-mode duplex fiber. Standard wavelength for ZR transceivers is 1550nm.

CWDM (Coarse Wavelength Division Multiplexing) transceivers can transmit 10Gbps of data up to 80km over single-mode duplex fiber. There are 8 standard wavelengths for CWDM transceivers. 1470nm, 1490nm, 1510nm, 1530nm, 1550nm, 1570nm, 1590nm, and 1610nm. Lower wavelengths are possible through custom builds.

DWDM (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing) transceivers can transmit 10Gbps of data up to 80km over single-mode duplex fiber. Approximately 80 wavelengths or channels are possible ranging from 1519.48nm to 1577.03nm

SONET/SDHSynchronous Optical Networking (SONET) and Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH)

SONET is the American National Standards Institute standard for synchronous data transmission on optical media. The international equivalent of SONET is synchronous digital hierarchy (SDH). Together, they ensure standards so that digital networks can interconnect internationally and that existing conventional transmission systems can take advantage of optical media through tributary attachments.

SONET provides standards for a number of line rates up to the maximum line rate of 9.953 gigabits per second (Gbps). Actual line rates approaching 20 gigabits per second are possible. SONET is considered to be the foundation for the physical layer of the broadband ISDN (BISDN).

Most common type of connector

LC or Lucent Connector is for use with SFP and XFP transceivers

SC or Standard Connector is for use with GBIC, XENPAK, and X2 transceivers

RJ-45 Standard Ethernet Copper connector

Cabling Terms

Fiber Optics: Multi-mode vs. Single-mode, Duplex vs. Simplex 

Multi-mode
Multi-mode fiber optic cable has a large-diameter core that is much larger than the wavelength of light transmitted, and therefore has multiple pathways of light-several wavelengths of light are used in the fiber core. 

Multi-mode fiber optic cable can be used for most general fiber applications. Use multi-mode fiber for bringing fiber to the desktop, for adding segments to your existing network, or in smaller applications such as alarm systems. Multi-mode cable comes with two different core sizes: 50 micron or 62.5 micron. 

50- vs. 62.5-micron cable. Although 50-micron fiber features a smaller core, which is the light-carrying portion of the fiber, both 62.5- and 50-micron cable feature the same glass cladding diameter of 125 microns. You can use both in the same types of networks, although 50-micron cable is recommended for premise applications: backbone, horizontal, and intrabuilding connections, and should be considered especially for any new construction and installations. Both types can use either LED or laser light sources. 

The main difference between 50-micron and 62.5-micron cable is in bandwidth-50-micron cable features three times the bandwidth of standard 62.5-micron cable, particularly at 850 nm. The 850-nm wavelength is becoming more important as lasers are being used more frequently as a light source. 

Other differences are distance and speed. 50-micron cable provides longer link lengths and/or higher speeds in the 850-nm wavelength.

Single-mode
Single-mode fiber optic cable has a small core and only one pathway of light. With only a single wavelength of light passing through its core, single-mode realigns the light toward the center of the core instead of simply bouncing it off the edge of the core as with multi-mode. 

Single-mode is typically used in long-haul network connections spread out over extended areas--longer than a few miles. For example, telcos use it for connections between switching offices. Single-mode cable features a 9-micron glass core.

Duplex
Duplex cable consists of two fibers, usually in a zipcord (side-by-side) style. Use duplex multi-mode or single-mode fiber optic cable for applications that require simultaneous, bi-directional data transfer. Workstations, fiber switches and servers, fiber modems, and similar hardware require duplex cable. Duplex fiber is available in single-mode and multi-mode.

Simplex
Simplex fiber optic cable consists of a single fiber, and is used in applications that only require one-way data transfer. For instance, an interstate trucking scale that sends the weight of the truck to a monitoring station or an oil line monitor that sends data about oil flow to a central location. Simplex fiber is available in single-mode and multi-mode. 


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