Mini-GBIC SFP/ Fiber Ethernet Questions

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by Gillbot, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. Gillbot

    Gillbot [H]ardness Supreme

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    I bought a BATM (Telco Systems) T5C (CN) 48 port switch recently and it has two Mini-GBIC slots for Gigabit ethernet, etc. My main questions are:

    Can these be used to link into a server using fiber for a Gbit uplink?

    Are the Mini-GBIC SFP units interchangeable between manufacturers? (I can't find one made by BATM so I'm hoping a generic, IBM, 3com, Cisco or HP one will work)

    Will other manufacturers Mini-GBIC SFP to Copper Gbit adapter possibly work on this unit? (This is my biggest hope as it will be the easiest and eliminate my need to mess with the fiber stuff completely!)

    What kind of cabling and NIC is needed on the server end?

    (I'm a network n00b and I'm trying to learn on my own.) I will probably get equipment from ebay to mess with this thing, I just would like some advice so I don't waste too much money. Like I haven't already if you ask my wife!

    Also, after a few convos on Anandtech, I'm thinking it may be best just to sell this unit off and get one with built in copper gbit ethernet ports. This would be MUCH easier and probably more cost effective in the long run.

    Given the fact that the SFP copper units are skyrocketing on ebay for well over $100 each, and I can get another switch for about that price alone I'll probably have to buck up and just buy one with built in copper.
     
  2. Gillbot

    Gillbot [H]ardness Supreme

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  3. SYN ACK

    SYN ACK [H]ard|Gawd

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    Can these be used to link into a server using fiber for a Gbit uplink?
    Yes, as long as the GBIC modes match up (LX vs SX) and your fiber is correct


    Are the Mini-GBIC SFP units interchangeable between manufacturers? (I can't find one made by BATM so I'm hoping a generic, IBM, 3com, Cisco or HP one will work)
    Yes, for the most part.


    Will other manufacturers Mini-GBIC SFP to Copper Gbit adapter possibly work on this unit? (This is my biggest hope as it will be the easiest and eliminate my need to mess with the fiber stuff completely!)
    Most likely, yes

    What kind of cabling and NIC is needed on the server end?
    If you're doing the SFP fiber mini gbic, then you need to know whether it is SX or LX
    If SX (short) then you need a PCI NIC that is SX
    If LX (long haul) then you need the PCI NIC that is LX (long haul)

    Given the fact that the SFP copper units are skyrocketing on ebay for well over $100 each, and I can get another switch for about that price alone I'll probably have to buck up and just buy one with built in copper.
    Copper GBICs are more expensive than just getting a copper utp switch, yes.

    That's up to you. It's always going to be cheaper to do a switch with built in gig utp ports than to have to buy gbics or mini gbics and populate those. gbics get expensive.



    now keep in mind, if you go SX fiber, you can only use multimode fiber patch cables (50u or 62.5u)

    if you go LX then you can use single mode or multimode
    LX is much more expensive, so try and find a PCI NIC that does 1000Base-SX
    Get some cheap multimode fiber patch cables
    and get a 1000Base-SX Mini Gbic small form factor
     
  4. Gillbot

    Gillbot [H]ardness Supreme

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    Excellent info, THANKS MUCH!
     
  5. SYN ACK

    SYN ACK [H]ard|Gawd

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  6. Gillbot

    Gillbot [H]ardness Supreme

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    My primary concern with fiber is that MOST (if not all) of the cards I've seen are 64 bit PCI. That adds a good bit of cost to my "server" since i'll need to find a mobo that has 64 bit PCI slots and my current plan of using my TUSI-M board and CPU goes out the window.

    I have a few pair of matched PIII's but finding a decent priced dual slot 1 mobo that does 133fsb has been a chore in itself.
     
  7. Fark_Maniac

    Fark_Maniac 2[H]4U

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    synack, that looks like a PCI-x card (I think) and not like a regular PCI card. The OP didn't say what he has available.
     
  8. Gillbot

    Gillbot [H]ardness Supreme

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    I was planning on using my TUSI-M mobo and PIII to make a basic fileserver but I have some matched PIII's around. Finding a mobo to build the server from (that's within my budget of CHEAP) is becoming the hardest part right now.
     
  9. Fark_Maniac

    Fark_Maniac 2[H]4U

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    I think if you want to go gigabit for cheap, you will have to go copper
     
  10. Gillbot

    Gillbot [H]ardness Supreme

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    I understand, but the flip side of that is Copper gigabit switches are expensive! You gotta pay coming or going.

    I may bite the bullet and get one GLC-T which is a SFP to RJ-45 copper adapter. They are pricey but overall I think it'll be the easiest and cheapest way to go.

    I thought of selling my current switch and buying one that had copper gbit ports built in but the prices on those has shot up recently also.
     
  11. Fark_Maniac

    Fark_Maniac 2[H]4U

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  12. Gillbot

    Gillbot [H]ardness Supreme

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    I already own this unit: http://www.telco.com/products/IPswitching/Layer2/T5C/

    I just wanted to add gigabit uplink to it for connection to the server since there will be quite a few users simultaneously accessing it.

    EDIT> I wanted to add copper to it since copper is easier and cheaper until I found out the cost of the copper SFP modules. I then decided fiber would suffice until I found that most fiber cards are 64bit and the cost of a motherboard with 64bit slots is high. I'm just trying to decide which way I want to go, and I'm looking for feedback to help me make the right choice so I don't waste money. I have ZERO experience with fiber, hence my leaning towards copper.
     
  13. Gillbot

    Gillbot [H]ardness Supreme

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    I'm still split on the copper vs. fiber since I'm having a hard time finding a mobo with support for a 64bit 1000baseSX fiber card. Any other thoughts?