How to Choose the Fiber Optical Solution for Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switch?

We can’t deny the fact that Cisco is one of the most important developers of network devices in the world. They supply a full range of switches including the Nexus, ME, Meraki, Blade, and Catalyst lines. Each of them is designed for unique applications, for example, Catalyst Switches is made for Campus Networks and Nexus Switches for Data Centers. Catalyst 4500-X series switch as one of the intriguing new switch of the catalyst lines, is a cost-effective, fixed aggregation for campus LAN network that brings in 10GbE uplinks. Featured with small size, high scale, this switch is warmly welcomed by overall users. Today’s article will provide some detailed information about this switch, and some advice about how to choose the right optical solutions.

Features of Catalyst 4500-X Series

Cisco-Catalyst-4500-X-3850-Fiber-SwitchesCatalyst 4500-X switch is available in four versions: 40-port, 32-port, 16-port, and 8-port. Cisco offers seven different chassis of the series, namely Catalyst 4500X-16, Catalyst 4500X-24-IPB, Catalyst 4500X-24-ES, Catalyst 4500X-32, Catalyst 4500X-40, Catalyst 4500X-F-16, Catalyst 4500X-F-32. Remember to pick the right one that meets your needs. Compared with the Catalyst 3850 switch (also known as the 3750-X successor), we can clearly see its advantages, which has been displayed in the below part.

  • Cisco Digital Network Architecture

Only Cisco delivers a digital-ready approach that starts at the edge and extends to where applications reside.

  • Platform scalability

The Cisco 4500 offers up to 800 Gbps of switching capacity. It can scale up to 1.6-Tbps capacity and provides resiliency with Virtual Switching System (VSS). VSS refers to a method that can combine two physical switches into one logical switch to achieve physical redundancy, spanning free blocking elimination and increased bandwidth. That means any two Cisco Catalyst 4500-X series switch can be pooled together into a VSS.

  • High availability

Simplify network deployment and management with easy virtual networks (EVN). 4500-X also reduces energy costs. Furthermore, device resiliency features such as redundant hot-swappable fans, power supplies, and AC to DC failover and vice versa remove single points of failure in the network.

  • Application monitoring

Get enhanced application monitoring through Flexible NetFlow and 8 ports of line rate bidirectional Switched Port Analyzer (SPAN)/Remote Switched Port Analyzer (RSPAN). Cisco IOS XE Software provides the ability to host third-party applications.

  • Security

Enhance security with support for Cisco TrustSec and Flexible NetFlow technologies.

  • Simplified operations

The 4500-X offers support for Smart Install Director. Customers gain a single point of management for zero-touch deployment of new switches and stacks in campus and branch networks.

How to Choose Optical Solutions for Catalyst 4500-X?

As noted before, the 4500-X ports support both SFP+ 10GbE optics and 1GbE modules. No matter what type of Catalyst 4500-X series switch you use, you will face the same problem of how to select the right one. The following image shows a 32-port chassis catalyst 4500-X series switch (front view).

1—UID LED and switch combination
6—USB ports
7—The 16 port version of the chassis does not have the block of 16 ports on the right side of the front panel.
8—Port status LEDs
9—8-port uplink module (Included as part of the WS-C4500X-24ES and WS-C4500X-40ES chassis; available as an optional upgrade on the other Catalyst 4500-X series chassis)

As noted before, each Ethernet port requires either an SFP or SFP+ transceiver be installed to operate. The common used pluggable modules include the three types—copper cable with RJ45 connector, direct attached cable and the pluggable transceiver module with the fiber patch cable. Before making the move, it is necessary for us to review the basic knowledge of the fiber optic transceiver (SFP and SFP+), DAC cables and fiber patch cable that are available for Catalyst 4500-X switch.

Cisco SFP and SFP+ Optical Transceivers

Fiber optic transceiver is a device that comprises both a transmitter and receiver of analog or digital signals. It is usually inserted into optical devices like switch, router or network interface cards which provide one or more transceiver module slot. Cisco SFP modules and SFP+ optical transceivers are available in a different standard. The following table has listed some of them, which you might want to have a look at it.

Available Cisco SFPs for Catalyst 4500-X Series Switch

Available Cisco SFP+ for Catalyst 4500-X Series Switch

Fiber Optic Patch Cables

Fiber Patch Cable, also known as fiber jumper or fiber optic patch cord is designed to interconnect or cross-connect fiber networks within structured cabling systems. According to fiber cable mode, cable structure or connector types etc., fiber patch cable can be divided into different types. But remember that your fiber patch cables should always be compliant with the existing optical transceivers. For instance, LC-LC multimode patch cord can be only used on the multimode optical transceivers (1000BASE-SR SFP or 10GBASE-SR SFP+). If you have no idea about this, it is advisable that you talk to your supplier.

SFP+ Cables

‘SFP+ Cables” is a cost-effective solution for users in the telecom field. It usually comes in DAC and AOC cable types. This fiber optical solution is suitable for short link applications within racks and across adjacent racks. Compared with the optical transceivers based system, it is inexpensive and more convenient. The available SFP+ cables are listed in the below chart.

Fiberstore Fiber Optic Transceivers & Fiber Patch Cable Solutions

To sum up, in order to find the perfect fiber optic solution for your network, firstly you need to understand your needs and consult with your vendors, then purchase all the available equipment within the budget.

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