Why Should We Care About 10 Gigabit Ethernet Pluggable Optics?

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All you need to know about XENPAK, X2, and XFP transceivers on Cisco routing and switching products.

Why Should I Care About 10 Gigabit Etherenet Pluggable Optics?

To deploy 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GE) applications across Cisco switching and routing platforms, a system engineer faces a wide range of options in terms of port types for various reaches and media as well as transceiver technologies across Cisco switches and routers.

This quick guide helps you navigate your way through GE technologies on Cisco switches and routers.

Figure 1. Cisco XFP, X2, and XENPAK Transceivers (left to right)

Cisco XFP, X2, and XENPAK Transceivers

10 GE Port Types

To accommodate an ever-growing spectrum of 10 GE applications, Cisco Systems currently supports eight different port types where each technology is cost-optimized for the reach and transmission media demanded by particular 10 GE applications.

Cisco provides three types of hot-pluggable transceivers for 10 GE applications: XENPAK, X2, and XFP. These will interoperate as long as they support the same port type.

three types of hot-pluggable transceivers for 10 GE

1 Refer to Cisco data sheets for details on the reach available on each fiber type: https://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6574/index.html

2 Actual distance will vary depending on the fiber plant characteristics.

Pluggable Optics for 10 GE Applications

The following table shows the most relevant differences among the three transceiver types.

Pluggable Optics for 10 GE Applications

10 GE Pluggable Platform Support

The following table summarizes at a high level which platforms support which pluggable optics. For additional details refer to the hardware and software compatibility matrix posted on Cisco.com: https://www.cisco.com/univercd/cc/td/doc/product/gbic_sfp/10gbxcvr/ol_6974.pdf

10 GE Pluggable Platform Support

What are The Benefits of Cisco 10 GE Pluggable Optics?

Cisco XENPAK, X2, and XFP transceivers are designed and built according to Cisco specifications and are compatible with industry standards known as Multi-Source Agreements (MSAs). Cisco transceivers are designed and tested to provide complete hardware integration with Cisco platforms. Cisco pluggable optics, by undergoing a thorough and extensive qualification process, are certified according to industry-leading standards on quality.


Q & A: What Cisco technical questions Cisco users care about? See some typical Qs that are asked by Cisco fans and users…

Q: How much bandwidth is supported per client over the air interface by the Cisco 1941 router?

A: The Cisco 1900 Series enables deployment in high speed WAN environments with concurrent services enabled up to 25 Mbps. This link is from Cisco website, shows the 1941 router specifications: https://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/routers/ps10538/data_sheet_c78_556319.html

Q: I see there is a 25 Mbps concurrent services the question is how many such concurrent services?

A: That is 1941 router’s throughput bandwidth, up to 25Mbps, the total is 25Mbps. all the clients that link to this router, will share it.

Q: How many IP phones will support Cisco3945-CME-SRST/K9?

A: Regarding C3945-CME-SRST/K9: 3945 UC Bundle w/ PVDM3-64, FL-CME-SRST-25, UC License PAK. This router include PVDM3-64 module, this module shows the support IP phones number. If your IP phone just needs 1 channel & no other device occupy it, then this router support 64pcs IP phones. And need to pay attention to your side switches ports number, it also limit the IP phones number.

Q: What cables to connect XENPAK-1GB-LR to GLC-LH-SM?

A: Need to use: SC-LC-3METER. XENPAK need SC port, GLC need LC port.

Q: I have WS-C3560X-24T-S at hand, but need IP service now, how to get it?

A: You can purchase a license to active IP services on your switch: L-C3560X-24-S-E: C3560X-24 IP Base to IP Services E-License

Q: Need ip services switch 24port+Poe+gigbit

A: This item: WS-C3560X-24P-E: Catalyst 3560X 24 Port PoE IP Services

Q: How to make ASA5510-BUN-K9 have failover function?

A: ASA5510-BUN-K9 + SEC LICENSE have failover function

Q: We have building with 4 floors. In the datacenter we have the Cisco Core Switch 4510 connect to all 3750 switches in the floor through fiber. The modules which are used 1 G. We need to change the module to 10GB but we need to make sure that switches (4510 & 3750) support for 10G SFP module

A: For Cisco ASA 4510, which part number you need? WS-C4510R-E? Then what engine & software configure with it. And for 3750, which part number you need?

Q: We have WS-C4510R-E + WS-X45-SUP6-E + S45EES-15101SG, and WS-C3750G-24TS-S1U

A: For WS-C4510R-E + WS-X45-SUP6-E + S45EES-15101SG, it support 10G modules. Such as: WS-X4606-X2-E: Catalyst 4500 E-Series 6-Port 10GbE (X2). And for WS-C3750G-24TS-S1U, it does not support 10G, need to change to other items. Such as: WS-C3560X-24T-S + C3KX-NM-10G

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