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New Member

10Gb-10Gb cross-device compatibility questions (PHY-connectors)...

Hi, all, in general, I'm a little surprised at all the PHYsical layer standards running 10Gb Ethernet. This seems to have hindered adoption rate substantially. I have been recently getting questions like can I connect this server chassis to this switch device. or can I connect future-proof the switch deployment now so that it will handle 10Gb firewalls when we buy those. And we have some older 6509e chassis with SUP-720, which don't seem to be able to support SFP+ linecards easily. this is pretty confusing, so just wondering if someone has found a document covering all the PHY-layer interoperability gotcha's.

I found this link, which shows the different 10Gb cards/modules for the switches:

And this link, which explains the different L2 connector types



1. What is required for 6509e with VS-SUP720-10G to support SFP+ 10Gb connectors? looks like I need a WS-X6708-10G-3C with a special convertor: CVR-X2-SFP10G? will this WS-X6708-10G-3C run with VS-SUP720-10G?

2. In general, can I always adapt a XenPak/X2 connector to a SFP+ connector somehow with a special dual-end cable?

3. Are there any connector types that will not be compatible with each other? Such as Xenpack wont connect to X2. I could read the matrix, but wondering if anyone ran across any that stick out for them?

4. If I have a cable such as this SFP-H10GB-CU5M=  (SFP+ twinax), will that work to connect up a typical server such as HP proliant with an SFP+ NIC, in almost all cases? one reason I ask is that I see the server guys bringing in their SFP+ Direct Copper cables with premade SFP+ ends, and wondering if those will be fine in most cases connecting up to cisco switch side. Or vice versa, if I use the pre-made cisco cable, will it connect to a server NIC? historically, different vendors didn't play nice with regard to these SFP standards. Does this relegate me to pretty much buying cisco SFP+ connectors in some version of fiber, and connect them to the HP-branded SFP+ fiber connectors?

5. what are the future adoption plans for 10GBASE-T (8P8C). It seems like cisco makes a connector (X2-10GB-T), which looks promising. Is anyone using those? Does anyone think that will become the predominate standard in time, like it has for 1GB connections?


Everyone's tags (1)
New Member

X2-10GB-T is end of life soon

X2-10GB-T is end of life soon.

There is a SFP+ version like

SFP+ 10GBASE-T Direct Attach Media Converter

New Member

I have this dilemma too,

I have this dilemma too, particularly point 4:

Can I use SFP-H10GB-CU3M twinax cable to connect my HP Proliant G8/G9 to my Cisco Catalsyt 2960X / 3850?

Or should/can I use the HP equvivalent of the same cable, X242 / J9283B?

Any advice would be much appreciated!

You should (note: "should")

You should (note: "should") be able to use the Cisco SFP twinax parts for this purpose.  Fortunately the 10G standards seem to be fairly much industry standards now so you "likely" - but I won't promise - that it just will work.

Cisco twinax is reasonably priced too, unlike most of their 10G optics.  A 3M twinax from memory is around $100 or so.  So there really isn't much reason to go elsewhere for them (unlike optic modules where you will save very substantially by buying third party approved - perhaps Cisco have seen the pun intended).

Where Cisco are very much missing a product is in the 10G-T copper line.  However with Twinax being priced as low as it is it just makes sense to go Twinax in almost all cases anyway.

New Member

Thanks Reuben - twinax is

Thanks Reuben - twinax is indeed fairly priced; the HP cable would cost about the same but I guess I'll stick with the Cisco one as servers tend to be less picky than network devices.

Is there such a thing as approved 3rd party optical modules? I have not worked with Cisco for the last 3-4 years and back then it was really frowned upon. What vendors or certificates should I look for?

10GBase-T is practically nonexistent with Cisco, it would be nice to have but as long as we have twinax I am happy. There is this new thing called multigigabit that works over Cat6 - it can go up to 10Gbps but I have a hunch it will not take off as it should and will end up as another poorly adopted quasi-standard. Some Catalyst 3850 switches support it if you want to look into it.