A Quick Overview of Cisco 1000BASE-T GLC-T SFP Copper Module

Updated on Mar 7, 2018 by

1000BASE-T, also known as IEEE 802.3ab, is a standard for Gigabit Ethernet over unshielded copper cabling with a maximum length of 100 meters. Server switching in data centers, 1000BASE-T uplink application between network switches, and desktop PCs for broadband applications have benefited greatly from the 1000BASE-T standard over the past years. To deliver high-performance Ethernet networking, many network giants like Cisco, providing 1000BASE-T RJ45 SFP module which is also known as GLC-T SFP for better copper wiring over the existing copper infrastructures. In today’s 1000BASE-T RJ45 SFP transceiver module market, Cisco GLC-T SFP still occupies an absolute advantage.

glc-t sfp

Cisco GLC-T SFP Transceiver Basis

Cisco industry-stand 1000BASE-T GLC-T SFP module is a hot-swappable input/output copper transceiver which operates on Cat5 wiring of up to 100m link length. And it supports 10/100/1000 auto negotiation, auto MDI/MDIX and compliant with a variety of transmitter and receiver types. By delivering a complete Gigabit on copper networking solution, Cisco 1000BASE-T copper SFP modules provide a convenient and cost-effective solutions for data center switches and 1000BASE-T network connections. Here is the datasheet of Cisco GLC-T SFP copper module.

Optical Module


Vendor Name


Cable Type


Max Data Rate




Max Cable Distance


Temperature Range

0 to 70℃ (32 to 158℉)

DOM Support


Cabling Solution for Cisco GLC-T SFP Copper Module

As we can see from the GLC-T SFP datasheet, this copper module comes with RJ45 connector. Though Cisco GLC-T 1000BASE-T SFP work with unshielded RJ45 cat5 Ethernet cable at present, which can be found from its official announcement file. However, the IEEE 802.3ab has defined Gigabit Ethernet transmission over unshielded twisted pair (UTP) cat5, cat5e, cat6, and even cat7 cables. Here are the cable specifications.

Patch Cable Type Shielding Type Data Rate Support Transmission Distance Frequency Bandwidth
Cat5e UTP 1000Mbps 100m 100MHz
Cat6 UTP 1000Mbps/Max 10Gbps 100m 250MHz
Cat6a UTP 1000Mbps/10Gbps 100m 500MHz
Cat7 UTP 1000Mbps/10Gbps 100m 600MHz

Compatible Switch Model for Cisco GLC-T SFP Copper Module

Cisco copper RJ45 SFP transceiver module is supported across a variety of Cisco networking equipment. That’s one reason why these modular copper modules are popular among users though its price is high. Here is part switch models that support Cisco GLC-T SFP. For more detail about compatible switch model, please visit the Cisco Gigabit Ethernet Transceiver Modules Compatibility Matrix.

Cisco switch module support 1000BASE-T GLC-T SFP
Nexus 5000 N5K-C5020P-BF WS-X4516-10GE
N5K-C5548P-FA N3K-C3548P-10G
N5K-C5010P-BF N3K-C3524P-10GX
WS-C4500X-24X-ES N9K-C9372PX-E
WS-C3560-8PC N9K-C9372PX
WS-C3850-48XS N9K-C9396PX
C3850-NM-4-1G uplink module WS-C3750X-24T
WS-C3750X-48P Cisco ME 2400

Common Questions about Cisco GLC-T SFP

Even if Cisco GLC-T SFP copper modules are widely used in various applications, there are still problems confused numbers of users when they buying Cisco 1gb SFP RJ45 modules. So the mostly common questions are listed here for your preference.

Q: 1000BASE-T GLC-T SFP has shorter distance than other 1000BASE-X modules, but has higher price, why should I buy GLC-T SFP?

In data centers or other networks, there is often need to connect 1000BASE-T gigabit switch to gigabit SFP switches, GLC-T SFP copper modules are necessary to achieve such type of connections. Read this article to know more about 1000BAS-T switch with SFP port interconnection methods

Q: Can the 1000BASE-T SFP transceivers auto-negotiate with a lower data rate?

Cisco 1000BASE-T GLC-T SFP copper module supports 10/100/1000 auto negotiation. But not all compatible 1000BASE-T SFP supports this function. Confirm with your sales rep when buying compatible Cisco GLC-T SFP if you need it.

Q: GLC-T vs. GLC-TE vs SFP-GE-T: what’s the difference?

GLC-T, GLC-TE and SFP-GE-T are three types of Cisco 1000BASE-T RJ45 SFP modules. When users buying these 1000BASE-T SFP copper modules, they maybe confused: “since they are nearly the same, which one should I buy?” These copper modules come with RJ45 connector and support 100 meters over cat5 cable. Before defining the differences between them, let’s make sense of their specifications.

SFP Module Description Operating Temperature
GLC-T 1000BASE-T SFP Copper RJ45 100m Transceiver COM
GLC-TE 1000BASE-T SFP Copper RJ45 100m Transceiver EXT
SFP-GE-T 1000BASE-T SFP Copper RJ45 100m Transceiver NEBS 3 ESD EXT

As we can see from the table, the main difference between GLC-T, GLC-TE and SFP-GE-T is the operating temperature range. The “COM” and “EXT”stands for different temperature range.

 Commercial temperature range (COM): 0 to 70℃ (32 to 158°F)
 Extended temperature range (EXT): -5 to 85℃ (23 to 185°F)

NEBS is short for Network Equipment Building System and it is a set of standards for building networking equipment which can withstand a variety of environmental stresses. Usually there are three levels:

 Level 1 refers to cases where the minimum compatibility with the environment is needed.
 Level 2 applies for limited operability of the product.
 Level 3 (NEBS 3 ESD) certification guarantees the maximum operability of the equipment. It also certifies that the equipment will perform well in harsh environmental conditions and will not interfere with other electronic devices around.

That is to say, compared with GLC-T and GLC-TE, SFP-GE-T can bear greater stresses with less likelihood of failure, and are therefore a bit more trustworthy in truly mission-critical applications. That explains why SFP-GE-T is more expensive than GLC-T and GLC-TE SFP.

Q: Can I use the Cisco GLC-T SFP in SFP+ port?

Usually most Cisco RJ45 SFP module can be plugged in SFP+ port on Cisco switches. For example, the Cisco WS-C3850-12XS switch has 12 SFP+ ports. According to Cisco transceiver compatible matrix, it also supports 1000BASE-T GLC-T SFP and SFP-GE-T SFP module.

Q: Does the brand of 1000BASE-T SFP matters?

It depends on what the users demand. Some user may have a bias on third-party compatible 1000BASE-T SFP copper modules due to one or two bad purchase experience. However, most users think, in essence, there is no difference between compatible 1000BASE-T GLC-T SFP transceiver module and Cisco GLC-T SFP copper module on performance. That’s one reason why they choose compatible Cisco GLC-T SFP.

Price Comparison: Cisco GLC-T SFP vs FS.com Compatible GLC-T SFP

There are various reliable third party 1000BASE-T RJ45 SFP transceiver module suppliers in the optical transceiver market, FS.com is one of them. When it comes to buying GLC-T SFP, price is one important factor to consider for many users. Because seeking for the balance between SFP price and quality is essential when the cost should be taken into consideration.

SFP Module Cisco 1000BASE-T SFP FS.com Compatible 1000BASE-T SFP
GLC-T $ 450 $ 21
GLC-TE $ 450 $ 21
SFP-GE-T $ 450 $ 21

From the comparison, we can see the price of Cisco 1000BASE-T GLC-T SFP module is ten times higher than that of FS.com ones. Someone may worry about the quality of compatible RJ45 copper SFP. But in fact there is no difference between OEM GLC-T SFP and compatible GLC-T SFP copper modules. Same quality, same performance with much lower price, why not choose the latter one? Read this article to know why OEM gigabit RJ45 copper SFP has higher price: Isn’t Compatible Module Better Than OEM Module?.

Why Choose FS.com Compatible GLC-T SFP Transceiver Module?

Except for price, another vital factor affecting 1000BASE-T SFP copper module section is the compatibility. There are numerous reliable vendors can choose from, why choose FS.com compatible GLC-T SFP transceiver module?

As a third-party SFP vendor, FS.com understand what its customer need and care about—compatibility and interoperability of each optics. FS.com sets up an optical module test center which is supported by a variety of mainstream original brand switches, such as Cisco, Dell, Arista, Brocade, etc. To ensure our customers' needs of high performance, all SFP transceivers are tested multiple times in mainstream original brand switches in our test center before shipped out. For more details, please visit FS.com Test Assured Program

Related article:

A Quick Overview of Cisco GLC-LH-SM SFP Module

How Many Types of SFP Transceivers Do You Know

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