A Simple Guide to 40G Data Center Solutions

Updated on Jan 20, 2023 by

The legacy network infrastructure is not capable enough for data centers to deal with a huge amount of traffic. So more and more data centers are upgrading from 10G networking to 40G networking by deploying 40G data center solutions. This article acts as a simple guide to 40G data center solutions. It explains why you need 40G data center solutions and what products are needed.

Why 40G Data Center Solutions?

In the past couple of years, the ever-increasing data traffic has made it impossible for the 10G/25G Ethernet transmission to meet the demands of data centers regarding larger bandwidth and higher speed data transmission. There is no doubt that 40G Ethernet is maturing and becoming increasingly popular as more and more users opt to deploy 40G data center solutions for data center interconnection.


     " Also check - 25G vs 40G Ethernet: How to Choose?


By combining existing Ethernet technologies and interfaces with the new technology, 40G data center solutions can deliver faster data transfer speeds. Thus, solving complex tasks in data centers will be less time-consuming.

40G Data Center Solutions Explained

The 40G data center solution is a good choice for long-haul transmission and switch-to-switch transmission. In addition, it will be suitable for data centers that require high-bandwidth and low-latency transmissions, especially for those with large virtualized virtual machines and container pools, so as to meet the needs of users.


     " Also check - Why FS Data Center Switches


In a typical 40G data center solution, 10G switches are connected to rackmount servers using 10G SFP+ transceivers. 40G switches act as spine switches in the 40G data center architecture (pictured below). The overall switching capacity of a 40G Ethernet switch might be much higher depending on the total number of ports and the power of the switching fabric itself.

In such architecture, 10G SFP+ modules, 40G QSFP+ modules, and cabling systems will be utilized to enable data transfer. The following figure shows a typical 40G data center solution.

40G data center solution

What Products are needed?

The following network products are indispensable if data centers plan to upgrade legacy data center architecture from 10G to 40G.

40G QSFP+ Modules

40G QSFP+ modules use 4 independent 10Gbps data lanes in each direction to support 40Gbps aggregate bandwidth. QSFP+ has been widely used in 40GBASE-X Ethernet, breakout to 10GBASE-X Ethernet, data center aggregation and backplane applications, and datacom switch and router connections. There is a variety of 40G transceivers currently available on the market, including 40GBASE-SR4, 40GBASE-LR4, 40GBASE-ER4, 40GBASE-CSR4, 40GBASE-PLRL4, etc.

40G Switches

40G Ethernet switch usually comes with a bunch of SFP+, SFP28, QSFP+, and QSFP28 hybrid ports. They are commonly used in data center applications as core or spine/aggregation layer switches. The overall switching capacity of a 40G Ethernet switch might be much higher depending on the total number of ports and the power of the switching fabric itself.

MTP®/MPO Cables

MTP®/MPO cables are composed of MTP/MPO connectors and optical fibers. MTP®/MPO connectors have a female type (without pins) or a male one (with pins). MTP®/MPO connectors largely increase the cable density and save circuit card and rack space. Thus, MTP®/MPO cables are well suited for current 40G/100G cabling and future network speed upgrades.


     " Also check - MTP/MPO Cables: What Are They and How to Use Them?


OM1/OM2/OM3/OM4/OM5 Multimode Cables

Multimode fiber is a common choice to achieve 10 Gbit/s speed over distances required by LAN enterprise and data center applications. There are several kinds of multimode fiber types available for high-speed network installations, including OM1, OM2, OM3, OM4, and OM5. Each has a different reach and data-rate capability.


     " Also check - Multimode Fiber Types: OM1 vs OM2 vs OM3 vs OM4 vs OM5



The increasing number of networking applications and traffic pushes data centers to evolve from old fabric to new fabric. More and more data centers will choose to upgrade from 10G networking to 40G or even 100G networking. 40G data center solutions will be a good choice for the long-haul and switch-to-switch transmission, making them suitable for large enterprises and data centers requiring high-bandwidth and low-latency transmissions.

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