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Which 10m+ cable for SFP+ transceivers?

I'm a software dev (not a networking guru) and I'm badly slowed down when transferring big files by my gigabit link between two machines which both have very fast (PCIe 3.0 x4 lanes) SSDs. So I'd like to set up a relatively cheap 10 GBe network between these two machines. No need for a 10 GBe switch (yet). At first I'd like to start with a peer-to-peer link and if all goes fine I may upgrade other stuff to 10 GBe later on too.

I'm using Linux (on both machines concerned) and I saw that the Intel X520 cards / ethernet controller 82599 were very well supported and they seem to be easy to find (including in Europe, where I'm located) so I'd like to go with that.

Now: one machine is in my office room while the rack with the other machine is in my basement. I need something like 18 meters of cable length (huge rooms, need to run the cable along the wall, then through several floors, then along the walls again).

So I take it it has to be fiber?

Network adapters would be Intel X520-DA1 or X520-DA2, SFP+ transceiver would be Intel E10GSFPSR or compatible. The SFP+ transceiver can do both 1000BASE-SX and 10GBASE-SR.

Can I plug something like this into the Intel E10GSFPSR SFP+ transceiver?

15m (49ft) LC UPC to LC UPC Duplex 2.0mm PVC(OFNR) OM3 Multimode Fiber Optic Patch Cable

I'm asking here to the /r/networking gurus because this is all new to me and I want to make sure I buy pieces that are all compatible.

EDIT: I think I broke rule #1 without realizing it. Should have posted this to /r/homelab or something "home networking allowed". Sorry about that.

42% Upvoted
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level 1
esteemed fruit-loop6 points · 7 days ago
level 2
Original Poster1 point · 7 days ago

You mean easier to run alongside the wall? I read the specs and it says passive DAC up to 7m (too short) and active DAC up to 15m. I probably could make it work with 15 m but 18 meters would be more comfortable for me to work with (one room is 6mx4.5m and I already need to run the cable alongside basically both walls, before going through the floor / system ceiling).

Also price ain't really that big of a concern as I'm only starting with peer-to-peer but it's for a SOHO so it doesn't make much sense to put too too much into this. That active DAC 15 meters cables is 65 EUR: so it's, relatively, much more than two SFP+ transceivers + a fiber optic cable.

level 1
1 point · 7 days ago · edited 7 days ago

Yes you can. Your 10G limit as far as length is 300 meters over OM3.

By the way, your reaches are off. 1000Base-SX is 1G but SR is 10000Base and usually referred to as 10G.

Alternatively, you can get 10G RJ45 transceivers to do 10G over Cat6A. The max reach on those is 30 meters but they’re very power hungry.

Generally speaking you won’t find premade SFP+ active twinax 10G cables in lengths longer than 10 meters even though you can do 10G over copper up to that 30m so direct attach cables wouldn’t be ideal in this situation.

Overall, if the fiber is in your budget then I’d go for it.

level 2
Original Poster1 point · 7 days ago

Thanks I edited (should have cut/paster the description instead of copying)... OK price for the cable is very cheap compared to the rest, even for a "long" cable.

So I'll give it a try.

level 3

You should also consider 3rd party CNAs and optics as the OE ones are very expensive and even most 3rd party hardware comes with a lifetime warranty. Once I get my setup going I’ll be doing all 3rd party stuff just because I can’t justify the high cost of the OE parts.

level 1
1 point · 7 days ago

It's cost less by using SFP transceivers plus multimode LC patch cord. If you are not moving the patch cord much, than you can use the patch cord with link posted. If you are moving the cable very often, it's recommended to use tactical LC MM patch cord.

level 1

Just do the Intel cards with some 10GB MMF transceivers from Get a patch cable to the length that you need and call it day.

level 1
Certless1 point · 6 days ago

How about the current network link, is it maxing out the gigabit right now? All this might be wasted of it's not, sometimes more bandwidth isn't always the answer.

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