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Ethernet vs. Fiber for connecting gigabit switches in same rack.

Posted on 2006-03-22
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I know that for 100 Mb switches it's advantageous to use fiber links.  Should I still be using fiber links to connect 2 gigabit switches, or can I use cheaper copper?
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Question by:nummagumma2
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by:LindyMoff
LindyMoff earned 100 total points
ID: 16258241
Perhaps someone with more direct experience can answer, but I see no problem with using copper for gigabit connections whatsoever in place of fiber.  I know that at HP, fiber is favored only for speeds higher than 1GB now.  I would suggest you consider fiber if you already own the hardware for it or if you need to move to higher speeds in the near future.
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by:rfr1tz
ID: 16258258
You can use copper.

What's the comment about 100Mb switches. You can use copper for that too.

The limitations are really distance limitations. Fiber can go farther.
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by:nummagumma2
ID: 16258352
Our 100Mb Cisco switches are connected to the gigabit switch via fiber, which greatly increases the throughput to the desktops as a result.

Maybe the question isn't clear enough.  I want to cross connect 2 new gigabit switches into our core gigabit switch.  All are fiber capable, but I don't want to waste the $$ if copper will provide the same performance.  My gut tells me that it won't, but I want someone who actually knows to give me advice.
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rfr1tz earned 900 total points
ID: 16258727
You can use copper.

Fiber and copper carry gigabit at the same speed - thus the name gigabit.

The limitations are really distance limitations. Fiber can go farther.

If you have 100 Mb to the desktops, then you of course need something faster between the switches to avoid congestion. But if the switches are in the same rack (i.e. less than 100 meters apart), copper is as good as fiber - speedwise.

Note that gigabit copper uses all eight wires. And if it's a cross over cable, all eight wires are affected. And most people suggest buying gigabit cables rather than making.
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by:nummagumma2
ID: 16259020
Oops.  I mistakenly assigned the Accepted answer - but got the points right. :/
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by:nummagumma2
ID: 16259052
I've requested a correction in the scoring... http://www.experts-exchange.com/Community_Support/Q_21784290.html

Thanks for the help guys/gals.

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