Fiber glass cable VS cat5e

I have a question regarding the advantages if any in connecting up two switches in the same rack (1 meter cable needed) with fiber glass. I have a choice to use a fibre cable or using a a cat 5e (SFP interconnect) on sfp ports of a cisco switch 3560.

What do I gain using fiber on this short distance. All comments appreciated.

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i guess it depends on how fast the ports are, if it's a gigabit+ port i think a fiber cable could be good. since it's just only one meter long it won't cost much. the thing with fiber optic cables are that there's a limit to how much you can bend them...
advantages includes less noise and interference which would lead to..faster throughput.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
One thing I can point to... Fiber cable is not subject to electrical interference - think of how much electrical interference there might be in that area
Istvan KalmarHead of IT Security Division Commented:

Coppper SFP is cheaper than Oprical SX, if you don't want to separeate booth switches electriocaly you not need optical patch
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Erik BjersPrincipal Systems AdministratorCommented:
among other benefits fiber has much higher data transfer rates than CAT5 or CAT6 for instance you can get 10GB fiber links between the switches, if you use two of these in a trunk then you can have 20GB between your switches.

I guess the question you have to ask yourself is "What is on the two switches and how much data will need to go through the link between them?"  If you are planing on putting the servers on one switch and the computers on the other then Fiber will give you more capability for capacity expansion in the future.  If you are never going to have a large network than two 1GB links between the switches may be sufficient.

In most cases on large or medium networks you would use fiber to interconnect your switches as this gives you the most bandwidth though it can be expensive.

I guess before I can give a definitive answer;
1) what is going to be connected to each switch (type and count of systems)
2) how is your budget
3) will there be growth


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HuwaAuthor Commented:

Basically on the two switches in question there will be mostly clients (laptop/desktop & cisco phones users (POE)). The switches come with 4 sfp ports, 1 of the 4 sfp ports on each switch would be used to connect the switches, which would leave me with 6 free sfp ports, where i planned to plug servers into. We can take it for granted all 48 ports will be used on both switches.

Growth yes eventually, (At the moment the setup is so, 1*3750 24 port layer 3 switch with 2 sfp ports, 2*3560 48 ports, both with 4 sfp, each 3560 is plugging into the 3750 sfp port. The 3750 is stackable, so we have a choice in the future for growth, 1. Buy a stackable 48 port 3750 for future clients, or 2. buy another 3560 and connect it too 1 of the 3560 switches that we have already over a sfp port.

These are POE switches and alot of these ports have desktops/phones

If the 3560 only support the following:

• 1000BASE-T ports: RJ-45 connectors, four-pair Category 5 UTP cabling
• 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports: RJ-45 connectors, four-pair Category 5 UTP cabling
• 1000BASE-SX, -LX/LH, -ZX, and CWDM SFP-based ports: LC fiber connectors (single/multimode fiber)
• Cisco Catalyst 3560 SFP Interconnect Cable: two-pair shielded cabling, 50 cm

Budget : Well fibre was bought LC/LC, and it is been asked, why fibre and not the cheap interconnected cable, since it is also 1gb fiber does not over any better speeds as fibre/ethernet are both 1000 base.

Erik BjersPrincipal Systems AdministratorCommented:
Points should be split
:) We are talking here if it is worth to spend 25$ to interconnect two 2800$ switches instead of 5$ for UTP cable.
All of answers are theoretically correct, but they have not took into account facts posted in question.
- Interference in 1m long cable is not worth to mention.
- it is quite impossible to electrically separate equipment in the same rack.
- max speed of Cisco Catalyst C3560 switch spf modules is 1Gbps.

If the length of cable should be longer I would suggest to compare Cat6e or Cat7 cable (which are rated/tested for 700-1000Mbps) to FO cable. Cat 5e is rated at 350Mbps. But for so short cable there is really no noticeable difference whatever cable you choose.
If the C3560 switches could be stackable as C3750, I would suggest you to put them in stack. 32Gbps interconnect is a little better that 1Gbps uplink.

For closing recommendation I'm leaning toward 1) delete/refund.

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