One of the biggest challenges in today’s network environment is navigating compatibility conflicts among multiple platforms. Connecting one closed (proprietary) system to another closed system can be inconvenient and time-consuming. This process of identifying compatible products and working with vendors can greatly lengthen provisioning time and delay turning up new connections. This article examines one common compatibility challenge, and the simple solution that resolves it.

Making Closed Systems “Open Up” to Each Other

In data centers and server rooms, IT professionals often need to connect high-speed servers to access networks via a 10G or 40G top of rack (ToR) Ethernet switch. On the switch side, Cisco is the dominant player in the market, while Intel’s 10G network interface cards (NICs) most commonly populate servers from Dell, HP, and other network platforms. Both switches and cards in this use case operate on proprietary (closed) methodology, which can make links cumbersome to link up.

The solution to this challenge is tremendously simple: direct attach cables, with one side programmed for Cisco compatibility, and the other side programmed for Intel.

If you have a 40G ToR switch, you can use a 4x10G breakout DAC as well:

For more information (including cable lengths and specifications), check out the data sheets for the 10G and 4x10G breakout cables. These products are also available for evaluation; contact us today for more information.

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