Fibre Connector Types and GBICs

KaminskyKaminsky Member Posts: 1,235
Found a nice link that briefly explains some of the different types of fibre connectors you can come across in the real world.
Whether you are using Multi Mode or Single Mode fibre, you will find these types of connectors hanging off either end.

Remember also that the fibre terminator type must be matched at the GBIC (Gigabit Interface Converter - [these hike the price right up btw]) you have bought to slot into the interface. These usually slot into the router so it can handle that fibre's input at the fibre's speed. These terminators do not have to match at either end and are usually of different types depending on what type of connector is required on the recieving device. Typically SC (for internal patching) to LC (in the router)

The more modern types of GBIC are Small Form Factor which are about 1cm wide and 2/3rds of a cm high and fit almost flush into the router. Read about these here. ... very nice link this one (this you should learn for everyday on the job work)

The older types of GBIC you may rarely see are chunky little beasts in comparison that protrude from the front of the router slots by about 1in-1.5in. Still work but I think, are no longer supported. (so if you have twenty of them sitting in a box in the spares cabinet like I have, tough nougies.. icon_sad.gif £700 a pop too! Glad I inherrited this job) Those older routers that those of you who have your own labs have wondered what goes in those 1.5 in silver slots...... old stylee GBIC !

Typically, the service provider will terminate to a fiber link to an NTE (Network Termiation Equipment /sigh) and then you use internal fibre patching via SC connected fibers (sometimes they are seperate and sometimes they are connected rx/tx in a flat square plastic casing) until you reach the router where (maybe just in my data center) the fibre is typically terminated to an LC connector so that it clicks into an LC gbic on the router. Voila! WAN Fibre speed to the network.

After that you can decide to drop down to copper for the switch and onwards, or if you have the megabucks, go the way of the rich middle eastern coutries and carry on fiber to the PC NIC (seriously, they are leading the way in this ... bloody UK contractors). However, internal Cat5e/6 from the switch onwards is usually more than fast enough enough to get the customer site to their servers.


  • nelnel Member Posts: 2,859 ■□□□□□□□□□

    Nice little right up there. It will be useful for those who havent come across much fibre. Possible post to be added to the FAQ? :D
    Xbox Live: Bring It On

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  • TalicTalic Member Posts: 423
    Wouldn't GBIC be more correct if it was GbIC? Since the capital B is used for bytes rather then bits?
  • JohnDouglasJohnDouglas Member Posts: 186
    another point, doing forget that cisco has two broad types of SFP

    GLC-SX-MM or GLC-LH-SM or GLC-ZX-SM for non-dense cards like 4 port gige cards or your gige ports on say a 3560 switch. then there's teh SFP-GE-S etc for denser cards like a 10 port gige spa. they can cope with higher operating temperatures apparently.

    also, i don't think i've ever personally seen a telco provide an SC or LC handoff. i've only ever seen FCPC, the round connector type. the IP team are considered

    incidentally that packet life has a good poster for connector types - they confused the hell out of me during my early comms years.

  • KaminskyKaminsky Member Posts: 1,235
    Nice poster and nice site .. thanks for that one JD
  • ptlinvaptlinva Member Posts: 125
    I'm wanting to purchase some GBIC's for (3) of my home lab switches just to play around with them...

    However, I'm a bit confused on the types of GBIC's and a different fibers that can be used.

    1. Will the same GBIC work in both the 2948g switch and the 2950g switch? What about the 3550?

    2. Any recommendations for a part number or name I should be searching for on Ebay?

    3. What about the type of fiber? A name/type would be great!

    Thank you gentlemen (and ladies)..!!
  • KaminskyKaminsky Member Posts: 1,235
    I am using some (4) old 1000Base-T WS-G5483 for copper trunks and a pair of 1000Base-SX 850nm Laser modules for a MM fiber trunk. (remember to get the module for your media .. Multi Mode or Single Mode)

    These fit into the standard GBic port on switches but you could look up Cisco to check whether they are compatible with your switch. I've never had a problem with these. Once they are in (not hot swappable) they are just another port and need no configuration.

    Both these modules are really cheap on Ebay if you ignore the rediculous £80-£100 buy it now prices. Typically < £20 each.
  • ptlinvaptlinva Member Posts: 125
    Yes, I'm searching away as I type this... You've definately guided me in the right direction! :)

    I do notice a few auctions that come with the fiber cable that seem interesting.

    Thanks for taking the time to reply. I really do appreciate it.

    Your friend,
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