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I have some spare Fiber Channel SFP+ transceivers (8G and 10G) available. Is it possible to use them in an SFP+ Ethernet card (10G)?

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  • Please clarify your specific problem or provide additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it's hard to tell exactly what you're asking.
    – Community Bot
    Feb 21 at 11:34
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    What does your own research show? Are these Fibre Channel SFP+'s supported in your Ethernet card by its manufacturer? Have you tried them? BTW Ethernet and Fibre Channel are completely different protocols. At the signalling level 10Gb FC and 10Gb Ethernet share the same encoding (64b/66b),
    – StarCat
    Feb 21 at 13:35
  • @StarCat I can't do my own research because I don't have any 10Gb ethernet hardware yet. It's just a matter of "terrain survey", if anyone has done something like this, and if there is a possibility that it will work. I don't need a rock solid answer, rather an opinion and consultation.
    – Jolinar
    Feb 21 at 13:58
  • If you want to play with 10Gbit HW, try modern 10Gbit NICs and cat 6 or better cable. If you like to play with SPF+, try what I did. Mellanox X2 cards (CHEAP on ebay, about EUR 30 per set of 2), some direct attached SPF+ cable (19EUR for 30cm, USD 50 for 5m), and a switch (2xSPF+, 4x 2.5Gbit Ethernet) for about EUR 90). Fun (and my components arrived last week). But for future proofing at 10Gbit ignore SPF(+).
    – Hennes
    Feb 21 at 15:51

1 Answer 1

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Yes - in theory.

First, wavelengths need to match. Both side needs to use either 850 nm (1000BASE-SX or 10GBASE-SR) with multi-mode fiber, or 1310 nm (1000BASE-LX or 10BASE-LR) with single-mode fiber.

Second, the transceivers need to support the required speed. While 1000BASE-X runs at 1.25 Gbit/s physical rate, 10GBASE-R runs at 10.3125 Gbit/s. So, a 8GFC transceiver may or may not work (reliably) with 10 Gbit/s Ethernet.

Third, your Ethernet NIC needs to support arbitrary transceivers. SFP modules contain a small EEPROM that holds information about make, type, compatibility etc. Some NICS require you to use a supported brand (vendor lock-in) and type SFP+ - then you're outa luck - and only some NICs don't care and actually accept FC transceivers.

I'd advise getting a working set NIC+SFP unless you want to spend considerable time and possibly money hunting down usable NICs and returning them when they don't work.

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  • The way I'm reading it, OP wants to have FC transceivers on both ends of the connection.
    – Daniel B
    Mar 3 at 21:51
  • @DanielB Possibly, but still the NICs need to accept them.
    – Zac67
    Mar 3 at 22:06

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