10GBase-T vs SFP+, Which Is Better for Building 10G Home Network Lab?

As we all know, 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) can be offered in optical and copper links which may be achieved through 10GBase-T copper switches and SFP+ fiber switches. Thus IT managers often face the challenge of selecting an appropriate 10G physical media when building their 10G home network labs. This post will discuss 10GBase-T vs SFP+, which is better for building a 10G home network lab.

10GBase-T or SFP+

10GBase-T vs SFP+: 10GBase-T Solution

Lower Price—10GBase-T port switch is available in 2008 and continues to develop and spread rapidly as it is an add-on for server platforms. Now many server and storage devices are equipped with 10GBase-T Port ports. This increase in proliferation helps to drive down the cost of 10GBase-T technology. Thus the price of 10GBase-T port switch is dramatically dropped down. It is said that the cost of 10GBase-T Port ToR switch is 20% to 40% less than that of SFP+ ToR switch.

10G transceiver

Backwards Compatibility—10GBase-T Port is an interoperable, standards-based technology, which means it uses the similar RJ45 connector as in legacy networks. So it can provide backwards compatibility with legacy networks via auto-negotiation. In other words, 10GBase-T requires the newer Cat 7 or Cat 6a to reach 100 meters, but can also work on Cat 6, Cat 5e, or even Cat 5 cable at reduced distances. SFP+ technology does not support auto-negotiation and is limited with little or no backwards compatibility.

10GBASE-T-NIC

More Scalable—As 10GBase-T port switch uses Cat6a cable for transmission, IT managers can use Cat6a patch cords for short connections, or make the best use of structured cabling for up to 100 m long distance transmission. This allows managers to field terminate Cat6a cables on patch panels to flexible length for clean, slack-free cable management. While in Home-labs, for economic reasons, SFP+ DACs are the commonly used cable types which offer less than a 10 meter distance.

10GBase-T switch Recommendation
Switch Model Port Price
Cisco SG350XG-2F10 Ten 10GBase-T Port

Two 10G SFP+ Port

$1,499.59 From Amazon
D-Link DXS-1100-10TS Eight 10GBase-T Port

Two 10G SFP+ Port

$784.50 From Amazon
NETGEAR XS708E-200NES Eight 10GBase-T Port

One Combo 10G SFP+ Port

$680.99 From Amazon

10GBase-T vs SFP+: 10G SFP+ Solution

Less Power Consumption—Although the power consumption of 10GBase-T port server and switch ports has been lowered down to 1.5 Watts to 4 Watts per port depending on distance, SFP+ interface continues to use less power—typically less than 1 Watts per port.

Lower Latency—SFP+ offers typically about 0.3 microseconds latency per link for its simplified electronics. While 10GBase-T latency is about 2.6 microseconds per link due to more complex encoding schemes within the equipment.

10GBase-T vs SFP+

Suit for High-Speed Application—Since SFP+ has the advantages of low power consumption and low latency, it is very suitable for large high-speed super-computing applications where latency is a critical factor and where high port counts can add up to significant power savings.

10G SFP+ Switch Recommendation
Switch Model Port Price
Cisco WS-C3850-12XS-S Twelve SFP/SFP+ Port $3,921.00 From Amazon
D-Link DXS-1210-12SC Ten 10G SFP+ Port

Two RJ45/SFP+ Combo

$955.05 From Amazon
Ubiquiti US-16-XG Twelve SFP+ Port

Four 10GBase-T port

$512.56 From Amazon

10GBase-T vs SFP+: Which Will You Choose for Your 10G Home Network Lab?

Before building a 10G home-lab, you should consider your needs carefully. if cost, flexibility and scalability are more critical for you, 10GBase-T solution may be your best choice, If you want to lower power consumption and latency, you’d better choose SFP+ solution. The following chart lists the cost comparison when using Cisco Switches to deploy 10G networks:

10GBase-T Solution SFP+ Solution
Cisco Switch Price SG350XG-2F10

$1,499.59 From Amazon

WS-C3850-12XS-S

$3,921.00 From Amazon

Cable Cost Cat6a Cable: $ 3.40 From FS.COM Cisco SFP+ DAC: Least $ 9.50 From FS.COM

Cisco SFP+ Module: Least $ 16.00 From FS.COM

LC Fiber Cable: Least $ 2.60 From FS.COM

Total Least $ 1502.99 Least $ 3930.5

To conclude, 10GBase-T solution is much cheaper than SFP+ solution. However, SFP+ solution can drive signals across fiber optic cables from 300m to 80km, much longer that the 100m of 10GBase-T solution. Further more, 10GBase-T is more suitable for traditional structured wiring while SFP+ is a very good match for future network design. So 10GBase-T vs SFP+, which will you choose for your 10G home network lab?

Related Articles:
SFP+ DACs vs 10GBASE-T SFP+
Choose 10GBASE-T Copper Over SFP+ for 10G Ethernet
Cat6a or SFP+ DAC, Which is better Used as 10G Stack Cable?