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Black Box Explains...Media converters that are really switches.

A media converter is a device that converts from one media type to another, for instance, from twisted pair to fiber to take advantage of fiber’s greater range. A traditional... more/see it nowmedia converter is a two-port Layer 1 device that performs a simple conversion of only the physical interface. It’s transparent to data and doesn't “see” or manipulate data in any way.

An Ethernet switch can also convert one media type to another, but it also creates a separate collision domain for each switch port, so that each packet is routed only to the destination device, rather than around to multiple devices on a network segment. Because switches are “smarter” than traditional media converters, they enable additional features such as multiple ports and copper ports that autosense for speed and duplex.

Switches are beginning to replace traditional 2-port media converters, leading to some fuzziness in terminology. Small 4- or 6-port Ethernet switches are very commonly called media converters. In fact, anytime you see a “Layer 2” media converter or a media converter with more than two ports, it’s really a small Ethernet switch. collapse

  • Manual... 
  • Industrial MultiPower Media Converters User Manual
    User Manual for the LIC022A-R2, LIC023A-R2, LIC024A-R2, LIC025A-R2, LIC026A-R2, LIC027A-R2, LIC052A-R2, LIC053A-R2, LIC054A-R2, LIC055A-R2, LIC056A-R2, and LIC057A-R2 (Version 2)
 
  • Manual... 
  • 100 Mbps Economy Crossover Media Converters
    Installation and User Guide (Feb-02)
 
  • Manual... 
  • Hardened Managed Ethernet Switch User Manual
    User Manual for the LEH900 Series, LEH1000 Series, LEH1100, & LEH1200 Series (Version 3)
 

Black Box Explains…SFP compatibility.

Standards for SFP fiber optic media are published in the SFP Multi-Source Agreement, which specifies size, connectors, and signaling for SFPs, with the idea that all SFPs are compatible with... more/see it nowdevices that have appropriate SFP slots. These standards, which also extend to SFP+ and XFP transceivers, enable users to mix and match components from different vendors to meet their own particular requirements.

However, some major manufacturers, notably Cisco®, HP®, and 3Com®, sell network devices with SFP slots that lock out transceivers from other vendors. Because the price of SFPs—especially Gigabit SFPs and 10GBASE SFP+ and XFP transceivers—can add significantly to the price of a switch, this lock-out scheme raises hardware costs and limits transceiver choices.

Many vendors don’t advertise that SFP slots on their devices don’t accept standard SFPs from other vendors. This can lead to unpleasant surprises when a device simply refuses to communicate with an SFP.

Another game that some vendors play is to build devices that accept open-standard SFPs, but refuse to support those devices when SFPs from another vendor are used with them.

The only way around this “lock-in” practice is to only buy network devices that accept standard SFPs from all vendors and to buy from vendors that support their devices no matter whose SFPs are used with them. Questions? Call our FREE Tech Support at 724-746-5500. collapse



  • Manual... 
  • 10BASE-T/100BASE-TX Ethernet extender
    LB300A-R2 and R3 comparison and LED guide (LB300A-R2, LB300A-R3)
 
  • Manual... 
  • Hardened VDSL Ethernet Extender
    Installation and User guide (May-08)
 

Product Data Sheets (pdf)...Standard Media Converter Switches

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