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I'm contemplating a 10 Gigabit link between an Intel x520 NIC and a Cisco SG500X switch. These two would be within 5m of one another, so using one of the Cisco SFP+ passive Direct Attach cables like the SFP-H10GB-CUxM seems an obvious choice.

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I'm new to spec'ing SFP components. It's not obvious to me how to determine that the Intel NIC is compatible with this cable and switch. The Cisco switch supports the Cisco cable. The Cisco cable is SFF-8431 compliant and so is the Intel NIC. However, I'm not sure that's sufficient for this to work.

What is the correct way to determine compatibility?

  • the most direct approach... plug it in and see. I don't know that intel has a "tested and works" list of components. – Ricky Beam Sep 30 '13 at 20:13
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I usually check the Cisco Gigabit Ethernet Transceiver Modules Compatibility Matrix and the 10-Gigabit Ethernet Transceiver Modules Compatibility Matrix. However, none of them contains any reference to SG500X

Anyway: regarding the switch, SFP-H10GB-CUxM is listed in the datasheet of the 500 Series as an option for 10G connectivity, so you should have no problem to attach it to the switch. Regarding the NIC, its specification states it supports standard SFF-8431 and according to 10-Gigabit Ethernet Transceiver Modules Compatibility Matrix the SFP-H10GB-CUxM does also support SFF-8431 (as you can see next), so they should be able to work toghether.

Regulatory and Standards Compliance

Standards:

• GR-20-CORE: Generic Requirements for Optical Fiber and Optical Fiber Cable

• GR-326-CORE: Generic Requirements for Single-Mode Optical Connectors and Jumper Assemblies

• GR-1435-CORE: Generic Requirements for Multifiber Optical Connectors

• IEEE 802.3: 10-Gigabit Ethernet

• ITU-T G.709: Interfaces for the Optical Transport Network

• ITU-T G.975: GFEC

• ITU-T G.975.1: EFEC

• SFP+ MSA SFF-8431 (Optical Modules, Active Optical Cables, and Passive Twinax cables)

• SFP+ MSA SFF-8461 (Active Twinax cables)

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