Data centers continue to grow in importance for the IT infrastructure of companies of all sizes, whether startups or large corporations. This growth in data centers is mainly because of the proliferation of cyber security threats and the growing need for companies to have a robust infrastructure. DAC and AOC are two commonly used cables in data centers today. Understanding the differences between DAC and AOC cables helps IT managers make an informed choice. This blog will learn about the different DAC and AOC cable types, determine the suitable cable, and choose the correct cable.
What is a DAC cable?
A direct-attached cable (DAC) is a copper cable with connectors on both ends. The connectors usually have a latch mechanism or other way of preventing the connections from accidentally pulling loose. A DAC cable is designed to be used inside a rack to interconnect devices that are generally not rack-mounted. These devices include network switches, servers, and storage. DAC cables are called direct-attached because they are designed to be attached directly to the device used to interconnect. They are also called “Twinax” cables because they consist of two twisted pairs of copper wires, commonly called “Twinax” cables.
What are the DAC cable types?
There are two types of direct attach cables: passive DAC and active DAC. A passive DAC cable is one without signal conditioning to send data. This type of cable is less expensive than an active DAC cable. An active DAC cable contains electric components that amplify the signal. This signal is constantly compared to the sent data, and any changes are detected and corrected. The active DAC cable is much more expensive, but the improved signal can be helpful for applications such as long distances and high-resolution audio.
Based on the data rate and connector type, the DAC cable is typically available in the following configurations: 10G SFP+ DAC cable, 25G SFP28 DAC cable, 40G QSFP+ DAC cable, 56G QSFP+ DAC cable, 100G QSFP28 DAC cable, 200G QSFP56 DAC cable, 400G QSFP-DD DAC cable, 40G DAC Breakout Cable, 56G DAC Breakout Cable, 100G DAC Breakout Cable, 200G DAC Breakout Cable, 400G DAC Breakout Cable.
What is an AOC cable?
AOC cables are also known as active optical cables. They are multimode fiber optic cables with connectors on both ends and are typically used to connect the network equipment to the network termination device. It has a transmitter and a receiver built inside the cable, which converts electrical signals into light signals and transmits them into fiber optic cables.
What are the AOC cable types?
Based on the data rate and connector type, the AOC cable is typically available in the following configurations: 10G SFP+ AOC cable, 25G SFP28 AOC cable, 40G QSFP+ AOC cable, 56G QSFP+ AOC cable, 100G QSFP28 AOC cable, 200G QSFP56 AOC cable, 400G QSFP-DD AOC cable, 40G AOC Breakout Cables, 56G AOC Breakout Cables, 100G AOC Breakout Cables, 200G AOC Breakout Cables, 400G AOC Breakout Cables.
DAC vs. AOC Cables Comparison, what is the difference?
Choosing a suitable cable is essential to establishing a data center that works well while keeping costs down. While selecting a choice is not always straightforward, taking a few elements into account can completely define what you use and how you use it.
- 1~100m (3~328 ft) 10G SFP+ Active Optical Cable (AOC)
- US$ 19.00 — US$ 33.00 (Excl. VAT)
- 40Gb/s QSFP+ 1~100m Active Optical Cable (AOC)
- US$ 67.00 — US$ 194.00 (Excl. VAT)
- 1m (3ft) Generic Compatible 100G QSFP28 Passive Direct Attach Copper Cable
- US$ 25.00 (Excl. VAT)
How to Choose Between DAC & AOC cable?
Based on the comparisons above, I assume you recognize the difference between the DAC and AOC cables. Regular data centers can benefit from DAC and AOC for high-performance network connectivity. Both DAC and AOC are compact, all-in-one solutions for network connectivity. But how do you decide between a DAC and an AOC cable?
Another consideration is the cabling’s flexibility. The DAC is constructed from a thick copper cable whose thickness increases with bandwidth. The thickness of a 100G DAC is more extensive than that of a 10G DAC. On the other hand, the AOC’s fiber optic cable thickness remains fixed regardless of bandwidth. AOC cable (3.0mm in diameter) is frequently one second thicker than typical copper wire (about 6.0mm). In tight spaces, AOCs are easier to install than DACs.
DACs are widely used in high-performance computer systems, large-scale commercial operations, and storage applications, and they are well suited for short-haul transmission. DACs consume very little power, are exceedingly cost-effective, and perform wonderfully. They’re ideal for connecting rack-mounted network servers and storage to top-of-rack switches.
Active optical cables are ideal for long-distance transmission because they can transfer data up to 100 meters, have ultra-high bandwidth, are small and flexible, resist electrical interference, and are easy to install.
DAC and AOC cables are the essential components for a data center’s cabling. Knowing the difference is crucial to choosing the most suitable cable and saving money. Using a DAC cable has the best cost for less than 5 meters; for a distance of more than 5 meters, it is better to use an AOC cable with better performance and price. Remember, selecting a choice is not always straightforward. Taking a few elements into account helps define what you use and how you use the cable.
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