A Data Center with structured cabling using the gen7 switch portfolio.

Understanding Fibre Channel’s Gen7 Switch Portfolio for Structured Cabling

Broadcom’s seventh-generation switch portfolio was released in September 2020. These new switches double the performance offered by their generation six counterparts with their Fibre Channel capacity of 64Gbps.

Experts suggest that this evolution will continue. The newly launched Gen 7 has made structured cabling a much more desired service, facilitating better server room and office structure organization. Data centers are using these new cables to optimize performance by:

  • Reducing latency
  • Increasing bandwidth
  • Allowing more traffic
  • Allowing better security measures to be implemented without congestion

The Gen 7 switch portfolio has been able to reduce latency by as much as 50%, which is why many organizations are keen on adopting it, especially in the increasingly digital world we live in. So let’s take a closer look at the portfolio.

Gen 7 Switch Portfolio – A Quick Overview

Initial Offering Switches

There are three main switches in the initial offering.

  1. The G720. This modular 1U switch is one of the most widely used switch portfolios for structured cabling. They can have 24 or 56 optical SFP+ ports. The chassis is available in two different models targeted for large-scale storage environments.
  2. The X7-8. With up to eight vertical line cards and 48 ports each (totaling 384 ports), these 64Gbps ports are suitable for big data storage and interconnection with other X7 directors for dual redundancies.
  3. The X7-4. This modular switch portfolio has four horizontal line cards, each with 48 ports. The total number of ports increase to 192 64 Gbps, making it suitable for medium data centers.

Following Broadcom’s example, Dell and Hitachi have also announced their seventh-generation switch portfolios.

Upgraded Structured Cabling

When migrating from Fibre Channel 6 to 7, companies have a very good opportunity to scale their data bank and server sizes by revising the cabling. This upgrade not only helps companies re-evaluate their data center’s layer one infrastructure but also mitigates damage or fire risks.

The cabling infrastructure will vary according to the Layer One infrastructure you implement since Gen 7 switches will be as effective as the cables that carry the data. For example, a cable with a maximum bandwidth of 32Gbps won’t be able to offer maximum performance to the system.

When upgrading, it’s important you enlist the help of expert structured cabling companies, such as Americom. We can help you create your data storage strategy, make informed decisions about the equipment to use, and most importantly, implement these upgrades cost-effectively. Get in contact with us today, and we can help you find the right fit for your business.