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Ministry of Defence BT Inmarsat Science & Technology Facilities Council

When to use a Direct Attach Cable

Direct Attach Cables (DAC) are a form of shielded high-speed cable with SFP connectors on either end. They can be used to connect switches to routers and/or servers. Direct Attach Cables are becoming increasingly popular in the network industry, mainly because the price difference is so large when compared with regular optics.

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There are different versions of cables on the market. Because high speed cables are sensitive to electromagnetic fields, the shielding is an important quality factor for the cables. This is written on the cables in the form of AWG ratings like 28AWG and 30AWG: The longer the distance, the higher the AWG rating should be.

Direct Attach Cables are a dependable choice for linking telecom and data communications equipment. They use a passive twin-aux cable assembly and connects directly into an SFP+ housing.

SFP+ Direct Attach Cables have a fixed-length cable, typically 1 to 7 m (passive cables) or up to 15 m (active cables) in length, and, like 10GBASE-CX4, is low-power, low-cost, and low-latency with the added advantages of using less bulky cables and of having the small form factor of SFP+.

How do compatible Direct Attach Cables work?

Rather than purchasing a branded direct attach cables, which can result in a substantial cost, both in maintenance and initial cost, it is worth considering a compatible direct attach cable. Due to the reliability and performance renowned of branded direct attach cable’s, that are well-known for hardware at a certain high-end price point, branded direct attach cables are typically priced higher than some businesses and organisations want to spend.

However, due to the overwhelming popularity of branded direct attach cable’s products with companies operating in the data and communications sector, we provide a wide range of compatible transceivers, compatible with industry leaders. Compatible products are substantially cheaper than their branded alternatives, however this reduction in financial cost does not result in an inferior performance or operational efficiency. This is because our brand compatible direct attach cables are manufactured to the same high standards in order to ensure the same high results as their branded equivalents.

What difference does a compatible direct attach cable make?

We are often asked, how does the difference in cost not equate to a similar difference in quality? We can do this as all stocked compatible direct attach cables are distributed to us by the same international iso 9001 / 14001 facilities as used by internationally leading brands; but only being based online means we can deliver the same modules at a portion of the cost; yet ensure the delivery of the same high quality product. Plus, to prove how much confidence we have in the products we sell, all our products come with a full lifetime warranty, covering any unforeseen eventuality.