1G copper connectivity in 25G SFP28 ports

How to connect 1G copper to a 25G SFP28 port?

Now and then, we receive a question. “We need to connect our old cozy 1G copper infrastructure to a shiny brand-new 25G switch. How can we do it?”

As we all know, many 25G SFP28 do not directly support 1G speed—most modern switches are PHYless and support 10/25G only. Broadcom Trident3 boxes, such as Aurora 621, do support 1G directly.

So the easy (and expensive) answer is a 1/10G switch, such as Aurora 221, that will handle all your needs.

More cables to sort out, one more unit to manage – we want a better way!

What we need is these modules:

We got 1/10G and multi-rate 1/2.5/5/10G Base-TX SFP+ parts from Optech.

What’s next?

Configuring Netberg SONiC

Setting the port speed to 10G and FEC to “none” will do the trick.

admin@sonic:~$ sudo config interface speed Ethernet1 10000
admin@sonic:~$ sudo config interface fec Ethernet1 none

Now let’s check the status:

admin@sonic:~$ sudo show interfaces status
  Interface        Lanes    Speed    MTU    FEC       Alias    Vlan    Oper    Admin            Type    Asym PFC
-----------  -----------  -------  -----  -----  ----------  ------  ------  -------  --------------  ----------
  Ethernet1            1      10G   9100   none   Ethernet1  routed      up       up  SFP/SFP+/SFP28         N/A

The port is up!

How does it work?

Every 10G Base-TX module (or a multi-rate part) has a PHY inside. It connects to the ASIC at its full 10G speed, and the external connection can be at any supported speed.

Flexible copper connectivity up and running brings a lot of options to your data center infrastructure.

Now, we can connect servers with copper ports-only, wireless systems, legacy switches without SFP+ interfaces, etc.

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