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fiber optics1

Breakout Cabling Solution vs. Breakout Patch Panel Solution

As 40/100G fiber network becomes a popular option in data centers, how to connect 40/100G devices with existing 10G devices in a cost-effective manner becomes a primary challenge for most of the data center operators. Breakout cables and breakout patch panels are two main solutions to address this challenge. So, what's the difference between them, and which is better for your project? Continuing this tutorial, you may find more information about this.

Breakout Cabling Solution

Unlike 10G structures using duplex fiber (usually LC) cabling, the 40/100G or beyond 100G network uses parallel fibers (MPO/MTP) for transmission. Taking 40G network for example, it uses 4 x 10 Gbps parallel transmission mode to achieve the total data rate up to 40 Gbps. According to this principle, using a 40G to 4 x 10G breakout cable can achieve the migration from 10G to 40G network.

What's Breakout Cable?
A breakout cable is a cable with multi-fiber strands. In general, a breakout cable is with one MPO/MTP connector on one end, and with the breakout legs with LC connectors on the other ends which can be divided into multiple duplex cables. As mentioned above, a 40G breakout cable has four individual 10G duplex cables totaling eight strands. Similarly, a the breakout legs of 100G breakout cable are 10 duplex cables, namely 20 fiber strands.

How Breakout Cable Work?
The working principle of breakout cable is easy. Still taking example of 40G breakout cable, it can divide a 40G port into four 10G ports. As shown below, the MTP connector end of the breakout cable plugs into a 40G port of a switch and the other four LC duplex ends of the 40G breakout cable plugs into four 10G ports of server. If the switch has up to 32 40G ports, up to 128 10G devices can be connected to it using breakout cables.

breakout cable

Benefits & Challenges
Breakout cabling solution offers a quick and easy migrating way for users to connect slower-speed equipment to higher-speed equipment. However, it increases the costs, delays projects and even presents a nightmare scenario for the upgrade and maintenance because of the cable congestion. In addition, labeling is absolutely essential when using so many breakout cables. The profusion of cables makes it difficult to label them clearly and accurately, interfering with your ability to troubleshoot effectively and efficiently.

Breakout Patch Panel Solution

Based on the same working principle with breakout cables, breakout patch panel provides a mature and highly scalable alternative to breakout cables since it allows users to seamlessly and conveniently integrate equipment with different network speeds for today's and even tomorrow's connectivity needs.

What's Breakout Patch Panel?
Breakout patch panel is integrated a range of modular, removable fiber assemblies in a rack-mount panels. With a compact and easy maintenance design, it can support a variety of fiber network standards. Moreover, it is easy to mix, match, add, and replace so that it can satisfy all kinds of connectivity needs in data centers.

How Breakout Patch Panel Work?
The breakout fiber panels and cassettes are the key to this solution. Just by an easy plug-and-play step, you can easily complete the connectivity between two standard ports, eliminating the complicated cable management segment.

modular patch panel

Benefits & Challenges
There are more advantages of breakout patch panel solution over the breakout cabling solution. The breakout patch panel solution provides flexibility and scalability for your network upgrade, allowing users to connect diverse network cabling standard seamlessly, without the costly, labor-intensive hassle of replacing channels end-to-end. Designed with standard patch cables, it offers a reliable and readily available option for users. Moreover, with its compact size, it can help save more space and reduce cable congestion.

The biggest challenge of using breakout patch panel solution is how to select the right one to meet your current needs, as well as adapting to and growing with your future needs, because it involves the cost, supported network standard, and the whole network plan concerns.


The above contents show us the details about breakout cabling solution and breakout patch panel solutions. By comparing them, the breakout patch panel solution shows more benefits than the breakout cabling solution, especially for cable management and network upgrade. In fact, with the increasing demands on fast access to larger volumes of data, breakout patch panel seems to be a better choice for network migration. But as mentioned above, users should choose the right one according to their current and future plan to ensure a maximum return on investment. FS.COM offers a full range of breakout cables and breakout patch panels with competitive prices and high quality, such as MTP harness cables, 40GBASE-SR4 breakout patch panel, high-density 144 ports patch panel, and so on. For more information, please contact us over or call 1 718 577 1006.

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