DAC Cables – What are they and why are they useful?

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  • DAC Cables – What are they and why are they useful?

In the modern world of networking, there’s a lot of useful ways to connect your network devices. A DAC Cable offers a flexible means of transmitting a large amount of data between devices effectively, such as connecting 10G switches in the same rack mount system, or adjacent rackmount systems. This is a cost-effective solution compared to using more common connection systems such as optical.

The cost of using a DAC setup can be significant as the number of network hubs increases. Optical solutions can cost literally two to three times the cost of DAC connections, so you can see how this could be a popular replacement for these types of connections.

One of the most popular reasons why DAC has become high in demand is the simple fact that it is extremely reliable. Compared to optical solutions, which are prone to failure due to the use of an LED required for the creation of the optical signal, DAC cables on the other hand are passive devices, which means that there is virtually no reason for the cable to fail, outside of the unlikely chance that the copper itself erodes.

Another nice, albeit, less noticeable effect of using DAC cables is the reduction in power used. Optical solutions require powering an LED, which burns power to create the signal. DAC cables, on the other hand, have no power losses for signal transmission, outside of the resistance of the data cable itself, which is a moot amount of loss.

While everything points to DAC being the perfect optical replacement, there is one drawback, which can be a make-or-break situation, and that is data transmission distances. DAC cables transmit less throughput based on the length of the cable. While this is not a very serious issue when connecting rack-mount systems together, however, if the need to transmit data over longer distances, an optical approach will certainly be the best solution.


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