Direct attach cables (DACs) and active optical cables (AOCs) are simple, cost-effective cabling solutions that are designed for the same ports as SFP+ or QSFP transceivers. DACs and AOCs are most commonly used for data center interconnects, but they can be an indispensable part of any network.
However, what are the differences between them and which should you choose for your network deployments?
DACs vs. AOCs:
- DACs use copper-based cabling while AOCs use fiber-based cabling.
- DACs are mostly used for Top of Rack while AOCs are used for both Top of Rack and Middle of Row configurations.
- DACs lower power consumption and widen temperature ranges.
- AOCs are capable of much greater distances, getting up to 100m of reach at up to 400G speeds.
- AOCs are generally more expensive than DACs in both their final prices and daily operating costs.
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