These days, home networks can transfer at speeds up to 1 gigabit. The one gigabit speed is actually overkill in most home situations, but data servers need many of these connections to transfer the data to and from where it is going. Normal fiber optics today only transfer around 4.25 gigabits, but do so at the speed of light as opposed to through electrical signals. Newer XFP modules are the evolved version, and those can handle transfers at up to 10 gigabits. The next generation of communication standard called SFP+ will switch a lot of the processing that was built into these devices onto the host board. Even though the motherboards in each server will need to be upgraded to support them, they will offer more savings by not having to put an independent controller in each unit.
The GBIC interfaces that the SFP modules replaced had considerable drawbacks. These methods had a lower speed and fewer sockets, but in the end suffer from limitations of transmitting data through copper wire. The wires are quite efficient in a small area, but when the wire gets lengthier, the response time lowers drastically. Since this standard is still fast and relatively inexpensive now, small networks frequently benefit from these the most.
These CISCO SFP modules use digital optical monitoring or digital diagnostics tracking features as a means to keep on track of what is going on. These tools provide the most benefit in huge server situations where technicians are continuously tweaking the workload so everything is balanced for optimum performance. Since these servers can scale between accommodating small and large quantities of users, they provide more uses since extra processing power can be used for other things.
Since SFP+ standards are considerably different and potentially hurt the convenience these plugs provide, they are generally looked down upon by longtime server companies. These programmable hosts on the memory board are designed to adapt to future kinds of plugs that will be available.