White Paper

Dynamic Port Breakout

1. Background

Network physical layer connectivity with optical cables using the breakout mode has become increasingly very important as new high-speed ports become available on network L2 switches, L3 routers, and other types of communication equipment. Dynamic breakout allows high-speed ports to connect and interface with lowerspeed ports, as shown in Figure 1.

2. Introduction

The breakout approach enables physical layer network connectivity between network devices with network ports with different speeds and while utilizing full port bandwidth. The breakout mode on network equipment, such as switches, routers, and servers, opens up new possibilities for network operators to keep up with the pace of bandwidth demand. By adding high-speed ports that support breakout mode, network operators can increase the front port density and incrementally enable an upgrade to higher data rates.

3. About Breakout Mode

Breakout mode is used when a high-speed channelized port on network equipment can be broken down into multiple low-speed ports, and each low-speed port connects to multiple network equipment. For instance, a switch with 40G ports can be connected to switches with 10G ports.