QSA solves problems linking different port sizes and speeds equipment together
Problems: You have a 4-channel QSFP port on a switch or network adapter but you’ve got a single-channel subsystem that uses SFP and you want to connect older equipment, storage or a 10G device. Or you have a new shiny 25Gb/s-based Spectrum switch or ConnectX-4 or -5 network adapters and you want to connect to slower 10Gb/s equipment. How do you connect the different port types and speeds together?
Answer: Get the Mellanox QSA Adapter. QSFP-to-SFP Adapter – now supporting 25Gb/s!
Sometimes, the simplest things can solve big problems and frustrations. The QSA is one such device and costs less than a dinner for one.
What is a QSA?
The QSA is a Mellanox designed and patented, mechanical adapter that fits neatly inside a QSFP port and enables plugging in a smaller, single-channel SFP device into a QSFP 4-channel port. Only the one-channel gets passed through even though the mechanical port is 4-channels. The QSA contains a configuration EPROM to tell the host what it is and what speed to run at. Unless one is configuring it to run a slower line rate, it is plug-and-plug again-and-play – nothing to configure in software.
Features and Notes
The copper DACs have a maximum reach of 3 – 7 meters but with a LR transceiver module with single-mode fiber can reach as far a 10km or 6.25 miles!
10G and 25Gb/s Cables and Transceivers Options For Use in QSA Adapters
In the past, Mellanox offered network adapters in SFP and QSFP versions of the cards. But starting with ConnectX-6, only the QSFP28 versions will be offered and if a SFP single-channel is required, the QSA will be the solution to create the connection.
Not everything in the world runs or needs to run at 25Gb/s so the QSA is a neat way to link slower 10G sub-systems to new high-speed Spectrum switches and ConnectX-5 network adapter and later upgrade the slower equipment to 25Gb/s.
LinkX is the Mellanox trademark and name for its cables and transceivers product line