What Is SFP+ Switch And How to Choose It for Home Use?

10G for home use is more and more commonly. When setting up the 10G network for home, people may pay much attention on the SFP+ switch, including its type, performance, price, etc. But do you really know what the SFP+ switch is and how to choose it for your home use?

What Is an SFP+ Switch?

As a network switch, SFP+ switch is used for directing the bandwidth of the network connection to multiple network wired devices. It is also called 10gb switch or 10 Gigabit switch, because it can support up to 10Gb uplink connection. Usually, SFP+ switch works at the data link layer (layer 2) or the network layer (layer 3) of the OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) model. That’s to say, some 10Gb switches may be the Layer 2 switch, and some may be the Layer 3 switch.

SFP+ switch

Figure 1: SFP+ switch

SFP+ Switch vs. 10GBASE-T Switch

For 10Gb switch solutions, SFP+ switch and 10GBASE-T switch are two popular choices. 10GBASE-T is an interoperable, standards-based technology that uses RJ45 connector. It can provide backwards compatibility with legacy networks. While SFP+ fiber switch offers little or no backwards compatibility. However, the SFP+ switch uses less power consumption than 10GBASE-T switch. Moreover, SFP+ switch offers better latency with about 0.3 microseconds per link while 10GBASE-T latency is about 2.6 microseconds per link. The last but not the least, the price of 10GBASE-T switch is dramatically dropped down now, so it is cheaper than SFP+ switch. All in all, if cost, flexibility and scalability are more important for you, 10GBase-T solution may be your ideal choice. If you want to lower power consumption and latency, you’d better consider SFP+ solution.

How to Choose SFP+ Switch for Home Use?

When choosing an SFP+ switch for home use in the market, you’ll find there are many options. Here is a guide for you.

Port type – The 10G switch often comes with 10G SFP+ ports, RJ45 or SFP combo ports, and a console port. 10G SFP+ ports are used for uplinking connections and combo ports are deployed for accessing networks. The count of the main ports often come with 8, 12, 24 or 48. Besides, the 8-port and 12-port SFP+ switches are commonly used for home. You can choose a suitable one based on your need.

Performance – 10G switch is a high-compatibility and network-scaling application. It supports advanced features, including MLAG, SFLOW, SNMP, etc. And it facilitates the rapid service deployment and management for both traditional L2/L3/IPv6 networks. You can make a choice according to the detailed features such as the angles of switching capacity, power budget, and switching layer.

Vendor – A reliable vendor can not only offer good-quality switches, but also can help customers solve other problems such as cost, network solutions and so on. Famous brands like Cisco, HP and Dell provide 10Gb switch at the higher price in the market. While some 3rd-party vendors like FS.COM can offer low price but quality switches. If you have cost problem or want to get cost-effective products, you can consider the reliable 3rd-party vendors.

Summary

This article presents some basic information about SFP+ switch for home use. FS provides comprehensive 10G switch solutions, including 10Gb switch, optical transceivers, and cables. If you want to know more about 10Gb switch solutions, welcome to visit FS.COM.

Related Article: Choose 10GBASE-T Copper Over SFP+ for 10G Ethernet

How to Configure DHCP for Multiple VLANs?

Almost every device connected to the Internet needs an IP address. Previously, the countless IP addresses are assigned manually, which costs a lot of time and energy. As DHCP emerges, IT specialists are not required any longer to spend countless hours providing IPs for every device connected to the network device. But what is DHCP? How does it work and how to configure DHCP for multiple VLANs?

What Is DHCP?

DHCP – Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol is a network management protocol used on TCP/IP network. There may be at least a DHCP server and many DHCP clients. The DHCP server allows the client to request the IP addresses and other network configurations from the Internet service provider. This process eliminates the need for administrators or users to assign IP address to network devices one by one. Using this protocol, the network administrators will just set up the DHCP server with all the additional network information, and it will do its work dynamically. Both network switch and router can be configured as a DHCP server.

How Does the DHCP Process Look Like?

For the DHCP client that hasn’t accessed the Internet before, it will undergo 4 phases to connect the DHCP server.

dhcp process

Fig 1. DHCP process

1.Discover

DHCP client after being activated will first send a broadcast message to try to look for DHCP servers. In this way, the client request IP address from the DHCP server.

2.Offer

When the DHCP server gets the message from the client, it looks in its pool to find an IP address it can lease out to the client. It then adds the MAC address information of the client and the IP address it will lease out to the ARP table. When this is done, the server sends this information to the client as a DHCPOFFER message.

3.Selection

DHCP client chooses IP address. There may be several DHCP servers sending DHCP-Offer packet, the client only receives the first DHCP-Offer then sends back DHCP-Request packet in broadcast mode to all DHCP servers to request more information on the IP address lease time and verification. The packet includes the contents of the IP address requested from the selected DHCP server.

4.Acknowledge

When the DHCP server receives a DHCP-Request packet from the DHCP client, it confirms the lease and creates a new ARP mapping with the IP address it assigned to the client and the client’s MAC address. And then send this message as a unicast to the client as a DHCPACK.

How to Configure DHCP for Multiple VLANs?

The theory cannot be well digested unless it is combined with the practice. In this section, how to configure DHCP for multiple VLANs is introduced for your reference. Take the following picture as an example.

DHCP configuration

Fig 2. DHCP Configuration for Multiple VLANs

PC1 and PC2 are connected to access port of VLAN switch 1 with VLAN ID 100 and 200.

The DHCP server was supposed to serve both the VLANs.

Command to enable multiple VLANs.

DHCP configuration 1

Command to enable DHCP.

DHCP configuration 2

Add both subnets.

DHCP configuration 3

Run DHCP server.

DHCP configuration 4

Now make PC1 and PC2 as DHCP client. Both should be able to get IP address from DHCP server in their respective VLAN.

Conclusion

How to configure DHCP for multiple VLANs? This issue has been illustrated in the above content. DHCP configuration is worthy of being learned by those who are engaged in fiber optic communication field. You just need to know “How”, and let FS provide you with the best network devices. Ethernet switch like gigabit Ethernet switch and 10gbe switch, and routers are available in FS.

How to Use an Ethernet Switch?

For many household use, it is common to see just a modem and a router. That’s enough for most family network requirements. However, if you have too many computers to manage, an Ethernet switch is definitely what you need. Since network switch is not prevalent in ordinary homes, many people don’t have a clear understanding of it, let alone its usage. Here we will figure out what is an Ethernet switch used for and how to use and Ethernet switch.

What Is an Ethernet Switch?

An Ethernet switch is a network device used to connect different PCs, servers, laptops or other Ethernet devices to a local area network. In this way, the connected devices can communicate with each other. The switch utilizes an MAC access table to exchange data packets among these devices.
Network switches come in many types. Different switches have different applications and functions. They may come in 16, 32 or 64 ports, and also in various port speeds. The basic speed is 10 megabit per second, then 100 megabit. And today we also have faster gigabit Ethernet switch which realizes 1000 megabits per second. Switches that contain more ports or higher speeds are suitable for more demanding conditions.

What Is an Ethernet Switch Used for?

The Ethernet switch plays an integral role in most modern Ethernet local area networks (LANs). Here introduces two switch types for different utilities. The one is the fool-proof unmanaged Ethernet switch and the other is the intelligent managed switch.

Unmanaged Ethernet Switch for Small Size Environment

Unmanaged switches simply allow Ethernet devices to communicate with one another by providing a connection to the network. Unmanaged switches are truly plug and play devices. However, this simplicity of unmanaged Ethernet switches also limits the functionality of a network. Therefore, unmanaged switches are usually used for small size environments like home where the applications are relatively few and simplified.

Managed Ethernet Switch for Data Center

Managed switch is more advanced than unmanaged switch as it not only possesses what the latter features with, but also can be configured and properly managed to offer a more tailored experience. Most managed switches are 10gbe Ethernet switch, 40gbe, 100gbe or much faster switches. Those can be deployed in large data center, server rooms and so on.

How to Use an Ethernet Switch?

Whether it is the unmanaged switch or managed switch, the usage remains essentially the same. It should initially access the network and the power supply. This part introduces using an Ethernet switch.

First, connect modem to Ethernet input line. Modem is the device that brings the signal into the network.

Second, connect router to modem. Router translates the private network address into public address so as to entitle all the connected network devices to the Internet.

Third, connect an Ethernet cable to one port on the switch, then connect the other end to a wired device such as a computer. Repeat this step to connect all PCs, servers, laptops or other Ethernet devices.

Fourth, connect an Ethernet cable to one of the ports at the back of the switch, then connect the other end of the cable to one of the Ethernet ports at the back of the router. The switch is thus becoming the extension of the router. You plug in one output to your router, and the other ones will just split up that connection to give you more hookups.

Fifth, connect the supplied power adapter to the power port on the switch, then connect the other end into a power socket. This step can be omitted if it is a PoE switch.

Ethernet switch setup diagram

Fig 1. Ethernet switch setup diagram

Having finished the connection, the unmanaged switch is ready to go while the managed switch may require further adjustments through a supported method, whether it is a command line interface (accessed via secure shell, etc.), a web interface loaded in your web browser or Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) for remote access. This approach will unleash various options, including port speed, virtual LANs, redundancy, port mirroring, and Quality of Service (QoS) for traffic prioritization.

Conclusion

This article introduces Ethernet switch and illustrates how to use an it. Ethernet switch is basically regarded as the port extension of the router, and also grows with more functions as the network expands. As for the issue—how to use an Ethernet switch with router, please read the post “Network Switch Before or After Router”.

What Does a Network Switch Do in Networking?

As network switch evolves, there emerge various switches from different vendors, working in conditions, equipped with different functions. However, the network switches remain essentially the same despite all apparent changes. So, the following part presents the switches definition and the frequently asked question: what does a network switch do.

Purpose and Functions of a Network Switch

A network switch is a small hardware device that centralizes communications among various linked devices in one local area network (LAN). The fundamental function of a network switch is to exchange data packages among network devices, that is to say, the network switch gets data from any source associated with it and dispatches that data to the appropriate destination. Here take the comparison among router, hub and switch to explain what a network switch can do for our networks.

Providing More Ethernet Ports

As for network switch vs. router, network switch differs from router in the port number. Home routers usually come with three or four Ethernet ports built-in, and there are few free ports after connecting the router with the modem. So the Ethernet switch can work as the extension of router ports. In this way, it is possible to use wires to improve your speed or cut down on wireless interference.

Enabling More Intelligent Data Transmission

Network switch sends data packets to the specific one or more devices, while a hub gets the information and forwards that to every other device apart from the one that really needs the information. To develop a step further, the network switch uses full duplex mode, and communication between different pairs may get overlapped but not interrupted. Whereas in hubs, all devices have to share the same bandwidth by running in half duplex mode, causing a collision, which results in unnecessary packet retransmissions.
As for network switch vs. hub, a network switch joins multiple computers together within one local area network (LAN). A hub connects multiple Ethernet devices together, making them act as a single segment.

What does a network switch do in networking

Three Main Types of Network Switch

To make full use of your network switch, the priority is to make clear of its function as different switches come with different capabilities. There are three types of switches in networking: managed switch, unmanaged switch, and smart or hybrid switch.

Managed Switch

Managed switch offers full management capabilities and high-levels of network security and precise control, and usually used in enterprise networks and data centers. The scalability of these switches entitles networks room to grow.
Managed switches can optimize a network’s speed and resource utilization. Admins manage resources through a text-based command-line interface, so some advanced knowledge is required to set up and run. Most managed switches are 10gb Ethernet switch, 40gb Ethernet switch and 100gb switch.

Unmanaged Switch

For unmanaged switch, the gigabit Ethernet switch itself has no settings or special features, and it exists only to add more Ethernet ports to your home network or small business offices or shops. Additionally, it is easy plug-and-play and relatively simple, so it’s great for companies without IT admins and senior technologists.

Smart or Hybrid Switch

Smart switch is partly a managed switch, as it offers functions like Quality of Service (QoS) and VLANs, but with limited capabilities that can be accessed from the Internet. Its interface is simpler than what managed switch offers. Therefore, no highly-trained staff is needed to set up or run it. It is great for VoIP phones, small VLANs, and workgroups for places like labs. In a word, smart switches let you configure ports and set up virtual networks but don’t have the sophistication to allow monitoring, troubleshooting, or remote-accessing to manage network issues.

Conclusion

The above content summarizes the issue: what does a network switch do. Based on that, three types of switches come with distinct functionality. FS offers a great range of network switches with different features. It has taken all your needs into consideration when producing and testing these switches.

Core Switch Vs Distribution Switch Vs Access Switch

The hierarchical internetworking model defined by Cisco includes core layer, distribution layer and access layer. Therefore, the network switches working in these layers get corresponding names like core switch, distribution switch and access switch. This post mainly explores the confusing problem: core switch vs distribution switch vs access switch.

Definition: Core Switch Vs Distribution Switch Vs Access Switch

What Is Core Switch?

Core switch is not a certain kind of network switch. It refers to the data switch that is positioned at the backbone or physical core of a network. Therefore, it must be a high-capacity switch so as to serve as the gateway to a wide area network (WAN) or the Internet. In a word, it provides the final aggregation point for the network and allows various aggregation modules to work together.

What Is Distribution Switch?

Similarly, the distribution switch lies in distribution layer, and it links upwards to layer core switch and downwards to the access switch. It is also called aggregation switch which functions as a bridge between core layer switch and access layer switch. In addition, distribution switch ensures that the packets are appropriately routed between subnets and VLANs in enterprise network. 10gb switch usually can perform as a distribution switch.

What Is Access Switch?

Access switch generally locates at the access layer for connecting the majority of devices to the network, therefore it usually has high-density ports. It is the most commonly-used gigabit Ethernet switch which communicates directly with the public Internet, mostly used in offices, small server rooms, and media production centers. Both managed and unmanaged switches can be deployed as access layer switch.

core switch vs distribution switch vs access switch

Figure 1: core switch vs distribution switch vs access switch

Comparison: Core Switch Vs Distribution Switch Vs Access Switch

The switches may co-exist in the same network, and coordinate with each other to contribute to an unrestricted network speed with each layer switch performing its own duty. Well, what’s the difference: core switch vs distribution switch vs access switch?

Core Switch Vs Distribution Switch

Core switch has the higher reliability, functionality and throughput than distribution switch. The former one aims at routing and forwarding, and provides optimized and reliable backbone transmission structure, while the latter one functions as the unified exit for access node, and may also do routing and forwarding. The distribution switch must has large enough capacity to process all traffic from the access devices. What’s more, there’s generally only one (or two for redundancy) core switch used in a small and midsize network, but multiple distribution switches in distribution or aggregation layer.

Core Switch Vs Access Switch

The lower levels the switch dwells in, the more devices it connects to. Therefore, a big gap of ports number exists in access switch and core switch. Most access switches need to connect various end user equipment ranging from IP phone, to PCs, cameras etc,. While the core switch may be just linked with several distribution switches. Meanwhile, the higher layer the switch lies in, the faster port speed it requires. Access switch is to core switch what river is to the ocean, as the latter one has the large throughput to receive the data packets from the former one. Most modern access switches come with a 10/100/1000Mbps copper ports. An example of this is FS S2800-24T4F 24 port 100/1000BASE-T copper gigabit Ethernet switch. While core switches commonly have 10Gbps and 100Gbps fiber optic ports.

Distribution Switch Vs Access Switch

As access switch is the one that allows your devices to connect the network, it undoubtedly supports port security, VLANs, Fast Ethernet/Gigabit Ethernet and etc. Distribution switch which is mainly responsible for routing and policy-based network connectivity supports additional higher performance like packet filtering, QoS, and application gateways. All in all, access switch is usually a layer 2 switch and distribution switch is a layer 3 switch. When multiple access switches among different VLANs are required to be aggregated, a distribution switch can achieve inter-VLAN communication.

Conclusion

What’s the difference: core switch vs distribution switch vs access switch. To sum up, the access switch facilitates devices to the network. The distribution switch accepts traffic from all the access layer switches and supports more high-end features. And the core switch is responsible for routing and forwarding at the highest level. FS provides different types of Ethernet switches that can work as core switches, distribution switch or access switches. For more details, please visit www.fs.com.

Get Further Understanding of Ethernet Switch Port Types

Have you ever noticed the ports on your gigabit PoE switch or other network switches? They may come in different port types and work on different switch port modes. The switch ports number varies from different network switches and port type can be configured according to specific needs. Then how many ports on a switch? What are the common switch port types?

How Many Ports Does a Network Switch Have?

Generally, I’d like to assort the ports on the switch into the ones that enable others to work and the ones to realize its own operation. The former may be classified into different types of ports based on their port speeds as shown in the following diagram, and the latter is referred to the console port. Almost every switch has a console port used to connect to the computer and manage the switch as the switch has no display component.

Here takes FS gigabit switch, 10GB Ethernet switch and 40G/100G Ethernet switches as examples to show the switch port types and numbers that a network switch may have.

S3800-24T4S
1GB Ethernet Switch
S5800-8TF12S
10GB Ethernet Switch
S5850-48T4Q
40GB Ethernet Switch
S5850-48S2Q4C
100GB Ethernet Switch
RJ45 port
8
8
48
/
SFP port
8
8
/
48
SFP+ port
12
12
/
/
QSFP+ port
/
/
4
2
QSFP28 port
/
/
/
4

As the above figure shows, a network switch may support diversified ports. The common port number of FS network switch is 8, 24 and 48. While the maximum number of ports in a switch can grow as demands.

Common Switch Port Types on Network Switches

When the data switch resides in a VLAN, there may be three common switch port types: access port, trunk port and hybrid port. An Ethernet interface can function as a trunk port, an access port or a hybrid port.

Switch Port Types: Access Port

Access port is used for connecting devices such as desktops, laptops, printers etc., only available in access link. A switch port in access modes belongs to one specific VLAN and sends and receives regular Ethernet frames in untagged form. Usually, an access port can only be member of one VLAN, namely the access VLAN, and it discards all frames that are not classified to the access VLAN.

Switch Port Types: Trunk Port

Trunk port is adopted among switches or between switch and upper-level devices, available in trunk link. A trunk port allows for several VLANs set up on the interface. As a result, it is able to carry traffic for numerous VLANs at the same time. Frames are marked with unique identifying tags—either 802.1Q tags or Interswitch Link (ISL) tags—when they move between switches through trunk ports. Therefore, every single frame can be directed to its designated VLAN. The trunk port is a VLAN aggregation port connected to other switch ports while the access port is the port that the switch connects to the host in the VLAN. The following picture shows their differences.

switch port types: trunk port vs. access port

Switch Port Types: Hybrid Port

Hybrid ports can be used to connect network devices, as well as user devices. It supports both untagged VLAN like access port and tagged VLAN like trunk port, and it can receive data from one or more VLANs. The hybrid ports resemble trunk ports in many ways, but they have additional port configuration features. Hybrid port can send some packets without tag to PC or IP phone, and others packets with tag to other device which can process tag.

Conclusion

Knowing the switch ports number can help you select the right switch for you. And figuring out the switch port types helps you configure your switch ports accordingly. This post introduces the three basic switch port types and their differences. Hope it will be helpful for you.

Network Switch Before or After Router?

Network switch and router are the commonly used devices in a network. With each carrying out its own duties accordingly, you can surf on the internet freely with your smart phone or computer. How to setup a network switch and router? Should the network switch be installed before router or after router is puzzling for many network newbies.

What Is Network Switch and Router?

To get clear about how to connect wireless router to switch, this part will state the function of network switch and router first. What is a switch in networking? A network switch is used to connect multiple devices such as computers, printers, IP camera and modem on the same network within a building. In this way, these devices can share information and communicate with each other.

What is a router in networking? A router is sometimes connected to a modem at one side and many other devices on the other side. Because the modem will only talk to the first computer that talks to it, the router at the position serves like a dispatcher to share the connection among all your devices. This enables all connected computers to share one single Internet connection.

Home network switch and router

Fig1. Home network diagram with switch and router

How to Setup a Network Switch and Router?

From the above introduction, we know that both the network switch and the router can be connected directly to a modem. However, when the two devices coexist, how to deploy them. Shall I connect modem to router to switch or modem to switch to router?

Modem to Router to Switch: Network Switch After Router

In most cases, you will see people put the modem first, followed by a router and then a gigabit Ethernet switch. The principle is that the modem gives the public IP address to the router, and the router assigns the private addresses to the devices connected to it, while the network switch doesn’t handle allocating IP addresses but serves as the extension of the limited ports on the router, to receive more devices. In this scenario, all your devices with private addresses are safe as they are not directly visible to the internet.

modem to router to network switch

Fig2. Modem router switch diagram

Modem to Switch to Router: Network Switch Before Router

Some people propose going from a cable modem to switch to wireless router. This seems good because all your devices on the network switch will have direct connections to your ISP. However, the truth is, your ISP does not offer multiple public IP addresses before the full transition from IPv4 to IPv6. So one or all ISP connections will likely fail and all of the devices connected to the switch would be exposed to the internet.

In a word, placing a modem to switch to router is not possible. At least not practically. Each port on the switch is a different IP address. So it doesn’t exist? Probably not unless your modem integrates the function of a router so that you can rewire and reconfigure the wireless router to set it up as access point. Seen from the outside, you indeed put a managed switch before router, however it still follows the principle that router goes before network switch.

Conclusion

Network switch before router or after router? Have you made it clear? This post has stated modem to router to switch vs modem to switch to router. Hope when you set up your network with router and switch, you can put them in the correct order according to your needs and the products themselves (the modem type). Here at FS.COM you can find various network switches including 10 gigabit switch, 40 gigabit switch and 100 gigabit switch, etc.

DWDM Vs. OTN: What’s the Difference?

As we slip further in the internet era, the internet boom pushed service providers to find a method to increase the capacity on their network in the most economical way. Therefore, two technology come into our sight: DWDM vs. OTN, the technologies that can expand existing bandwidth. To learn more about them and the difference between OTN and DWDM, this article may be of some help.

DWDM Vs. OTN: DWDM Basics

What is DWDM? DWDM stands for dense wavelength division multiplexing. It is a technology to send multiple strands of data through a single network link. In the transmitting end, there is an optical multiplexer converging two or more optical signals at different wavelengths. Whereas in the receiving end, an optical demultiplexer is used to separate the signals, and in this process it is unavoidable to cause signal loss which, however, can be mitigated by the optical amplifier. DWDM connections can therefore be used for transmitting data over long distances as it can increase bandwidth over existing fiber networks.

DWDM vs. OTN: DWDM Basics

DWDM Vs. OTN: OTN

OTN stands for optical transport network which provides a network-wide framework that adds SONET/SDH-like features like performance monitoring, fault detection, communication channels, and multiplexing hierarchy to WDM equipment. It works at Layer 1 to gather various tasks into the tunnel of WDM technology, increasing the transmission distance and capacity of fiber optics. It means that OTN frame structure combines the flexibility of SDH/SONET technology with the bandwidth expandability of DWDM, thus it can provide functionality of transport, multiplexing, routing, management, supervision, and survivability of optical channels carrying client signals.

The optical transport network is designed to deliver a transparent framework to efficiently carry diverse traffic types, which can decrease ACPEX/OPEX in networks and at the same time address dramatic shifts in traffic types. All in all, the charming of the OTN can be translated into two words: transparency and manageability.

Difference Between DWDM and OTN

DWDM is a point-to-point system while OTN, composed of optical cross-connector (OXC) and optical add/drop multiplexer (OADM), possesses functions like optical cross-ability and wavelength conversion. The OTN grows on the basis of DWDM technology with the aim of optimizing the existing resources of transportation network. In addition to providing large capacities of DWDM transmission, OTN permits the switching of different DWDM channels according to the needs of traffic.

In addition, as it has been proven that it is possible to tap a fiber optic cable and extract data streams, people have paid much more attention to data security over DWDM links. In contrast, OTN-channelized links and effective partitioning of traffic onto dedicated circuits bring a high level of privacy and security, preventing hackers who sneak in some section of the network from intercepting data or gaining access to other areas.

We can say that OTN network excels DWDM networks in its enhanced OAM, security and networking capabilities for wavelengths and standard multiplexing hierarchy and end-to-end optical transport transparency of customer traffic.

Conclusion

DWDM vs. OTN, the topic being addressed in this article, makes sense for those who want to better utilize them and is worthy of being explored further. Though there are indeed differences between OTN and DWDM, the two technologies are irreplaceable and have become the key point in the telecommunications infrastructure for regional networks as the allows bandwidth over existing networks. FS focuses on providing customers the best technical support, engineering cost effective and scalable solutions for metro and long-haul DWDM network. For more details, visit this website.

Server Rack Sizes: How to Choose a Right One?

A server rack is an equipment that holds all kinds of network devices ranging from switches, patch panel racks, to cable organizer and so on. Generally, the very first step in rack cable management is to get a container like 42U server rack to support all your devices. However, as there are so many server rack sizes on the market, how to get the one that is ideal for your application needs to be well thought of. Here we can offer some way out.

Common Server Rack Sizes

Based on different application requirements, different server rack sizes are produced. The three common types of server racks are open frame rack, rack enclosure and wall-mount rack.

Server Rack Sizes: Rack Enclosure

The rack enclosure, also known as server rack cabinet, usually comes in 40U,42U or 45U. It contains removable doors at both front and rear sides, removable side panels and adjustable vertical inside mounting rails, which provides an easy way to install and take out devices. The specially designed perforated door allows for smooth ventilation. Server rack cabinet may come in different height and depth. The height is usually represented by “U” and one U space equals to 1.75 inches. Whereas the depth refers to the distance between the front of the rack and the rear. FS.COM offers 9U server rack, 12U server rack, 42U server rack and 45U server rack. There may be server racks with 48u rack height on the market, which can accommodate as many as 24 2U devices.

server rack sizes, rack cabinet

Server Rack Sizes: Open Frame Rack

Open frame rack resembles rack enclosure in shape, but it is designed without doors or side panels. Just two or four bare rails are largely economical and leave easy access to cabling. And its common rack size is 45U. Ventilation is no longer a headache for expertise. However, it may expose all your applications to the external environment, resulting in bad appearance or even damage. Given this, open frame racks are optimal for network wiring closet and distribution frame applications that have high-density cabling.

server rack sizes, open frame rack

Server Rack Sizes: Wall-mount Rack

Wall-mount rack, the relatively small server rack fixed on the wall, is like a miniature rack enclosure. Usually, the wall-mount server rack sizes are 6U, 9U, 12U and 18U. As it doesn’t occupy the floor space as the former two, the wall-mount cabinet is spacing-saving which can be its selling point. It is suitable for your household use which does not include large and complicated equipment.

server rack sizes, wall-mount server rack

How to Choose from These Server Rack Sizes?

If you are not restricted by the space, you can choose from the rack enclosure and open frame server rack. Just calculate the required height and depth of your applications. For example, assume that you need to add 5 2U rack servers to your data center. A 12U server cabinet(21 inches) would be ideal, because 2 x 1.75 x 5 = 17.5 inches of space. The same is to the depth. Remember leaving some cabinet space for both the front and rear for future expansion and current rack cable management. Otherwise, a wall mount server rack is recommended as it is space-saving when you don’t have enough room for floor-standing cabinet. Check out the maximum weight it can hold.

Conclusion

Since the server rack is not flexible or scalable, we must plan carefully for the server rack sizes, and take into consideration the dimension and shape of server racks. As for the quality, rest assured that FS.COM offers sturdy cabinets with reasonable price. We are ready to provide you with the best solution.

Related article: Wall Mount vs Rack Mount Patch Panel

How to Use Vertical Cable Organizers for Rack Cable Management

Cable management, especially rack cable management, is a always the time-consuming and tedious job for IT network workers. Cable organizers like patch panel, 1U/2U cable managers and D-rings are commonly used by network workers in server rack cable management. Then how to use these cable organizers for rack cable management effectively? This article will explore some details for you.

Single-sided Cable Organizer in Rack Cable Management

The single-sided vertical cable organizers, also known as cable manager, are usually installed on open frame racks to organize and protect cables. As it is single-sided, the finger ducts are facing towards the front side or users. It is in most cases attached to the rack and won’t take up much room in rack cable management. The 45U single-sided cable organizer provided by FS.COM is capable of managing all the fiber and copper cables in a server rack. It is equipped with molded cable management fingers which have integral bend radius control. Each of this single-sided vertical cable manager consists of two 22.5U sections in one package. The two parts can be seamlessly combined together when they are installed along a standard 45U height server rack. The user-friendly cover on this rack cable organizer can help protect the cable from damage and dust-proof, and also hide the cables inside.

vertical cable organizer

Dual-sided Cable Organizer in Rack Cable Management

Different from the single-sided cable organizer, the dual-sided cable manager is designed with management fingers on both front and rear sides. The double-sided structure enables the maximize space utilization, which can better meet the vertical cable management need. The 45U plastic dual-sided vertical cable organizer is deployed to deal with the slack cables, preventing the chaotic cable runs. Its soft finger ducts on front and back sides allowing for quick and easy cable routing on the server racks. Two 22.5U sections being coupled seamlessly form a complete 45U dual-sided vertical cable manager which is suitable for both fiber and copper cabling. The covers on both sides can protect cables from damage and dust. It can be a good partner of horizontal cable managers. In addition, this vertical cable manager has multiple finger ducts that can store a large number of cables.

How to Use Vertical Cable Organizers for Server Racks

The vertical cable organizers are often deployed where cables run chaotically. When applying them, assemble all the gadgets including the cover and the easily inserted brackets. Use screws to fix them on the open frame rack. After the two 22.5U dual-sided cable organizers being matched seamlessly, the cable management can go on. To produce a tidy and clean appearance, care should be given that the cables on the same row should be passed through the same gaps between two fingers. Get some cable ties to achieve better effects. After the cabling, close the cover. Success. Here is a video introducing how to apply vertical cable organizers in rack cable management.

Conclusion

Vertical cable organizer, or vertical cable manager, can simplify rack cable management effectively. It has nothing to do with the network but serves the cable management. In the cabling system, only combing the cable runs clearly can the network system work in an orderly way. FS.COM has been all along working on the growing conundrum to offer you market-leading quality and novel design. We now have different cable organizers available for your reference to deal with vertical and horizontal cable management.

What Is InfiniBand and InfiniBand Switch?

In 1999, with the rapid development of CPU performance, the existing defective I/O systems had become a bottleneck restricting server performance. The telecommunication industry had urgent need for a powerful next generation I/O standard and technology to cater for the high speed communication network. Under this circumstance InfiniBand originated. Accordingly InfiniBand switch combined high-speed fiber switch with InfiniBand technology was invented to achieve node to node communication in IB networking. This post will introduce what is InfiniBand, what is InfiniBand switch and how to bridge InfiniBand to Ethernet.

What Is InfiniBand?

It was until 2005 that InfiniBand Architecture (IBA) has been widely used in clustered supercomputers. And ever since more and more telecom. giants are joining to the camp. Now InfiniBand has become one of the mainstream high performance computer (HPC) interconnect technologies in HPC, enterprise data centers and cloud computing environments. InfiniBand, infinite bandwidth, as the name reveals, is a high-performance computing networking communication standard. It features high throughput, low latency and high system scalability. InfiniBand as a cutting-edge technology, is ideal for communications between servers, server and storage, server and LAN/WAN/Internet. InfiniBand architecture is to use this technology to achieve multiple link networking for data follow between processors and I/O devices with non-blocking bandwidth.

InfiniBand topology HPC cluster an InfiniBand switch is integrated in each of the chassis

Figure 1: InfiniBand topology HPC cluster – an InfiniBand switch is integrated in each of the classis.

What Is InfiniBand Switch?

InfiniBand switch is also called as IB switch. Similar to PoE switch, SDN switch and NVGRE/VXLAN switch, IB switch is to add InfiniBand capability to network switch hardware. In the market Mellanox InfiniBand switch, Intel and Oracle InfiniteBand switch are three name-brand leading IB switches. InfiniBand switch price also varies from vendors and switch configurations. IB switch ports comes with different numbers, connector types and IB types. For instance, the leading IB switch vendor Mellanox manufactures 8 to 648-port QSFP/QSFP28 FDR/EDR InfiniBand switches. In a common 4 × links, FDR and EDR InfiniBand support respectively 56Gb/s and 100Gb/s. In addition to the popular FDR 56Gb/s and EDR 100Gb/s IinfiniBand, you can go for HDR 200G switch for higher speed and SDR 10GbE switch for lower speed. Other IB types available are DDR 20G, QDR 40G and FDR10 40G.

InfiniBand switch in a basic InfiniBand Architecture

Figure 2: InfiniBand switches in a basic InfiniBand Architecture by Mellanox to ensure higher bandwidth, lower latency, and enhanced scalability.

How to Bridge InfiniBand to Ethernet?

As Ethernet and InfiniBand are two different network standards, one question is of great concern – how to bridge InfiniBand to Ethernet? In fact many modern InfiniBand switches have built-in Ethernet ports and Ethernet gateway to improve network environment adaptability. But for cases where IB ports are only on InfiniBand switch, how to connect the layer 2 InfiniBand host to layer 1 multiple gigabit Etherne switches? You may need NICs such as Infiniband card/Ethernet converged network adapters (CNAs) to bridge the InfinBand over Ethernet.

Ethernet gateway Bridge-group bridges InfiniBand switch to Ethernet

Figure 3: An illustration of Ethernet gateway Bridge-group bridges InfiniBand to Ethernet by Cisco.

Or you can buy Mellanox InfiniBand switch series based on ConnectX series network card and SwitchX switch, which supports virtual protocol interconnection (VPI) between InfiniBand and Ethernet. As thus it enables link protocol display or automatic adaptation and one physical Mellanox IB switch can implement various technical supports. The VPI supports 3 modes – the whole machine VPI, port VPI and VPI bridging. The whole VPI enables all ports of the InfiniBand switch run in InfiniBand or Ethernet mode. The port VPI commands some ports of the switch run in IB network and some ports run in Ethernet mode. The VPI bridging mode implements InfiniBand bridging to Ethernet.

Conclusion

InfiniBnad technology simplifies and accelerates link aggreagation between servers and supports server connectivity to remote storage and network devices. InfiniBand switch combines IB technology with fiber switch hardware. It achieves high capacity, low latency and excellent scalability for HPC, enterprise data centers and cloud computing environments. How to bridge InfiniBand to Ethernet in a topology built with InfiniBand switch and Ethernet switch? Devices like channel adapter (CNA), InfiniBand router/Ethernet gateway, InfiniBand connector and InfiniBand cable may be required. To ensure flexible bridging, go for IB switch with optional Ethernet ports or Mellanox InfiniBand switch series with VPI functionality. Of course such InfiniBand switch price can be rather exorbitant, but its advanced features make it worthy of that.

Core Switch vs Normal Switch: What Is the Difference?

In enterprise network, network switch is always an indispensable component. Thus locating right switches in your three-layer architecture is the first step to set up a reliable hierarchical internetworking model. As we know, there are normal access/edge layer switch, aggregation/distribution layer switch and core layer switch. In my last post – What Is Distribution Switch and Why Do We Need it? – the role of distribution switch functioning multiple switch aggregation and inter-VLAN routing has been illustrated. Today we will introduce core switch and what’s the difference between core switch vs normal switch.

What Is Core Switch?

Core switch occupies in the topside layer of the enterprise networking (core layer), which functions as backbone switch for LAN access and centralizes multiple aggregation to the core. Since other 2 lower layers rely upon it, core layer switch must be a highly redundant and powerful layer 3 switch to ensure efficient high-speed and reliable data transmission. One feature on its hardware is that core switch is often a fiber switch to match with high-speed fiber optic cables and fiber optic transceiver modules. In the core layer, switching is ending and routing is beginning. Core switch is also equipped with layer 3 routing features, thus it kills two birds with one stone.

Core switch normal port speed is at least 10Gbps to handle high traffic on the uplink. Say FS S5900-24S 24 Port 10GE SFP+ stackable managed switch. This fully managed fiber 10GbE switch supports a wide range of layer2/3, inter-VLAN routing, MPLS, QoS and many other high-end functionality, natural fit for core layer networking. The switch stacking technology allows you to control the single stack to expand network capacity.

S5900-24S 24 port 10GbE fiber switch ideal for core switch

Figure 1: FS S5900-24S 24 port 10GbE fiber switch is a routing Ethernet core switch with high-performance, high-security, and switch stacking technology, expanding your network to 418Gbps.

What Is Normal Switch?

What we mentioned normal switch is often an edge switch/access switch in the access layer of enterprise network. Or in cases where network topology is not involved such as small office and home environment, normal switches may be used solely to connect end devices. Such access switch in the market often comes with copper switch with a few SFP/SFP+ port. Say S2800-24T4F fanless gigabit managed 24 port switch with 4 combo SFP slots. This quiet energy-saving access switch with abundant ports is ideal for SMBs, labs, schools and other places requiring silent operation. To provide PoE for your PDs, gigabit PoE switch is also widely used as access switch for IP surveillance cameras, VoIP phones and WAPs.

S2800-24T4F fanless 24 port gigabit switch as edge switch rather than core switch

Figure 2: FS recommends S2800-24T4F 24 port gigabit switch for your access layer to ensure quiet and reliable operation.

Core Switch vs Edge Switch: What Is the Difference?

  • Network Layer Location

Core switch is a powerful backbone switch in the central of the network core layer, which centralizes multiple aggregation switches to the core and implements LAN routing. Normal edge switch is in access layer to directly connect multiple end devices.

  • Hardware and Software Feature

What makes a best core switch? A core witch often comes with optimized hardware and software design. A remarkable feature is owning redundancy in configurations such as ports, power and PSU. A core backbone switch is also a layer 3 switch with internal firewall capability as part of its routing functionality. A normal edge switch usually doesn’t require such high demands. Actually it may even not a managed switch in simple end user connection.

core switch vs edge switch deployment scenario

Figure 3: Deploying FS 10G fiber switch as core switch, gigabit PoE switches for PDs and gigabit 48 port switches as access switches.

Conclusion

Core switch is a fatal component in enterprise network core layer, which functions both switching and routing. Compared core switch vs edge switch, core layer switch owns advanced features in hardware and software to cater for high-end applications. Though core switch price is higher than a normal switch, deploying best core switches in the core layer is a must to ensure a reliable backbone. FS provides cost-effective core switch and enterprise network solutions for different applications. Any other information to know, you can visit our official website and blog.

NVGRE vs VXLAN: What’s the Difference?

What is network virtualization? Network virtualization is a software-defined networking process to combine hardware and software into a single virtual network. Over the years, network virtualization has always been upgrading as different virtual network technologies have popping out. It has a transitional period from dummy virtualization networking to more advanced one like virtual VLAN. Then the appearance of two tunneling protocols – NVGRE and VXLAN have brought in new network virtualization technologies. Software-defined networking (SDN) NVGRE vs VXLAN: What’s the difference? This post will introduce SDN NVGRE vs VXLAN definition, NVGRE/VXLAN network switch features and the difference between NVGRE and VXLAN.

NVGRE vs VXLAN What's the Difference

NVGRE vs VXLAN:What Are NVGRE and VXLAN?

NVGRE (Network Virtualization using Generic Routing Encapsulation) and VXLAN (Virtual Extensive Local Area Network) are two different tunneling protocols for network virtualization technology. They don’t provide substantial functionality but define how various virtual devices like network switches encapsulate and forward packets. However many times people mention software-defined NVGRE/VXLAN as network virtualization technologies. Both NVGRE and Virtual Extensive LAN encapsulate layer 2 protocols with layer 3 protocols, which solve the scalability problem of large cloud computing and enable layer 2 packets exchange across IP networks.

NVGRE vs VXLAN: What’s the difference?

  • NVGRE is mainly supported by Microsoft whereas VXLAN is introduced by Cisco. The two tech giants are scrambling to make their standards become the unified standard in the industry.
  • Both technologies change the situation of fixed VLAN size – 4096 virtual networks while creating up to 16 million virtual networks. However, VXLAN vs NVGRE deployment method and header format are quite different. VXLAN uses the standard tunneling protocol UDP to generate a 24-bit ID segment on the VXLAN header. Instead, NVGRE employs GRE (Generic Routing Encapsulation) to tunnel layer 2 packets over layer 3 networks. NVGRE header format is lower 24 bits GRE header, which can also support 16 million virtual networks.
  • VXLAN can guarantee load balancing and reserve the data packet order between different virtual machines (VMs). However, as NVGRE needs to provide a flow to describe the bandwidth utilization granularity, the tunneling network must use GRE header. This causes NVGRE incompatible with traditional load balancing. To solve this problem, NVGRE host requires multiple IP addresses to ensure balanced traffic load.

NVGRE vs VXLAN: NVGRE/VXLAN Enabled Network Switch

As Power over Ethernet technology booming, PoE enabled switch such as gigabit PoE switch had been invented to add PoE to networks. Similarly, software-based technologies like LACP, SND, NVGRE and VXLAN have also penetrated to hardware devices. For example, NVGRE/VXLAN enabled data switch owns NVGRE/VXLAN capability to expand VLAN size compared. Such NVGRE or VXLAN enabled switches come with different capacity ranging from 1G to 100G in the market.

FS recommends S and N series high-end L2/L3 switches. Say S5850-48T4Q 48 port 10Gb Ethernet switch with 4 40G QSFP+ ports and N5850-48S6Q 48 port 10Gb SFP+ Top-of-Rack (ToR)/ Leaf switch with 6 40G QSFP+ ports. Both of the 10GbE switches support NVGRE and VXLAN to support over 16M virtual networks.

S5850-48T4Q high performance Ethernet copper switch supports advanced features like VxLAN, IPv4/IPv6, MLAG, NVGRE, best fit for enterprise/data center/Metro ToR access requiring complete software with comprehensive protocols and applications deployment. N5850-48S6Q fiber switch supports advanced features including MLAG, VXLAN/NVGRE, SFLOW, SNMP, MPLS etc, ideal for fully virtualized data center. Besides, the optional ONIE type of this model supports any ONIE-enabled software to be installed in the open switch, natural fit for open network installation network.

S5850-48T4Q NVGRE vs VXLAN 10Gb switch with 4 40G QSFP+

Figure 1: FS provides various NVGRE vs VXLAN capable network switches ranging from 1G to 100G.

Conclusion

VXLAN and NVGRE are advanced network virtualization implement tunneling protocols/technologies compared with VLAN. They expand virtual networks size from 4096 up to 16 million and allow layer 2 packets to transmit across IP fabric such as layer 3 networks. NVGRE vs VXLAN differences lie in supported tech giants, tunneling method, header format and load balancing compatibility. Adding NVGRE and VXLAN capability to network switch overcomes VLAN scalability limits in large cloud computing and enables an agile VM networking environment.

What Is Distribution Switch and Why Do We Need It?

We know that in data centers a three-layer hierarchical model contains core layer, aggregation/distribution layer and access layer. In this network topology, corresponding network switch is implemented in different network layer. A core switch is a high-capacity backbone switch, which locates in the topside for WAN access and centralizing multiple aggregations in the core. Thus backbone core layer switch is often a fiber switch for advanced optical link. An access switch or an edge switch is for direct end devices and hierarchy connection. But what is distribution switch? What are the functions of distribution layer switch? And what’s the difference between aggregation switch vs core switch and distribution switch vs router? This article may help.

what is distribution switch and aggregation switch function

What Is Distribution Switch?

A distribution switch is a distribution layer switch, which uplinks to upper layer core switch and links down to the access/edge switch. Simply put, an aggregation switch in between functions a bridge between core layer switch and access layer switch. This is also the reason why we call distribution switch as aggregation switch.

Distribution Switch Functions

Why distribution layer switch is needed in network layers? In general, aggregation switch reacts on multiple switch aggregation and layer 3 routing functionality. It also supports complex policy implementation such as QoS and packet filtering. Highlights, distribution switch employs Access Control Lists (ACL) to offer optimized security policies. This security capability enables aggregation switch to decide which traffic can be permitted for communication. Here we illustrate the necessities of distribution layer switch into details by comparing it to other switches and routers.

  • Distribution Switch vs Access Switch

Usually we employ gigabit Ethernet switch in access layer 2 to run at 1Gb. When traffic driving from a layer 2 switch, the network topology requires a device with layer 3 features to process it to VLANs. Aggregation switch is often a layer 3 switch, so it supports inter-VLAN routing over a layer 2 switch. When multiple access switches among different VLANs are required to be aggregated, a distribution switch can achieve inter-VLAN communication.

  • Core Switch vs Distribution Switch

For core switch vs aggregation switch, one question may come in mind: why not directly connecting access switch to the core switch? An important reason is for convenient network access. When there are dozens of clients spreading over different offices in 5 buildings, we can deploy a distribution layer 10GbE switch in the center of each building to connect multiple access layer gigabit Ethernet switches in different offices. Then the 5 distribution switches can easily link to a 40GbE core switch in data centers. There are cases of combining collapsed distribution and core into one when there are only several severs and end users. We also call such switch as collapsed core or collapsed backbone since distribution layer switch is combined.

using fs 10GbE switch as distribution switch

Figure 1: Deploying FS S5800-48S6Q 10GbE switch with 6 40G QSFP+ uplinks as distribution switch in three-layer hierarchical model.

  • Distribution Switch vs Router

Generally, both a router and distribution layer switch has layer 3 routing functionality. But there is some distinctions. Compared to layer 3 switch/multilayer switch, a router has full layer 3 features and intact routing functionality like Internet Service Provider (ISP) and WAN. A aggregation switch combines layer 2 switching technology with layer 3 routing technology in one hardware. So a layer 3 distribution switch owns edges over router as switch while possessing inter-VLAN routing functionality. Besides, as a router a layer 3 distribution switch can route packets more quickly than a router due to functionality to make cache entry in its fast memory.

deploy layer 3 switch distribution switch over layer 2 switch and routers

Figure 2: Scenarios to deploy layer 3 switch – distribution switch over layer 2 switch and routers.

Conclusion

Despite advanced features of policy-based network connection, distribution layer switch functions aggregation and routing. As an aggregation switch, distribution switch connects multiple access switches and centralizes them to core switch. As a layer 3 switch, distribution switch adds routing functionality to achieve fast and easy inter-VLAN routing communication. As thus distribution switch deployment changes the situation that subnet must relay on router to manage network. And solves the issue of low speed and complexity caused by traditional routers.

What Is the Best Way to Connect Multiple Ethernet Switch?

In the big data era, gigabit Ethernet switch with high capacity has gradually penetrated from big enterprises, SMB to small offices and homes. Newly emerged technology like WIFI is also driving the proliferation of wireless APs and other applications. Therefore the Ethernet topology requires for a comprehensive integration of various devices like firewall, servers, routers and multiple Ethernet switches. How to connect multiple managed switches together? Can I simply connect network switch one by one? Does daisy-chaining switch make sense? Or should I stack switch with stackable switch to set up a switch stack? What’s the best method to connect several data switches together?

waht is the best way to connect multiple Ethernet switch

Solution 1: Cascade Switch to Connect Multiple Ethernet Switch

Switch cascade is a traditional way to connect multiple Ethernet switches, which comes with various methods and network topology under different requirements. Among them daisy chain topology and star topology are two common ways.

·Daisy Chain Topology – Daisy Chain Switch One by One

Daisy chain is a layout form to connect multiple Ethernet switches together in sequence or in a ring. A simple linear topology displays as A-B-C, in which you just daisy chain each network switch top to bottom. For no more than 3 Ethernet switches, a linear topology of daisy chaining is okay since there is no loop. However, it owns drawbacks in switch failure due to lacking redundancy. Once one network switch fails, the others will also be dragged in. A simple ring topology is A-B-C-A, which can provide redundancy in link failure. However, simultaneously a loop creates when you finally daisy chain switch C back to A. Thus even only daisy chaining 3 Ethernet switches, an inevitable loop can be a fatal weakness.

Simply put, daisy chaining switch is error-proof and easily causes unnecessary low performance issues. Besides loop, a bottleneck creates in the chain and speed will slow down when traffic passing through the second Ethernet switch (since the link is heavily utilized). So daisy chaining switch is not recommended if scheme is optional. For simple home use or low demand networks, daisy chaining switches can make sense. But make sure your network switch support STP to deal with the loop issue.

daisy chain topology vs star topology for connecting multiple Ethernet switch

Figure 1: An illustration of daisy chain topology vs star topology for connecting multiple Ethernet switches.

·Star Topology – Link Access Switches to the Core

Compared to daisy chain topology, a physical star topology by deploying a powerful core switch to connect multiple access switches with uplinks is an optimal solution. For instance, connecting each gigabit switch via 10G SFP+ uplink to a central 10GbE switch. Or connecting a powerful gigabit Ethernet switch to each edge switches. In this scenario no loop occurs and all access switch is much closer to the central switch data center. For redundancy concern, you can also double or triple uplink each access switch to the core switch.

core Ethernet switch star topology by S3800-24T4S

Figure 2: Deploying a powerful gigabit Ethernet switch S3800-24T4S as core switch to connect edge switches, which forms a simple star topology.

Solution 2: Use Stackable Switch to Connect Multiple Ethernet Switch

Daisy chaining switch can be a solution when Ethernet switch quantity is small and separate placement is required in low demanding applications. How about an optimized way to connect multiple switches? Here comes stackable switch. Stackable switch deploys advanced stacking technology to achieve switch stacking, leaving out performance issues of clumsy daisy chaining topology like loops and bottlenecks.

To stack switch with managed stackable Ethernet switch can set up a switch stack, which works as a unified system with one console port for control to enhance network scalability and simplify network management. The port density and performance of switch stack can equal to expensive rack mount switch. Say stackable 24 port gigabit managed switch with 4 10Gb SFP+ uplinks: S3800-24T4S 1000Base-T copper switch and S3800-24F4S SFP switch. Both Ethernet switch supports up to 4 24 port switches stacked together, providing 96 1GbE port density and switching a total capacity of up to 512 Gbps. Also with single and dual power supply available, this 24 port gigabit managed switch offers redundancy in emergent power outage. To stack up S3800-24T4S 24 port switches with 10G SFP+ ports, you should connect them via SFP+ modules with fiber patch cable or via DAC or AOC directly.

stack switch by S3800-24T4S stackable Ethernet switch

Figure 3: Deploying S3800-24T4S stackable 24 port gigabit switch to stack switch.

What Is the Best Way to Connect Multiple Ethernet Switch?

To cascade network switch by daisy chaining topology or star topology is a simple way to connect multiple network switch. Daisy chaining switch is not recommended due to aforesaid performance issues like loop and bottleneck. However, it does make sense when a powerful core switch is absent. Otherwise to connect gigabit Ethernet switch with 10G uplink to a core 10GbE switch is a better solution to go.

Using stackable switch to stack switch leaves out loop and other link issues. However, it only be feasible among same stackable switch model or stackable switch from the same vendor. Also, all Ethernet switches shall be stacked together, so it doesn’t support separate placement.

Table below compares the pros and cons for connecting multiple network switches by daisy chaining switch and stacking switch. You can refer to your own demand for selecting the best way.

Item Daisy Chain Switch Stack switch
Placement Separate Centralized
Link Distance Long/Short Short
Switch Types Various switches from different vendors Same stackable switch only
Link port Normal/Uplink port Stacking port
Operation & Control Separate As one single switch
Performance Problem-prone: Loop, bottleneck Advanced Features

Conclusion

Traditional cascading Ethernet switch (daisy-chain topology or star topology) and advanced stacking switch are two ways for connecting multiple network switches. When both stackable switch and a powerful core switch is unavailable, problem-prone daisy chaining switch makes sense for low demanding applications. Otherwise you can deploy a 10GbE switch or powerful gigabit switch as core to connect each edge switch for better performance. Stack switch by stackable managed switch, deploying stacking technology as built-in software to connect multiple Ethernet switch is a must for enterprise-level networks. It leaves out low loop issues and simplifies control mechanism.

What Is MLAG Networking?

When buying a layer 3 capable 10GbE switch, we usually see product obviously described as owning multiple advanced features like MLAG, IPv4/IPv6 and sFLOW. But many people don’t know what they refer to. This article will focus on MLAG networking to illustrate what is MLAG, MLAG configuration advantages, and how to implement MC-LAG networking with Ethernet switch.

S5800 48F4S SFP Switch for MLAG networking

Figure 1: S5800-48F4S 48 port SFP switch supports MC-LAG networking.

What Is MLAG Networking?

MC-LAG networking is a networking type achieved by MC-LAG technology. MLAG (MC-LAG), abbreviation for Multi-Chassis Link Aggregation Group, is a new multi-device link aggregation technology for data center Ethernet switches. MLAG configuration centralizes constituent ports on separate chassis, mainly serves as reliable load functionality to increase bandwidth and provide redundancy in emergent breakdown of one of the device. MC-LAG networking is introduced by Arista in 2012. LAG is defined in the IEEE 802.1AX-2008 standard, where MC-LAG is not involved. Instead, MLAG implementations are vendor-specific. Say MC-LAG Juniper and mLACP Cisco. However, the combined chassis is still compliant to the IEEE 802.1AX-2008 standard.

Why MLAG Configuration Is Superior?
MLAG vs LAG

Rooted in LAG but not ceased to advance, MC-LAG adds node-level redundancy to the normal link-level redundancy. As thus MLAG networking enables more virtual switches to simultaneously share the same LAG endpoint. In this way bandwidth is expanded and redundancy is enhanced once again.

MLAG vs LAG

Figure 2: A comparison of LAG networking vs MLAG networking configuration.

MLAG vs Spanning Tree

What’s the significant difference between MLAG vs STP (Spanning Tree Protocol)? Generally MC-LAG HA (High Availability) configuration is superior to Spanning Tree. Counting the MLAG configuration crossing “X”, all links can share the load during normal operation. However, Spanning Tree must disable some links to achieve loop prevention.

MLAG three tier architecture

Figure 3: An illustration of HA MC-LAG implementation with multiple Ethernet switches link in data center three-layer architecture.

How to Achieve MLAG Implementation with Ethernet Switch?

To illustrate the MC-LAG configuration method, take S5800-48F4S 48 port managed gigabit SFP switch as example. This low latency layer2/3 Ethernet switch is designed as carrier access switch and caters for 10G link aggregation networks. With advanced feature including MC-LAG, MPLS, IPv4/IPv6, SFLOW, SNMP etc. supported, this 10GbE switch is ideal for MLAG networking.

To implement MLAG, 4 10GE SFP+ ports on the 48 port switch can simultaneously be connected to multiple switches. As the following figure shows, connecting S5800-48F4S switch A1 with A2, and then linking the virtual Switch A (switch A1 and A2 as a whole) with S5800-48F4S switch B, a simple LAG + MCLAG networking is implemented. To go further to MLAG + MLAG configuration, S5800-48F4S switch B can also be replaced by two linked switches switch B1 and B2. As thus 4 × 10GbE uplink bandwidth is achieved. Meanwhile more switches share the endpoint 10GbE bandwidth at the same time. Besides, node-level redundancy is added to link-level redundancy due to two nodes on one link. For instance, the switch A2 can function well while switch A1 fails.

S5800-48F4S MLAG application

Figure 4: Deploying S5800-48F4S 48 port 10GbE switch for MC-LAG implementation.

Conclusion

MC-LAG networking is superior over LAG technology due to node-level redundancy added to link-level redundancy. The HA MLAG configuration also surpasses spanning tree for no link drop is required in loop prevention. Buying 10GbE switch for MLAG implementation, S5800-48F4S SFP switch is a natural fit to go. And for cases where power cabling is unavailable for your PoE powered devices (PD), you can consider buying a gigabit PoE switch as access switch for you MLAG networking.

48 Port Switch Buying Guide

As a core hardware device in data centers, network switch is vital for setting up a reliable network. Meanwhile 48 port switch with high port density has become popular among enterprise-class, small to midsize and even home users. However, how to buy an optimal 48 port switch for different network environment confuses many people. This article will make an analysis of 48 port switch for your buying guide.

What to Consider for Buying 48 Port Switch?

To buy an optimal 48 port switch for your network, one should take several factors into consideration. Above all, choose managed over unmanaged if possible. 48 port managed switch has advanced features in reliable performance, traffic control, custom management and security regulation. For modern applications requiring for high network privacy and resiliency, 48 port gigabit switch managed is a must. Besides, here lists other important factors for 48 port switch managed selection.

how to choose 48 port switch

·Capacity

What kind of virtualization applications are you implementing? Do they require extra high switching capacity? Generally 48 port switches in the market come with 2 different speed basis: 48 port gigabit switch and 48 port 10Gb switch. For average customers without special requirements 48 port gigabit switch can well meet their demands. But for speed pursuers 48 port 10Gb switch should be deployed for smooth operation in high traffic.

·Uplink Configuration

In addition to regular port, pay attention to the uplink port on 48 port switch. For multiple switch connection, 48 port gigabit switch often comes with several 10G SFP+ uplink ports whereas 10Gb switch comes with 40G QSFP+ or even 100G QSFP+ uplink ports for link aggregation. With a few corresponding uplink ports reserved, the 48 port gigabit switch can access to 10G core switch. And 48 port 10Gb switch can cater for future demands like next generation Metro, Dater Center and Enterprise networks.

·Power over Ethernet

For situations where power outlets are unavailable for cabling devices, 48 port PoE switch is a natural fit. A typical aforesaid case is for connecting Powered Devices (PD): IP cameras, VoIP phones and wireless access points (AP). By deploying 48 port PoE gigabit switch, you can easily put an IP surveillance camera anywhere on the ceiling.

What Are the Cheap 48 Port Switch Recommendations?

You can easily get the best 48 port switch with all advanced features once budget is not a concern. However, most people should note cost/performance ratio to get good but cheap 48 port switch. For good purchasing experience, here recommend you 2 best 48 port switch for reference.

·Cost-effective Non-PoE 48 Port Switch

Without PoE capability, here recommend S3800-48T4S 48 port switch managed. It comes with 48 10/100/1000Mb auto-sensing RJ45 ports and 4 10GE SFP+ uplinks for cost-effective gigabit access or 10G link aggregation. Thus you can easily deploy this 48 port Metro Ethernet switch either in access layer or as core switch. Also, with dual power available this 48 port gigabit switch managed provides redundancy in emergent outage.

FS 48 port switch application

Figure 1: Deploying FS S3800-48T4S 48 port gigabit switch as access switch and S1600-48T4S 48 port PoE switch for PDs in network layer.

·Cost-effective 48 Port PoE Switch

FS recommends S1600-48T4S 48 port PoE switch for both 600W high PoE power budget and reliable hardware with software integration. With 48 1000M RJ45 ports and 4 10G SFP+ uplinks compact in 1RU, this 48 port PoE gigabit switch owns high density and space saving features. As a 48 port gigabit switch managed, it supports both Web Interface and CLI command. Therefore it offers enterprise-class functionality of free configuration, strong security and reliable RSTP. As PoE+ switch, it complies IEEE802.3af/at standard. Thus the PoE network switch can auto figure which standard the PoE enabled device supports and then supply power to it. To deploy S1600-48T4S 48 port switch, you can flexibly put it in a rack, on a wall or on desktop. Power on the switch. Then connect over 40 APs or other PDs all over the building with only one each cable is required to run for them.

S1600-48T4S 48 port switch PoE

Figure 2: S1600-48T4S 48 port PoE switch connecting to VoIP phones, wireless APs and IP surveillance cameras for intelligent switching and networks growth.

Conclusion

Take a long-term view, 48 port switch with high port density provides abundant ports for your current devices and room for future network growth. Buying a best 48 port switch requires one to consider its own demands for specific applications. Based on which, one should take based speed, uplink port configuration, PoE capability and other personal requirement into consideration. For cheap 48 port gigabit switch, we recommend you classic one S3800-48T4S and 48 port PoE switch S1600-48T4S. For 48 port 10Gb switch, you can also find one with decent offer in FS.COM.

24 Port Switch vs Daisy-chaining 8 Port Switch

As technology booming and networking devices proliferating, network expansion has become common in all data centers. Thus choosing an Ethernet switch with abundant ports is of great concern. However, one can also connect small switches like 8 port switches together by daisy chaining them. For SMBs and home usage, the choice between deploying a 24 port switch vs daisy-chaining 8 port switch has confused many people. We’re here to make an analysis for your selection guide.

24 Port Switch Solution Analysis

Deploying a single 24 port switch owns all the edges over several small 8 port switches. Above all, 24 port switch is designed with advanced features for high-performance. Say S1400-24T4F 24 port PoE switch, which has a 400W power budget and 52Gbps switching capacity rather than 130W and 20Gbps of S1130-8T2F 8 port PoE switch. Besides, more unoccupied ports provides you redundancy for network expansion. An 8 port switch can easily get saturated than you’ve expected. Also, running one 24 port switch saves space, power and is easier for management than daisy-chaining several 8 port switches. But meanwhile a single 24 port switch loses redundancy for network outage and separate placing flexibility.

S1400-24T4F 24 port switch

Figure 1: S1400-24T4F 24 port rack mount PoE switch complies with IEEE 802.3af/at, fit for VoIP phones, wireless APs and IP surveillance cameras for intelligent switching and networks growth.

Daisy-chaining 8 Port Switch Solution Analysis

In general, we don’t recommend one to daisy chain 8 port switches. The main reason is that it brings low performance and unnecessary troubles. Chaining switches makes your network too big a diameter, which is difficult to achieve effective Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) and Shortest Path Bridging (SPB). As a result, it forms a loop and your network will grind to a halt. Also, the 1Gbps uplinks for connecting those 8 port switches will become a bottleneck, which causes random dropped connections and incidental throughput issues. To alleviate the loop, mind never daisy chain more than 3 switches together. Besides, keeping hooking up 8 port switches, your network layout will look like a spider web of switches and cables in all different directions. In this regard 8 Port PoE switch may be a good way to go for saving one extra power wire for each device.

However, daisy-chaining 8 port switch can make things easier in some situations. For example, you have a 24 port gigabit switch in the garage and you plan to run each room with a cable to a port. But how about rooms needing more than one port? In this case you can daisy chain an 8 port switch to that port in each room, then all your devices can be connected. This is also the easiest solution when PCs in different areas requiring for separate IP locations.

S1130-8T2F 8 port PoE switch application

Figure 2: Applications of S1130-8T2F 8 port PoE switch for IP cameras, VoIP phones, wireless APs.

24 Port Switch vs Daisy-chaining 8 Port Switch Deployment Guide

To highlight, using a single 24 port switch with redundant ports is a more advanced solution in modern market. It leaves management troubles and low-performance issues like loop and connection drops of daisy-chaining 8 port switches. However, daisy-chaining 8 port switches is a solution to situations when you need several ports in different rooms or separate IP addresses. But all in all, even if you choose daisy-chaining 8 port switches, you need at least a reliable gigabit switch as core switch in the data center. Then you can add 8 port switches as small branch circuits.

Whatever you are choosing, gigabit PoE switch can fit the bill in any situations cruel for power cabling. For the loop issue, one key is to use managed gigabit switch. It detects loops and quickly shuts them down. All managed PoE gigabit switches in FS.COM are fully managed, supporting both Web Interface and CLI command. For replacing clumsy daisy chaining, you can stack switch by using stackable managed switch, which can let your switch stack work smoothly as a single one. Say stackable 24 port gigabit switch managed with 4 10Gb SFP+ uplinks: S3800-24T4S 1000Base-T copper switch and S3800-24F4S SFP switch. Both supports up to 4 24 port switches stacked together, providing up to 512Gbps total switching capacity for your network.

S3800-24T4S and S3800-24F4S stackable 24 port switch

Figure 3: S3800-24T4S and S3800-24F4S stackable managed switch stacking solution for network expansion.

Conclusion

24 port switch vs daisy-chaining 8 port switch: which to employ? For separate placement requirement, daisy-chaining 8 port switch can be a solution to go. A suggestion is to deploy a good 24 port gigabit switch in the data center. Then daisy chain 8 port switches as access switches. For reliable performance concern, one should go for 24 port switch. And for future-proof network growth, to stack switch with stackable 24 port switch can make sense. It also gets around performance issues in replace of daisy-chaining 8 port switches.

Ethernet Switch with 10Gb Uplink or 1Gb Uplink

With the booming high speed broadband technology, modern Ethernet switch has stretched its branches to SMB operators and even home individuals. The exclusive property of network switch to big enterprises no longer exists. Accordingly questions about the uplink ports on Ethernet switch has put forward by lots of newbies. What is uplink on Ethernet switch? What is the function of 10Gb uplink on gigabit switch? For a specific home or SMB usage, should I employ network switch with 10Gb uplink or 1Gb uplink? With concerns of a reliable backbone, should I upgrade to gigabit access switch with 10G uplink to core 10GbE switch? For anyone with doubts about Ethernet switch with 10Gb uplink vs 1Gb uplink, this article may help.

Understanding Uplink Port on Ethernet Switch

Uplink port on Ethernet switch serves as different layer network connection, which enables a lower network to link up to a higher network. One also uses it as regular port to connect end users while link aggregation is not involved. Connecting the uplink port on one access Ethernet switch to the regular port on another higher-layer core switch enables bandwidth expansion. The uplink bandwidth will be shared by all the end devices connected to the access switch regular ports. For example, by putting a 10Gb uplink on a 1Gb Ethernet switch, it would let 10 devices on the switch communicate at 1Gb each at the same time with the rest of the network. Otherwise if the uplink was only 1Gb, those 10 devices would only be able to get about 100Mb each.

Ethernet Switch with 10Gb Uplink

10Gb uplink is commonly built in 1Gb access Ethernet switch for 10G link aggregation. Thus gigabit switch with 10Gb uplink is also called as 10GbE switch by many users. In the market such Ethernet switches with 10Gb uplinks are available for copper and optical SFP switch with 2/4 uplinks. For instance, FS provides 4 SFP+ 10Gb uplinks on 24/48-port 1000Base-T RJ45/SFP managed gigabit switches such as S3800 series 24-port stackable 1000Base-T/SFP Ethernet switches.

Some vendors like FS.COM also bring in PoE to 10Gb uplink switch for advanced features. Say S1600-48T4S 48-port PoE+ managed gigabit switch. It can boost your network to a switching capacity of 180Gbps and offers 600W total power budget for power-hungry PDs. Such Ethernet switches with 10Gb uplinks frequently used as access layer switches to link up to backbone core 10GbE switch. Then all end users on the gigabit switch can share the 10Gb bandwidth, not 1Gb anymore.

Ethernet switch with 10Gb uplink application

Figure 1: Deploying FS 48-port Ethernet switches with 4 SFP+ 10Gb uplinks ports as access switches to connect 10Gb core switch in data center layer.

Ethernet Switch with 1Gb Uplink

Only a few years ago 100Mb Ethernet switch are still common among many SMBs as access switch. However, nowadays it has gradually obsoleted by 100/1000MBase gigabit switch. To enhance network connection resiliency, modern gigabit switch comes with 24/48 RJ45 100/1000Base-T ports and 4 1Gb SFP ports for uplink. Except uplink function, The SFP uplinks on copper gigabit Ethernet switch provides optical link option when the network requires fiber cabling. FS supplies such SFP uplinks on 8/24- port PoE+ managed gigabit switch with different power budget for 1G speed.

FS PoE gigabit Ethernet switch with SFP 1Gb uplink

Figure 2: FS PoE+ Ethernet switches with SFP 1Gb uplinks and  PoE+ switch with SFP+ 10Gb uplinks are natural fit for IP cameras, VoIP phones and wireless APs.

Ethernet Switch with 10Gb Uplink or 1Gb Uplink Selection Guide

So how to choose from 10Gb and 1Gb uplink of Ethernet switch? Try to ask yourself about questions as follows. What kind of application virtualization are you implementing? How many users are there? Whether the applications and user quantity requiring for the extra bandwidth of 10Gbps? Is my cabling up-to-snuff for 10Gb uplink? Can I afford 10Gb Ethernet?

Then here are some suggestions for you. First, attach importance to applications virtualization. If your employees only need to open occasional Word documents, reply to emails or update database records, there would not be much of a requirement for 10G uplink on Ethernet switch. But if you should do lots of mass data transfer such as photos and videos exchange even in a small advertising shop it would quite be another story. Second, concern about number of users. The proliferating wireless APs and office devices bring much burdens to your network. Third, for concerns of future-proof expansion and a reliable backbone, even if your current 1GbE is unsaturated, Ethernet switch with 10Gb uplinks is also a good solution for enterprises with hardware upgrading demands. But if the aforesaid factors not concerned, your gigabit Ethernet switch with 1Gb uplink may suit your network just fine.

Conclusion

Both 10Gb uplink and 1Gb uplink on Ethernet switch are designed for link aggregation of multi-layer switch connection. Ethernet gigabit switch with 10Gb uplink enables total 10Gbps bandwidth to divide to end devices for accessing max. 1G speed. While Ethernet switch with 1Gb uplink delivers max. 100Mbps data rate to 10 devices. For concerns of high bandwidth applications, multiple office devices quantity and future-proof expansion, Ethernet switch with 10Gb uplink is the way to go. Otherwise your existing gigabit switch with 1Gb uplink can make sense.

10GbE Switch for Small and Medium Business

The current information ear is and will continue to be in full swing while pulsed by networking high traffic and applications. Meanwhile, with productivity greatly improved by technologies like VLAN, Cloud Computing and IEEE 802.11ac, gigabit Ethernet switch can no longer bear the high pressure in enterprise-class data centers, SMBs and even homes. In this circumstance 10GbE network is required for meeting the demands. And as a core component, 10GbE switch is dispensable for 10G network upgrade. So here provides a guide for buying 10GbE switch for SMB and offers some cost-effective 10gbe switches for your selection.

Overview of 10GbE Switch for SMB

For the high expense out of advanced performance required by 10GbE network, the purchase market of 10GbE switch is generally not very optimistic for SMBs. Searching on many forums and communities for 10Gb switch, we can see Cisco switches are always the hot topic. However, one will hesitate to pick Cisco and some other brand-name 10GbE switches especially for SMB out of budget concerns. In this regard FS specially designed a series of 10Gb switches for SMBs under cost-effectiveness and equal performance concerns. By deploying such 10GbE switch to your SMB network, one can benefit from reduced response time, smooth operation in high traffic and improved work efficiency.

10GbE Switch for SMB Buying Considerations

Based on budget saving of SMBs, here are some considerations for choosing an affordable 10GbE switch.

·Port Quantity

In the market the 1/10Gb switch is often equipped with 4 × SFP+ uplink ports for 10G uplink network, which is very suitable for small, medium and some start-up business. For the demand of remaining your gigabit for 1G devices, you should also consider about the gigabit ports with 12/24/32/48 ports for selection.

·Stackable Ability

Stackable 10GbE switch is very common in network upgrade for simplified management and link aggregation. Taking FS S3800 Series managed stackable switches as example. With 4 × S3800-24T4S 10Gb switch stacked together to work as a whole system, operators no longer need to control each switch individually but managed it as a single switch with one console port. Moreover, it will become very easy to add and remove any switch from the stacking system.

S3800-24T4S stackable 24 port 10GbE switch

Figure 1: Using 4 × S3800-24T4S stackable 24 port switches for link aggregation in a data center.

·Managed or Unmanaged

Unmanged 10GbE switch is a configuration fixed plug-and-play switch, which not supports any customized configuration. Managed 10Gb switch has partly managed smart switch and fully managed switch option. Generally for optimized performance of 10G network, managed switch is dispensable for SMB to ensure smooth operation in heavy workload. Also, it provides traffic control, customization and security monitoring.

·PoE or Non-PoE

Getting rid of extra power cable for connecting devices with power outlet, PoE 10GbE switch provides placing flexibility to powered devices such as IP phones and wireless access points. For instance, FS S1600-48T4S 48 port PoE+ switch with 4 × 10G SFP+ ports can supply power to a series PDs with PoE budget up to 600W. However, if power supply is not a question, one can pick non-PoE for budget saving.

FS 10GbE Switch Options for SMB

After explaining the aforesaid factors for 10GbE switch selection, we’ll give you a clue for affordable options of 10Gb switch. For SMBs and home labs, the most cost-effective solution is to pick up gigabit switch with 10G uplink rather than 10G core switch. Here we recommend you such managed 10GbE switches, ranging from 1000Base-T copper switch or SFP switch with 24/48 ports and PoE availability.

1/10GbE Switch P/N Port Quantity Managed Stackable
Copper Switch S3700-24T4S 24 × 1000Base-T RJ45, 4 × 10G SFP+ Yes No
Copper Switch S3800-24T4S 24 × 1000Base-T RJ45, 4 × 10G SFP+ Yes Yes

For SMB with very tight budget, one can go for S3700/S3800 Series. S1600-48T4S 10Gb switch is also a cost-saving way to go for PoE technology. It is noted that SFP switch often costs more than copper switch, but owns higher switch class and functionality. Say, S5800-48F4S 10GbE switch is a layer2/3 SFP switch, natural fit for applications of data centers as carrier access switch. It has low latency and advanced features such as MLAG nd SFLOW.

S3800-48T4S and S1600-48T4S 10GbE switch application

Figure 2: Deploying S3800-48T4S SFP switch and S1600-48T4S PoE switch as access switches in 10G network.

Conclusion

For 10GbE switch option of small to medium business, budget is always a big concern. Based on this regard, one should consider buying gigabit Ethernet switch with 10G uplink. Further, taking a comprehensive consideration of number of port, managed ability, PoE and stackability will make the best decision of 10Gb switch.