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.

Gigabit Switch with 10G Uplink Recommendation

Touching on switching capacity of the modern networks, the invariant rule is: the faster, the better. Of course for large enterprises, 10G network is a lower value. And more often 40G even 100G network is required for data centers. However, for individuals, small and medium-sized business (SMB), 10G network is often out of reach for exorbitant price of 10gbe switch. In this case, Ethernet switch with 10G uplink can help to achieve 10G network. This article will recommend affordable managed gigabit switch with 10G uplink.

Gigabit Switch with 10G Uplink: Choose 1000Base-T Copper Switch or Fiber SFP Switch

Generally there are two gigabit switch with 10G uplink solutions: 1000base-T copper switch and 1G SFP fiber switch. In the current market, 1000base-T gigabit switch with 10G uplink is usually more popular, especially with home individuals, office users and SMBs. The main reason is largely traced back to price discrimination between them. RJ45 copper gigabit switch employs existing Ethernet copper cable (Cat5e/6, etc.) as medium to transmit data, which saves one budget for matched fiber optics of SFP switch. Moreover, the 1000base-T copper switch is backward compatible with legacy networks. However, 1G SFP link owns the edges of reduced electromagnetic interference, lower latency and power consumption over copper link. For advanced users sensitive to aforesaid factors, one can consider taking gigabit switch with SFP uplink.

FS copper vs SFP gigabit switch with 10G uplink

This figure shows FS S3800-24T4S copper gigabit switch vs S3800-24F4S 1GE SFP switch with 10G uplink.

1000Base-T Copper Gigabit Switch with 10G Uplink Recommendation

For 1000Base-T copper gigabit switch, here recommends both PoE and non-PoE ones for your selection guide.

·Non-PoE

For non-PoE gigabit switch, here strongly recommends you FS S3800-24T4S 24 port switch and S3800-48T4S 48 port switch. They come with 24/48-port 10/100/1000base-T ports with 4 x 10GE SFP+ uplinks. Both of them come with single power and dual power version for selection. They are high performance Metro Ethernet switch, and designed to cater for cost-efficient gigabit access or aggregation for 10G uplink networks.

FS P/N S3800-24T4S S3800-48T4S
1000Base-T RJ45 Port 24 48
10GbE Uplink 4 4
Switch Class Layer 2+ Layer 2+
Switching Capacity 128Gbps 176Gbps
Power Consumption 40W 60W
Throughput 95Mpps 130Mpps
·PoE

For Gigabit PoE switch with 10G uplink, here recommends you S1600-48T4S 48 port PoE+ switch with 4 SFP+. The 48 port PoE switch can better fit for SMBs or enterprise class network as access switch. It can be mounted in a rack, on a wall or on desktop. One can connects it to VoIP phones, wireless APs and IP cameras for intelligent switching and network growth. Besides this 48 port PoE switch, 8 port gigabit switch and 24 port PoE switch are also available. Generally speaking, 8 port gigabit switch is suitable for home use. And 24 port PoE switch is commonly deployed in small business with few connections.

S3800-48T4S and S1600-48T4S gigabit switch application

Deploying FS S3800-48T4S 48 port switch and S1600-48T4S 48 port PoE+ gigabit switch with 4 x 10G uplink in access layer.

Fiber SFP Gigabit Switch with 10G Uplink Recommendation

For gigabit SFP switch with 10G link, here recommends S3800-24F4S. It comes with 4 x 1GE combo ports, 20 x 1G SFP ports and 4 x 10GE SFP+ ports. This 24 port gigabit switch comes with single power and dual power version for selection. For 48 port switch demand, go for S5800-48F4S. It is a Layer 2/3 switch with 4 x 10G SFP+ uplinks. The table below lists the details of these two Ethernet switches.

FS Fiber SFP Gigabit Switch S3800-24F4S S5800-48F4S
Port Configuration 24 x 1G SFP ports, 4 x 10G SFP+ uplinks 48 x 1G SFP ports, 4 x 10G SFP+ uplinks
Switch Class Layer 2+ Layer 2/3
Switching Capacity 128Gbps 176Gbps
Throughput 95Mpps 130.95Mpps
Max. Power Consumption 60W 75W
Conclusion

For 10G network, deploying gigabit switch with 10G uplink can largely save you budget. No matter copper RJ45 1000base-T switch or 1GE SFP switch, you should consider your own requirements before purchasing an Ethernet switch. Gigabit switches with different ports have been recommended in this post, including 8 port gigabit switch, 24 port switch and 48 port switch. All those can be found in FS.COM with the most competitive price.

A Glimpse Into The Future: 25G & 50G Ethernet

With the ever growing usage of 10G network, 10G could not satisfy the requirement for some Ethernet network users who urge for a higher demand on speed, distance, media and cost. Under this circumstance, upgrading network is paramount. For 100G network upgrading, there are three available approaches, “10G—40G—100G”, “10G—25G—100G” or “10G—25G—50G—100G”. The latter two are announced to better satisfy the data center and cloud network. Comparing to 40G and 100G, people heard less about 25G and 50G. So what are they? This article would put emphasis on 25G Ethernet and 50G Ethernet as well as their optics.

25G-100G immigration

25G Ethernet

25 Gigabit Ethernet, abbreviating as 25G Ethernet, is standard for Ethernet network connectivity. Developed by IEEE P802.3by 25 Gb/s Ethernet Task Force, 25G Ethernet is a standard for Ethernet connectivity. The 25 Gigabit Ethernet Consortium is an open organization to all third parties who wish to participate as members to enable the transmission of Ethernet frames at 25 or 50 Gigabit per second (Gbps) and to promote the standardization and improvement of the interfaces for applicable products. The main features of 25G Ethernet are listed in the following:

  • A single lane per physical port maximizes the number of connected servers or uplinks per switch.
  • Single higher speed 25 Gb/s lanes maximize bandwidth and switch fabric utilization vs. 4 x 10 Gb/s lanes.
  • Overall higher port count, utilization and total server interconnect bandwidth vs. 40 GE.
  • Connections to switch ASICs is limited by SERDES count and bandwidth.

SFP28 Pluggable Modules

SFP28 is the abbreviation of Small Form-Factor Pluggable 28, which is the third generation of SFP interconnect systems. The SFP28 optical module is designed for 25G performance and developed by the IEEE 802.3by specification. According to the SFP28 Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) and SFP28 specification, the SFP28 is designed with a form factor, optical/electrical connection and digital diagnostic interface. In addition, the SFP28 optical transceiver has also been designed to meet the harshest external operating conditions including temperature, humidity and EMI interference. Below are the industry standard 25G optics:

industry standard 25G optics

50G Ethernet

Comparing to 40G Ethernet, 50G Ethernet is more rarely known by people. Being led by the 25G Ethernet Consortium, 50G Ethernet is initially based on 2 lanes of 25 Gb/s. IEEE802.3bs is the 50G per lane specifications to support Nx50G configurations. And the standard expected in September 2018 while the interface expected on the market in 2018+. Different from 40G Ethernet, 50G initial limited deployment as proprietary 2x25G. In terms of technology, 40G and 50G per lane (Serial) technology will be defined together (40G as reduced speed 50G). With the respect of cost, 40G and 50G Serial will have similar cost, i.e. 50G Serial will offer 25% more bandwidth for the same cost. The core features of 50G Ethernet are listed in the below:

  • A faster base signaling rate is needed to for higher capacity.
  • Similar to 25 GE, 50 GE extends existing common network topology for higher speed.
  • The server and data center market requirements vary widely.

50G Pluggable Modules

New 50 GE pluggable modules are in the same common form factor sizes as other common pluggable modules. There are two form factors of 50G modules, SFP56 and QSFP56. The SFP56 pluggable module has the same size as SFP, SFP+ and SFP28 while the QSFP56 pluggable module has the same size as QSFP, QSFP+ and QSFP28.

Conclusion

Through this article, we are cleared the 25G and 50G Ethernet as well as their optics respectively. With the ever increasing usage of network data due to millions of new connected devices to servers and storages data centers, 25G Ethernet and 50G Ethernet provide a flexibility, scalibilty, cost-efficient way for adapting to future network growth.

10GBASE-T vs SFP+, Which is Preferred for 10G Network Cabling

As the basis of upgrading network, 10G network has been ubiquitous in data center, enterprise network and even home networking. 10GBASE-T and SFP+ transceiver are two different kinds of technology which transmit data via copper and fiber respectively. 10GBASE-T technology provides the most flexible and economical solution while 10G SFP+ offers the compatible and user-friendly solution for 10G Ethernet connectivity option. This article would shed light on 10GBASE-T vs SFP+.

10GBASE-T Technology

As the fourth generation of IEEE standardized Base-T technologies, 10GBASE-T is designed to reduce overall costs and improve flexibility. By using RJ45 connectors and unshielded twisted pair cabling, 10GBASE-T allows 10Mbps, 100Mbps, 1Gbps, and 10Gbps data transmission, while being backward-compatible with prior generations. Merits and demerits of using 10GBASE-T are listed in the below.

Pros of 10GBASE-T
  • Cheap twisted pair cables.
  • Patch panels can be used without messing around with transceivers.
Cons of 10GBASE-T
  • Higher power consumption.
  • People may get tempted to use substandard cabling, and this would have a negative influence on the speed.
  • No good way to extend length beyond 100m (though this can be somewhat mitigated by choosing switches with mostly 10GBASE-T but also a handful of SFP+ ports) limited choice of equipment.

10G SFP+ Technology

The 10G SFP+ transceiver meets the standard of Multi-Sourcing Agreement (MSA), and provides the cost effective solution for 10G optical data communication. It supports both duplex and simplex LC optics interfaces. The 10G SFP+ transceiver consists of 10Gbit/s DFB/EML optical transmitter and PIN receiver, which allow 300m~120km 10G Ethernet and 10G fiber channel applications. Advantages and disadvantages of using 10G SFP+ transceivers are listed in the below.

Pros of SFP+
  • Lower latency
  • Lower power consumption
  • Cheaper NICs and switches
  • More choice of connected equipment.
  • With transceivers and fiber basically any run length can be covered.
Cons of SFP+
  • Apparently, it is not a big deal for transmission within short distance.
  • For longer runs or runs that need to go through patch panels needs transceivers and optical fiber. Fiber itself is cheap but transceivers, termination, patch panels, and etc for fiber would cost a lot.

10GBASE-T vs SFP+

This passage would mainly demonstrate the difference between 10GbE base T and SFP+ options from the respective of technology, latency, and power consumption.

10GBASE-T vs SFP+: Technology

Generally, 10GBase-T is cheaper and easier to deploy than the alternative SFP+ technologies. You can further compare these two different technologies in the following table:

10GBASE-T vs SFP+ Comparison

10GBASE-T vs SFP+: Latency

Low latency is paramount to ensure fast response time and reduce CPU idle cycles. That increases data center efficiency and ROI. With the increasing of using private cloud applications, the need for low latency is growing fast in large scale data centers.

When it comes to 10GBase-T, the PHY standard uses block encoding to transport data across the cable without errors. The standard specifies 2.6 microseconds for the transmit-receive pair, and the size of the block requires that latency to be less that 2 microseconds. SFP+ uses simplified electronics without encoding, and typical latency is around 300 nanoseconds (ns) per link. You can further compare them in the below table.

10GBASE-T vs SFP+ latency comparison

Basically, there are only slight differences between 10GBASE-T and SFP+ in terms of application latency. Relatively speaking, 10G SFP+ has lower latency than 10GBASE-T. High latency would exert negative influence on CPU and therefore limiting data center efficiency and increasing operational costs.

10GBASE-T vs SFP+: Power Consumption

10GBase-T components today require anywhere from 2 to 5 watts per port at each end of the cable (depending on the distance of the cable) while SFP+ requires approximately 0.7 watt (regardless of distance). The difference is clearly shown in the below chart.

10GBASE-T vs SFP+ power consumption comparison

(Resource: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com)

10GBASE-T vs SFP+, Which Will You Choose

Through this article, we are clear about the pros and cons of 10GBASE-T and SFP+ as well as their differences in technology, application latency and power consumption. It is evident that SFP+ is the right technology to ensure optimal performance with lowest latency and lower power usage in the data center. The cost saving becomes obvious when deploying from 1000 to 10,000 cables in the data center.

Related Articles:

XFP vs SFP+, What’s the Difference? Can We Connect XFP and SFP+?

Understanding of 10GBASE-T SFP+ Copper Transceiver Modules

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

Cloud Core Switch—An Economic Choice for L3 Switch

MikroTik Switches have been popularly received favorable reviews, and this is inseparable with their keeping on the bleeding edge of switching technology. As a new member of MikroTik Smart Switch series, cloud core switch, also called cloud router switch, combing the best features of a fully functional router and a Layer 3 switch. That is to say, this cloud router switch works as both switch and router to connect the VLAN. This article would mainly discuss about cloud core switch, CRS226-24G-2S+RM switch and its connectivity solutions, as well as the reasons why they are economic choice for L3 switch.

About Cloud Core Switch

The cloud core switch, or cloud router switch, abbreviated as CRS, is a highly configurable switch, powered by RouterOS. It has 24 Gigabit Ethernet port. The Ethernet port 2-24 are switched, and the device can be accessed via these ports through the IP 192.168.88.1. Ethernet port 1 is configured as a DHCP client and has firewall on it. The SFP port is configured the same way as Ethernet 1, with a firewall and DHCP client on it. For the cloud router switch, there are nine models currently available. Here lists three different cases of the cloud core switch:

  • CRS125-24G-1S-2HnD-IN (integrated wireless, indoor case)
  • CRS125-24G-1S-IN (indoor case)
  • CRS125-24G-1S-RM (rackmount case)

MikroTik cloud router switch

Figure1: MikroTik cloud router switches(Resource: www.MikroTik.com)

Cloud Core Switch CRS226-24G-2S+RM

As one of the cloud core switches, CRS226-24G-2S+RM have been highly favored by most people. CRS226-24G-2S+RM is a fully functional layer 3 cloud router switch powered by Router OS, which is also available in 1U rackmount case. It comes with a special switch menu which includes all the specific configuration options for switches. It has 24 Gigabit ports and two SFP+ cages for 10G connectivity in which first SFP port supports 1.25G/10G modules and second port only 10G modules. Ports can be removed from the switch configuration and used for routing purposes if needed. The most distinctive feature of CRS226-24G-2S+RM is that uses a new class of switch chips, which allows us to have two SFP+ ports for 10G connectivity. The main features of this cloud core switch are listed in the following:

  • Fully manageable L3 switch, full wire speed switching
  • Configure ports as switch, or for routing
  • If required, full RouterOS power right there
  • SFP+ ports for 10G connectivity

CRS226-24G-2S+RM_big

Figure2: cloud core switch CRS226-24G-2S+RM(Resource: www.MikroTik.com)

Connectivity Solutions for CRS226-24G-2S+RM

As being mentioned, the cloud core switch CRS226-24G-2S+RM has 24 Gigabit ports and 2 SFP+ ports. For the twenty-four 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, you could use both network cables and optical transceivers to connect. The transmission speed of Cat5 and Cat5e cables can be up to 100 Mb/s and 1G respectively. Besides, you can also use 10/100/1000BASE-T copper transceiver to make network connectivity. But it costs more than the network cables. In terms of 10G SFP+ ports, there are also two connectivity approaches. You can use both 10G SFP+ modules and 10G SFP+ DAC copper cable to connect. Relatively speaking, the 10G DAC cable is cheaper a lot than the 10G transceiver. But if transmission quality is your pursuit, and then 10GBASE SFP+ transceivers would be a good choice.

Why Are Cloud Core Switches Economic Choice for L3 Switch?

According to the above description, cloud core switches are powered by Router OS. RouterOS lets you add upper layer functionality. The cloud core switch is very far below wire speed when doing layer 3 or above. In fact, the cloud core switch is more of a bare-bones layer 2 switch that has an embedded low-horsepower router. In short, the switch features are useful for making bridges that work at wire speed, but they’re limited to simple forwarding and vlan handling. The bridge feature lets you glue almost anything together, and gives lots of filtering/manipulation tools, but it cannot perform at wire speed because it uses the main CPU. Last but not least, the average prices of Mikro Tik cloud core switches are not more than $150, you can check them by this link.

Conclusion

Cloud core/router Switch is a managed switch that runs RouterOS and SwitchOS, which delivers a high performance as a Layer 3 switch. They allow to manage port-to-port forwarding, apply MAC filter, configure VLANs, mirror traffic, apply bandwidth limitation and even adjust some MAC and IP header fields. The economic L3 switch including several switch models covering wide range applications, like enterprise network and home network.