What Is Link Aggregation and Link Aggregation Switch?

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1GbE network is ubiquitous at the edge of network, but it is reaching the limits as the demand for bandwidth continue to soar. Since 10 Gigabit network is still out of reach for most homes and small businesses, it is possible to upgrade to 10GbE without piling up the cost? You can surely make it by implementing link aggregation and link aggregation switch. We’re going to share some insights on deploying link aggregation with Ethernet switch.

what is link aggregation

Link Aggregation and Link Aggregation Switch Basics

Link aggregation allows one to combine multiple network connections in parallel to increase throughput, and to provide redundancy in case one link goes down. Besides, link aggregation load balance enables the processing and communications activity to be distributed across several links in a trunk, thus not overwhelming a single link. Moreover, improvements within the link are obtained using existing hardware, so you don’t have to upgrade to higher-capacity link. To configure link aggregation, we need to apply a standard, vendor-independent link aggregation protocol that supported by IEEE 802.3ad – LACP (link aggregation control protocol).

configure link aggregation switch

Link aggregation technology can be used for core switching equipment such as link aggregation switch. Link aggregation switch, or LACP switch, is to set up or configure switch to achieve this technology. Link aggregation switch can be Gigabit Ethernet switch or 10 Gigabit switch that supported LACP.

What Are the Benefits of Link Aggregation?

Before reaping the benefits of link aggregation, check to see if your devices can fulfill the following prerequisites.

Generally, all of the aggregated links must:

  • be in full duplex mode
  • use the same data transmission rates (at least 1 Gbit/s)
  • use parallel point-to-point connections
  • connect to precisely one endpoint on a switch or server. Link aggregation using multiple switches to one link-aggregated endpoint.

If all the above requests are fulfilled, then you would get these benefits after setting up link aggregation.

  • Increased reliability and availability. If one of the physical links in the link aggregation group (LAG) goes down, traffic is dynamically and transparently reassigned to one of the other physical links.
  • Better use of physical resources. Traffic can be load-balanced across the physical links.
  • Increased bandwidth. The aggregated physical links deliver higher bandwidth than each individual link.
  • Cost effectiveness. A physical network upgrade can be expensive, especially if it requires new cable runs. Link aggregation increases bandwidth without requiring new equipment.

How to Configure Link Aggregation on Network Switch?

Here is a step-by-step guide for setting up link aggregation between link aggregation switches in your network. Before getting started, confirm the following aspects:

Make sure that both devices support link aggregation.

1. Configure the LAG on each of the two devices.

2. Make sure that the LAG that you create on each device has the same settings for port speed, duplex mode, flow control, and MTU size (on some devices, this setting might be called jumbo frames).

3. Make sure that all ports in a LAG have the same virtual local area network (VLAN) memberships.

4. If you want to add a LAG to a VLAN, set up the LAG first and then add the LAG to the VLAN; do not add individual ports.

5. Note which ports on each device you add to the LAG, and make sure that you connect the correct ones.

6. Use Ethernet or fiber cable to connect the ports that you added to the LAG on each device.

7. Verify that the port LED for each connected port on each switch is blinking green.

8. Verify in the admin interface for each device that the link is UP.

The video below illustrates the procedures to set up LACP between a Cisco switch and FS network switch.

Conclusion

Link aggregation is the efforts made to set up parallel network structures to provide redundancy, or to improve performance, increases bandwidth and provides graceful degradation as failure occurs. Configure link aggregation switch can be made easier if you properly perform the above instructions. FS.COM is committed to research and develop data switch and Gigabit PoE switch solutions for SMBs, enterprise networks and data centers. For more details, feel free to contact us via sales@fs.com.


Core Switch & Edge Switch: How to Choose the Right One?

Choosing a data switch for your network can be a daunting task, given the myriads of vendors out there who are vying for providing network switches with fancy functions and feature sets. It may get more challenging when deciding which core switch and edge switch to buy: you have to make sure the switch you get is up to date so it can take advantage of latest technologies, and allows you to squeeze every last drop of performance out of the system. So, whether to choose a core switch or edge switch? Let’s go through their functions and roles within a network, and link these with you are gonna achieve, then you may find the answer.

core switch and edge switch

What Is a Core Switch?

A core switch is a high-capacity switch generally positioned within the backbone or physical core of a network. Core switch is also regarded as a backbone device that is vital to the successful operation of a network: it serves as the gateway to a wide area network (WAN) or the Internet, so that you can use it to connect to servers, your Internet service provider (ISP) via a router, and to aggregate all switches. A core switch need to be powerful enough and have significant capacity to handle the load sent to it, which means it should always be a fast, full-featured managed switch.

In a public WAN, a core switch interconnects edge switches that are positioned on the edges of related networks. In a local area network (LAN), this switch interconnects work group switches, which are relatively low-capacity switches that are usually positioned in geographic clusters.

core-edge switch connectivity

How About an Edge Switch?

As the name indicates, an edge switch is a switch located at the meeting point of two networks. These switches connect end-user local area networks (LANs) to Internet service provider (ISP) networks. Referred to as access nodes or service nodes, an edge switch connects client devices, like laptops, desktops, security cameras, and wireless access points to your network. Edge switches for WANs are multiservice units supporting a wide variety of communication technologies, it also provides enhanced services such as virtual private networking support, VoIP and quality of service (QoS). Generally, smart switches and even unmanaged switches are valid options at the edge of your network. But for some downtime-sensitive applications or where security matters, a managed switch can also be equally used at the edge.

Core Switch/Edge Switch Selection: What Exactly Matters?

To select the appropriate switch for a layer in a particular network, you need to make clear specifications regarding current/future needs, target traffic flows and user communities.

1. Future Growth

Switches comes in different sizes, features and function, choosing a switch to match a particular network involves a solid network plan for any future growth. With that in mind, you would want to purchase a switch that can accommodate more than 24 ports, such as stackable or modular switches that can scale.

2. Performance

When selecting a switch for the access, distribution, or core layer, consider the ability of the switch to support the port density, forwarding rates, and bandwidth aggregation requirements of your network.

An edge switch needs to support features such as port security, VLANs, Fast Ethernet/Gigabit Ethernet, PoE and link aggregation. While a core switch also needs to support link aggregation to ensure adequate bandwidth coming into the core from the distribution layer switches. Also, a core switch support additional hardware redundancy features like redundant power supplies, and hot-swappable cooling fans. So there is no downtime during switch maintenance.

FS.COM Core Switch and Edge Switch Solution

FS.COM offers a large portfolio of Ethernet switches including 10GbE switch, 25GbE switch, 40GbE switch and 100GbE switch, each with different port configurations and moderate to advanced feature sets that tailored for enterprise networks and data centers. The core switch and edge switch in FS.COM are presented as follows.

Core Switch S5850-32S2Q, S5850-48T4Q, S5850-48S6Q, S5850-48S2Q4C, S8050-20Q4C, N5850-48S6Q, N8000-32Q, N8500-32C, N8500-48B6C
Edge Switch S3700-24T4S, S2800-24T4F, S3800-24T4S, S3800-48T4S, S3800-24F4S, S5800-8TF12S, S5800-48F4S

All these network switches are tested with the highest industry standard in rigorous environment, for more specifications, just reach out to us via sales@fs.com.

Why You Need a Managed 8 Port PoE Switch

Gigabit PoE switch, or power over Ethernet switch, has seen massive adoption these days by providing improved network flexibility and performance. A Gigabit PoE switch transmits both data and power supply simultaneously to network devices such as VoIP phones, Wireless AP and network cameras without changing existing Ethernet cabling structure, which in turn, greatly reduce the cabling complexity as well as the cost of installation and maintenance. These exists 8/10/16/24/48 port PoE switches with gigabit speed and essential managing functions, among which a 8 port Gigabit PoE switch is poised as a cost-effective choice for home and business use. Let’s see what we can achieve with a 8 port PoE switch.

8 Port PoE Switch: Managed or Unmanaged?

Like choosing a standard data switch, we’ll inevitably find ourselves in a dilemma: should we choose a managed or unmanaged Gigabit PoE switch? The answer is pretty easy and straightforward – a managed PoE switch is always better. Managed switches typically offers advanced security features and allows for administrators visibility and control. Besides, a managed PoE switch also offers higher level of manageability and control, so you’re able to program each port individually while keep the network operating at peak efficiency. This results significant saving on power and cost. Additionally, a managed Gigabit PoE switch is capable of configuring, managing and monitoring the LAN – setting/disabling the link speed, limiting bandwidth or grouping devices into VLANs.

gigabit poe switch

How to Use a Managed 8 Port PoE Switch?

Managed Gigabit PoE switch has become a preferable option for enterprise networks, with dramatically decreased price, expanded feature sets and improved ease of use. Experience from those who have dealt with a managed 8 port PoE switch also demonstrates that this is a journey well worth taking. You can use a managed 8 port PoE switch to creates VLANs and limit access to specific devices, to use Layer 3 routing capability and to remotely monitor network performance.

Common applications of a managed 8 port PoE switch includes the following aspects.

Connect IP Cameras, Wireless Access Points and IP Phones

To connect this PoE enabled device, you need to know the power consumption of these device, as well as a total power/ power per port of your PoE switch. For example, you have a managed 8 port PoE switch with a power budget of 250W with the maximum power consumption per port 30W. Assume to power an IP Camera network, you’ll need a total power per port of 30W. Then you can connect all the 8 ports with IP cameras with a total power consumption of 240W (within the budget of 250W).

Voice over IP phones Enterprise can install PoE VoIP phone, and other Ethernet/non-Ethernet end-devices to the central where UPS is installed for un-interrupt power system and power control system.
Wireless Access Points Museum, sightseeing, airport, hotel, campus, factory, warehouse can intall the WAP anywhere.
IP Camera Enterprise, museum, campus, hospital, bank can install IP camera without limits of install location – no need electrician to install AC sockets.

The key applications are illustrated as following.

8 port poe switch application

Connect Non-PoE Switches and Devices

One of the frequently asked question is that whether we can mix PoE and Non-PoE devices on the same PoE network. The answer is positive. PoE will only send power if it requested by the device. Otherwise the switch just interacts with it as if it were a regular switch. When connecting a managed 8 port PoE switch to non PoE compatible devices, a PoE splitter is commonly adopted – it delivers data and DC power through separate connections.

mix poe switch with non poe switch

FS.COM 8 Port PoE Switch Solution

Managed gigabit PoE switch has become a better choice if you ever anticipate advanced network features to meet business growth. A managed 8 port PoE switch is the best fit for SMB network and home use with relatively small traffic flow. FS.COM fully understands customer expectations and offers managed 8 port PoE switch with the price starting from $159. Besides, we also provide 24 port PoE switch and 48 port PoE switch to help future-proof your network and unleash the potential of your business. Feel free to contact us via sales@fs.com for more solutions.

Network Switch Port Mirroring vs. Network TAP

Nowadays networks are carrying significant volumes of data at increasing speeds – it is getting more complex than ever. Consequently, network visibility is critical to monitor, manage and protect your network. So having access to inner working condition of the network is paramount to every network manager. Network TAP and network switch port mirroring provide direct access to the actual packets navigating across networks. If both options work, which is a better choice? And when should we choose one over the other? We try to address those issues here.

Basics of Network Switch Port Mirroring

Network switch port mirroring is nothing new for us. It is performed by a mirror port – a software feature built into a network switch that creates a copy of selected packets passing through the device and sends them to a designated mirror port. It enables a network manager to configure or change the data to be monitored. Since the primary purpose of a network switch is to forward production packets, port mirroring data is often with a lower priority. Besides, switch port mirroring uses a single egress port to aggregate multiple links, so it is easily oversubscribed.

network switch port mirroring

Advantages
  • Low cost, using existing switch capabilities.
  • Remotely configurable through the network.
  • Captures intraswitch traffic.
Disadvantages
  • Drops packets on heavily used full-duplex links.
  • Filters out Physical Layer errors.
  • May burden the switch’s CPU to copy data.
  • May change frame timing, altering response times and slowing network performance.

Network TAP Explanation

A network TAP (Test Access Point) is a passive device that used to directly connect to the cabling infrastructure. Instead of two switches or routers connecting directly to each other, the network TAP is put between the two devices and all data flows through the TAP. With an internal splitter, the TAP creates a copy of the data for monitoring while the original data continues unimpeded through the network. In this case, packet of any size can be copied by TAP – it thus eliminates any chance of oversubscription. Once the data is TAPed, the duplicate copy can be used for any sort of monitoring, security, or analytical use.

network tap

Advantages
  • Captures send and receive data streams simultaneously, eliminating the risk of dropped packets.
  • Provides full visibility into full-duplex networks.
  • Captures everything on the wire—including Physical Layer errors—even when the network is saturated.
Disadvantages
  • Requires the purchase and installation of additional hardware.
  • Analysis device may need dual-receive capture interface.
  • Only captures data between network devices; can’t monitor intra-switch traffic.

Network Switch Port Mirroring vs. Network TAP: Differences?

The differences concerning port mirroring and network TAP is summarized as following.

  • TAPs create an exact copy of the bi-directional network traffic at full line rate, providing full fidelity for network monitoring, analytics and security. While network switch mirror ports are easily oversubscribed – resulting in dropped packets, which leads to inconsistent results for monitoring and security purposes.
  • Passive TAPs provide continuous access to traffic and require no user intervention or configuration once installed. Network switch port mirroring, however, can have a negative performance impact on the switch itself, sometimes affecting network traffic.
  • Network TAPs allow for traffic monitoring for a particular segment. But port monitoring traffic output can change from day to day or hour to hour – resulting in inconsistent reporting. When configured mirror ports incorrectly, it will impact network performance.
  • TAPs are usually protocol transparent – be it carried in the traffic or if it is IPv4 or IPv6. All traffic is passed through a passive TAP.
  • Network switch mirror ports are limited in number compared to the number of ports that may require monitoring, and consume ports that could otherwise be carrying production traffic.

Port Mirroring vs. Network TAP: When to Use Which?

Simply put it, TAPs are a key component and should be applied in any system demanding 100% visibility and traffic fidelity. And whenever traffic volumes are moderate to high, it’s better to deploy network TAPs. Note that inserting a TAP into an existing network link requires a brief cable disconnect, so TAPs are typically installed during a maintenance window, or to install it during the early design phase.

On the other hand, network switch port mirroring works best for ad hoc monitoring of low volumes of data in locations where TAPs have not been installed. It still represent the only means for accessing certain types of data, such as data crossing port-to-port on the same switch, remote locations with modest traffic that cannot justify a fulltime TAP, or traffic that stays within a switch that never reaches a physical link.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that both TAPs and network switch mirror ports can provide valid access to data if used correctly. Choose TAPs when you can justify the cost, while opt for port mirroring where you must. FS.COM is backed by a professional and experienced team to provide solutions for network TAPs and Ethernet switch, for more details, feel free to contact us via sales@fs.com.

VXLAN Enabled Network Switch: What Is the Benefit?

VXLAN (Virtual Extensible Local Area Network) technology has attracted much attention these days in networking industry – since traditional VLAN links proven insufficient to cope with rigid requirements of cloud providers. Network switch with VXLAN capability is proposed to extend VLAN and overcome the limited scalability posed by VLAN. The VXLAN-enabled Ethernet switch provides layer 2 connectivity extension across the layer 3 boundary, enabling large-scale virtualized and multitenant data center designs over a shared common physical infrastructure. So it is the right time to enable VXLAN to network switch? How to get a decent VXLAN switch? We try to shed some lights on these issues.

What Is VXLAN?

VXLAN is a network virtualization scheme that enables users to create a logical network for virtual machines (VMs) across different networks. And it allows users to create a layer 2 network on top of layer 3 through encapsulation. In this way, you could potentially create 16 million networks using VXLAN – a lot more compared to the 4096 VLANs. VXLAN uses Layer 3 multicast to support the transmission of multicast and broadcast traffic in the virtual network, while decoupling the virtual network from the physical infrastructure. The following picture illustrates how VXLAN works.

what is vxlan

VXLAN gateway: A VXLAN gateway bridges traffic between VXLAN and non-VXLAN environments by becoming a virtual network endpoint. For example, it can link a traditional VLAN and a VXLAN network

VXLAN segment: A VXLAN segment is a Layer 2 overlay network over which VMs communicate. Only VMs within the same VXLAN segment can communicate with each other.

VNI: The Virtual Network Identifier (VNI), also referred to as VXLAN segment ID. The system uses the VNI, along with the VLAN ID, to identify the appropriate tunnel.

VTEP: The VXLAN Tunnel Endpoint (VTEP) terminates a VXLAN tunnel. The same local IP address can be used for multiple tunnels.

VXLAN header: In addition to the UDP header, encapsulated packages include a VXLAN header, which carries a 24-bit VNI to uniquely identify Layer 2 segments within the overlay.

What Makes a Good VXLAN Network Switch?

Network switch is a major building block in data transmission. Compared with traditional Ethernet switch, a VXLAN network switch generally possesses benefits like improved scalability (delivers a scale version of layer 2 network on highly scalable and proven layer 3 networks) & agility (provides VM ready networking infrastructure). VXLAN capable network switch also offers multiple solutions for private, public, & hybrid cloud networks. Moreover, network switch of this type also delivers higher programmability: it can work with network controllers and cloud orchestration stack such as OpenStack. You have account for at least the following aspects when choosing a VXLAN capable network switch.

    • Look for right ASIC.

    -Packets per second. A 32×100 GbE switch will have 4.47 billion packet per second (with all sort of packet size), make sure your vendor has that covered.

   -Latency. If this matters to you, 300 Nano seconds latency at all packet sizes is pretty easily available if you are looking for it.

    -Micro burst absorption ability.

   -Fairness on how the buffers are shared between ports.

  • Look for right scale. Considering the number of Layer 3 route a VXLAN network switch can support, the VXLAN VNI scale and the VTEP scale.
  • Open Networking. Look for a network switch that supports open networking and can give you disaggregated options if needed. In short, look for a vendor that can support multiple OS options.

FS.COM VXLAN Enabled Network Switch Solution

FS.COM offers a broad product line of network switches with the data rate spanning 1G to 100G. Among which the 100Gb switch S5850-48S2Q4C and S8050-20Q4C are Ethernet switches that support VXLAN function. S5850-48S2Q4C features 48 10G SFFP+ ports and 6 hybrid 100G uplink slots, while S8050-20Q4C has 20 40G QSFP+ ports and 4 100G QSFP28 ports. Both of the VXLAN network switches are traditional L2/L3 switches with advanced features including MLAG, VXLAN, IPv4/IPv6, SFLOW, SNMP etc, which is ideal for traditional or fully virtualized data center.

vxlan enabled network switch

The following diagram summarizes the feature sets of these VXLAN enabled network switches.

Port Attributes
S5850-48S2Q4C
S8050-20Q4C
Switch Class
Layer2/3, data center, Metro
Layer2/3, data center, Metro
10GbE SFP+ Ports
48
4 (Combo)
40GbE QSFP+ Ports
2
20
100GbE QSFP28 Ports
4
4
Max. 10GbE Density
72
96
Max. 40GbE Density
6
24
Max. 100GbE Density
4
4
Switch Fabric Capacity
1.92Tbps
2.4Tbps
Non-blocking Bandwidth
960Gbps
1.2Tbps
Forwarding Rate
1200Mpps
1200Mpps
Latency
612ns
612ns
Jumbo Frame
9600 Bytes
9600 Bytes
Typical/Max Power Draw
160W/200W
120W/160W

VXLAN based network switch has been accepted as a better solution with evident benefits, including sufficient links and capacity to handle massive traffic in cloud environment, the ability to stretch L2 network over a L3 network, and unsurpassed reliability and scalability. FS.COM offers professional and cost-efficient network switch solutions for enterprise networks and data centers, for more details, please contact us via sales@fs.com.

How to Set up NVR with a PoE Switch?

Security is paramount both in life and business, hence an increasing number of people are protecting their homes and business with surveillance systems mounted around their property. NVR (Network Video Recorder) serves as the nerve of a sophisticated security – it provides constant coverage of your property and allows you to view in real time with crystal-clear, high-resolution imagery. Then how to set up a NVR with your network devices to reap the great benefit it brings? We will illustrate common NVR Setup with a PoE switch.

What Is NVR?

A NVR consists of a computer and special video management software. It is a true digital system that records the digital images or videos received over the network onto a hard disk or other storage device. So you could view, playback, and download recordings when needed. Usually based on Windows or Linux environments, a NVR usually has a user friendly graphical user interface, flexible recording, playback capability, intelligent motion detection and camera control capability. Remote access is also available with NVR, and other benefits include ease of installation and usage, the capability of handling large amounts of video streams. There are a few configuration options for setting up a NVR, among which with network switch such as PoE switch is gaining increasingly recognition.

Basic NVR Setup: With PoE Switch

Unlike standard network switch, a PoE switch is capable of delivering data and power simultaneously through an Ethernet cable. This type of switch will act as a hub but can also supply power to POE compatible devices such as IP security cameras, without the need for an external power source or extra power wires. This makes for less installation cost and cabling complexity – you can handle your power and video over a single CAT5 cable. Here we use FS 8 port PoE switch as an example to show how to connect your NVR to a PoE switch, just perform the following steps:

nvr setup with poe switch

  • Connect an Ethernet cable from the LAN port on the PoE switch to your router. Connect the power cable to the PoE switch to a power outlet.
  • Connect IP cameras to ports #1 – #8 on the PoE switch using the Ethernet cables. The PoE switch will provide power and video transmission the same way your NVR does.
  • You must add the cameras to your NVR to view the cameras and enable recording. To do this, follow the steps in your NVR’s instruction manual.
NVR Setup With PoE Switch: How to Get More Ports?

It happens sometimes that you want to add more ports to the network, but cannot justify the price to replace a higher-density switch. Here we offer you a cost-effective solution by leveraging some network components at hand: a modem/router combo – the connection between your internal devices and the outside (Internet), and a hub.

nvr setup with ip camera

  • Run a CAT5 cable (shown in blue) to connect your cameras to the ports of a PoE switch. The POE switch will act as a HUB to connect them to the local network.
  • Connect a 8-port hub to your router, then link the PoE switch with an open port on the hub. In this way, the other 7 ports are available for adding more devices.
  • Plug your NVR into an open port on your router. Now your cameras and your NVR are all on the same network. With some minor configuration (port forwarding), you can access your NVR remotely since it is plugged into your modem/router.
Conclusion

NVR / IP camera setup necessitates the use of an external PoE switch to simplify or extend the wiring of your installation. Sometimes, a router and a hub are required to get extra port to expand your system. Ever confused by PoE switch connectivity issues? Don’t hesitate to connect FS.COM via sales@fs.com to find more solutions!

PoE Switch vs. PoE Injector vs. PoE Splitter

PoE (Power over Ethernet) has been thrown around for over a decade, serving as an optimal choice to enhance network agility and scalability. It has earned a universal acceptance in applications including video surveillance system, IP camera, VoIP phone and wireless access point. PoE switch, PoE injector and PoE splitter are common methods to get PoE technology into your network. What makes the difference? Which to implement as in different situations? We’re going to shed some lights on those issues.

PoE Switch vs. PoE Injector vs. PoE Splitter: What Are They?

As you can tell, picking the right equipment is a crucial first step to building any network. PoE equipment can be particularly complicated, so here we’re going to cover the basics to PoE switch, PoE injector and PoE splitter, trying to clear out the confusions concerning this.

PoE Injector

A PoE injector, or midspan, introduces or injects power onto an Ethernet cable (Cat5e and Cat6). The injector adds power to data that is coming from a non-PoE switch or “endspan” (IP cameras, wireless access points and LED lighting) It has an external power supply. PoE injector is perfect for low power devices that needs to be set up in locations where a power outlet is unavailable. It thus enables more flexibility by opening the door to installing devices in hard-to-reach areas, with a minimal impact on existing structures and budget.

poe injector application

PoE Splitter

If you happen to have a device that is not PoE compatible, or a mixture of compatible and non-compatible devices – this is the common use case for a PoE splitter. PoE splitters combine PoE networking cable and setups with traditional technologies. They deliver data and DC power through separate connections. They can also be used to bring a 48V DC (PoE) current down to play nice with 5, 12 or 24V DC jacks.

poe splitter application scheme

PoE Switch

PoE switch is considered one of the smartest ways to invest in your network. As business are rolling out for expansion and homes getting smarter, PoE switch serve as a vital point to efficiently develop your network in the right direction. Like standard network switch, PoE switch also comes into different port configuration and feature sets. The prominent advantage is that the ports can deliver power and data simultaneously. High performance and density PoE switch offers endless expandability and scalability for escalating enterprise business networks. The equipment a PoE switch can connect including but not limit to computer terminals and printers, servers, firewall and monitoring systems, VoIP phones and WAPs. Besides, PoE switch is now equally available for home use – providing a more substantial backbone to home networks, creating connections to applications like AppleTV, ChromeCast, Sonos, Playstation and etc.

poe switch application

PoE Switch vs. PoE Injector vs. PoE Splitter: the Choice Depends on Network Requirements

Below we’ve explained the features and differences concerning PoE switch, PoE injector and PoE splitter. You may have figure it out that your final choice actually in close relate to your network requests.

  • If you’re planning a network with a mix of PoE-enabled and PoE non compatible devices, then PoE splitter is the one and only option.
  • Then what about a network demands exclusively PoE compatible devices – in which case both PoE switch and PoE injector are valid options. If you decide to install a PoE device without a PoE switch or if the devices are too far from the PoE switch and you would like to avoid running wires, you can power it using a PoE injector. PoE injectors works well with existing wiring and is small and lightweight in design for easy mounting.
  • A PoE injector can only power one device at a time, so for a few devices individual injectors work fine, but once devices start racking up in the numbers, having so many individual injectors gets less desirable. For networks that demands a large quantity or high quality PoE enabled devices, it will be more economical to go for a PoE switch since it can power more than one PoE compatible device. Some smart/managed PoE switch even can reboot a misbehaving device from anywhere in the world.
FS Optimized PoE Switch Solution

Efficiency and management of power are driving PoE industry. Fully aware the market demand and customer preference, FS develops IEEE 802.3af/at compliant PoE switches with 8, 24 or 48 ports for enterprise business and home alike. Here is a mode comparison of FS PoE switches. Your best bet might be to identify the number of devices you desire to connect to your PoE switch.

poe switch comparison

Conclusion

As the cost of PoE switch are much more affordable, the number of public and private sector PoE installations is increasing. PoE switch also facilitate installation in harsh and/or extreme environments, the application of which is bound to soar. If you have any problems concerning PoE solution or PoE equipment, feel free to contact tech@fs.con or sales@fs.com.

100G DWDM QSFP: The Enabler of 100G Long Distance Connectivity

100G transmission within data centers has made possible by using standard optical transceivers such as CFP and QSFP28 transceiver modules. Though they offer perfect fits for transferring 100G traffic within the rack and the data center, it becomes a problem when 100G traffic needs to be transported over long distances, like connectivity between geographically dispersed data centers over long distance (say over 40 km). This is where 100G DWDM QSFP transceiver finds its role to play. DWDM technology is nothing new to us since DWDM SFP transceivers have adopted in volume to expand 10G network capacity. 100G DWDM QSFP is very similar to its predecessor in regard to functionality, but it is typically applied in 100G network over longer span.

100G transmission distance

Why 100G DWDM QSFP Becomes the New Fashion

Traditional DWDM solutions are designed for telecom carries that most companies cannot afford, which hinders it for being used in data centers. However, data centers are confronted with the ongoing demand for expanding network capacity over longer distances. Which drives the needs to replicate or transfer traffic between geographically separated data centers. In this case, either conventional DWDM solution or QSFP28 transceiver is sufficient. 100G DWDM QSFP transceiver thus becomes the technology of choice for 100g DWDM optical networking transport over long distances (up to 80 km).

100G DWDM QSFP: The Longer Reach, More Agile Solution

100G DWDM QSFP is based on an advanced modulation technique – PAM4. It takes the same form factor as 100G QSFP28 transceiver and can be used directly on switches with QSFP28 slots. The main advantages of DWDM QSFP PAM4 is the easiness to use regular electronics and optical components suitable for QSFP28 form factor. The power consumption is dramatically reduced and can be used for data center interconnect application. The drawbacks, however, is that DWDM QSFP PAM4 requires amplification and dispersion compensation system on the optical link for reach longer than 5km at 100Gbits.

100G DWDM QSFP PAM4

QSFP DWDM PAM4 provides a cost effective solution for metro Data Center Interconnect (DCI) for up to 80km reach at 100 Gigabit/s speed. The 100G DWDM QSFP leverages IEEE CAUI-4 4x25G electrical interface and is compatible with standard 100G QSFP28 ports. On the optical side, it combines two wavelengths into a duplex fiber with the center wavelength aligning with 100GHz grid. 100G DWDM QSFP PAM4 is available in 40 different channels on the 100GHz ITU-T grid to provide a maximum bandwidth of 4Tbps over a single pair of fiber.

100G DWDM QSFP: Application in Data Center Interconnect (DCI)

Interconnecting geographically dispersed data centers is critical to maintain application agility to meet various business needs, while data intensive applications are driving the rapid growth of cloud networks. 100G DWDM QSFP transceiver delivers up to 4Tbps of bandwidth for up to 80km reach between data centers. This can be achieved by using DWDM Mux/Demux, amplifier and dispersion compensator. The Mux/Demux combines the different wavelengths of light into a pair of fiber. EDFA are used to boosts the signal. And a dispersion compensator is needed for applications over 5km. And DWDM is providing for efficient use of the single fiber pair with up to 40 wavelength multiplexed.

100G DWDM QSFP PAME for 80 KM

Conclusion

The emerge of 100G DWDM QSFP PAM4 is a significant step forward in overcoming the difficulties of DWDM networking in data center equipment. ACG Research covering data center service providers indicated that 30-80 km optical reach is needed for about 30% of their data center interconnections, which predicts the prosperity of 100G DWDM QSFP transceiver.

Related Article: 100G PAM4 QSFP28 or Coherent CFP

Gigabit Slots: SFP Port vs. RJ45 Port vs. GBIC Port

In Gigabit Ethernet applications, either SFP port, RJ45 port or GBIC port is used in different Gigabit devices, such as switches, routers, servers and storages. And some latest wireless access points (APs) are also equipped with SFP port. Since all these three port types only support 1Gbit and do not go any higher, why are they created instead of using only one type?

RJ45 port and SFP port in an Ethernet switch

SFP Port vs. GBIC Port: An Improvement in Dimension

SFP port and GBIC port can be found in a variety of equipment, including Ethernet switches, routers, network interface cards, servers, etc. Today most Ethernet switches are designed with as least one or two Gigabit SFP uplink slots. What is SFP port? As the name implies, SFP port is intended for taking in SFP (mini-GBIC) fiber modules with small form-factor (SFF) connectors, while GBIC port is for accepting GBIC modules.

GBIC module and SFP module

The two types of ports can provide the same data rates and same distances in Gigabit applications, but the same number of SFP ports uses less space than that of GBIC ports. Since they have the equal functionality, SFP has gradually taken the place of the older GBIC in Gigabit networking for space-saving and economical reasons. The table below is a comparison of SFP port vs. GBIC port.

Parameter SFP Port GBIC Port
Supported Optical Modules SFP transceiver (single-mode/multimode, simple/duplex, CWDM/DWDM) GBIC transceiver (single-mode/multimode, simple/duplex, CWDM/DWDM)
Transceiver Receptacle Type LC, RJ45 SC, RJ45
Supported Standards 1000BASE-T, 1000BASE-SX, 1000BASE-LX, 1000BASE-LX10, 1000BASE-LX/LH, 1000BASE-LH, 1000BASE-EX, 1000BASE-ZX, 1000BASE-BX, 1000BASE-CWDM, 1000BASE-DWDM.
Supported Distances Up to 100 m, 300 m, 2 km, 10 km, 20 km, 40 km, 80 km, 100 km, 150 km.
Module DOM Function Modules support digital optical monitoring (DOM) function, providing real-time monitoring of transceiver’s operation temperature, optical input, optical output, laser bias current and supply voltage.

If you want to know more about the SFP types that the SFP port support and their detailed specifications, such as wavelengths and distances, you can read: How Many Types of SFP Transceivers Do You Know.

SFP vs. RJ45 port: Distance Makes Difference

The RJ45 ports in Gigabit networking devices follow the 1000BASE-T Ethernet standard. They only support twisted pairs for network connections, and the distance is limited to 100 m (330 feet). RJ45 port uses Category 5/5e/6 and higher level copper Ethernet cables for 1Gbit transmission. Compared with switch using only RJ45 port, SFP port switch supports more types of communication cables and longer reaches of links. Here are the differences between SFP vs. RJ45 port.

Parameter SFP Port RJ45 Port
Connection Cable Types Multimode fiber cable, single-mode fiber cable, twisted pairs (Cat5, Cat6 or higher). Twisted pairs (Cat5, Cat6 or higher).
Max. Transmission Distance MMF (550 m), SMF (150 km), Cat5 (100 m) 100 m (330 ft)
Data Rate 1000 Mbps (1G) 1000 Mbps (1G)

Since most end-points at the customer’s are still using RJ45 port, in order to retaining the convenience of RJ45 port while providing the advantage of SFP network to customers, some switches include combo SFP/RJ45 ports. So users can choose to utilize either the SFP port or the RJ45 port at a time for short-distance connections.

What Is Dual-Rate SFP Port?

Unlike the combo SFP/RJ45 port which is actually a link shared by two different ports, a dual-rate SFP port is one single SFP slot that can be configured to support two different data rates. Generally a dual-rate SFP slot can set to be either 1G mode or 10G mode, i.e., an SFP module or an SFP+ module can be installed in it. But the actual data rate of the transmission depends on the mode being settled and the transceiver module being used. There are several cases:

  • The dual-rate SFP slot is 10G activated, and an SFP+ module is installed; the interface is in 10G mode.
  • The port is 10G activated, but an SFP module is installed; the interface is in 1G mode.
  • The port is not 10G activated, but an SFP+ module is installed; the interface will be link down state.
  • The port is not 10G activated, and an SFP module is installed; the interface is in 1G mode.

Summary

The three port types—SFP port, RJ45 port and GBIC port—are used in different networking equipment. The SFP port is now more commonly used than GBIC port since the former one provides the same function and is more compact. When SFP port vs. RJ45 port, SFP port supports connectivity through varieties of fiber cables and the copper twisted pairs, and a wide range of link distances, but RJ45 port accepts only twisted pair cables and a shorter distance. Since every thing has both two sides, it is not always the best to choose SFP slot. The two articles: GBIC vs SFP: When It’s Best to Use GBIC and When to Use SFP, and RJ45 vs SFP: Which Should I Use to Connect Two Switches, specifically discussed when to use which port/module type.


Buy PoE Switch: Five Aspects to Consider

A PoE switch (Power over Ethernet) is a network switch that carries data along with power over Ethernet network cables like Cat5 or Cat6. And Gigabit PoE switch is often found in IP camera systems in home or business networks due to its low maintenance costs, less downtime, easy installation, etc. Since there are various articles telling you how to buy PoE switch, here I just explore five parameters as a reference when buying PoE network switch. No matter buy 8-port, 16-port, 24-port PoE gigabit switch, the following five parameters are necessary to consider.

PoE-switch, PoE switch gigabit

PoE Switch Stacking

Switch stacking is a common technology in network design. It offers a good solution for network designers to maximize scalability and optimize performance of networks at the same time. Therefore, when it comes to buying gigabit PoE switch, many users will take this parameter into consideration. But not all PoE switches are created equal. Most Cisco PoE switches support stacking. That’s one reason why Cisco PoE switches are more popular than others even if their price is several times higher than other similar PoE switches. However, if buying PoE switch for home or small size networks, there is no need to seek for stacking functions by spending extra money.

Acoustic Noise from Fan

Since PoE switches, especially 8-port, 16-port, and even 24 port PoE switch, are often used at home or office, the acoustic noise can be placed an important role when buying PoE gigabit switch. Because it’s really a bad experience if the PoE Gigabit switch near to you is buzzing all the time. Different PoE switch comes with different acoustic value. Still take Cisco 24-port PoE switch SFE2000P as an example. This 24-port PoE gigabit switch may cause 50dB noise at the maximum, which like a person speaking to you without stopping. Of course, many vendors like FS.COM and Cisco, have supplied fanless PoE switch to offer a better usage experience for users.

Transmission Distance of PoE Switch

In some applications, administrators have to deploy PoE switch up to 250m. Generally speaking, PoE switches can extend the transmission distance of data and power up to 100m via Cat5 or Cat5e network cables, which is enough for home or office applications. In this condition, a PoE repeater can deal with it perfectly. With one PoE repeater, the transmission distance can be added to 100 meters.

Numbers of Power Supply

In the PoE gigabit switch market, there are two types power supplies: a single power and dual power. Usually dual power is designed for power redundancy. When one of the DC power inputs has failed, the other will be triggered and working for the switch. Does it mean dual power is necessary for PoE network switch? May not be. Considering the power redundancy, most vendors have strengthened their switch power supply, which can support the switch working for years. And some switches like Cisco catalyst 3850 series PoE switches offer dual power supplies, but it requires extra order to get it working.

Airflow Direction

This factor is often considered by those who have or work in data centers or service room where have numbers of network switches. Generally there are three types of airflow of network switch: back-to-front, front-to-back and side-to-side. Keep in mind to consider this factors when buying PoE switch, especially buy 48-port PoE gigabit switches that are often used for enterprise networks. There are examples in tech forum that some users ignore the airflow direction of the network switch, which causes the switch fans drawing air from its hot air exhaust.

Buy PoE Switch With FS.COM

So where to buy PoE switch is not an easy decision. Both the switch price and functions are needed to be taken into consideration. FS.COM offers PoE managed switches with different ports like 8-port, 24-port and 48-port. All of them are compatible with IEEE802.3af/at. And professional buying advice is also provided if need. Welcome to visit www.fs.com for more details.

Related article: PoE Switch VS. PoE+ Switch, Which Will You Choose?