SFP Slot Definition and Its User Guideline

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It is obvious that optical transceiver is widely used in telecommunication and data center. Speaking of this, SFP module is inevitably involved. However, have you ever heard of SFP and SFP slot? Do you have any idea about how to use SFP slots? If not, read through this post to find what SFP slot is and how to use it.

What Is SFP Slot?

What is SFP port/slot? To figure this out, you must know what SFP is in the first place.

SFP, an acronym of small form-factor pluggable, is a compact and hot-pluggable transceiver used for both telecommunication and data communication applications. It connects motherboards of network devices (such as switches and routers) with optical or copper cables. By doing this, it converts Gigabit electrical signals into optical signals, and vice versa.

Therefore, just as its name implies, SFP slot is designed for use with SFP transceivers or modules. It offers a place where a SFP transceiver can plug into and then support fiber connection or copper cable connection. Different connection can support different transmission speed and distance. Normally, a Gigabit SFP inserted into a SFP port can reach a speed of up to 1 Gbps!

what is sfp slot

How to Use the SFP Slot?

SFP slot is also known as SFP port. Thus, this question can be referred to as how to use SFPs with SFP ports. SFP and SFP port usually work in pairs. That is to say, you should use SFP slot with a corresponding SFP. Normally, optical transceivers used in SFP slots can be divided into optical and copper SFPs. They can be used on a wide variety of products and intermixed in combinations of 1000BASE-T, 1000BASE-SX, 1000BASE-LX/LH, 1000BASE-EX, 1000BASE-ZX, or 1000BASE-BX10-D/U on a port-by-port basis.

The common match for SFP ports are copper SFP module applied with network cable and fiber SFP module applied with fiber optic cable. Network cable or copper cable includes Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a, etc. While, fiber optic cable includes single mode fiber and multimode fiber. Therefore, if you want to know how to use SFP slot, you need to know how to choose right copper SFP modules or fiber SFP modules for SFP slots. As for how to choose the right SFP modules, go ahead for more details in the next two paragraphs.

Copper SFP module for SFP Slot

A copper SFP module inserted into a SFP port has a RJ45 connector. It can transmit data within 100m over copper twisted pair cable. And the data transmission rate can reach up to 1000 Mbps. It is normally divided into two types, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-TX copper SFP. The former uses the IEEE 802.3ab standard using four bidirectional copper pairs, and each pair supports a data rate of 250 Mbps. While, the latter uses the TIA/EIA-854 standard using two unidirectional copper pairs (one pair for transmitting, one for receiving), each of which supports a data rate of 500 Mbps.

Fiber SFP module for SFP Slot

A fiber SFP module inserted into a SFP port has a LC duplex interface. It consists of seven types, namely 1000BASE-SX, 1000BASE-LX, 1000BASE-LX10, 1000BASE-LX/LH, 1000BASE-LH, 1000BASE-EX and 1000BASE-ZX. They are used under different circumstances shown in the picture below:

sfp-ports-with-fiber-sfp-modules

Conclusion

From all the above, you may have a general understanding of what a SFP slot is and how to use it properly. SFP ports are found in Ethernet switches, routers, firewalls and network interface cards, etc. If you want to transfer data in 100m, then either a copper SFP or fiber SFP is a right choice to match the SFP port. If you want to transfer data over 100m, then a fiber SFP is needed.

Related articles:

Can I Connect Fiber Optic Transceivers of Different Brand?

Understanding Combo SFP Port on Ethernet Switch

What Is Layer 3 Switch?

Layer 3 switch has roused much attention with the quick renovation of the network upgrade. It plays an important role in data exchange inside a large local area network. Then, what is layer 3 switch? Read this post to learn more about layer 3 switch involved with the comparison of layer 3 switch vs layer 2 and layer 3 switch vs router.

What Is Layer 3 Switch and Layer 3 Switching?

What is layer 3 switch? Simply to say, a layer 3 switch is a network switch with some router functions. The most important purpose of the layer 3 switch is to speed up the data exchange within a large LAN. The routing function is also used for this purpose. It can accomplish one route and multiple packet forwarding processes.

what is layer 3 switch

Regular processes such as packet forwarding are implemented by hardware at high speed, while functions such as routing information update, routing table maintenance, route calculation, and route determination are implemented by software. Layer 3 switching technology is layer 2 switching technology combining with layer 3 forwarding technology. The traditional switching technology is operated in the second layer of the OSI network standard model (the data link layer), and the third layer switching technology implements the high-speed forwarding of data packets in the third layer of the network model. It not only realizes the network routing function but also achieves optimal network performance according to different network conditions.

Layer 3 Switch vs Layer 2

Why Is Layer 3 Switch Popular?

Normally, for the sake of safety and management with convenience, a LAN is divided into small LANs according to different factors such as function or geography to reduce the harm of broadcast storms. Therefore, VLAN technology is applied in a large number of networks. However, communication between different VLANs must be forwarded through routers. Such inter-network access is limited because of the limited number of ports and the slower routing speed. Based on this situation, a three-layer switch emerges. The layer 3 switch is designed for IP. The interface type is simple and has strong layer 2 packet processing capability. It is very suitable for data routing and switching in large LANs. In the third layer of the protocol, the function of the traditional router is replaced or partially completed, and at the same time it has almost the speed of the second layer exchange, and the price is relatively cheaper.

Advantages of Layer 3 Switch

From the paragraph above, you may have a blurry concept when it comes to layer 3 switch vs layer 2. Don’t worry. Here are the main advantages of layer 3 switch when comparing layer 3 switch vs layer 2:

  • Function: A layer 2 switch can only switch packets from one port to another, whereas a layer 3 switch is capable of both switching as well as routing.
  • MAC vs. IP Address: Layer 2 switches use devices’ MAC addresses to redirect data packets from source port to destination port. While, layer 3 switches use IP addresses to link various subnets together utilizing special routing protocols.
  • Applications: Layer 2 switch is hardware-based switch and uses ASICs (application specific integrated circuits) to maintain MAC address table. It uses layer 2 switching to break up a large domain into multiple smaller domains. Layer 3 switch is a mix of switch and router, which is commonly used for routing within virtual LANs (VLANs).
  • Speed: Normally, switches operating at layer 2 take less time than that operating at layer 3. Layer 2 switches just need to assign MAC addresses to reroute packets from source port to destination port in layer 2 switching.

Layer 3 Switch vs Router

In addition to layer 2 switch, router is another concept which is usually referred to when concerned with layer 3 switch. This is obvious to find from layer 3 switch definition. Then, what are their differences when comparing layer 3 switch vs router? Look at the following aspects:

  • Main function: The main function of a router is the routing function. The same is true for layer 3 switch as well. It is still a switch product but with some basic routing functions. Its main function is still data exchange.
  • Main applicable environment: The routing function of a layer 3 switch is usually relatively simple, because it is mainly a simple LAN connection. The router is designed mainly to meet different types of network connections including LANs and WANs. Its main function is routing and forwarding.
  • Differ in performance: Technically, routers and layer 3 switches have significant differences in packet switching operations. Routers typically perform packet switching by a microprocessor-based software routing engine, while layer 3 switches perform packet switching through hardware.

Conclusion

After all the above, you may get clearer about “what is layer 3 switch” and the main difference between layer 3 switch vs layer 2 and layer 3 switch vs router. In short, a layer 3 switch can implement both switching as well as routing function. It can define a plurality of ports as one virtual network, and it has no limit to the transmission bandwidth between networks.

What Is an Ethernet Switch and How to Use It?

Nowadays, Ethernet switch has become an important part in data center or computer networking to meet different needs. You may heard about it but not so familiar with it. Then, what is an Ethernet switch? How does an Ethernet switch work? Let’s find out the answers in the following text.

what is an ethernet switch

What Is an Ethernet Switch?

Ethernet switch, the most common form of network switch, is a computer networking device used in Ethernet to connect various Ethernet devices. It connects devices together by using packet switching to receive, process, and forward data from one source device to another destination device.

Ethernet Switch Types

There are various types of Ethernet switches designed for different needs. Normally, they are divided into two main categories, namely, modular switch and fixed configuration switch. The former one allows you to add expansion modules into the switch as needed while the latter one is not expandable with a fixed number of ports.

Nowadays, fixed configuration switches are the mostly used. They can come in various different speeds with particular names such as fast Ethernet switch with a speed of 10/100 Mbps, Gigabit Ethernet switch of 10/100/1000 Mbps, 10GbE switch of 10/100/1000/10000 Mbps. Currently, Gigabit Ethernet switch is still the most common one and is the most widely used switch among its kind. In additional, 10GbE switch is also very popular for its higher transmission speed of up to 10 Gbps and a relatively not expensive price. Of course, there are other switches of 25G, 40G or even 100G for you to choose as well. You can choose the best Ethernet switch according to your actual needs.

How Does An Ethernet Switch Work?

As a hardware device, Ethernet switch centralizes communications among multiple connected Ethernet devices in one local area network (LAN). Normally, multiple data cables are plugged into an Ethernet switch to enable communication between different networked devices. Then, the Ethernet Switch manages the flow of data across the network by transmitting a received network packet only to the one or more devices for which the packet is intended. An Ethernet switch can identify every device connected to it and direct the traffic flow of the device, which maximizes the security and efficiency of the network. Therefore, it is more intelligent and efficient than an Ethernet hub which is unable to distinguish different recipients.

how-does-an-ethernet-switch-work

How to Choose and Use an Ethernet Switch?

How to Choose an Ethernet Switch?

As for how to choose an Ethernet switch, there are different factors you should consider:

  • Transmission speed: Although there are different transmission speeds for you to choose, you still need to use an Ethernet switch according to the actual speed you need.
  • Number of ports: Fixed configuration switches typically come in 5, 8, 10, 16, 24, 28, 48, and 54-port configurations. You should choose a switch with the number of ports equal to, or greater than that of computers you are connecting.
  • Network infrastructure: For small network of up to 50 users, one Ethernet switch might enough. While, additional switches are needed if more users are added in.
  • Specific feature: If you have special requirements for your switch, you can search it accurately. For example, you can only search managed or unmanaged switch for precise localization among various switches.
  • Reliable vendor: There are many popular brands of networking equipment, such as Cisco, 3com, Linksys, FS, etc. Just choose a company you trust and buy the switch you want.
  • Price difference: Normally, price might be the priority over everything when choosing a product. You can search a certain switch of the same external conditions and then compare them in price. If the functions are nearly the same, you can choose a relatively cheaper one.
How to Use an Ethernet Switch?

Speaking of how to use an Ethernet switch, you can follow the guidance below:

  • Configure your switch: Set up the IP address for the switch with switch manual.
  • Configure your switch with right VLANs setup if needed. If multiple VLANs are being used, make sure the computers are on the correct VLAN.
  • Log into your switch to hard code each port if necessary.

For more details, you can refer to the post of how to use a network switch.

Conclusion

After the introduction of “What is an Ethernet switch?” and “How does an Ethernet switch work?” above, one can have a general understanding of an Ethernet switch. In short, An Ethernet switch is a telecommunication device used to connect multiple computers or devices together and can expand network with ease.

Related articles:

Switch Mac Address: What’s It and How Does it Work?

Network Switch vs Network Router vs Network Firewall

Understanding Network Latency in Ethernet Switches

Server Rack Cable Management: What Is the Best Practice?

Data centers today consist of rows of server racks and network cabinets to support an abundance of data cables, power cords and network devices. Deliver proficient cable management within a confined and tightly-spaced server rack is quite difficult. However, cable management is no longer a nightmare if you follow the right guide and work with some test-and-tried tools. Here we’d like to offer useful advice for server rack cable management, and recommend some efficient and reliable management tools.

server rack cable management

Server Rack Cable Management Benefits

Server rack cable management, if not being handled properly, could bring you a succession of problems – it would result in cable damage and failure, which directly lead to data transmission errors, performance issues and system downtime. On the contrary, successful cable management in server rack can benefit you in every aspects, including:

Improved system performance: server rack cable management demands to separate power and data cables within the racks, which greatly decrease the chance for crosstalk and interference.

Enhanced availability: Effective server rack cable management allows easier access to cables and IT devices, yet to reduce human error.

Improved maintenance and serviceability: Effective rack cable management also ensures easier and safer access to individual components.

Increased cooling efficiency: let hot exhaust air out from the back, server rack cable management keeps cables organized and out of critical airflow paths.

Improved scalability: cable management in server rack simplifies moves, adds, and changes, making it easier to integrate additional racks and components for future growth.

Server Rack Cable Management Guide

Since we’ve made clear the benefits of server rack cable management, here is a step-to-step guide for you to further explain how to do it correctly:

  • Plan appropriately. It greatly contributes to smooth server rack management process. Consulting a professional cabling contractor can always be beneficial.
  • Determine the routes for power and data cables. Determine if they enter from the top or bottom of the server rack. Then plan the routes to separate power and data cables, and copper data cables and fiber.
  • Identify cables. Use colored cables as well as cable labers to ensure easier cable identification.
  • Route and retain cables. Cables must be protected at points where they might encounter sharp edges or heated areas. Cable ties and cable managers can be used to this end.
  • Secure cables. Cables and connectors should be secured to prevent excessive movement and to provide strain relief of critical points.
  • Avoid thermal issues. Ensure the airflow path is rather important, since restrained airflow can cause temperatures rise that would shorten devices’ expected lifespan.
  • Document and maintain organization. Documenting the complete infrastructure including diagrams, cable types, patching information, and cable counts is important.

Efficient Tools for Server Rack Cable Management

Here are top five management tools that can facilitate cable management in server racks:

1. Horizontal Cable Manager

Horizontal cable managers are excellent for any kind of cable – fiber, coax, patch cables, copper wiring and more to ensure that your cables are well-organized and protected. Horizontal cable managers come with rack-mountable 1U or 2U design, and some of them are built with finger duct and D-rings for easier finger access in server rack.

2. Vertical Cable Manager

Vertical cable manager work very well to organize and hold cables to ensure proper air flow, avoiding overheating in complex server rack environment. They’re also great for installations where you need to save space or need to make more room in the future to expand your network.

3. Cable Hangers and Trays

If you need to organize cabling within server racks, cable hangers can come in handy. Cable trays are excellent for running wires from one place to another and can be mounted on the floor or overhead in the ceiling.

4. Copper Patch Panels

For data and telecommunications networks a copper patch panel is essential. A patch panel is a board with a number of different ports to connect network wiring. Ethernet patch panels are available in a variety of different configurations depending on your cable types and needs: there are Cat5e patch panel, Cat6 patch panel and Cat6a patch panel, each with different port counts such as 24-port patch panel, 48-port patch panel, etc. Copper patch panel is also great for consolidating cables so that your server rack looks neat and organized.

5. Fiber Optic Patch Panels

Similar to data patch panels, fiber patch panels are designed specifically for fiber optic cables. Also known as termination units they can accommodate connectors, patch cables and more. Network technicians can easily connect cable fibers through cross connection, test the cable patch panel, and connect it to other network equipment. Grouping by the connector type, there are single mode and multimode LC/SC/MTP fiber patch panels with various port counts. You can also choose blank patch panel to mix and match your fiber and copper cabling.

Conclusion

Effective server rack management helps to improve physical appearance, cable traceability, airflow, cooling efficiency and troubleshooting time while eliminates the chance for human error. Hope our guide on server rack cable management would help solve your problem. FS.COM provide tailored cable management solutions for our customers, as well as management tools like cable manager, patch panelcable organizer and cable tie. If you need any help, please contact us at sales@fs.com.

GUI vs CLI: Which for Managing Network Switch?

Network switch is the major building block of many business networks, as they connect multiple PCs, printers, access points, servers, and other hardware to make your business up and running. Switches enables you to send and receive information and access shared resources in a smooth, efficient and highly secure way. It happens at some points we need to make settings or adjustments on switches to perform certain function, like configuring VLAN or check status of switch ports. So how to get the configuration access to a network switch? Does GUI or CLI work better for you? What’s the difference between GUI vs CLI? We’ll address these issues and guide you to manage switch via GUI and CLI.

gui vs cli for configuring network switch

What Is GUI (Graphical User Interface)?

GUI is short for Graphical User Interface – it uses graphics like windows, scrollbars, buttons, etc. to allow users to communicate with the data switch or GUI operating system. It facilitate users, especially novice users in an intuitive and easy-to-learn way. GUI access need recognition and good exploratory analysis and graphics, which is more suitable for users who requires no access to advanced tasks.

what is command line cli

What Is CLI (Command Line Interface)?

CLI stands for Command Line Interface, which allows users to write commands in a terminal or console window to communicate with an operating system. CLI acts as the medium between operators and the network switch: Users have to type command to perform a task. CLI is more accurate than GUI, but it has a very steep learning curve. CLI is appropriate for users who uses it in a regular basis, or for the costly computing where input precision is the priority.

what is gui graphical user interface

GUI vs CLI: What Is the Difference?

GUI vs CLI, both as the mainstream interface for accessing network switch, differs in the following aspects:

Ease of Use: CLI enable users to type manual command in order to perform the desired task whereas in GUI users provided visuals to communicate with the data switch. So the beginners will pick up a GUI much faster than a CLI.

Control: With a GUI, there’s control over files and the operating system – but advanced tasks may still need CLI. While CLI enables all the control over file system and operating system, making tasks simple.

Speed: In GUI, using the mouse and the keyboard to control is slower than using the command line. With CLI, the operator simply use the keyboard and may need to execute only few commands to complete the task.

Hacking: In terms of hacking, all the vulnerability exploits are done from command line. All the remote access and file manipulation are done from the command line.

Scripting: CLI excels in this field since it allows you to create a script that contains few lines of command and it will do the work for you.

Here we use the chart to summarize GUI vs CLI differences.

BASIS FOR COMPARISON
CLI
GUI
Basic
Command line interface enables a user to communicate with the system through commands.
Graphical User interface permits a user to interact with the system by using graphics which includes images, icons, etc.
Device used
Keyboard
Mouse and keyboard
Ease of performing tasks
Hard to perform an operation and require expertise.
Easy to perform tasks and does not require expertise.
Precision
High
Low
Flexibility
Intransigent
More flexible
Memory consumption
Low
High
Appearance
Can’t be changed
Custom changes can be employed
Speed
Fast
Slow
Integration and extensibility
Scope of potential improvements
Bounded

GUI vs CLI: How to Use Them to Manage Network Switch?

CLI and GUI are different kinds of user interfaces with their own merits and drawbacks. It is important to understand where each one excels so you can pick the right tool. Using the defining features of two different tools provides the best of both worlds. The following video, using FS S5850-32S2Q 10GbE switch as an example, offers a complete guide on how to use command line and GUI to access a network switch, through which you may figure out which one fits better for you.

Conclusion

In all, the GUI provides a higher degree of multitasking and more efficiency, whereas CLI offers more control, precision and repeatability. The decision on choosing GUI vs CLI to configure the network switch should better based on user requirements. FS.COM offers a comprehensive product line of network switches, including Gigabit Ethernet switch, Gigabit PoE switch, etc. If you are seeking network switch configuration or management solutions, feel free to contact us at sales@fas.com.

Server Rack Choice: How to Make It Right?

Data centers and server rooms house an abundance of server rack cabinets, which work to organize IT equipment into assembly order to make the most use of space and resources. Your daily operation and maintenance rely significantly on the server rack choice since it greatly affect the network reliability, serviceability and manageability. Not all the server racks are created equal, so we will walk you though some critical aspects for choosing the right server rack.

server rack buying guide

What Is a Server Rack and Why We Need It?

Typically made of steel or aluminum, rails and framework, a server rack is capable of holding hundreds or even thousands of pounds of equipment. For now, the vast majority of IT applications use 19-inch server racks and equipment. As the width of which is always the same, the height and depth can be various. Server rack is designed to hold all standard 19-inch rack-mountable equipment, as long as it isn’t too deep for the cabinet or too high to fit in the available rack spaces. Moreover, server rack also holds IT infrastructures and rack accessories that support the operation of the production equipment, including UPS systems, PDUs, cable managers, KVM switches, patch panels and shelves.

Common Server Rack Types

Basically, there are two types of server racks: rack enclosures (or rack cabinets) and open-frame racks. And based on where they are used, rack enclosures and open-frame racks are further divided into floor-standing server rack and wall-mount server rack.

Floor Standing
Wall Mount
Rack Enclosure
Open Frame
Rack Enclosure
Open Frame
floor standing rack enclosure
floor-standing open frame server rack
wall mount server rack cabinet
wall mount open frame server rack
Used when access control and equipment protection are important to you.
An economical way to organize IT equipment.
Ideal for housing IT equipment in sites with limited floor space. Also can be used as home server rack.
For small but secure places and provides excellent airflow and easy access.

What Should I Look for a Rack?

There exist a dazzling array of rack options, in terms of different heights, sizes and styles. When selecting the rack for your installation, here are some factors to consider:

Server rack size

Be sure to accurately assess the amount of rack space you need while allow for future growth. So always pay attention to the height and depth of a server rack. The height of a rack is expressed in “rack units” (a rack unit is 1.75 inches, or 44.45mm). The actual height of a 42U rack is therefore 42 x 1.75 = 73.5 inches.

AV vs. IT-based installations

The choice should better depend on the equipment being installed. IT racks are designed for traditional IT equipment in which the I/O and cabling is on the front of the rack. This makes easier troubleshooting and network monitoring. AV racks are typically shallower in depth, enabling a cleaner installation by using equipment with rear facing I/O.

Airflow and cooling

These two factors are critical to the performance and longevity of the equipment installed in the rack. Depending on the airflow condition of the place the rack located, you may need to increase the rack’s cooling capability.

Equipment width

With 19-inches being the traditional standard for rack mounted network hardware, some vendors make custom sizes for other types of equipment. Make sure to check what size of rack your equipment requires.

Security options

While there might be a great amount of expensive equipment installed on the rack, you have always to bear security in mind. A rack that meets the security goal is thus essential. Locking cabinet and tinted door glass can help protecting your network from prying eyes and hands.

Conclusion

The right server rack type that meets your demand helps you improve power protection, cooling, cable management, and physical security. Hope the knowledge and suggestions offered in this article will help you choose the perfect server rack/server rack cabinet. Taking the above factors into consideration and thinking thoroughly before making the choice. Should you ever need a server rack or associated cable management accessories such as fiber optic patch panel, Ethernet patch panel and cable organizer, feel free to contact us at sales@fs.com


PPPoE vs DHCP: What is the difference?

PPPoE vs DHCP may sound like two irrelevant items since the application of each are not the same: DHCP is a protocol for obtaining IP addresses while PPPoE is a common method of connecting to an ISP. But the debate over PPPoE vs DHCP differences has been around for a long time and thus causes a lot confusions. So in this article we will have PPPoE vs DHCP explained and walk you through how they differ from each other.

PPPoE vs DHCP: DHCP Wiki

DHCP, or Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, is a standardized client/server network protocol that dynamically assigns IP addresses and other related configuration information to network devices. It is known that each device from a TCP/IP network should have a unique IP address to access the network. So without DHCP configuration, network admins have to configure IP addresses manually if they want to add new computers or move computers from one subnet to another. Usually, a DHCP architecture is made up of DHCP clients, DHCP servers and DHCP relay agents.

dhcp wiki

DHCP works to offer an automated way to distribute and update IP addresses and other configuration information on a network. A DHCP server provides this information to a DHCP client through the exchange of a series of messages. DHCP enables network users to travel anywhere on the network and automatically receive an IP address when they reconnecting. On the other hand, DHCP provides network admins quicker and more reliable IP address configuration – it mitigates configuration errors caused by manual IP address configuration. DHCP also helps to conserve limited IP address space.

PPPoE vs DHCP: What Is PPPoE?

PPPoE, short for Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet, is an Ethernet encapsulation of the Point to Point Protocol that is commonly used with dial-up connections. This allows the modem to be a part of the network that multiple users can utilize instead of being connected directly to the computer. PPPoE combines the Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP), commonly used in dialup connections, with the Ethernet protocol, which supports multiple users in a local area network. The PPP protocol information is encapsulated within an Ethernet frame. To employ PPPoE, you need a username and a password provided by your ISP, which you use to dial-up to your ISP and establish a connection. More recent modems now incorporate the PPPoE dialer into them. You can simply set your username and password once and your modem automatically connects to the internet whenever you turn it on.

what is pppoe

PPPoE vs DHCP: How They Differ?

DHCP is a way for a network to allocate unique IP addresses to the devices (i.e. computers, smartphones Gigabit Ethernet switch and etc.) within a network, so that traffic can be delivered back-n-forth without confusion. PPPoE is a way to encapsulate network traffic, based on credentialed access (i.e. username/password). PPPoE needs to be configured correctly before a user can actually connect to the internet, however, modems that use DHCP does not need to be configured and is basically plug and play. So using DHCP to connect to an ISP eliminates the problems that are associated with PPPOE. Just like with computers on a network, you do not need to configure your computer beforehand. You simply leave everything on automatic and leave the configuration to the ISP servers.

The difference between PPPoE vs DHCP can be summarized as following:

  • DHCP is a protocol for obtaining IP addresses while PPPOE is a common method of connecting to an ISP
  • DHCP is very popular and is widely used while PPPOE is slowly falling out of favor
  • You would need to have a username and password with PPPOE while the configuration of DHCP is automatic

Conclusion

So we’ve explored the definition of each term and major PPPoE vs DHCP differences. It is thus to conclude that there is no “one is better than the other”- PPPoE and DHCP serve two entirely different purpose without overlap. Hope it would help to clear out your confusion. Backed by a professional tech team, FS.COM has improved solutions for network devices like Ethernet routers, fiber switch (i.e. 10 Gigabit switch) and servers. To get any further information, reach us via sales@fs.com.

Switch vs Router vs Modem: What Is the Difference?

Ethernet switch, router and modem look strikingly similar if only judging by their appearance. However, they each play different roles and are deployed for various purposes in a network. So what is the key difference of switch vs router vs modem? How switch vs router vs modem each functions in a network. We would address these issues in this article by explaining switch vs router vs modem from scratch.

switch vs router vs modem

Switch vs Router vs Modem: All Are Major Network Devices

We’ll start from exploring what exactly network switch, router and modem are and the roles of switch vs router vs modem in a network.

modem router switch diagram
What Is a Modem?

A modem is often provided by your ISP (Internet Service Provider) which enables a network access to the internet. In some cases ISPs provide “hybrid” modem/router combination, this device might be power efficient to some extent, it actually limits your network potentials. So suggestion is to request a standalone modem whenever possible to increase the available resources on the network.

What Is a Router?

When connecting more than one device to a modem, a router is generally required. A router acts as the “traffic director” of a network. It takes information provided by the modem and routes it to the devices attached to the modem, then the router creates Network Address Translated ( NAT) internal private IP address to the connected devices so they can be accessed. Devices like computers, game consoles and etc can be connected to a router wirelessly or through network cables. Some advanced features of a router includes built-in firewall to help protect the network from unwanted traffic.

What Is a Switch in Networking?

A switch (such as a 10GbE switch or Gigabit PoE switch) is used to provide additional ports, expanding the capability of the router. A network switch learns the association between the MAC addresses of connected devices and its switched ports. A switch only sends data to where it needs to go, thus reducing the amount of data on the network, thereby increasing the overall performance of the connected devices while improving security. Often connected to a router, a switch will not provide routing capability and should not be connected directly to the modem unless a DHCP server is present elsewhere on the network.

Switch vs Router vs Modem: Similarities and Differences

As standard components in Ethernet networks, switch vs router vs modem bears many similarities, but there are also some key characteristics to set them apart.

Similarities:
  • Switch vs router vs modem are all small plastic/metal box-shaped electronic device
  • They all allow computers to connect to it for the purpose of enabling communication among them via Internet Protocol
  • They all have some physical ports on the front or back of them, which provide the connection points for computers, a connection for electric power, and LED lights to display working status.
Differences:
Router vs Modem

Routers work at network layer 3 of the OSI model, and it deals with IP addresses. A router is specifically used to join networks together and routes traffic between them. When used at home, your router connect the internal local network to your ISP’s network. And it can be connected to your modem (provided by ISP) on one end and to a switch on the other end (local network). Usually, the Internet port on a router will connect to your modem and the rest of the ports are for switches. A modem has a single coaxial port for the cable connection from your ISP and a single Ethernet port to link the Internet port on your router. Modem is used to connect your ISP using phone line (for DSL), cable connection or fiber (ONT).

Router vs Switch

Like we’ve mentioned, a router works at layer 3 of the OSI model, thereby it allows you to connect multiple computers to each other and also allows them to share a single Internet connection. A switch, however, works at layer 2 of the OSI model (there are also some layer 3 switches that have routing capacities), which connects one point to another in a network temporarily by turning it on and off as necessary. Note that a switch only allows you to connect multiple computers into a local network. The following chart illustrates other differences concerning router vs switch.

Router
Switch
Function
Directs data in a network. Passes data between home computers, and between computers and the modem.
Allow connections to multiple devices, manage ports, manage VLAN security settings
Layer
Network Layer (Layer 3 devices)
Data Link Layer. Network switches operate at Layer 2 of the OSI model.
Data Transmission Form
Packet
Frame (L2 Switch) Frame & Packet (L3 switch)
Used
LAN, MAN, WAN
LAN
Transmission Mode
Full duplex
Half/Full duplex
Broadcast Domain
In Router, every port has its own Broadcast domain.
Switch has one broadcast domain [unless VLAN implemented]
Speed
1-100 Mbps (Wireless); 100 Mbps – 1 Gbps (Wired)
10/100 Mbps, 1 Gbps
Address used for data transmission
IP Address
MAC address
Used for
Connecting two or more networks
Connecting two or more nodes in the same network (L2) or different network (L3)
Faster
In a different network environment (MAN/ WAN), a router is faster than an L3 switch.
In a LAN environment, an L3 switch is faster than a router (built-in switching hardware)
Features
Firewall VPN Dynamic hadling of Bandwidth
Priority rt range On/Off setting of port VLAN Port mirroring

Switch vs Router vs Modem: What’s the Connection Sequence?

The simple rule for connecting switch, router and modem is like this: modem-router-switch (access point)-multiple clients. Put the switch behind a router so all devices connected to either the switch or the router can access the internet simultaneously, while placing the switch right after the modem is just as equal to not putting it – it will waste some of your hardware and cables since all your switch ports aside from the two going between the router and modem will be useless to you.

how to connect switch, router and modem

Conclusion

Here we’ve walked you through the basic concept of switch vs router vs modem, as well as the similarities and differences concerning router vs modem and router vs switch. Hope that has clear some of your confusions. For any further solution related to fiber switch or network router, reach us via sales@fs.com.

What Is IPv6 And Why Is It Important?

IPv6 has been around for over a decade but is not yet seeing broad adoption. However, with the imminent exhaustion of available IPv4 addresses, the lack of IP addresses has become a more pressing problem. As the successor of IPv4, IPv6 will not only offer far more addresses, but will address assignments and additional network security features. What is IPv6 and how does it matters? What’s the differences between IPv4 vs IPv6? Let’s get some insight into these issues.

what is ipv6 protocol

What Is IPv6 and How Does It Matter?

IPv6 (Internet Protocol Version 6) is a network layer protocol which allows communication and data transfers to take place over the network. IPv6 came into existence in 1998 and was created out of the concern that demand for IPv4 addresses would exceed availability. IPv6 protocol, which is 128-bits, consists of eight numbered strings, each containing four characters, separated by colon. This gives us an unbelievable amount of unique IP addresses. Despite these, IPv6 protocol also simplifies address assignment (for computers) and provides additional security features. It greatly solves network bottleneck caused by the soaring amount of Internet-connected devices.

Advantages and Disadvantages of IPv6 Protocol

IPv6 protocol is all about future-proofing, with which every current household could have trillions of connected devices, each with their own individual IP addresses, and there would still be plenty of IPv6 addresses to spare, without the need for NAT. Here are the pros and cons of IPv6.

Pros of IPv6 Ptotocol
  • Increased Capacity: of address space—resources are efficiently allocated to accommodate additional web addresses.
  • Efficient Routing: allows for easy aggregation of prefixes assigned to IP networks.
  • Efficient Data Flow: enables large data packets to be sent simultaneously helping to conserve bandwidth.
  • Security: is improved due in part to improved authentication methods built into network firewalls.
Cons of IPv6 Ptotocol
  • Conversion: IPv4 is still widely used and the world is slow to convert to IPv6, the process of making the switch to IPv6 from IPv4 is slow and tedious.
  • Communication: IPv4 and IPv6 machines cannot communicate directly to each other, in the very rare circumstance that they would need to.
  • Readability: Understanding IPv6 subnetting can be difficult on its own, let alone trying to remember/memorize your IPv6 address.

IPv4 vs IPv6: What’s the Difference?

IPv4 protocol consists of four number strings – each containing three digits separated by dots. A standard IPv4 address is 32-bit and allows 4.2 billion unique IP addresses. By comparison, IPv6 uses longer IP addresses: with eight groups of four hexadecimal digits, separated by colons. Hence IPv6 significantly expands the pool of IP addresses. Besides, it also frees the internet from relying on NAT because of the dearth of IPv4. Ipv6 enables all devices to be accessible on the public network for easier management. Moreover, IPv6 is much secure than IPv4 at making sure Internet traffic gets to the correct destination without being intercepted.

ipv4 vs ipv6

What You Need to Enable IPv6

IPv6 has not yet put IPv4 into obsolescence, but we should at least get fully prepared for it. It would be better to make sure that any future PC, mobile device and gigabit Ethernet switch/router support IPv6 protocol. To use IPv6, you’ll need three things:

  • An IPv6-Compatible Operating System: Your operating system’s software must be capable of using IPv6. All modern desktop operating systems should be compatible.
  • A Ethernet Switch/Router With IPv6 Support: Check your network switch/router’s specifications to see if it supports IPv6 if you’re curious. Or when the need occurs, try to grasp network switch/router with IPv6 function.
  • An ISP With IPv6 Enabled:Your Internet service provider must also have IPv6 set up on their end.

Conclusion

IPv6 is rolling out steadily, but slowly. As IPv6-only networks can dramatically simplify network operations and keep costs down, there is reason to believe the trend will continue. It’s important to prepare for the future and get IPv6 working, however, there is no need to race to implement this or worrying about it too much. FS.COM offers IPv6 enabled 10GbE switch and other copper/fiber switch with advanced feature sets that can fit your varying demand. For further information, contact us via sales@fs.com.

OpenFlow Switch: What Is It and How Does it Work?

SDN (Software-Defined Networking) technology is generating huge interest in networking industry due to its ability to add higher agility and scalability for networks. At the core of the SDN technology is the OpenFlow protocol, and SDN with OpenFlow switch promises flexibility and fast configuration of communication networks. So what exactly is OpenFlow and OpenFlow switch? How does OpenFlow switch work to improve network agility and scalability? We try to explain it in detail and clear out the confusions.

What is OpenFlow and OpenFlow Switch?

OpenFlow is a programmable network protocol for SDN environment, which is used for communication between OpenFlow switches and controllers. OpenFlow separates the programming of network device from underlying hardware, and offers a standardized way of delivering a centralized, programmable network that can quickly adapt to changing network requirements.

openflow protocol

An OpenFlow switch is an OpenFlow-enabled data switch that communicates over OpenFlow channel to an external controller. It performs packet lookup and forwarding according to one or more flow tables and a group table. The OpenFlow switch communicates with the controller and the controller manages the switch via the OpenFlow switch protocol. OpenFlow switches are either based on the OpenFlow protocol or compatible with it.

what is openflow switch

How Does OpenFlow Switch Work?

An OpenFlow switch can only function with the collaborate work of three essential elements:  flow tables installed on switches, a controller and a proprietary OpenFlow protocol for the controller to talk securely with switches. Flow tables are set up on switches. Controllers talk to the switches via the OpenFlow protocol and impose policies on flows. The controller could set up paths through the network optimized for specific characteristics, such as speed, fewest number of hops or reduced latency.

OpenFlow Switch vs Conventional Switch: What’s the Difference?

In a conventional switch, packet forwarding (the data plane) and high-level routing (the control plane) occur on the same device. While for an OpenFlow switch, the data plane is decoupled from the control plane: with the data plane implemented in the switch itself but the control plane in software and a separate SDN controller makes high-level routing decisions. The switch and controller communicate by means of the OpenFlow protocol. OpenFlow switch hence boosts the following advantages:

  • With OpenFlow switch, the SDN controller could route non critical/bulk traffic on longer routes that are not fully utilized.
  • The SDN controller can easily implement load-balancing at high data rates by just directing different flows to different hosts, only doing the set-up of the initial flow’s.
  • Traffic can be isolated without the need for vlan’s, the SDN controller of OpenFlow switch can just refuse certain connections.
  • Setup a network TAP/Sniffer easily for any port or even specific traffic by programming the network to send a duplicate stream to a network monitoring device.
  • OpenFlow switch allows for the development of new services and ideas all in software on the SDN controller, as well to accelerate new features and services.

Why OpenSwitch Is the New Trend?

OpenFlow switch is designed to provide consistency in traffic management and engineering, by making control function independent of the hardware it’s intended to control. This combination of open source software and commodity hardware holds the potential for unprecedented efficiency and operational agility, which fitted well in the world where network becomes increasingly diverse and demanding. Enabling OpenFlow on physical switches and move to OpenFlow switch is something that most clients have been working toward. FS.COM switch product line consists of 10GbE switch, 40GbE switch and 100GbE switch that supports OpenFlow 1.3, which can be used as OpenFlow switches in open networking environment.

10G SDN Switch with L2/L3 ICOS, 48*10GbE ports + 6*40GbE ports
40G SDN Switch L2/L3 ICOS, 32*40GbE ports
100G L2/L3 Switch Loaded with ICOS, 48*25GbE ports +6*100GbE ports

Conclusion

OpenFlow switch addresses bottlenecks to high performance and scalability in SDN environments. Providing an efficient, vendor-independent approach to managing complex networks with dynamic demands, OpenFlow switch is likely to become commonplace in large carrier networks, cloud infrastructures, and other networks. FS.COM SDN OpenFlow switch has received great reputations from our customers, for more information, just reach us via sales@fs.com.