Author Archives: Aria Zhu

VXLAN Enabled Network Switch: What Is the Benefit?

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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 transporting 100G traffic over long distances (up to 80 km) or as part of a DWDM network.

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.

Smart Switch: A Wise Choice for SMB Networks

Ethernet network switch marks the backbone of your enterprise network, with which you can connect multiple core devices like routers, printers, PCs and other hardware. There exist a dazzling array of network switches with various feature sets and functions. With regard to management options, there are primary three categories of switches: unmanaged switch, smart switch and managed switch. Among which smart switch has ranked as a moderate choice for better regulating business network – as a perfect mix of essential functions and affordability. If you’ve outstripped your unmanaged switch but don’t expect for a more advanced managed switch, it’s the right time to consider a smart managed switch.

What Is A Smart Switch?

Smart switch, or smart managed switch, fills the middle ground between the unmanaged switch and managed switch – it offers certain levels of management, basic quality-of-service (QoS) and limited security features with limited numbers of ACLs (access control lists) . Smart switch generally has a browser-based interface for management and it also enable segmentation of the network by creating VLANs, which makes it quite a versatile solution. Smart switch fits best at the edge of a large network (with managed switches as core switch). Here we make a further comparison between smart managed switch vs unmanaged switch, and smart switch vs managed switch.

smart switch

Smart Switch vs Unmanaged switch

Unmanaged switch presents the most cost-friendly plug-and-play solution for deployment that require only basic layer 2 switching and connectivity. It cannot be modified/managed and requires no configuration at all. Primarily targeted for home and SOHO, unmanaged switch is generally used to small network with only a few components, or to add temporary workgroups to larger networks. Compared to “dumb” unmanaged switch, smart managed switch opens the door to manage, monitor and configure the network, but only with very limited capability.

smart switch vs unmanaged switch

Smart Switch vs Managed Switch

Fully managed switch is designed to deliver the most comprehensive set of features to provide the highest level of security, the most precise control and management and the greatest scalability. Managed switch can be deployed as aggregation/access switches in very large professionally networks or as core switches in relatively smaller networks, allowing organizations to manage and troubleshoot network remotely and securely, and to expand with flexibility.

smart switch vs managed switch

Smart switch can be seen as a “lighter” managed switch – less capable and scalable than the managed switches, with lighter management capabilities and less VLAN groups and nodes (mac address). As such, smart switch offers a less expensive alternative to managed switches. Additionally, managed switch generally allows for full configuration by command line interface (CLI) via a console port and telnet and or SSH session, and often a web GUI. While a smart switch often lacks any console port, have less configuration flexibility via a web-based interface. Seen as an entry-level managed switch.

Should I Choose Smart Switch Over the Other Two?

The choice typically depends on two factors: budget and application. If you just want to setup a home network and keep things simple, an unmanaged and smart managed switches are good enough. But if you want to manage a LAN and need configuration options like VALN and QoS, or to deal with mission-critical applications that demands massive data traffic, it is better to use at least a smart managed switch or the more powerful managed switch.

As unmanaged switch is targeted for home and SOHO while fully managed switch for data centers, enterprises and relatively professional networks, smart switch, therefore, is mostly for small to medium sized business (SMB) users who may need some or certain configuration and management. They offer access to switch management features such as port monitoring, link aggregation, and VPN through a simple Web interface.

Conclusion

We have gone through the basics of three primary categories of network switch – unmanaged switch, smart switch and fully managed switch, as well as deployment scenarios of each. Smart managed switch can make an excellent transition solution when unmanaged switch is never adequate and the cost for a managed switch cannot be justified. Organizations and enterprises nowadays have reap significant benefits from using smart managed switch, which proves that it is a journey worthwhile to take, especially for SMB networks.

Gigabit Managed Switch With VLAN Recommendation

Gigabit managed switch with VLAN has become a preferable choice for enterprise and SMB networks over the years. With the greatest level of management and control, gigabit managed switch opens a door for network administrators to create a fully optimized network. Moreover, managed Gigabit Ethernet switch makes it possible to create VLANs and limit access to specific devices. All these features will eventually contribute to improve network reliability and levels of security. For getting Gigabit managed switch with VLAN capability, how to make the right choice? Here we recommend you several cheap gigabit managed switches that well worth the Fmoney.

Gigabit Managed Switch With VLAN: What Are the Benefits?

VLAN has replaced traditional shared media LANs to become the choice of switching infrastructure. A VLAN (Virtual LAN) is a broadcast domain created by switches. Traditionally, it is a router creating that broadcast domain. With VLAN capability, now switch can create the broadcast domain and handle traffic more efficiently. Most Gigabit managed switches now are equipped with VLAN capability – it is used to segment a switch – or a physical network of switches – into multiple, logical layer 2 networks. A gigabit managed switch with VLAN helps prevent an end device from directly talking to another that are not in the same VLAN groups, unless such traffic first goes through a router. In this way, VLAN configurable Gigabit managed switch helps decrease the calculation time, improve overall performance and enhanced security levels.

what-is-vlan

Cheap Gigabit Managed Switch With VLAN

The market for gigabit managed switch with VLAN capability is booming, and suppliers in the industry compete to present products with advanced features and functions. The fierce competition even brings down the cost of Gigabit managed switch. In this section, we will take a review of some VLAN configurable Gigabit managed switch, including HP ProCurve 1810G 24, Mikrotik CRS125-24G-1S-RM, TP-Link TL-SG2424, NetGear GSM7224R and ZyXEL GS1910-24. All of them are Gigabit managed network switch with VLAN capability, we summarized their features in the following diagram.

HP ProCurve 1810G 24 Mikrotik CRS125-24G-1S-RM TP-Link TL-SG2424 NetGear GSM7224R ZyXEL GS1910-24
Switching Capacity
48 Gbps
48 Gbps
48 Gbps
48 Gbps
48 Gbps
Power Consumption
15W
18W
10/100/1000 Ethernet ports
24
24
24
24
24v
SFP ports
2 shared
1
4 combo
4 combo
4 shared
Layer Supported
Layer 2
Layer 3
Layer 2
Layer 2
Layer 2
Price
$532.19
$205.97
$185.00
$281.63
$347.25
FS Optimized VLAN Configurable Gigabit Managed Switch

FS S2800-24T4F is a fanless Gigabit managed switch with VLAN feature that equipped with 24-port 100/1000BASE-T ports and 4 combo SFP slots. The fanless design makes it an energy-saving Ethernet access switches for small to medium-sized business, especially for those noise-sensitive open environment like labs, schools and cafes. This silent 24-port managed switch supports multiple configuration modes and flexible port combination. Which efficiently enhances data security through VLAN assignment, and VLAN trunks can be created from any port to realize port isolation- an individual switch port can be assigned to a logical LAN, then the next switch port can be easily assigned as a completely different logical LAN.

fs-gigabit-managed-switch-with-vlan

So, What Is Your Choice?

Although the overall budget is important when choosing a managed Gigabit switch with VLAN capability, there are still a variety of factors to account for, such as: port configuration, switching capacity, power consumption and switch class. The port configuration and speed determines the switching capacity. So you have to consider the amount of traffic to run through this managed Gigabit Ethernet switch and select one that can accommodate all the dataflow. Power consumption is also a very important aspect as it defines the operating cost in the long run, a power efficiency switch can save you a great amount of money. Another factor is where you would like to put this switch, if it is a noise-sensitive environment, fanless Gigabit managed switch is the best fit.

Conclusion

With increasing bandwidth requirements from applications and other services, you can unleash your network and enable maximum productivity with Gigabit managed switch with VLAN capacity. This post has compared the commonly used VLAN configurable managed Gigabit switches on the market, while provides some insights on the factors to choose the right one. Wish this would help you to make the right decision.

10G Twinax vs Fiber: SFP+ Copper Cable or SFP+ SR Module?

Over the years, 10GbE has successfully stretch its reach from enterprise data centers to midmarket networks due to the increased bandwidth requirements and the growth of enterprise applications.   As the deployment of 10GbE is going boarder, it is important to understand how to effectively leverage the technology to better satisfy your network demand. Thus, all elements should be carefully reviewed to choose the appropriate cabling solution for your workloads. Many customers facing the problem to choose from 10G twinax vs fiber (SFP+ copper cable vs SFP+ SR) as both are viable options for short range. This is what we are about to figure out in this article.

10G Twinax vs Fiber: SFP+ DAC Cables Is Simple and Cost-Effective

10G twinax vs fiber for short reach connection? Before we go any further, it’s better to take a glimpse of what  SFP+ direct attach cable (DAC)are and what role they play. A SFP+ DAC cable, also known as SFP+ twinax copper cable, is effectively viewed as a transparent cable to the switch. It is a cable invented with each end physically resembling an 10g SFP+ transceiver, but with none of the expensive electronic components. Although being even more pricy than fiber optic cables, SFP+ Copper Cables effectively eliminate the expensive optical transceiver required in the equipment they connected.

10g twinax vs fiber - 10g dac

SFP+ Copper Cables comes to two different flavors: passive and active. Passive SFP+ Copper Cables requires little to no direct power to operate, and are extremely affordable with the length ranging from 0.5m all the way up to 7m. Active SFP+ Copper Cables integrates signal processing circuitry into its built-in connectors and actively powering those circuits with DC power provided by the switch. The circuitry in active sfp+ cable thus brings up the overall cost. This partly explains why active sfp+ cable is usually more expensive than its passive counterparts.

10G Twinax vs Fiber: SFP+ SR Is Flexible and Future-Proofing

For 10G twinax vs fiber, we cannot make our decisions until we clear knows each function. SFP+ SR are similarly used for short runs, and that is exactly “SR” stands for – short reach. SR transceivers are almost always multimode, and optimized for high speeds over relatively short distances. It operates at 850 nm, and can reach up to 300 m with laser-optimized OM3 and 400 m with OM4. The 10G SFP+ SR transceiver module offer a flexible connectivity option for data centers, enterprise wiring closets, and service provider transport applications. The price is the major issue that some customers turn to SFP+ Copper twinax cable instead of SFP+ SR transceivers for short runs, especially for those who are under tight budget. Fortunately, third-party optics has narrowed down the price gap by providing decent performance transceiver modules with only a fraction of the cost at the original ones.

10g twinax vs fiber - 10gbase sfp+ sr transceiver module

10G Twinax vs Fiber: Application Considerations

When choosing between 10G twinaxs vs fiber, the following factors have to be well considered.

10g twinax vs fiber - 10g direct attach cable dac vs 10g sfp+ sr module

Distance: Advocators of SFP+ twinax copper cable  insist that, if distance is not a problem, they tend to choose SFP+ cable  because of the lower power needs and lower latency it provides, and the power saving alone is significant. Not to mention that the cable itself is less fragile and more durable. As SFP+ twinax cable  only reach up to 10m, when distance happens to be a factor, SFP+ SR transceiver can get much longer reach and more compatibility anyway. Or if the switches are connected via patch panel, then your hand is forced to 10G SFP+ SR transceiver and fiber. To sum it up, SFP+ cables are used within the rack to connect servers and storage to ToR switches, it is an “intra-rack” thing, whereas SFP+ SR in for connection between racks – known as “inter-rack” cabling.

Cable management: in terms of managing cables, fibers are believed easier to work with – it has no limit of cable length as with SFP+ cables. As for bulky and thick SFP+ cables it is fine for same rack FEX extension or one or two servers, but load half a rack with a top of rack FEX/switch with twinax, you will have mass of inflexible copper at the back of the rack. And that can be a nightmare.

Cost: 10G optical transceivers are much expensive than 10G SFP+ copper cable – these might be the driven course for people using twinax over SR optics. However, the booming of third party optics well addressed the issue by providing full compatible and trustworthy transceiver modules, which on the other hand, significantly reduces the cost of optics. Since the price gap between SFP+ cables and SR SFP+ optics is reduced, it bestowed customers more chances to weight other affecting factors.

Uniformity: users prefer to use SFP+ SR when working with different vendors, it’s less likely to run into issues if you use optical transceivers. Truly, SFP+ SR indeed makes multi-vendor environment cabling much easier: imagine that you have to connect two switches from different vendor, simply use two SR transceivers that compatible with each brand switch can well solve the problem. However, if cost really matters, you can equally choose this special made SFP+ twinax cable from FS – different brands can be made at each ends, which are compatible with the major vendor on the market.

fs 10g dac twinax cable

Conclusion

10G twinax vs fiber, from a network perspective, the SFP+ twinax cable is fine and a lot cheaper for very limited short runs – typically intra rack cabling, while for mass adoption, they become absolutely thick and unmanageable. So it’s worth the savings if your switch is in the same rack as the equipment you are connecting, and if it goes to another rack, SFP+ SR with fiber and a patch panel can be a sound option. With SR optics, you have much more flexibility in the placement of servers and how you lay out your racks. It is the obvious choice once the demand for bandwidth and length becomes more acute and cable management and future growth becomes critical.

Related Articles:

SFP+ Direct Attach Copper Twinax Cable Deployment Considerations

SFP+ cable vs 10GBASE-T

Cisco ACI: Software-Defined & Hardware-Enabled Solution

Cisco ACI (Application Centric Infrastructure) has already gained much early support from the its data center partners. By creating a new way to link networks and applications in a highly virtualized data center, Cisco ACI is considered as “a revolutionary re-thinking of how to provision and manage data center networks”. Which has the potential to completely shift the way that large, highly virtualized data center networks are configured and built. So what is Cisco ACI all about? How can ACI benefit our network? This article may explain it to you.

Cisco ACI: An Optimized Solution for Data Center

Cisco ACI mainly consists of two components. The first is the Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC), which can be seen as a virtual machine. The APIC holds a database of application configuration information, and works to turn this information into network configurations and push those configurations into devices. The second is a set of real and virtual network devices that are optimized for ACI. For example, devices like Cisco’s Nexus 9300 switches when run in Cisco ACI mode and with ACI-supported line cards.

Cisco ACI deployment

Generally speaking, Cisco ACI is Cisco’s attempt to solve the prominent and significant problem of integration between applications and networks. With ACI, there’s no “closedness” in how you access the system. Servers and top-of-rack network switches can be changed without requiring associated re-definition of those models. The benefit is that organizations can rapidly provision and migrate resources based on application policy, reduce the cost of operations, shorten application deployment time and make “on the fly” changes. In a sense, Cisco ACI brings “just in time” provisioning of IT resources to the world of applications.

Cisco ACI for Data Center: More Than a Configuration Tool

Cisco ACI captures the “intent” of an application directly from the application owner, which allows for the application owner to control their network provisioning, creating a consistent and documented configuration in network elements. The data center network is thus presented as abstractions that make sense to the application owner. This simplifies scalability issues that tie up network managers, such as subnets, VLANs, virtual routers (VRF), and access control lists (ACL). Therefore, much less time will be spent on configuring, troubleshooting, and debugging data center configurations – which can be a pretty good thing for network managers. The advantages of Cisco ACI is listed as following.

Cisco ACI advantages

Cisco ACI builds the data center fabric on top of VXLAN, which allows any-to-any layer 2 connectivity – seems not a big deal in traditional server environments where each server stays connected to the same set of Ethernet ports all the time. But when data center moves to virtualization, a single physical server may have dozens of virtual servers, each with their own MAC address and their own layer 2 connectivity requirements. More importantly, as those virtual servers migrate between physical servers, there’s a requirement for the network to keep everything straight so that each virtual server is properly connected to its VLAN and subnet. In this case, the ACI-aware VXLAN fabric in Nexus 9300 makes a critical and valuable part of the system. The following picture shows Cisco ACI fabric topology with Nexus 9300 switches.

Cisco ACI fabric

Cisco ACI Moves Data Centers to the Cloud

Since the early goal of Cisco ACI is to offer customers alternative on how and where they run applications, it now supports multiple hypervisors, bare metal servers, and Linux containers on premise and has become the most open, flexible and widely deployed SDN in the industry. ACI presents an ideal choice to enhance operational efficiencies, deliver network automation, and improve security for their on-premises data centers and private clouds. And it has stretch the reach to public cloud domain. Consequently, ACI enables users more flexibility to run applications across their private clouds and public clouds, with the ability to maintain consistent network policies across their entire multimode domain.

Conclusion

Cisco ACI combines traditional switching technologies with advanced management and automation capabilities, allowing the customers to shorten application deployment time, streamline operations and reduce operating expenses. As a member of Cisco’s popular Nexus 9300 switch family, Nexus 9372PX is a ACI-supported switch using as a leaf nodes in Cisco ACI fabric. FS N5850-48S6Q 10gb switch has the same port configuration as ACI-enabled Nexus 9372PX: 48 fixed 10G SFP+ ports and 6 fixed 40G QSFP+ ports that delivers 1.44 Tbps of bandwidth, but with only a fraction of the cost. FS offers a wide range of solutions to help deploy N5850-48S6Q in your data center, visit www.fs.com for more tech support.

Can I Connect Optical Transceivers of Different Brand?

Data centers generally accommodates hundreds or even thousands of network switches, it happens when you have to connect switches from different vendors (i.e. switch X from Cisco and switch Y from HP). As the switches only fit their own brand-based optical transceivers, the main issues thus falls into this: is it possible to contact two different vendor’s optical transceivers and form a viable link? The answer is yes – but you still have to take some critical aspects into account.

connect optical transceivers from different brand

A Basic Case Study: Standard of Optical Transceivers is the Key

Sometimes people have to mix switches and optical transceivers, mainly because the following reasons:

  • They already have brand X and they need more switches and they shop on price. Hence different brands
  • They need to replace switches but do not have money for all and they buy brand X and plan on going to brand X completely but it takes time to get there.

There exist quite a lot standards and protocols concerning optical transceivers. Although many installers are very familiar with linking different vendor’s switch, the others are still worried that the incompatibilities of two transceivers may impede the link performance. They may come across the questions like “Can I order a 1000BASE-LX transceiver from any source and it will be compatible with all others 1000BASE-LX?” or “Would a link with a Juniper 1000Base-LX and a Cisco 1000BASE-LX transceiver work?”

1000base-lx optical transceivers

Ideally it should work. 1000BASE-LX is a standard the same way 1000BASE-T is, except that it uses fiber as the transmission medium. You’ve already known that any copper interfaces with 1000BASE-T is interoperable since they are defined by the same 1000BASE-T standards. So you can expect the same with fiber 1000BASE-LX interfaces –  which are all defined by 1000BASE-LX. While this is true on the fiber side of the system, and should be true on the thing with the transceiver socket. In fact, you can rest assure as SFP is multi-vendor standard that specified by a multi-source agreement (MSA). And it is a popular industry format jointly developed by many network component vendors.

Further Consideration of Optical Transceivers: Protocol, Transmission Wavelength and Cable Type

Connecting SFP optical transceivers from two different vendors still have some other restriction, since SFP transceivers differs from one another in protocol, interface type and transmission distance.

Ethernet Protocol: You have to pay attention that you use optical transceivers of the same protocol at each end, for example: both sides with SX, LX or whatever is currently in use. Otherwise, you have to undertake the risk of link failure.

Cable Type: The optical transceivers on each end must use the same fiber type. An SFP made for multimode fiber isn’t going to work well, if it does at all, with single-mode fiber. Same applies with other multimode fiber types: although mixing various 50 um fibers (OM2 and OM4) may work OK depending on data rate and distance. As long as each end is the same fiber type, you can mix vendors and even connector types, such as SC on one end and LC on the other end.

Wavelength: It is vital the wavelength of the optical transceivers (850nm, 1310nm) matches on each end, as a 1310nm transceiver will NOT talk to a 850 nm transceiver. MMF has a lot of loss, and the wrong wavelength may cause loss and degradation on the longer runs. As for SMF, you need to be even more careful about wavelengths though, especially for long distance. So, if you are on the working range, all the transceiver will work normally.

wavelength for optical transceiver

Conclusion

It is hence safe to say that when connecting two optical transceivers from different vendors, you can expect you fiber patch cable to lead a consistent link as long as you use modules of the same Ethernet protocol, cable type and working wavelength. FS provides fully compatible optical transceivers with affordable price and decent performance. For more information, please visit www.fs.com.

Cisco WS-C2960X-24PS-L vs WS-C2960S-24PS-L

A network switch is ubiquitous in data center: it functions as a multi-port network hardware device that bridges and routes data across multiple devices and corporate network segments. Cisco is one of the most famous and reliable switch vendors throughout the world. Among its dazzling switch product line, WS-C2960X-24PS-L and WS-C2960S-24PS-L are two Gigabit Ethernet switches that optimal for enterprise-class access for campus and branch applications. Merely judging from their physical appearance, these switches are nearly the same: configured with 24 10/100/100 Ethernet interface and 4 SFP uplinks. So when it comes to WS-C2960X-24PS-L vs WS-C2960S-24PS-L, what the differences is?

WS-C2960X-24PS-L vs WS-C2960S-24PS-L

As a member of Cisco Catalyst 2960-X series, WS-C2960X-24PS-L includes a single fixed power supply and are available with either the Cisco IOS LAN Base or LAN Lite feature set. It is designed for operational simplicity to lower total cost of ownership, enabling scalable, secure and energy-efficient business operations with intelligent services and a range of advanced Cisco IOS Software features. WS-C2960X-24PS-L PoE switch also support Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+) with up to 740W of PoE budget.

WS-C2960X-24PS-L vs. WS-C2960S-24PS-L

As for WS-C2960S-24PS-L, however, belongs to Cisco Catalyst 2960-S series. It enables reliable and secure business operations with lower total cost of ownership through a range of innovative features including FlexStack stacking with 20 Gbps of stack throughput (optional), Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+) up to 740W, and Cisco Catalyst Smart Operations. WS-C2960S-24PS-L is ideal for deploying cost-effective wired connectivity in traditional desktop workspace environment, and enforcing basic security policies to limit access to the network and mitigate threats.

WS-C2960S-24PS-L

The linecard configuration of WS-C2960X-24PS-L vs WS-C2960S-24PS-L is nearly the same: both have 24 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and 4 SFP uplink interface. And they are all stackable switches. The difference is that the switching capacity of WS-C2960X-24PS-L is slightly larger than WS C2960S-24PS-L, as shown in the following chart.

Model 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports Uplink interfaces Cisco IOS software image Available PoE power Switching capacity Stackable
WS-C2960X-24PS-L 24 4 SFP LAN Base 370 W 216 Gbps Optional
WS-C2960S-24PS-L 24 4 SFP LAN Base 370 W 176 Gbps Optional
WS-C2960X-24PS-L vs WS-C2960S-24PS-L: Connectivity Solution

Both configured with 24 10/100/1000Base Ethernet interface and 4 SFP uplinks, WS-C2960X-24PS-L vs WS-C2960S-24PS-L supports SFP transceivers to be fitted in the ports. The following chart show all the compatible SFP modules provided by FS.

WS-C2960X-24PS-L Compatible SFP Module
Product ID Description
11795 Cisco GLC-BX-D Compatible 1000BASE-BX-D BiDi SFP 1490nm-TX/1310nm-RX 10km DOM Transceiver
11802 Cisco GLC-BX-U Compatible 1000BASE-BX-U BiDi SFP 1310nm-TX/1490nm-RX 10km DOM Transceiver
22139 Cisco GLC-LH-SMD Compatible 1000BASE-LX/LH SFP 1310nm 10km DOM Transceiver
20358 Cisco GLC-EX-SMD Compatible 1000BASE-EX SFP 1310nm 40km DOM Transceiver
11779 Cisco GLC-ZX-SMD Compatible 1000BASE-ZX SFP 1550nm 80km DOM Transceiver
11773 Cisco GLC-T Compatible 1000BASE-T SFP Copper RJ-45 100m Transceiver
11773 Cisco GLC-TE Compatible 1000BASE-T SFP Copper RJ-45 100m Transceiver
11779 Cisco GLC-ZX-SM Compatible 1000BASE-ZX SFP 1550nm 80km Transceiver
11774 Cisco GLC-SX-MM Compatible 1000BASE-SX SFP 850nm 550m Transceiver
47241 Cisco CWDM-SFP-1470 Compatible 1000BASE-CWDM SFP 1470nm 80km DOM Transceiver
12672 Cisco GLC-GE-100FX Compatible 100BASE-FX SFP 1310nm 2km Transceiver for Gigabit Ethernet SFP Ports
11774 Cisco GLC-SX-MMD Compatible 1000BASE-SX SFP 850nm 550m DOM Transceiver
11775 Cisco GLC-LH-SM Compatible 1000BASE-LX/LH SFP 1310nm 10km Transceiver
WS-C2960S-24PS-L Compatible SFP Module
Product ID Description
11773 Cisco GLC-T Compatible 1000BASE-T SFP Copper RJ-45 100m Transceiver
11773 Cisco GLC-TE Compatible 1000BASE-T SFP Copper RJ-45 100m Transceiver
11774 Cisco GLC-SX-MM Compatible 1000BASE-SX SFP 850nm 550m Transceiver
11775 Cisco GLC-LH-SM Compatible 1000BASE-LX/LH SFP 1310nm 10km Transceiver
11779 Cisco GLC-ZX-SM Compatible 1000BASE-ZX SFP 1550nm 80km Transceiver
11779 Cisco GLC-ZX-SMD Compatible 1000BASE-ZX SFP 1550nm 80km DOM Transceiver
11795 Cisco GLC-BX-D Compatible 1000BASE-BX-D BiDi SFP 1490nm-TX/1310nm-RX 10km DOM Transceiver
11802 Cisco GLC-BX-U Compatible 1000BASE-BX-U BiDi SFP 1310nm-TX/1490nm-RX 10km DOM Transceiver
47241 Cisco CWDM-SFP-1470 Compatible 1000BASE-CWDM SFP 1470nm 80km DOM Transceiver
11774 Cisco GLC-SX-MMD Compatible 1000BASE-SX SFP 850nm 550m DOM Transceiver
11775 Cisco GLC-LH-SMD Compatible 1000BASE-LX/LH SFP 1310nm 10km DOM Transceiver
20358 Cisco GLC-EX-SMD Compatible 1000BASE-EX SFP 1310nm 40km DOM Transceiver
Conclusion

The switching capacity of WS-C2960X-24PS-L is larger than that of WS-C2960S-24PS-L, but they are both decent network switches that easy to operate. WS-C2960X-24PS-L vs WS-C2960S-24PS-L, the final decision should base on your specific networking environment. All the compatible SFP optical modules presented in the above chart are available at FS. FS manufactures a variety of high-standard optical transceivers, each of them are strictly tested for fully compatibility with the original brand. For more details, please visit www.fs.com or contact sales via sales@fs.com.