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25G Ethernet – How It Develops and What’s the Future of It?

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Have you ever heard of 25G Ethernet? It is a hot topic which is often mentioned these days. Then, what is it and how it develops? What’s the future of it? Let’s find all the answers together in the following text focusing on the developing process of 25G Ethernet.

What Is 25G Ethernet? Why Does It Appear?

25G Ethernet, or 25 Gigabit Ethernet, is a standard for Ethernet network connectivity in a data center environment. It is developed by IEEE P802.3by 25 Gb/s Ethernet Task Force. The IEEE 802.3by standard uses technology defined for 100 Gigabit Ethernet implemented as four 25 Gbps lanes (IEEE 802.3bj).

25G Ethernet to 100G

In addition to 10, 40 and 100GbE networking, 25G Ethernet technology continues to innovate and lay a path to higher networking speeds. Then, you may ask why it appears since we already have 40G. As you may know that 40GbE technology has evolved over the years and has gained some momentum as an option for enterprises, service providers and cloud providers. However, since the underlying technology for 40G Ethernet is simply four lanes at 10G speed, it does not offer the advantages in power consumption reduction when upgrading to 100G, which 25G can offer.

25G Ethernet can provide a simpler path to Ethernet speeds of 50Gbps, 100Gbps and beyond. With 25G, network operators are no longer forced to use a 40G QSFP port to go from one individual device to another to achieve 100G throughput.

Development of 25G Ethernet

Year 2014 – 25G Was First Introduced

The 25G Ethernet can be dated back to 2014. This is the year when 25G was first put forward. At that time, its cost and efficiency were discussed by a wide range of vendors when compared with 10G, 40G, and 100G. Some well-known hyper-scale data center and cloud computing providers such as Google, Microsoft, Broadcom, Arista, Mellanox, etc. have formed a special research group, namely 25G Ethernet Consortium, to explore the standardization of 25G Ethernet and promote the development of it.

Year 2015 – The First Batch of 25G Products Appeared

Stepping into the second year on 25G Ethernet exploration, the Consortium had a deeper and more comprehensive analysis of it. Researchers were conducting analysis of 25G Ethernet from various aspects, such as its demanding trends in data centers, advantages and applications, Q&As people may concern, etc. With the deepening of exploration, the standardization of 25G Ethernet has gradually taken shape, and suppliers have great expectations for the development of it.

As the initiators of the 25G Ethernet Consortium, Broadcom, Mellanox and Arista have stepped ahead of time and planned to launch their products for 25G development. Broadcom was ramping up production of its “Tomahawk” switch ASICs, and Mellanox had announced its Spectrum ASICs as well as adapter cards to support 25 Gb/s, 50 Gb/s, and 100 Gb/s speeds on servers. While, Arista joins list of vendors that are supporting the new 25G Ethernet standards with its three new switches, the 7060X, 7260X and 7320X, that support both 25 and 50 Gigabit Ethernet.

Year 2016-2017 – Fast Development of 25G

These two years have significant meaning for 25G Ethernet development. During the years, the IEEE approved the 802.3by specification for 25G Ethernet and other major suppliers are rushing to launch their own 25G products to comply with the market trend. 25G Ethernet has more practical applications in the data center.

802.3by specification for 25G Ethernet

In 2016, Marvell introduced industry’s most optimized 25GbE end-to-end data center solution with its newest Prestera switches and Alaska Ethernet transceivers. And Finisar introduced 25G Ethernet optics for high speed data centers with its SFP28 eSR transceiver enabling 300-meter links over existing OM3 MMF, and 25G SFPwire, an Active Optical Cable (AOC) with embedded technology that provides real-time troubleshooting and link performance monitoring as well. In addition, major server vendors including Dell, HPE, and Lenovo have 25G network adapters solutions. And as one of the members of 25G Ethernet Consortium, Mellanox offered SN2100 with 16-port 100G half rack width and can be used as 64-port 25G with breakout cables.

In 2017, 25G was recognized as the industry standard for next-generation server access rates. The related technical specifications such as 25G ToR switches and AOC cables are urgently needed to be finalized, and global organizations are actively competing to take the initiative. At that time, China’s ODCC (Open Data Center Committee) first introduced the 25G ToR switch specification and released details, which had become an important force in the rapid rise of 25G Ethernet.

As companies offer more and more different types of 25G SFP28 transceivers, DACs, and AOCs, the call for 25G Ethernet construction is getting higher and higher.

Year 2018 Till Now – Competition Against Other Network Products

2018 is a year of competition between 25G products and other products. During the year, sales of 10G products declined slightly. At the same time, 25G products received more and more recognition. In 2018, Supermicro opened path to 100G networking with new 25G Ethernet server and storage solutions. It offers a wide range of 25G NIC solutions that empower customers to future-proof nearly any Supermicro system by equipping it with 25G Ethernet networking technology. What’s more, Supermicro also offers a 25G switch (SBM-25G-100) with the X11 SuperBlade. This switch has twenty 25G downlink connections, four QSFP28 ports where each port can be configured as 40G or 100G uplink connections.

In any case, the arrival of 25G and its impact have given everyone confidence that data centers and suppliers can’t wait to plan for the era of 100G, 200G or even 400G.

How Far Can 25G Ethernet Go?

From all the above, you may have a general understanding of how 25G develops. At present, 25G is mainly used for switch-to-server applications. And it indeed gains ground in some aspects compared to 10G and 40G Ethernet. What’s more, you can see a clear trends of 25G market with a recent five-year forecast by industry analysts at the Dell’Oro Group below.

25G five year forecast

For a long run, it will go further since 25G switch offers a more convenient way to migrate to 100G or even 400G network.

Related Articles:

25G Switch Comparison: How to Choose the Suitable One?

Taking an In-depth Look at 25G SFP28

How to Choose A Suitable Power Over Ethernet Switch?

As is known to us all, a Gigabit Ethernet switch is always a popular choice for network users given its lower price and relatively good function. However, you may be aware of the trend that an increasing number of network users are likely to buy a power over Ethernet switch (PoE switch) in recent years. Since it has many advantages and can be used in different applications. For example, it supports power and data transmission over one Ethernet cable at the same time which dramatically simplify the cabling process and cut network cost. Then, here comes the question: how to choose a suitable power over Ethernet switch? Are there any buying tips? Next, let’s find the answers together.

power over Ethernet switch applications

What Type of Power Over Ethernet Switch Should I Buy?

Normally, there are three types of power over Ethernet switches, namely unmanaged PoE switch, managed PoE switch and smart PoE switch. And the managed switches are the most popular ones in actual applications.

An unmanaged switch is the most basic form of a network switch. Normally, an unmanaged PoE switch only allows your devices to connect with one another. It is best suited for home and small office uses. If a business handles sensitive information such as an accounting firm or a bank, such switch is not recommended. An unmanaged switch is the most basic form of a network switch.

Contrary to an unmanaged PoE switch, a managed one offers full management capabilities and security features. It can be configured and properly managed to offer a more tailored experience. It can help you monitor the network and control overall traffic. Such switch is usually used in enterprise networks and data centers.

While, a smart PoE switch (or hybrid PoE switch), is a switch that has partial functions of a managed one. It enables you to configure ports and set up virtual networks, but doesn’t allow network monitoring, troubleshooting, or remote accessing. It is usually used in business applications such as VoIP and smaller networks.

Other Main Factors on Buying A Power Over Ethernet Switch

In addition to choosing from different types mentioned above, you have many other things to consider when buying a power over Ethernet switch. Such as the following aspects:

  • Port Numbers: Normally, network switches have different port numbers such as 8-port PoE switch, 24-port PoE switch, etc. The larger the network, the greater number of ports you’ll need. It is better to choose a switch that has more interfaces than you actually need.
  • Maximum Power Supply: The maximal power supply of your PoE switch matters as well. If it is less than the overall power needed from your powered devices (IP cameras, for example), then the PoE switch won’t provide enough power for all your PoE IP cameras and the insufficient power supply may cause poor device performance like video loss.
  • Maximum Power Consumption: You can estimate the power consumption of all your powered devices (PDs) in advance to see if your power over Ethernet switch can support. Normally, there are two types of PoE standards, namely IEEE802.3af and IEEE802.3at. IEEE802.3af could provide up to 12.95W of DC power on each PD (power loss due to network cables has been counted in) while IEEE802.3at can pump out up to 25.5W. PDs are only suitable for IEEE 802.3at PoE standard when their power draw is between 12.95-25.5W.
  • Forwarding Rate: Switches have different processing capabilities with different rates at which they process data per second. Data forwarding rates is very important when selecting a switch. For a Gigabit PoE switch, a normal Gigabit Ethernet port attains a rate of 1Gbps. That is to say, a 48-port PoE switch operating at full wire speed generates 48Gbps of traffic. If the switch only supports a forwarding rate of 32Gbps, it can not run at full wire speed across all ports simultaneously.
  • Technical Support: You can consider whether the power over Ethernet switch provider offers a local support team or not to support you if you have any problem in configuring the switch or other issues.

Conclusion

From all the above, you may have a general understanding of how to choose a suitable power over Ethernet switch. You can decide which type of switch you need first, and then add additional needs such as port numbers, maximum power supply, maximum power consumption, forwarding rate, etc. to help you get the most appropriate switch you want.

Related Articles:

Why You Need a Managed 8 Port PoE Switch

Power over Ethernet Switch Explained: Why Choose PoE switch over PoE Injector?

Why Should You Use A Managed Switch With PoE?

Nowadays, managed PoE switches are getting more and more popular among network users. Many people are likely to choose a managed switch with PoE function rather than an unmanaged one. Why does this appear? Are there special reasons? Look at this post to learn why you should use a managed switch with PoE as well as the difference between an unmanaged PoE switch and managed PoE switch.

What Is A Managed Switch?

You may know that network switch can be divided into two types in management level, namely managed switch and unmanaged switch. Then, what is a managed switch? What’s the difference between unmanaged vs. managed switch?

Actually, a managed switch is a switch that allows access to one or more interfaces for the purpose of configuration or management of features such as Spanning Tree Protocol (STP), port speed, VLANs, etc. It can give you more control over your LAN traffic and offer advanced features to control that traffic. For example, the FS S5800-48F4S 10GbE switch, supporting MLAG, VxLAN, SNMP, etc.

FS S5800-48F4S 10GbE switch

On the contrary, an unmanaged switch just simply allows Ethernet devices to communicate with one another, such as a PC or network printer. It is shipped with a fixed configuration and do not allow any changes to this configuration.

Advantages of A Managed Switch

Normally, a managed switch is always better than an unmanaged one since it can provide all the features of an unmanaged switch. Compared with an unmanaged switch, a managed one has the the advantages such as administrative controls, networking monitoring, limited communication for unauthorized devices, etc.

What Is PoE? Why Should You Use A Managed Switch With PoE?

From the introduction above, you may be aware of the importance of a managed switch. Then, why should you use a managed switch with PoE? Do you know what a managed PoE switch is?

What Is PoE?

Actually, PoE means power over Ethernet. The main advantage or feature of PoE is delivery of data and power at the same time over one Cat5e or Cat6 Ethernet cable. It ends the need for AC or DC power supplies and outlets. What’s more, a remote installation costs less than fiber as no electrician is required.

Why Should You Use A Managed Switch With PoE?

PoE is not recommended for sending network data over long distances, or for extreme temperatures unless industrial designation is present. It is often seen to be used in a Gigabit Ethernet switch, and it is mainly used with IP cameras, VoIP phones and WAP (wireless access points). These are the reasons why you should use a managed switch with PoE. Here, let’s take FS 8-port Gigabit PoE+ managed switch as an example.

FS 8-port Gigabit PoE+ managed switch

The FS 8-port Gigabit PoE+ managed switch can offer you cost-effective and efficient PoE solution for business. As you can see from the following picture and video, if you need to connect to NVR for better surveillance network building or for IP camera consideration, such a managed PoE switch is an ideal choice.

Application layout of a managed switch with PoE

Conclusion

With all the illustration above, you may have a general understanding of what a managed PoE switch is and why you should use it in certain circumstances. A managed switch with PoE not only includes all the functions that a managed switch has, but also enables you to transfer data and power at the same time over one Cat5e or Cat6 Ethernet cable.

Related Article:

Why You Need a Managed 8 Port PoE Switch

FS.COM PoE Switch Solution

How to Build Affordable 10G Network for Small and Midsize Business?

With the fast development of today’s networking field, many people tend to build 10G network in small and midsize business for their growing network needs. Then, why they choose 10G network? How to build an affordable one? If you want to build such a network, what things you should know? Don’t worry. Let’s find all the answers in the following text.

Necessity of 10G network

Actually, the necessity of 10G network is quite simple to understand. As time goes on, there will be more traffic and applications running on your existing networks and they will keep growing. At that time, the common used Gigabit network will no longer satisfy the urgent needs for higher networking speeds and larger network construction.

How to Build An Affordable 10G Network?

To build a 10G network, there are several indispensable components you need, such as 10GbE switch (10G core switch and access switch with 10G uplinks), 10G SFP+ modules, fiber cables, severs and storage devices, etc.

10G network layout

To build an affordable 10G network for small and midsize business (SMB), let’s take fiber cabling solution as an example.

Fiber Cabling Solution for 10G Network

Under such circumstance, the server or storage has 10G SFP+ port. And it is suitable for applications matching with a 10G fiber switch as the core switch. You can connect all the devices with the steps below:

Step 1: Connect Server Or Storage to A Core Switch

For connection between server (or storage) and a core switch, you can insert a 10G transceiver module connecting with one end of a LC cable into the server or storage, and then connect the other end of the LC cable with the core switch.

Here, the transceiver we use is 10G SFP+ module provided by FS.COM. It can reach a maximum cable distance of 300m over OM3 multimode fiber (MMF).

The LC cable we use is LC UPC to LC UPC duplex OM3 MMF, which has less attenuation when bent or twisted compared with traditional optical fiber cables and will make the installation and maintenance of the fiber optic cables more efficient.

What’s more, the core switch we use is FS S5850-48S2Q4C. This network switch is a 48-port 10Gb SFP+ L2/L3 carrier grade switch with 6 hybrid 40G/100G uplink ports. It is a high performance top of rack (ToR) or leaf switch to meet the next generation metro, data center and enterprise network requirements.

Step 2: Connect the Core Switch With An Access Switch

Next, you need to connect the core switch with an access switch. Just like step 1, insert a 10G transceiver module connecting with one end of a LC cable into the core switch, and then connect the other end of the LC cable with the access switch.

Here, we use FS Gigabit Ethernet switch with 10G SFP+ uplink as the access switch. This is a fanless switch, which is suitable for quilt requirement in SMB network. In addition, it has 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports and 4 10Gb SFP+ ports for uplinks.

And the LC cable and 10G transceiver we use are the same as the products used in step 1.

Step 3: Connect Your Access Switch to Computers

After the previous two steps, you can use Cat5 or Cat5e cable (here we use Cat5e) to connect your access switch with computers or other devices you need to use. Just remember that you have to connect the 10/100/1000BASE-T ports rather than the 10Gb SFP+ ports.

Products
Price
Features
From US$16.00
Supports 8 Gbit/s Fibre Channel, 10 Gigabit Ethernet and Optical Transport Network standard OTU2.
From US$1.4 to 5.3 for 1m
OM3 10Gb 50/125 multimode fiber
US$5,699.00
48 x 10Gb + 2 x 40Gb + 4 x 100Gb ports; Non-blocking bandwidth up to 960Gbps
US$279.00
24 x 100/1000BASE-T + 4 x 10GB SFP+ ports; Switching capacity up to 128Gbps
Start from US$0.82 for 6in
Shielded (STP) or Unshielded (UTP) Cat5e Ethernet network patch cable (24/26AWG, 100MHz, RJ45 connector)

Conclusion

From all the above, you may get clearer about how to build affordable 10G network for small and midsize business with 10GbE switch, fiber cables, Ethernet cables, etc. As long as you use the right way, you can not only build an affordable 10G network but also a powerful network for future network reconstruction.

Related Articles:

How to Build a 10G Home Fiber Network?

How to Build 10GbE Network for Small and Mid-Sized Business?

Why Should You Use Open Source Switch?

Open networking seems to be more and more popular compared with traditional networks at present. As one of the most important parts in open network, open source switch has raised much attention. Then, what is open source switch? Why should you use it? Just read through this post to get all the answers as well as the introduction on different types of open source switches.

What Is Open Source Switch?

Normally, an open source switch is a network switch whose hardware and software are provided by separate entities and can be changed independently without affecting each other. That is to say, the open source switch hardware can support multiple operating systems of different vendors, or the same operating system can be run on multiple hardware configurations.

It is obvious that the open source switches are contrary to closed switches, whose hardware and software are always purchased together. For example, if you buy a Juniper EX or MX, you need to buy JUNOS. If you buy a Cisco Catalyst switch, you have to buy IOS. By contrast, open source switch is full of choice. It gives vendors choice of rebranding an open switch by adding their own software and selling it all as a package.

Open source switch with Cumulus Linux

Open Source Switch Types

Normally, open source switch can be divided as three types, namely, bare metal switch, white box switch and brite box switch.

Bare metal switch

A bare metal switch is an open source switch which is not loaded with any operating system and the open source switch hardware in it only has basic support from original design manufacturer. It comes with a boot loader called the Open Network Install Environment (ONIE), which allows you to load an operating system onto the switch. For such switch, you can choose to load the open source switch OS you want at any time. You can choose the applications you need to run first, and then choose the operating system that best supports the applications or best fits your operational environment. Finally, you choose the hardware to run it all. This is kind of like how we’ve been building servers.

White Box Switch

A white box switch can be regarded as a bare metal switch with network OS preloaded. Such switch is also non-branded. It’s still an open switch because the OS and the hardware are not integrated. You just got a package of a bare metal switch and an operating system.

Brite Box Switch

A brite box switch is made by an Original Design Manufacturer (ODM), and is often the same switch offered by the ODMs as bare metal but with a brand name like Dell or HP. It can be regarded as a branded white box switch.

Why Should You Use Open Source Switch?

From the definition and different types of open source switch, you may find it beneficial to use it. It has the following advantages:

  • Multiple choice: There’s a multitude of operating systems you can load for different needs, such as Broadcom’s FastPath, Big Switch Networks’ Switch Light, Cumulus Networks’ Cumulus Linux, Pica8’s PicOS, etc.
  • Flexible software solution: It offers composable networking solution with open source Network Operating System (NOS). You can replace the NOS you installed before and then choose another one for your actual needs.
  • Enable premium NOS applications: It enables you to selectively load an open source switch OS, which offers a scalable solution to enable both network operators and vendors to get premium open source NOS applications rapidly. Some software (Cumulus Linux, PicOS, etc.) support a rich set of L2/L3 networking features that are compatible with a wide variety of 10G, 25G, 40G and 100G hardware platforms from multiple vendors.
  • Realize customizable infrastructures in network: It gives you option to deploy the right combination of hardware platform, network operating system and individual software components to best suit their specific use scenarios.
  • Reduce failure domains and improve overall performance: The flexibility of combination on open source switch hardware and software enables you to install and operationalize individual protocol stacks as applications or micro-features. This facilitates the design of composable networks, thus reduces failure domains and improve performance.

Last but not least, compared with open source switch, the traditional analytics tools are not good enough to take advantage of the new opportunities offered by SDN such as network programmability, automation and optimization.

Conclusion

From all the above, you may have a general understanding of what an open source network is and why you should use it. Among the three open source switch types, bare metal switches only matter to commercial software providers (like Facebook or Google). White or brite box solutions are the only real open switching choices for normal-sized network operators. For example, you can use the combination of an open 10Gb switch with a NOS you want as white box solution for your small-to-medium-sized network construction.

Related articles:

Everything You Should Know About Cumulus Linux

Why FS Adds Cumulus Support to the N-series Data Center Switches

Everything You Should Know About Cumulus Linux

Nowadays, many new small-and-medium-sized internet companies choose to use a bare metal switch with a third party network operating system (NOS) for network construction. The NOS they choose is consistent with the Open Network Install Environment (ONIE), a network OS installer which supports loading a network OS of choice, and then changing to a different network OS later. Among all the network operating systems, Cumulus Linux is a very popular choice. Then, what is Cumulus Linux? What are the advantages of this NOS? Is it reliable to use? Let’s find out the answers together in the following text.

What Is Cumulus Linux?

Cumulus Linux is a powerful open network operating system designed for data center network infrastructures. It accelerates networking functions on a network switch, acting as a platform for modern data center networking tools to get networks managed like servers. This Debian-based network operating system (NOS) can be run on hardware produced by a broad partner ecosystem. That is to say, you can accelerate networking constructs on a broad range of industry-standard switches from different vendors with various port densities, form factors and capabilities.

Cumulus Linux

Advantages of Cumulus Linux

In addition to the functions such as BGP and OSFP that a normal NOS enables, the Cumulus Linux has three main features that many other operating systems don’t support, namely Automation, EVPN and MLAG.

  • Automation: The biggest advantage of this feature is that it saves manpower by using automation tools. What’s more, it helps deployment and benefits from troubleshooting as well.
  • EVPN: The full name of “EVPN” is Ethernet virtual private networks. This modern interoperable technology can not only help you get rid of the complexity of the layer 2 but also allows legacy layer 2 applications to operate over next-generation layer 3 networks.
  • MLAG: It is an abbreviation for multi-chassis link aggregation group. As a new multi-device link aggregation technology for data center switch, MLAG configuration centralizes constituent ports on separate chassis, mainly serves as reliable load functionality to increase bandwidth and provide redundancy in emergent breakdown of one of the device.

Last but not least, in addition to the three main features, NCLU is another feature developed by Cumulus Networks to help those who have no idea how to use the Cumulus Linux OS. This is a function similar to the traditional CLI (Command Line Interface). It acts as a prompt command during configuration. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about the unfamiliarity to such a NOS you haven’t used before!

Is Cumulus Linux Stable?

Will the fault processing time be longer using the combination of a bare metal switch and an open network operating system Cumulus Linux? Actually, compared with the traditional network switch, the processing speed form this combination is basically the same as that of an Arista switch. It has very low latency as well.

In addition, the third-party systems such as Cumulus Linux based on Linux development have been very mature in today’s networking market just like the current operating systems (Windows, Linux, Redhat, Ubuntu, etc.) does. For example, FS N-serious switches are highly compatible with Cumulus Linux, and they both support EVPN and MLAG deployment.

FS N-serious switches with Cumulus Linux

Is Cumulus Linux Secure for My Data?

Of course it is secure. This NOS only process at the Control Plane. Your data is processed on hardware with chip and CPU. This is commonly known as isolation of the data layer and control layer.

Conclusion

From all the above, you may have a general understanding of the open network operating system Cumulus Linux. It is ideal to match with a bare metal switch in data center deployment. With this open NOS, you can accelerate networking constructs on switches from different vendors with various configurations easily and get easy deployment for future network construction.

Related Articles:

Network OS Systems for Bare Metal Switch

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Cumulus Linux: A Powerful ONOS for Network

Why FS Adds Cumulus Support to the N-series Data Center Switches

What Is Open Source Networking and How to Achieve It?

The traditional network architecture has been unable to meet the needs of enterprises, operators and network users. It has complicated configuration on equipment and is slow in iteration. To solve this problem, open source networking has emerged! Then, what is open source networking? How to achieve it? Just read through this post to find the answers!

What Is Open Source Networking?

Open source networking, or open source network, is a new-generation network that offers you programmable customization service, centralized unified management, dynamic traffic monitoring, and automated deployment. It makes the transformation of the data center architecture change to virtualization and automation. This new-generation network focuses on technology decoupling, which Dell EMC calls an open network, is the core of the transformation to software defined network (SDN).

The SDN is a new network architecture proposed by the ONF (Open Networking Foundation) to facilitate the whole open source networking environment. This architecture separates the control plane from the data plane. It has central management for network state information Logically. And the underlying network hardware infrastructure is abstracted and defined by the upper layer application. With this architecture, enterprises and operators have unprecedented programmability, automation, and network control capabilities to build a highly scalable and flexible network to adapt to their changing business needs.

How to Achieve Open Source Networking?

The open source network involves the open networking stack from top to bottom. It starts from networking hardware disaggregation and modern 100G or 400G data center switch, and then to network operating systems, network controllers, virtualization, and orchestration. Therefore, to realize open source network, many aspects are involved. Among all these, the network operating systems and data center switches are essential in almost all the networks. Therefore, I’ll take a network switch from Dell as an example.

To realize the open source networking, the underlying open hardware platform is required. This can offer an open source network operating system. For example, the new Dell EMC Z9264F-ON switch offers optimum flexibility and cost-effectiveness for the web 2.0, enterprise, midmarket and cloud service provider with demanding compute and storage traffic environments.

Actually, there are many other examples as well. For instance, the FS bare metal switch N5850-48S6Q works well with the open source network operating system (NOS) Broadcom ICOS. It supports current and future data center requirements, including a x86-based control plane for easier integration of automation tools. Of course, it offers an ONIE installer for 3rd party network operating systems and compatibility with SDNs via OpenFlow 1.3.11 as well. Such combination can centrally manage and control network devices of different vendors and use the common API abstracted from the underlying network. It facilities the automation and management capabilities of the whole network.

Open source networking with Broadcom ICOS OS

Open Source Networking Advantages

  • With an open source networking, there is no need to configure each device as in the past or wait for vendors to release new products.
  • It offers a common open programming environment for operators, enterprises, third-party software vendors and network users, accelerating the innovation speed of new services and functions of network deployment.
  • The network reliability and security can be improved through automated centralized network device management, unified deployment strategies and fewer configuration errors.

Conclusion

From all the above, you may have a general understanding of “what is open source network” and how to achieve it. This new-generation network offers you a programmable, automated system to help build a highly scalable and flexible network. It is promising in future network reconstruction. You can achieve it with common solutions involved with network switch, open source network operating system, etc.

Related Articles:

Network OS Systems for Bare Metal Switch

Network OS Comparison: Open Source OS or Proprietary OS

Network OS Systems for Bare Metal Switch

As you may know that a network switch with no network operating system (NOS) is referred to as a bare metal switch. Unlike a white box switch with vendor’s own or 3rd party already loaded NOS, a bare metal switch allows you to load a network OS according to your own will. After installing the NOS, these two types of switches are normally regarded as the same. Then, how to choose network OS systems for bare metal switches? Listed below are three popular choices, namely Cumulus Linux, IP Infusion OcNOS™ and Pica8 PICOS.

Option 1: Network OS Cumulus Networks Cumulus Linux

Cumulus Linux is a powerful open network OS designed by Cumulus Networks to help build and operate large data center networks. Therefore, the Cumulus Linux is a perfect match for a data center switch which operates in bigger networks such as enterprise, data center and metro Ethernet scenarios. It is a true Linux distribution with a hardware abstraction layer that runs on a variety of commodity hardware. Cumulus Linux uses automated tools to manage the network infrastructure and hopes to automate the configuration of network switches with these existing tools.

Cumulus Linux network OS

Additionally, Cumulus Linux offers economical scalability and choice flexibility to run multiple network paths without the need for multiple switches. The main features of Cumulus Linux lie in the following aspects:

  • Economical Scalability: Customers can get increased operational efficiency with commodity hardware and a standardized Linux stack.
  • Built for the Automation Age: This Debian-based Linux distribution offers a completely open architecture and is designed for easy automation.
  • Standardized Toolsets: It allows open source and commercial Linux applications to run natively. You can use your own automation or other tools to improve efficiency and multiply the number of switches per operator.
  • 70+ Hardware Platforms for Choice: You can choose compatible hardware based on your needs and your budget flexibly.

Cumulus Linux enables modern data center architectures while providing a transition path for traditional data center architectures. It supports layer 2, layer 3 and overlay architectures. This open architectural approach enables a wide range of solutions such as Clos, L3 network, L2 network, campus expansion, out of band management, etc.

Cumulus Linux architecture

Option 2: Network OS IP Infusion OcNOS™

OcNOS™ is designed to address the needs of public, private or hybrid cloud networks. It offers Carrier-grade network OS for bare metal switches. It includes many advanced capabilities such as extensive switching and routing protocol support, MPLS, SDN, etc.

In addition to providing industry standard CLI, OcNOS™ supports all standard MIBs , other standard operation and management tools as well. The main features are:

  • Support Multiple Deployments: The several abstraction layers allow seamless portability across diverse network hardware.
  • Modular Software Design: This design can make it customized, built and packaged with minimal software features to reduce CapEx and device footprint.
  • Wide Interoperation: With CLI and SNMP management, the the OcNOS-based network node is easy to operate and interoperate with another vendor node.
  • Support for disruptive networking technologies: It enables SDN support through OpenFlow and can provide custom programmable network operations.

Option 3: Network OS Pica8 PICOS

The PICOS is also an open Linux-based network OS built on the robust Debian Linux environment for bare metal switches. It supports all major L2 and L3 switching. What’s more, it can leverage a vast array of standard Linux tools and supports IPv4 and IPv6 static routing as well.

In addition to the basic features mentioned above, the PICOS supports other functions depending on its two different editions. For PICOS enterprise edition, it supports CrossFlow dual control plane technology for improved OpenFlow integration, scale, and management. For PICOS SDN edition, it uses OpenFlow to control MPLS, GRE, NVGRE or VXLAN tunnels, delivering on the promise of open programmability.

Conclusion

From all the above, you may have a general understanding of the three main network OS systems. You can choose a proper one according to your actual needs. For example, if you need a Debian-based Linux distribution NOS with Clos solution for a 40GB switch, Cumulus Linux is a wise choice.

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12-Port 10GbE SFP+ Switch Recommendation

Nowadays, network users tend to have multiple requirements on a single network switch, especially on the functions and ports. Much evidence shows that the 10GbE SFP+ switch is getting more popular with greater demand. Listed below are some typical examples gathered from different forums on what switch they really need:

– “I want a 10G switch (8 or 12 SFP+ ports are better) with several Gigabit RJ45/SFP ports. And the switch must support VLAN and STP/RSTP. Any suggestions?”

– ”Looking for a layer2/layer3 10GbE switch with 8-12 ports and in the US$2,500 range. By the way, I prefer SFP+ rather than copper 10GbE since all the cables I have got are SFP+ DACs.”

– “Help! Need a 12-port or 16-port 10GbE SFP+ switch with relatively cheap price. Any suggestion would be appreciated!”

From the three thread descriptions above, the common Gigabit Ethernet switch can no longer meet the needs of many people. To meet all the requirements mentioned above, several 10G switches are recommended below:

FS S5800-8TF12S 12-Port 10GbE SFP+ Switch

The S5800-8TF12S 12-port 10 GbE SFP+ switch provided by FS.COM can meet all the demands mentioned above. This switch is a high-performance Ethernet switch with several highlights. It offers 8 x 1GbE SFP/RJ45 combo ports and 12 x 10GbE uplink ports in a compact 1RU form factor, which is ideal for hyper-converged infrastructure. In addition, this 10G switch supports both L2 and L3 packet processing. It has very low system power consumption of 65W at most.

FS S5800-8TF12S 12-Port 10GbE SFP+ Switch

D-link DXS-1210-12SC 10GbE SFP+ Switch

D-link DXS-1210-12SC is also a 12-port 10G switch. However, it can not meet all the demands mentioned from the three threads. This 10GB SFP+ switch only has 2 x 10GBASE-T/SFP+ combo ports. While, it has 10 x 10-Gigabit SFP+ Ports. It supports auto surveillance VLAN, L2 and L3 packet processing as well.

Mellanox SX1012X 10GbE SFP+ Switch

Mellanox SX1012X is an ideal 10GbE ToR switch with 12 ports. It is a high-performance small-scale switch in a half-width 1U form factor. It has 12 QSFP+ ports for uplink connection. If you buy this switch, you have to buy the corresponding DACs and optical modules together since it does not have other port for simple copper connection.

Netgear XS712T 10GbE SFP+ Switch

The Netgear XS712T is a 12-port 10-Gigabit copper smart switch with 10 dedicated 10GBase-T copper ports and 2 copper/SFP+ combo ports. The 10GBase-T copper ports can support 10G/1G/100M speeds and the combo ports are used for 10G connection. It is designed for SMB network with advanced L2+/Layer 3 lite features.

FS S5800-8TF12S vs D-link DXS-1210-12SC vs Mellanox SX1012X vs Netgear XS712T

How to choose a proper 10GbE SFP+ Switch for your network? Look at the following chart to compare the four different 10Gb SFP+ switches mentioned above:

10GbE SFP+ Switch comparison

From the comparison chart, it is clear that the biggest differences between these 10GbE SFP+ switches are the port types and numbers they support. You can choose a switch according to your actual needs. Of course, the price is another big factor which may affect your decision.

Conclusion

For the four 10GbE SFP+ switches recommended above, you can choose from the ports and the functions you need. For example, if you need the switch for hyper-converged infrastructure with 12 x 10 Gbps SFP+ ports, the FS S5800-8TF12S is a better choice. By the way, this switch offers a competitive price of US$ 1,899.00.

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FS S5850-32S2Q 10GbE 32-Port Switch With Two 40G QSFP+ Uplinks

Network switch has become unprecedented important in today’s networking market for its rapid update in performance. In the meanwhile, network users tend to have more requirements on a single switch, such as more port numbers, bigger switching capacity, higher bandwidth, etc. Here, we will introduce FS S5850-32S2Q 10GbE 32-port switch featuring all these requirements.

FS S5850-32S2Q 10GbE 32-Port Switch Overview

FS S5850-32S2Q 10GbE 32-Port Switch Ports

The S5850-32S2Q switch has 32 ports for 10Gb SFP+ connection and 2 ports for 40G QSFP+ Uplinks. That is to say, it has a non-blocking bandwidth of up to 400Gbps. In addition, It offers a switch fabric capacity of up to 800Gbps and forwarding rate up to 596Mpps.

FS S5850-32S2Q 10GbE 32-Port Switch
FS S5850-32S2Q 10GbE 32-Port Switch Key Features

The key features of this 32-port switch lie in that it provides high-performance, high interface density, and low latency to facilitate the rapid service deployment. The detailed key features are listed below:

  • Supports advanced data center features including MLAG, VXLAN, IPv4/IPv6, SFLOW, SNMP, Priority Flow Control (PFC) and data center TCP.
  • Provides L2 and L3 network service.
  • Supports a complete set of security features like IEEE 802.1x, DHCP Snooping and L2/L3/L4 multi-layer ACLs (Access Control Lists).
  • In case of an Ethernet ring network failure, the backup link will quickly recover the communication between the ring network nodes.
FS S5850-32S2Q 10GbE 32-Port Switch Main Uses

The two main uses of this 32-port switch lie in that it is not only an aggregation or access switch in Metro L2 ring network but also a leaf switch in enterprise data center.

1)Metro L2 Ring Network Application:

Ring network, also known as ring topology, is one of the network topologies in which each node is exactly connected to two other nodes. Therefore, it can form a ring-like pathway by transmitting signals through each node. The ring network reduces chances of data collision since each node releases a data packet after receiving the token. The picture below shows FS S5850-32S2Q switches for Metro L2 ring network topology as aggregation or access devices. These aggregation switches mainly use QinQ or ERPS features to deliver Metro Ethernet service.

S5850-32S2Q 10GbE 32-Port Switch in ring network

2)Enterprise Data Center Network Application

The S5850-32S2Q 10GbE 32-port switch can provide access ports for high density 10GE servers and 40GE uplink ports to aggregation or core switches as well. It can be used as leaf switch in data center access network topology with features such as VLAN, LACP, RSTP&MSTP, MLAG, DCB, etc.

32-port-switch-as-leaf-switch

FS S5850-32S2Q Buyer’s Guide

In addition to the information mentioned above, there are other specifications you need to know about FS S5850-32S2Q when choosing a 32-port switch. Listed below are the most important specifications for reference before buying this 10GB switch.

S5850-32S2Q-10GbE-32-port-switch-specifications

Conclusion

All in all, it is clear that the FS S5850-32S2Q 10GbE 32-port switch supports comprehensive protocols and applications. It plays an important role in data centers, Metro, enterprise network, campus network, etc. This 10GB switch is ideal to facilitate the rapid service deployment in both traditional L2 or L3 networks. You can enjoy a non-blocking bandwidth of up to 400Gbps! By the way, if you want an additional Gigabit switch for other use, FS offers multiple choices for you as well.

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