Category Archives: Data Center Switch

What Is Layer 3 Switch?

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

What Is Layer 3 Switch and Layer 3 Switching?

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

what is layer 3 switch

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

Layer 3 Switch vs Layer 2

Why Is Layer 3 Switch Popular?

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

Advantages of Layer 3 Switch

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

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

Layer 3 Switch vs Router

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

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

Conclusion

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

What Is an Ethernet Switch and How to Use It?

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

what is an ethernet switch

What Is an Ethernet Switch?

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

Ethernet Switch Types

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

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

How Does An Ethernet Switch Work?

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

how-does-an-ethernet-switch-work

How to Choose and Use an Ethernet Switch?

How to Choose an Ethernet Switch?

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

Related articles:

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

Network Switch vs Network Router vs Network Firewall

Understanding Network Latency in Ethernet Switches

VXLAN Enabled Network Switch: What Is the Benefit?

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

What Is VXLAN?

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

what is vxlan

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

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

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

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

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

What Makes a Good VXLAN Network Switch?

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

    • Look for right ASIC.

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

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

    -Micro burst absorption ability.

   -Fairness on how the buffers are shared between ports.

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

FS.COM VXLAN Enabled Network Switch Solution

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

vxlan enabled network switch

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

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

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

How to Deploy 48 Port 10GE Switch in Data Center?

10 Gigabit network becomes popular as the business is growing, which enhance the deployment of 10G copper or SFP+ switches in data centers. With the rapid evolvement of IoT (Internet of things), cloud computing and other media-rich applications such as Skype, Amazon video, Snapchat and Youtube, the shift from 10G network to 40G has become the new trend. In this process, 10GbE switch with 40G QSFP+ uplink port makes a difference. In this post, the applications of 48 port 10GE switch for data center design will be explored.

Overview on Popular 48 Port 10GE Switch

10GE switch provides high-density 10GE access to help enterprises and carriers build a scalable data center network platform in the cloud computing era. When it comes to 48 port 10GE network switches, Cisco 10GE SFP+ switches maybe the first choice that many users prefer. However, not all network vendors will choose Cisco switches due to their high price. And there are various types of 10 Gigabit switch in the market for network designers to choose from. The table below shows the main details of several 48 port 10GE switches that can be used as ToR or leaf switches in data centers. Network designers can take it as a reference when choosing 10GbE SFP switch.

10GE Switch Mode Port Switching Capacity Forwarding Rate Typical/Max. Power Price
Cisco Nexus 3172PQ 48 SFP+ Port & 6 QSFP+ Port 1.4Tbps 1 bpps 206W/293W $14339
Arista 7050SX-72Q 48 SFP+ Port & 6 QSFP+ Port 1.44Tbps 1080Mpps 127W/251W $21,295
Dell S4810 48 SFP+ Port & 6 QSFP+ Port 1.28Tbps 960Mpps 220W/350W $11334
Huawei CE6851-48S6Q-HI 48 SFP+ Port & 4 QSFP+ Port 1.44Tbps 1080Mpps 216W/245W $6,783
FS.COM
S5850-48S6Q
48 SFP+ Port & 6 QSFP+ Port 1.44Tbps 1070Mpps 150W/190W $3,999

Deploy 48 Port 10GE ToR/Leaf 10GE Switch in Different Size Network Applications

To illustrate how to design the 48 port 10GE switch in practical applications, here take FS.COM S5850-48S6Q ToR/Leaf 10GE switch as an example.

Data Center Applications

48 port 10GE switches are often used as leaf switches in large data center design. In today’s data center, leaf-spine topology and ToR design are the commonly used architectures. And ToR switches are used as leaf switches and they are connected to the spine switches. Just as the following picture shows, FS.COM S5850-48S6Q 10GE switches work as ToR switches and connected to the spine switches (FS.COM 100G switches) using the 40G/10G port.

48-port 10ge switches

Campus network Applications

Of course, 48 port 10GE switch also can act as aggregation or core switches for enterprise campus networks. In the following application diagram, FS.COM S5850-48S6Q 10GE switches work as aggregation switches and connected to 40G core switches and gigabit switch.

48 port 10ge aggregation switches

Scaling Network with 40G Uplink Port on 48 Port 10GE Switch

For a spine-leaf network, usually the uplinks from leaf to spine are 10G or 40G, and they can migrate over time from a starting point of 10G (Nx10G) to 40G (or Nx40G). The 48 port 10GE ToR network switch listed above offer this flexibility, because the 40G QSFP+ uplink port can be configured as either 1x40G or 4x10G and using optics breakout to individual 10G links, allowing many designs easily evolve from 10G uplinks to 40G uplinks or support a combination.

FS.COM S5850-48S6Q 48-port 10GE switch

Summary

The next generation data center network will continue to evolve rapidly over the few years. While with both 10G SFP+ port and 40G QSFP+ uplink port, this cheap 10GbE switch provides cost-effective and high-density data center and campus network solutions, and can meet the ever-increasing demand for network bandwidth at the same time.

Related article: Can We Use Third-party Optical Transceiver Modules for Dell Switches?


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

Driven by the undeniable growth in demand for bandwidth of private and public cloud data centers, 25G Ethernet over a single lane has become the new trend for sever-to-switch interconnections. And the increasing requirements of higher speeds in data centers have enhanced the adoption of 25G switch, which is the new buzz in recent years. In this post, a simple analysis of 25G Ethernet switch market and comparison of commonly used 25G switches will be explored.

25G Switch Market Analysis

As we know, before 25G technology advent, the existing options are one lane for 10G, four lanes for 40G, or four lanes at 25Gbps for 100G. The 25G technology meets the specification for existing module form factors like SFP28 and QSFP28, and allows for a breakout connection between 25G and 100G without changing the port on the front of many 100G switches. Besides, driven by the high speed and bandwidth, various network switch manufacturers have announced their new 25G switches in recent three years, just to occupy more market shares.

  • Cisco delivered their Nexus 9300-FX platform switches for 10G/25G/100G switching;
  • Mellanox launched 25G Ethernet switch SN2410 series for 25G/50G/100G Ethernet networks;
  • Dell put forward EMC networking S-series 25/40/50/100GbE to help data centers migration;
  • Broadcom announced its BCM56960 Series 25G switch for cloud-scale networking;
  • FS.COM introduced N-Series spine/leaf 25G/100G switch for cost-effective data center solutions.

At the same time, 25G SFP28 transceivers, DACs, and AOCs also spring up like mushrooms. According to a study by Dell’oro, Ethernet switch revenue will continue to grow through the end of the decade, with the biggest sales forecast for 25G and 100G ports.

25G switch market

Notes: the source of the research: Crehan research.Inc

From the research we can see, at least in the next three years, 25G/50G/100G bandwidth will continue to grow and occupy half of the total network bandwidth, which in turn enhances the development of 25G switch market. Though challenges still exist for 25G Ethernet, it’s not denied that the trend for ToR 25G switches cannot be blocked.

Comparison Between Commonly Used 25G Switch in the Market

As have mentioned above, 25G SFP28 switch market is booming due to the growing speed and bandwidth as well as switch vendors promotion. Then how to achieve the optimized network performance with existing 25G Ethernet switches, and control the total investment at the same time? Firstly, let’s take a 25G network switch comparion among the commonly used ones.

25G Ethernet Switch Port Switch Capacity Packet Buffer Memory Max power consumption ONIE Support Price
Brocade
SLX 9140
48*SFP28 Port
6* QSFP28 Port
1.8 Tbps 24 MB 489 W Yes $19703.99
Cisco Nexus 93180YC-FX 48* SFP28 Port
6* QSFP28 Port
3.6 Tbps 40 MB 425 W No $11681.99
Dell S5148F-ON 48* SFP28 Port
6* QSFP28 Port
3.6 Tbps 16 MB 516 W Yes No Infro
FS.COM N8500-48B6C 48* SFP28 Port
6* QSFP28 Port
3.6 Tbps 16 MB 550 W Yes $6,199.00
Mellanox SN2410 48* SFP28 Port
6* QSFP28 Port
4 Tbps / / Yes $16910.00

All the 25G SFP28 switches listed in the table have the same port configuration: 48 SFP28 ports and 6 QSFP28 uplink ports. And there are ToR/Leaf switches. Usually 25G SFP28 switch is often used for switch-to-server applications, as for how to realize this, please read the article: How to Use 25G Switch for Switch-to-Server Connection.

For choosing ToR 25G switch, if you have no limited cost budget, Cisco 25G switch maybe a not bad choice, because except for the expensive price, it has high-level performance and configuration as well as its good reputation. All these make Cisco switches are perfect for data centers. Of course, other 25G SFP28 switch vendors like Dell, Brocade and Mellanox also provide good options for migration from 10G, 25G to 50G and 100G networks.

However, for those who have a tight budget or do not pursue brand, a more wise choices is to buy 25G switch like FS.COM N8500-48B6C. This switch supports ONIE installer for 3rd party network operating systems and compatibility with SDN (Software Defined Networks) via OpenFlow 1.3.11. And it also supports the advanced hardware based VXLAN feature to support over 16M virtual networks, making it a suitable option for cost-effective data center solutions.

25G switch

Summary

25G switch offers a more convenient way to migrate to 100G network. Because it reduces the numbers of cables and switches needed in network designs, which in turn decrease the CAPEX and OPEX. Facing with the fast evolving 25G switch market, are you ready for it?


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 cheap managed switch with VLAN capability, how to make the right choice? Here we recommend you several VLAN managed switches that well worth the money.

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 cheap VLAN 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.

Related Article: QinQ vs VLAN vs VXLAN


PoE Switch VS. PoE+ Switch, Which Will You Choose?

Many people choose to install POE (Power over Ethernet) switches for enterprise or home use. PoE technology is time-saving and money-saving for cable installation by carrying electrical power over network cable. In the market, if you are careful enough you can find some are marked as PoE switch and some are PoE+ switch. What’s the difference between these two switch? Can we use PoE switch vs. PoE+ switch? Find answers in the following article.

IEEE802.3af (PoE) and IEEE802.3at (PoE+) Standards

To answer this question , we have to learn these IEEE802.3af (PoE) and IEEE802.3at (PoE+) standards. IEEE802.3af standard was established in 2003, upgraded to IEEE802.3at in 2009. IEEE802.3af standard supports the network devices that require up to 13 W of electrical power. But it can’t meet the power needs of many devices. Therefore, IEEE802.3at standard was promoted to offer more power for high-power PoE devices, for instance, cameras with high-power IR illuminators, IP telephones, small network printers etc. The big difference between IEEE802.3af and IEEE802.3at is the maximum amount of power they provide over Cat5 cable. The maximum amount of power for the 802.3af standard is 15.4 W and the maximum for the 802.3at standard is 30 W. PoE switch and PoE+ switch are designed based on different IEEE standards.

PoE Switch VS. PoE+ Switch: What’s the Difference?

Let’s compare these switches: S1130-8T2F and S1250-8T2F. S1130-8T2F is an 8 port PoE switch with 2 SFP ports. S1250-8T2F is an 8 ports Gigabit PoE+ managed switch with 2 SFP ports. At first glance, these two switches look the same. Actually one is PoE switch and the other is PoE+ switch.

PoE switch vs.poe+ switch

Obviously, by comparison of above two types of switches, switching capacity, RJ45 ports and SFP+ ports, all are the same, except max. power consumption. The max. power consumption of S1130-8T2F is 130W while the S1250-8T2F is 250W. Max. power consumption of PoE switch is smaller than that of PoE+ switches.

PoE Switch v PoE+ Switch? Which One Should We Choose?

Many users may encounter this problem. Should we choose PoE switch or PoE+ switch? PoE network switch is cheaper. But PoE+ switch have some advantages over PoE switch.

  • More electrical power–PoE+ switch can provide 30W, nearly half of the electrical power to powered devices more than PoE switch.
  • Smart power budgeting–PoE+ switch includes scope for power sources and powered devices to communicate with each other to negotiate an allowance of electrical power.
  • PoE+ switch can support a more complete range of network equipment, including IP cameras with heater/blowers, and multichannel wireless access points.

To help you make better decision, I’ll take two types of 24-port switches as an example: S1400-24T4F PoE switch and S1600-24T4F PoE+ switch.

S1400-24T4F S1600-24T4F
24-port-poe-switch 24-port-poe+ switch
S1400-24T4F is a 24-port Gigabit PoE managed switch with 4 SFP ports, 400W. It’s compliant with IEEE 802.3af/at. It’s a good solution for SMB or entry-level enterprise which demands industrial, surveillance, IP Phone, IP Camera or Wireless applications. S1600-24T4F is a 24-port Gigabit PoE+ managed switch with 4 ports, 600W. It’s compliant with IEEE 802.3af/at, supporting the connection to VoIP phones, wireless APs and IP surveillance cameras for intelligent switching and networks growth. S1400-24T4F and S1600-24T4F support both 802.3af/at standards. They can fully allocate IEEE802.3af powered devices, and half allocate the IEEE802.3at powered devices. There aren’t too many differences between the two switches. S1400-24T4F is cheaper and S1600-24T4F provide more electrical power. Well, to choose S1400-24T4F (PoE switch) or S1600-24T4F (PoE+ switch), the decision depends on your needs and budgets. PoE switch is still employed by many users.

Can We Connect PoE Access Point with a PoE+ Switch?

PoE+ is compatible with PoE. POE+ switches can recognize 802.3af powered devices and enable PoE to them as normal. PoE+ powered devices can also be connected to 802.3af PoE switches, and are supposed to restrict how much power they use accordingly. As the above show, S1400-24T4F PoE switch and S1600-24T4F PoE+ switch are compatible with 802.3af/at standards. So can we connect a PoE access point with a PoE+ switch? The answer is yes. PoE Switch VS. PoE+ Switch: Do you get the difference between them now? Hope this article is helpful.

Related Article:PoE Switch vs. PoE Injector vs. PoE Splitter

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.




Comparison Between 10Gb Switch Under $550

Industrial Ethernet has fast become the network of choice for the interconnection of data center devices, due to its incredible speed, bandwidth and flexibility. The market for network switch is booming as vendors compete to develop items with advanced features and functions. This, however, makes the simple choice of an Ethernet switch overly complex. 10Gb switch is often used as access or leaf switch (depending on your network architecture) in data centers, the importance of which cannot be underestimate. This article will compare some cost-effective 10Gb switches on the market, each of them costs less than $550.

Options of 10Gb Switch Under $550

In this section, we will take a brief review of some 10Gb switches that cost less than $550. The following is a 10GB network switch comparison.

MikroTik CRS226-24G-2S+IN

This switch combines the features of a fully functional router and a Layer 3 10Gb Ethernet switch. It enables ports to be removed from the switch configuration, and used for routing purposes. The CRS226 has 24 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two SFP+ ports for 10G connectivity.

MikroTik CRS226-24G-2S+RM

CRS226-24G-2S+RM is a fully functional Layer 3 10Gb network switch. It has 24 Gigabit ports and two SFP+ cages for 10G connectivity (first SFP port supports 1.25G/10G modules, second port only 10G modules).

MikroTik CRS210-8G-2S+IN

Featuring small size and low cost, this fully functional router and a Layer 3 10Gb switch comes with 8 Gigabit Ethernet ports and two SFP+ cages for 10G connectivity (first port supports 1.25G/10G modules, second port only 10G modules).

D-Link DGS-1510-28X

The DGS-1510-28X is a smart managed 10Gb switch that contains 24 10/100/1000 Mbps ports plus 4 10G SFP+ ports. It is ideal for deployments in the SME/SMB core with its 10G uplinks connecting with servers equipped with 10G port connectivity. For medium to large scale enterprise deployment, it can serve as a good interconnection between the core switch and edge switch.

D-Link DGS-1510-20

The DGS-1510-20 contains 16 10/100/1000 Mbps ports, 2 Gigabit SFP ports and 2 10G SFP+ ports. It belongs to D-link DGS-1510 series like DGS-1510-28X, providing a reliable, scalable, and modular interconnection with rich capabilities and simplified flexibility.

Ubiquiti ES-48-Lite EdgeSwitch

Ubiquiti ES-40-Lite is a fully managed 10Gb switch that delivers robust performance and intelligent switching for growing networks. It offers both Layer 2 switching features and Layer 3 routing capability, supporting 48 10/100/1000 Mbps RJ45 Ethernet ports, 2 1/10 Gbps SFP+ Ethernet ports and 1 Gbps SFP Ethernet ports.

ZyXEL XGS1910-24

The ZyXEL XGS1910-24 is a smart 10Gb switch built to fulfill increasing network demands for small and medium businesses (SMB). With 20 10/100/1000 ports , 4 combo Gigabit SFP ports and 2 x 10 Gigabit SFP+ ports, it allows SMBs to deliver higher bandwidth for congestion relief and smooth data delivery.

FS S3800-24T4S Switch

S3800-24T4S is a high performance metro 10Gb switch designed to meet the demand of Gigabit access and aggregation in enterprise networks. Loaded with 24 10/100/1000Base-T ports and 4 10GE SFP+ ports, it supports flexible port combination to facilitate user operations.

FS S3800-24T4S Switch 10Gb switch

10Gb Switch: How to Make the Final Decision?

Besides the cost, there are still a variety of factors to weigh when choosing a 10Gb network switch, such as: port configuration, switching capacity, power consumption and switch class. To make it simple, we use the chart below to further illustrate it.

Switch Price Switching Capacity Power Consumption 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports Gigabit SFP SFP+ ports Layer Supported
MikroTik CRS226-24G-2S+IN $289.00 88 Gbps 21W 24 / 2 Layer 3
MikroTik CRS226-24G-2S+RM $299.00 88 Gbps 21W 24 / 2 Layer 3
MikroTik CRS210-8G-2S+IN $229.00 56 Gbps 13W 8 / 2 Layer 3
D-Link DGS-1510-28X $394.99 128 Gbps 22.3 W 24 / 4 Layer 2/3
D-Link DGS-1510-20 $292.88 76 Gbps 20.3 W 16 2 2 Layer 2/3
Ubiquiti ES-48-Lite $374.55 140 Gbps 56W 48 2 2 Layer 2
ZyXEL XGS1910-24 $544.50 88 Gbps 32 Watt 20 4 combo 2 Layer 2
FS S3800-24T4S $399.00 128Gbps ≤40W 24 / 4 Layer 2+

We can conclude from the chart that, apart from the price. The port configuration and speed also matters when purchasing a 10gb switch. This two factors determine the switching capacity. So you have to consider the amount of traffic to run through the 10Gb 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. Think about tens of thousands of network switch in a middle sized data center, a power efficiency switch can save you a great amount of money.

Conclusion

10GbE switch is the most effective solution for labs or small deployments. This article compares only a fraction of the important parameters of these 10 Gigabit switches. Once you have gone through all this factors, choice can thus be make based on your specific condition. Are there any other factors your organization considers when preparing to buy a switch 10Gb? What do you think are the most important factors? Post your comments below.

Related Article: 10G ToR/Leaf Ethernet Switch: What Is the Right Choice? 

                           FS.COM LAN Access 10G Switch Analysis



Cost Comparison of 10G Leaf Switch and 40G Spine Switch

The growth of network users and the virtualized and automated trend in network have called for a great change in the macro network infrastructure. The “old” three-tier network architecture, namely core, aggregation and access, is quickly proved to be inefficient in modern complicated network environment. So what’s next to replace the outdated frame? After my research, the best I currently find is the flatter leaf-spine network architecture, which surpasses the traditional one with improved switch capacity and much lower latency. This blog will give the cost comparison of 10G leaf switch and 40G spine switch.

three-tier network is outdated

In order to help buying a suitable network switch when scaling the efficient leaf-spine architecture, I will compare some different brands’ 10G leaf switch (48*10G SFP+ and 6*40G QSFP+) and 40G spine switch (32*40G QSFP+) in this post. It should be noted that each 10gb switch and 40gb switch price shown below is based on my own research, and I cannot promise that you can get one at the same price, since there are cases of discount, charged shipping, or tax. But you can take it as a reference. And welcome to add new information or to correct mistakes.

10G Leaf Switch (48*10G SFP+ and 6*40G QSFP+), switch capacity being 1.44Tbps.

Brand Model CPU ASIC NOS Online Base Price (US$)
Edge-Core AS5812-54X X86-64 Broadcom Trident2 Cumulus Linux $4,438.07 ~ $4,889.75
Agema AG7648 X86-64 Broadcom Trident2 Agema OS & OcNOSTM $5,995.00
Cisco Nexus 9372PX X86-64 Broadcom Trident2 Cisco Internetwork Operating System (IOS) $9,505.00 ~ $21,318.16
Dell S4048-ON X86-64 Broadcom Trident2 Cumulus Linux $2,250.00 ~ $2,850.00
Juniper QFX5100-48S X86-64 Broadcom Trident2 Juniper Operating System (JunOS) $24,299.00 ~ $25,942.00
Brocade VDX 6740 X86-64 Broadcom Trident2 Brocade Fabric OS $16,815.82 ~ $19,369.99
HPE Altoline 6920 X86-64 Broadcom Trident2 HPE Comware $11,209.66 ~ $12,792.00
Huawei CE6851 X86-64 Broadcom Trident2 Huawei Operating System (OS) $6,379.95 ~ $11,238.08

40G spine switch (32*40G QSFP+), switch capacity being 2.56 Tbps.

Brand Model CPU ASIC NOS Online Base Price (US$)
Edge-Core AS6712-32X X86-64 Broadcom Trident2 Cumulus Linux $7,571.95 ~ $14,124.16
Agema AG8032 X86-64 Broadcom Trident2 Agema OS & OcNOSTM $8,495.00
Cisco Nexus 9332PQ X86-64 Broadcom Trident2 Cisco IOS $17,617.21 ~ $18,673.15
Dell S6000-ON X86-64 Broadcom Trident2 Cumulus Linux $ 29,476.80
Juniper QFX5100-24Q X86-64 Broadcom Trident2 JunOS $29,313.83 ~ $32,949.99
Brocade VDX 6940 X86-64 Broadcom Trident2 Brocade Fabric OS $21,546.46 ~ $24,036.81
HPE Altoline 6940 X86-64 Broadcom Trident2 HPE Comware $15,354.38 ~ $15,739.68
Huawei CE7850 X86-64 Broadcom Trident2 Huawei OS $13,737.60 ~ $23,000.00

These open networking leaf and spine switches are almost all adopting Broadcom Trident 2 chip and the Intel 64 processor, the major difference between them lies in the software. Some big brand switches deploy their own network operating system while some support licensed Cumulus Linux OS.

FS provides not only high performance 10G leaf switch (S9000-48S6Q, 48*10G SFP+ and 6*40G QSFP+) and 40G spine switch (S9000-32Q, 32*40G QSFP+) that have excellent Broadcom Trident 2 switching chip and licensed Cumulus Linux OS, and customers also enjoy the easiest addressing of both hardware and software problems. When you buy open networking switch at FS, you can also get certified optics and cables, and professional software support effortlessly and at low cost.

10G leaf switch

The base prices listed above do not include accessories like optics and fiber optic cables, or the software and hardware support cost. And only a few vendors I know can provide certified optics and cables, and expert software and hardware support at the same time. One-stop experience could only be found at vendors like Cumulus Networks (Cumulus Express service) and FS (Fiberstore). As you know that building a high performance networking is never only about switch, it would be better if simple and all-in-one approach could be provided in switch installation.