Category Archives: Data Center Switch

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

FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInRedditTumblrShare

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 ports Gigabit PoE managed 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 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.

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 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 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

WS-C2960S-24PS-L

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

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

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

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

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

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 10 Gigabit switches on the market, each of them costs less than $550.

Options of 10Gb Ethernet Switches Under $550

In this section, we will take a brief review of some 10Gb switches that cost less than $550. The port specification of each is illustrate as following.

MikroTik CRS226-24G-2S+IN

This switch combines the features of a fully functional router and a Layer 3 10Gb 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 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, Gigabit 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 Ethernet 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

How to Make the Final Decision?

Besides the cost, there are still a variety of factors to weigh when choosing a 10 Gigabit 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 / 20 4 Layer 2+

We can conclude from the chart that, apart from the price. The port configuration and speed also matters when purchasing a 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

10G switches is the most effective solution for labs or small deployments. This article compares only a fraction of the important parameters of these 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? What do you think are the most important factors? Post your comments below.

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 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 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
Arista 7050SX-72Q X86-64 Broadcom Trident2 Arista Extensible Operating System (EOS) $21,408.95
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
Arista 7050QX-32S X86-64 Broadcom Trident2 Arista EOS $24,208.84 ~ $27,988.95
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.