Category Archives: Network Switches

VXLAN Enabled Network Switch: What Is the Benefit?

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

What Is VXLAN?

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

what is vxlan

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

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

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

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

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

What Makes a Good VXLAN Network Switch?

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

    • Look for right ASIC.

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

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

    -Micro burst absorption ability.

   -Fairness on how the buffers are shared between ports.

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

FS.COM VXLAN Enabled Network Switch Solution

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

vxlan enabled network switch

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

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

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

How to Set up NVR with a PoE Switch?

Security is paramount both in life and business, hence an increasing number of people are protecting their homes and business with surveillance systems mounted around their property. NVR (Network Video Recorder) serves as the nerve of a sophisticated security – it provides constant coverage of your property and allows you to view in real time with crystal-clear, high-resolution imagery. Then how to set up a NVR with your network devices to reap the great benefit it brings? We will illustrate common NVR Setup with a PoE switch.

What Is NVR?

A NVR consists of a computer and special video management software. It is a true digital system that records the digital images or videos received over the network onto a hard disk or other storage device. So you could view, playback, and download recordings when needed. Usually based on Windows or Linux environments, a NVR usually has a user friendly graphical user interface, flexible recording, playback capability, intelligent motion detection and camera control capability. Remote access is also available with NVR, and other benefits include ease of installation and usage, the capability of handling large amounts of video streams. There are a few configuration options for setting up a NVR, among which with network switch such as PoE switch is gaining increasingly recognition.

Basic NVR Setup: With PoE Switch

Unlike standard network switch, a PoE switch is capable of delivering data and power simultaneously through an Ethernet cable. This type of switch will act as a hub but can also supply power to POE compatible devices such as IP security cameras, without the need for an external power source or extra power wires. This makes for less installation cost and cabling complexity – you can handle your power and video over a single CAT5 cable. Here we use FS 8 port PoE switch as an example to show how to connect your NVR to a PoE switch, just perform the following steps:

nvr setup with poe switch

  • Connect an Ethernet cable from the LAN port on the PoE switch to your router. Connect the power cable to the PoE switch to a power outlet.
  • Connect IP cameras to ports #1 – #8 on the PoE switch using the Ethernet cables. The PoE switch will provide power and video transmission the same way your NVR does.
  • You must add the cameras to your NVR to view the cameras and enable recording. To do this, follow the steps in your NVR’s instruction manual.
NVR Setup With PoE Switch: How to Get More Ports?

It happens sometimes that you want to add more ports to the network, but cannot justify the price to replace a higher-density switch. Here we offer you a cost-effective solution by leveraging some network components at hand: a modem/router combo – the connection between your internal devices and the outside (Internet), and a hub.

nvr setup with ip camera

  • Run a CAT5 cable (shown in blue) to connect your cameras to the ports of a PoE switch. The POE switch will act as a HUB to connect them to the local network.
  • Connect a 8-port hub to your router, then link the PoE switch with an open port on the hub. In this way, the other 7 ports are available for adding more devices.
  • Plug your NVR into an open port on your router. Now your cameras and your NVR are all on the same network. With some minor configuration (port forwarding), you can access your NVR remotely since it is plugged into your modem/router.
Conclusion

NVR / IP camera setup necessitates the use of an external PoE switch to simplify or extend the wiring of your installation. Sometimes, a router and a hub are required to get extra port to expand your system. Ever confused by PoE switch connectivity issues? Don’t hesitate to connect FS.COM via sales@fs.com to find more solutions!

PoE Switch vs. PoE Injector vs. PoE Splitter

PoE (Power over Ethernet) has been thrown around for over a decade, serving as an optimal choice to enhance network agility and scalability. It has earned a universal acceptance in applications including video surveillance system, IP camera, VoIP phone and wireless access point. PoE switch, PoE injector and PoE splitter are common methods to get PoE technology into your network. What makes the difference? Which to implement as in different situations? We’re going to shed some lights on those issues.

PoE Switch vs. PoE Injector vs. PoE Splitter: What Are They?

As you can tell, picking the right equipment is a crucial first step to building any network. PoE equipment can be particularly complicated, so here we’re going to cover the basics to PoE switch, PoE injector and PoE splitter, trying to clear out the confusions concerning this.

PoE Injector

A PoE injector, or midspan, introduces or injects power onto an Ethernet cable (Cat5e and Cat6). The injector adds power to data that is coming from a non-PoE switch or “endspan” (IP cameras, wireless access points and LED lighting) It has an external power supply. PoE injector is perfect for low power devices that needs to be set up in locations where a power outlet is unavailable. It thus enables more flexibility by opening the door to installing devices in hard-to-reach areas, with a minimal impact on existing structures and budget.

poe injector application

PoE Splitter

If you happen to have a device that is not PoE compatible, or a mixture of compatible and non-compatible devices – this is the common use case for a PoE splitter. PoE splitters combine PoE networking cable and setups with traditional technologies. They deliver data and DC power through separate connections. They can also be used to bring a 48V DC (PoE) current down to play nice with 5, 12 or 24V DC jacks.

poe splitter application scheme

PoE Switch

PoE switch is considered one of the smartest ways to invest in your network. As business are rolling out for expansion and homes getting smarter, PoE switch serve as a vital point to efficiently develop your network in the right direction. Like standard network switch, PoE switch also comes into different port configuration and feature sets. The prominent advantage is that the ports can deliver power and data simultaneously. High performance and density PoE switch offers endless expandability and scalability for escalating enterprise business networks. The equipment a PoE switch can connect including but not limit to computer terminals and printers, servers, firewall and monitoring systems, VoIP phones and WAPs. Besides, PoE switch is now equally available for home use – providing a more substantial backbone to home networks, creating connections to applications like AppleTV, ChromeCast, Sonos, Playstation and etc.

poe switch application

PoE Switch vs. PoE Injector vs. PoE Splitter: the Choice Depends on Network Requirements

Below we’ve explained the features and differences concerning PoE switch, PoE injector and PoE splitter. You may have figure it out that your final choice actually in close relate to your network requests.

  • If you’re planning a network with a mix of PoE-enabled and PoE non compatible devices, then PoE splitter is the one and only option.
  • Then what about a network demands exclusively PoE compatible devices – in which case both PoE switch and PoE injector are valid options. If you decide to install a PoE device without a PoE switch or if the devices are too far from the PoE switch and you would like to avoid running wires, you can power it using a PoE injector. PoE injectors works well with existing wiring and is small and lightweight in design for easy mounting.
  • A PoE injector can only power one device at a time, so for a few devices individual injectors work fine, but once devices start racking up in the numbers, having so many individual injectors gets less desirable. For networks that demands a large quantity or high quality PoE enabled devices, it will be more economical to go for a PoE switch since it can power more than one PoE compatible device. Some smart/managed PoE switch even can reboot a misbehaving device from anywhere in the world.
FS Optimized PoE Switch Solution

Efficiency and management of power are driving PoE industry. Fully aware the market demand and customer preference, FS develops IEEE 802.3af/at compliant PoE switches with 8, 24 or 48 ports for enterprise business and home alike. Here is a mode comparison of FS PoE switches. Your best bet might be to identify the number of devices you desire to connect to your PoE switch.

poe switch comparison

Conclusion

As the cost of PoE switch are much more affordable, the number of public and private sector PoE installations is increasing. PoE switch also facilitate installation in harsh and/or extreme environments, the application of which is bound to soar. If you have any problems concerning PoE solution or PoE equipment, feel free to contact tech@fs.con or sales@fs.com.

Gigabit Slots: SFP Port vs. RJ45 Port vs. GBIC Port

In Gigabit Ethernet applications, either SFP (small form-factor pluggable) port, RJ45 port or GBIC (Gigabit interface converter) port is used in different Gigabit devices, such as switches, routers, servers and storages. And some latest wireless access points (APs) are also equipped with SFP port. Since all these three port types only support 1Gbit and do not go any higher, why are they created instead of using only one type?

RJ45 port and SFP port in an Ethernet switch

SFP Port vs. GBIC Port: An Improvement in Dimension

SFP port and GBIC port can be found in a variety of equipment, including Ethernet switches, routers, network interface cards, servers, etc. Today most Ethernet switches are designed with as least one or two Gigabit SFP uplink slots. What is SFP port? As the name implies, SFP port is intended for taking in SFP (mini-GBIC) fiber modules with small form-factor (SFF) connectors, while GBIC port is for accepting GBIC modules.

GBIC module and SFP module

The two types of ports can provide the same data rates and same distances in Gigabit applications, but the same number of SFP ports uses less space than that of GBIC ports. Since they have the equal functionality, SFP has gradually taken the place of the older GBIC in Gigabit networking for space-saving and economical reasons. The table below is a comparison of SFP port vs. GBIC port.

Parameter SFP Port GBIC Port
Supported Optical Modules SFP transceiver (single-mode/multimode, simple/duplex, CWDM/DWDM) GBIC transceiver (single-mode/multimode, simple/duplex, CWDM/DWDM)
Transceiver Receptacle Type LC, RJ45 SC, RJ45
Supported Standards 1000BASE-T, 1000BASE-SX, 1000BASE-LX, 1000BASE-LX10, 1000BASE-LX/LH, 1000BASE-LH, 1000BASE-EX, 1000BASE-ZX, 1000BASE-BX, 1000BASE-CWDM, 1000BASE-DWDM.
Supported Distances Up to 100 m, 300 m, 2 km, 10 km, 20 km, 40 km, 80 km, 100 km, 150 km.
Module DOM Function Modules support digital optical monitoring (DOM) function, providing real-time monitoring of transceiver’s operation temperature, optical input, optical output, laser bias current and supply voltage.

If you want to know more about the SFP types that the SFP port support and their detailed specifications, such as wavelengths and distances, you can read: How Many Types of SFP Transceivers Do You Know.

SFP Port vs. RJ45 port: Distance Makes Difference

The RJ45 ports in Gigabit networking devices follow the 1000BASE-T Ethernet standard. They only support twisted pairs for network connections, and the distance is limited to 100 m (330 feet). RJ45 port uses Category 5/5e/6 and higher level copper Ethernet cables for 1Gbit transmission. Compared with switch using only RJ45 port, SFP port switch supports more types of communication cables and longer reaches of links. Here are the differences between SFP port and RJ45 port.

Parameter SFP Port RJ45 Port
Connection Cable Types Multimode fiber cable, single-mode fiber cable, twisted pairs (Cat5, Cat6 or higher). Twisted pairs (Cat5, Cat6 or higher).
Max. Transmission Distance MMF (550 m), SMF (150 km), Cat5 (100 m) 100 m (330 ft)
Data Rate 1000 Mbps (1G) 1000 Mbps (1G)

Since most end-points at the customer’s are still using RJ45 port, in order to retaining the convenience of RJ45 port while providing the advantage of SFP network to customers, some switches include combo SFP/RJ45 ports. So users can choose to utilize either the SFP port or the RJ45 port at a time for short-distance connections.

What Is Dual-Rate SFP Port?

Unlike the combo SFP/RJ45 port which is actually a link shared by two different ports, a dual-rate SFP port is one single SFP slot that can be configured to support two different data rates. Generally a dual-rate SFP slot can set to be either 1G mode or 10G mode, i.e., an SFP module or an SFP+ module can be installed in it. But the actual data rate of the transmission depends on the mode being settled and the transceiver module being used. There are several cases:

  • The dual-rate SFP slot is 10G activated, and an SFP+ module is installed; the interface is in 10G mode.
  • The port is 10G activated, but an SFP module is installed; the interface is in 1G mode.
  • The port is not 10G activated, but an SFP+ module is installed; the interface will be link down state.
  • The port is not 10G activated, and an SFP module is installed; the interface is in 1G mode.

Summary

The three port types—SFP port, RJ45 port and GBIC port—are used in different networking equipment. The SFP port is now more commonly used than GBIC port since the former one provides the same function and is more compact. When SFP port vs. RJ45 port, SFP port supports connectivity through varieties of fiber cables and the copper twisted pairs, and a wide range of link distances, but RJ45 port accepts only twisted pair cables and a shorter distance. Since every thing has both two sides, it is not always the best to choose SFP slot. The two articles: GBIC vs SFP: When It’s Best to Use GBIC and When to Use SFP, and RJ45 vs SFP: Which Should I Use to Connect Two Switches, specifically discussed when to use which port/module type.

Five Common Parameters about Buying PoE Switch

A PoE switch (Power over Ethernet) is a network switch that carries data along with power over Ethernet network cables like Cat5 or Cat6. And PoE switch is often found in IP camera systems in home or business networks due to its low maintenance costs, less downtime, easy installation, etc. Since there are various articles telling you how to buy a PoE switch, here I just explore five parameters as a reference when buying PoE switch. No matter buy 8-port, 16-port, 24-port PoE gigabit switch, the following five parameters are necessary to consider.

PoE-switch, PoE switch gigabit

Switch Stacking

Switch stacking is a common technology in network design. It offers a good solution for network designers to maximize scalability and optimize performance of networks at the same time. Therefore, when it comes to buying gigabit PoE switch, many users will take this parameter into consideration. But not all PoE switches are created equal. Most Cisco PoE switches support stacking. That’s one reason why Cisco PoE switches are more popular than others even if their price is several times higher than other similar PoE switches. However, if buying PoE switch for home or small size networks, there is no need to seek for stacking functions by spending extra money.

Acoustic Noise from Fan

Since PoE switches, especially 8-port, 16-port, and even 24 port PoE switch, are often used at home or office, the acoustic noise can be placed an important role when buying PoE gigabit switch. Because it’s really a bad experience if the PoE switch near to you is buzzing all the time. Different PoE switch comes with different acoustic value. Still take Cisco 24-port PoE switch SFE2000P as an example. This 24-port PoE gigabit switch may cause 50dB noise at the maximum, which like a person speaking to you without stopping. Of course, many vendors like FS.COM and Cisco, have supplied fanless PoE switch to offer a better usage experience for users.

Transmission Distance

In some applications, administrators have to deploy PoE switch up to 250m. Generally speaking, PoE switches can extend the transmission distance of data and power up to 100m via Cat5 or Cat5e network cables, which is enough for home or office applications. In this condition, a PoE repeater can deal with it perfectly. With one PoE repeater, the transmission distance can be added to 100 meters.

Numbers of Power Supply

In the PoE gigabit switch market, there are two types power supplies: a single power and dual power. Usually dual power is designed for power redundancy. When one of the DC power inputs has failed, the other will be triggered and working for the switch. Does it mean dual power is necessary for PoE switch? May not be. Considering the power redundancy, most vendors have strengthened their switch power supply, which can support the switch working for years. And some switches like Cisco catalyst 3850 series PoE switches offer dual power supplies, but it requires extra order to get it working.

Airflow Direction

This factor is often considered by those who have or work in data centers or service room where have numbers of network switches. Generally there are three types of airflow of network switch: back-to-front, front-to-back and side-to-side. Keep in mind to consider this factors when buying a PoE switch, especially buy 48-port PoE gigabit switches that are often used for enterprise networks. There are examples in tech forum that some users ignore the airflow direction of the network switch, which causes the switch fans drawing air from its hot air exhaust.

Summary

Buying a suitable PoE switch is not an easy task. Both the switch price and functions are needed to be taken into consideration. FS.COM offers PoE managed switches with different ports like 8-port, 24-port and 48-port. All of them are compatible with IEEE802.3af/at. And professional buying advice is also provided if need. Welcome to visit www.fs.com for more details.

Related article: PoE Switch VS. PoE+ Switch, Which Will You Choose?

Smart Switch: A Wise Choice for SMB Networks

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

What Is A Smart Switch?

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

smart switch

Smart Switch vs Unmanaged switch

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

smart switch vs unmanaged switch

Smart Switch vs Managed Switch

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

smart switch vs managed switch

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

Should I Choose Smart Switch Over the Other Two?

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

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

Conclusion

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