Comparison Between 10Gb Switch Under $550

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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.

40G Deployment: The Cost Difference Between SMF and MMF

40G network are now being extensively adopted within LANs and data centers. 100G is still predominantly in the carrier network, but could soon extend its stretch to your local network. There exists much confusion as to whether to choose single-mode fiber (SMF) or multimode fiber (MMF) for deploying 40G bandwidth, and how to get fully prepared for scaling to higher-speed 100G. If you are hesitating to make the choice, you may find this article helpful.

40G Cost: Difference Between SMF and MMF

Multimode Fiber (MMF): Cost-effective With Higher Tolerance to Dirt

Cost-effectiveness: Multimode fiber (MMF) has been evolving to handle the escalating speed: OM3 has been superseded by OM4 and OM5 is there ready to use. MMF has a wider array of short distance transceivers that are easier to get. One of the liable argument that in favor of using MMF is that multimode optics use less power than single-mode ones, but only in condition that you have tens of thousands of racks. In essence, MMF still has its position under certain circumstances, like cabling within the same rack, in Fiber Channel and for backbone cabling in some new construction buildings.

smf mmf

Tolerance to Dirt: Multimode fiber tends to have a lot more tolerance to dirty connections than single-mode fiber. It can handle very dirty couples or connectors to ensure reliable and consistent link performance. Besides, it is easy to terminate, and more accommodating bend radius. So MMF is preferred by links that change frequently or are less than permanent.

smf mmf

Single-mode Fiber (SMF): Higher Capability and Better Future-proofing

Speed capability: Capacities are really vital for network growth. SMF does so with relatively larger capability than that of MMF. The gap between SMF and MMF cabling is much wider for high-density, high-speed networks. If you want to go further with SMF, say scaling to 100G or beyond, you simply need to upgrade the optics. Unlike using MMF, in which you have to upgrade the glass (OM3 to OM4 to OM5), the labor cost concerning this cannot be underestimated. The capacity for scaling of SMF alone makes it worth the cost. You can use single-mode for almost everything, no need for media conversion. SMF offers enough bandwidth to last a long time, making it possible to upgrade 100 Gbps to Tbps with CWDM/DWDM.

smf mmf

Future proofing: Despite the fact that SM optical transceivers usually cost higher than MM optics, SMF cabling is cheaper and can support much longer distance and reliable performance. Not to mention that bandwidth on SMF keeps going up and up on the same old glass. The good news is that the cost of SMF is dropping in recent years, and it is redesigning to run with less power, thus advocators of SMF think that it is pretty much the only rational choice for infrastructure cabling and the sure winner for today and tomorrow.

SMF and MMF: A Simple Comparison of Cost

There is no doubt that SMF is a better investment in the long run, but MMF still has a long way to go in data center interconnections. In fact the price difference of SMF optics and MMF optics can be minimized if you choose the right solution. Assuming to connect two 40G devices at 70 m away, let’s see the cost of SMF and MMF in the following chart.

Module Connector Type SMF or MMF Price 2 Connections 4 Connections 6 Connections
40GBASE-SR4 MPO12 MMF, OM4 $49.00 $564.48 $1128.96 $1693.44
40GBASE-BiDi LC MMF, OM4 $300.00 $1534.24 $2734.24 $3934.24
40GBASE-LR4 LC SMF, OS2 $340.00 $1,609.84 $2,969.84 $4,329.84
80 Gbit 160 Gbit 240 Gbit

 

Conclusion

Choosing the right fiber for your network application is a critical decision. Understanding your system requirements in order to select the appropriate fiber will maximize the value and performance of your cabling system. Be sure to select the right cable on the basis of aspects including link length, performance, and of course costs. FS provides a broad range of 40G optical transceivers and fiber patch cables with superior quality and fair price. For more details, please visit www.fs.com.

How to Select Transceivers for White Box Switches?

White box switches, also known as open switches, have gained popularity in data centers. Because they provide high performance switching and enable users a broader choice in software and hardware purchase at the same time. However, it’s the openness of open switches that leads to other problems: is there any limitation on the use of optic modules for white box switches? How to choose an optical transceiver for open switches?

white box switches

Considerations When Selecting Transceiver for White Box Switches

As we know, open switches vendors usually sell switches either as bare-metal devices or preloaded with any compatible operating system, as requested by the purchaser. And there are many hardware and software vendors on the market. In order to achieve the desired performance with white box switches, some users may purchase hardware and software from different vendors. For example, one network operator may buy a white box switch from Dell, FS or HPE, but he will get a network operating system from Cumulus Linux. There is no fault of this action, but it will bring another problem—which type of optical transceivers can be used for the switch?

optical transceiver

According to the situation of white box switches on the market, there are two considerations should be taken into account when choosing an optical transceiver for white box switches.

The first one is the operating system (OS) of the switch. It’s known to us that there are various OS vendors like Cumulus Linux, Pica8 and HPE. They develop their own OS for their white box switches to get more market shares. Some of these companies also have their own optical transceiver production line. And some of them do not preclude the use of any industry-standard transceiver, which provide a freely choice for users to source standard components directly from manufacturers or from a broad range of re-sellers. Therefore, the transceivers from the corresponding OS vendor can be used for their open switches.

Another one is the optical transceiver itself. Not all white box switch vendors can provide transceivers for their switches. And some brand OEMs add enhancements to their standardized optic modules, which increases more cost on optics. However, some open switch vendors look forward to seeing an open standard without vendor lock-in. Therefore, cost-effective compatible optical transceivers that follow MSA SFF specification is another choice for white box switches. Among these compatible optical modules, most generic optical transceivers on the market can be used for white box switches.

Optical Transceiver Solution for White Box Switches

White box switches have been the way for web-scale data center operators who are able to drive down the cost and drive up efficiency and flexibility of their IT infrastructure, especially in some big companies like Facebook, Google or Amazon. And there is a growing group of companies that also want the same level of efficiency web-scale operators have achieved. How to realize this? More white box switches are required without question.

Under this situation, providers like FS.COM supplies several types of 10G, 25G, 40G and 100G network switches preloaded with FS OS or Cumulus OS for small and medium size networks or data centers. And all the generic optical transceivers in FS.COM are available for white box network switches.

Connectivity Options Comparison for 10G Servers/Switches Networking

Much of the enterprise market is still running on 1GbE speeds and will be looking to migrate to 10GbE over the next several years. As we know, usually there are three types of connections between switches and servers in 10G networking—SFP+ DAC, fiber cables with SFP+ optics, and 10GBASE-T. And in theses connections, network interface card (NIC), also called network adapter, plays an paramount role. In this post, three connections that upgrade to 10G networking will be explored in details.

Connectivity Options

Today, IT managers can select 10GbE interconnect and switch options based on specific intended uses—using copper or fiber cables. Each has advantages and disadvantages. Here are the three connection options.

Fiber Cables with SFP+ Transceiver

Fiber optic connections are well suitable for areas that have heavy traffic aggregations like EoR (End of Row) switches. In these connections, SFP+ modules are used together with fiber patch cables, just like the following picture shows. In some SFP+ connections, SFP+ NIC is also needed to link servers and switches such as in MoR (Middle of Row) or EoR (End of Row) connections. Though cabling with fiber is great for latency and distance (up to 300m), it also costs more.

fiber

SFP+ Direct Attach Copper Cable (DAC)

Connections with DACs are a good choice for deploying 10GbE within blade server enclosures or racks over short distances. But its reach is limited to 7m and it is not backwards-compatible with existing GbE switches. Of course, an add-in 10GBASE NIC is required for these connections.

dac

10GBASE-T NIC (Network Interface Card)

Nowadays, IT managers have 10GBase-T as a third option for either ToR switch or EoR usage models. 10GBASE-T with Cat 6a UTP cabling makes 10GbE available to a much broader market at a lower cost. It offers the most flexible solution for more data center 10GbE networking applications. Besides, 10G SFP+ copper transceiver also uses Cat 6a or Cat 7 copper cables, but it only supports link length of 30 meters.

10GBASE-T NIC

Comparison

As have mentioned above, 10G connections between servers and switches can be realized with both fiber and copper cables. Here is a simple comparison chart.

10G network

No matter fiber cable, 10G SFP+ copper cable or 10GBASE-T NIC, they can be used in ToR, EoR and MoR connections. Apart from the difference listed in the chart, another factor that should be considered is the cost. Even if the fiber cable has advantages on distance and latency, the use of SFP+ transceiver can add up to 30%-40% to server, switch and storage interface costs. And more SFP+ connections mean more add-in network adapters, which add cost and maintenance overhead.

While the raw cost of the 10GBASE-T is far less than either optical fiber or direct attach twinax copper cables. Cat 6a cable is easy to install and maintain, allowing for customized length, and it can be field installed. The most important point is that Cat 6a cable is compatible with existing 1GbE switches. Many networks today already have Cat 6 or Cat 6a cabling in place, so they are 10GBase-T ready. And today’s 10GBase-T network adapters are also cost-effective, enhancing the adoption of 10GBASE-T NIC.

Summary

10G Ethernet is no longer limited to fiber optic media. DAC cable is a popular choice for short distances; 10GBASE-T allows for more economical and easier deployment than ever before. With the price of 10GbE network getting more affordable than ever, many IT managers are sizing the opportunity to upgrade their networks and keep pace with these increasing bandwidth demands. After reading this post, fiber or copper, which would you choose?

Different Applications for 10G SFP+ Cables

10G SFP+ cables are of various kinds, including DACs, AOCs, and other 10G SFP+ optics (10GBASE-SR/LR/ER/ZR and 10GBAE-T copper transceivers) plus patch cables and copper cables, which are widely adopted in data centers to connect servers, storage appliance and switches. Each of them has different application for different distance. Next, we will talk about these cables respectively.

10G DAC: Server to Switch Connectivity

Direct attach cable (DAC) is a type of sheathed high-speed cable featuring SFP connectors on either termination. The main utility of direct attach cables lies in connecting server to switch within the rack. Top-rack interconnections in data centers are made of 10g direct attach cables these days to provide better alternative to RJ 45 connectors, which are losing their foothold because of the bulkier interface and availability of very few equipment and protocol appearing in their compatibility matrix. For any short range connection measuring as small as 5 m to 10 m, a better performing direct attach cable offers easier and more affordable solution. Servers are typically connected to a switch within the same racks. DAC supports link length up to 7 m, making it perfect for servers to switch connections.

FS 10G DACs are available with different lengths with customized services being offered too. And every cable is individually tested on corresponding equipment such as Cisco, Arista, Juniper, Dell, Brocade and other brands, having passed the monitoring of FS intelligent quality control system. Part of the products are shown in the picture below.

10G AOC: Switch to Switch Connectivity

10G active optical cable (AOC) assemblies are high performance, cost effective I/O solutions for 10G Ethernet and 10G Fibre Channel applications, which can also be used as an alternative solution to SFP+ passive and active copper cables while providing improved signal integrity, longer distances, superior electromagnetic immunity and better bit error rate performance. They allow hardware manufactures to achieve high port density, configurability and utilisation at a low cost and a reduced power budget. Unlike DAC, which is often applied in short distance, AOC can achieve transmission distance up to 100 m, so they often used in switch to switch connections.

10G SFP+ Cables

FS active optical cable (AOC) assemblies use active circuits to support longer distances than standard passive or active SFP+ Copper Cables. FS offers Cisco compatible AOC which is designed for high speed, short range data link via optical fiber wire.

10G SFP+ Optics: Server/Storage to Switch Connectivity

10G SFP+ transceivers, including 10GBASE-SR/LR/ER/ZR and 10GBAE-T copper transceiver, are designed for CWDM and DWDM applications. The range of transceivers supports 850nm, 1310nm, 18 channel for CWDM applications and 40 channels for DWDM applications. These optical transceivers are available with short haul or long haul receivers. Since server or storage to switch connection requires reliable, scalable and high-speed performance, transceivers plus patch cables are usually adopted to achieve such a connection.

10G SFP Cables

FS 10G transceivers are of various types, including GBIC, SFP+, XFP, X2, XENPAK optics, which can be deployed in diverse networking environments. With an industry-wide compatibility and strict test program, FS 10G SFP+ modules can give customers a wide variety of 10 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity options such as server/storage to switch connectivity.

Conclusion

Different 10G SFP+ cables are selected for different distance and application. Generally speaking, 10G DAC is perfect for short reach applications within racks, while AOCs are suitable for inter-racks connections between ToR and EoR switches. With excellent quality and lifetime warranty, FS 10G optics brings real-time network intelligence to the financial services market at 10 Gbps speeds. All the products mentioned in the previous text are in stock. For more information, please visit us at www.fs.com.

Wideband Multimode Fiber: What to Expect From It?

Multimode fiber (MMF) holds a major position in local area network (LAN) backbone cabling and data center due to its capability to transmit high data rates at relatively low cost. MMF has evolved now to support multi-gigabit transmission using 850 nm VCSEL (vertical cavity surface emitting laser) sources, and the channel capacity of which is greatly improved with the use of parallel transmission over multiple strands of fiber. Wideband multimode fiber (WBMMF), known as OM5, lately comes into our horizon as an alternative to support the escalating data rate and higher bandwidth. Then what can we expect from using WBMMF? This article may give you some hints.

Existing Problems of Multimode Fiber

OM1 and OM2 MMF are developed with the intention to support Fast Ethernet, which fail to support 10 Gbps and 25 Gbps data transmission rates. Hence they are not suggested for new installations. Laser-optimized OM3 and OM4 MMF now play a dominant role in 10G, 40G and 100G Ethernet cabling. However, the demand for bandwidth accelerates so fast, and the VCSEL-based transceiver technology cannot keep pace. Consequently, it’s getting more costly for fiber cabling systems to support next-generation Ethernet migration.

Wideband Multimode Fiber: Taking New Wavelength to Multimode Fiber

Wideband multimode fiber (WBMMF) is designed to carry multiple short wavelength signals that can be aggregated for high bandwidth applications–—a technology known as wavelength division multiplexing (WDM). Unlike conventional multimode fiber that optimally supports a single wavelength, WBMMF can accommodate multiple wavelengths, enabling these multiple wavelengths to simultaneously travel along a single fiber strand.

wideband multimode fiber

In this way, WBMMF increases each fiber’s capacity by at least a factor of four, allowing at least a fourfold data-rate increase, or a fourfold reduction in the number of fibers. That means, when transmitting four optical signals, instead of using four separate fibers, WBMMF can send down these signals on one fiber over four separate operating windows. For example, 400GbE could be accomplished with 4Tx and 4Rx fibers (today 400GbE over multimode requires 16Tx and 16Rx fibers).

Highlights of Wideband Multimode Fiber

So, what makes WBMMF standing out from other multimode fibers? Besides that it increases MMF’s utility and extends MMF’s value to customers, WBMMF also has the following advantages:

    • WBMMF can support wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) across the 840-953nm wavelength range, at 30nm intervals.

WBMMF wavelength

  • The fiber geometry of WBMMF stays the same as existing OM4 fibers, therefore it is backward compatible with OM4 multimode fiber at 850 nm, making it feasible to retain legacy application support of OM4.
  • WBMMF reduces fiber count by a faction of four, but increases capacity to over 100 Gb/s per fiber, enabling Ethernet 100G-SR, 400G-SR4, 1600G-SR16 and Fiber Channel 128G-SWDM4.
Applications of WBMMF: Short Wavelength Division Multiplexing (SWDM)

WBMMF provides better performance for applications using WDM technology. As the parallel multimode fiber MPO cabling is considerably more costly than the multimode fiber LC-duplex patch cord, WBMMF made it possible to use a single pair of LC fiber instead of MPO trunks in direct point-to-point connection. Which helps to reduce fiber count by transmitting multiple wavelengths in the same multimode fiber, and to keep the overall cabling costs to the minimum.

WBMMF and SWDM

Conclusion

Wideband multimode fiber is a reliable medium to expand your data center or enhance network capacity. With the capability of managing multiple wavelengths, it effectively reduces the number of fibers and enhances total channel capacity, proven to be a cost-effective solution for increasing network bandwidth, and to keep pace with the escalating data demands.

Why Is Plenum Cable Important to High Density Data Centers?

In most terrible building or house fire disasters, combustible plastics (PVC) used in the wiring are always among the very things that contribute to the rapid spread of fire and toxic smoke. And the air conditioning systems even help the toxic smoke given off by the burning cables to spread throughout the building quickly. As for the high density data center with high speed computing equipment and large amount of plastic jacketed cables, it is crucial to take measures to reduce the damage in an unwanted fire. How to make the crucial data center a safer place? The high quality plenum cable (eg. MTP fiber) can be one of the best choices.

break-down of precision air conditioning system might lead to fire incident

The break-down of precision air conditioning system might lead to fire incident.

Plenum Cable for Data Center Environment

Plenum space is an area used for return of air circulation or air conditioning systems. In a data center, the spaces covered by the precision air conditioning unit are often necessary to deploy plenum products. They include not only plenum containment that separates cold aisle and hot aisle, but also plenum cables that meet the highest fire code requirements. Both electric cables and fiber optic cables are required to be plenum rated (CMP) when they are installed in inner walls and inner ceilings of data center buildings.

Cold aisle containment (left) and hot aisle containment (right) in a precision air conditioning unit.

Cold aisle containment (left) and hot aisle containment (right) in a precision air conditioning unit.

MTP Plenum Fiber: Get Safety and High Bandwidth at the Same Time

The integration of plenum jacket and MTP fiber is a perfect solution for high density data center applications. The safety feature of the plenum cable and the high fiber port count of MTP connector endow the data center with two essential components. By using MTP plenum cable, the possible danger that might be caused by cables located at cold aisle and hot aisle can be minimized when a fire incident occurs. In addition, the high bandwidth demands within a limited space in data center can be satisfied.

safe and high speed mtp plenum cable

Use MTP plenum cable to get safety and high bandwidth at the same time.

When buying MTP fibers, be sure to check if it is genuine plenum rated and the MTP connector should meet the physical connection standard for acceptable insertion loss. When burnt, plenum cable will give off little smoke, and the color of the smoke is light instead of dark. FS MTP plenum cables are made of Corning fiber and U.S. Conec MTP connector. They are all tested and guaranteed by 3D interferometry and the insertion loss is no more than 0.35 dB. No matter it is the plenum jacket, the inner fiber, the connector, or the end face geometry, they are all genuine parts and in high quality. They can be checked by any user without a problem.

FS high quality MTP plenum cable made of U.S. Conec connector and Corning fiber.

FS high quality MTP plenum cable made of U.S. Conec connector and Corning fiber.

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.

Cloud Computing vs Data Center: What’s the Difference?

Many people may be confused about what is cloud computing and what is data center. They often ask questions like, “Is a cloud a data center?”, “Is a data center a cloud?” or “Are cloud and data center two completely different things?” Maybe you know your company needs the cloud and a date center. And you also know your data center needs the cloud and vice versa. But you just don’t know why! Don’t worry. This essay will help you have a thorough understanding of the two terms and tell you how they differ from each other. Cloud Computing vs Data Center: Let’s begin with their definition first.

What Is Data Center and Cloud Computing?
cloud computing vs data center

The term “data center” can be interpreted in a few different ways. First, an organization can run an in-house data center maintained by trained IT employees whose job is to keep the system up and running. Second, it can refer to an offsite storage center that consists of servers and other equipment needed to keep the stored data accessible both virtually and physically.

While the term “cloud computing” didn’t exist before the advent of Internet. Cloud computing changes the way businesses work. Rather than storing data locally on individual computers or a company’s network, cloud computing entails the delivery of data and shared resources via a secure and centralized remote platform. Rather than using a company’s own servers, it places its resources in the hands of a third-party organization that offers such a service.

Cloud Computing VS Data Center in Security
Cloud Computing vs Data Center

Since the cloud is an external form of computing, it may be less secure or require more work to ensure security than a data center. Unlike data centers, where you are responsible for your own security, you will be entrusting your data to a third-party provider that may or may not have the most up-to-date security certifications. If your cloud are placed on several data centers in different locations, each location will also need the proper measures to ensure the security.

A data center is also physically connected to a local network, which makes it easier to ensure that only those with company-approved credentials and equipment can access stored apps and information. The cloud, however, is accessible by anyone with the proper credentials anywhere that there is an Internet connection. This opens a wide array of entry and exit points, all of which need to be protected to make sure that data transmitted to and from these points are secure.

Cloud Computing VS Data Center in Cost
difference between datacenter and cloud

For most small businesses, cloud computing is a more cost-effective option than a data center. Because when you chose a data center, you have to build an infrastructure from the start and will be responsible for your own maintenance and administration. Besides, a data center takes much longer to get started and can cost businesses $10 million to $25 million per year to operate and maintain.

Unlike a data center, cloud computing does not require time or capital to get up and running. Instead, most cloud computing providers offer a range of affordable subscription plans to meet customers’ budget and scale the service to their actual needs. And data centers take time to build,  whereas cloud services are available for use almost immediately after registration.

Conclusion

Going forward, cloud computing services will become increasingly attractive with a low cost and convenient service. It creates a new way to facilitate collaboration and information access across great geographic distances while reducing the costs. Therefore, compared with the traditional data center, the future of cloud computing is definitely much brighter.

Are White Box Switches Equal to OEM Switches?

With a low cost and excellent performance, white box switch has been a hot topic in the past few years. However, the basic definition of white box switch is still vague and ambiguous as a result of various reasons. Firstly, no one has ever made an accurate and standard conception of white box switches before; secondly, manufacturer with different interests and demands will deliberately obscure the definition of white box switch; thirdly, people who are unaware of the truth of Internet tend to be wrongly informed, which also lead to chaos in its definition. Some even simply equate a white box switch with an OEM switch. So what is a white box switch exactly?

white box switch

How to Understand White Box Switches?

According to its literal meaning, white box switches refer to switches without a label. However, there exists a deep connotation in white box switches which means this kind of switches doesn’t focus on brand. Based on this core idea, to better understand white box switches, here we might as well divide them into the following three models:

  • Bare-mental switch. It is the fundamental type of white box switch with no network operating system loaded on them except a boot loader. Customers can purchase a software through a third party like Big Switch, Cumulus, and Pica8 or even write a software by themselves. They ask for hardware support from hardware vendors and software support from software vendors.
  • White box switch. In this model, the supplier will offer switches with both hardware and software (the supplier only provide one of them, either hardware or software, but they got the authority of another from their partners). So customers can seek support for both hardware and software from one supplier. Besides, there are options for customers to choose for both hardware and software.
  • OEM switches. The hardware and software of the switch are manufactured and provided by an OEM (original equipment manufacturer). These OEMs design and manufacture a switch as specified by another company to be rebranded or not branded. This kind of switch is also called white box switch by many people. And suppliers offering this service are called white box supplier, especially when the supplier is small and not well-known.
The Market for White Box Switches

With a wide choice of networking software based on low-cost, commodity hardware, white box switches are bound to have a vast market in the future. Also, with the deployment of SDN, there is an increasing interest in white box switches within the IT community. In the previous text, we have divided white box switches into three types. Next, I will analyze the market for white box switches based upon this classification.

The market for white box switches

  • Bare-mental switches have been most widely used with a customer group mainly from networking giants like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. They purchase a bare-mental switch and develop networking software by themselves. In china, large companies like Baidu, Alibaba, Tecent, and JD also tried this model, with Baidu being the most successful example. The reason why these giants chose such a kind of white box switch is that they are confident and capable enough to handle the development and operation of the software for a switch. Besides, these major technology firm have an extremely large-scale network, which requires them to control the network completely by themselves.
  • The customers for the second type are mainly distributed abroad with only a few in China. They mainly come from large financial companies, international data corporation and some network operators, whose size may only behind those internet giants. Cost saving is the most important driving force for them to buy a white box switch. Also, part of these enterprises chose it just for the differentiated operating system provided by white box suppliers who are willing to satisfy their specific demands through customized service.
  • The customer for the third type is distributed both at home and abroad. Although the market for this part is smaller than the first two, it has the largest potential for its customer group involving a large number of VARs (value added resellers), system integrators, IT products providers and many medium-sized clients. They adopt a white box switch for varied reasons such as improving the production line and saving costs.
Summary

Through this essay, we can see clearly that white box switch is much more than an OEM switch and the latter can be classified as one kind of the former. With a lower cost, excellent performance and huge market potential, white box switch will definitely grow up as the mainstream for switch adoption.