Tag Archives: data switch

GUI vs CLI: Which for Managing Network Switch?

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Network switch is the major building block of many business networks, as they connect multiple PCs, printers, access points, servers, and other hardware to make your business up and running. Switches enables you to send and receive information and access shared resources in a smooth, efficient and highly secure way. It happens at some points we need to make settings or adjustments on switches to perform certain function, like configuring VLAN or check status of switch ports. So how to get the configuration access to a network switch? Does GUI or CLI work better for you? What’s the difference between GUI vs CLI? We’ll address these issues and guide you to manage switch via GUI and CLI.

gui vs cli for configuring network switch

What Is GUI (Graphical User Interface)?

GUI is short for Graphical User Interface – it uses graphics like windows, scrollbars, buttons, etc. to allow users to communicate with the data switch or GUI operating system. It facilitate users, especially novice users in an intuitive and easy-to-learn way. GUI access need recognition and good exploratory analysis and graphics, which is more suitable for users who requires no access to advanced tasks.

what is command line cli

What Is CLI (Command Line Interface)?

CLI stands for Command Line Interface, which allows users to write commands in a terminal or console window to communicate with an operating system. CLI acts as the medium between operators and the network switch: Users have to type command to perform a task. CLI is more accurate than GUI, but it has a very steep learning curve. CLI is appropriate for users who uses it in a regular basis, or for the costly computing where input precision is the priority.

what is gui graphical user interface

GUI vs CLI: What Is the Difference?

GUI vs CLI, both as the mainstream interface for accessing network switch, differs in the following aspects:

Ease of Use: CLI enable users to type manual command in order to perform the desired task whereas in GUI users provided visuals to communicate with the data switch. So the beginners will pick up a GUI much faster than a CLI.

Control: With a GUI, there’s control over files and the operating system – but advanced tasks may still need CLI. While CLI enables all the control over file system and operating system, making tasks simple.

Speed: In GUI, using the mouse and the keyboard to control is slower than using the command line. With CLI, the operator simply use the keyboard and may need to execute only few commands to complete the task.

Hacking: In terms of hacking, all the vulnerability exploits are done from command line. All the remote access and file manipulation are done from the command line.

Scripting: CLI excels in this field since it allows you to create a script that contains few lines of command and it will do the work for you.

Here we use the chart to summarize GUI vs CLI differences.

BASIS FOR COMPARISON
CLI
GUI
Basic
Command line interface enables a user to communicate with the system through commands.
Graphical User interface permits a user to interact with the system by using graphics which includes images, icons, etc.
Device used
Keyboard
Mouse and keyboard
Ease of performing tasks
Hard to perform an operation and require expertise.
Easy to perform tasks and does not require expertise.
Precision
High
Low
Flexibility
Intransigent
More flexible
Memory consumption
Low
High
Appearance
Can’t be changed
Custom changes can be employed
Speed
Fast
Slow
Integration and extensibility
Scope of potential improvements
Bounded

GUI vs CLI: How to Use Them to Manage Network Switch?

CLI and GUI are different kinds of user interfaces with their own merits and drawbacks. It is important to understand where each one excels so you can pick the right tool. Using the defining features of two different tools provides the best of both worlds. The following video, using FS S5850-32S2Q 10GbE switch as an example, offers a complete guide on how to use command line and GUI to access a network switch, through which you may figure out which one fits better for you.

Conclusion

In all, the GUI provides a higher degree of multitasking and more efficiency, whereas CLI offers more control, precision and repeatability. The decision on choosing GUI vs CLI to configure the network switch should better based on user requirements. FS.COM offers a comprehensive product line of network switches, including Gigabit Ethernet switch, Gigabit PoE switch, etc. If you are seeking network switch configuration or management solutions, feel free to contact us at sales@fas.com.

OpenFlow Switch: What Is It and How Does it Work?

SDN (Software-Defined Networking) technology is generating huge interest in networking industry due to its ability to add higher agility and scalability for networks. At the core of the SDN technology is the OpenFlow protocol, and SDN with OpenFlow switch promises flexibility and fast configuration of communication networks. So what exactly is OpenFlow and OpenFlow switch? How does OpenFlow switch work to improve network agility and scalability? We try to explain it in detail and clear out the confusions.

What is OpenFlow and OpenFlow Switch?

OpenFlow is a programmable network protocol for SDN environment, which is used for communication between OpenFlow switches and controllers. OpenFlow separates the programming of network device from underlying hardware, and offers a standardized way of delivering a centralized, programmable network that can quickly adapt to changing network requirements.

openflow protocol

An OpenFlow switch is an OpenFlow-enabled data switch that communicates over OpenFlow channel to an external controller. It performs packet lookup and forwarding according to one or more flow tables and a group table. The OpenFlow switch communicates with the controller and the controller manages the switch via the OpenFlow switch protocol. OpenFlow switches are either based on the OpenFlow protocol or compatible with it.

what is openflow switch

How Does OpenFlow Switch Work?

An OpenFlow switch can only function with the collaborate work of three essential elements:  flow tables installed on switches, a controller and a proprietary OpenFlow protocol for the controller to talk securely with switches. Flow tables are set up on switches. Controllers talk to the switches via the OpenFlow protocol and impose policies on flows. The controller could set up paths through the network optimized for specific characteristics, such as speed, fewest number of hops or reduced latency.

OpenFlow Switch vs Conventional Switch: What’s the Difference?

In a conventional switch, packet forwarding (the data plane) and high-level routing (the control plane) occur on the same device. While for an OpenFlow switch, the data plane is decoupled from the control plane: with the data plane implemented in the switch itself but the control plane in software and a separate SDN controller makes high-level routing decisions. The switch and controller communicate by means of the OpenFlow protocol. OpenFlow switch hence boosts the following advantages:

  • With OpenFlow switch, the SDN controller could route non critical/bulk traffic on longer routes that are not fully utilized.
  • The SDN controller can easily implement load-balancing at high data rates by just directing different flows to different hosts, only doing the set-up of the initial flow’s.
  • Traffic can be isolated without the need for vlan’s, the SDN controller of OpenFlow switch can just refuse certain connections.
  • Setup a network TAP/Sniffer easily for any port or even specific traffic by programming the network to send a duplicate stream to a network monitoring device.
  • OpenFlow switch allows for the development of new services and ideas all in software on the SDN controller, as well to accelerate new features and services.

Why OpenSwitch Is the New Trend?

OpenFlow switch is designed to provide consistency in traffic management and engineering, by making control function independent of the hardware it’s intended to control. This combination of open source software and commodity hardware holds the potential for unprecedented efficiency and operational agility, which fitted well in the world where network becomes increasingly diverse and demanding. Enabling OpenFlow on physical switches and move to OpenFlow switch is something that most clients have been working toward. FS.COM switch product line consists of 10GbE switch, 40GbE switch and 100GbE switch that supports OpenFlow 1.3, which can be used as OpenFlow switches in open networking environment.

10G SDN Switch with L2/L3 ICOS, 48*10GbE ports + 6*40GbE ports
40G SDN Switch L2/L3 ICOS, 32*40GbE ports
100G L2/L3 Switch Loaded with ICOS, 48*25GbE ports +6*100GbE ports

Conclusion

OpenFlow switch addresses bottlenecks to high performance and scalability in SDN environments. Providing an efficient, vendor-independent approach to managing complex networks with dynamic demands, OpenFlow switch is likely to become commonplace in large carrier networks, cloud infrastructures, and other networks. FS.COM SDN OpenFlow switch has received great reputations from our customers, for more information, just reach us via sales@fs.com.

Core Switch & Edge Switch: How to Choose the Right One?

Choosing a data switch for your network can be a daunting task, given the myriads of vendors out there who are vying for providing network switches with fancy functions and feature sets. It may get more challenging when deciding which core switch and edge switch to buy: you have to make sure the switch you get is up to date so it can take advantage of latest technologies, and allows you to squeeze every last drop of performance out of the system. So, whether to choose a core switch or edge switch? Let’s go through their functions and roles within a network, and link these with you are gonna achieve, then you may find the answer.

core switch and edge switch

What Is a Core Switch?

A core switch is a high-capacity switch generally positioned within the backbone or physical core of a network. Core switch is also regarded as a backbone device that is vital to the successful operation of a network: it serves as the gateway to a wide area network (WAN) or the Internet, so that you can use it to connect to servers, your Internet service provider (ISP) via a router, and to aggregate all switches. A core switch need to be powerful enough and have significant capacity to handle the load sent to it, which means it should always be a fast, full-featured managed switch.

In a public WAN, a core switch interconnects edge switches that are positioned on the edges of related networks. In a local area network (LAN), this switch interconnects work group switches, which are relatively low-capacity switches that are usually positioned in geographic clusters.

core-edge switch connectivity

How About an Edge Switch?

As the name indicates, an edge switch is a switch located at the meeting point of two networks. These switches connect end-user local area networks (LANs) to Internet service provider (ISP) networks. Referred to as access nodes or service nodes, an edge switch connects client devices, like laptops, desktops, security cameras, and wireless access points to your network. Edge switches for WANs are multiservice units supporting a wide variety of communication technologies, it also provides enhanced services such as virtual private networking support, VoIP and quality of service (QoS). Generally, smart switches and even unmanaged switches are valid options at the edge of your network. But for some downtime-sensitive applications or where security matters, a managed switch can also be equally used at the edge.

Core Switch/Edge Switch Selection: What Exactly Matters?

To select the appropriate switch for a layer in a particular network, you need to make clear specifications regarding current/future needs, target traffic flows and user communities.

1. Future Growth

Switches comes in different sizes, features and function, choosing a switch to match a particular network involves a solid network plan for any future growth. With that in mind, you would want to purchase a switch that can accommodate more than 24 ports, such as stackable or modular switches that can scale.

2. Performance

When selecting a switch for the access, distribution, or core layer, consider the ability of the switch to support the port density, forwarding rates, and bandwidth aggregation requirements of your network.

An edge switch needs to support features such as port security, VLANs, Fast Ethernet/Gigabit Ethernet, PoE and link aggregation. While a core switch also needs to support link aggregation to ensure adequate bandwidth coming into the core from the distribution layer switches. Also, a core switch support additional hardware redundancy features like redundant power supplies, and hot-swappable cooling fans. So there is no downtime during switch maintenance.

FS.COM Core Switch and Edge Switch Solution

FS.COM offers a large portfolio of Ethernet switches including 10GbE switch, 25GbE switch, 40GbE switch and 100GbE switch, each with different port configurations and moderate to advanced feature sets that tailored for enterprise networks and data centers. The core switch and edge switch in FS.COM are presented as follows.

Core Switch S5850-32S2Q, S5850-48T4Q, S5850-48S6Q, S5850-48S2Q4C, S8050-20Q4C, N5850-48S6Q, N8000-32Q, N8500-32C, N8500-48B6C
Edge Switch S3700-24T4S, S2800-24T4F, S3800-24T4S, S3800-48T4S, S3800-24F4S, S5800-8TF12S, S5800-48F4S

All these network switches are tested with the highest industry standard in rigorous environment, for more specifications, just reach out to us via sales@fs.com.

Why You Need a Managed 8 Port PoE Switch

Gigabit PoE switch, or power over Ethernet switch, has seen massive adoption these days by providing improved network flexibility and performance. A Gigabit PoE switch transmits both data and power supply simultaneously to network devices such as VoIP phones, Wireless AP and network cameras without changing existing Ethernet cabling structure, which in turn, greatly reduce the cabling complexity as well as the cost of installation and maintenance. These exists 8/10/16/24/48 port PoE switches with gigabit speed and essential managing functions, among which a 8 port Gigabit PoE switch is poised as a cost-effective choice for home and business use. Let’s see what we can achieve with a 8 port PoE switch.

8 Port PoE Switch: Managed or Unmanaged?

Like choosing a standard data switch, we’ll inevitably find ourselves in a dilemma: should we choose a managed or unmanaged Gigabit PoE switch? The answer is pretty easy and straightforward – a managed PoE switch is always better. Managed switches typically offers advanced security features and allows for administrators visibility and control. Besides, a managed PoE switch also offers higher level of manageability and control, so you’re able to program each port individually while keep the network operating at peak efficiency. This results significant saving on power and cost. Additionally, a managed Gigabit PoE switch is capable of configuring, managing and monitoring the LAN – setting/disabling the link speed, limiting bandwidth or grouping devices into VLANs.

gigabit poe switch

How to Use a Managed 8 Port PoE Switch?

Managed Gigabit PoE switch has become a preferable option for enterprise networks, with dramatically decreased price, expanded feature sets and improved ease of use. Experience from those who have dealt with a managed 8 port PoE switch also demonstrates that this is a journey well worth taking. You can use a managed 8 port PoE switch to creates VLANs and limit access to specific devices, to use Layer 3 routing capability and to remotely monitor network performance.

Common applications of a managed 8 port PoE switch includes the following aspects.

Connect IP Cameras, Wireless Access Points and IP Phones

To connect this PoE enabled device, you need to know the power consumption of these device, as well as a total power/ power per port of your PoE switch. For example, you have a managed 8 port PoE switch with a power budget of 250W with the maximum power consumption per port 30W. Assume to power an IP Camera network, you’ll need a total power per port of 30W. Then you can connect all the 8 ports with IP cameras with a total power consumption of 240W (within the budget of 250W).

Voice over IP phones Enterprise can install PoE VoIP phone, and other Ethernet/non-Ethernet end-devices to the central where UPS is installed for un-interrupt power system and power control system.
Wireless Access Points Museum, sightseeing, airport, hotel, campus, factory, warehouse can intall the WAP anywhere.
IP Camera Enterprise, museum, campus, hospital, bank can install IP camera without limits of install location – no need electrician to install AC sockets.

The key applications are illustrated as following.

8 port poe switch application

Connect Non-PoE Switches and Devices

One of the frequently asked question is that whether we can mix PoE and Non-PoE devices on the same PoE network. The answer is positive. PoE will only send power if it requested by the device. Otherwise the switch just interacts with it as if it were a regular switch. When connecting a managed 8 port PoE switch to non PoE compatible devices, a PoE splitter is commonly adopted – it delivers data and DC power through separate connections.

mix poe switch with non poe switch

FS.COM 8 Port PoE Switch Solution

Managed gigabit PoE switch has become a better choice if you ever anticipate advanced network features to meet business growth. A managed 8 port PoE switch is the best fit for SMB network and home use with relatively small traffic flow. FS.COM fully understands customer expectations and offers managed 8 port PoE switch with the price starting from $159. Besides, we also provide 24 port PoE switch and 48 port PoE switch to help future-proof your network and unleash the potential of your business. Feel free to contact us via sales@fs.com for more solutions.