25G Ethernet over a single lane has emerged as the new standard for sever-to-switch interconnections due to the undeniable rise in bandwidth requirements from private and public cloud data centers. Additionally, the popularity of the 25G switch, which has become the latest craze in recent years, has grown as data centers’ demands for faster speeds have increased. An easy look at the market for 25G Ethernet switches and a look at some of the most popular 25G switches will be discussed in this post.
What is a 25G Switch?
The new 25G technology that connects top-of-rack switches to servers has significant advantages in terms of density, cost, and power consumption. A single 25 Gb/s high-speed lane of the 25G Ethernet switch maximizes switch fabric utilization and bandwidth. The number of connected servers or uplinks per switch is maximized when there is only one channel per physical port. In the current 25G switch market, a typical 25G switch has 48 ports. Today, major switch manufacturers such as Cisco, Juniper, Mellanox, Dell, etc. have launched their 25G switches.
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25G Switch Market Analysis
We know that before the introduction of the 25G technology, the available options consisted of one lane for 10G, four lanes for 40G, or four lanes at 25Gbps for 100G. The 25G technology is compatible with the existing module form factors, such as SFP28 and QSFP28, and it permits a breakout connection between 25G and 100G without altering the port that is located on the front of many 100G switches. In addition, many network switch manufacturers have announced their new 25G switches in the last three years to increase their market share due to their high speed and bandwidth.
Nexus 9300-FX platform switches from Cisco were made available for switching at 10G, 25G, and 100G;
For 25G, 50G, and 100G Ethernet networks, Mellanox introduced the SN2410 series of 25G Ethernet switches;
EMC networking S-series 25/40/50/100GbE was suggested by Dell to assist with data center migration;
Broadcom Introduced the BCM56960 Series of 25G Switches for Cloud-Scale Networking;
FS.com launched the N-Series spine/leaf 25G/100G switch for cost-effective data center solutions.
In the existing market, there are a wide variety of 25G SFP28 transceivers, DACs, and AOC cables, which can meet various network requirements. Dell’oro’s study said that Ethernet switch sales will keep going up until the end of the decade, with 25G and 100G ports seeing the most growth.
From the research we can see, at least in the next three years, 25G/50G/100G bandwidth will continue to grow and occupy half of the total network bandwidth, which in turn enhances the development of the 25G switch market. Though challenges still exist for 25G Ethernet, it’s not denied that the trend for ToR 25G switches cannot be blocked.
Why Do We Choose a 25G Switch?
Compared with 10G/40G switches, 25G Ethernet switches have significant advantages in many aspects. The following is mainly from three aspects: rate, power consumption, and technology maturity.
Rate: 25G can be easily upgraded to 50G and 100G. 100G was achieved prior to the development of 25G technology through applications and 10x10G technology. A single 25G LANE can transmit 50Gb/s of data if PAM4 level is used, and current 25G technology can achieve 100G.
Power consumption: The cost and consumption of a single Gbit are lower than those of 10G, and the power consumption of a 25G switch at full load is approximately 1.5 times higher than that of a 10G switch. Currently, as 25G technology continues to mature, costs are steadily and possibly gradually falling.
25G technology maturity: With the rapid development of AI and cloud computing, the demand for network bandwidth and latency is also rising. To provide more bandwidth, we must upgrade our 10G network to a 25G network. The real-world application of 25G data center switches in data centers demonstrates the maturity of 25G-related engineering technologies.
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Comparison Between Commonly Used 25G Switch in the Market
As previously stated, the 25G SFP28 switch market is booming as a result of the expanding bandwidth and speed as well as the promotion provided by switch manufacturers. Then, how can existing 25G Ethernet switches be used to optimize network performance while simultaneously controlling total investment? First, let’s compare the most frequently used 25G network switches.
|25G Ethernet Switch||Port||Switch Capacity||Packet Buffer Memory||Max power consumption||ONIE Support||Price|
6* QSFP28 Port
|1.8 Tbps||24 MB||489 W||Yes||$19,703.99|
|Cisco Nexus 93180YC-FX||48* SFP28 Port
6* QSFP28 Port
|3.6 Tbps||40 MB||425 W||No||$11,681.99|
|Dell S5148F-ON||48* SFP28 Port
6* QSFP28 Port
|3.6 Tbps||16 MB||516 W||Yes||No Infro|
|FS N8560-48BC||48* SFP28 Port
8* QSFP28 Port
|4 Tbps||32 MB||300W||No||$6,899.00|
|Mellanox SN2410||48* SFP28 Port
8* QSFP28 Port
The features listed in the table for each 25G SFP28 switch are the same: 6 QSFP28 uplink ports and 48 SFP28 ports. These switches can also be used as ToR/Leaf switches. In most cases, switch-to-server applications make extensive use of 25G SFP28 switches.
If you don’t have a limited budget, the Cisco 25G switch might be a good choice for a 25G ToR switch because, despite its high price, it has excellent configuration and performance as well as a good reputation. Cisco switches are ideal for data centers due to all of these features. Naturally, Dell, Brocade, and Mellanox, as well as other manufacturers of 25G SFP28 switches, provide excellent alternatives for migrating networks from 10G to 50G and 100G.
However, purchasing a 25G switch like the FS N8560-48BC, which is compatible with SDN (Software Defined Networks) via OpenFlow 1.3.11, is a better option for those who don’t care about brand. It is also compatible with the advanced hardware-based VXLAN feature, which enables it to support over 16 million virtual networks, making it a good choice for data center solutions that are affordable.
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Switching to a 100G network with a 25G switch is easier because it reduces the number of cables and switches that are required in network designs, resulting in lower CAPEX and OPEX. Are you prepared to deal with the rapidly evolving 25G switch market?