Understanding SFP Ports on SFP Switch

Catching a glance of the modern network devices, one will see different ports are built in for different connection. For instance, we got USB interfaces in cellphones and RJ45 ports in copper switch. But how about SFP port? SFP port is built-in interface in various devices including gigabit switch, SFP switch, network interface card (NIC). This article will focus on the understanding of SFP ports on SFP switch.

What Are SFP Ports on SFP Switch?

SFP port (mini-GBIC port), a small form-factor hot pluggable interface, is designed for high speed and density SFP connection. It is typically built in 10Gb switch with SFP+ uplinks. Different from RJ45 ports for copper connection only, SFP ports on SFP switch support both copper and optical links. When SFP ports on SFP switches are inserted into SFP modules with electrical ports, Ethernet copper cables (Cat5e/Cat6/Cat7) are needed for data transmission. When SFP ports are plugged by SFP optical modules with optical ports, fiber patch cables are required for data transmission. Counting to this feature, SFP ports empower SFP switches the switching function to connect various Ethernet and fiber cables through the network. For the fiber one, single mode fiber (SMF) and multimode fiber (MMF), 1GE and 10 GE speed are all compatible. Moreover, it contributes to the adaptability of either short distance transmission by deploying RJ45 SFP or long distance transmission by fiber SFP.

FS SFP switch

Figure 1: This is a demonstration of SFP ports on FS SFP switch plugged by fiber SFP modules, then connect single mode fibers for data transmission.

SFP Ports Advantages on SFP Switch

·Small Size and Hot-pluggable Feature

Compared with early GBIC module port, SFP port for SFP module has much lower volume ratio. This small-sized optimization enables 2 times the density for SFP ports configuration on the same patch panel. Thus also expands the whole data capacity. Besides, SFP port is an I/O device, which is hot-swappable. Moreover, SFP ports on SFP switches can be exchanged with different port types, such as 1000Base-SX, 1000Base-LX/LH, 1000Base-ZX and 1000BX10-DU.

·High Reliability and Security

Fiber SFP plugged into SFP port on SFP switch usually connects with a fiber cable, which delivers data in light rather than electrical signal. First, for reliability concern, it largely diminished data loss and electromagnetic interference. Second, for security concern, fiber jumpers are less likely to catch on a fire than copper cables in severe environment. Sensitive data information is also more difficult to be illegally filched.

·10 GE SFP+ Uplink for Higher Network Capacity

Gigabit switch often has built-in SFP ports and SFP+ ports. They can support the load blancing of redundant links. Even though currently you only need 1GE network, for the concern of later system upgrade and future-proof technology, 10GE SFP+ ports are necessary for SFP switch.

How to Use SFP Ports on a SFP switch?

To illustrate the usage of SFP ports on a SFP switch, taking FS S5800-48F4S 10gb switch as an example. FS S5800-48F4S 48 port gigabit SFP switch comes with 48 x 1GbE SFP ports and 4 x 10GbE SFP+ ports. It has a 176Gbps switching capacity with low latency in a cmpact of 1U form factor. It is a 10GbE L2/L3 carrier access switch designed for a variety of data center enterprise Ethernet networks, including MPLS, IPv4/IPv6, sFLOW, PIM-SM, PIM-SSM. To use SFP ports on FS S5800-48F4S SFP switch, there are two solutions for network application.

·Enterprise Data Center Network

S5800-48F4S can not only provide access points for high density GE servers, but also 4 x 10GE uplink points to Aggregation or Core switches.

S5800-48F4S 48 port 10GE SFP switch application

Figure 2: Using S5800-48F4S for data center access network topology as ToR access devices.

·Carrier’s Metro Network

S5800-48F4S is ideal for service provider Metro Ethernet access deployment, allowing providers to offer convergent application portfolio to their enterprise or individual users. Typically S5800-48F4S SFP switch is installed in a building basement, which serves many customers in the branch building or at the head office. To use SFP switch, corresponding modules are required for connecting cables with SFP ports. Table below lists the FS supported SFP and SFP+ modules for S5800-48F4S SFP switch SFP ports and SFP+ ports.

FS SFP modules for SFP switch

Conclusion

From the above illustration, SFP port on SFP switch is a port type to cater for high-capacity long-reach networks. It can be either connected to Ethernet copper cable with RJ45 SFP module, or optical fiber cable with fiber SFP module. Thus it supports both short and long reach distance. It also owns the pros of small size, hot-pluggable capability, high reliability and security. FS S5800/S5850/S8085 series SFP switches are high compatible with mainstream band switches such as Cisco and Juniper. If you have any need in SFP switch, FS.COM can be a good choice.

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24 Port Switch Recommendation

Among all the port types of Ethernet switch, the 24 port gigabit switch plays a really important role in expanding both enterprise and home network. For enterprise network, deploying several 24 port switch versus 48 port switch not only saves you money, but also provides you backup switches in network outages and separate placing flexibility. As for home network, 24 port switch offers you more spare ports for upgrade and expansion even though currently you only has less than 16 drops. This article will recommend you four 24 port switches in terms of managed or unmanaged and PoE or non-PoE for various demands.

Managed 24 Port Switch Recommendation

·Non-PoE: FS S3800-24T4S ($369)

FS S3800-24T4S 24 port gigabit stackable managed switch comes with 24 x 100/1000Base-T ports, 4 x 10GE SFP+ uplinks, 1 x console port and 2 x power supplies to allow dual power. If dual power is redundant, you can go for this mode’s single power version, which will save you 30 dollars. The switching capacity for a single S3800-24T4S switch is up to 128Gbps. Morever, the 4 SFP+ ports allow up to 4 S3800-24T4S switches stacked together as a whole. Thus proving up to 512 Gbps total switching capacity to your network and rackspace saving. It is designed to meet the demand of cost-effective gigabit access and aggregation for enterprise networks and operators. FS S3800-24T4S 24 port switch can be managed by both GUI command and web user interface, which is really user-friendly for concerns of interface as well as setting.

·PoE: FS S1400-24T4F ($399)

FS S1400-24T4F 24 port gigabit PoE+ managed switch , 400W comes with 24 x 10/100/1000Base-T RJ45 Ethernet ports, 1 x console port, 2 x combo ports and 2 x gigabit SFP (mini-GBIC) slots. This L2+ fully managed 24 port PoE switch features optimized intelligent function to improve key business application availability, sensitive data security and transmission efficiency. Besides, FS S1400-24T4F 24 port switch complies with PoE+ standard for higher power capacity than PoE standard. It is best fit for SMB, entry-level enterprise and home network to power devices such as wireless APs, IP cameras and VoIP phones.

Unmanaged 24 Port Switch Recommendation

·Non-PoE: Cisco SG112-24 ($149.95)

Cisco SG112-24 24 port unmanaged switch has 24 x 10/100/1000 ports and 2 x combo gigabit SFP ports. It is a fixed-configuration switch with auto-negotiation, auto-uplink and cable diagnostics function. For any SMBs who just need the network to run automatically, this unmanaged non-PoE rack mountable 24 port switch will be a good choice. However, it is noted that for concerns of customized setting, security control and heavy load adaptability, you should avoid this version and go for the managed one.

unmanaged 24 port switch

Figure 1: Cisco SG112-24 24 port unmanaged switch with 2 SFP ports.

·PoE :Cisco SG 110-24HP ($237)

Cisco SG 110-24HP 24 port unmanaged PoE gigabit switch comes with 12 x 10/100/1000Base ports, 12 x PoE ports and 2 x gigabit SFP ports. The 24 port PoE switch has a switching capacity of 48 Gbps and forwarding capacity of 35.7 mpps with 100W PoE power budget. The 12 PoE ports support various powered devices such as APs and IP phones. This 24 port switch is a natural fit for anyone who wants to save the configuration trouble and requires for PoE features.

unmanaged PoE 24 port switch

Figure 2: Cisco SG 110-24HP 24 port unmanaged PoE switch with 2 SFP ports.

Summary

This article is dedicated to recommend different types of 24 port gigabit switch for various demands, based on concerns of managed or unmanaged, PoE or non-PoE. It takes the managed one from FS.COM and unmanaged one from Cisco System as examples to offer reference for 24 port switch selection. Generally speaking, managed PoE one is more expensive than unmanaged non-PoE one for superior function. For most concerns of optimized performance and customization management, just go for FS managed 24 port switch, which is cost-effective with both PoE and non-PoE available.

Related article: Recommendations for 48 Port Switches

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