1Gb Backbone vs 10Gb Backbone: Gigabit Switch or 10GbE Switch

The modern world is developing in full speed, so is the telecommunication industry. Not long ago 10GbE switch had been a luxury, so was exclusively affordable to large enterprises. And many individuals and businesses used 10/100Mb switch and could only get to gigabit switch for 1Gb backbone. However, this situation is changing due to price dropping and proliferating market demand. Now more and more SMBs and individuals are using gigabit switch and attempt to access 10Gb switch. As thus questions like whether to deploy gigabit switch for 1Gb backbone or 10GbE switch as 10Gb backbone has stirred heated discussion on many forums. This article is to give some reference for 1Gb backbone vs 10Gb backbone selection guide.

backbone Gigabit Switch or 10GbE Switch

What Is 1Gb Backbone Gigabit Switch?

Simply put, 1Gb backbone refers to the networking configuration that gigabit switch is used in the data center as core switch. A typical scenario in 1Gb backbone configuration is to run 10/100Mb access layer switches with 1Gb uplink back to a central gigabit switch. In this case the 1Gb uplink on the 100Mb switch receives the 1Gbps from the switch gigabit, then divides the 1Gb bandwidth to its terminal endpoints. Restricted by the normal port 10/100Mb, max. 100Mb is available for access points. As thus 100Mb switch has gradually been obsoleted by gigabit switch.

To achieve 1000Mbps and bring in PoE capability, modern operators often use gigabit PoE switch as access switch to cooperate 1Gb backbone gigabit switch. Here is a 1Gb backbone deployment scenario by FS.COM: Employing S5800-48F4S 48 port gigabit SFP switch as 1Gb backbone in the data center. Linking two 24 port PoE switches in the office to connect and power IP phones, wireless APs, desktops and laptops. Then running two wires to link two 8 port PoE switches in the warehouse for IP surveillance.

gigabit switch 1Gb backbone

Figure 1: Deploying FS 48 port gigabit switch with 10Gb uplink as core switch and FS 8/24 port gigabit PoE switches as access switches.

What Is 10Gb Backbone 10GbE Switch?

Similarly, 10Gb backbone refers to the configuration that 10GbE switch serves as core switch in the data center. Then running gigabit switches with 10Gb uplink back to the central 10Gb switch. To illustrate 10Gb backbone configuration, here is a deployment scenario. In this case, we deploy S5800-8TF12S 10Gb SFP+ switch as core 10GbE switch in the data center. Using S3800-48T4S 48 port switch and S1600-48T4S 48 port gigabit PoE switch as access switches, we run fiber patch cables to corresponding 10Gb SFP+ uplinks on these access switches. As thus the 10Gb uplink bandwidth can be divided to the access gigabit switch normal port.

Assumption on the case 10 same endpoints are connected to 10 ports on the gigabit Ethernet switch. Then each can obtain max. 1000Mb from the 10Gb uplink bandwidth. In this case the gigabit speed is retained. If the upper layer switch is a gigabit switch, then each endpoint can only get 100Mb.

gigabit switch as access switch in 10Gb backbone configuration

Figure 2: Deploying S5800-8TF12S 10Gb SFP+ switch as 10Gb backbone, while S3800-48T4S 48 port switch and S1600-48T4S 48 port gigabit PoE switch are for gigabit access switch.

1Gb Backbone vs 10Gb Backbone: Gigabit Switch or 10GbE Switch as Core Switch?
Virtualization Application

Generally speaking, deploying gigabit switch for a 1Gb backbone vs 10GbE switch for a 10Gb backbone depends heavily on virtualization application. Even in a small office with only several PCs, demanding applications for high bandwidth may require a backbone 10Gb switch. That is, if you or your employees must deal with high-load pictures and videos every day, 10GbE switch backbone is a must to ensure smooth operation and work efficiency. Or you may easily get stuck in network congestion. Say a regular video conference in a midsize enterprise can randomly drop, which wastes time and drag down schedule process.

Number of Users

Also, pay attention to number of users. Counting all the current endpoints: computers, wireless APs, IP phones, etc. And try to measure the load traffic by plotting utilization. Then take future expansion into consideration. If your backbone gigabit switch ports are already hot for using the most bandwidth provided, and you still need to add office devices, then your network is on the verge of severe congestion. In this case 10Gb switch backbone or higher is the choice to go.

Access Point Bandwidth

All in all, choosing between backbone gigabit switch vs backbone 10GbE switch, there is a bandwidth gap that access endpoints are available. If you deploy 10Gb switch as core switch and gigabit switch with 10Gb uplink as access switch, the normal port on the access switch can get max. 1000Mb bandwidth. However, if the backbone is 1Gb and your access switch is 100Mb, then only max. 100Mb bandwidth can be available in the access switch port. So for 1Gb backbone scenario where one use gigabit switch as core switch, deploying gigabit PoE switch instead of 100Mb switch as access switch is a solution to keep up with 1000Mbps speed.

Conclusion

In summary, 1 Gb backbone gigabit switch vs 10Gb backbone 10GbE switch selection depends on the bandwidth your virtualization applications require. In detail, 10Gb switch shall function as 10Gb backbone in the case mass data transfer is a regular task. Thus the gigabit switch normal ports can share max. 1Gb bandwidth. Otherwise you can remain your 1Gb backbone. But for 1Gb access, deploying gigabit PoE switch to replace your 100Mb access switch is a future-proofing and feasible solution to go. FS SFP switch is a good choice for 1Gb backbone core switch whereas SFP+ switch for 10Gb backbone core switch.

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How to Add PoE to Your Network?

In data centers, there are a lot of electrical devices and each one requires a power supply cable and at least one connection wire for transmission. It’s a disaster to see all those wires scattering all over the floor and tangling together. To introduce Power over Ethernet technology, we can cut down the number of wire drops and simplify the management control. So what’s the practical methods for adding PoE to your network? Read the following passage, to learn about the two solutions: adopting PoE switch or PoE injector.

Overview of PoE Implement Method

PoE requires PoE-enabled networking devices for power supply on the Ethernet cable. To realize this technology, there are two types of power sourcing equipment (PSE) for adopting: endspan (IEEE 802.3af refers to it as “endpoint”) and midspan. Endspan is an Ethernet switch that has built-in PoE data transmission circuitry. A midspan is an intermediary device between a non-PoE switch and powered devices (PD). Thereinto PoE injector is a frequently used available external midspan device.

Adding PoE by PoE Switch (Endspan)

When you need to set up a new Ethernet network with power over Ethernet technology or you want to upgrade system and replace older non- PoE switches, employing endspan is a good choice. How to add PoE to your network by PoE switch? Just connect it to other network devices, and the switch itself will figure whether they are PoE supportable devices and control power automatically. There are various types of PoE switch available, ranging from “dumb” unmanaged one, smart partly managed one and fully managed one with advanced management. It is also various from port quantity, such as 8, 16, 24 and 48 port.

It is noted that the PoE+ switch is a PoE plus switch for providing up to 30W power consumption. For example, FS S1130-8T2F 8 port PoE switch is a managed PoE+ switch with 2 SFP port, IEEE 802.3at complied and IEEE 802.3af backward compatible. It has maximum power supply of 130W and switching capacity of 20Gbps. FS S1130-8T2F supports various PoE devices and is best fit for network equipment such as wireless APs, IP phones and weather-proof IP cameras.

Adding PoE by PoE Injector (Midspan)

If you don’t want to discard your already used network switch and only PoE capability is needed to be added, you can simply adopt midspans. PoE injector is a device that can add electrical power while receiving signal from one end of the cable, and then deliver both the data signal and the power via the other end of the cable. Instead of PoE switch, midspan can also be used as an economical and functional solution where only a few PoE ports are in demand. How to add PoE to your existing LAN by PoE injector? First, power on PoE injector and non-PoE Ethernet switch respectively, next connect them via an Ethernet cable. Then connect PDs such as IP phones with PoE injector and finally the system can run as a whole.

In the case of older end devices are not PoE-ready, a splitter can be helpful for adding PoE to your network. To apply a splitter onto the end of the Ethernet cable will enable signal and power to be split into two different lines.

PoE switch vs PoE injector installation

This figure shows the installation of PoE switch vs PoE injector for adding PoE to network.

PoE Switch or PoE Injector: Which to Employ?

After diving into each respectively, we made a comparison of PoE switch vs PoE injector for concerning about adding PoE to network.

PoE Switch PoE Injector
Price Higher Cost Economical
Management and Control Easy for management (power and transmission) Requiring separate two wires for powering on switch and PoE injector
Implement Method Upgrade to PoE network by replacing the old Ethernet switch with PoE switch Install PoE injector to add PoE capability to the existing non-PoE switch
Emergency Reaction Potential chance of the whole system’s outage Only one device be affected

For most concerns about cost-efficiency and PoE capability required, you can go for PoE injector. However, for upgrading system and future-proof superior functionality concern, PoE switch is obviously a better choice.

Conclusion

Both PoE switch and PoE injector are power sourcing equipment for adding PoE to a network. PoE switch is an endspan, naturally fitting for new set-up or upgrade-needed network. PoE injector is a midspan, better fitting for existing non-PoE network without switch replacement requirement. For PoE switch purchase, FS.COM is a reliable vendor providing a wide rage of types for different demands. Any other information to know, just visit our official website and blog.

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Patch Panel vs Switch: What’s the Difference?

In network setups we see everything is plugged into a switch, but before that fiber cables are also connected to another supply – patch panel. Thus one question is often confusing: patch panel vs switch: What’s the difference and what’s the significant function of them respectively?

What Is Patch Panel?

Patch panel (fiber optic patch panel, fiber optic enclosure) is a terminate unit of network ports centralized together. It is a cable management solution component used to organize fiber cables and keep everything neat for a clean wiring closet. In data centers, a mass of cable wires scattering all over and mixed together can be bothersome, in this case a patch panel is indispensable and rather helpful. It not only offers ease of management, but also protect the terminations from being knocked. Besides the fiber optic patch panel, other cable management accessories including cable ties and cable labels are also used to keep cables tidy and easy for identification.

patch panel vs switch: fiber optic patch panel

Figure 1: This photo shows the application of patch panel by FS.COM for cable management in a data center.

What Is Switch?

Switch, commonly known as network switch, is an appliance in a data center that connects all devices (such as PCs and servers) as a whole to achieve intercommunication and data sharing between different network devices. It channels the incoming data from multiple input ports to the specific output port so as to deliver the data toward its destination. In Ethernet LAN or WAN, modern network switch usually determines which output port to use by network address.

patch panel vs switch: network switch

Figure 2: This photo shows the application of network switch by FS.COM in a data center.

Patch Panel vs Switch: What’s the Difference?

Table below shows the main difference of patch panel vs switch.

Name Patch Panel Switch
Price Cheap Expensive
Role playing Cable management tool:
Centralizing cable wires together; protecting fiber cables from damage.
Functional performance: connecting all devices together to receive and transmit exact messages to the target device end.
Form feature  fiber optic patch panel  network switch
·Role in Date Center

Comparing patch panel vs switch, we can make the following conclusion. Patch panel is nothing but an essential cable management tool, which exerts no functional influence to the performance of data transmission. However, a switch is an irreplaceable functional supply in network setups.

Why Patch Panel Is Commonly Set Up in Network Installation?

As mentioned above, patch panel has no effect on the data transmission process. Can it be omitted in fiber optic cabling? Or can wires just directly plugged to a switch? The answer is yes when you just deal with several fiber cables. However, Ethernet patch panel is a must in data centers where there are a large number of Ethernet drops. No doubt you don’t want to see all the things tangled together. A patch panel in place provide ease management of classification, maintenance, repair, installation and upgrades.

Conclusion

This article gave an brief introduction to patch panel and switch respectively and then discussed the differences between them. Patch panel vs switch : what’s the difference, and why is a patch panel commonly set up in network installation whereas a switch is already used? Can you answer these questions now? Simply put, patch panel is an essential cable management tool whereas network switch is a significant functional supply in data center. Both of them play important role in their respective positions.

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