Michael's Blog

Understanding Two Technologies: Switch Stack vs Switch Cluster

With an increasing scale of network and the development of application technology, we intend to seek for a way to make full use of multiple switches with effective management. In general, there are mainly three technologies that we will use when we interconnect or combine several Ethernet switches together. The three technologies are switch cascade, switch stack and switch cluster. Sometimes it is difficult for people to differentiate between these three technologies in the first instance. In this article we will put emphasis on two technologies: switch stack vs switch cluster and put forward their connections and distinctions so as to provide you a comprehensive understanding.

switch cascade vs switch stack vs switch cluster

Figure1: switch cascade vs switch stack vs switch cluster

Overview of Switch Stack vs Switch Cluster

The comparison between switch stack vs switch cluster should be based on the sufficient understanding of their concepts.

  • What Is Switch Stack

Switch stack is a kind of technology that unites multiple switches into a single logical unit by using fast Ethernet ports or Gigabit Ethernet ports. The stack behaves as a single switching unit that is managed by a master switch elected from one of the member switches. The port density or the switch capacity of a stack is the sum of the combined switches. For example, when you cascade two 24 port switches , you will get one large 48 port switch on the basis of 24 port switch. And all the switches in this stack share a single IP address for remote management.

For switch cascade, actually it is similar to switch stack. By cascading, more than one switch can be connected in a certain way. While they are configured and managed independently which are different from switch stack with an unified management. Switches that are cascaded together should all support Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) with the purpose of allowing redundancy and preventing loop.

  • What Is Switch Cluster

Switch cluster is a set of connected and cluster-capable switches that are managed as a single entity without interconnecting stack cables. The switches in the cluster use the switch clustering technology so that you can configure and troubleshoot a group of different switch platforms through a single IP address. In those switches, one switch plays the role of cluster command switch, and the other switches are cluster member switches that are managed by the command switch.

Connections and Distinctions Between Switch Stack vs Switch Cluster

  • Connections Between Switch Stack vs Switch Cluster

From above introduction, you may have found that stack and cluster are very similar. Firstly, stack or cluster both use only one IP address, and member switches are managed as a whole by master switch. Therefore, stack and cluster are the feasible technologies to simplify the management of multiple switches. Secondly, neither stack nor cluster can be randomly stacked or clustered. Only stackable switches are able to be stacked together. Similarly, only specific cluster-capable switches from the same manufacturer can be clustered since different manufacturers may use different software for clustering.

  • Distinctions Between Switch Stack vs Switch Cluster

Configuration Complexity

It is easier to be configured for stack since it can automatically recognize new stack member, while in a cluster, you have to manually add a device to be the switch cluster.

Management

The management of stack members depends on a single configuration file. While cluster members have separate and individual configuration files. It means that the management by a stack master is complete on every stack switch, but the cluster command network switch is the point of some management for all cluster members.

Location

The distances between clustered switches can be more flexible. They can be in the same location or located as Layer 2 switch or Layer 3 switch. But stacked switches are in the same layer and normally located in the same rack. Only virtual stackable switches can be placed in different locations.

Conclusion

In this article, we have respectively discussed the concepts of switch stack vs switch cluster. Besides, their connections and distinctions should be also paid real attention to. Generally, stack is based on hardware implementation while cluster is based on software implementation. It would be better to choose or apply technique depending on the network requirement and distance. If you are looking for a stackable switch or clustered switch, FS can provide such 10GbE switch with stackable and clustered features to meet your needs.

48 Port 10GbE Switch: Choose SFP Switch or Copper Switch

Over a decade of evolution, 10G Ethernet is well established as a stable, standards-based connectivity technology to efficiently handle and manage bandwidth-hungry data center applications at present. 10G Ethernet switch has also been put forward as the total expenditure of 10GbE network decreases. In general, there are two 10GbE switch solutions for 10GbE link: 10GbE SFP switch and 10GbE copper switch. According to the port number of 10Gb switch, it can be normally divided into 8 port, 12 port, 24 port and 48 port 10Gb switch. In this article we will mainly discuss 48 port switch 10GbE solutions from the aspects of fiber and copper so as to find out which one can be the data center performance choice.

48 Port 10GbE Switch: SFP Switch Solution

With the characteristics of better latency and throughput, 10GbE 48 port switch with fiber has been the future-proof 10GbE SFP switch with plentiful applications in business oriented network that can lower the overall infrastructure costs in the aspect of cables and switch ports. FS S5800-48F4S 48 port gigabit switch with 10GE SFP+ uplinks supports advanced features, including MLAG, SFLOW, SNMP and etc., which allow for comprehensive protocols and applications to promote the all-round service deployment and management for traditional L2/L3/MPLS networks. What is more, this 48 port switch also provides high-availability properties , including pluggable redundant fans and high-quality electronic components which ensure lower power consumption. FS S5800-48F4S 48 port 10Gb fiber switch is ideal for solving the problems of access to core 10G network connectivity for businesses and data centers.

FS S5800-48F4S 10GbE 48 port switch with fiber.jpg

48 Port 10GbE Switch: Copper Switch Solution

10G Ethernet over copper still plays an essential role in the data center switch/server interconnection nowadays. 48 port 10Gb Ethernet switch over copper cable settles the bottleneck matter and creates great performance since it is fully backwards compatible with 100/1000BASE-T and works with existing structured cabling systems, offering IT technicians the most flexibility in server placement. FS S3800-48T4S is a 48 10/100/1000Base-T RJ45 copper ports and 4 10G SFP+ ports Gigabit switch that is designed for medium or larger network environment. This 48 port managed switch with fixed 10G SFP+ ports for uplinks can satisfy the demand for now and future.

48 Port 10GbE SFP or Copper Switch: Which Is the Data Center Performance Choice?

10GbE network can be achieved both by 48 port SFP switch and 48 port copper switch. So, which one is the data center performance choice?

  • Price

10GBASE-T copper switch with 48 port uses copper cables to transmit 10Gbps data. This may help to save much money since copper cable infrastructure is far less expensive than the fiber optics of 10G SFP+ switch. So 10GBASE-T 48 port copper switch is much cheaper and provides the most economical solution than SFP+ solution.

  • Latency and Power Consumption

The power consumption of 48 port 10GBASE-T switch is 1.5 to 4 Watts per port depending on the distance, while 48 port SFP switch uses less power consumption which is typically less than 1 Watts per port. In addition, 10GbE SFP switch offers better latency with about 0.3 microseconds per link. 10GbE RJ45 switch latency is about 2.6 microseconds per link due to more complex encoding schemes within the equipment. With compelling improvement in lower latency and power consumption, 10GbE SFP switch has become the interconnect of choice for latency sensitive application with enhanced reliability and network performance.

  • High-Speed Application

Since 48 port SFP switch is endowed with the advantages of lower power consumption and latency, it is more suitable for large high-speed super-computing applications where latency is a critical factor and high port counts can create significant power savings.

  • Backwards Compatibility

48 port 10Gb copper switch comes with the advantages of being an interoperable and standards-based technology that uses the familiar RJ45 connector. It provides backwards compatibility with legacy networks. While SFP switch is limited with little or no backwards compatibility.

Conclusion

48 port 10GbE Switch is well poised for an expanding role in data center applications and the future of which is responsive in satisfying the market needs. Although 10G 48 port switch with fiber has lower latency and power consumption, 10G 48 port switch with copper is still popular for its cost-effectiveness and backwards compatibility. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, you can make a choice according to you needs.

Stacked Switch vs Chassis Switch at the Core

The hierarchical internetworking model divides enterprise networks into three layers: core, distribution and access layer. Core layer is considered as the backbone of the network and incorporates high-end switches and high-speed cables. Network switch at the core has the advantage of backplane switching so as to pass traffic across the core without 1Gbps or even 10Gbps limits and achieve the maximum performance. Currently, there are three types of Ethernet switch solutions: standalone, stacked and chassis network switch. How do you choose to help design or upgrade a network at the core? In this article we will mainly make a comparison between stacked and chassis network switches and guide you to reach appropriate decisions.

Stacked Switch Solution

As a core component of enterprise-grade switches, stacked network switch has been highly favored by many Ethernet users for years. By using stacked switches, we can add ports as we need by simply purchasing another stack switch and adding it to the stack. However, before stacking came along, you had to attach multiple switches together and configure them separately by logging in with a different IP address one by one which was indeed a tedious process. While now, stacked switches share the same IP address and can be configured as one unit which seems like one core switch with a larger amount of ports. The following video demonstrates how to stack switch by using FS S3800-24T4S and S3800-24F4S 24 port switch. Compared with stacked switch solution that fully uses of rack space, chassis switch would require over double the rack space to achieve this access port density.

Chassis Switch Solution

Since chassis switch contains certain number of fixed slots (commonly 1U each), into which varieties of types of line cards can be inserted. A chassis switch can be configured with various line-cards to provide corresponding type and quantity of required network ports (copper and fiber). In addition, this chassis-based network switch at the core has a common backplane for all line cards and also includes power supply modules, cooling fan modules, control plane/ processing modules and etc. In contrast to the fixed configuration switch, it is the flagship model to operate as a single integrated system. As chassis switch solution, it may offer software and/or hardware features which are unavailable on a stacked switch.

Cisco chassis network switches

Figure1: Cisco Chassis Switches

Stacked Switch vs Chassis Switch: How to Choose?

According to the above introduction, you may have worked out some pros and cons on each solution at the core. Except for the occupation of more rack space for chassis network switch, doe it prevail over stacked network switch in other aspects?

  • Flexibility and Scalability

In switch network environments where a combination of different port speeds and media types are required, such as a mix of fiber switch or 10gbe switch, stacked switches make it possible to achieve flexibility without needing independent switches or chassis switches. We can increase ports by purchasing another stack switch and adding it to the stack. On the other hand, the number of network ports supported by the chassis switch can be increased just by adding additional line cards in empty slots. Therefore, the chassis system can be scaled easily as well.

  • Price

Chassis switch normally tend to be more expensive than stacked switch since it contains line cards and lots of modules, such as power supplies, fan trays and blades that go into it. However, chassis switch often supports more queues and thresholds per port. When new features come out, upgrading those supervisor modules are less expensive than upgrading all your ports on stack.

  • Performance

Since chassis-based network switch generally features a high speed backplane module, more often than not, it is possible to attain line-rate L2 and L3 switching on all ports of the entire chassis, making for a non-blocking configuration for all ports. Nevertheless, it is difficult to realize such non-blocking configurations in individual switches that are stacked together.

  • Unified Management

Since all the ports supported by the individual line cards connected to the chassis switch are a part of the same switch, they can be managed as a whole using a single management application. Therefore, configuration, maintenance and update can be managed centrally.

Conclusion

In this article we explore stacked and chassis network switch solutions at the core and offer some information to help you to make a decision on choosing the best Ethernet switch solution for setting up or upgrading your network. You can choose based on your real need. For stack switch or other gigabit switch, 10gb switch, FS is a good choice.

24 Port Switch SFP Port vs RJ45 Port: How to Choose?

Gigabit switch that offers greater speed and compatibility continues to gain in popularity in the realm of networking world. In the present market, Gigabit switch generally has two kinds of ports: SFP port vs RJ45 port. Different ports are endowed with relevant sizes and specifications which prevent the incorrect type of connector from being plugged into them. So what are the differences between SFP port and RJ45 port of the Gigabit switch? And how to choose the proper one from them? In this article we will take 24 port switch as an example to explore the distinctions and provide some considerations when choosing SFP port vs RJ45 port.

Comparisons Between 24 Port Switch SFP Port vs RJ45 Port

  • 24 Port Switch with SFP Port

Built-in SFP ports on 24 port switch enable optical or copper links by inserting the corresponding SFP module: fiber SFP or copper SFP. When SFP port is inserted in 1G copper SFP module, the Ethernet copper cables (Cat5e, Cat6 and Cat7) must be used for data transmission. While when SFP port is plugged into Gigabit fiber SFP module, fiber optic patch cables (LC fiber) are needed to support connections.

Take FS S3800-24F4S SFP port switch as an example:

FS S3800-24F4S 24 port switch

This 24 port managed switch comes with 1 console port, 4 1GE combo ports, 20 100/1000BASE SFP ports and 4 10GE SFP+ ports. What needs for special attention is that FS S3800-24F4S 24 port switch includes 4 combo SFP/RJ45 ports which allow users to use either SFP port or RJ45 port at a time for short-distance connections.

  • 24 Port Switch with RJ45 Port

Built-in RJ45 ports on 24 port switch follow the 1000BASE-T Ethernet standard. It only supports RJ45 cables (Cat5e, Cat6 and Cat7) for 1Gbit/s transmission with the distance of up to 100m (330ft).

Take FS S3800-24T4S RJ45 port switch as an example:

FS S3800-24T4S 24 port switch

This 1000BASE-T 24 port managed switch is equipped with 1 console port, 24 10/100/1000BASE-T RJ45 ports and 4 10GbE SFP+ ports that can be used in data centers for server switching, LANs and etc.

All in all, compared with FS S3800-24T4S 24 port Gigabit switch using merely RJ45 port, FS S3800-24F4S SFP port 24 port Gigabit switch supports more types of communication cables and longer reaches of links. For short-distance links on a 24 port switch, there is no much difference for using SFP port or RJ45 port. In addition, SFP port can exchange with the port of 1000BASE-SX, 1000BASE-LX/LH, 1000BASE-ZX or 1000BASE- BX10-D/U. The following table lists the RJ45 connection and SFP connection of 24 port switches:

Parameter SFP Port RJ45 Port
Connection Types
  • RJ45 SFP module + network cable (Cat5e, Cat6 or higher)
  • fiber SFP module + fiber optic cable (SMF fiber / MMF fiber)
  • network cable (Cat5e, Cat6 or higher)
Max Distance MMF (550m) / SMF (150km) / Cat5 (100m) 100m (330ft)
Data Rate 1000Mbps (1G) 1000Mbps (1G)

Common Considerations When Choosing 24 Port Switch SFP Port vs RJ45 Port

For 24 port switch SFP port vs RJ45 port, how to choose the proper one for efficient network construction?

Distance: when the distance of the run is over 328ft/100m, fiber SFP port of 24 port switch must be selected instead of copper RJ45 port since 1000Mbps could only go as far as 100m over copper cabling.

Reliability: on account of electromagnetic interference, fiber is considered as more reliable than copper RJ45 Ethernet cable that uses electric signal. Therefore, if the cable run will go through some places where the electric signal can be interfered, choosing 24 port switch with fiber SFP port rather than copper RJ45 port would be more secure.

Cost: due to the lower price of Cat5e/6 cable, choosing RJ45 ports to connect 24 port switches might be more economical since RJ45 port and SFP port actually run at the same speed.

Future consideration: if you will move to higher bandwidth in the future, fiber optic cable is more future-proof one compared with Cat5e/Cat6 RJ45 Ethernet cable. So in this case, choosing 24 port switch with fiber SFP port would be more preferable.

Conclusion

From the aspect of performance, 24 port switch with RJ45 port and SFP port are basically the same. From an economic point of view, SFP port’s cabling costs higher. While it is still a necessary choice since it supports both fiber and copper SFP optical modules. What is more, it is in possession of superior advantages to achieve longer distance, reliability and future-proof. For SFP port or RJ45 port of 24 port switch or 48 port switch, FS is a great choice.

How Does a Network Switch Work

Network switch is an essential component of business network to connect Ethernet cables from a number of devices together. Apart from network switch, Hub and router are all computer networking devices with varying characteristics and often interchangeably used by some technicians. So are they the same thing or do they work basically the same way? In this article we will discuss how a network switch works and make a comparison with a hub and router.

How does a network switch work

Network Switch Working Way

Network switch is a small hardware device that filters and forwards packets between LAN segments. Different models of network switch support various numbers of connected devices. Consumer-grade network switch provides either four or eight connection for Ethernet devices, while corporate network switch typically supports between 32 and 128 connections. Moreover, network switches can be additionally connected to each other that is regarded as a daisy-chaining method to add a increasingly larger number of devices to a LAN.

  • Unmanaged and Managed Network Switch

Unmanaged switch, a type of plug and play Ethernet network switch, is typically designed for basic connectivity. Since unmanaged switch requires no configuration at all, it is often used in home networks or wherever a few ports are needed.

Compared with unmanaged switch, managed network switch can be configured and properly managed to offer a more tailored experience. It will usually bear the weight of the most comprehensive functions for a network. Since their rich features such as VLAN, CLI, SNMP, IP routing, QoS and etc., managed network switch is commonly applied in the core layer in a network, especially in large and complex data centers.

  • PoE Network Switch

A gigabit PoE switch is a network switch and also a power sourcing equipment (PSE) that has Power over Ethernet setting built-in to provide concentrated function of data transmission and power supply for network terminals over one single cable simultaneously.

How Does a Network Switch Work as Compared to a Hub and a Router?

  • Network Switch vs Hub

A network switch resembles a network hub in appearance. However, network switches are capable of inspecting incoming messages when received, determining the source and destination of each packet and then forwarding data only to the specific devices. While hub transmits the packets to every port except the one which is received the traffic. In general, there is a limit to the amount of bandwidth that users can share on a hub-based network. The more devices are added to the network, the longer it takes data to reach its destination. A network switch can avoid these and other limitations of hub networks.

  • Network Switch vs Router

Network switches create a network while routers connect networks. In other words, network switches allow different devices on a network to communicate, but routers allow different networks to communicate. In a nutshell, a network switch is typically a Layer-2 device of the OSI model while a router is a Layer-3 device. A switch only deals with MAC addresses and has no knowledge of higher-layer protocols. A router acts as a dispatcher, choosing the best path for information to travel. It can handle IP addresses and route between different network subnets.

All in all, network switch, hub and router are all devices that allow you connect one or more computers to other computers, networked devices or even other networks. A hub glues together an Ethernet network segment; a switch connects multiple Ethernet segments more efficiently and a router can do those functions plus route TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) packets between multiple LANs and/or WANs.

hub-network switch-router

Conclusion

As you read this article, you may be clear about the working way of a network switch and its connection and distinction with a hub and router. For various network switches, such as managed switch with intelligence, gigabit PoE switch with the ability to power devices and 10GbE switch in keeping with the trend of the present data centers, FS is a good choice.

10GbE SFP Switch vs 10GBASE-T Switch: How to Choose?

As we know, 10 Gigabit Ethernet network is the trend of the present data centers. For 10GbE switch solutions: 10GbE SFP switch and 10GBASE-T switch are the two choices. How to choose the most appropriate and the best 10G connectivity solution? And could it be able to support data center deployments and acclimate trend concerning current situation and the future? In order to clear things up, this article will respectively discuss 10GbE SFP switch and 10GBASE-T switch network solutions.

10GbE SFP Switch Solution

With the performance of superior throughput and latency, 10GbE SFP Ethernet switch is a cost-effective solution compared to Gigabit network switch. By reason of the attractive improvement in bandwidth, port density and reduced power consumption, the 10GbE SFP switch has become the choice for latency sensitive application. During different switches of various port configurations, a 48 port 10GbE SFP switch is the most future-proofing one with abundant applications in business oriented network that can lower the overall infrastructure costs in the aspect of cables and switch ports.

FS S5800-48F4S SFP switch with 48-port 1GbE SFP and 4-port 10GbE SFP+ in a compact 1RU form factor is particularly aimed at solving the problems of access to core 10G network connectivity for businesses and data centers.

FS S5800-48F4S 10Gb SFP Switch

10GBASE-T Switch Solution

10 Gigabit Ethernet switch over copper cable addresses bottleneck problem and creates great ROI and performance since it is fully backwards compatible with 100/1000BASE-T and works with existing structured cabling systems, providing IT technicians the most flexibility in server placement. Take FS S5850-48T4Q switch as an example, it comes with 48 10GBASE-T Ethernet ports, 4 40GE QSFP+ Ethernet ports and management & Console ports (RJ45). All the 10GBASE-T copper ports can auto-negotiate and communicate effectively with legacy 1Gbit/s and 100Mbit/s server connections that are cabled with Cat6 and Cat6a cabling.

FS S5850-48T4Q 10GBASE-T switch

10GbE SFP Switch vs 10GBASE-T Switch: Which Is the Best 10G Network Solution?

As the basis of upgrading network, 10G network has been omnipresent in data center, enterprise network and even home networking. As for two different 10G network solutions: 10GbE SFP switch vs 10GBASE-T switch, which one would be better?

  • Price

The cost reduction of 10GBASE-T technology in the past years has made the usage of SFP+ become an additional expense of adapters for the servers. By contrast, the cost of 10GBASE-T ToR switch is 20% to 40% less than that of SFP+ ToR switch. So 10GBASE-T is much cheaper and provides the most economical solution than SFP+ solution.

  • Backwards Compatibility

10GBASE-T owns the advantage of being an interoperable and standards-based technology that uses the familiar RJ45 connector. It provides backwards compatibility with legacy networks. While SFP switch is limited with little or no backwards compatibility.

  • Power Consumption and Latency

The power consumption of 10GBASE-T switch is 1.5 to 4 Watts per port depending on the distance, while SFP switch uses less power consumption which is typically less than 1 Watts per port. What is more, SFP switch offers better latency with about 0.3 microseconds per link. 10GBASE-T latency is about 2.6 microseconds per link due to more complex encoding schemes within the equipment. With lower power consumption and latency, 10GbE SFP switch is fitted well for large high-speed super-computing applications where latency is a critical factor and high port counts can benefit significant power savings.

Conclusion

When you have to choose between 10GbE SFP switch vs 10GBASE-T switch for the best 10G network solution, the decision should be based on your real need. In general, for equipment that power consumption and lower latency are crucial, a 10Gb SFP switch might be more suitable. However, if cost, flexibility and compatibility are more vital, you may consider a 10GBASE-T switch. Both of them should find an appropriate place in the future of network design and practice.


Sida 1 av 41234