Fanless Switch vs Built-in Fan Switch: How to Choose?

Have you ever struggled with the noise from network switch? Have you ever worried about the overheating issue of your Ethernet switch? Or if there is a way to keep balance between silent environment and appropriate power consumption in switch network as much as possible? From a practical point of view, how can we get to choose from fanless switch and built-in fan switch in different applications? In this article we are going to explore the solutions and guide you to choose the one you really need based on the examples of fanless 8 port PoE switch and 24 port PoE switch with build-in fan.

Overview of Fanless Switch and Built-in Fan Switch

In order to better understand the heat generated by the internal switch, two different kinds of cooling systems for network switch to transfer heat will be introduced below, which are passive cooling system for fanless switch and active cooling system for built-in fan switch.

  • Fanless switch: Passive Cooling

Fanless switch means that there is no fan built into it, which leads to a quiet operation. The passive cooling system achieves high level of natural convection and heat dissipation by making use of a heat spreader or a heat sink to maximize the radiation and convection heat transfer modes. Depending on heat sink, passive thermal management becomes a cost-effective and energy-efficient solution for switches to maintain optimum operating temperature without causing much noise.

FS S1130-8T2F managed 8 port PoE switch comes with 8 10/100/1000Base-T RJ45 Ethernet ports, 1 console port and 2 gigabit SFP slots. It is compliant with IEEE 802.3af/at and can supply power to PoE network equipment. This 8 port PoE gigabit switch with fanless design features stable and environmental friendly performances. In addition, this cheap poe switch only costs $159 with the max power consumption of 130W.

FS S1130-8T2F 8 port PoE switch

Figure1: FS S1130-8T2F 8 port PoE switch with many vents to help heat dissipation

  • Built-in Fan Switch: Active Cooling

Built-in fan switch utilizes active cooling system which is a kind of cooling technology that relies on an external device to enhance heat transfer. Be means of active cooling system, the rate of fluid flow increases during convection, which dramatically increases the rate of heat removal.

Compared to FS S1130-8T2F fanless 8 port gigabit switch, FS S1400-24T4F 24 port PoE switch is equipped with build-in cooling fans and plenty reserved vents, which facilitate air flow and system cooling. However, built-in fan switch will inevitably bring about unpleasant noise along with larger power consumption and costs than passive cooling system.

FS S1400-24T4F 24 port PoE switch

Figure2: FS S1400-24T4F 24 port PoE switch with built-in fans to help air flow and system cooling

Fanless Switch vs Built-in Fan Switch: Which One Do You Really Need?

For small business or people working at home where there is only one switch that is kept within a rack or even outside the rack, constant noise coming from the fans running within this switch might be disturbing. What is more, for places like home and library where the silence is expected, a quiet fanless switch can be very useful. In these situations, fanless switch network may be preferred. While for people have multiple network switches locked up into a rack along with many other active devices in a or several data center rooms, it is necessary to deploy switches with build-in fans to help cool various over-heated components within the network switches.

Conclusion

The advantages of passive cooling technology rest with the energy efficiency and lower financial cost, making it an astute system choice for the thermal management of fanless switch. While if you worry about the environment where might be pretty heated up by considerable amount of heat from switches, built-in fan switch will be more feasible. For gigabit PoE switch or best PoE switch of fanless 8 port PoE switch or 24 port PoE switch with built-in fan, FS is a good choice.

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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. 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.

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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.

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Understanding Combo SFP Port on Ethernet Switch

For new comers who are not familiar with the structure and functionality of Ethernet switch, they are apt to get confused with different ports built in for different connection. Except for those common ports on SFP switch, such as SFP port , there is another port called “combo SFP port”. Do you know what is it and what is the difference between SFP port and combo SFP port? In this article we aim to give you comprehensive understanding of combo SFP port on Ethernet switch.

What Is Combo SFP Port on Ethernet Switch?

In a nutshell, a combo SFP port is regarded as a single interface with dual front ends, i.e. an RJ-45 connector and an SFP (Small Form Pluggable) module (also called Mini-GBIC) connector. In other words, this is a compound port which can share the same switch fabric, port number and allow the users to configure their SFP switch according to different applications. But the two different physical ports can not be used simultaneously. It means that you can either plug a cable into copper 10/100/1000 interface, or plug the cable into SFP slot.

A combo SFP port is a way to provide different types of connectivity and give users the power and flexibility to configure SFP switch for unique application requirements. Below is the demonstration of 4 combo SFP ports on FS SFP switch.

combo SFP port on a SFP switch

What Is the Difference Between SFP Port and Combo Port?

Combo interface, also known as optoelectronic multiplexing interface which is a switch device panel with two Ethernet ports: an optical port and an electrical port. Combo electrical port and its corresponding optical port are logically multiplexed, and the user can choose which one to use according to the actual network demand. But when one of the ports is activated, the other port is automatically blocked since they can not be used at the same time.

While SFP port (mini-GBIC port), a small form-factor hot pluggable interface, is designed for high speed and density SFP connection. SFP ports on SFP switch support both copper and optical links. When SFP ports on SFP switch are inserted into SFP modules with electrical ports, Ethernet copper cables are needed for data transmission. If SFP ports are plugged by SFP optical modules with optical ports, then fiber patch cables are required.

Introduction to FS.COM 24 Port Switch With 4 Combo SFP Ports

There are many SFP switches with combo SFP ports, but today we are going to take FS S3800-24F4S: 24 port switch with 4 combo SFP ports as an example to illustrate the usage of combo SFP ports on a SFP switch.

S3800-24F4S 24-port Gigabit switch comes with 20x 100/1000Base SFP, 4x 1GE combo and 4x 10GE SFP+ slots which offers up to 128Gbps switching capacity to synchronously process the traffic on all ports without any packet loss. The 4 combo SFP ports on switch facilitate the application of different connectivity, making it more flexible to configure the switch. In addition, this diversiform port combination form provides a high bandwidth aggregation connectivity for multiple switches to enhance network capacity. All in all, this 24-port Gigabit managed switch is fit for enterprise network operators who pursue high performance and low power processor to provide full speed forwarding and line-dormant capacity.

Conclusion

From the above introduction, we have known that combo SFP port on SFP switch is a port type to carry out different connection applications. For combo SFP ports on Ethernet switch, only one of the twisted pair port or SFP slot can be used. For SFP ports on SFP switch, it can be either plugged into Ethernet copper cable with RJ45 SFP module, or optical fiber cable with fiber SFP module to achieve short and long reach distance transmission. What is more, FS S3800-24F4S is a good example of combo SFP ports on switch. If you have any need, FS would be a choice.

Related Article: Understanding SFP Ports on SFP Switch

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How to Connect Ethernet Switch, Router and Modem

In the computer networking world, the three most ubiquitous pieces of equipment are Ethernet switch, router and modem. These are applied everywhere from data center to network connections in your own home. However, despite the importance of these three pieces of equipment, some people are oblivious or confused to their internal functions and connection mode. So in this article, we will attempt to explain the difference between each piece of equipment and introduce the common way to connect Ethernet switch, router and modem.

What Is the Difference Between Ethernet Switch, Router and Modem

From a physical perspective, a modem, router and Ethernet switch look very similar. Nevertheless, there are key differences between them internally and functionally with relevant purposes on a network.

  • Switch: Bridge Your Devices in a Network

An Ethernet switch is commonly referred to as a multi-port network bridge that processes and routes data on a data link layer (layer 2) and sometimes network layer (layer 3) of the OSI model. An Ethernet switch is an intelligent device which transmits data to specific MAC addresses within the LAN. It has the capability to learn and distinguish between specific addresses by accessing them from a CAM table.

Switch-Bridge Your Devices in a Network

  • Router: Connect You with the Internet

A router is the ”traffic director” of a network. It takes information provided by the modem or ONT and routes it to the various devices that are connected. Router uses protocols such as ICMP (Internet Control Message Protocol) to communicate with each other and configures the best route between any two hosts.

  • Modem: Connect Internet with ISP

A modem is the short way of saying “modulator, demodulator”, which is a hardware device that allows a computer to send and receive data over a telephone line or a cable or satellite connection. The main purpose of a modem when used in a home networking environment is to establish a connection between your home network and ISP.

Connection Between Ethernet Switch, Router and Modem

There are a handful of ways to set up a shareable home network connection, but the safest and most reliable way is to use a router and switch in combination. Once the switch is behind a router (which in most cases uses NAT), all devices connected to either the switch or the router can access the internet simultaneously. Placing the router between modem and Ethernet switch creates an extra layer of protection from threats on the Internet.

Here are the detailed steps for connection:

Step 1: Unplug the power supplies of cable modem, switch and wireless router. Unplug any Ethernet cables that are plugged into any of them.

Step2: Connect telephone wire with modem, and then connect an Ethernet cable to the Ethernet port on the back of the cable modem.

Step3: Plug the other end of Ethernet cable connected with modem into WAN port of router.

Step4: Connect another Ethernet cable to numbered Ethernet port on the switch and plug the other end into the LAN port on the wireless router.

Step5: Plug the power supplies of the modem, Ethernet switch and router in. After two minutes, the network and Internet connection is ready to go.

Connection Between Ethernet Switch, Router and Modem

Conclusion

As you read this, you may be clear about the knowledge of Ethernet switch, router and modem and the proper way to connect them in a network. For suitable Ethernet switch and gigabit switch of good quality, FS would be your great choice.

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