Category Archives: Fiber Optic Switch

Why 25G Ethernet Switches Are Still Necessary?

It has been about five years since the arrival of 25G Ethernet in 2014. For those years, the 25G Ethernet market has been filled with ups and downs. Facing with the broad adoption for 100G Ethernet and the upcoming new connection speeds of 200G/400G, the use of 25G devices, like the 25G switches, has been in doubt.

A Review of 25G Ethernet

25G Ethernet is one of the standards for Ethernet connectivity in a data center environment, developed by IEEE 802.3 task force P802.3by. Before 25G Ethernet was proposed, the next speed upgrade for data centers was expected to be 40G Ethernet (using four lanes of 10G) with a path to 100G defined as using 10 lanes of 10G. Now, with the 25G Ethernet standard, it supports to have four 25 Gbps lanes to achieve the speed of 100G Ethernet. In that way, it is said that 25G has paved the road for 100G.

25G Ethernet VS 40G Ethernet

Figure 1: 25G Ethernet VS 40G Ethernet

25G Ethernet Switch

With the 25G standard carried out, in 2016, its matching equipment was also available on the market, such as 25G SFP28 transceiver, DAC cable, 25G adapter, and 25GbE switch. Among those devices, the 25G Ethernet switch is the most representative one. Nowadays, the 25G switch market is mainly led by some branded vendors such as 25G Dell, Cisco, Juniper, Arista, and Mellanox switches. Usually, the 25G 48-port switch is the most popular type. Most 25G switches today offer two types of 25GbE interface form factors: QSFP28 that can support 4x25Gbps and SFP28 that can support 1x25Gbps. No matter for TOR (Top of Rack) switch or as the switch to deploy spine-leaf architecture, 25GbE switches will be the good choices.

Figure 2: FS 25G Ethernet Switch N8500-48B6C

Figure 2: FS 25G Ethernet Switch N8500-48B6C

Why Still Need 25G Ethernet Switches?

Switch Compatibility

The majority of 25G Ethernet switches in the market support backward compatibility. Because most of their matched optical transceivers are SFP28. And SFP28 is regarded as the enhanced version of SFP+, which is designed for 25G signal transmission. SFP28 utilizes the same form factor as SFP+, but the electrical interface is upgraded to handle 25Gbps per lane. As SFP28 adopts the same form factor as SFP+, SFP28 can connect with SFP+ ports and SFP+ transceiver can also connect with SFP28 ports. SFP28 is compatible with existing data center fiber cabling. Thus, you can greatly reduce the cost of re-architecture data centers and gain great flexibility in creating higher bandwidth during migration. To some extent, it can be both CapEx and OpEx savings.

Port and System Density

The 25G technology is similar to 10G, but the performance is increased by 2.5 times, thus reducing the power and cost per gigabit significantly. 25G Ethernet provides higher port and system density. For example, four 25 Gb/s data streams can be used to produce a 100G path over copper or fiber cable within a compact form factor. This approach also saves on energy consumption and requires fewer top-of-rack (ToR) switches and cables, which cuts much operational expenditure for data center operators in the end.

Price and Performance
Price Comparison by Connection Speed

Figure 3: Price Comparison by Connection Speed

As we can see in the Crehan forecast in figure 3, 25G delivers on both fronts with better price and performance. While 25G Ethernet is slightly more expensive than the 10G pricing, when valued with price and performance it is much cheaper on a per Gbit/s of bandwidth.

In fact, the 25GbE pricing is very competitive, with only a 30%-40% premium over 10GbE and this premium is expected to come down over time. To achieve these competitive pricing levels requires devices that are optimized to support 25GbE. In that case, deploy 25G devices, such as 25G Ethernet switches are necessary.

Summary

With the trend for higher Ethernet bandwidth, the demand for 10G Ethernet has been in decline. Before the 200G/400G Ethernet becomes mature, 25G shares lots of incomparable strengths to be considered as the proper choice to prepare for the upcoming migrations. In the context of that, 25G devices, such as 25 Ethernet switches are playing indispensable roles.

What Are the Commonalities of Switches Supporting Cumulus Linux

As the first full-featured Linux based operating system (OS), Cumulus Linux has injected great possibilities and new vitality in networking field in these two years. Due to its great effort in open networking, Cumulus Linux has been one of the three leading OSs in the market. The another two are IP Infusion OcNOS and Pica8 PICOS. Recently, the collaboration between FS and Cumulus Networks has been made. The N-series open switches from FS will be pre-installed the latest Cumulus Linux OS to customers. At the moment of their joint effort in achieving open networking, we are going to make an analysis of the similar features of the open manageable switch supported by Cumulus Linux.

FS Collaborates with Cumulus Networks

Figure 1: FS Collaborates with Cumulus Networks

An Overview of Cumulus Linux

Cumulus Linux is a flexible open network operating system, which can be installed on various open switches, including the layer 2 switch and layer 3 switches. The code used to build Linux is free and available for users to view or edit. Therefore, it looks like the world’s largest data center that allows users to automate, customize and scale using web-scale principles. After the installation of the Cumulus Linux OS, the open switch can act as a Linux server.

Cumulus Linux

Figure 2: Cumulus Linux

Similarities of Open Switches Supporting Cumulus Linux

Featured with supporting a broad partner ecosystem, the Cumulus Linux gives customers more options and flexibility in data center networking regarding switch type, CPU, chip type, and supported transceivers.

Switch Type

Generally, open switches that support Cumulus Linux are bare mental switches coming with open network install environment (ONIE). In that case, no matter you have a brite box switch like Cisco switch, or a white box switch like FS switch, Cumulus Linux can be accessible to them. Nowadays, in the market of open switches, the 32-port and 48-port switches with 40G/100G transmission speed are commonly applied by enterprise users. Considering their high-density and greater agility needs for networking, the open switches are mostly layer 3 switches so as to achieve spine-leaf or overlay architectures.

CPU

The open switch CPU that supports Cumulus Linux OS usually comes in three types: ARMv7, PowerPC, and x86_64. Among these three types, x86_64 is the most popular one, adopted by most vendors, such as Dell, HPE, Mellanox, and FS.

Chip Type
Chips of Open Switches

Figure 3: Chips of Open Switches

Currently, Broadcom chip and Mellanox chip are the major roles of switch chip. The Mellanox type is usually used by Mellanox itself or Penguin. Therefore, the Broadcom type dominates the largest switch chip market share, installed by the most brand vendors or the third party suppliers.

Supported Transceivers

Since most open switches support high-speed transmissions, the matching transceivers are QSFP28, QSFP+, and SFP28. Only some 10G and 1G open switches will need to use SFP+ and SFP transceivers. By the way, viewing the trend, you will find 25G Ethernet has been deployed by many enterprise users in recent years for high bandwidth need. Accordingly, the 25G open switch has been a more economical and efficient choice than 1G or 10G switches. Also, the 25G switch will be the best solution to pave the road for the upcoming 100G/400G Ethernet in the future.

Summary

Just like the agility and simplicity the Cumulus Linux has advocated, it brings a truly economical and open network environment for users. With so many choices for open switch type, CPU, chip, and supported transceivers, it liberates the choices for open switches, which begets an open networking market in the end.

Open Switch—One Contributor to Open Source Network

With the higher and higher demand for network agility and scalability, traditional networking has been no longer satisfying. In that case, the open source network has been an urgent need. To meet with this new trend, here comes our open switch, a great contributor to the open networking.

What Is Open Switch?

Open switches refer to switches in which the hardware and software are separate components that can be changed independently of each other. That means you will gain more flexibility to tailor your own network switch. Conventionally, the open source switch in the market can mainly be classified into the bare metal switch, white box switch, and brite box switch.

Open Switch

Figure 1:Open Switch

Open Switch Hardware

The open hardware means the hardware of an open switch can support multiple operating systems (OS). This is in contrast to closed switches, in which the hardware and software are always purchased together. For example, if you buy a Juniper EX or MX you also buy JUNOS; if you buy a Cisco Catalyst switch you buy IOS. However, things will be different with open switches. In the context of that, no matter which type of open source switch you are using, it’s possible to support many operating systems instead of a proprietary one. By the way, the hardware manufacturers of the open switch are primarily Taiwanese, including Accton, Quanta QCT, Alpha Networks, and Delta Computer. These same companies are original design manufacturers (ODMs) for many of the mainstream switch vendors.

Open Hardware

Figure 2: Open Hardware

Open Switch Software

The open software signifies that an OS can be run on multiple hardware configurations. As we mentioned before, you don’t need to buy an OS from the original brand of your switch hardware. For example, if you have Cumulus Linux, you can buy a layer 3 switch without a brand label. They still work well with each other. In the past, most people have no choice but to use brite box switch that integrates OS and hardware of branded suppliers. Now, with an open switch software, choices and economic efficiency will be largely expanded and improved. Generally, there are three popular open softwares in the market: Cumulus Linux, IP Infusion OcNOS and Pica8 PICOS.

Cumulus Linux Software

Figure 3: Cumulus Linux Software

Why Choose Open Switch?

  • With an open source switch, more flexibility, and options can be enjoyed. There is no need to configure your switch as in the past or wait for vendors to release new software or hardware.
  • It brings the open source network to operators, enterprises, third-party vendors and network users, accelerates the innovation speed of new services and functions of the network deployment, and takes users closer to SDN (software-defined network) and NFV (network functions virtualization).
  • The network simplicity and reliability can be improved through the automated centralized network device management, unified deployment strategies, and fewer configuration errors.
  • The network flexibility and scalability have been greatly increased, which will also save much cost and time for IT workers and enterprises.

Summary

In this post, we make an exploration of the open switch. From the introduction to its hardware, software, and benefits, we can understand why the open switch has been a great facilitator for open networking.

10GbE RJ45 Switch Recommendations

Over the years, the advent of more affordable 10GBASE-T copper solutions has seen growing adoption. And modern business, from sales and marketing to technical support and service, has become increasingly dependent on a fast and reliable network. With a 10GbE RJ45 switch, people can better manage and protect their networks, avoiding network congestion at busy time and shortening the response time to customers and then bring new products to the market faster. Here, we’ll recommend some 10GbE RJ45 switches for your references.

10GbE RJ45 switch

The Reason of Choosing 10GbE RJ45 Switch

10GbE means the speed will be 10 times faster than a normal Gigabit network. Visually, there’s no difference. But if you need to copy large files, a 10GbE switch is necessary. However, why we use the RJ45 type, not the fiber one? Because RJ45 ports can be connected by the copper cables which are something we all are used to. And SFP switch is popular in data centers, which needs to be connected by the expensive fiber cables. RJ45 switch is better since it can be backward compatible with people’s older computers. This is a perfect solution for home use or SMB, since these users would not like to cost too much to buy fibers or new optical equipment. Therefore, a 10GBASE-T switch is their first option.

FS 10GbE RJ45 Switch Recommendations

As a reputable supplier, FS understands the importance of reliable and high performance networks for home users and SMB users. The 10GbE RJ45 switches from FS present the right solution for these users. The following are two RJ45 switches from FS.

S5800-48F4S
S5850-48T4Q
Description
48-port 1Gb SFP and 4-port 10Gb SFP+
48 x 10GBase-T ports and 4 x 40Gb uplinks
Switching Class
Layer2/3
Layer2/3, data center, Metro
Switching Capacity
176Gbps
1.28Tbps
Forwarding Rate
130.95Mpps
952.32Mpps
Latency
2.3us
612ns

S5800-48F4S and S5850-48T4Q switches come with different port designs. With different switching capacity and forwarding rate, they are made to meet various demands.

Highlights

Both S5800-48F4S and S5850-48T4Q 10GBASE-T switches provide comprehensive L2 or L3 features like MLAG, SNMP etc. in order to meet current and future needs on virtualization, converged networking and mobility. Each port can automatically detect which device is connected to the switch and what speed is needed, then support the device with sufficient speed. Both S5800-48F4S and S5850-48T4Q data switches will give the exact speed like 100MB, 1, 5 or 10 Gigabit that is required without downgrade. In addition, the ports of these switches can be connected with regular Cat5 cables. As a result, there is no need to change into Cat6 or Cat7 wiring. Also, FS data switch uses a Web-based management. Users can easily manage the device through a handy Web-based tool.

Conclusion

10GbE RJ45 switch is the ideal choice for small businesses that want an affordable network switch solution. Whether you are working with a small network of just 10G connections, or a large campus or enterprise network with higher links speed, FS has the right switch for you. Any question about buying issues, please feel free to contact us via sales@fs.com.

Understanding Power Consumption of PoE Ethernet Switch

As PoE changes to meet today’s increasing application requirements like IP cameras or WiFi access points, it’s widely used for enterprises networks. Using a PoE or PoE+ switch, technicians can simplify the cabling installation because the PoE technology can support power and data transmission over the same cables. When choosing a PoE Ethernet switch, we always care about the ports and power consumption most. This article will introduce the power consumption of PoE Ethernet switch and take two PoE Ethernet switches as examples to explain power consumption.

What Is Power Consumption of PoE Ethernet Switch?

At present, PoE power consumption follows two standards, IEEE 802.3af and 802.3at. The original IEEE 802.3af rules that power consumption on each port of a PoE network switch can be up to 15.4W. The updated IEEE 802.3at standard also named PoE+, which is backward-compatible with IEEE 802.3af, provides up to 30W of power on each port. However, because the power dissipate exists in cables, the minimum output power assured on each port for PoE switch is 12.95W, and 25.5W for PoE+ switch.

power consumption standard

Figure 1: IEEE 802.3af and IEEE 802.3at standards.

The key to successful PoE installation is to ensure that the selected power over Ethernet switch provides the necessary watts of PoE required for each device, and the total power consumption also must be guaranteed for powering all devices. Simply put, the total power consumption of all the connected devices must be controlled in the range of the PoE switch max power consumption.

How Many Devices Can I Connect to My PoE Ethernet Switches?

Power consumption of 150W and 400W are the most popular choices on the market. The following are two switches from FS, 8 port PoE switch and 24 port PoE switch, and we’ll use them to further explain the question how many devices can we connect to my PoE Ethernet switches.

PoE Ethernet switches applications

Figure 2: How many devices can be connected to a PoE switch?

How Many Devices Can the 8 Port PoE Switch Connect?

FS S1150-8T2F switch is a managed PoE+ switch. It has 8 10/100/1000Base-T RJ45 ports, and 2 Gigabit SFP slots. Its PoE standard complies with IEEE802.3af/at. And designed with a max power consumption of 150W, each port can support up to 30W power. This means the switch provides the availability of PoE on all 8 RJ45 ports, and each port can potentially power devices that are connected. From the above, we know the standard PoE can supply 15.4W power for each port, and 30W for PoE+. Therefore, this switch can simultaneously connect 8(15.4W×8=123.2W<150W) devices that use IEEE 802.3af standard, and only 5(30W×5=150W) devices that use IEEE 802.3at standard. For example, if a typical outdoor IP camera needs a PoE power of 20W, the connection of 7 typical IP cameras will require 140W of PoE power (7×20W), which is well within the power consumption of this network switch.

How Many Devices Can the 24 Port PoE Switch Connect?

FS S1400-24T4F managed PoE+ switch is designed with 24 Gigabit PoE+ ports, 1 console port and 4 Gigabit SFP ports. This switch complies with IEEE 802.3af/at with a max power consumption of 400W and 30W for each port. Through a calculation, we know the 24 port switch can connect 24(15.4W×24=369.6W<400W) devices with PoE standard at the same time, and support 13(30W×13=390W<400W) devices with PoE+ standard. And as for the same outdoor IP camera with a power requirement of 20W, the 24 port switch can support 20(20×20W=400W) cameras.

Conclusion

Knowing the power consumption of PoE Ethernet switches is very important. If you want to connect multiple devices to a PoE switch, you need to calculate the total power consumption that all the devices require, and make sure you PoE switch can provide the needed current.