Category Archives: Fiber Optic Switch

MPLS vs Ethernet for WAN Connectivity

A WAN (Wide Area Network) is a communications network that spans geographically dispersed areas such as across cities, states or countries. A business may have a WAN comprised of cloud services, its headquarters and smaller branch offices, so the WAN is used to connect all sites together. The two most popular WAN connectivity options are MPLS ((Multiprotocol Label Switching) and Ethernet. To help subscribers analyze the differences between MPLS and Ethernet, this side-by-side MPLS vs Ethernet comparison provides a quick overview of the pros and cons of each WAN connectivity option.

MPLS vs Ethernet

What is MPLS?

MPLS is a protocol for efficient network traffic flow between multiple locations. MPLS operates similarly on a data switch and router, sitting between layers 2 and layer 3 network. MPLS uses labels for fast packets forwarding and routing within a network. In MPLS network, the MPLS switch (typically Gigabit Ethernet switch and 10GbE switch) transfers data by popping off its label and sending the packet to the next switch label in the sequence. The main benefits of MPLS network service are listed as below.

  • Reliability: MPLS is most widely used way to interconnect data centers with remote offices and branches to other branches since MPLS does require an entire block of IPs.
  • Service: With MPLS, there is a higher service level agreement that include delivery guarantees for speed and class of service (COS), unlike consumer broadband.
  • Labor Cost: MPLS allows businesses to leave WAN routing to the service provider and keep fewer WAN engineers on staff.

What is Ethernet?

Ethernet is a network protocol that controls how data is transmitted over a LAN (Local Area Network), such as those in a room, office, building or campus. As a point-to-point system, an Ethernet network uses Ethernet cables to connect PCs, switches or routers. Most desktop and laptop computers come with integrated an Ethernet card so that it’s easy to connect. Although the functionality of Ethernet is not as high-performing as that of an MPLS network, there are still some merits making it appealing.

  • Affordability: Although the scalability of Ethernet is smaller than that of MPLS, Ethernet is more affordable than MPLS, thus becoming the optimal choice for small and medium sized businesses.
  • Simplicity: Ethernet is best for connecting one data center to another, including using metro Ethernet to connect corporate sites dispersed geographically.
  • Professional Resources: Ethernet gives in-house WAN engineers control and responsibility over routing.
  • Disaster Recovery: Ethernet offers low latency and high output, which is ideal for disaster recovery.
  • Availability: Ethernet exchanges have made Ethernet WAN services available in more locations.

MPLS vs Ethernet for the WAN

Take a closer look at the subtle difference between MPLS vs Ethernet for the WAN connectivity from the chart below.

Parameter MPLS Ethernet
Scalability Scale to over thousands of sites Scale to up to hundreds of sites
Application Interconnect data centers with branch offices and branches to other branches Interconnect data centers
WAN routing Leave WAN routing to the service provider and keep fewer WAN engineers on staff Give WAN engineers control and responsibility over routing
WAN protocol behavior Handle any-to-any connectivity, including voice and video Offer low-latency and high-throughput, which is ideal for disaster recovery.
Quality of service (QoS) QoS options to enable preferential treatment of latency-sensitive traffic like VoIP Network engineers can bypass QoS complexity by hooking switches directly to Ethernet pipes
WAN management Complex Simple
Cost High Low

Summary

When weighing the pros and cons of MPLS vs Ethernet, make sure to examine your business needs and understand the resources available within the network, as well as what options exist in your geographic area. Most ISPs nowadays also offer an ISP-managed MPLS service, so they can manage the equipment, and basically get an Ethernet handoff to a switch, which is the so called “MPLS over Ethernet”. No matter which solution you would prefer, your network selection will influence the quality, reliability, service and cost of your WAN connectivity.

LAN vs WAN vs MAN: Which One to Choose?

Network is essential for establishing communications among devices such as computers, routers, or fiber switches to operate over the area they cover. LAN (Local Area Network), WAN (Wide Area Network) and MAN (Metropolitan Area Network) are the three most prevalent types of networks that are utilized today. There are some similarities and differences between them. LAN vs WAN vs MAN, which one should you choose?

LAN vs WAN vs MAN

What Is LAN?

LAN is an interconnection of a group of related networking devices within a small geographical area where the distance between these devices is small. Some of the LANs also cover the networks in office , school, and home. Most of the LANs are built for the purpose of sharing vital resources such as printers and exchanging files.

LAN is also widely used to provide services such as sharing computer applications, gaming and accessing the internet. This type of network is under the control of one administrator who is in charge of the configurations and settings and other devices connected through Ethernet cables and wireless routers.

What Is WAN?

WAN is a kind of network connection between multiple networking devices over a large geographical area. The connection can be between different cities or even countries. A WAN network can be a collection of small networks that have been combined, or it can be as a result of various private business entities. One good example of WAN is the internet, since it connects computers from different corners of the world.

The WAN network is too complex to be managed by private administrators. Therefore, WANs usually have a public ownership, where network devices in this network can be connected either by cables or through a wireless connection.

What Is MAN?

As the name suggests, MAN is a type of network that connects network devices within a specific geographical area. MAN lies in between LAN and WAN. The area covered by MAN network is larger than that in LAN but smaller than that in WAN. MANs are mostly used to provide fast connections to cities and large institutions.

MAN experiences comparatively high speeds to facilitate fast sharing of resources such as files within a city. One main disadvantage of the MAN is the high cost. The technology deployed for MAN network is pricier than that of LAN and WAN.

Key Comparison Between LAN vs WAN vs MAN

LAN vs WAN vs MAN, there are similarities and differences between them as listed in the chart below.

Parameter LAN MAN WAN
Ownership of Network Private Private or Public Private or Public
Design and Maintenance Easy Difficult Difficult
Propagation Delay Short Moderate Long
Speed High Moderate Low
Congestion Less More More
Application College, School, Hospital Small towns, City Country/Continent

Conclusion

Generally speaking, there are many advantages of LAN over MAN and WAN. LAN provides excellent reliability, high data transmission rate, and they can easily be managed. However, LAN cannot cover cities or towns and for that MAN is needed, which can connect city or a group of cities together. WAN is not restricted to a geographical location, although it might be confined within the bounds of a state or country. No matter which kind of network you choose, the routers or network switches you choose should be eligible to better satisfy your demand for network architecture. FS provides high performance gigabit PoE switch, 10 gigabit switch, 40 gigabit switch,etc. If you have any requirement, you can kindly visit www.fs.com.

VPLS vs MPLS: What’s the Difference?

The Internet has undergone tremendous changes and broken the barriers from the impossibilities to the possibilities. To seamlessly and securely get access to the Internet or Web is what we’re seeking along the way. VPLS and MPLS are two competing technologies to direct network traffic, letting you have speedy data transfer and communication. What is a VPLS or MPLS network? What’s the difference between VPLS vs MPLS? We’re gonna to elaborate them one by one.

What Is MPLS?

MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) is a type of communication that enables a service provider to provision cost effective and flexible “Virtual Private Networks” across a shared core network infrastructure. MPLS is used to send data and network traffic along the most efficient routes, which may be predetermined and are communicated using labels. Packets are carried on predetermined routes along point-to-point connections through label switch routers (LSRs) until they arrive at their destination. In MPLS network, the MPLS switch (eg. FS S5800-48F4S SFP switch) transfers data by popping off its label and sending the packet to the next switch label in the sequence. MPLS perfectly integrates the performance and traffic management capabilities of Layer 2 switching with the scalability and flexibility of Layer 3 routing.

MPLS Network

What Is VPLS?

VPLS (Virtual Private LAN Service) is a service that uses MPLS and VPN (Virtual Private Networking) to securely and seamlessly connect multiple LANs over the Internet, making them appear as if they were all on the same LAN. VPLS enables a service provider to extend a Layer 2 network across geographically dispersed sites using a shared core network infrastructure. VPLS works by creating a virtualized Ethernet switch at the provider’s edge to link remote sites. VPLS happens at Layer 2, and the carrier builds out the network, but the customer can do their own routing if they wish. This approach is ideal for corporations that have multiple data center footprints and office or remote locations that require low-latency connections between sites.

VPLS Network

VPLS vs MPLS: Factors to Consider When Choosing Them

When deciding over VPLS vs MPLS for connectivity between remote locations, there are multiple factors to consider. We’ll look into them one by one.

Switching Layer

One of the main benefits of VPLS over MPLS are the levels of security offered. As aforementioned, VPLS extend a Layer 2 network across geographically dispersed sites using a shared core network infrastructure. While MPLS perfectly integrates the performance and traffic management capabilities of Layer 2 switching with the scalability and flexibility of Layer 3 routing. VPLS does not share layer 3 routing tables with the service provider, while MPLS may do so, means that VPLS is generally the better solution for highly-sensitive data.

Network Size & Traffic

Generally, MPLS can deliver a wider type of network traffic than VPLS. VPLS is typically used for fewer locations that need very high speeds, very simple networks with high performance and high security. Thus, if you desire to connect entities such as data centers across the long-haul network backbone, VPLS is preferable as an Ethernet-based connection strategy. If a customer had hundreds of locations across the country who needs voice, data and video traffic to be carried to all locations, MPLS might make more sense because it is protocol-agnostic and can handle multiple types of traffic. MPLS may be an even clearer choice where large numbers of branches are involved.

Levels of Scalability

Another key difference between MPLS and VPLS is the inherent level of scalability. Due to the manner in which these two technologies interact with your network, MPLS is considered to be far more scalable. Using a backbone of MPLS for maximum network access and scalability, together with VPLS connections for more sensitive data often represents the best possible compromise, you would make the most of both protocols and substantially increase network efficiency.

Conclusion

Although MPLS and VPLS are different technologies, they are not mutually exclusive. Many businesses deploy both MPLS and VPLS protocols within their network in order to get the best of both worlds. FS provides gigabit ethernet switch and 10gbe switch which support both MPLS and VPLS. All these switches comes with rich L2/L3 business processing ability for core switching networks.

VPN vs VLAN: What’s the Difference?

As the popularity of the Internet has grown, many businesses are seeking for approaches to extend their own networks. First came Intranets, which are sites designed for use only by company employees. Nowadays, many of them are creating their own VPN (Virtual Private Network) or VLAN (Virtual Local Area Network) to accommodate the needs of remote employees and distant offices. What is a VPN and what is VLAN? This post will explain these two terms and the differences between VPN vs VLAN.

What Is a VPN?

A VPN is a virtual private network that utilizes a public network (usually the Internet) to connect remote sites or users together. A typical VPN network has a main local area network (LAN) at the corporate headquarters of a company, other LANs at remote offices or facilities, and individual users that connect from out in the field. Instead of using a dedicated leased line, a VPN uses “virtual” connections routed over a public or shared infrastructure such as the Internet or service provider backbone network. Therefore subscribers who are physically isolated from the main LAN can get access to the company’s private network and remotely.

VPN Applicable Network Scenario

Here is a typical example of using the VPN network. As illustrated in the figure below, Network “A” sites have established a VPN (depicted by the red lines) across the service provider’s backbone network, where Network “B” is completely unaware of it’s existence. Both Network “A” and Network “B” can harmoniously coexist on the same backbone infrastructure without interrupting each other.

VPN Network

What Is a VLAN–the Subcategory of VPN

A VLAN is a group of networking devices configured to communicate on one or more LANs as if they were attached to the same wire, but actually they are located on a number of different LAN segments. VLAN networks are based on logical instead of physical connections with great flexibility. A VLAN network defines broadcast domains in a Layer 2 network. A broadcast domain is the set of all devices performed to receive broadcast frames originating from any other device within the set. Broadcast domains are usually bounded by routers since routers do not forward broadcast frames.

VLAN Applicable Network Scenario

As shown in the figure below, Layer 2 network switches are used to create multiple broadcast domains based on the configuration of these switches. Each broadcast domain is just like a distinct virtual bridge within a switch. By adding a Layer 3 router, it possible to send traffic between VLANs while still containing broadcast traffic within VLAN boundaries. The router uses IP subnets to deliver traffic between VLANs. Each VLAN has a distinct IP subnet, and there is a one-to-one correspondence of VLAN and IP subnet boundaries.

VLAN Network

VPN vs VLAN: How They Differ From Each Other?

VPN vs VLAN, they are two different concepts but related to each other. A VLAN is a subcategory of VPN, but they are designed for different hierarchies. VPN constructs range from Layer 1 to Layer 3, while VLAN is purely a layer 2 construct. A VLAN is used to group multiple computers that are not usually within the same geographical areas into the same broadcast domain. A VLAN can also segregate computers in a larger local network into smaller networks for each office or department and shielding the data so that they do not act as if they are on same network even if they are in the same switch. However, a VPN is more often related to remote access to a company’s network resources. It’s a method of creating a smaller sub network on top of an existing bigger network compared with VLAN.

Summary

No matter which one you choose over VPN vs VLAN, the foremost thing is to get reliable network switches or routers implemented in VPN or VLAN networks. FS can always fulfill your requirements by offering gigabit ethernet switch, 10gbe switch, 40gbe switches, as well as new gigabit VPN routers. They’re with powerful data-handling capacity and high compatibility for applications in data centers and enterprises.

Data Switch vs Hub in a Home Network

Data switches and hubs are common networking devices used to regenerate degraded signals and split a signal into multiple signals. They are handy for splitting up an internet connection to your home network. But do you know how they work in a home network? If they both accomplish the same thing, what’s the difference between a data switch vs hub?

What Is a Data Switch?

A data switch is charged with the job of connecting smaller segments of a single network into a connected whole. It transfers data across a network segment using MAC addresses for reference. Data switches are extensively used in Ethernet local area networks. A data switch operates on the Data Link Layer of the OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) model. This means that data switches are fairly smarter than hubs, as they can route data on a dynamic level. If information is destined for a certain computer, the data switch will only send the data to this computer. This addresses our collision problem as switches use what is called micro-segmentation, which will be elaborated later in this article.

What Is a Hub?

Hub is a network device which controls number of switches and router for the whole network. A hub is a “dumb” device in that it broadcasts whatever it hears on the input port to all the output ports. The good thing about “dumb” devices is that they don’t need much configuration or maintenance. But this leads to collisions between data packets and a general degrading of network quality. If you have a hub set up between your router and the rest of your network, you’re setting yourself up for a huge headache. A hub looks just like a switch, but works differently on the inside. You connect devices to a hub using Ethernet cable and any signal sent from a device to the hub is simply repeated out on all other ports connected to the hub.

Data Switch vs Hub in a Home Network

Data switch vs hub? How do they differ from each other? Hubs are considered Layer 1 (Physical Layer) devices whereas data switches are put into Layer 2 (Data Link Layer). This is where hubs and switches mainly differ. The Data Link layer of the OSI model deals with MAC addresses and switches look at MAC addresses when they process an incoming frame on a port.

switch vs hub

Moreover, a data switch is much smarter but pricier than a hub. A data switch can actively manage the connections between the input port and the output ports, so you won’t run into the collision problem or any of the other issues that plague hubs. As you can see below, there are multiple collision domains or segments for the switch network. If computer A and computer B sent data to each other at the same time, you would have a collision. Computer A and computer C or D, however, will not experience a collision in the process. In comparison, for a hub network, there is just one collision domain, which means that if one computer transmits data, it would be interrupted by any of the other computers in the network. Thus, the more devices you connect to the hub, the more collisions there will be in the whole network. The following figure illustrates a data switch vs hub in collision domains.

switch vs hub in collision domain

Conclusion

Data switch vs hub, which one should you choose for a home network? If you purchased the device in question within the last few years, the chance is almost zero that it’s a hub. Historically, switches were expensive and hubs were cheap, but advances in technology have made switches so cheap that they don’t even bother making hubs anymore. Thus, nowadays data switches are higher-performance alternatives to hubs in a home network. FS provides a full set of high performance data switches, including gigabit ethernet switch, 10gb ethernet switch, 100gbe ethernet switch, etc. If you have any requirement, please kindly visit www.fs.com.

Related Article: What’s the Difference: Hub vs Switch vs Router