Category Archives: Network Solutions

Recommendations for Gigabit Switch with 10G Uplink Port

Gigabit network switches connect Ethernet devices in a network while providing great performance capabilities. In many network structures, gigabit Ethernet switches are often used as access switches that connect devices in a local area network. As the pace of network migration is getting fast, the need for gigabit switch with 10G uplink is growing too. And numbers of network administrators desire to apply 1G switch with 10G uplink in their systems.

Understanding Gigabit Switch with 10G Uplink Port and Its Market

Gigabit switches with multiple port configurations enable the network capacity to expand in consumer or corporate environments. For example, an 8-port gigabit switch can provide fast transmission speed for office users, and an 24-port gigabit switch works effectively for small and mid-sized business networks (SMBs). While 802.11ac has changed the way business support the quantity of devices connecting to each other. For network switches in last three years, 10G uplink added significantly to the cost for the switches with less than 48 ports, which isn’t what the customer want.

FS gigabit switch with 10G uplink port

Over the years, gigabit switches in the market usually come with gigabit SFP port. When users want to find one 1G switch with 10G uplink port to speed their networks, they find most gigabit switches with 10G uplink port only exist in 48-port gigabit Ethernet switches. However, not every user needs a 48-port gigabit switch for their applications. But they have to pay for the extra ports which they do not use. Considering this, a multitude of vendors like Dell, FS.COM, MikroTik, Netgear and D-link begin to supply gigabit switch with 10G uplink in the market. Now except for the early 48-port gigabit switch, 8-port, 16-port and 24-port gigabit switches with 10G uplink are available in the gigabit switch market for different size applications.

Recommendations for Popular Gigabit Switches with 10G Uplink Port

48-port gigabit switches are the early type of network switches that provide 10G uplink port. And numbers of users are familiar with this switch. Now there is a multitude of 8-port and 24-port gigabit switches with 10G uplink port appear in the switch market, which satisfy users’ demand as well as boom the market. Here are popular 24-port gigabit switches coming with 10G SFP+ uplink port.

Gigabit Switch Mode 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports Gigabit SFP SFP+ Uplink ports Switching Capacity Forwarding Rate Layer Support Price

FS S3700-24T4S

24

/

4

128Gbps

95.232Mpps

Layer 2+

$289

MikroTik
CRS226-24G-2S+RM

24

/

2

88Gbps

No Info

Layer 3

$299

D-Link DGS-1510-28X

24

/

4

128Gbps

95.24Mpps

Layer 2+

$395

FS S3800-24T4S

24

/

4

128Gbps

95Mpps

Layer 2+

$299

Zyxel XGS4600-32

24

4 combo

4

136Gbps

101.1Mpps

Layer 3

$1477

From the chart we can see, all the gigabit switches listed above provide 24 port 10/100/1000 Ethernet RJ45 ports. Apart from the MikroTik CRS226-24G-2S+RM 24-port gigabit switch that only has 2 SFP+ ports, the leaf gigabit switches come with 4 10G SFP+ ports for uplink to fully exploit the power of 10G servers and storage supporting high bandwidth applications like data backup and replication, and high-volume transaction processing. And they support extensive Layer 2+ or 3 features, enabling them have the same performance as 48-port gigabit switches.

In addition, with the 10G uplink port, most 1G switches can realize stacking or uplink, which make the entire network more efficient. Lots of users have complained that 10G links are expensive, thus getting cheaper, but still not cheap. However, from the chart, the price of four 24-port gigabit switches with 10G uplink port above is less than $400, which is really cost-effective for today’s Ethernet networks.

Summary

Gigabit switches with 10G uplink port can provide high speed data pipes to servers and storage devices. By taking advantage of the SFP+ fiber optic connectivity, those 8-port or 24-port 1G Ethernet switches offer an ideal solution for remote and branch offices.

What’s the Difference: 10GBASE-SR vs 1000BASE-SX

As the development of fiber optic network, there appears lots of industry standards for fiber optic transceivers. Although transceivers with different standards may have different features and performance, they sometimes can be used in the same switch port. Thus, many people may get confused by these transceivers. For example, 10GBASE-SR and 1000BASE-SX transceivers can both be inserted into the Cisco Catalyst 2960S-48TD-L switch, but the 10GBASE-SR transceiver may not work fine with the 1000BASE-SX module in another switch. Why? This post will discuss 10GBASE-SR vs 1000BASE-SX and whether 10GBASE-SR transceiver can down-support connect to 1000BASE-SX transceiver.

connect 10GBASE-SR to 1000BASE-SX

10GBASE-SR vs 1000BASE-SX

As mentioned above, 10GBASE-SR and 1000BASE-SX are two kinds of industry standards for fiber optic transceivers. This part will introduce them in turns.

10GBASE-SR

10GBASE-SR is defined in the IEEE 802.3 Clause 49 standard, specially designed for multi-mode fiber optic medium that uses 850 nm lasers. It has a data transmission rate of up to 10.3125 Gbps and can be used over multiple cabling options. But the transmission distance may differ as the fiber cable changes. For example, when used over OM1 cabling, the 10GBASE-SR has a maximum working distance of 33 meters, as opposed to 82 meters when applied over OM2 cabling. Nowadays, the 10GBASE-SR module usually applied over OM3 and OM4 cablings to give a more structured optical cabling used in large buildings. And the transmission distance respectively are 300m and 400m.

1000BASE-SX

Like 10GBASE-SR, 1000BASE-SX is also an IEEE 802.3z standard for the multi-mode fiber optic cabling. But it has a minimum transmission distance of 220m and a maximum of 550m. Offering 1Gbps data transmission rate, 1000BASE-SX modules are mainly used to connect high-speed hubs, Ethernet switches, and routers together in different wiring closets or buildings using long cabling runs.

Can 10GBASE-SR Transceiver Down-Support Connect to 1000BASE-SX Transceiver?

10GBASE-SR modules are generally referring to 10GBASE-SR SFP+ transceivers, and 1000BASE-SX modules are usually 1000BASE-SX SFP transceivers. And since SFP+ and SFP transceivers share the same size (as shown below), SFP transceivers can often used in most SFP+ ports (For example, almost all SFP+ ports of Cisco switch can accept SFP transceivers). Then can a 10GBASE-SR SFP+ transceiver down-support connect to the 1000BASE-SX SFP transceiver?

10GBASE-SR vs 1000BASE-SX

10GBASE-SR vs 1000BASE-SX Transceivers

The answer is no. Unlike copper SFP transceivers, 10GBASE-SR SFP+ transceivers do not have such functions as auto-negotiation. In fact, both 10GBASE-SR SFP+ and 1000BASE-SX SFP transceivers can only run at the rated speed fixed by the electro-optical conversion ASIC built into the transceiver hardware. That’s to say, 10GBASE-SR SFP+ transceivers can only run at 10Gbps and 1000BASE-SX SFP transceivers run at 1Gbps. So there is no such fiber link that one end does 1G while the other end does 10G.

10GBASE-SR vs 1000BASE-SX: Have You Known the Differences?

To conclude, although 10GBASE-SR and 1000BASE-SX share something in common, they are totally different Ethernet standards for transceivers. 10GBASE-SR SFP+ transceivers mainly work in 10G links, while 1000BASE-SX transceivers can only run at 1Gbps even though in the SFP+ slot. Thus, it will not work out to connect a 10GBASE-SR SFP+ transceiver with a 1000BASE-SX SFP transceiver.

Hyperconverged Infrastructure Basics

Hyperconverged infrastructure has been talked a lot in recent years and its adoption is skyrocketing in data centers. However, many people are still confused by this term. This post will introduce it in details.

What’s Hyperconverged Infrastructure

Hyperconverged infrastructure is often named HCI. It is introduced in 2012 to describe a fully software-defined IT infrastructure that virtualizes all the elements of conventional hardware-defined systems. In other words, the networking and storage tasks in the hyperconverged infrastructure are implemented virtually through software rather than physically in hardware. Generally, hyperconverged infrastructure is at least composed of virtualized computing (a Hypervisor), a virtualized SAN (software-defined storage) and virtualized networking (Software-defined networking). It can be utilized as a way to pool together resources so as to maximize the interoperability of on-premises infrastructure.

Hyperconverged Infrastructure

Hyperconverged Infrastructure VS Converged Infrastructure

Hyperconverged infrastructure and converged infrastructure are two alternative solutions to replace the traditional IT infrastructure. This part will tell the differences between them to help you choose one over another for your network deployment.

Hyperconverged Infrastructure VS Converged Infrastructure

Hyperconverged VS Converged Infrastructure Components

Converged infrastructure defines compute, storage, networking and server virtualization—which are the four core components in a data center—as one dense building block. Hyperconverged infrastructure is born from converged infrastructure and the idea of the software-defined data center (SDDC). Besides the data center’s four core components, hyperconverged infrastructure integrates more components such as backup software, snapshot capabilities, data deduplication, inline compression, WAN optimization and so on.

Hyperconverged VS Converged Infrastructure Principle

Hyperconverged infrastructure is a software defined approach. It means the infrastructure operations are logically separated from the physical hardware, and all components in a hyperconverged infrastructure have to stay together to function correctly. While converged infrastructure is a hardware-focused, building-block approach. Each component in a converged infrastructure is discrete and can be used for its intended purpose. For example, the server can be separated and used as a server, just as the storage can be separated and used as functional storage.

Hyperconverged VS Converged Infrastructure Principle

Hyperconverged VS Converged Infrastructure Cost

Converged infrastructure allows IT to use a single vendor for end-to-end support for all core components instead of the traditional approach where IT might buy storage from one vendor, network from another and compute from another. It also offers a smaller footprint and less cabling, which can reduce the cost of installation and maintenance.

Hyperconverged infrastructure allows IT to build, scale and protect your IT infrastructure more affordably and effectively. For example, a 10GbE Access Layer Switch (8*10/100/1000Base-T+8*1GE SFP Combo+12*10GE SFP+) specially for hyperconverged infrastructure only costs US$ 1,699. And the software-defined intelligence reduces operational management, providing automated provisioning of compute and storage capacity for dynamic workloads.

Conclusion

It is reported that hyperconverged infrastructure will represent over 35 percent of total integrated system market revenue by 2019. This makes it one of the fastest-growing and most valuable technology segments in the industry today. The upfront costs of hyperconverged infrastructure may be a little high now, but in the long term it can pay off.

Latency: What’s the Differences Between Fiber and Copper?

Fiber optic communication has development rapidly in recent years. And in many applications fiber cable has replaced copper cable for higher speed and higher bandwidth applications. Therefore, numbers of people claim that fiber optic lines have lower latency than copper connections, while others do not think so. Then what’s the latency differences between fiber and copper?

fiber-vs-copper latency

Latency in Fiber and Cooper

Before comparing the latency differences between fiber and copper, latency refers to a time delay between stimulation and its response. Usually, it’s caused by velocity limitations in a physical system. Put it in simple terms, latency is the time it takes for a signal to travel from one place to another place. And there are diverse types of latency: network latency, Internet latency, audio latency, WAN latency, etc. No mater in a fiber optic network or a copper network, latency can be described as distance and speed. In addition, latency does exist. It’s just a question of fast or slow. One key factor that affects the latency is the signal speed in transmission media. Fiber and copper are two of transmission media. The type of media used in communication system depends on the bandwidth and transmission distance required by the application.

Fiber Latency

As we know, the speed of light in free space is about 3×10meter per second. While the speed of light in air is slower than that in a vacuum. So does in the glass. Therefore, when an optical signal travels in a fiber link, there are five latency contributors: two are created when the signal moves from the electrical domain to the optical; another contribution occurs as the signal goes through the optical fiber; and as the signal is converted from the optical domain to the electrical, latency occurs.

fiber latency

Copper Latency

Signals in copper cables are easy to be interrupted by around environments, especially in longer distance transmission. The signals will attenuate as distance increases, which will lead to data transmission error, page error and make users feel slow speed at the moment. Actually the transmission speed doesn’t slow slow down. Besides, alien crosstalk also would cause transmission errors and latency.

copper latency

Fiber vs Copper: What’s the Latency Difference?

Signals are transmitted at 2/3 the speed of light in fiber optic cables. In copper it can be faster than that. However, this cannot account for system latency. In longer distance, latency in fiber optic system is lower because of less need for processing and repeating of the signals. While signals in copper are affected by electromagnetic interference and are prone to higher rates of loss over long distances.

In addition, no mater in a fiber optic network or a copper network, latency can be described as distance and speed. In addition, during the whole transmission process, serialization delay that shows how fast a data pocket can be serialized onto the wire, has far more impact on shorter distances. For example, it will take 8ms to serialize a 1500-byte packet on 1.5Mbps link, while it will only need 1.2us on 10Gbps, or less on higher speed. That shows speed makes a significant difference.

Summary

In a word, the latency differences between fiber and copper are influenced by transmission distance, speed and environments. For shorter distance, copper cables can be the first choices, for the delay in it does not mean much and its low cost. For longer distance transmission, fiber cable offers lower latency for the whole network and can be an optimal choice.

Compatible SFP Modules for Mikrotik CRS125-24G-1S-IN & CRS125-24G-1S-RM

Mikrotik CRS125-24G-1S series cloud router switch is available in CRS125-24G-1S-IN and CRS125-24G-1S-RM two models. It combines the best features of a fully functional router and a Layer 3 switch, is powered by the familiar RouterOS. As we know, these two models switch both have one SFP port. Then, what SFP modules can you choose for your switch? This blog will give some choices.

Overview for CRS125-24G-1S-IN and CRS125-24G-1S-RM Switch
As show in the figure below, both CRS125-24G-1S-IN and CRS125-24G-1S-RM switches have 24 RJ45 ports and 1 SFP port. One is a desktop type, and the other is a 1U rackmount type. You can according to your specific needs to choose the right one.

CRS125-24G-1S-IN CRS125-24G-1S-RM

Detailed specifications for CRS125-24G-1S and CRS125-24G-1S-RM are listed in the following table:

CPU Qualcomm Atheros AR9344 600 MHz
Memory 128MB
Ethernet 24x 10/100/1000 Mbit/s Gigabit Ethernet with Auto-MDI/X
Expansion microUSB port
Storage 128MB Onboard NAND with multiple OS partition support
Serial port One RJ45 serial port
Extras Reset switch; beeper; voltage and temperature monitoring, touchscreen LCD
Power options 8-28V, 24V 0.8A PSU included
Case dimensions 285x145x45mm
Temperature -35C to +65C tested
OS MikroTik RouterOS v6, Level 5 license
Included CRS switch, power adapter, and USB OTG cable (for 4G dongle or USB drive)

User Guide for CRS125-24G-1S-IN and CRS125-24G-1S-RM Switch
The CRS125-24G-1S and CRS125-24G-1S-RM are preinstalled with RouterOS and are ready to use. Switch is compatible with RouterOS v6 and newer, if your switch comes preinstalled with an earlier version, please upgrade before using it. For CRS125-24G-1S and CRS125-24G-1S-RM: All the ports are switched. Both models can be accessed though the IP 192.168.88.1, username is admin and there is no password. Please connect with your web browser to this IP address to configure it.

Compatible SFP Modules for CRS125-24G-1S-IN & CRS125-24G-1S-RM Switch
According to Mikrotik cloud router switch guide, CRS125-24G-1S-IN and CRS125-24G-1S-RM switches are compatible with 1.25G SFP modules. SFP+ port supports only modules up to 10KM LR (long reach). FS.COM provides a full range of compatible 1.25G SFP modules at high quality and low price, which can work well in Mikrotik switches. 1000BASE-SX SFP modules are only sold at US$  6.00. Part of the products from FS that are compatible with this Mikrotik CRS125-24G-1S-IN and CRS125-24G-1S-RM switches are listed below for your reference.

FS P/N Description
SFP-GB-GE-T Generic Compatible 1000BASE-T SFP Copper RJ-45 100m Transceiver
SFP-GB-GE-T Generic Compatible 10/100/1000BASE-T SFP Copper RJ-45 100m Transceiver
SFP1G-SX-85 Generic Compatible 1000BASE-SX SFP 850nm 550m DOM Transceiver
SFP1G-SX-31 Generic Compatible 1000BASE-SX SFP 1310nm 2km DOM Transceiver
SFP-LX Generic Compatible 1000BASE-LX/LH SFP 1310nm 10km DOM Transceiver