Tag Archives: Gigabit Switch

Do I Need a Gigabit Switch or 10/100Mbps Switch?

Ethernet network speeds have evolved significantly over time and typically range from Ethernet (802.11) at 10Mbps, Fast Ethernet (IEEE 802.3u) at 100Mbps, Gigabit Ethernet (IEEE 802.3-2008) at 1000Mbps and 10 Gigabit Ethernet (IEEE 802.3a) at 10Gbps. Meanwhile, Ethernet switches have also escalated from 10/100Mbps switches to Gigabit switches, 10GbE switch, and even 100GbE switches. The topic came up frequently that “Do I Need a Gigabit Switch or 10/100Mbps Switch?” Gigabit switch vs 10/100Mbps switch, which do I need to satisfy my network speeds requirement? This post will give you the answer.

Ethernet Speed

Gigabit Switch: the Mainstream on Network Switch Market

A Gigabit switch is an Ethernet switch that connects multiple devices, such as computers, servers, or game systems, to a Local Area Network (LAN). Small business and home offices often use Gigabit switches to allow more than one device to share a broadband Internet connection. A gigabit switch operates in the same manner, only at data rates much greater than standard or Fast Ethernet. People can use these switches to quickly transfer data between devices in a network, or to download from the Internet at maximum speeds of 1000Mbps. If a switch says “Gigabit”, it really means the same thing as 10/100/1000, because Gigabit switches support all three speed levels and will auto-switch to the appropriate one when something is plugged in. The following is a Gigabit 8 port poe switch with 8 x 10/100/1000Base-T RJ45 Ethernet ports.

8 port poe gigabit switches

10/100Mbps Switch: Still Alive and Well for Some Reason

10/100Mbps switch is a Fast Ethernet switch released earlier than Gigabit Ethernet switch. The data speed of 10/100Mbps switch is rated for 10 or 100Mbps. When a network switch says “10/100”, it means that each port on the switch can support both 10Mbps and 100Mbps connection speeds, and will usually auto-switch depending on what’s plugged into it. Currently, few devices run at 10Mbps, but it is still alive on the market for some reason. Actually, 10/100 is sufficient for internet browsing and Netflix. But if you will be doing more than one thing with your network connection, such as file transfers, or the set-top box, I would recommend you go with the Gigabit switch.

10/100Mbps Switch

Gigabit Switch vs 10/100Mbps Switch: How to Choose?

Network engineers who refresh the edge of their campus LAN encounter a fundamental choice: Stick with 100Mbps Fast Ethernet or upgrade to Gigabit Ethernet (GbE). Vendors will undoubtedly push network engineers toward pricier GbE, but network engineers need to decide for themselves which infrastructure is right for the business. Currently, Gigabit switch is much more popular than Fast Ethernet 10/100Mbps switch. Because gigabit switch used in tandem with a gigabit router will allow you to use your local network at speeds up to ten times greater than 10/100Mbps switch. If either of these component are not gigabit, the entire network will be limited to 10/100 speeds. So, in order to use the maximum amount of speed your network can pump out, you need every single component in your network (including you computers) to be gigabit compliant. In addition, by delivering more bandwidth and more robust management, Gigabit switches are also more energy efficient than 10/100Mbps switches. This offers enterprises the opportunity to lower their power consumption on the network edge.

Conclusion

There’s a multitude of switch options to choose from on the dazzling market. So, before determining the right switch for your network, you’re supposed to have a close look at your current deployment and future needs. But for most cases, we recommend you buy Gigabit Ethernet devices instead of Fast Ethernet devices, even if they cost a little bit more. FS provides a full set of Gigabit switches, including 8 port switch, 24 port switch, 48 port switch, etc. With these high performance Gigabit Ethernet switches, your local network will run faster with better internet speed.

Related articles: FS.COM Gigabit Switch Selection Guide

                             Fast Ethernet vs Gigabit Ethernet

Layer 2 vs Layer 3 Switch: How to Choose for VLAN?

With the advent of VLAN (Virtual Local Area Network), network managers can logically divide the physical LAN into different broadcast domains by spanning across multiple switches or even routers. The first series of VLAN switches on the market are Layer 2 switches which operate at Layer 2 of the ISO Reference Model. Soon afterwards, Layer 3 switches emerge as alternatives for VLAN and have gained incremental popularity. Layer 2 vs Layer 3 switch, which is more suitable for VLAN? We’re gonna elaborate it in this post.

VLAN

Layer 2 Switch—Switching Layer for OSI Model

A Layer 2 switch is a type of network switch or device that works on the data link layer via OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) model and utilizes MAC address to determine the path through which the frames are to be forwarded. It uses hardware based switching techniques to connect and transmit data in VLAN. By looking at the destination MAC address in the frame header, the Layer 2 switch interconnects multiple end nodes of VLAN and intelligently forwards traffic between them without unnecessary flooding of frames onto the network. Generally speaking, Layer 2 switches come with different types of interfaces like 10 Mbps, 100 Mbps, 1 Gbps, 10 Gbps, etc. They can support full-duplex communication on each of its port. They expand network by connecting to the rest of the devices in the fabric through high speed ports that can be connected to either another Layer 2 or Layer 3 switch.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Forwards packets based on the unique Media Access Control (MAC) address of each end station
  • Information is easily retrieved and data packets transferred quickly at the wire speed of the network
  • No setup or management is required
  • Cheap and easy to deploy
  • Improve security with low latency
  • Flow accounting capabilities

Cons

  • Can not apply any intelligence when forwarding packets
  • Unable to route packets based on IP address
  • Can not guarantee bandwidth to Voice over IP (VoIP) users

Layer 3 Switch—Routing Layer for Sub Network

Layer 3 switch, known as the routing layer, can provide logical partitioning of sub networks with scalability, security, and Quality of Service (QoS). As an enhancement feature, QoS goes beyond the simple packet prioritization found in CoS by providing bandwidth reservation and packet delay bounding. In Layer 3 system, the packets are sent to a specific next-hop IP address, based on destination IP address. Different from MAC addresses of Layer 2 switch, each IP packet in Layer 3 switch contains source and destination IP addresses. The backbone of the Internet, along with those of many large organizations, is built upon a Layer 3 foundation. The functions of a Layer 3 switch (or multilayer switch) combine some features of a Layer 2 switch and a router.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Use logical addressing to determine the paths to destination networks
  • Intelligent packet forwarding (routing) based on Layer 3
  • Enable a router to link different sub networks together
  • Segment a network into two or more VLANs
  • Enhance security controls to prevent unauthorized setup changes
  • Provide guaranteed Quality of Service (QoS)

Cons

  • Extra processing power and memory is required for Layer 3 switching
  • Prices are higher than for a Layer 2 switch
  • Require setup and management

Layer 2 vs Layer 3 Switch: How to Choose for VLAN?

Layer 2 vs Layer 3 switch: how to choose for VLAN? Small networks can be built using just Layer 2 devices, but most corporate networks contain a mix of Layer 2 and Layer 3 switches as illustrated in the figure below. The most significant difference between Layer 2 and Layer 3 switch is the routing method. Layer 3 switch is capable of inter-VLAN routing and does not need additional device connected like router on-a-stick. Since network architectures on Layer 2 switching allow end station connectivity, it is often practical to construct a VLAN via Layer 2 switch only. Because it can provide simple, inexpensive, high-performance connectivity for hundreds or even thousands of end stations. However, Layer 3 switches also maintained a presence at many points within a corporate network. For a while it presents minimal problems, since a majority of the data traffic stayed local to the sub network, which was increasingly being serviced by a Layer 3 switch.

layer 2 vs layer 3 network

Summary

When it comes to the choice between Layer 2 switch vs Layer 3 switch, remember that both Layer 2 and Layer 3 switch have seen the most striking infrastructure for VLAN over the past decade. Whether to choose a Layer 2 vs Layer 3 switch is dependent upon many factors, such as routing method, speed requirement, networking design, as well as your budge. But where to get reliable and high performance Layer 2 and Layer 3 network switch? FS.COM provides a full set of gigabit switch, 10gb switch, 40gb switch and 100gb switch with Layer 2 or Layer 3 feature, which can support advanced hardware based VLAN deployment.

Related Article: Layer 2 vs Layer 3 Switch: Which One Do You Need?

Ethernet Switches: to Stack or Not to Stack?

Over past years, stacking has escalated from a premium feature to a core constituent of an Ethernet switch. Stack switch has become more and more popular among users. When it comes to network design, you may often face two challenges: maximizing scalability and optimizing performance. Finding the right balance can be tricky. This is why you’ve considered stacking or not stacking when managing your Ethernet switches.

What Is Switch Stacking or Stack Switch?

Stack switch is a type of switch designed to be stacked on top of one another. Stackable Ethernet switch is now well established as a stable, standards-based connectivity technology to efficiently handle and manage bandwidth-hungry applications. Stacking allows you to manage multiple switches as a single entity and provides increased bandwidth between the switches. Stack switches can be placed in networking closets and stand alone as a whole unit. The feature sets of stack switch vary depending on vendor and platform. Most stack switches support advanced functions like QoS, multicasting, and VLAN management. For instance, the following FS S3800-24T4S stack switch gigabit is a 24-Port 10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit switch with QoS flow control and IP subnet-based VLAN. It supports up to 4 switches stacking and up to 96 Gigabit ports and 8 10G SFP+ ports per physical stack, providing up to 512Gbps total switching capacity for the network.

stack switch

To Stack or Not to Stack – Think Twice Before Buying

Whether an enterprise outfits its wiring closets with stack switch or not will depend on what services are needed and how much redundancy is required at the network edge. Stacking multiple switches allows for efficiency and ease of management when you do it right. The switch capacity of a stack is the total port density of the combined switches that are stacked together. For example, when you stack four 24-port switches, you will get one large 96-port switch when it comes to configuration. All these switches in the stack share a single IP address for remote administration instead of each stack unit having its own IP address.

In a small business where access to data and resources are critical, it is a wise option to choose stackable switches because they can significantly reduce downtime and make your network more resilient. In mission critical networks, if a switch within the stack went down, another switch would take over, ensuring that your network remains up and running uninterruptedly. In this way, stackable switches provide additional protection and redundancy for your network. Moreover, you can replace the breakdown switch in the stack without having your network offline for extended periods and impacting employee productivity in the process.

Approaches to Stack Ethernet Switches

Generally, there are mainly two ways to stack multiple network switches into a group. For stack switch with dedicated stacking ports, a stack cable is used to realize switch stacking among them. But only approved cable can be used as stack cable, or else it would cause damage to the switches. The other approach is to use the uplink ports on the switch to connect each switch together in the stacking system. Most stack switches on the market today can be stacked using several types of Ethernet ports including 10GBASE-T copper port, 10G SFP+ fiber port and 40G QSFP+ port as an uplink. For example, FS S3800-24F4S gigabit ethernet switch uses 4 10G SFP+ ports as uplink ports to stack between switches. Up to four of the same type of models can be stacked together via SFP+ transceivers (with fiber patch cable) or DAC cables. Here’s the video to show you how to stack FS S3800 series switches step by step.

FS.COM Stackable Managed Switch List

Model Switch Class Switching Capacity Gigabit RJ45 Ports SFP Ports SFP+ Ports Combo Ports Price
S3800-24T4S Layer2+ 128Gbps 24 N/A 4 N/A US$369
S3800-24F4S Layer2+ 128Gbps N/A 20 4 4 US$389
S5900-24S Layer3 480Gbps N/A N/A 24 N/A US$1999

Note: Please be careful about Ethernet switches in the market which are sold as “stackable” when they merely offer a single user interface, or central management interface, for getting to each individual switch unit. This approach is not stackable, but really “clustering”. You still have to configure every feature such as ACLs, QoS, Port mirroring, etc, individually on each switch.

Conclusion

As your business grows, is your network prepared to grow accordingly? Stack switches have become extremely popular for good reasons. They can simplify management and enhance switching capacity for easy network expansion. But for most customers, achieving super high availability may not be the goal. Then standalone switches are already enough for you rather than stack switches. Thus the pay-as-you-grow stack switch model is suitable for those who need flexibility, not only in their physical network, but also in the amount of traffic that is going through it.

Related Article: FS S5900-24S Stackable Switch: Affordable Option for Network Expansion

What Is a Gigabit Switch?

Nowadays, smart home and home automation are becoming more widespread. Small and medium enterprises have been developing vigorously. All of these phenomenons greatly promote the usage of Gigabit switch. For network engineers, Gigabit switch is an essential component in their network construction and can be an inexpensive and easy way to expand network in home and small business. This article is mainly conducted to popularize the generic concept and different types of Gigabit switch so as to help choose a suitable one for your networking.

Gigabit Switch

What Is a Gigabit Switch

In computer networking, a Gigabit Ethernet switch connects multiple devices, such as computers, servers, or game systems to a Local Area Network (LAN). It also empowers devices like 4K HDTVs and DVRs to connect directly to the internet without depending on Wi-Fi. With the ability of speeding up data transfer, it results in faster response time and better frame rate. In general, a Gigabit Ethernet switch expands network capacity via extra ports.

Types of Gigabit Switch

There are many different types of switches in the market. According to the quantity of devices you have and the people who use the network, you need to choose relevant switch. If you want to expand your network without big expense, the basic fiber optic Gigabit switch is a great choice for small and medium environments to boost performance and efficiency of network, such as 16-port and 24-port Gigabit switch. For home users, a 8-port Gigabit switch is enough. Here, we just introduce the basic concept of managed and unmanaged switch, PoE switch and stackable switch to help distinguish the functions of different types of Gigabit Ethernet switch.

  • Unmanaged Switch

Unmanaged switch is regularly used in home networking, small companies and businesses. A basic unmanaged gigabit Ethernet switch has no user configuration. So it is simple to set up. If you want to add more Ethernet ports, you can use these plug and play types of switches in your networking.

  • Managed Switch

Comparing to unmanaged switch, the primary advantage of managed switch is that it can be customized to enhance the functionality of a certain network. It can also be monitored and adjusted in some aspects. It adjusts speeds, monitors traffic and report network activity. Although a managed switch is typically more expensive than an unmanaged switch, it offers greater flexibility.

  • PoE Switch

PoE Gigabit switch is a network switch which applies Power over Ethernet technology. When connected with multiple network devices, PoE switch can support power and data transmission over one network cable at the same time. It will extremely simplify the cabling process.

PoE Gigabit switch

  • Stackable Switch

A stackable switch is a network switch that is fully functional operating standalone. But it can also be set up to operate together with one or more network switches. Since it can be configured, the stack of switch will automatically reroute in case of a port or cable failure.

Conclusion

This article concisely introduces four types of switches in networking: unmanaged switch, managed switch, PoE switch and stackable switch. When Gigabit switch is in an selection, the number of users your network supports should be given the utmost attention to. Broadly speaking, for small families, a 8-port Gigabit switch is adequate. While for SMBs or large enterprises with many network devices, a 24-port Gigabit switch can be used in offices to connect desktops or laptops. On the contrary, a 24-port Gigabit switch with a better prospect is more applied in small business network. Quality and standards are the foundation of FS.COM, if you have any need, FS.COM will always be your best choice.

Related Articles: What Is SFP Port of Gigabit Switch?

                              Selecting the Best Gigabit Switch for Home Network

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,  8 port gigabit switches 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.

Related Article: What Is SFP Port of Gigabit Switch?

48-Port 10GE Switch: the Key to Scaling up Your Network