Unveiling the Secrets of Server Hardware Composition

In the digital age, servers are the core foundation supporting the internet and various technological applications. Whether browsing the web, sending emails, or watching online videos, a vast and complex server system operates behind the scenes. Despite enjoying digital conveniences, few people have an in-depth understanding of server hardware. This article will take you into the mysterious world of servers, exploring how they are composed of various hardware components.

Server Basics: Understanding the Core Components and Concepts

A server, a term we frequently encounter in daily life, is essentially the central nervous system of the internet. It operates tirelessly, ensuring our digital activities run smoothly. A server is a high-performance computer with a fast CPU, reliable long-term operation, and powerful external data throughput. Compared to ordinary computers, servers have significant advantages in processing power, stability, reliability, security, scalability, and manageability. They are the unsung heroes supporting our digital lives, not just the core of data processing.The hardware makeup of a server involves several critical components, including the central processing unit (CPU), memory (RAM), storage devices (hard drives and solid-state drives), motherboard, power supply unit, and network interface cards. These components work together to provide robust computing and storage capabilities.

Central Processing Unit (CPU)

The CPU is the brain of the server, responsible for executing computational tasks and processing data. The primary difference between server processors and ordinary desktop processors lies in their design focus; server processors emphasise multi-core performance and high parallel processing capabilities. The CPU’s performance directly impacts the server’s overall computational power and response speed. Common CPU brands in servers include Intel and AMD (Advanced Micro Devices). Multi-core processors are widely used in servers as they can handle multiple tasks simultaneously, enhancing concurrency and efficiency.

  • Core Count: Server CPUs typically have multiple cores, ranging from 4 to 64 or more.
  • Hyper-Threading Technology: Technologies like Intel’s Hyper-Threading allow a single core to handle two threads simultaneously, further improving efficiency.

Random-Access Memory (RAM)

Random-Access Memory is where a server temporarily stores data and programs. When applications running on the server need to read or write data, it is temporarily loaded into Random-Access Memory for faster access and processing. The size and speed of memory are crucial to the server’s performance. High-capacity and high-speed Random-Access Memory helps avoid memory bottlenecks and improves the server’s operational efficiency.

  • Type: Servers typically use ECC (Error-Correcting Code) memory, which can detect and correct common types of data corruption, ensuring data accuracy and system stability.
  • Capacity: Server memory capacity usually ranges from tens of gigabytes to several terabytes, depending on the server’s purpose and workload requirements.

Storage Devices

Servers are usually equipped with various storage devices, including hard disk drives (HDD) and solid-state drives (SSD). HDDs are traditional storage devices that offer large storage capacities at lower prices. SSDs, on the other hand, are favoured for their high-speed read/write capabilities and lower access times, particularly in scenarios requiring rapid data retrieval. Server administrators typically select the appropriate storage configuration based on needs and budget. The choice of storage devices directly impacts data access speed and capacity.

  • Hard Disk Drives (HDD): Provide large storage space at a lower cost, suitable for storing large volumes of data.
  • Solid-State Drives (SSD): Offer fast speeds, short response times, and high durability, ideal for caching and frequently accessed data.
  • NVMe SSDs: Use high-speed PCIe channels and are faster than regular SSDs, suitable for extremely high-speed data processing needs.


The motherboard is the core of the server hardware, connecting all hardware components and facilitating communication and data transfer. It contains CPU sockets, memory slots, expansion slots, and various input/output (I/O) interfaces. The quality and design of the motherboard are crucial to the server’s stability and reliability.

  • Chipset: The chipset on the motherboard determines the types of CPUs and memory it supports, their maximum capacity, and the types and numbers of expansion slots available.
  • Expansion Slots: PCIe expansion slots are used to install additional network cards, storage controllers, or specialised processors like GPUs.

Power Supply Unit (PSU)

The power supply unit provides the necessary power for the server. Given that servers typically need to run continuously, the stability and efficiency of the PSU are critical for maintaining server reliability and reducing energy consumption.

  • Power: The power rating of the PSU needs to match the total power requirements of all installed hardware, usually with some extra capacity for safety.
  • Redundancy: High-end servers often feature redundant power supplies, allowing the system to continue running even if one PSU fails.

Network Interface Card (NIC)

The server communicates with other devices and networks through the network interface card. These NICs can be Ethernet cards, fibre channel cards, or other types, depending on the server’s connectivity needs and network architecture.

  • Speed: Modern server NIC speeds range from 1Gbps to 100Gbps, with 200G and 400G NICs now emerging.
  • Port Quantity: Multiple network ports can provide network load balancing or redundant connections, enhancing reliability.

The Evolution of Server Hardware: From Basics to Innovations

Server hardware has undergone significant evolution and innovation over the years. With continuous technological advancements, server hardware has become more powerful, efficient, and reliable. Here are the main trends in the evolution of server hardware:

Multi-Core Processors

As computer science has progressed, CPUs have evolved from single-core to multi-core. Multi-core processors allow multiple threads and tasks to be executed simultaneously, significantly enhancing the server’s concurrency performance. Multi-core server processors have become standard in modern servers.

Virtualisation Technology

Virtualisation technology enables a single physical server to run multiple virtual servers simultaneously, thereby utilising server resources more efficiently. This technology helps reduce hardware costs, save energy, and simplify server management and maintenance.

Proliferation of Solid-State Drives (SSDs)

With the decreasing cost and increasing capacity of SSDs, their use in servers has become widespread. Compared to traditional mechanical hard drives, SSDs offer faster read and write speeds and lower power consumption, significantly boosting server performance and energy efficiency.

High-Performance Computing (HPC) and GPU Acceleration

The advent of high-performance computing and graphics processing units (GPUs) allows servers to process complex scientific calculations and graphic rendering tasks more rapidly. This plays a crucial role in scientific research, artificial intelligence, and deep learning.

The Future of Server Technology: What’s Next?

Exploring the hardware composition of servers reveals the extensive and coordinated efforts of a dedicated tech team. From processors to storage devices, from memory to network interfaces, each hardware component plays a crucial role in delivering efficient, stable, and secure internet services. In this digital age, server hardware is constantly evolving to meet the growing demands of the internet and technology.

The use of multi-core processors, high-capacity memory, high-speed SSDs, and GPU acceleration equips servers with enhanced computing and storage capabilities, enabling them to handle more complex tasks and vast amounts of data.

With the widespread adoption of virtualisation technology, a single server can run multiple virtual servers, improving resource utilisation and flexibility. Virtualisation also simplifies server management. Through virtual machine management software, administrators can easily create, deploy, and migrate virtual servers, achieving dynamic resource allocation and load balancing.

Additionally, server energy efficiency is becoming increasingly important. Server power consumption significantly impacts data centre and enterprise operating costs. To reduce energy consumption, some servers incorporate energy-saving designs such as intelligent power management, thermal management technologies, and low-power components.

Besides common server hardware components, some specialised servers may feature customised hardware. For instance, database servers might be equipped with dedicated high-speed storage devices for handling extensive database operations, while video encoding servers might be fitted with high-performance GPUs to accelerate video encoding and decoding.

In the future, with continuous technological advancements, server hardware will continue to evolve and innovate. With the ongoing development of cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence, servers will require higher performance, larger storage capacities, and greater energy efficiency. Consequently, hardware manufacturers and tech companies will continue to invest heavily in developing new server hardware technologies to meet the growing demands.


In summary, the hardware composition of servers is a complex and diverse field that spans various disciplines within computer science, engineering, and electronics. Understanding server hardware is crucial for comprehending the technological infrastructure and internet services of the digital age. Through ongoing research and innovation, we can expect future servers to continue playing a vital role in driving technological progress and societal development.

How FS Can Help

As a provider of network solutions, FS offers a wide range of servers and can also customise servers to meet specific user needs. Our expert team can design tailored solutions for building cost-effective and high-quality data centres. Visit the FS website now to learn more about our products and solutions, and our professional technicians are always available to answer any questions you may have.

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Types of Network Servers: A Comprehensive Guide

In today’s era of global digital transformation, emerging technologies such as cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), and big data are undeniably at the forefront of driving digital transformation for businesses. However, the implementation and application of these innovative technologies rely heavily on robust underlying computing support. As the cornerstone of computing, servers play an indispensable role in the digital transformation of enterprises. This article will introduce different types of servers from various perspectives to help you gain a deeper understanding of network servers.

Essential Functions of a Network Server

A network server is a computer system or device that provides services, stores, and shares resources with other devices or users connected to a network. They exist in both hardware and software forms and are responsible for receiving, processing, and responding to requests from other devices on the network. The functions of a network server include, but are not limited to:

Storage and Resource Sharing: Network servers can store data, files, applications, and other resources, sharing them with other devices or users over the network. These resources may include documents, images, videos, and databases.

Providing Services: Network servers can offer various services such as web hosting, email services, file transfer, database management, and remote access. These services enable users to perform various operations and communicate over the network.

Processing Requests: When other devices or users on the network send requests, the network server receives and processes these requests, providing the appropriate services or resources based on the type of request. This may involve data processing, computation, and storage operations.

Maintaining Security: Network servers are responsible for maintaining the security of the system and data. This includes access control, authentication, encrypted transmission, and other measures to ensure data confidentiality, integrity, and availability.

Managing Network Traffic: Network servers can manage and schedule network traffic, ensuring efficient data transmission across the network and optimising network performance to enhance the user experience.

Classification of Network Servers by Form Factor

Network servers can be categorised based on their physical form factor, including rack servers, GPU servers, tower servers, high-density servers, blade servers, and cabinet servers. Each type has unique characteristics and suitable application scenarios.

Rack Servers

Rack servers are designed to be installed in standard 19-inch racks. Typically, they are standalone, rectangular metal enclosures that fit into data centre racks or cabinets, occupying one or more rack units (U) in height. They are suited for various workloads, from network services to database applications.

Rack Servers


  • Space-saving, easily installed in standardised server racks, promoting server consolidation and simplified cabling.
  • High scalability, suitable for server deployments of various sizes.
  • Focused on high-density computing capability, ideal for handling large-scale data and high-concurrency tasks.

Application Scenarios:

  • Data Centres: Widely used due to their high density and performance, supporting cloud computing, big data processing, and virtualisation.
  • Enterprise Computing: Suitable for medium to large enterprise environments, supporting business applications, databases, email servers, and file servers.
  • High-Performance Computing (HPC): Commonly used in HPC clusters, providing powerful computing capabilities and scalability for scientific research, engineering simulations, and financial analysis.

GPU Servers

GPU servers are based on GPUs for rapid, stable, and flexible computing services in scenarios like video encoding/decoding, deep learning, and scientific computing. They are equipped with one or more graphics processing units (GPUs) to handle compute-intensive tasks, benefiting from GPU parallel processing capabilities.

GPU Servers


  • High performance, suitable for compute-intensive tasks and scientific computing.
  • Excellent computing performance through GPU parallel processing.
  • Ideal for fields requiring large-scale parallel computation, such as deep learning and graphics rendering.

Application Scenarios:

  • Massive Data Processing: GPU servers can perform extensive data computations quickly, such as search, big data recommendations, and intelligent input methods, significantly reducing the time required for tasks.
  • Deep Learning Models: Serve as platforms for deep learning training, providing accelerated computing services and cloud storage integration for large datasets.

Tower Servers

Tower servers resemble traditional desktop computers with larger chassis to accommodate multiple hard drives, expansion cards, and other hardware components. They typically feature high-performance processors, ECC memory, and RAID controllers to ensure data integrity and system stability. Tower servers also come with redundant power supplies and cooling systems to prevent downtime due to hardware failures.

Tower Servers


  • Lower purchase and maintenance costs, ideal for small to medium-sized enterprises focusing on budget control.
  • Low space requirements, with independent active cooling solutions and low noise levels, are suitable for office environments.
  • High versatility and strong expansion capabilities with many slots and ample internal space for hardware redundancy.

Application Scenarios:

  • Small to Medium-Sized Enterprises: Meet certain computing needs without requiring large server clusters, offering flexibility in hardware configuration and easy placement in office environments.
  • Office Environments: Suitable for office use due to low noise levels and a design that fits well within the office setting.

High-Density Servers

High-density servers pack numerous processing cores or nodes into relatively small physical enclosures or rack spaces to maximise computing power while saving space and power consumption.

High-Density Servers

Features and Applications:

  • Maximise processing capability with minimal physical space and power consumption.
  • Suitable for data centres and large-scale server deployments.
  • Highly efficient with excellent resource utilisation, ideal for large-scale data centres, cloud computing infrastructure, and supercomputers.

Blade Servers

Blade servers are compact servers designed to minimise physical space and energy consumption. Unlike traditional rack servers, blade servers integrate multiple server modules into a single chassis, each module acting as an independent server.

Blade Servers


  • High Server Density: Known for high server density, optimising data centre space usage, and maximising computing power.
  • Reduced Power and Cooling Requirements: Designed for energy efficiency with shared resources, reducing operational costs and supporting greener data centres.
  • Simplified Management and Scalability: Centralised management interface for easy configuration, monitoring, and maintenance, with high scalability to adapt to changing workloads.
  • Cost-Effective and Lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO): Despite higher initial investment, lower TCO due to reduced power consumption, simplified management, and space optimisation.
  • Optimised Network and Storage Connections: Integrated high-speed network and storage options like 10GbE for efficient cable management.
  • Flexible Blade Configuration: Allows configuration to meet specific workload needs, making it versatile for different applications.
  • Simplified Hardware Maintenance: Hot-swappable blade modules for hardware upgrades or replacements without downtime, enhancing system uptime.
  • Space Efficiency in Data Centres: Compact form factor optimises physical space, providing room for additional infrastructure or future expansion.

Application Scenarios:

  • Data Centres and Enterprise Environments: General computing workloads, virtualisation environments, private cloud infrastructure.
  • High-Performance Computing (HPC): Computationally intensive tasks in scientific research, engineering simulations, and financial analysis.
  • Edge Computing and IoT: Real-time data processing and analysis in edge computing and Industrial IoT scenarios.
  • Telecom Infrastructure: Supporting telecom infrastructure, network function virtualisation (NFV), and telco data centres.
  • Specialised Applications: Graphics and media processing, big data analytics, healthcare IT systems, educational and research institutions.
  • Public Cloud Infrastructure: Used by cloud service providers for scalable and efficient cloud computing services.

Cabinet Servers

Cabinet servers represent the core infrastructure of future data centres, integrating computing, networking, and storage into a unified system. They provide comprehensive solutions with software deployment for different applications.

Cabinet Servers

Features and Application Scenarios:

  • Integrated Design: Simplifies deployment and management with an all-in-one approach.
  • Multi-Functionality: Supports automated deployment across various applications.
  • Ease of Management and Maintenance: Reduces operational costs with straightforward management.
  • Ideal for: Enterprise data centres, small to medium cloud service providers, and virtualisation environments.

Exploring the Diverse World of Server Types

In addition to the previously mentioned network servers categorised by form factor, there are other types of servers based on different classification criteria. This section provides a brief introduction to these types.

Network Servers by Application

File Servers

File servers specialise in storing and retrieving data files, making them accessible over a network. They act as central nodes for data storage and sharing, providing users with convenient file access services. File servers offer file storage and sharing capabilities, allowing users to access and manage files via the network. Hardware configurations typically focus on storage capacity and data transfer speed, supporting multi-user access with robust security and permissions management. They are suitable for enterprise file sharing and collaboration, educational institutions’ teaching material sharing, and media file sharing in home networks.

Database Servers

Database servers are dedicated to managing and querying databases, offering simplified data access and operations for authorised users. They serve as central nodes for data storage and processing, supporting persistent storage and efficient data retrieval. Database servers are used to store and manage large volumes of structured data, supporting efficient data queries and operations. They provide database management system (DBMS) software such as MySQL, Oracle, and SQL Server, featuring high availability and fault tolerance to ensure data security and integrity. Applications include internal data management and business applications for enterprises, product information and order management for e-commerce websites, and experimental data recording and analysis for scientific research institutions.

Application Servers

Application servers provide business logic for a range of programs, facilitating data access and processing over a network. They act as intermediaries between applications and users, handling user requests and interacting with database servers. Application servers offer an execution environment for applications, supporting various programming languages and frameworks. They handle user requests, execute business logic, and perform data processing operations. Typically integrated with web servers, they provide services through APIs or web service interfaces. Suitable for internal business application systems such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), as well as internet applications like social media, email services, and online shopping.

Network Servers by Processor Count

Single-Processor Servers

Single-processor servers are equipped with one processor, suitable for small-scale and small-to-medium applications, such as small business networks and personal website hosting. They have limited processing capacity but are cost-effective for budget-conscious scenarios.

Dual-Processor Servers

Dual-processor servers feature two processors, offering higher processing power and performance, making them a common choice in commercial environments. They support greater processing capacity and larger workloads, suitable for medium-sized enterprises, data centres, and other scenarios requiring higher performance.

Multi-Processor Servers

Multi-processor servers come with more than two processors, often four or more, providing superior processing power and performance. They are ideal for large-scale data processing and high-performance computing tasks, commonly used in large enterprises and scientific research institutions with high-performance requirements.

Network Servers by Instruction Set

CISC Servers (x86 Servers)

CISC servers are based on Complex Instruction Set Computer (CISC) architecture, with the x86 architecture being the most typical example. This architecture has a long history and is characterised by a complex instruction set capable of executing various types of operations, offering rich functionality. It boasts strong compatibility, supporting a wide range of software and operating systems, and is user-friendly, with relatively simple development and programming.

RISC Servers

RISC servers use Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC) architecture, focusing on improving the efficiency of executing common tasks, typically used in scenarios requiring high performance and low power consumption. They enhance execution efficiency for common operations, suitable for processing large-scale data and high-concurrency tasks.

VLIW Servers

VLIW servers utilise Very Long Instruction Word (VLIW) architecture, employing Explicitly Parallel Instruction Computing (EPIC) technology to achieve high levels of parallel processing. This improves computational efficiency and performance, offering better cost-effectiveness and power control compared to traditional architectures. VLIW servers are suitable for tasks requiring extensive parallel computation.

Finding the Ideal Server: Key Considerations and Tips

After understanding the various types of servers, the wide range of options can make it challenging for buyers to decide. This section outlines some principles or factors to help buyers choose the most suitable server.

Stability Principle

Stability is the most crucial aspect of a server. To ensure the normal operation of the network, it is essential to guarantee the stable running of the server. If the server fails to operate correctly, it can result in irreparable losses.

Specificity Principle

Different network services have varying requirements for server configurations. For instance, file servers, FTP servers, and video-on-demand servers require large memory, high-capacity, and high read-rate disks, as well as sufficient network bandwidth, but do not need high CPU clock speeds. Conversely, database servers require high-performance CPUs and large memory, preferably with a multi-CPU architecture, but do not have high demands for hard disk capacity. Web servers also require large memory but do not need high disk capacity or CPU clock speeds. Therefore, users should choose server configurations based on the specific network applications they intend to use.

Miniaturisation Principle

Except for providing advanced network services that necessitate high-performance servers, it is advisable not to purchase high-performance servers just to host all services on a single server. Firstly, higher-performance servers are more expensive and offer lower cost-effectiveness. Secondly, despite a certain level of stability, if a server fails, it will disrupt all services. Thirdly, when multiple services experience high concurrent access, it can significantly affect response speed and even cause system crashes. Therefore, it is recommended to configure different servers for different network services to distribute access pressure. Alternatively, purchasing several lower-spec servers and using load balancing or clustering can meet network service needs, saving on costs while greatly improving network stability.

Sufficiency Principle

Server configurations are continually improving, and prices are constantly decreasing. Therefore, it is essential to meet current service needs with a slightly forward-looking approach. When existing servers can no longer meet network demands, they can be repurposed for services with lower performance requirements (such as DNS or FTP servers), appropriately expanded, or used in a cluster to enhance performance. New servers can then be purchased for new network needs.

Rack Principle

When a network requires multiple servers, it is advisable to consider rack-mounted servers. Rack-mounted servers can be uniformly installed in standard cabinets, reducing space occupancy and eliminating the need for multiple monitors and keyboards. More importantly, they facilitate power management and clustering operations.


Choosing the right server architecture is a strategic decision tailored to specific needs. Each type of server has its advantages and disadvantages, depending on an organisation’s particular circumstances and goals. In practice, some organisations opt for a hybrid deployment, utilising different server architectures based on workload requirements. This hybrid model can maximise the strengths of various architectures, providing more flexible solutions. We hope this article helps readers gain a comprehensive understanding of different server types to better meet their business needs.

As a network solutions provider, FS offers a variety of products and custom solutions to help you build high-quality data centres. Visit the FS website to explore more products and solutions, and our professionals are available 24/7 to assist you.

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Network Virtualisation: NVGRE vs. VXLAN Explained

The rise of virtualisation technology has revolutionised data centres, enabling the operation of multiple virtual machines on the same physical infrastructure. However, traditional data centre network designs are not well-suited to these new applications, necessitating a new approach to address these challenges. NVGRE and VXLAN were created to meet this need. This article delves into NVGRE and VXLAN, exploring their differences, similarities, and advantages in various scenarios.

Unleashing the Power of NVGRE Technology

NVGRE (Network Virtualization using Generic Routing Encapsulation) is a network virtualisation method designed to overcome the limitations of traditional VLANs in complex virtual environments.

How It Works

NVGRE encapsulates data packets by adding a Tenant Network Identifier (TNI) to the packet, transmitting it over existing IP networks, and then decapsulating and delivering it on the target host. This enables large-scale virtual networks to be more flexible and scalable on physical infrastructure.

  1. Tenant Network Identifier (TNI)

NVGRE introduces a 24-bit TNI to identify different virtual networks or tenants. Each TNI corresponds to a separate virtual network, allowing multiple virtual networks to operate on the same physical infrastructure without interference.

  1. Packet Encapsulation

Source MAC Address: The MAC address of the sending VM.

Destination MAC Address: The MAC address of the receiving VM.

TNI: The 24-bit virtual network identifier.

Original Ethernet Frame: Includes the source MAC address, destination MAC address, Ethernet protocol type (usually IPv4 or IPv6), etc.

Data packets are encapsulated into NVGRE packets for communication between VMs.

3. Transport Network

NVGRE packets are transmitted over existing IP networks, including physical or virtual networks. The IP header information is used for routing, while the TNI identifies the target virtual network.

4. Decapsulation

 When NVGRE packets reach the host of the target VM, the host decapsulates them, extracting the original Ethernet frame and delivering it to the target VM.

5. MAC Address Table Maintenance

 NVGRE hosts maintain a MAC address table to map VM MAC addresses to TNIs. When a host receives an NVGRE packet, it looks up the MAC address table to determine which VM to deliver the packet to.

6. Broadcast and Multicast Support

 NVGRE uses broadcast and multicast to support communication within virtual networks, allowing VMs to perform broadcast and multicast operations for protocols like ARP and Neighbor Discovery.


  • Network Virtualisation Goals: NVGRE aims to provide a larger number of VLANs for multi-tenancy and load balancing, overcoming the limited VLAN capacity of traditional networks.
  • Encapsulation and Tunneling: Uses encapsulation and tunneling to isolate virtual networks, making VM communication appear direct without considering the underlying physical network.
  • Cross-Data Centre Scalability: Designed to support cross-location virtual networks, ideal for distributed data centre architectures.

A Comprehensive Look at VXLAN Technology

VXLAN (Virtual Extensible LAN) is a network virtualisation technology designed to address the shortage of virtual networks in large cloud data centres.

How It Works

VXLAN encapsulates data packets by adding a Virtual Network Identifier (VNI), transmitting them over existing IP networks, and then decapsulating and delivering them on the target host.

1.Virtual Network Identifier (VNI)

VXLAN introduces a 24-bit VNI to distinguish different virtual networks. Each VNI represents a separate virtual network, allowing multiple virtual networks to operate on the same physical infrastructure without interference.

2. Packet Encapsulation

Source IP Address: The IP address of the sending VM.

Destination IP Address: The IP address of the receiving VM.

UDP Header: Contains source and destination port information to identify VXLAN packets.

VNI: The 24-bit virtual network identifier.

Original Ethernet Frame: Includes the source MAC address, destination MAC address, Ethernet protocol type, etc.

Data packets are encapsulated into VXLAN packets for communication between VMs.

3.Transport Network

VXLAN packets are transmitted over existing IP networks. The IP header information is used for routing, while the VNI identifies the target virtual network.


When VXLAN packets reach the host of the target VM, the host decapsulates them, extracting the original Ethernet frame and delivering it to the target VM.

5.MAC Address Table Maintenance

VXLAN hosts maintain a MAC address table to map VM MAC addresses to VNIs. When a host receives a VXLAN packet, it looks up the MAC address table to determine which VM to deliver the packet to.

6.Broadcast and Multicast Support

VXLAN uses multicast to simulate broadcast and multicast behaviour within virtual networks, supporting protocols like ARP and Neighbor Discovery.


  • Expanded VLAN Address Space: Extends VLAN identifier capacity from 4096 to 16 million with a 24-bit segment ID.
  • Virtual Network Isolation: Allows multiple virtual networks to coexist on the same infrastructure, each with a unique segment ID.
  • Multi-Tenancy Support: Ideal for environments where different tenants need isolated virtual networks.
  • Layer 2 and 3 Extension: Supports complex network topologies and routing configurations.
  • Industry Support: Widely supported by companies like Cisco, VMware, and Arista Networks.

NVGRE vs VXLAN: Uncovering the Best Virtualization Tech

NVGRE and VXLAN are both technologies for virtualising data centre networks, aimed at addressing issues in traditional network architectures such as isolation, scalability, and performance. While their goals are similar, they differ in implementation and several key aspects.

Supporters and Transport Protocols

NVGRE is supported mainly by Microsoft, using GRE as the transport protocol. VXLAN is driven by Cisco, using UDP.

Packet Format

VXLAN packets have a 24-bit VNI for 16 million virtual networks. NVGRE uses the GRE header’s lower 24 bits as the TNI, also supporting 16 million virtual networks.

Transmission Method

VXLAN uses multicast to simulate broadcast and multicast for MAC address learning and discovery. NVGRE uses multiple IP addresses for enhanced load balancing without relying on flooding and IP multicast.


NVGRE supports fragmentation to manage MTU sizes, while VXLAN typically requires the network to support jumbo frames and does not support fragmentation.


VXLAN and NVGRE represent significant advancements in network virtualisation, expanding virtual network capacity and enabling flexible, scalable, and high-performance cloud and data centre networks. With support from major industry players, these technologies have become essential for building agile virtualised networking environments.

How FS Can Help

FS offers a wide range of data centre switches, from 1G to 800G, to meet various network requirements and applications. FS switches support VXLAN EVPN architectures and MPLS forwarding, with comprehensive protocol support for L3 unicast and multicast routing, including BGP, OSPF, EIGRP, RIPv2, PIM-SM, SSM, and MSDP. Explore FS high-quality switches and expert solutions tailored to enhance your network at the FS website.

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Stacking Technology vs MLAG Technology: What Sets Apart?

Businesses are growing and networks are becoming more complex. Single-device solutions are having trouble meeting the high availability and performance requirements of modern data centres. To address this, two horizontal virtualisation technologies have emerged: Stacking and Multichassis Link Aggregation Group (MLAG). This article compares Stacking and MLAG. It discusses their principles, features, advantages, and disadvantages. This comparison can help you choose the best option for your network environment.

Understanding Stacking Technology

Stacking technology involves combining multiple stackable devices into a single logical unit. Users can control and use multiple devices together, increasing ports and switching abilities while improving reliability with mutual backup between devices.

Advantages of Stacking:

  • Simplified Management: Managed via a single IP address, reducing management complexity. Administrators can configure and monitor the entire stack from one interface.
  • Increased Port Density: Combining multiple switches offers more ports, meeting the demands of large-scale networks.
  • Seamless Redundancy: If one stack member fails, others seamlessly take over, ensuring high network availability.
  • Enhanced Performance: Increased interconnect bandwidth among switches improves data exchange efficiency and performance.
Stacking in the network solution

Unlocking the Power of MLAG Technology

Multichassis Link Aggregation Group (MLAG) is a newer cross-device link aggregation technology. It allows two access switches to negotiate link aggregation as if they were one device. This cross-device link aggregation enhances reliability from the single-board level to the device level, making MLAG suitable for modern network topologies requiring redundancy and high availability.

Advantages of MLAG:

  • High Availability: Increases network availability by allowing smooth traffic transition between switches in case of failure. There are no single points of failure at the switch level.
  • Improved Bandwidth: Aggregating links across multiple switches significantly increases accessible bandwidth, beneficial for high-demand environments.
  • Load Balancing: Evenly distributes traffic across member links, preventing overloads and maximising network utilisation.
  • Compatibility and Scalability: Better compatibility and scalability, able to negotiate link aggregation with devices from different vendors.
MLAG in the network solution

Stacking vs. MLAG: Which Network Virtualisation Tech Reigns Supreme?

Both Stacking and MLAG are crucial for achieving redundant access and link redundancy, significantly enhancing the reliability and scalability of data centre networks. Despite their similarities, each has distinct advantages, disadvantages, and suitable application scenarios. Understanding the concepts and advantages of Stacking and MLAG is crucial. Here’s a detailed comparison to help you distinguish between the two:


Stacking: Centralised control plane shared by all switches, with the master switch managing the stack. Failure of the master switch can affect the entire system despite backup switches.

MLAG: Each switch operates with an independent control plane. Consequently, the failure of one switch does not impact the functionality of the other, effectively isolating fault domains and enhancing overall network reliability.

Configuration Complexity

Stacking: Appears as a single device logically, simplifying configuration and management.

MLAG: Requires individual configuration of each switch but can be simplified with modern management tools and automation scripts.


Stacking: Requires specialised stacking cables, adding hardware costs.MLAG: Requires peer-link cables, which incur costs comparable to stacking cables.


Stacking: Performance may be limited by the master switch’s CPU load, affecting overall system performance.

MLAG: Each switch independently handles data forwarding, distributing CPU load and enhancing performance.

Upgrade Complexity

Stacking: Higher upgrade complexity, needing synchronised upgrades of all member devices, with longer operation times and higher risks.

MLAG: Lower upgrade complexity, allowing independent upgrades of each device, reducing complexity and risk.

Upgrade Downtime

Stacking: The duration of downtime varies between 20 seconds and 1 minute, contingent upon the traffic load.

MLAG: Minimal downtime, usually within seconds, with negligible impact.

Network Design

Stacking: Simpler design, appearing as a single device, easier to manage and design.

MLAG: More complex design, logically still two separate devices, requiring more planning and management.

Enhancing Display Networks: Stacking vs. MLAG Applications

This section explains how these technologies are used in real-world situations after learning about Stacking and MLAG differences. This will help you make informed decisions when setting up a network.

Stacking is suitable for small to medium-sized network environments that require simplified management and configuration and enhanced redundancy. It is widely used in enterprise campus networks and small to medium-sized data centres.

MLAG, on the other hand, is ideal for large data centres and high-density server access environments that require high availability and high performance. It offers redundancy and load balancing across devices. The choice between these technologies depends on the specific needs, scale, and complexity of your network.

In practical situations, Stacking and MLAG technologies can be combined to take advantage of their strengths. This creates a synergistic effect that is stronger than each technology individually. Stacking technology simplifies the network topology, increasing bandwidth and fault tolerance. MLAG technology provides redundancy and load balancing, enhancing network availability.

Therefore, consider integrating Stacking and MLAG technologies to achieve better network performance and reliability when designing and deploying enterprise networks.


Both Multichassis Link Aggregation (MLAG) and stackable switches offer unique advantages in modern network architectures. MLAG ensures backup and reliability with cross-switch link aggregation. Stackable switches allow for easy management and scalability by acting as one unit. Understanding the specific requirements and use cases of each technology is essential for designing resilient and efficient network infrastructures.

How FS Can Help

FS, a trusted global ICT products and solutions provider, offers a range of data centre switches to meet diverse enterprise needs. FS data centre switches support a variety of features and protocols, including stacking, MLAG, and VXLAN, making them suitable for diverse network construction. Customised solutions tailored to your requirements can assist with network upgrades. Visit the FS website to explore products and solutions that can help you build a high-performance network today.

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VXLAN VS. MPLS: From Data Centre to Metropolitan Area Network

In recent years, the advancement of cloud computing, virtualisation, and containerisation technologies has driven the adoption of network virtualisation. Both MPLS and VXLAN leverage virtualisation concepts to create logical network architectures, enabling more complex and flexible domain management. However, they serve different purposes. This article will compare VXLAN and MPLS, explaining why VXLAN is more popular than MPLS in metropolitan and wide area networks.

Understanding VXLAN and MPLS: Key Concepts Unveiled


Virtual Extensible LAN (VXLAN) encapsulates Layer 2 Ethernet frames within Layer 3 UDP packets, enabling devices and applications to communicate over a large physical network as if they were on the same Layer 2 Ethernet network. VXLAN technology uses the existing Layer 3 network as an underlay to create a virtual Layer 2 network, known as an overlay. As a network virtualisation technology, VXLAN addresses the scalability challenges associated with large-scale cloud computing setups and deployments.


Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) is a technology that uses labels to direct data transmission quickly and efficiently across open communication networks. The term “multi-protocol” indicates that MPLS can support various network layer protocols and is compatible with multiple Layer 2 data link layer technologies. This technology simplifies data transmission between two nodes by using short path labels instead of long network addresses. MPLS allows the addition of more sites with minimal configuration. It is also independent of IP, merely simplifying the implementation of IP addresses. MPLS over VPN adds an extra layer of security since MPLS itself lacks built-in security features.

Data Centre Network Architecture Based on MPLS

MPLS Layer 2 VPN (L2VPN) provides Layer 2 connectivity across a Layer 3 network, but it requires all routers in the network to be IP/MPLS routers. Virtual networks are isolated using MPLS pseudowire encapsulation and can stack MPLS labels, similar to VLAN tag stacking, to support a large number of virtual networks.

IP/MPLS is commonly used in telecom service provider networks, so many service providers’ L2VPN services are implemented using MPLS. These include point-to-point L2VPN and multipoint L2VPN implemented according to the Virtual Private LAN Service (VPLS) standard. These services typically conform to the MEF Carrier Ethernet service definitions of E-Line (point-to-point) and E-LAN (multipoint).

Because MPLS and its associated control plane protocols are designed for highly scalable Layer 3 service provider networks, some data centre operators have adopted MPLS L2VPN in their data centre networks to overcome the scalability and resilience limitations of Layer 2 switched networks, as shown in the diagram.

Why is VXLAN Preferred Over MPLS in Data Centre Networks?

Considering the features and applications of both technologies, the following points summarise why VXLAN is more favoured:

Cost of MPLS Routers

For a long time, some service providers have been interested in building cost-effective metropolitan networks using data centre-grade switches. Over 20 years ago, the first generation of competitive metro Ethernet service providers, like Yipes and Telseon, built their networks using the most advanced gigabit Ethernet switches available in enterprise networks at the time. However, such networks struggled to provide the scalability and resilience required by large service providers (SPs).

Consequently, most large SPs shifted to MPLS (as shown in the diagram below). However, MPLS routers are more expensive than ordinary Ethernet switches, and this cost disparity has persisted over the decades. Today, data centre-grade switches combined with VXLAN overlay architecture can largely eliminate the shortcomings of pure Layer 2 networks without the high costs of MPLS routing, attracting a new wave of SPs.

Tight Coupling Between Core and Edge

MPLS-based VPN solutions require tight coupling between edge and core devices, meaning every node in the data centre network must support MPLS. In contrast, VXLAN only requires a VTEP (VXLAN Tunnel Endpoint) in edge nodes (e.g., leaf switches) and can use any IP-capable device or IP transport network to implement data centre spine and data centre interconnect (DCI).

MPLS Expertise

Outside of large service providers, MPLS technology is challenging to learn, and relatively few network engineers can easily build and operate MPLS-based networks. VXLAN, being simpler, is becoming a fundamental technology widely mastered by data centre network engineers.

Advancements in Data Centre Switching Technology

Modern data centre switching chips have integrated numerous functions that make metro networks based on VXLAN possible. Here are two key examples:

  • Hardware-based VTEP supporting line-rate VXLAN encapsulation.
  • Expanded tables providing the routing and forwarding scale required to create resilient, scalable Layer 3 underlay networks and multi-tenant overlay services.

Additionally, newer data centre-grade switches have powerful CPUs capable of supporting advanced control planes crucial for extended Ethernet services, whether it’s BGP EVPN (a protocol-based approach) or an SDN-based protocol-less control plane. Therefore, in many metro network applications, specialised (and thus high-cost) routing hardware is no longer necessary.

VXLAN Overlay Architecture for Metropolitan and Wide Area Networks

Overlay networks have been widely adopted in various applications such as data centre networks and enterprise SD-WAN. A key commonality among these overlay networks is their loose coupling with the underlay network. Essentially, as long as the network provides sufficient capacity and resilience, the underlay network can be constructed using any network technology and utilise any control plane. The overlay is only defined at the service endpoints, with no service provisioning within the underlay network nodes.

One of the primary advantages of SD-WAN is its ability to utilise various networks, including broadband or wireless internet services, which are widely available and cost-effective, providing sufficient performance for many users and applications. When VXLAN overlay is applied to metropolitan and wide area networks, similar benefits are also realised, as depicted in the diagram.

When building a metropolitan network to provide services like Ethernet Line (E-Line), Multipoint Ethernet Local Area Network (E-LAN), or Layer 3 VPN (L3VPN), it is crucial to ensure that the Underlay can meet the SLA (Service Level Agreement) requirements for such services.

VXLAN-Based Metropolitan Network Overlay Control Plane Options

So far, our focus has mainly been on the advantages of VXLAN over MPLS in terms of network architecture and capital costs, i.e., the advantages of the data plane. However, VXLAN does not specify a control plane, so let’s take a look at the Overlay control plane options.

The most prominent control plane option for creating VXLAN Overlay and providing Overlay services should be BGP EVPN, which is a protocol-based approach that requires service configuration in each edge node. The main drawback of BGP EVPN is the complexity of operations.

Another protocol-less approach is using SDN and services defined in an SDN controller to programme the data plane of each edge node. This approach eliminates much of the operational complexity of protocol-based BGP EVPN. Nonetheless, the centralised SDN controller architecture, suitable for single-site data centre architectures, presents significant scalability and resilience issues when implemented in metropolitan and wide area networks. As a result, it’s unclear whether it’s a superior alternative to MPLS for metropolitan networks.

There’s also a third possibility—decentralised or distributed SDN, in which the SDN controller’s functionality is duplicated and spread across the network. This can also be referred to as a “controller-less” SDN because it doesn’t necessitate a separate controller server/device, thereby completely resolving the scalability and resilience problems associated with centralised SDN control while maintaining the advantages of simplified and expedited service configuration.

Deployment Options

Due to VXLAN’s ability to decouple Overlay services delivery from the Underlay network, it creates deployment options that MPLS cannot match, such as virtual service Overlays on existing IP infrastructure, as shown in the diagram. VXLAN-based switch deployments at the edge of existing networks, scalable according to business requirements, allow for the addition of new Ethernet and VPN services and thus generate new revenue without altering the existing network.

VXLAN Overlay Deployment on Existing Metropolitan Networks

The metropolitan network infrastructure shown in Figure 2 can support all services offered by an MPLS-based network, including commercial internet, Ethernet and VPN services, as well as consumer triple-play services. Moreover, it completely eliminates the costs and complexities associated with MPLS.

Converged Metropolitan Core with VXLAN Service Overlay


VXLAN has become the most popular overlay network virtualization protocol in data centre network architecture, surpassing many alternative solutions. When implemented with hardware-based VTEPs in switches and DPUs, and combined with BGP EVPN or SDN control planes and network automation, VXLAN-based overlay networks can provide the scalability, agility, high performance, and resilience required for distributed cloud networks in the foreseeable future.

How FS Can Help

FS is a trusted provider of ICT products and solutions to enterprise customers worldwide. Our range of data centre switches covers multiple speeds, catering to diverse business needs. We offer personalised customisation services to tailor exclusive solutions for you and assist with network upgrades.

Explore the FS website today, choose the products and solutions that best suit your requirements, and build a high-performance network.

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Network Virtualisation: VXLAN Benefits & Differences

With the rapid development of cloud computing and virtualisation technologies, data centre networks are facing increasing challenges. Traditional network architectures have limitations in meeting the demands of large-scale data centres, particularly in terms of scalability, isolation, and flexibility. To overcome these limitations and provide better performance and scalability for data centre networks, VXLAN (Virtual Extensible LAN) has emerged as an innovative network virtualisation technology. This article will detail the principles and advantages of VXLAN, its applications in data centre networks, and help you understand the differences between VXLAN and VLAN.

The Power of VXLAN: Transforming Data Centre Networks

VXLAN is a network virtualisation technology designed to overcome the limitations of traditional Ethernet, offering enhanced scalability and isolation. It enables the creation of a scalable virtual network on existing infrastructure, allowing virtual machines (VMs) to move freely within a logical network, regardless of the underlying physical network topology. VXLAN achieves this by creating a virtual Layer 2 network over an existing IP network, encapsulating traditional Ethernet frames within UDP packets for transmission. This encapsulation allows VXLAN to operate on current network infrastructure without requiring extensive modifications.

VXLAN uses a 24-bit VXLAN Network Identifier (VNI) to identify virtual networks, allowing multiple independent virtual networks to coexist simultaneously. The destination MAC address of a VXLAN packet is replaced with the MAC address of the virtual machine or physical host within the VXLAN network, enabling communication between virtual machines. VXLAN also supports multipath transmission through MP-BGP EVPN and provides multi-tenant isolation within the network.

How it works

  1. Encapsulation: When a virtual machine (VM) sends an Ethernet frame, the VXLAN module encapsulates it in a UDP packet. The source IP address of the packet is the IP address of the host where the VM resides, and the destination IP address is that of the remote endpoint of the VXLAN tunnel. The VNI field in the VXLAN header identifies the target virtual network. The UDP packet is then transmitted through the underlying network to reach the destination host.
  2. Decapsulation: Upon receiving a VXLAN packet, the VXLAN module parses the UDP packet header to extract the encapsulated Ethernet frame. By examining the VNI field, the VXLAN module identifies the target virtual network and forwards the Ethernet frame to the corresponding virtual machine or physical host.

This process of encapsulation and decapsulation allows VXLAN to transparently transport Ethernet frames over the underlying network, while simultaneously providing logically isolated virtual networks.

Key Components

  1. VXLAN Identifier (VNI): Used to distinguish different virtual networks, similar to a VLAN identifier.
  2. VTEP (VXLAN Tunnel Endpoint): A network device responsible for encapsulating and decapsulating VXLAN packets, typically a switch or router.
  3. Control Plane and Data Plane: The control plane is responsible for establishing and maintaining VXLAN tunnels, while the data plane handles the actual data transmission.

The Benefits of VXLAN: A Changer for Virtual Networks

VXLAN, as an emerging network virtualisation technology, offers several advantages in data centre networks:

  1. Scalability

VXLAN uses a 24-bit VNI identifier, supporting up to 16,777,216 virtual networks, each with its own independent Layer 2 namespace. This scalability meets the demands of large-scale data centres and supports multi-tenant isolation.

  1. Cross-Subnet Communication

Traditional Ethernet relies on Layer 3 routers for forwarding across different subnets. VXLAN, by using the underlying IP network as the transport medium, enables cross-subnet communication within virtual networks, allowing virtual machines to migrate freely without changing their IP addresses.

  1. Flexibility

VXLAN can operate over existing network infrastructure without requiring significant modifications. It is compatible with current network devices and protocols, such as switches, routers, and BGP. This flexibility simplifies the creation and management of virtual networks.

  1. Multipath Transmission

VXLAN leverages multipath transmission (MP-BGP EVPN) to achieve load balancing and redundancy in data centre networks. It can choose the optimal path for data transmission based on network load and path availability, providing better performance and reliability.

  1. Security

VXLAN supports tunnel encryption, ensuring data confidentiality and integrity over the underlying IP network. Using secure protocols (like IPsec) or virtual private networks (VPNs), VXLAN can offer a higher level of data transmission security.

VXLAN vs. VLAN: Unveiling the Key Differences

VXLAN (Virtual Extensible LAN) and VLAN (Virtual Local Area Network) are two distinct network isolation technologies that differ significantly in their implementation, functionality, and application scenarios.

  1. Implementation:

VLAN: VLAN is a Layer 2 (data link layer) network isolation technology that segments a physical network into different virtual networks using VLAN identifiers (VLAN IDs) configured on switches. VLANs use VLAN tags within a single physical network to identify and isolate different virtual networks, achieving isolation between different users or devices.  

VXLAN: VXLAN is a Layer 3 (network layer) network virtualisation technology that extends Layer 2 networks by creating virtual tunnels over an underlying IP network. VXLAN uses VXLAN Network Identifiers (VNIs) to identify different virtual networks and encapsulates original Ethernet frames within UDP packets to enable communication between virtual machines, overcoming physical network limitations.

2. Functionality:

VLAN: VLANs primarily provide Layer 2 network segmentation and isolation, allowing a single physical network to be divided into multiple virtual networks. Different VLANs are isolated from each other, enhancing network security and manageability.  

VXLAN: VXLAN not only provides Layer 2 network segmentation but also creates virtual networks over an underlying IP network, enabling extensive dynamic VM migration and inter-data centre communication. VXLAN offers greater network scalability and flexibility, making it suitable for large-scale cloud computing environments and virtualised data centres.

3. Application Scenarios:

VLAN: VLANs are suitable for small to medium-sized network environments, commonly found in enterprise LANs. They are mainly used for organisational user segmentation, security isolation, and traffic management.  

VXLAN: VXLAN is ideal for large data centre networks, especially in cloud computing environments and virtualised data centres. It supports large-scale dynamic VM migration, multi-tenant isolation, and network scalability, providing a more flexible and scalable network architecture.

These distinctions highlight how VXLAN and VLAN cater to different networking needs and environments, offering tailored solutions for varying levels of network complexity and scalability.

Enhancing Data Centres with VXLAN Technology

The application of VXLAN enhances the flexibility, efficiency, and security of data centre networks, forming a crucial part of modern data centre virtualisation. Here are some typical applications of VXLAN in data centres:

Virtual Machine Migration

VXLAN allows virtual machines to migrate freely between different physical hosts without changing IP addresses. This flexibility and scalability are vital for achieving load balancing, resource scheduling, and fault tolerance in data centres.

Multi-Tenant Isolation

By using different VNIs, VXLAN can divide a data centre into multiple independent virtual networks, ensuring isolation between different tenants. This isolation guarantees data security and privacy for tenants and allows each tenant to have independent network policies and quality of service guarantees.

Inter-Data Centre Connectivity

VXLAN can extend across multiple data centres, enabling the establishment of virtual network connections between them. This capability supports resource sharing, business expansion, and disaster recovery across data centres.

Cloud Service Providers

VXLAN helps cloud service providers build highly scalable virtualised network infrastructures. By using VXLAN, cloud service providers can offer flexible virtual network services and support resource isolation and security in multi-tenant environments.

Virtual Network Functions (VNF)

Combining VXLAN with Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) enables the deployment and management of virtual network functions. VXLAN serves as the underlying network virtualisation technology, providing flexible network connectivity and isolation for VNFs, thus facilitating rapid deployment and elastic scaling of network functions.


In summary, VXLAN offers powerful scalability, flexibility, and isolation, providing new directions and solutions for the future development of data centre networks. By utilising VXLAN, data centres can achieve virtual machine migration, multi-tenant isolation, inter-data centre connectivity, and enhanced support for cloud service providers.

How FS Can Help

As an industry-leading provider of network solutions, FS offers a variety of high-performance data centre switches supporting multiple protocols, such as MLAG, EVPN-VXLAN, link aggregation, and LACP. FS switches come pre-installed with PicOS®, equipped with comprehensive SDN capabilities and the compatible AmpCon™ management software. This combination delivers a more resilient, programmable, and scalable network operating system (NOS) with lower TCO. The advanced PicOS® and AmpCon™ management platform enables data centre operators to efficiently configure, monitor, manage, and maintain modern data centre fabrics, achieving higher utilisation and reducing overall operational costs.

Register on the FS website now to enjoy customised solutions tailored to your needs, optimising your data centre for greater efficiency and benefits.

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Unlocking the Potential of 800G Transceivers: Types and Applications

With the ever-increasing need for swift data transmission, the 800G transceiver has garnered considerable interest for its attributes such as high bandwidth, rapid transmission rates, outstanding performance, compact design, and future-proof compatibility. In this article, we aim to provide an overview of the diverse range of 800G optical modules and delve into their applications to assist you in making an informed decision when selecting 800G transceivers.

Exploring the Range of 800G Transceivers

Based on the single-channel rate, 800G transceivers can be categorised into 100G and 200G variants. The diagram below illustrates the corresponding architectures. Single-channel 100G optical modules can be deployed more readily, whereas 200G optical modules demand more sophisticated optical devices and necessitate a gearbox for conversion. This section primarily focuses on single-channel 100G modules.

Single-Mode 800G Transceivers:

The 800G single-mode optical transceiver is suitable for long-distance optical fibre transmission and can cover a wider network range.

800G DR8, 800G PSM8 & 800G 2xDR4:

These three standards share similar internal architectures, featuring 8 Tx and 8 Rx, with a single-channel rate of 100 Gbps, and requiring 16 optical fibers.

The 800G DR8 optical module utilises 100G PAM4 and 8-channel single-mode parallel technology, enabling transmission distances of up to 500m through single-mode optical fibre. Primarily deployed in data centres, it serves 800G-800G, 800G-400G, and 800G-100G interconnections.

The 800G PSM8 makes use of CWDM technology with 8 optical channels, each capable of delivering 100Gbps. It supports a transmission distance of 100m, making it well-suited for long-distance transmission and efficient fibre resource sharing.

On the other hand, the 800G 2DR4 configuration denotes 2x “400G-DR4” interfaces. It features 2x MPO-12 connectors, allowing for the creation of 2 physically distinct 400G-DR4 links from each 800G transceiver without the need for optical breakout cables. As illustrated in the figure below, it can be connected to 400G DR4 transceivers and supports a transmission distance of 500m, facilitating smooth data centre upgrades.

800G 2FR4/2LR4/FR4/FR8:

FR and LR stand for Fixed Reach and Long Reach.

800G 2xFR4 and 800G 2xLR4 share similar internal structures. They operate with 4 wavelengths at a single-channel rate of 100 Gbps. Using Mux, they reduce the required optical fibres to 4, as depicted in the figure below. 800G 2xFR4 can transmit up to 2km, while 800G 2xLR4 supports distances of up to 10km. Both standards use dual CS or dual duplex LC interfaces for optical connectivity. They are suitable for various applications including 800G Ethernet, breakout 2x 400G FR4/LR4, data centres, and cloud networks.

800G FR4 follows a scheme that utilises four wavelengths and PAM4 technology, operating at a single-channel rate of 200 Gbps and requiring two optical fibres, as shown in the figure below. It supports a transmission distance of 2km and is generally used in data centre interconnection, high-performance computing, storage networks, etc.

Lastly, the 800G FR8 utilises eight wavelengths, with each operating at 100 Gbps, as illustrated in the figure below. It necessitates two optical fibres and can transmit up to 2km. Additionally, the 800G FR8 offers increased transmission capacity. Typical applications include wide-area networking, data centre interconnection, and more.

Multimode 800G Transceivers

In multimode applications with transmission distances under 100 meters, there are primarily two standards for 800G optical transceivers.

800G SR8

The 800G SR8 optical transceiver utilises VCSEL technology, offering advantages such as low power consumption, cost-effectiveness, and high reliability. With a wavelength of 850nm and a single-channel speed of 100Gbps PAM4, it requires 16 optical fibres, representing an enhanced version of the 400G SR4 with double the channels. Capable of achieving high-speed 800G data interconnection within 100m, it enhances data transmission efficiency in data centres. It employs either an MPO16 or Dual MPO-12 optical interface, as shown in the diagram. Typically used in various scenarios such as data centres, communication networks, and supercomputing, the 800G SR8 optical module is versatile and efficient.

800G SR4.2

800G SR4.2 optical transceiver employs two wavelengths, 850nm and 910nm, enabling bidirectional transmission over a single fibre, commonly known as bi-directional transmission. The module incorporates a DeMux component to separate the two wavelengths. With a single-channel rate of 100 Gbps PAM4, it requires 8 optical fibres, half the amount needed for SR8. The 800G SR4.2 makes use of a 4+4 fibre setup within an MPO-12 connector interface, offering a seamless transition from 400G to 800G without the need for alterations to the fibre infrastructure.

Unleashing Potential: Applications of 800G Transceiver

In the realm of high-performance networking, the evolution of 800G transceivers has ushered in a new era of possibilities. The high-speed, efficient, and reliable data transmission capabilities of 800G transceivers have led to their widespread adoption across multiple scenarios.

Data Center Connectivity

Data Center Interconnectivity is one of the primary domains where the prowess of 800G optical modules shines. With InfiniBand, these modules facilitate seamless communication between data centers, powering the backbone of modern interconnected infrastructures. The substantial increase in data processing capability and data transmission efficiency in data centres has been essential to meet the evolving demands of cloud computing and big data processing.

High-Performance Computing

In the arena of High-Performance Computing, where processing demands are ceaselessly escalating, the efficiency of 800G transceives becomes a game-changer. The modules ensure rapid data transfer, reducing latency, and optimizing overall system performance.

5G and Communication Networks

The surge of 5G and Communication Networks demands not only speed but also reliability. Enter the 800G QSFP and QSFP-dd transceivers, engineered to meet the demands of next-gen communication networks. Their advanced capabilities bolster the 5G architecture, ensuring a robust and responsive network infrastructure. The development has also fostered advancements in various fields such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Industrial Internet, and autonomous driving.

In the Metropolitan Area Network (Man) Domain

The metropolitan area network (MAN) serves as a bridge between local area networks (LANs) and wide area networks (WANs) across different locations, enabling high-speed data transmission between these locations through fibre optic networks. The high transmission rate of 800G optical modules can provide higher bandwidth and more stable connections, reducing data transmission delays between MANs. This improves data transfer rates and network responsiveness, fostering urban informatization and economic development.


800G optical transceivers, integral to the forthcoming high-speed optical communication era, come in diverse types catering to various application requirements. A comprehensive grasp of these types and their respective application domains, along with addressing common queries about 800G transceivers, will facilitate the advancement of data transmission technology. The mastery of this cutting-edge technology enables us to adeptly navigate the challenges and prospects presented by the digital era.

How FS can Help

FS offers a range of 800G transceivers to meet Ethernet and InfiniBand network connectivity needs. Additionally, FS’s overseas warehouses enable swift deliveries. Visit the FS website now for more product and solution information, and benefit from comprehensive service support.

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Exploring FS 800G Transceivers: Your FAQs Answered

With the rapid development of technologies such as cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data, there’s a growing need for network bandwidth and faster transmission speeds. The introduction of the 800G module addresses this demand for high-speed data transmission. FS 800G transceivers incorporate advanced modulation and demodulation techniques alongside high-density optoelectronic devices, enabling them to achieve higher transmission rates in a compact form factor. Here are some FAQs about FS 800G optical transceivers.

What form-factors are used for 800G transceivers?

800G transceivers share the same form factors as 400G optics, namely OSFP and QSFP-DD. FS supports both form factors.


The OSFP, or “Octal Small Form-factor Pluggable,” derives its name from its 8 electrical lanes, each modulated at 100Gb/s for a total bandwidth of 800Gb/s in 800G configurations.


The QSFP-DD, or “Quad Small Form-factor Pluggable – Double Density,” retains the QSFP form factor but adds an extra row of electrical contacts for more high-speed electrical lanes. With 8 lanes operating at 100Gb/s each, the QSFP-DD delivers a total bandwidth of 800Gb/s.

QSFP-DD and OSFP are distinct optical module packaging types. QSFP-DD, being smaller, is ideal for high-density port configurations. And OSFP consumes slightly more power compared to QSFP-DD. Additionally, QSFP-DD is fully compatible with QSFP56, QSFP28, and QSFP+, whereas OSFP is not.

For more details on the differences between 800G OSFP and QSFP-DD packaging, please refer to:800G Transceiver Overview: QSFP-DD and OSFP Packages

Can OSFPs be plugged into a QSFP-DD port, or QSFP-DD’s plugged into an OSFP port?

No. The OSFP and the QSFP-DD are two physically distinct form factors. OSFP systems require the use of OSFP optics and cables, while QSFP-DD systems necessitate QSFP-DD optics and cables.

How many electrical lanes are used by 800G transceivers?

The 800G transceivers utilise 8x electrical lanes in each direction, with 8 transmit lanes and 8 receive lanes.

What are the speed and modulation formats used by 800G OSFP/QSFP-DD modules?

As mentioned earlier, all 800G modules utilise 8x electrical lanes bidirectionally, with 8 transmit lanes and 8 receive lanes. Each lane operates at a data rate of 100G PAM4, yielding a total module bandwidth of 800Gb/s. Furthermore, the optical output of all 800G transceivers consists of 8 optical waves, each wave modulated at 100G PAM4 per lane.

What is the significance of PAM4 or NRZ modulation for electrical or optical channels?

NRZ, which stands for “Non Return to Zero,” refers to a modulation scheme used in electrical or optical data channels. It involves two permissible amplitude levels or symbols, with one level representing a digital ‘1’ and the other representing a digital ‘0’. NRZ is commonly employed for data transmission up to 25Gb/s and is the simplest method for transmitting digital data. An example of an NRZ waveform, along with an eye diagram illustrating NRZ data, is depicted below. An eye diagram provides a visual representation of a modulation scheme, with each symbol overlapping one another.

PAM4, on the other hand, stands for Pulse Amplitude Modulation – 4, with the ‘4’ signifying the number of distinct amplitude levels or symbols in the electrical or optical signal carrying digital data. In this case, each amplitude level or symbol represents two bits of digital data. Consequently, a PAM4 waveform can transmit twice as many bits as an NRZ waveform at the same symbol or “Baud” rate. The diagram below showcases a PAM4 waveform along with an eye diagram for PAM4 data.

For more information on the comparison between NRZ and PAM4, please refer to:NRZ vs. PAM4 Modulation Techniques

What is the maximum power consumption of 800G OSFP and QSFP-DD transceivers?

The power consumption of 800G transceivers varies between 13W and 18W per port. To obtain specific power consumption values for individual modules, please consult each transceiver’s datasheet.

Do FS 800G transceivers support backward compatibility?

The backward compatibility of 800G transceivers depends on the specific design and implementation. Some 800G transceivers are designed to be backwards compatible with 400G or 200G transceivers, allowing for a smooth transition and interoperability within existing networks. For example, the FS 800G OSFP SR8 transceiver supports 800G ethernet and breakout 2x 400G SR4 applications. However, it is important to check with the module manufacturer for specific compatibility details.

What standards govern 800G transceivers?

Standards for 800G transceivers, such as form factor specifications, electrical interfaces, and signalling protocols, are typically governed by industry consortiums like the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), the OIF (Optical Internetworking Forum), and the QSFP-DD MSA (Quad Small Form Factor Pluggable – Double Density Multi-Source Agreement).

What 800G Transceivers are available from FS?

FS supports 800G optical transceivers in both OSFP and QSFP-DD form factors. The key features of an FS 800G optical module typically include supporting multiple modulation formats, high data transfer rates, low power consumption, advanced error correction mechanisms, compact form factors (e.g., QSFP-DD or OSFP), and interoperability with existing network infrastructure. The tables below summarise the 800G transceiver connectivity options supported.

QSFP-DD Part No.Product DescriptionOSFP Part No.Product Description
QDD-SR8-800GGeneric Compatible QSFP-DD 800GBASE-SR8 PAM4 850nm 50m DOM MPO-16/APC MMF Optical Transceiver ModuleOSFP-SR8-800GNVIDIA InfiniBand MMA4Z00-NS Compatible OSFP 800G SR8 PAM4 2 x SR4 850nm 50m DOM Dual MPO-12/APC NDR MMF Optical Transceiver Module, Finned Top
QDD-DR8-800GGeneric Compatible QSFP-DD 800GBASE-DR8 PAM4 1310nm 500m DOM MPO-16/APC SMF Optical Transceiver Module, Support 2 x 400G-DR4 and 8 x 100G-DROSFP-DR8-800GNVIDIA InfiniBand MMS4X00-NM Compatible OSFP 800G DR8 PAM4 2 x DR4 1310nm 500m DOM Dual MPO-12/APC NDR SMF Optical Transceiver Module, Finned Top
QDD800-PLR8-B1Generic Compatible QSFP-DD 800GBASE-PLR8 PAM4 1310nm 10km DOM MPO-16/APC SMF Optical Transceiver Module, Support 2 x 400G-PLR4 and 8 x 100G-LROSFP-2FR4-800GNVIDIA InfiniBand MMS4X50-NM Compatible OSFP 800G 2FR4 PAM4 1310nm 2km DOM Dual Duplex LC/UPC NDR SMF Optical Transceiver Module, Finned Top

What are the advantages of upgrading to 800G technology?

Moving to 800G technology offers several benefits for network infrastructure and data-intensive applications:

  1. Increased Bandwidth: 800G technology offers a significant increase in bandwidth, enabling faster and more efficient data transmission, meeting the growing demand for high-speed data transfer across various industries.
  2. Higher Data Rates: With 800G technology, data rates of up to 800Gbps can be achieved, enabling faster data processing, reduced latency, and improved overall network performance.
  3. Future-Proofing: Adopting 800G technology allows organizations to future-proof their network infrastructure, ensuring compatibility with upcoming technologies and applications.


The advent of 800G technology represents a pivotal advancement in addressing the escalating demands for network bandwidth and faster transmission speeds in our rapidly evolving digital landscape. FS 800G transceivers, with their seamless compatibility with existing network infrastructure, offer a compelling solution for organisations seeking to enhance their data transmission capabilities.

Upgrade to FS 800G optical transceivers today to experience unparalleled performance, and increased bandwidth for the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow.

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Unveiling 800G Transceivers: QSFP-DD vs. OSFP Packages

While the current surge in demand is for 400G optical modules, the 800G optical network is gearing up for high-speed, high-density ports and low-latency DCI. The 800G transceiver can handle 8 billion bits per second, over twice the capacity of the previous 400G generation. This article delves into the key 800G module packages: QSFP-DD and OSFP.

What Is the Development Trend of 800G Transceiver Packaging?

The optical module is a crucial optoelectronic device facilitating photoelectric conversion in optical communication, essential to the industry. From GBIC to smaller SFP and now 800G QSFP-DD and OSFP, fibre transceiver form factors have evolved. The 800G transceiver’s progress focuses on speed, miniaturisation, and hot-swappable capability. Its applications span Ethernet, CWDM/DWDM, connectors, Fibre Channels, wired and wireless access, covering both data communication and telecom markets.

800G Transceiver Form Factors Advantages

800G QSFP-DD Form Factor:

The QSFP-DD is a dual-density, four-channel small pluggable high-speed transceiver, currently favoured for 800G optical applications, aiding data centres in flexible scalability. It employs 8-channel electrical interfaces, supporting rates up to 25Gb/s (NRZ modulation) or 50Gb/s (PAM4 modulation) per channel, offering aggregation solutions of up to 200Gb/s or 400Gb/s.

Advantages of the 800G QSFP-DD:

  • Backward compatibility with QSFP+/QSFP28/QSFP56 packages.
  • Utilises a 2×1 stacked integrated cage and connector, supporting single-height and double-height cage connector systems.
  • Features SMT connectors and 1xN cages, optimising heat capacity to at least 12 watts per module, reducing heat dissipation costs.
  • Designed with flexibility in mind by the MSA working group, adopting ASIC design, supporting various interface rates, and maintaining backward compatibility (QSFP+/QSFP28), reducing port and deployment costs.

800G OSFP Form Factor:

The OSFP represents a new generation of optical modules, smaller than CFP8 yet slightly larger than QSFP-DD. It features eight high-speed electrical channels supporting 32 OSFP ports on a 1U front panel, enhanced by an integrated heat sink for superior heat dissipation.

Advantages of the 800G OSFP:

  • OSFP is designed with an 8-channel (Octal or 8-lane) configuration, supporting a total throughput of up to 800G, enabling greater bandwidth density.
  • Its support for more channels and higher data transfer rates translates to enhanced performance and longer transmission distances.
  • The OSFP module boasts excellent thermal design, capable of handling higher power consumption effectively.
  • With a larger form factor, OSFP is poised to support higher rates in the future, potentially reaching 1.6T or higher due to its increased power handling capacity.

800G Transceiver Form Factors Parameter Comparison:

Electrical Lanes88
Single Lane Rate25Gbps/50Gbps/100Gbps25Gbps/50Gbps/100Gbps
Total Max Data Rate200G/400G/800G200G/400G/800G
Backward Compatibility with QSFP+/QSFP28YesNo
Port density in 1U3636
Bandwidth in 1U14.4Tb/s14.4Tb/s
Power consumption Upper Threshold12W15W
ProductsTransceiver Modules; DAC & AOC cablesTransceiver Modules; DAC & AOC cables

Fibre producers favour OSFP and QSFP-DD. While the latter is typically preferred for telecommunications applications, the former is seen as more suitable for data centre environments.

How to Choose 800G Transceiver for Your Data Center?

To select the appropriate 800G transceiver for your network application, thorough evaluation of factors like transmission distance, fibre type, and form factor is crucial.

The 800G QSFP-DD module utilises Broadcom 7nm DSP chip and COB packaging, with an MTP/MPO-16 connector. However, different models of the 800G QSFP-DD module vary in power consumption and transmission distance. It is suitable for high-speed network environments such as data centres, cloud computing, and large-scale networks, meeting the demand for high bandwidth and large-capacity data transmission.

FS P/NPower ConsumptionDistanceSMF/MMF

The 800G OSFP module also features Broadcom 7nm DSP chip and COB packaging. However, it comes in two types: Ethernet and Infinite Bandwidth, with variations in power consumption and connectors between different models. It is suitable for networks like data centres, cloud computing, and ultra-large-scale networks.

FS P/NPower ConsumptionConnectorDistanceSMF/MMF
OSFP800-2LR4-A2≤18WDual LC Duplex10kmSMF
OSFP800-PLR8-B2≤16.5WDual MTP/MPO-1210kmSMF
OSFP-2FR4-800G≤18WDual LC Duplex2kmSMF
OSFP800-XDR8-B2≤16.5WDual MTP/MPO-122kmSMF
OSFP-DR8-800G≤16WDual MTP/MPO-12500mSMF
OSFP-SR8-800G≤15WDual MTP/MPO-1250mMMF
OSFP-DR8-800G≤16.5WDual MTP/MPO-12500mSMF
OSFP-2FR4-800G≤16.5WDual MTP/MPO-122kmSMF


As technology continues to progress and innovate, we anticipate 800G optical modules will increasingly contribute to practical applications and drive advancements in the digital communication sector.

FS offers a range of 800G optical modules to meet your network construction needs. Visit the FS website for information and enjoy free technical support.

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Managed vs Unmanaged vs Smart Switch: Understanding the Distinctions

Switches form the backbone of LANs, efficiently connecting devices within a specific LAN and ensuring effective data transmission among them. There are three main types of switches: managed switches, smart managed switches, and unmanaged switches. Choosing the right switch during network infrastructure upgrades can be challenging. In this article, we delve into the differences between these three types of switches to help determine which one can meet your actual network requirements.

What are Managed Switches, Unmanaged Switches and Smart Switches?

Managed switches typically use SNMP protocol, allowing users to monitor the switch and its port statuses, enabling them to read throughput, port utilisation, etc. These switches are designed and configured for high workloads, high traffic, and custom deployments. In large data centres and enterprise networks, managed switches are often used in the core layer of the network.

Unmanaged switches, also known as dumb switches, are plug-and-play devices with no remote configuration, management, or monitoring options. You cannot log in to an unmanaged switch or read any port utilisation or throughput of the devices. However, unmanaged switches are easy to set up and are used in small networks or adding temporary device groups to large networks to expand Ethernet port counts and connect network hotspots or edge devices to small independent networks.

Smart managed switches are managed through a web browser, allowing users to maintain their network through intuitive guidance. These smart Ethernet switches are particularly suitable for enterprises needing remote secure management and troubleshooting, enabling network administrators to monitor and control traffic for optimal network performance and reliability. Web smart managed switches have become a viable solution for small and medium-sized enterprises, with the advantage of being able to change the switch configuration to meet specific network requirements.

What is the Difference Between Them?

Next, we will elaborate on the differences between these three types of switches from the following three aspects to help you lay the groundwork for purchasing.

Configuration and Network Performance

Managed switches allow administrators to configure, monitor, and manage them through interfaces such as Command Line Interface (CLI), web interface, or SNMP. They support advanced features like VLAN segmentation, network monitoring, traffic control, protocol support, etc. Additionally, their advanced features enable users to recover data in case of device or network failures. On the other hand, unmanaged switches come with pre-installed configurations that prevent you from making changes to the network and do not support any form of configuration or management. Smart managed switches, positioned between managed and unmanaged switches, offer partial management features such as VLANs, QoS, etc., but their configuration and management options are not as extensive as fully managed switches and are typically done through a web interface.

Security Features

The advanced features of managed switches help identify and swiftly eliminate active threats while protecting and controlling data. Unmanaged switches do not provide any security features. In contrast, smart managed switches, while also offering some security features, usually do not match the comprehensiveness or sophistication of managed switches.


Due to the lack of management features, unmanaged switches are the least expensive. Managed switches typically have the highest prices due to the advanced features and management capabilities they provide. Smart managed switches, however, tend to be lower in cost compared to fully managed switches.

Managed SwitchComprehensive functionsMonitoring and controlling a whole networkHigh-levels of network securityExpensiveData center, large size enterprise networks
Smart Managed SwitchLimited but intelligent functionsIntelligent manage via a Web browserBetter network securityCheapSMBs, home offices
Unmanaged SwitchFixed configurationPlug and play with limited configurationNo security capabilitiesAffordableHome, conference rooms

How to Select the Appropriate Switch?

After understanding the main differences between managed, unmanaged, and smart managed switches, you should choose the appropriate switch type based on your actual needs. Here are the applications of these three types of switches, which you can consider when making a purchase:

  • Managed switches are suitable for environments that require highly customised and precise network management, such as large enterprise networks, data centres, or scenarios requiring complex network policies and security controls.
  • Smart managed switches are suitable for small and medium-sized enterprises or departmental networks that require a certain level of network management and flexible configuration but may not have the resources or need to maintain the complex settings of a fully managed switch.
  • Unmanaged switches are ideal for home use, small offices, or any simple network environment that does not require complex configuration and management. Unmanaged switches are the ideal choice when the budget is limited, and network requirements are straightforward.

In brief, the choice of switch type depends on your network requirements, budget, and how much time you are willing to invest in network management. If you need high control and customisation capabilities, a managed switch is the best choice. If you are looking for cost-effectiveness and a certain level of control, a smart managed switch may be more suitable. For the most basic network needs, an unmanaged switch provides a simpler and more economical solution.


Ultimately, selecting the appropriate switch type is essential to achieve optimal network performance and efficiency. It is important to consider your network requirements, budget, and management preferences when making this decision for your network infrastructure.

As a leading global provider of networking products and solutions, FS not only offers many types of switches, but also customised solutions for your business network. For more product or technology-related knowledge, you can visit FS Community.

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