Structured Fiber Cabling Solutions for Network & Server Cabinet

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How does your network or server cabinet look like? Are they stocked with varied servers or networking equipment connected with long cables that reach out to the devices on the other cabinet or enclosure? This is exactly what we used to call point-to-point cabling. However, it is also an art to keep a neat cabling. This article unveils a compelling new cabling method—structured fiber cabling solutions for network&server cabinet.

What Is Structured Cabling and How Does It Matter?

In recent years it has become apparent that fiber-optics are replacing copper wire as an appropriate means of communication signal transmission. The standardized architecture and components for communications cabling formulated by the EIA/TIA TR42 committee—structured cabling is used as a voluntary standard by manufacturers to ensure fiber-optics interoperability. In a structured cabling system, a variety of patch panels and trunk cables are harnessed to create a structure that allows for hardware ports to be connected to a patch panel at the top of the server rack. That patch panel is then connected to another patch panel via a trunk (multi-fiber assembly designed for use in conveyance) in the MDA (Main Distribution Area). When you have several servers, with multiple patch connections and power cords running through your server rack, you need to keep them arranged and managed with an excellent rack cable management system.
structured cabling for server cabinet

Here some may wonder why bother to cost more on the connecting gadgets? Well, without running long patch cords from equipment racks, MACs are much quicker as the cable and port tracing becomes a much easier job. The potential for downtime goes down with the reduced potential for human error. A structured cabling system will look aesthetically pleasing.

Structured Fiber Cabling Solutions for Network & Server Cabinet

In the server room, there may be a server cabinet and a network cabinet for the storage of routers, patch panels, switches and a wide variety of networking equipment as well as networking accessories. Taking FS GR600-series server cabinet and GR800-series network & server cabinet housing 10G and 40G applications as an example, let’s see an exemplary structured fiber optic cabling.

Server Rack to Network Rack

As for intra-rack cabling, say server rack to network rack (10G-40G), connect the 10Gbe switch to a MTP-8 MTP/MPO breakout cassette via a 10GBASE-SR SFP+ transceiver and an LC fiber optic patch cable. Then bridge the cassette with fiber adapter panel which is finally linked to the 40Gbe QSFP+ uplink port on a 10Gbe switch through the MTP trunk cable and a 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+transceiver. In this respect, the centralized cabling solution keeps cables organized and out of critical airflow paths.

Server Rack to Network Rack

Network Rack to Core Rack

When it comes to network rack to core rack (40G-40G), connect the 40Gbe QSFP+ uplink port on a 10Gbe switch to the FS ultra high density fiber adapter panel with 6 MTP adapters through the MTP trunk cable and a 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+transceiver. Then draw together two same adapter panels together via an MTP trunk cable. Finally, link the second adapter with the 40Gbe switch by the 40GBase-SR4 QSFP+ MTP/MPO transceiver module and MTP trunk cable. In this way, you can save much energy on tracing each devices.

Network Rack to Core Rack

Rack Cable Management

To realize a structured fiber optic cabling for server cabinet, rack cable management is crucial. FS also provides FHD blanking fiber adapter plate, 1U metal horizontal lacer panel with 5 rotating and detachable plastic D-rings, 1U rack blank panel, colorful T type magnetic velcro cable tie and P type adhesive label paper sheets.

Conclusion

Structured cabling systems use various product sets, like fiber optic trunks and fiber optic enclosures, to create an easy-identifying, good-looking, ordered cabling infrastructure. FS boast various tools positioned as structured cabling solution for network & server cabinet.

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What Is Open Networking and How Does It Benefit Customers?

Open networking possesses distinct interpretations in different fields. It gradually picked up steam when adopted in open network switching, attracting flocks of vendors to take a share from the giant and burgeoning market. What is open networking? This article facilitates us to have a close look at it.

What Is Open Networking?

Open networking appeals to breaking the tight linkage between the hardware and software. Previously, network switches are sold with hardware and software together. That is to say, if users buy a Juniper EX or MX series network switches, they also buy JUNOS; if customers buy a Cisco Catalyst network switch, they have to buy Cisco IOS. With the advent of open networking, things vary greatly alongside the separation of proprietary hardware from its software. Ethernet switch now lives in a disaggregated world where these elements can be chosen from the most appropriate supplier. Not only hardware and software, but also technical support and accessories are traded respectively.

open networking

How Does Open Networking Impact on Network Switch?

Open network switching hardware was first adopted by tech giants such as Google and Facebook, followed by a slew of enterprises. Besides, Cisco is jumping on the bandwagon of disaggregation in data center networks. It will allow data center customers to run its Nexus operating system (NX-OS) on third-party switches and to use other network operating system on its Nexus switches. Having been backed by several hyperscale companies, open networking drives the network switch to develop in a decentralized way.

How Can Network Users Benefit From Open Networking?

Flexibility

Open network vs. closed network, flexibility wins. As it is stated elsewhere, open means choices and options. You can configure the devices with equipment, software and architecture designs from different vendors. And you can turn down the affiliated OSes that may be feature-rich for you, and refer to those satisfying your rigid demand. Open networking entitles you to the architectural freedom to deploy the best topology and protocols for your environment. This has also fostered innovation dramatically with technologies and practices, allows enterprises to move faster to capture opportunity in the market.

Cost-saving

With open networking, you can save budget on dealing with what breaks down rather than throwing away the malfunctioned network switch. That is to say, if open source hardware fails, then you can change it; if software can no longer satisfy your needs, then replace it with other open source software. For example, some people have encountered the issue that the switch whines loudly. In this case, you can decide to make changes only on the hardware. Targeted troubleshooting also saves time and energy.

Unified Development

From the perspective of the vendor, they can jump out of the scenario where they work behind closed doors, and turn to seek common points while reserving difference from others. You want to survive in the market, you need to be open, inclusive and be compatible to the third parties gadgets. A closed system by definition prevents others from openly interfacing with your offer, thus stifling collaboration and increasing the time to market. FS.COM not only released the open networking switch, but also recently sought cooperation with Cumulus Networks to add the leading open source operating system—Cumulus Linux to the FS N-series 40G and 100Gbe switches. This progress brings high-end features like automation to customers.

FS N-series switch, open networking

Conclusion

Open networking represents the general trend. As vendors rush in swarms, customers can stay and wait to reap the benefits. Choose what suits your hardware needs from household names such as FS.COM. This freedom extends to every aspect of your purchase including cables and optics.

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FS.COM N5850-48S6Q VS. Cisco Nexus 3172PQ 48-Port 10Gbe Switch

What do you care most about a data center switch? The number of ports? The switch class? Or the operating system? Here is a comparison of two 48-port 10gbe switches from FS.COM and Cisco. Let’s see what the vendors value for their own devices.

FS N5850-48S6Q 48-Port 10Gbe Switch Overview

FS N5850-48S6Q network switch is initially positioned as the bare metal switch, but you can choose the one pre-installed with Broadcom ICOS or Cumulus Linux. The combination of Cumulus Linux makes the N5850-48S6Q 10gbe switch stand head and shoulders above its counterparts. Here we revolve around the one with Cumulus Linux.
FS N5850-48S6Q network switch comes with 48 SFP+ 10Gb ports and 6 QSFP+ 40Gb ports, and each 40Gb port can operate in native 40-Gbps or 4 x 10-Gbps mode. N5850-48S6Q is a top-of-rack (TOR) or leaf 10Gbe switch in a compact 1U form factor, ideally suited for high performance and programmable data center environments. It performs excellent low latency and power efficiency in a PHY less design while providing high-reliability features such as redundant and hot-swappable power supplies and fans in forward and reverse airflow configurations. The switch supports advanced features such as MLAG, VxLAN, SFLOW, SNMP, MPLS etc, making it ideal for traditional or fully virtualized data centers.

FS N5850 48-port 10Gbe switch

Cisco Nexus 3172PQ 48-Port 10Gbe Switch Overview

The Cisco Nexus 3172PQ switch is a dense, high-performance 10gbe and 40 Gigabit Ethernet switch. Externally, it shares the same port configuration and 1RU form factor with FS N5850-48S6Q 48-port switch. Internally, it runs the industry-leading Cisco NX—OS software operating system, providing customers with comprehensive features and functions that are widely deployed. It supports both forward and reverse (port side exhaust and port side intake) airflow schemes with AC and DC power inputs. Dual redundant power supplies make it possible for the switch to run with a single power supply and with one failed fan module. The switch also has a serial console port, a USB port, and an out-of-band 10/100/1000-Mbps Ethernet management port.

48-Port 10Gbe Switch Comparison

FS N5850-48S6Q Vs Cisco Nexus 3172PQ Basic Configuration
‪Items FS N5850-48S6Q Cisco Nexus-3172PQ
Ports 48*10Gb+6*40Gb 48*10Gb+6*40Gb
Switching Capacity 1.44Tbps Full-duplex 1.4-Tbps
CPU Intel Rangeley C2538 2.4Ghz 4-core 1.5 GHz Intel Processor(dual core)
Forwarding Rate 1 Bpps Up to 1 Bpps
Jumbo Frame 9000 Bytes 9216 Bytes
Dimensions (WxDxH) 433.8 x 520 x 43.8 mm 439 x 432 x 44 mm
Price $5799 $8,487.12

FS switches, generally, have the switching ports on the front panel. Oppositely, Cisco Nexus 3172PQ switch ports are at the rear side. As for the central processing unit (CPU), FS N5850-48S6Q boasts four cores and more cores will make your processor faster overall. The switching capacity is often a measure of the switch’s fabric bandwidth and the switch’s packets per second forwarding capacity and FS 1.44Tbps and Cisco 1.4 Tbps are about the same. The table shows a sharp difference in the cost, you can save more on the FS N5850-48S6Q and invest on cabling or other devices.

FS N5850-48S6Q Vs Cisco Nexus 3172PQ: Performance

Network Operating System

The operating system acts as an interface between the hardware and the programs requesting I/O. Cisco Nexus 3172PQ 48-port switch are shipped with Cisco NX—OS network OS. You will have an operating system based on Linux, however, you interact with a management layer that hides Linux and the guts of the system from you. It is hard to make some changes. Cumulus Linux on the other hand isn’t based on Linux, it is Linux. It was not long ago that Cisco proposed the segregation of hardware and software. The technology may not be full-fledged. Cumulus Linux is the only solution that allows you to affordably build and efficiently operate your network like the world’s largest data center operators, unlocking vertical network stacks.

At present, FS N5850 10gbe switch and Cisco 3172PQ are endowed with automation brought by Cumulus Linux and Cisco NX—OS respectively. Automation can replace the laborious manual workflows in configuration changes and upgrades, and also troubleshooting. One facet worthy of mentioning is that Cumulus Linux can seamlessly be applied to varied hardware, which outweighs Cisco NX—OS that is specialized.

Key Features

FS N5850-48S6Q 48-port 10gbe switch supports Ethernet VPN (EVPN) that enables you to connect dispersed customer sites using a Layer 2 virtual bridge, Virtual routing, forwarding (VRF), and Lightweight Network Virtualization (LNV) for deploying VXLANs without a central controller on bare metal switches. Complete Layer 3 unicast and multicast routing protocol suites are supported by Cisco Nexus 3172PQ 10gbe switch, including Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP) used on a computer network for automating routing decisions and configuration, Routing Information Protocol Version 2 (RIPv2), and Protocol-Independent Multicast sparse mode (PIM-SM).

Conclusion

Cisco Nexus 3172PQ and FS N5850-48S6Q are both 48-port 10gbe switch suited for data center with robust performance and outstanding configuration. N5850-48S6Q network switch is entitled with three different forms for customers. Bare metal switch, bare metal switch with Broadcom ICOS or Cumulus Linux. That’s the great flexibility FS.COM provides with clients.

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Why Cumulus Linux Is Popular Among White Box Switches?

The network switch has now grown in the same way that the server was developed in the market. Proprietary switches are now challenged by the white box switches that bring open source software. There are many network operation systems that can be accessed through ONIE for bare metal switches. Among them, Cumulus Linux is the most popular one. How does it develop and why does it stand out from the rest?

Cumulus Linux Overview

Cumulus linux is a version of the open source operating system built to run on bare-metal switch hardware. Cumulus Linux is a software distribution that runs on top of industry standard networking hardware. Linux has a very full-featured networking stack and the mature linux operating system has already been in use for implementation of technologies from most networking vendors prior to incorporating it into their proprietary platforms. Sysadmins have access to and get familiar with a huge variety of tools for managing and operating linux platforms. It is said that 34% of the Fortune 50 have already adopted Cumulus linux. Then why Cumulus linux is popular among white box switches?

cumulus linux

Analysis on White Box Switch Market

Over the years, consumers have bought proprietary network switches from well-known vendors who installed their operating system on the original hardware. Now with the advent of white box switches, customers have found a more flexible approach to create their own switches. They can get hardware directly from the ODM at a discounted rate compared to similar switches from traditional networking vendors, because there are no network operating system installed in it. Vendors like Cumulus Networks and Big Switch Networks offer operating systems that can run on a variety of hardware switching platforms. These platforms can be installed into multiple bare metal hardware that come from different suppliers.

white box switch

The white box switch which enables people to purchase hardware and software independently is gaining popularity. It excels traditional switches in cost and the flexibility. Cumulus linux gives programmers and developers the ability to customize the platform to their needs.

Why Cumulus Linux Is Popular Among White Box Switches?

Built for automation, scalability and flexibility, Cumulus Linux is the world’s most flexible open network operating system for bare metal switches which allow you to build a data center network that ideally suits your business needs.

Cumulus Linux Provides Economical Scalability.

Since Cumulus Linux is Linux, all applications available with a Linux operating system are also available with Cumulus Linux. With off the rack hardware and a standardized linux stack, people can increase efficiency in operation by reducing production time. Both CapEx and OpEx can be lowered.

Cumulus Linux Is Built for the Automation Age.

Cumulus linux is a powerful, networking-focused linux based free operating system that offers a complete open architecture and is designed for easy automation. With automation, all of your configurations are stored in one place. No longer need to log into a dozen switches and start typing to make changes on multiple switches. Using automation, you can accomplish the change in one centralized repository and push them out to your switches with the flip of a switch.

Cumulus Linux Provides Choice and Flexibility.

Cumulus Linux currently runs on 50+ hardware platforms from 9 different vendors, and boasts two different types of silicon. It greatly increases the choices of hardware and avoids any potential hardware lock in or supply chain issues. Build your network based on your needs and you budget, and pivot easily as the industry changes.

Conclusion

Providing economical scalability and choice flexibility, Cumulus Linux, the leading network operating system, greatly boosts the adoption of white box switch. Unless you try Cumulus Linux, you can never taste its charming.

Related Article:Why Should You Use Cumulus Linux OS?

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ONIE: Why It Is Special for Bare Metal Switch?

Have you ever wondered that one day you could customize switches like the way you configure your own PC? It is actually happening. As vendors researches and develops switch structures by decoupling software from hardware, bare metal switch come into being. The switching technology can be programmed like Cumulus Linux servers. They may appear in a lot more average enterprises in the next few years with ONIE moving into the spotlight.

Clearing the Fog Around Bare Metal Switch

Bare metal switch, also known as white-box switch, is solely a switch box with a chip inside it. What makes it differ from original network switch? Well, common Ethernet switches, also called closed switches, are sold with hardware and software together. That is to say, if you buy a Juniper EX or MX series network switches, you also buy JUNOS; if you buy a Cisco Catalyst network switch, you have to buy Cisco IOS. This is in contrast to bare metal switches which widen the choice available to network buyers. They can choose components like application, network OS, and driver, depending on their own needs. The segregation of hardware and software fulfills the vision of a more affordable, manageable network and saves the time and funding for more projects, which is really beneficial to business.

bare metal switch vs. traditional switch

With a cheap bare metal switch in hand, what about the network operating system? That’s what ONIE (Open Network Install Environment) can do for bare metal switch.

Ins and Outs of ONIE

Introduced by Cumulus Networks, open network install environment (ONIE) combines a boot loader and a small linux operating system. Having been pre-installed on bare metal switches where software and bare-metal hardware are sold separately, customers can freely choose network OS from a range of sources over a network using IPv4, IPv6 and TFTP, or even locally from a USB flash drive. ONIE enables switch hardware suppliers to manage their operations based on a small number of hardware SKUs, enabling a thriving ecosystem of both network hardware and network OS alternatives.

ONIE Paving the Way of Bare Metal Switch

With ONIE, consumers can run any compatible network OS, such as cumulus linux Pica8, and Open Source on the bare metal switch, which dramatically reduces the overall capital and operating cost and breaking through the proprietary traditional network architectures. Moreover, switch & network OS vendors can concentrate on researching and developing switches and operating systems, without being distracted by the minutiae of loading a network OS onto a specific switching platform.

bare metal switch

As a component of the open hardware switch platform, ONIE will contribute to advancing standards that define the hardware/software interface. It has now been pre-installed on many bare metal switches, such as FS N8500-48B6C 100gbe switch which also supports current and future network requirements, including an x86- based control plane COM-E with BMC and Timing options for easier integration of automation tools familiar to server administrators. The increasingly mature bare metal switch will in return spur the ONIE to open its arm to more excellent network OS.

Conclusion

Bare metal switch indeed makes our choice flexible and diversified. Moreover, ONIE, presenting an open standards platform for network operating systems, will facilitate the widespread adoption of bare metal switches by making it much easier for administrators to purchase and deploy standards-based network hardware in the same way that x86 servers accept a variety of conventional operating systems.

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CMR vs. CMP: When to Use Them in Your House?

Lots of customers have found the letters “CM”, “CMR” and CMP” in the product description when purchasing copper cables like Cat5e cable and Cat6 cable. These terms are the most common cable jacket ratings specified by the National Electric Code (NEC). CM rated cables that are designed for general use won’t be covered in this article. Let’s see the difference between CMR vs. CMP in their applications.

Introduction of CMR vs. CMP

CMR cable stands for “Communications Multipurpose Cable, Riser”. It is also referred to as “riser-rated cable” and designed to prevent fires from spreading between floors through risers or vertical shafts, that is to say, it can self-extinguish when ignited. As for flame-resistance, it does better than the CM cable, so CMR cable can be used where CM cable would be required. Consequently, CMR cable is more expensive than CM cable.

Cat5eCat6

CMP cable stands for “Communications Multipurpose Cable, Plenum”, which is the so-called plenum cable. It is constructed to limit the amount of smoke emitted in case of a fire and prevent flame from spreading to more than five feet. In some places where air travels throughout a building via plenum spaces, it is critical that Ethernet cable is made of the material that doesn’t give off toxic fumes if burned. CMP cable is the one suitable for installation into air plenum spaces.

When it comes to the difference between CMR vs. CMP, as the flammability requirements for CMP cables are stricter than CMR cables, plenum cables can always replace riser cables, but not the reverse. Plenum rated cable is always twice as expensive as riser cable.

CMR vs. CMP: When to Use Them in Your House?

Even though we have read lots of materials telling what is CMR vs. CMP, the knowledge about when to use these cables truly matters for the mass people. Only being applied to the practice, can the theory be tasted. Let’s see the following illustration.
In the picture, the CMP plenum cables run horizontally in the structured ceiling and the dropped ceiling or under a raised floor where is typically considered plenum. This is largely due to the fact that this place is full of fast-moving air as it facilitates air circulation for heating and conditioning systems. The presence of fresh air can bring dander of rapid flame spreading or dangerous gases distribution, thus causing damage to the furniture and threatening people’s lives. Therefore, CMP must be used in air ducts or vents. Typically, it is the prime choice for cabling construction in train station, airport and other public people-intensive places where we must prevent hazards to human health and safety from wiring.

CMR riser cable runs between floors in non-plenum areas as the red line indicates. They are usually run vertically from the basement to the upper floor, so long as the cable does not need to run through an air duct.

CMR vs. CMP in house

CMP, CMR and the like are the NEC’s ratings for the cable jacket. Different types of copper cables like Cat5, Cat5e and Cat6 cables all have CM, CMR, CMP versions. They have the same exact copper inside. The difference is the outer casing or “jacket” that surrounds a cable’s internal wiring and insulation.

Conclusion

This article covers what is riser cable and plenum cable, when to use plenum cable and riser cable. Choosing the right CMR vs. CMP cable is really important. It not only helps prevent dangers but also avoid unnecessary interference by local authorities if you fail to meet the fire codes. If there are any problem or puzzle during cables selecting or application, FS excellent tech team and sales team would like to offer help.

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How to Choose MTP/MPO Cable for 10G/40G/100G Connections?

As the data center expands, the traditional fiber optic cables can hardly meet the high requirements for networking, as they not only occupy a large room, but also make it more difficult to manage cables. In contrast, MTP cable and MPO cable provide a multi-fiber connectivity in one connector to support higher bandwidth and higher density applications, thus becoming popular. Generally, MTP/MPO cables are classified into three types: trunk cable, harness cable and conversion cable. See what they are and their applications.

Common MTP/MPO Cable Types

MTP/MPO Trunk Cable

MTP/MPO trunk cable is a cable with two MPO or MTP connectors at both ends, with nothing different from ordinary patch cables seen from outside. However, the truth is that the cable usually accommodates 12, 24, 48 and even 72 fibers, and the ends are terminated with 12-fiber or 24-fiber MTP/MPO connectors according to customer’s choice. FS MTP/MPO trunk cables are designed for high density application which offers excellent benefits in terms on site installation time and space saving. They are available in multiple lengths and in single mode, multimode OM1, OM2, OM3 or OM4 with LSZH or PVC Jackets. With BIF, FS MTP and MPO  cables are designed for improved bend performance in reduced-radius applications such as residential or office environments which have less bend sensitivity.

MPO cable trunk cable

MTP/MPO Harness Cable

MTP/MPO harness cable is also known as fanout cable or breakout cable as it has a single MTP connector on one end and on the other end it breaks out into 6 or 12 connectors (LC, SC, ST, etc.). As one fiber patch cord contains two fibers for receiving and transmitting, a 8-fiber MTP-LC harness cable, for example, has 4 LC connectors and a MTP connector at either end. Similarly, a 12-fiber MTP-LC harness cable has 6 LC connectors and a MTP connector. MTP/MPO harness cable is usually deployed for 40G to 10G transmission and 100G to 25G transmission.

MTP/MPO harness cable

MTP/MPO Conversion Cable

MTP/MPO conversion cable has the same fanout design like the MTP/MPO harness cable, but it is terminated with MTP/MPO connectors on both ends. However, the MTP connectors on each end are different in fiber counts and types, which can provide more possibilities for the existing 24-fiber cabling system. It eliminates the wasted fiber, and therefore can largely increase the capacity of the existing 12-fiber and 24-fiber MTP network.

How to Deploy MTP/MPO Cables in 10G/40G/100G Connections?

Follow with the MTP/MPO fiber cables are the MTP/MPO cassettes, MTP/MPO fiber adapter panels and MTP/MPO breakout panels. Here are some typical applications of MTP/MPO fiber cables in 10G, 40G and 100G connections.

10G-10G Connection

In the following two scenarios, two MTP/MPO cassettes installed in the fiber enclosures are connected by MTP/MPO trunk cables, making the core of the cabling simpler. The front panel of the cassettes is connected upwards to server and downwards to 10G ports of FS S5800-48F4S via OM4 fiber optic cable and 10G transceiver.

connection1

connection2

40G-10G Connection

In this scenario, a 40G QSFP+ port on the FS S5850 48S6Q switch is split up into 4 10G channels. A 8-fiber MTP-LC harness cable connect the 40G side with its MTP connector and the four LC connectors link with the 10G side.

connection3

40G-40G Connection

As shown below, a 12-fiber MTP trunk cable is used to connect two 40G optical transceivers to realize the 40G to 40G connection between the two switches. The connection method can also be applied to 100G-100G connection.
connection4

120G to 3x40G Connection

In this figure, a MTP/MPO conversion cable connects a CXP 120G SR12 and three 40G QSFP+ SR4 fiber optic transceiver modules to realize the migration from 120G to 40G networking.

connection5

Conclusion

High performance, high density MTP cable and MPO cable solutions can swap up to 12 traditional fiber connectors with one single small form factor connector, reducing installation time and labor costs. They are suitable for a variety of applications including data centers, telecommunications, broadcast communication, and server rooms. FS strives to provide you with best products with reasonable price and best service.

Related articles: Understanding Polarity in MPO System

                              Type A MTP Cassette and Type B MTP Cassette: When and Where to Use?

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Switch Stacking Tutorial of 48-port Stackable Switch

As switch stacking, the premium feature of few network switches, evolves as a core competence of Ethernet switches in the market, vendors strives to release varies stackable switches and produce switch stacking tutorials for customers. This post will take FS S3900-48T4S 48-port stackable switch as an example to explore how to stack switches together.

Introduction to FS S3900 48T4S 48-port Stackable Switch

Port density and Scalability

S3900 48T4S 48-port gigabit switch comes with 48 downlink RJ45 ports that are triple speed copper ports connecting with end-devices and four 10Gbps SFP+ uplink ports that connect toward the core of the network. With 176Gbps switching capacity. This network switch delivers wire-speed switching performance on all Gigabit ports which support auto-negotiation for port speed and duplex mode. The 4 built-in 10G SFP+ ports provide uplink flexibility, allowing the insertion of fiber or copper, Gigabit or 10G transceivers. These 10Gbps SFP+ port can work as both uplinks and stacking links to servers or service provider, corporate, or campus networks, reducing bottlenecks and increasing the performance of the access network.

S3900 48T4S

Reliability and Energy Efficiency

The dual power supply can ensure the effectiveness of mission-critical network. If one power supply fails for some reason, the other one will take over seamlessly to sustain the normal running of network. Moreover, the design of the S3900 48-port stackable switches incorporates high energy efficiency in order to reduce the impact on the environment. The fan is smart controlled by the traffic. When the switch runs busy, the fan inevitably generates much noise which, however, won’t cause distress. The Green Ethernet power-saving features can be translated into that, on an inactive link, the port moves into inactive mode and saves power while keeping the administrative status of the port up.

How to Stack 48-Port Gigabit Switch?

The S3900 48T4S 48-port network switch can allow up to six switch being stacked together, in which it excels S3800 series switches. Use DAC, AOC or transceiver modules plus fiber optic cable can simply join the switches together. Only the rightmost two SFP+ ports on the switch can be used to stack, and should be cross linked, as shown in the following video about 24-port S3900 switch stacking.

How to Manage Switch Stacks Effectively?

Managing switch stacks is also not an easy work because there is a set of network switches in one stack unit. As for the S3900-48T4S stackable switch, an industry-standard command-line interface (CLI), accessed through the console port or Telnet*, provides a familiar web user interface and command set for users to manage the switch. Moreover, just one command and a reboot* can realize switch stacking, more convenient than common switch stacking. An embedded user-friendly web interface helps users to quickly check and manage the 48-port managed switch.

*Note 1: in stacking process, you need to pull and plug the console cable into each 48-port managed stackable switch repeatedly. By contrast, keep telnet cable connected with one switch is enough.

*Note 2: the one being restarted firstly is the stack master.

Conclusion

The S3900 48T4S 48-port stackable switch, born in this era where high speed network is badly needed, is an ideal Gigabit access switch for SMB, enterprise, and campus networks to boost productivity. And it is ideal for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Multiple System Operators (MSOs) to provide home users with triple-play services with up to Gigabit bandwidth.

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Stackable Switch or Chassis Switch On the Network Edge?

Network edge infrastructures can collect, transmit and record data passing the network. The infrastructures include gateways, routers, and switches. The switches on the network edge are located at the meeting point of two networks. The edge switches are closer to end-user than the backbone of the network. When it comes to choosing between stackable switch and chassis switch for the network edge, it may be difficult for you to make a decision. This article will provide you some points about choosing between stackable switches and chassis switches on the network edge.

What is a Stackable Switch?

As the name suggests, a stackable switch not only can operate alone but also can be connected with another stackable network switch. Stack cables, transceivers & patch cables, and DAC cables play important roles in connecting stackable switches. Generally speaking, the maximum number of switches in a stack depends on the brand and the type of stackable switches. For example, FS S3800 stackable switches support up to 4 switches stacking. The group of switches can be configured as one unit for they all share the same IP address. By setting up a group of stackable switches, you can add extra available ports on your switches. And they can operate like one single switch. So stackable switch solution is popular for its flexibility and simplicity.

Flexibility

With stackable switches, you don’t need to keep large amount redundant ports at very first. For example, you just need to add a new stackable Gigabit Ethernet switch on the stack when you require more 1G ports. Besides, various types and speeds of stackable switches can meet your different needs of ports.

Simplicity

Adding a new stackable switch to a stack is not a big deal. By using stack cables, transceivers & patch cables, and DAC cables, you can connect the individual switches as one entity in several minutes. More than that, the stack of switches can be managed as one single switch for they share the same IP address.

stackable switch

Figure1: stackable switch

What is a Chassis Switch?

Different from a stackable switch, a chassis switch works with various line cards. So it can provide different types and large amounts of ports that are required. A chassis switch has a certain number of fixed slots which are used to place line card of different types. By inserting extra line cards into a chassis switch, you can have more available ports. For example, you can insert both a line card with 100G ports and a line card with 10G ports in one chassis switch. Then the chassis switch has both the function of a 100GbE switch and the function a 10GbE switch. Besides, both the line cards with copper ports and that with fiber optical ports can be inserted into one chassis switch. Chassis switches are widely used for its consolidation and unified management.

Consolidation

Stackable switches are individual switches connected by cables and transceivers. While a chassis switch is one switch with various line cards and modules. It has its own system and even a firewall. A stackable switch has its common backplane, power supply modules, common processing modules and etc.

Unified Management

You can use only one application to manage all the line cards in a chassis switch. Besides, if you want to update the program of a chassis switch, you just need to update the only one application of the chassis. The unified management of chassis switches makes management more convenient and time-saving.

Stackable Switch vs Chassis Switch: Which to Choose on the Network Edge?

The switches using on the network edge connect directly to the end user devices. So they need to have high port density and low costs. Stackable switches and chassis switches have many characters in common. They both have many available ports, centralized management, and the possibility of adding ports in the future. But when it comes to choosing between them, there are three factors you need to consider, including reliability, flexibility, and longevity.

Reliability

Reliability is a significant character of an edge switch. When a stackable switch in one stack comes to a problem and goes out of order, you need to unhook the connection and take it out of the rack. Then you need to put a new one on the rack and connect the new one with other stackable switches. It is more time consuming than using a chassis switch. Because many line cards in a chassis switch are hot-swappable. When it comes to the breakdown of one line card, you just need to pull the line card out and insert a new one in. And then the chassis switch will operate normally again. Besides, a chassis switch has better air flow and bigger power supply than stackable switches. So a chassis switch may be less possible to break down than stackable switches.

Flexibility

The edge of a network is like the branches of a tree. So the flexibility of edge switches is important. Both stackable switches and chassis switches can offer the combination of different port speed and transmission types. But chassis switches can only be used with the equipment produced by a certain vendor. While stackable switches are more flexible on brands. Besides, unlike a stackable switch, there is no self-sufficient operation for individual line cards in a chassis switch. Last but not least, a chassis switch may occupy more rack space than stackable switches when the number of used ports is not that much.

Longevity

The longevity of edge switches may influence the costs in the long run. Chassis based switches tend to have a longer lifespan than stackable switches. When you want to improve the speed of one port from 1 Gigabit to 10 Gigabit on a stackable switch, you have no choice but to buy a new switch. If you use a chassis switch, you just need to remove a Gigabit port line card and insert a 10 Gigabit port line card. Then you go with the same old chassis switch. Although chassis switches have higher initial investment than stackable switches, chassis switches have a longer lifespan.

Summary

This article focuses on the introduction of stackable switches and chassis switches, and some considerations about choosing between stackable switches and chassis switches on the network edge, including reliability, flexibility, and longevity. If you need a little more help and advice with stackable switch and chassis switch, then please do not hesitate to let us know. For purchasing high-quality switches with low cost or for more products’ information, please contact us at sales@fs.com.

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Modem vs Router: What’s the Difference?

Modems, routers, hubs and network switches are widely used in building a network. When it comes to setting up a Wi-Fi network, it’s necessary to know what kind of network equipment you need. A modem and a router are the foundation of your Wi-Fi network. A modem can connect you to the Internet, while a router can connect your devices to Wi-Fi. This article will focus on what is a modem, what is a router, and modem vs router: what’s the difference.

Modem: a Bridge Connecting Your Local Network and the Internet

Short for modulator-demodulator, a modem serves as a bridge between your local network and the Internet. It encodes and decodes data. So the data can be transmitted between the home network and the Internet Service Provider (ISP). A modem connects to a router or directly to a computer, by using an Ethernet cable. Thus you can get an Internet connection. Besides, most modems have two ports: one connects to the Internet and another connects to a router or a computer.

Router: a Device Taking the Web Wireless

A router directs the Internet connection to all your computers, mobile phones and other connected devices you have. It connects to a modem through an Ethernet cable. And then the router passes that Internet connection to other devices in your house through an Ethernet cable or over a Wi-Fi network. It creates a private wireless network in a home, office, or place of business. For example, when you connect your cell phone to Wi-Fi, the cell phone is connected to a local router. A router lets all your devices communicate with one another over the local network. Besides, a router can protect your devices from being exposed directly to the Internet. To the Internet, all the traffic coming from your private network looks like it’s coming from a single device.

Modem vs Router

Figure 1: router to modem connection

Modem vs Router: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to connecting your home devices to the Internet, we can’t miss modems and routers. A modem brings the information in, and a router distributes it to different devices like computers and phones. The following chart will show you the differences between modem vs router in detail.

Modem
Router
Layer
Data link layer
Network Layer
Function
A modem is a translator between the public Internet and a private network.
A router creates a private network and allows multiple devices to connect to this network.
Ports
2 ports. One connects to the Internet and another connects to a router or a computer.
Big routers for carriers and providers can have more than 100ports, while little routers for small office or home have 2 to 8 ports.
Device Type
Inter-networking device
Networking device
Connections
A modem can only connect to one device: either a home PC or a router.
A router can connect to multiple devices in a network, either through Ethernet cables or through WiFi.
Necessary for Internet Connection?
Yes
No, but can provide additional security and allow for multiple connections.
Security
No security measures. Modems don’t screen the data it encodes or decodes, and so it passes on any potential threat to connected computers.
Provides security measures. Routers examine data packets to determine their destination, and so can contain firewalls to screen out attacks on the network.
Independent or Dependent
Independent. A modem can work without a router and deliver information directly to a single PC.
Dependent. A router can share information between computers, but cannot connect to the Internet without a modem.

Summary

A modem can connect you to the Internet, while a router can connect your devices to Wi-Fi. Modems and routers are both involved in connecting your home devices to the Internet. The differences between modem vs router include many aspects, such as layer, function, the number of ports, data transmission form, device type, etc. Except for modems and routers, switches such as Gigabit Ethernet switch and 10GbE switch also play an important role in building a network.

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