How to Punch Down Cat6 into Patch Panel

When it comes to punching down Ethernet patch panel, unlike feed through patch panel which provides patching without punching down the wires to the ports, punch down patch panel is a kind of network patch panel that should punch down Ethernet cable on the rear side. On the front plate, RJ45 ports, marked with number for easy identification, can be directly connect Ethernet copper cable. For example, simply punch down the twisted pair cabling in the back of the 24 port patch panel and you are ready to plug in RJ45 patch cables in the front.

punch down patch panel

Punch down types are available in Cat5e or Cat6 patch panel. Category 6 cables have stricter standards for reducing system noise and avoid crosstalk, much better than Cat5 or Cat3, which means less network interference and better performance. Here comes the question: how to punch down Cat6 into patch panel.

After experiencing myself and watching countless videos performed by others, I summary the procedure into the brief seven steps and hope it can help you when fixing the devices.

  • First, determine the length of cables you need. Do not overlook this step as it will help save materials as much as possible, though many think the cable is not expensive.
  • Second, peel the outside protective jacket about 3-6 inches from the cable end with cable stripping tools.
  • Third, after removing the cable jacket, you should cut off the plastic spine surrounded by pairs as close to the cables end as possible and then separate the wire pairs. Try to straighten the ends so that you can do the termination easily. Pull on the spine and fold the pairs back. Then cut the spine .
  • Fourth, place the cable wires into the slot on the patch panel. Make sure when you put them in the patch panel, you put them firmly so they don’t move before you punching down. Choose a port on the patch panel to begin terminating. Usually we start with the 1st port. Then insert each wire into its own slot. Don’t leave wires exposed too much or twisted to avoid signal loss.
  • Fifth, terminate the wires. Once you have all your wires in place, you have to take a punch down tool and punch down the wires into the patch panel. Push down the tool and cut the end of wire off. It is also OK to twist it off. After punching down the wire, your panel is looking nice and clean without surplus wires.
  • Sixth, inspect the wire. Once you’ve finished terminating the wires, use a cable tester to check if all the wires are correctly terminated.
  • Seventh, once you are done. Use a clip to prevent wires slipping out by accident.

When the punching down process is completed, you can place the patch panel into the racks with screws. However, any step being missed may result in more or less damage. Be careful and you can make a step list by yourself and mark the steps you have finished to avoid mistakes. Punch down patch panels, Cat6 cables as well as accessories appeared in the process are available in FS.COM. If you still have some difficulties after reading this article, the expertise on our website can help you install our products step by step by remote instruction online.

TL-SG1008PE vs S1130-8T2F 8 Port PoE Switch

If you want to buy two 8-port network switch rather than one single 16-port switch just because of tight budget, it’s a wise choice. Then how to choose 8-port switches? Here I want to recommend 8 port poe switch. Poe is a term refers to Power Over Ethernet which is a technology that lets network cables carry electrical power. With poe switch, we can push power and data further than ever before. Now I want to introduce you TL-SG1008PE and S1130-8T2F 8 port poe switch.

TL-SG1008PE 8-Port Gigabit PoE Switch

TP-LINK TL-SG1008PE is a 8-port 10/100/1000Base-T gigabit Ethernet unmanaged switch. It has a total power budget of 124w and up to 30w per port. It also supports IEEE 802.3x flow control for full duplex mode and backpressure for half duplex mode, internal power supply. Moreover, the TL-SG1008PE can save at most 75% of the power consumption with help of innovative energy-efficient technology. TL-SG1008PE is easy to install and use. It requires no configuration and installation. With desktop/Rack mount design, outstanding performance and quality, the TP-LINK TL-SG1008PE 8-Port Gigabit Desktop/Rack mount Switch with 8-Port PoE is a great selection for expanding your home or office network.

S1130-8T2F 8-port PoE Managed Switch

FS.COM S1130-8T2F 8-port PoE managed switch comes with 8 10/100/1000Base-T RJ45 Ethernet ports, 1 console port, and 2 gigabit SFP slots of which the transmission distance can be up to 120 km. This switch is designed fanless, which provides silent and reliable operation. It supplies power to network equipment such as weather-proof IP cameras with windshield wiper and heater, high-performance AP and IP telephone. With high resistance to electromagnetic interference, it also features superior performance in stability, environmental adaptability.

S1130-8T2F 8 Port PoE Switch

TL-SG1008PE VS S1130-8T2F 8 Port PoE Switch

Both the two switches are 8-port poe switches. They have the port priority function which will help protect the system if the system power becomes overloaded. There are some differences between them, as one is managed switch and the other is unmanaged .

The key difference between a managed and unmanaged switch is the capability to configure the switch and to prioritize LAN traffic to ensure that the most important information gets through.

Managed switches present you more management over your LAN traffic and offer advanced features to control that traffic.

An unmanaged switch simply allows Ethernet devices to “talk to” one another, such as a PC or network printer, and those are typically what we call “plug and play.” They are shipped with a fixed configuration and do not allow any changes to this configuration.

Managed switches contain all the features of an unmanaged switch and provide the ability to configure, manage, and monitor your LAN. And this gives you greater control over how data travels over the network and who has access to it.

Conclusion

When it comes to long cable runs and cameras installed far away from the data source, nothing is more disappointing than losing the signal transmission. FS.COM power-over-Ethernet switches are designed to make installations simple, powerful, and effective. Come and contact us.

Wall Mount VS Rack Mount Patch Panel

Patch panels are termination units, which are designed to provide a secure, organized chamber for housing connectors and splice units. Its main function is to terminate the fiber optic cable and provide connection access to the cable’s individual fibers. Patch panels can be categorized into different types based on a few different criteria. Last time, we have shed light on the copper and fiber patch panel and now let’s learn a different pair of it, namely wall mount patch panel and rack mount patch panel.

Wall Mount Patch Panel

As the name suggests, wall mount patch panel is a patch panel fixed on the wall.The wall mount patch panels are designed to provide the essential interface between multiple fiber cables and optical equipment installed on the customer’s premises. The units offer networking and fiber distribution from the vault or wiring closet to the user’s terminal equipment.

This kind of patch panel consists of two separate compartments. As shown below, the left side is used for accommodating outside plant cables entering the building, pigtails and pigtail splices. Whereas, the right side is designed for internal cable assembly networking. And both sides have a door secured with a quarter turn latch.

wall mount patch panel

Rack Mount Patch Panel

The rack mount patch panel usually holds the fibers horizontally and looks like a drawer. Rack mount panel is designed in 1U, 2U, 4U sizes and can hold up to 288 or even more fibers. They can be mounted onto 19″ and 23″ standard relay racks. The rack mount enclosures include two kinds. One is the slide-out variety and the other incorporates a removable lid. As for the latter one, the tray can be pulled out and lowered to 10 degree working angle or even further 45 degree working angle to provide ease of access for maintenance or installation work.

rack mount patch panel

Wall Mount VS Rack Mount Patch Panel

  • Installation

When installing wall mount patch panels, users need to leave at least 51mm additional space on each side to allow opening and removing the doors. Although it can be easily mounted to the wall by using the internal mounting holes, four screws are required when it is attached to a plywood wall, expansion inserts with wood screw for concrete walls and “molly bolts” for sheet rock. However, the installation of a rack patch panel just needs four screws without drilling the wall.

  • Space Occupation

Thinking from another perspective, the advantage of wall mount patch panels is that they allow you to optimize your work space by keeping equipment off floors and desks,which is superior to the rack mount patch panel.

  • Application

Both panels can be applied to Indore Premise Networks, Central offices (FTTx), Telecommunication Networks, Security Surveillance Applications, Process Automation & Control, Systems and Power Systems & Controls, while the rack mount patch panel has an advantage over the wall mount patch panel in that it can be applied to Data Centers.

Conclusion

To sum up, patch panels are available in rack mounted and wall mounted and are usually placed near terminating equipment (within patch cable reach). Both types can provide an easy cable management in that the panel ports can be labeled according to location, desktop number,etc. to help identify which cable from which location is getting terminated on which port on the patch panel, and changes can be made at the patch panel. The world-wide renown FS.COM can provide you the best quality rack mount and wall mount patch panel. Buyers are welcome to contact us.

Introduction of Media Converter

If you want to realize the farther distance connectivity than the actual length the copper cabling you already have can offer, what should you do? Much worse is that no switch is available. Don’t be nervous. The easy solution offered by media converter will be illustrated in this article. Are you poised to have a close understanding of the small device which have blown every people’s minds?

Media Converter

Media converter is a cost-effective and flexible networking device that can connect various fiber optic cable such as multimode, single mode or single strand fiber cable and translates signals between fiber optic cabling and another type of cabling media such as cat6 Ethernet cable. If the distance between two network devices is greater than the copper cabling’s transmission distance, the fiber optic connectivity is required, and can be achieved by a media converter. Fiber connections can greatly extend the reach and reduce electromagnetic interference. Media converters were introduced to the industry in the 1990s, and played an important part of fiber types of cabling system in connection with existing copper-based wiring system. They are also used in metropolitan area network (MAN) access and data transport services to enterprise customers.

converter

There are a wide variety of copper-to-fiber and fiber-to-fiber media converters available that support different network protocols, data rates, cabling and connector types.

Fiber to Fiber Media Converters

One of the key applications for fiber to fiber media converters is to connect between the two network types at the physical network layer. Fiber-to-fiber media converters provide connectivity between dual fiber and single-fiber optic cables. In addition, fiber-to-fiber media converters support conversion from one wavelength to another, including standard wavelengths (1310, 1550) and CWDM wavelengths. It can also extend a MM network across SM fiber with distances up to 140km in a cost-effective way. Fiber-to-fiber media converters are typically protocol independent and available for Ethernet, and TDM applications.

Copper-to-Fiber Media Converters

Supporting the IEEE 802.3 standard, Ethernet copper-to-fiber media converters provide connectivity for Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit and 10 Gigabit Ethernet devices. Some converters support 10/100 or 10/100/1000 rate switching, enabling the integration of equipment of different data rates and interface types into one seamless network. The copper-to-fiber conversion carried out by a media converter allows two network devices having copper ports to be connected across long distances by means of fiber optic cabling.

For twisted pair ports( RJ-45 ports), they can transfer signal of SFP port into signal of RJ-45 port for transmission. SFP port is mainly connected with upstream equipment while RJ45 port is connected to the downstream device.

Conclusion

In the data center, fiber media converters pose as an alternative solution for switches. Next time you are in this condition, don’t hurry to throw the copper cable away, just an easy click on FS.COM, then all mess will be eliminated. Choose a suitable media converter and it will be delivered quickly to your address. The media converter provided by FS.COM is very small so won’t occupy too much space and can be deployed in a variety of networks and applications.

Confused by Fiber Cable Types?

A friend has told me that she had some trouble in selecting the fiber cable recently. Maybe there are many people like her that are confused by fiber cable types. If you happen to be the one, you can find answer in this article. Since you are just lost in the types, let’s just skip the definition of it. (You can find this part in my previous post—Big Secret in Fiber Cable Types. It will be analyzed in two major issues, and that is fiber core and connector.

Different Fiber Cable Types Based on Fiber Cores

OM1 cable are typically wrapped by an orange jacket and has a core size of 62.5 micrometers (µm). It can support 10 Gigabit Ethernet at lengths up 33 meters. It is most commonly used for 100 Megabit Ethernet applications.

OM2 also has a suggested jacket color of orange. Its core size is 50µm instead of 62.5µm. It supports 10 Gigabit Ethernet at lengths up to 82 meters but is more commonly used for 1 Gigabit Ethernet applications.

OM3 has a suggested jacket color of aqua. It has a core size of 50µm, same with OM2, but the cable is optimized for laser based equipment that requires fewer modes of light. As a consequence of this optimization, it is capable of running 10 Gigabit Ethernet at lengths up to 300 meters. Since its inception, production techniques have improved the overall capabilities of OM3 to enable its use with 40 Gigabit and 100 Gigabit Ethernet up to 100 meters. 10 Gigabit Ethernet is its most common use.

OM4 also has a suggested jacket color of aqua. It is a further improvement to OM3. It too uses a 50µm core but it supports 10 Gigabit Ethernet at lengths up 550 meters and it supports 100 Gigabit Ethernet at lengths up to 150 meters.

All these are multi-mode fiber. As it is typically cost effective for inside buildings or corporate campuses, I strongly recommend it regarding the fact that some of you, like my friend, want it for private use and are on a limited budget.

Different Fiber Cable Types Based on Connectors

Fiber patch cables can be categorized into many types according to cable connectors. If the connectors attached to the two ends of the cable are the same one, this cable named same-connector type fiber patch cord. Otherwise, it is hybrid fiber patch cord which has different connectors on each end, like fiber patch cord LC to SC. Next, I will take the examples of LC-LC fiber patch cable, SC-SC fiber patch cable and LC-SC fiber patch cable.

LC-LC Fiber Patch Cable

LC to LC fiber optic cables, as one kind of fiber optic patch cables, possesses lots of advantages such as low insertion loss and back reflection loss, good durability, high temperature stability, good interchangeability and duplication. Thus they are widely used in Gigabit Ethernet and fiber channel, multimedia, telecommunication, and high speed data transmission throughout the network, etc.

LC LC

SC-SC Fiber Patch Cable

Two SC fiber connectors terminated at the ends of the cable offer excellent packing density, and its push-pull design reduces the chance of fiber end face contact damage during connection. However, these big SC connectors may add to the size of the whole patch cable.

SC SC

LC-SC Fiber Patch Cable

LC-SC fiber cables are available in single mode and multimode types, in simplex and duplex versions. LC connector has a low insertion loss, and a relatively small size. And LC is suitable for densely populated racks/panels. SC is ideally suited for datacoms and telecoms applications. This cable boasts the advantages of LC and SC connectors.

Conclusion

Apart from what is mentioned above, there are many fiber cable types I haven’t put forward due to the limited lime. If you have different purposes and different requirements, you can turn to FS.COM. Experts will be there answering your puzzles and offering you best service.

A Pair of HP SFP+: J9150A vs J9151A

Today, let’s turn to third-party transceiver modules rather than original one which we have covered lots of topic about it. Third-party compatible optical module means the optical transceiver is offered by another manufacturer who can provide or produce the optics with the same specifications. For example, HPE J9150A compatible 10GBASE-SR SFP+ provided by FS.COM has the same specification with the original one produced by HP. The following part will mainly focuses on the X132 10G SFP+ LC transceivers, especially J9150A vs J9151A.

J9150A: HP X132 10G SFP+ LC SR Transceiver

HP X132 10G SFP+ LC SR Transceiver is a 10-Gigabit transceiver in SFP+ form-factor. 10GBase-SR is one of the Ethernet specifications. HP X132 10G SFP+ LC SR transceiver complies with this standard specification, and the SR in this optical module model means short range. When it is integrated with multimode fiber, its transmission distance can reach up to 300 m. In addition, the wavelength of the 10G SFP+ SR optical module is 850 nm, which has the advantages of low cost, low power consumption, small size, and high density. In its name, HP is just a trademark of Hewlett-Packard Development Company. This kind of transceiver module is same with other normal 10G SFP+ SR transceivers in specification and function.

J9150A

J9151A: HP X132 10G SFP+ LC LR Transceiver

Same with HP X132 10G SFP+ LC SR transceiver, HP X132 10G SFP+ LC LR transceiver is also a 10-Gigabit transceiver in SFP+ form-factor, but it conforms to 10GBase-LR Ethernet specification. Oppositely, LR stands for the long range. The transceiver supports the 10-Gigabit LR standard, providing 10-Gigabit connectivity up to 10 km on single-mode fiber. Its maximum transmission distance is 10 km on a single-mode optical fiber with a wavelength of 1310nm. It can actually reach a maximum of 25km. Moreover, It also has the advantages of miniaturization, low power consumption, and long transmission distance.

J9151A

J9150A vs J9151A

SFP+ Module J9150A J9151A
Wavelength 850nm 1310nm
Cable Length 2m to 300m 2m to 10km
Fiber Type Multimode Single Mode
Connector Type LC LC
Transceiver Form Factor SFP+ SFP+

Wavelength means the distance between two crests of transmission signal. The longer wavelength means longer transmission distance. As wavelength and fiber type are both the determined factor of transmission distance, we can say the biggest difference between J9150A and J9151A is the transmission distance.

Conclusion

From the above, we can conclude that the content of J9150A vs J9151A is not falling on which one is better, instead, it mainly argues the optimized choice in varied conditions. Except the prefix—HP, these two transceivers are similar to a lot of 10G SFP+ with an LC connector. Whereas, due to the name—HP, the transceivers can be trustworthy and chosen by many people. The fact that HP SFP+ transceivers are widely acknowledged by the public encourages more manufacturer to produce them. These 10 Gigabit single-mode SFP+ and 10 Gigabit multimode SFP+ provided by FS.COM are engineered to the highest quality standards and is 100% HP compatible. Next time, we may cover the two other types of X132 10G SFP+ LC transceivers, that is HP X132 10G SFP+ LC LRM transceiver(J9152A) and HP X132 10G SFP+ LC ER transceiver (J9153A). Follow us, if you are interested in it.

Alternatives of Cisco 24-Port Gigabit PoE+ Managed Switch

In modern offices and homes it is quite common to see several devices that utilize power over Ethernet (PoE, 802.3af), such as wireless access points, Internet cameras and voice over IP phones. For a midsize office or a relatively large house it often requires a gigabit PoE switch to power all these devices. And a 24-port gigabit PoE switch is popular among most users. But in the past ten years some devices are designed to use more power than traditional PoE, which demand the newer PoE+ (802.3at) standard that delivers higher power over an Ethernet cable. So 24-port gigabit PoE+ managed switch is used to power them. The Cisco Catalyst 2960S-24PS-L is eligible in every aspect when cost is not a problem. In this post we’re going to find some 24-port gigabit PoE+ managed switches that can replace this switch in most situations.

24-port gigabit PoE+ managed switch

Overview on Cisco 24-Port Gigabit PoE+ Managed Switch

Cisco WS-C2960S-24PS-L is the 24-port gigabit PoE+ managed switch model of the Catalyst 2960-S series switches. It is a managed layer 2 switch with 24 Ethernet 10/100/1000 PoE+ ports and 4 gigabit Ethernet SFP ports. Its total available PoE power is 370 Watts, which means it can support up to 24 PoE devices or up to 12 PoE+ devices. (To calculate how many PoE/PoE+ devices the switch supports, simply divide the total PoE Budget by 15.4W/30W.) Its switching bandwidth and forwarding rate are 176 Gbps and 41.7 Mpps respectively. Some other parameters that we will take into consideration are VLAN IDs (4000), maximum VLANs (256) and jumbo frames (9216 bytes). It is a fully managed switch that support WEB GUI, CLI, Telnet, SNMP (v1, v2, v3).

Cisco 2960S 24-port gigabit poe+ managed switch

Comparison of 24-Port Gigabit PoE+ Managed Switches

Cisco Catalyst 2960s-24PS-L is an excellent 24-port gigabit PoE+ managed switch. Since there are cases when we want to support the same number of PoE/PoE+ devices but do not require a 176Gbps backplane bandwidth, or to cut the budget down as well, we want to find a replacement for this full-managed Cisco 24-port gigabit PoE+ switch. Here are four different 24-port gigabit PoE+ managed switches that have equal numbers of VLAN IDs, maximum VLANs and jumbo frames with Cisco Catalyst 2960s-24PS-L. They are HP 2920-24G-PoE+, Netgear M4100-24G-POE+, Ubiquiti US-24-500W and FS.COM S1600-24T4F. The following table gives some information of them.

Switch Model Cisco WS-C2960S-24PS-L HP 2920-24G-PoE+ Netgear M4100-24G-POE+ Ubiquiti US-24-500W FS S1600-24T4F
Device Type 24-port Gigabit PoE+ managed, Layer 2 24-port Gigabit PoE+ managed, Layer 2+ 24-port Gigabit PoE+ managed, Layer 2+ 24-port Gigabit PoE+ managed, Layer2 24-port Gigabit PoE+ managed, Layer 2+
Ports 24 RJ45 10/100/1000 PoE+ ports, 4 1G SFP ports 24 RJ45 10/100/1000 PoE+ ports, 4 combo ports 24 RJ45 10/100/1000 PoE+ ports, 4 combo ports 24 RJ45 10/100/1000 PoE+ ports, 2 1G SFP ports 24 RJ45 10/100/1000 PoE+ ports, 2 combo ports, 2 1G SFP ports
Switching Capacity 176 Gbps 128 Gbps 48 Gbps 52 Gbps 52 Gbps
Forwarding Rate 41.7 Mpps 95.2 Mpps 35.714 Mpps 38.69 Mpps 38.69 Mpps
PoE Budget 370 W 370 W 380 W 500 W 600 W
Price $1,165.00 $1,139.00 $671.84 $528.79 $419.00

From the table we can see that the 24 RJ45 ports of these five switches are all 802.3af/at compliant. And each switch is designed with 2/4 gigabit fiber uplink ports. The main differences between them are the switching capacity, forwarding rate and PoE budget.

Comparing Cisco WS-C2960S-24PS-L with HP 2920-24G-PoE+, they have similar new device price and identical PoE budget. The HP 24-port gigabit PoE+ managed switch also has a more than 100Gbps switching capacity but much higher forwarding rate than the Cisco 24-port gigabit PoE+ managed switch. They can support the same number of PoE/PoE+ devices.

The Netgear M4100-24G-POE+, Ubiquiti US-24-500W and FS.COM S1600-24T4F have much smaller switch fabrics and slightly lower forwarding rates than the Cisco model. M4100-24G-POE+ supports the same number of PoE/PoE+ devices as Cisco Catalyst 2960S-24PS-L. It’s half the price of the Cisco model. But it has the smallest switch fabric and lowest forwarding rate among the five 24-port gigabit PoE+ managed switches. The Ubiquiti US-24-500W and FS.COM S1600-24T4F have higher PoE budget than the other three switch models. So they can support more PoE/PoE+ devices simultaneously. The prices of the last two switch models are the lowest among them. And the 24-port gigabit PoE+ switch S1600-24T4F has the highest total PoE budget in comparison.

24-port gigabit PoE+ managed switch fs.com S2600-24T4F

Summary

In this article we intend to find some 24-port gigabit PoE+ managed switches that can be used to replace the Cisco Catalyst 2960S-24PS-L in some situations. If you want to replace it with an equivalent 24-port gigabit PoE+ managed switch but with higher forwarding rate, the HP 2920-24G-PoE+ is a suitable choice. If the switching fabric is not a key requirement and there’s need to pare the budget down, have a look at the Netgear M4100-24G-POE+, Ubiquiti US-24-500W and FS.COM S1600-24T4F. Considering the total PoE/PoE+ devices that will be used in the switch, if more than 12 PoE+ devices are to be connected, the Ubiquiti US-24-500W and FS.COM S1600-24T4F are better options.

Differentiate the 3 Technologies: Switch Stacking vs Cascading vs Clustering

When we have more than one switches on hand we often seek to a better way in making use of them and managing them. There are mainly three technologies that we might use when we interconnect or combine several switches together, which are switch stacking, cascading and clustering. For many people that firstly get in touch with these terms, they can’t figure out the differences between them. Some discussions of the switch stacking versus switch clustering and switch stacking versus switch cascading have been put forward, but a comprehensive comparison between them has not been made. So this post is a discussion of switch stacking vs cascading vs clustering.

switch stacking vs cascading vs clustering

Switch Stacking vs Cascading vs Clustering

The comparison of switch stacking, cascading and clustering should be based on knowing the meaning of these technologies. So firstly we will see what switch stacking, cascading and cluster are.

What Are Switch Stacking, Cascading and Clustering?

Switch stacking is a technology that combines two or more switches together at the backplane typically via a specialized physical cable (stack cable), so they work like a single switch. The group of switches form a “stack”, and it requires a stack master. There’s also virtual stacking, where switches are stacked via Ethernet ports rather than stack cable/module. In such scenario, switch stacking vs cascading seems to be much similar. The port density or the switch capacity of a stack is the sum of the combined switches. For example, when you cascade two 24-port switches, you will get one large 48-port switch when it comes to configuration. And all the switches in the stack share a single IP address for remote administration instead of each stack unit having its own IP address. Only stackable switches are able to be stacked together. And it should be noted that, when the switches are stacked, there is no need to connect switches in the group via copper or fiber port besides the stacking ports, because the stack logically is one switch. It is like connecting 2 ports together on the same switch, which can cause loop.

By cascading more than one switch you can have multiple ports interconnecting each of your switches in the group. But they are configured and managed independently. Switches that are cascaded together should all support Spanning Tree Protocol (STP), in order to allow redundancy and to prevent loop. Generally switches of any models or from any manufacturers can be cascaded. But it does not rule out the cases that two switches can not be cascaded.

A switch cluster is a set of switches connected together, whether through common user port or special ports. One switch plays the role of cluster command switch, and other switches are cluster member switches, which are managed by the command switch. In a switch cluster only one IP address is needed (on the command switch). Not all switches can be clustered. Only specific cluster-capable switches from the same manufacturer can be clustered. And different manufacturers may use different software for clustering.

Switch Stacking vs Cascading

Where it comes to switch stacking vs cascading, the most obvious difference is that only stackable switches can be stacked while almost all switches can be cascaded. And the stackable switches are generally of the same model or at least belonging to the same manufacture.

In a switch stack, the port capacity is the combination of all the member switches and the bandwidth is also the sum of all switches. But by cascading switches, the bandwidth will not be increased. There’s even possibility of congestion at the cascade ports if you have only one connection between each switch.

The stack is managed as a whole. When you configure one switch, the change will be duplicated to every other switches in the stack, which is time-saving. However, in a switch cascade, you have to manage and configure every switch separately.

Stacking has a maximum number of stackable switches that you can have in a group. For example, you can connect up to four FS S3800-24F4S or FS S3800-24T4S in a stack. The switch cascading has limitation on the layers that you can have, which are usually the traditional three layers topology: core, aggregation and access. When the limitation is exceeded, there might be problems of latency and losing packet.

FS S3800-24F4S or FS S3800-24T4S stackable switch

Switch Stacking vs Clustering

Stacking and clustering is very similar in that a stack or a cluster both use only one IP address, and member switches are managed as a whole. So when you wan to simplify the management of multiple switches, both stacking and clustering are technologies that can be adopted.

Stacking might be a bit easier to configure since the stack can automatically recognize new stack member, while in a cluster, you have to manually add a device to be the switch cluster. The management of stack members is through a single configuration file. Cluster members have separate, individual configurations files. So the management by a stack master is complete on every stack switch, but the cluster command switch is the point of some management for all cluster members.

The distances between clustered switches can be more flexible. They can be in the same location or they can be located across a Layer 2 or Layer 3. But stacked switches are in the same layer and generally they are located in the same rack. Only virtual stackable switches can be placed in different locations.

Conclusion

After reviewing the discussion of switch stacking vs cascading vs clustering, you may find that the three technologies have the similarity that switches in a stack/cascade/cluster group need to be physically connected. Some are through common Ethernet ports, while some are through special stack ports. Cascading has the minimal requirements on the switch model, while both stacking and clustering require the switches to be stackable/cluster-capable, and are of the same model or at least from a single manufacturer. Stacking and cascading are based on hardware implementation while clustering is based on software implementation. The management of a stack is the most complete among the three.

Buy PoE Switch: 48-Port Switch vs 2 24-Port Switches

When we have about 30 PoE and non-PoE mixed connections in our network, the problem of buying a 48-port PoE switch vs. 2 x 24-port PoE switch always puzzles us. If we already have one 24-port PoE switch in use and we’re just adding more ports, we can choose to buy a single 16-24 ports PoE switch or a 16-24 ports Ethernet access switch to connect the increased devices. But as for a newly built network or 30 newly-deployed PoE devices, we have to balance the pros and cons of choosing one 48-port switch vs. 2 24-port switch.

48-Port Switch vs 2 24-Port Switch

PoE Connectivity: 48-Port Switch vs. 2 24-Port Switch Debate

In terms of the cost, usually one 48-port PoE switch will cost more than two 24-port PoE switches of the same model, but it does not mean always. For example, buying the 48-port PoE+ managed switch FS S1600-48T4S is lower than buying two 24-port PoE+ managed switches FS S1600-24T4F. If we have a tight budget and concerns cost saving most, the 1 x 48-port switch vs. 2 24-port switch debate can end here by buying the cheaper choice. Otherwise, we have more factors to consider.

Concerns of Installing 2 x 24 Port PoE Switch

In the options of one 48-port switch vs. 2 24 port switches, if we choose to do the job with two 24-port PoE switches, then we may have to undertake these shortcomings, unless they do not matter in our case. Firstly, two 24-port PoE switches take up more space than a 48-port PoE switch. A fixed-chassis 48-port PoE switch takes up a standard 1 RU space of the rack while 2 x 24-port PoE switch will use more space than that whether it is 1RU size or smaller. Secondly, if the 2 x 24-port PoE switches are not stacked then we have to do trunk between those two switches, which will eat up ports and give you only 46 ports available. At the same time it provides additional potential of bottleneck at the uplink port. Since the internal traffic on a switch is going to be gazillions of times faster than a 1G or even a 10G uplink between switches. But for a 48-port one, it will have less issues with bottleneck/congestion. The last concern is that two 24-port PoE switches are harder to manage than one 48-Port PoE switch, even when stacking the two.

Concerns of Installing 1 x 48 Port PoE Switch

When we decided to install only one 48-port switch versus 2 x 24-port switch, there are also some concerns in practice. The biggest issue is that we lose redundancy. If we have only one switch and it fails, we’re chained until we get the replacement, which could be over 24hrs away. But in a two switches’ scenario, if one switch fails at least half of our devices can still be up and running. Another thing we may lose is the separate placing of the 2 x 24-port switches. If we have a single rack to install them, then there’s no issue but if we want to place desktop switch for IP cameras and IP access points in different offices, we may not go with a 48-port PoE switch.

Suggestions for Selection

After the discussion about 48-port switch vs. 2 24-port switches, here are the conclusions we have. In terms of better performance, the a 48-port PoE switch is over 2 x 24-port switch. There’s less possibility of creating congestion between the two switches at the uplink ports. For easier management of the devices, it is also suggested to go with one single 48-port PoE switch rather than 2 x 24-ports. All ports on the 48-port PoE switch could communicate between them at wire speed. When we need the redundancy, we’d better go with 2 x 24-port PoE switch. If we want to avoid some problems brought by trunking and separate managing, we can choose stackable PoE switches or modular switch with two 24-port modules, which will provide large backplane and can be managed as a whole.

Ending

The concerns that we discuss in this post are general ones that we may have in choosing one 48-port switch vs. 2 24-port switch for PoE devices. The final decision should depend on our key purpose of buying them. The above factors are several things that we can take into account when we face the similar issue.

Related article: How to Choose a Suitable 48-Port PoE Switch?

Comparison of 48-Port PoE Switch Price and Functionality

When it comes to connecting a lot of VoIP phones and IP cameras, a 48-port PoE switch is great for powering them. Whether it is for home use or business use, a 48-port PoE switch can best solve the problems of installing these PoE network devices in places that has no power lines. If you need to know the application of 48-port PoE switch in access and core area, you could read Deploying 48-Port Gigabit PoE Managed Switch in Different Networks. Due to the high capacity and power supply feature, a 48-port PoE switch price is often higher than a standard 48-port Ethernet switch with no PoE. In this post, we will introduce some cheap 48-port PoE switches and do a comparison between them.

48-port PoE switch for VoIP phone IP camera

Comparison of Four 48-Port PoE Switch Price and Function

The four 48-port PoE switches that we’re going to discuss are UniFi US-48-500W, TP-Link T1600G-52PS, D-Link DGS-1210-52MP/ME and FS S1600-48T4S. They are inexpensive compared with most enterprise class 48-port PoE switches. Let’s have a look at these switches.

Difference Between the Four 48-Port PoE Switches

The table below gives some basic parameters of these four switches, including the port type, supported data rate, the maximum PoE power consumption, switching capacity and forwarding rate.

Switch Model UniFi US-48-500W TP-Link T1600G-52PS D-Link DGS-1210-52MP/ME FS S1600-48T4S
10/100/1000Mbps RJ45 Ports 48 48 48 48
Gigabit SFP Ports 2 4 4 0
SFP+ Ports 2 0 0 4
Max. PoE Power Consumption 500 W 470.4 W 479.5 W 600 W
Max. Power Per Port (PoE+) 30 W 30 W 30 W (ports 1-8) 30 W
Switching Capacity 140 Gbps 104 Gbps 104 Gbps 180 Gbps
Forwarding Rate 104.16 Mpps 77.4 Mpps 77.4 Mpps 130.94 Mpps
Price US$760.00 to US$1,230.90 US$481.99 to US$725.99 US$988.06 to US$1,028.01 US$689.00

The UniFi US-48-500W is a 48-port Layer 2 access switch. In addition to 48 Gigabit RJ45 ports, it has 2 fiber ports of Gigabit SFP and 2 fiber ports of 10G SFP+. It has a non-blocking throughout of 70 Gbps, which is sufficient for typical home use and most small business use. But compared with the other three 48-port PoE switches, it lacks some Layer 3 features. The other three are Layer 2+ switches that support static routing and access resolution protocol (ARP) inspecting, which are simple but efficient approaches in segmenting and securing the network.

Outwardly, the TP-Link T1600G-52PS and D-Link DGS-1210-52MP/ME are similar in many aspects. They both have 4 Gigabit SFP ports and their switch fabric capacity and forwarding rate are identical. However, the 48 RJ45 ports of T1600G-52PS are all IEEE 802.3at/af-compliant PoE+ ports, while the 48 RJ45 ports of DGS-1210-52MP/ME are not. Only ports 1-8 are PoE+ and the ports 9-48 are PoE. The price of T1600G-52PS is much lower than DGS-1210-52PS but the former one is released in 2015 while the latter one is 2017’s new model. Both T1600G-52PS and DGS-121052MP/ME has no 10G ability.

Obviously the switching capacity (or backplane bandwidth) and forwarding rate of the FS S1600-48T4S are the highest among these four switches. It has four 10G uplink ports, which allows large traffic from the access switch to the core switch and ensures high speed and precise transmission and recording without delay. Meanwhile, it supports the largest power to the device, which is suitable for connecting more PoE network devices. This 48-port PoE switch price is lower than two of the other switches.

48-Port PoE Switch Price

Common Benefits and Features of the Four 48-Port PoE Switches

These four 48-port PoE switch price are much lower than that of high-end PoE switches. They are all managed PoE switches equipped with 48 10/100/1000Mbps Rj45 ports of auto-sensing IEEE 802.3af (PoE), which provides a maximum per PoE port output power to each device of 15.4 W. They also support IEEE 802.3at (PoE+), which enhanced the max. per port power consumption to 30 W. All of them have been equipped with fiber uplink ports.

Another common feature is that these four 48-port PoE switches all support easy management. And the managing function is not limited to only one type. They all have an RJ45 console port or a serial port for managing through web-based graphical user interface (GUI, IPv4/IPv6) or command line interface (CLI).

Summary

This post has compared the 48-port PoE switch price and function. They are generally inexpensive and suitable for both home use and business use. The managing functions are simplified compared with high-end switches, in order to help better management of the network. If you want 10G uplink, UniFi US-48-500W or FS S1600-48T4S are recommended. Before purchasing a 48-port PoE switch, be sure to check the power requirement for your total PoE devices, the standard it complies to and the overall PoE budget of your installation.

Related Article: Deploying 48-Port Gigabit PoE Managed Switch in Different Networks