Category Archives: Enterprise Network

Affordable 10G SFP+ Switches for SMB Hyper-Converged Appliance Expansion

Hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) has been earning a good reputation in data centers, whether it is of the entire branch offices, the IT duties of small and medium businesses (SMBs) or the virtual desktop infrastructure deployments. HCI offers numerous integrated services such as backup, data protection and solid-state drive storage, and allows seamless management and expansion of various compute, storage and network devices, i.e., users can scale the network flexibly by adding a new appliance to the hyper-converged cluster. For SMBs, the requirements for network switches is not the same as large enterprises when adding a 10G appliance. This post is to suggest some affordable 10G SFP+ switches for SMBs during hyper-converged appliance (HCA) expansion.

10G SFP+ Switches Requirements for SMB HCA Expansion

In today’s SMBs, applications are requiring higher data rate and some management features. For a SMB with a considerable size, the core switches might be required to a fully-managed switch with strong capacity, high bandwidth and high port count. The switches for the connectivity of the cluster (compute, storage and network devices) may also have many ports. But when adding new appliance to the cluster, the switch usually needs not to be high port count or with high data rate. A 8-12 ports 10G SFP+ switch is generally enough for hyper-converged appliance expansion, which is rational considering the expenditure for expansion as well. The following table gives some 8-12 ports 10G SFP+ switches in the market for your reference.

Switch Model Ports Switching Capacity Fowarding Rate Switching Layer Price
Dell X4012 12 x 10G SFP+ 240 Gbps 178.6 Mpps L2+ $1,063.54
Netgear M4300-8X8F 8 x 10G SFP+ and 8 x 10GBASE-T 320 Gbps 238.1 Mpps L3 $1,719.00
Cisco SG500XG-8F8T 8 x 10G SFP+ and 8 x 10GBASE-T 320 Gbps 238.1 Mpps L3 $2,146.59
FS S5800-8TF12S 12 x 10G SFP+ and 8 x 1GBASE-T/SFP Combo 240 Gbps 178.6 Mpps L3 $1,699.00
D-link DXS-1210-12SC 10 x 10G SFP+ and 2 x 10GBASE-T/SFP+ Combo 240 Gbps 178.6 Mpps L3 $1,055.00

12 10G SFP+ FS S5800-8TF12S

According to the information available, these switches can be got online well under $3K in brand new condition. Suppose that a SMB has a core switch which has a fabric capacity of 960 Gbps, and now it needs to add 5 nodes of 10G speed to the cluster for downstream, an 8-12 ports 10G SFP+ switch will not only give enough ports for current nodes and for uplink to the core, but also gives the SMB space to grow.

These switches have some features in common. These common features are very helpful in SMB network managing and ensuring data quality.

Management and Functionality Services

For all the switches mentioned above, some of them are fully managed switches while some are smart managed switches. But all of them are not limited to web interface management. They also support Command Line Interface (CLI), Telnet (multi-session support), SSH and SNMP (simple network management protocol). The most functions that a SMB might need are all equipped, such as VLAN, port mirroring, LACP (link aggregation control protocol) and RMON (remote network control).

QoS and Security Features

The QoS (Quality of Service) features include ARP (Address Resolution Protocol) inspection, ACLs (Access Control Lists), DSCP remark, etc. These features can contribute a lot in securing the SMB network, for example, with the help of ARP inspection and ACLs, the switch can block fake ARP entries outside the system, so that data frames will not be easily sniffed or modified. Broadcast Storm Control is also supported in order to avoid traffic disorder caused by malicious attack from intruders.

How to Connect These 10G SFP+ Switches?

Although these 10G SFP+ switches chosen for SMB hyper-converged appliance expansion are relatively low-priced, but the OEM 10G SFP+ fiber transceivers can overburden a SMB if bought in large quantity. Four OEM 10G SFP+ transceivers can cost as much as a 10G SFP+ switch we have found above. Fortunately, there is way to release the SMBs from expensive OEM optics. That is cost-effective 10G SFP+ compatible modules. So the total cost for the HCA expansion will not exceed $3k either. In addition, most OEM switches support third party transceiver modules and DAC cables from third party transceiver vendors.

Summary

In sum, for SMB hyper-converged appliance expansion, the 10G SFP+ switches used to connect the core switch and the cluster need not to be high port count, but should be equipped with enough management functions for SMB applications.

Wireless Network vs. Wired Network: Which One to Choose?

Our home networks rely on either wired (Ethernet) or wireless technology. Sometimes, we use both of them, especially when multiple Internet capable devices are set up in homes. Wireless networks enable multiple devices to use the same internet connection remotely, as well as share files and other resources. But it’s still hard to say wireless is better than wired, since each one has advantages and drawbacks. This article is meant to compare wireless and wired technology from three primary factors: mobility, reliability, and security.

wireless network anywhere

Wireless Network vs. Wired Network

wired network vs wireless network

Mobility

A wired LAN (Local Area Network) uses Ethernet cables to connect computers together directly or more commonly, through a hub, switch, or router. Wired connections typically cost much less and reduce battery drain on laptops and other mobile devices because Wi-Fi adapters use more power.

As for wireless network, users can move around freely within the area of the network with their laptops, handheld devices etc and get an internet connection. The popularity of Wi-Fi has also increased due to increased smartphone and tablet sales. Many of these devices are not capable of wired Ethernet connections and rely on wireless signals for Internet connectivity.

Reliability

Ethernet-based(wired) networks tend to be much more reliable than wireless networks. The backbone of any network relies on an Ethernet connection. The most common problem with wired network is loose cable connections. Because you have to lay lots of cables and put them through walls etc. A bundle of tangled wires can result in damage and performance degradation. Using Zip-Ties is an excellent way to keep cables out of the way and tangle-free.

For the most part, wireless technology is reliable. There are some concerns about interference from home appliances such as microwaves and cordless phones, but most wireless routers provide multiple channels that can mitigate this concern relatively easily.

Security

The security of a home-based Ethernet network is almost primarily dependent upon a firewall. Most broadband routers include a firewall already and software firewalls can also be installed on individual machines. Unlike wireless networks that broadcast data through the air, all data packets in a wired network safely travel through Ethernet cables. As long as the router is protected from intrusion using a firewall, your wired home network is safe.

The mobility of wireless networks is overshadowed in some respects by the lower security inherent to wireless. An unsecured wireless network can easily be compromised by a hacker or identity thief looking to intercept private information traveling through your wireless network. Although these risks are very real, many of them can be avoided with proper network installation. For example, using a secure password for logging into the wireless network. Although this does not make a wireless router completely safe, it certainly reduces the likelihood of unwanted guests gaining access to your information.

Summary of The Advantages and Disadvantages

Activity/Category Wireless Network Wired Network
Freedom of movement for users Users can access network from anywhere within range Users location limited by need to use cable and/or connect to a port
Sharing Files Easier with wireless network as you do not need to be cabled to network, though transfer speeds may be slower Generally less convenient as you have to be cabled in, but transfer speeds often faster
Cables Far less complicated, disruptive, and untidy cabling needed Lots of cables and ports needed which can be a headache
Business For businesses dealing with public, customers like and often expect wireless, so wireless can increase income Wired networks are not convenient for public use, but sometimes acceptable for a traditional office
Connection speeds Usually slower than wired Usually faster than wireless
Security Less secure than wired. Both bandwidth and information can sometimes be accessed More secure than wireless
Set up Upgrading to a wireless network can be difficult and expensive Can also be difficult and expensive to set up

Conclusion

Here, we do not mean to abandon one over the other. A good home network will often have both wireless and wired components. Ethernet connections are great for high-speed transfers on desktops or other devices that do not move. Your smart phone, tablet, or laptop will benefit from a wireless network that has been properly configured to ensure a secure browsing experience. Whether you choose a wired or wireless network, or a combination of the two, take time to configure it properly and add a firewall to protect your privacy and the integrity of your network while enjoying the benefits afforded by both technologies. If you need any Ethernet cables for wired network, or cost-effective Ethernet switches for wireless network, just give FS.COM a shot. For more information, please visit www.fs.com.