Category Archives: Enterprise Network

What Is DHCP and How It Works

To transmit data back and forth across the Internet, an IP address that administrators have to accomplish and configure on a router or Lay3 fiber switch is the essential cornerstone of a host. Besides, when you want to communicate with other networks, you need to know the default gateway address and subnet mask for the local network, as well as the DNS server. DHCP can help you get all the information dynamically. So what is DHCP and how it works?

What Is DHCP?

DHCP wiki defines the term dynamic host configuration protocol as a network management protocol used on UDP/IP networks. It assigns an IP address and some other configuration parameters to each network device automatically, so that the device will be authorized to communicate with other IP networks. This means users don’t need to configure the network, just plug the wire into your computer or connect to the WiFi, your computer will automatically receive the IP address, subnet mask, default gateway and DNS server. Then how to enable DHCP? DHCP can be installed on a single server or integrated in most network equipment like a Gigabit PoE switch, a router or even the firewall. The following are some related terms we should know.

  • DHCP Client—It obtains an IP address and other parameters from a DHCP server. It is the initiator of an IP address allocation.

  • DHCP Server—It assigns IP address and other parameters to the DHCP client.

  • DHCP Repeater—It forwards DHCP messages between a DHCP server and DHCP clients.

  • DHCP Snooping—It records the users’information that has applied for IP address through the layer 2 equipment.

What Are the Advantages of DHCP?

DHCP protocol reduces the complexity and numbers of administrative work by using automatic TCP/IP configuration. This is the greatest benefit. Today, no matter in the data center or at home, more and more devices are being networked from printers and fax machines to TV and fridges. Often times, these devices are placed in different locations, without DHCP, you have to get up out of your comfy chair and find the device and configure each manually. But assisted by DHCP protocol, all you need to do is changing the settings on the server or may be a 10gbe switch. As addresses are assigned automatically, there is no need to keep a record of the used and free ones. Besides, DHCP snooping can detect unauthorized DHCP server on the network.

How DHCP Works?

As the title mentions what is DHCP and how it works, now we have learned what DHCP is, let’s turn to its operation. In essence, DHCP leases IP address and other parameters to the specific clients for a period of time. The following picture shows how DHCP works.

What Is DHCP and How It Works

Step one: When a new client wants to join a network, it will broadcast a DHCP discover packet to the servers.

Step two: To answer the request, DHCP servers will send the free DHCP offer packet to the client.

Step three: The client takes the first DHCP offer message from different serves. Then it will send a DHCP request to the Internet to indicate which IP address it has taken.

Step four: DHCP server sends an acknowledge message to make sure the IP address has been used that will not assign to any other client. And now the client can participate on the network.

Conclusion

With regard to the question, what is DHCP and how it works, I think you have found the answer. Any questions of DHCP or network switch supporting DHCP, you can visit FS.COM or contact via sales@fs.com.

What Is IGMP Snooping

With the development of Internet technology, traditional network unicast mode can’t meet today’s data transmission requirement. On the contrary, this mode increases network load and consuming network bandwidth greatly. IGMP snooping is developed to solve the problem. So what is IGMP snooping?

Introduction of IGMP Snooping

IGMP (Internet Group Management Protocol) is a communications protocol. So what is IGMP used for? Commonly, it’s used to establish membership in a multicast group. And each member host of an IP multicast is a transmitter or receiver.

As for IGMP snooping, which sounds like an obscure hacker technique that may break into one’s network, is actually an advanced option available on most of switches or routers. Wiki defines it as the process of listening to IGMP network traffic. It is a multicast constraint mechanism running on the two-layer device, which is used to manage and control the multicast group. If there are plenty of multicast traffic in your network, the whole performance may be effected due to the excessive false flooding. At this moment, IGMP snooping switch can help to optimize your network. It enables the Gigabit Ethernet switch configured with IGMP snooping decides which devices will receive the applicable multicast traffic, thus the others won’t receive the message. This means broadcast packet on layer 2 has been reduced so that the network bandwidth will be conserved. Besides, IGMP snooping helps improve message information.

IGMP Snooping Process

After knowing what is IGMP snooping, let’s see how it works. Once a device joined the multicast group, the router or fiber switch will notice this. Then the message cab forwarded to the devices that have joined the multicast group. Look at Figure 1, when the switch runs without IGMP snooping, the multicast packet will be transmitted to host A, B and C. But when the switch has set up IGMP snooping, only multicast group members host A and C can receive the multicast packet. This is the main IGMP snooping tutorial.

What Is IGMP Snooping

Figure 1: The picture shows how IGMP works.

Using FS.COM Switch to Build IGMP Snooping 

To keep pace with the technology development, FS.COM releases a set of switches to help customers establish IGMP snooping. Here is a 24 port switch named S3700-24T4S. The 1G managed switch provides an affordable solution for business of all sizes requiring switches with essential L2 switching features like VLAN and IGMP snooping, along with a simple and intuitive management interface. It includes 24 10/100/1000Base-T Ports and 4 10G SFP+ ports to extend your home or business network at gigabit speeds. Equipped with ARM CPU and BCM53346 chip, the Lay 2 switch has a switching capacity of 128Gbps, which is compliant with the international standard.

Ethernet switch

Figure 2: S3700-24T4S 24 Port Switch

Conclusion

Now I think you know the answer of the question we posed at first, what is IGMP snooping. When IGMP snooping is enabled, the bandwidth consumption will be reduced in a multi-access LAN environment so as to avoid flooding the entire VLAN. Any question about IGMP snooping configuration, please contact us via support@feisu.com.

How to Use a PoE Injector to Install an IP Camera?

Are you looking for a solution to easily power your IP cameras? It’s no doubt to use a PoE injector or Gigabit PoE switch to complete the installation. Once your system is established, you can view your home circumstance from your computer or smartphone from anywhere. Here focus on how to use a PoE injector to install an IP camera.

What Does a PoE Injector Do?

Power over Ethernet is commonly regarded as PoE for short. It’s a technology that can transfer both power and data over twisted pair Ethernet cables such as Cat5e, Cat6, etc. A Poe injector is a device that is commonly known as the “midspan”. It supplies power to a camera by delivering power into the Ethernet cable. Usually, a power over Ethernet injector converts the alternating current into direct current so it can be the power supplier for low voltage IP camera.

What Does an IP Camera Do?

Unlike the traditional cameras, IP cameras can send and receive data over a LAN or the Internet. It’s a separated unit with its own IP address that needs nothing but a network connection like WiFi or PoE injector switch. IP cameras capture images just like a digital camera, and compress the files for transmission over the network. So these images can be viewed anywhere in the world. Also, this camera can be controlled remotely.

How to Use a PoE Injector to Install an IP Camera

Preparation

Before the installation, we should prepare a PoE injector, IP camera and Cat5e cables. Here, we will choose the products, single port 10/100/1000M Gigabit PoE injector, 3MP indoor/outdoor dome IP camera with infrared from FS.COM as an example.

  • Single port 10/100/1000M Gigabit PoE injector fully complies with IEEE 802.3af. It has two RJ45Ethernet ports, one is labeled Data In and one is labeled PoE/Data Out. With a power supply of 15.4W, this PoE injector for IP camera delivers power up to 100 meters. No configuration is required, just plug and play.

PoE injector

Figure 1: Example of PoE injector

  • 3MP indoor/outdoor dome IP camera with infrared is a professional surveillance and security solution for houses and enterprises. It provides video resolution of 2065×1553 pixels over a digital signal using Cat5e or Cat6, and observe high quality footage with the advanced SONY starvis back-illuminated CMOS sensor.

IP camera

Figure 2: Example of IP camera

Introduction

First, check the equipment, make sure the PoE injector and IP camera are in good condition. Besides, turn off the devices’ power for safe installation.

Second, plug one end of Cat5e cable into the PoE injector’s PoE/Data out port, and the other end into IP camera’s PoE port.

Third, choose a place to mount IP camera. Usually, the dome IP camera is installed on the roof corner that is adequate to capture the faces of subjects of different heights.

Fourth, use another Cat5e cable to connect PoE injector and a fiber switch.

Last, make sure all connection is correct. Then plug in power to ensure all connections are working normally.

Conclusion

The installation just requires several devices, a PoE injector, an IP camera, a non-PoE switch and some cables, or you can use a PoE switch like 24 port PoE switch to replace the PoE injector. Well, no matter which way you will choose to install your IP cameras, FS.COM is the one-stop shopping base when you need to buy these network devices.

Understanding the Two Terms: EVPN vs VXLAN

EVPN vs VXLAN is one of the most popular network technology. They were developed because enterprises need to deliver data and share resources at different geographical locations. Therefore, the efficient, reliable and high speed interconnection is required for the different sites. EVPN vs VXLAN are born as the new upcoming technology to meet today’s network demands.

Introduction of EVPN vs VXLAN

What Is EVPN

EVPN or Ethernet VPN, is regarded as a next generation all-in-one VPN technology. It offers Ethernet multipoint services over MPLS (multiple protocol label switching) or IP networks. Using EVPN service and with the help of MPLS core network, users can connect the offices located in different areas via the lay 2 network for sending messages. This is similar to the work that extends LAN to WAN. Also, it greatly reduces the difficulty of network deployment and maintenance. In addition, EVPN supports MPLS, VXLAN, and other data plane encapsulations.

EVPN vs VXLAN——EVPN

Figure 1: Example of EVPN

What Is VXLAN

VXLAN is short for Virtual Extensible LAN. As the name implies, we know this technology is designed to provide the same transmission service for Ethernet connection that VLAN do today, but in a more extensible way. Technologically, VXLAN is a MAC in IP/UDP encapsulation technique with a 24 bit segment identifier in the form of a VXLAN ID, which is larger than the LAN with 12 bit segment ID. Also, it supplies a way to span Layer 3 network by VXLAN tunnel that is established between VETP (VXLAN Tunnel End Point). Thus it has a higher scalability to address more Layer segments.

vxlan

Figure 2: Example of VXLAN

Route VXLAN with EVPN

EVPN vs VXLAN are both virtual technology. VXLAN explained that EVPN could be the control plane of VXLAN, which uses the BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) to provide high scale, multi-tenant separation and fast convergence for host and VM mobility. So EVPN helps us to deploy VXLAN tunnels without controllers. Routing VXLAN is available in two architectures—centralized or distributed. Compare these two approaches, it’s clear that the distributed architecture will simplify the traffic flow. And here is the place for routing VXLAN with EVPN according to VXLAN tutorial.

For the distributed architecture, asymmetric IRB (integrated routing and bridging) and symmetric IRB are the two models to achieve inter-subnet routing with EVPN. Both of them are valuable, so choose the suitable model for your legacy network system.

FS.COM Solution for EVPN vs VXLAN

FS.COM S5850 series switches are designed for hardware based VXLAN function. The following is a 10gb Ethernet switch from FS.COM.

This S5850-48S6Q is a Layer 3 switch. This fiber switch has an advanced architectural design with 48 port 10G SFP+ and 6 port 40G QSFP+ in a compact 1U form factor. It can provide extensive data center service features and switching capacity of 1.44Tbps. Besides, the wind direction of the switch is front-to-back, or you can change it to back-to-front. With support for advanced features, including MLAG, VXLAN, IPv4/IPv6, SFLOW and so on, this switch can help enterprises to build a scalable data center network platform in the cloud computing era.

switch

Figure 3: S5850-48S6Q Switch

Conclusion

From the above, we have a better understanding of EVPN vs VXLAN. FS.COM, as an excellent provider of enterprises solutions, offers different kinds of switch such as PoE network switch, SDN switch to satisfy customers’ various network demand.

SDN vs NFV: What Is the Difference?

SDN and NFV that have emerged in recent years, are the most aggressive technology in the networking industry. SDN NFV are born to provide new ways to design, build and operate networks. What is SDN? What is NFV? SDN vs NFV, what’s the difference? Here talks about SDN and NFV.

SDN and NFV

Figure 1: SDN and NFV

SDN vs NFV—Definition

What Is SDN

SDN, software defined networking, started from the campus network. It developed to solve the network issue that people had to change the software of their devices when they tried to deploy a new protocol. SDN is a telecommunication revolution that separates the control plane of a network from the data plane that forwards one’s network traffic, aiming at creating a centrally managed and programmable network. As an innovative architecture of new network, it provides a way to implement network virtualization.

What Is NFV

NFV, network function virtualization, is developed by dozens of large telecommunication service providers. Often times, it’s difficult for them to accelerate the implement of new network services due to the restrictions of hardware-based appliances. Thus, the goal of NFV is to virtualize the network services such as DNS, caching, etc., and abstract them from the hardware on which they run, and hence they can run in software. NFV is a disruptive technological reform that offers a more open and flexible service deployment for telecom operators’ network architecture.

SDN vs NFV—Difference

From the above, we know SDN and NFV rely on virtualization so that the network design and infrastructure can be abstracted in software. But do you know the difference of SDN vs NFV?

SDN vs NFV example

Figure 2: SDN vs NFV

Basically, SDN abstracts physical devices like data switch or router and makes the controller process to a virtual network control plane. In this way, the virtual control plane will decide the locations for sending traffic. By contrast, NFV is designed to use the standard x86 server to replace the dedicated network devices like the firewall. As a result, the network function is independent from the dedicated devices, which enables the network to develop without extra devices. The table below shows the differences between SDN and NFV.

SDN 
NFV
Basic idea
Separate control and data.
Transfer network functions from dedicated applications to generic servers.
Initial application target
Cloud orchestration and networking
Firewalls, gateways, WAN, CDN, etc.
Protocols
Open flow

None

Supporting organization
Open networking foundation
ETSI NFV working group

SDN vs NFV—Future Outlook

Since SDN and NFV share the same aims that improve software-based  approaches to create more flexible, scalable and perfect networks to support the increasing business demand, they have become popular in the network industry. And there’s no doubt that SDN and NFV will work together with traditional switches or some other optical equipment in the future. To follow the technological trend, FS.COM has developed SDN switches to satisfy customers’ various needs.

The N5850-48S6Q SDN switch offers 48 SFP+ 10GbE ports and 6 QSFP+ 40GbE ports that support non-blocking exchange. It adopts 1.44Tbps full-duplex switch capability with the operating system of broadcom ICOS, creating a more open installation environment for users. Compared with the traditional switch, this SDN switch separates the data path from the control path, which helps to make a high-level routing decision.

SDN switch

Figure 3: SDN Switch

Conclusion

As regard to SDN vs NFV, we have learned the basic information of them. Also, we recognize that SDN and NFV will make a difference in the future. FS.COM, the supplier of switches such as 10gb switch, 40GbE switch and even 100GbE switch, will keep pace with the innovations of network world.

What Is VLAN Switch and Why Do We Need It?

VLAN or virtual LAN is a type of LAN that is defined to map workstations based on everything except for geographic location. It develops when the network has increased in size and complexity, and many companies require more access ports or a network design. Basically, it’s a networking technology which allows the network to be segmented logically without geographic restrictions. But how much do you know about VLAN switch?

What Is VLAN Switch?

VLAN switch is built on the fiber optic switch of LAN, which realizes the division and management of logical working group as a software. As defined in IEEE standard 802.1Q, VLAN switch can provide a way to transform one network into multiple broadcast domains. And each broadcast domain is usually matched with IP subnet boundaries, so that each subnet has its own VLAN. Therefore, users can obtain various wired LANs for different purposes that are co-existed physically, which means you don’t need to buy additional hardware or cabling at a large expense. With the development of IoT, VLAN switch is extremely useful.

VLAN switch

Figure1: VLAN Example

Why Do We Need VLAN Switch?

As an important feature of modern network technology, VLAN switch not only can create a separate broadcast domain, but also isolate traffic. Besides, it enjoys several advantages as followed that help to optimize the network.

  • Security. Separating system of the VLAN switch can isolate the sensitive data from the general network, so that people will have slim chance to see the information that they aren’t authorized to see.

  • Performance. With LAN data rates increase, traditional routers may generate a bottleneck when sending data in software. VLAN switch can settle this issue. It can segment LAN into VLANs to achieve multiple broadcast domains, which helps to reduce unnecessary network traffic and increase the bandwidth. After a successful setup, VLAN switch will benefit the whole network performance.

Where to Buy VLAN Switch

Using network switches to realize VLAN switch is today’s common solution for network congestion. FS.COM develops a series of network switches such as 1G switch, 10GbE switch, 40G switch and 100G switch. Some products offer VLAN such as S3800-24T4S 24-port 10/100/1000 base-T Gigabit stackable managed switch and 24-port Gigabit PoE+ managed switch, while some are without the support of VLAN like S5800-48F4S 48-port Gigabit SFP L2/L3/MPLS switch and N8000-32Q (32*40GbE) 40GbE spine/core layer switch. Now, we’ll take 24-port Gigabit PoE+ managed switch as an example.

This S1600-24T4F PoE network switch supports 24 RJ45 ports with each PoE power consumption at 30W. For safety, each port is equipped with separated overload and short-circuit protection, and along with LED to show power status. When connected with CAT5e, each port can achieve single port power and data transmission. It accepts the dual-mode PoE standard and compliant with IEEE802.3af/at. Besides, its switching capacity can reach 52Gbps. The switch helps secure the network through supporting dynamic or static binding by users’ definition like IP, MAC, VLAN and so on.

Figure2: 24-Port Gigabit PoE+ Managed Switch

Summary

VLAN switch is a wonderful technology and tool to assist your network. Using FS.COM VLAN switches just by logging into the switch and entering the parameters for the VLAN, you can easily create a VLAN and enjoy your perfect networking experience.

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.

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 managed switch is popular among most users. But in the past ten years, some devices are designed to use more power than traditional PoE, which demands 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 the 24-port gigabit PoE+ managed switch that can replace this network 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 supports 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 PoE+ gigabit 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.

Related Article: Managed 24 Port PoE Switch: How Can We Benefit From It?

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 Ethernet 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 stack switch is 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 manufacturer.

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 switch 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 a 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 are 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 want 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 of the three.

Related Article: Understanding Two Technologies: Switch Stack vs Switch Cluster

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 switches.

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 the 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 an 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 fewer 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 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 switches 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?