Understanding Ports of Gigabit PoE Switch

Since the introduce of Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology, PoE LAN switch has become popular among wide users. However, newbies are usually confused with the multiple port configuration on gigabit PoE switch. Since there are already regular PoE Ethernet ports for powered devices (PDs), what are the function of other ports like console port, SFP/SFP+ port and combo port on gigabit PoE switch? This article will take 8 port PoE switch, 24 port PoE switch and 48 port PoE switch as example to illustrate multiple port for your reference.

Console Port on Gigabit PoE Switch

Like regular Ethernet switch, gigabit PoE switch often has one built-in serial console port, say FS S1130-8T2F 8 port PoE switch. It is the port for controlling and managing switch since there are no display device for a switch. Usually console port on gigabit PoE switch is an RJ45 receptacle. To connect a computer directly to the 8 port PoE switch, one should use dedicated rollover cable rather than Ethernet cable for connection.To use console port, you need physical access to the appliance. Therefore for terminals without serial console port, one should attach a corresponding adapter to the devices before cabling.

console port of 8 port gigabit PoE switch

Figure 1: A display of one console port on FS S1130-8T2F 8 port PoE switch for control.

RJ45 Port vs SFP Port on Gigabit PoE Switch

RJ45 port on gigabit PoE switch is the regular PoE port to achieve data and DC power transmission for PDs. It is an auto-sensing 10/100/1000Mb copper port supporting only Ethernet cable (Cat5e/6/6a/7) for connection. Thus RJ45 port connection is limited to 1G speed and 100m (330ft) short distance transmission. Then how about longer distance transmission scenario?

Different from RJ45 port, SFP port on gigabit PoE switch has the opt of both short and long reach. Why? The mini GBIC port has inherited the compatibility of either copper or optical SFP connection. Provided you employ the corresponding SFP module and cable on power over Ethernet switch. For long distance transmission, you should use fiber SFP modules with fiber patch cable for optical link. For short distance, you can opt to use RJ45 SFP module with copper network cable on gigabit PoE RJ45 switch for electrical link. Gigabit PoE switch often provides 2 SFP port for optical connection or uplink aggregation requirement, which enhances network adaption resiliency of PoE powered switch. For instance, S1400-24T4F 24 port PoE switch has 2 SFP ports reserved, which caters for fiber uplink to upper layer switch.

RJ45 Port vs SFP Port on Gigabit PoE Switch

Figure 2: A display of RJ45 ports vs SFP ports on FS gigabit PoE switch.

SFP+ Port on Gigabit PoE Switch

To illustrate SFP+ port on PoE Ethernet switch, we’ll take S1600-48T4S 48 port PoE switch as example. This 48 port PoE gigabit switch comes with 1 console port, 48 PoE+ RJ45 ports and 4 SFP+ ports. The 48 RJ45 ports are PoE ready to power on dozens of VoIP phones, IP cameras and wireless APs. The 4 SFP+ ports on gigabit PoE switch serves as uplink to connect 10G SFP switch for uplink aggregation.

S1600-48T4S 48 port gigabit PoE switch SFP+ port application

Figure 3: Deploying S1600-48T4S 48 port PoE switch as gigabit access switch to link 10G SFP switch via SFP+ ports, and connect PDs.

Combo Port on Gigabit PoE Switch

Though manufactures often clearly label combo ports on gigabit PoE switch for identification, many people don’t know its function. Take S1400-24T4F 24 port PoE switch as example, 2 combo ports are reserved on this 24 port PoE managed switch. The combo port compounds RJ45 and SFP front ends in one single interface, thus it supports either copper or optical SFP link. However, you cannot use these two physical accesses on PoE network switch simultaneously. That is, once you activate combo SFP port on gigabit PoE switch, you also disable the opposite copper port.

S1400-24T4F 24 port gigabit PoE switch combo port

Figure 4: A demonstration of combo ports on gigabit PoE switch: S1400-24T4F 24 port PoE switch from FS.COM.

Conclusion

To sum up, multiple ports on gigabit PoE switch owns different functionality, which enhances switching resiliency for different network cabling. RJ45 port on PoE powered switch is an normal one for copper link to PDs. SFP port of gigabit PoE switch provides options of fiber cabling or copper cabling due to fiber SFP module and RJ45 SFP module compatibility. 10G SFP+ port on 48 port PoE switch serves as uplink port for link aggregation in network layer. Combo port compounds RJ45 and SFP interface in one single fabric on gigabit PoE switch. So it helps to extend flexibility of physical access through the network. For 8/24/48 port cheap PoE switch buying, you can find decent offer here with optimal port configuration.

Gigabit PoE Switch vs Normal Switch

The telecommunication industry has always been developing with leaps and bounds and technology changes with each passing day. For common people with few network knowledge, the evolving optional network devices like PoE switch can be a big puzzle. What is PoE? What is the distinction of gigabit PoE switch vs normal switch? Read this article for reference.

What Are PoE and PoE Switch?

PoE, abbreviation of Power over Ethernet, is a technology that enables Ethernet cable to supply power. Thus power sourcing equipment (PSE) can transmit both data and power to powered devices (PD) simultaneously via one single cable. PoE has two standards available on network switch: IEEE 802.3af/at. The former orginal PoE standard is defined in 2003, which provides 15.4 W power budget to PDs (12.95 W available for accessing). The latter PoE+/PoE Plus standard defined in 2009 provides up to 30 W (25.5 W) power.

PoE switch is one of the two types of PSE for PoE implement: endspan switch and midspan PoE injector. To enhance network resiliency, gigabit PoE switches provided by FS.COM are highly compatible IEEE 802.3af/at managed PoE+ switches. For example, S1130-8T2F managed gigabit 8 port PoE switch with 2 SFP ports can connect to gigabit Ethernet network while S1600-48T4S 48 port PoE switch can use the SFP+ ports to connect with 10gbe switch for higher performance data transfer.

S1130-8T2F 8 port PoE switch

Figure 1: FS S1130-8T2F 8 port PoE managed switch can be flexibly placed in a rack, on a wall or on desktop.

PoE Switch vs Normal Switch: What’s the Difference?

In a word, PoE switch and normal switch differ from PoE accessibility. A regular Ethernet switch is not PoE enabled to supply power for end users over Ethernet. Therefore the user requires one extra cable to connect power outlets. However a normal switch can also become PoE ready by employing a midspan injector between the switch and PDs. The injector will add electrical power while receiving data signal from Ethernet switch end cable, and then deliver both data and power to PDs. But in this circumstance the injector also needs a wire for power. When using gigabit PoE switch, only one power cable is required. Then the PDs can be directly plugged into the PoE gigabit switch port for both data transmission and power supply. The illustration and table below list the differences of employing PoE switch vs normal switch while adding PoE to network.

gigabit PoE switch vs normal switch

Figure 2: An illustration of deploying PoE gigabit switch vs normal switch when adding PoE to network.

PoE Switch Normal Switch
Required Accessories Easy for management (power and transmission) Require separate two wires for powering on normal switch and PoE injector
PoE Access Method Upgrade to PoE network by replacing the normal Ethernet switch with PoE Ethernet switch Install PoE injector between switch and PDs to add PoE capability to the existing non-PoE switch
Emergency Reaction Potential chance of the whole system’s outage Only one device be affected
What Are the Advantages of PoE Switch?

As mentioned above, PoE switch differs from normal switch for supplying power to PDs in the meantime of data delivery. Though the normal switch system can also acquire PoE by installing injector, PoE endspan has the superiority of direct Power over Ethernet ability. Counting to this, gigabit PoE switch owns edges over normal switch as follows. First, it enables PDs like IP surveillance cameras to be placed almost anywhere: on the ceiling, concealed in a wall, or even underwater while only one cable is needed to run to them. Second, it saves extra expanse and time for power cabling and injector installation. Third, with simplified cabling of all PDs directly connected to gigabit PoE switch, the data center is easy for management and control. Besides, PoE gigabit switch itself is designed with advanced features like high-performance hardware with software, auto-sensing PoE compatibility, strong network security and environmental adaptability.

Conclusion

Gigabit PoE switch can supply power to PDs in the meantime of data transmission via one single Ethernet cable while normal switch can only send data to them. For PoE implement, normal switch requires a power-on auxiliary injector as midspan between switch and powered devices. Thus PoE switch owns advantages of direct PoE connection, easy and flexible placement, cost-efficiency, simplified management and etc. For any applications of IP surveillance cameras, VoIP phones and wireless APs, PoE switch over normal switch is a good solution to go.