1Gb Backbone vs 10Gb Backbone: Gigabit Switch or 10GbE Switch

The modern world is developing in full speed, so is the telecommunication industry. Not long ago 10GbE switch had been a luxury, so was exclusively affordable to large enterprises. And many individuals and businesses used 10/100Mb switch and could only get to gigabit switch for 1Gb backbone. However, this situation is changing due to price dropping and proliferating market demand. Now more and more SMBs and individuals are using gigabit switch and attempt to access 10Gb switch. As thus questions like whether to deploy gigabit switch as 1Gb backbone or 10GbE switch as 10Gb backbone has stirred heated discussion on many forums. This article is to give some reference for 1Gb backbone vs 10Gb backbone selection guide.

1 Gb backbone gigabit switch vs 10Gb backbone 10GbE switch

What Is 1Gb Backbone Gigabit Switch?

Simply put, 1Gb backbone refers to the networking configuration that gigabit switch is used in the data center as core switch. A typical scenario in 1Gb backbone configuration is to run 10/100Mb access layer switches with 1Gb uplink back to a central gigabit switch. In this case the 1Gb uplink on the 100Mb switch receives the 1Gbps from the switch gigabit, then divides the 1Gb bandwidth to its terminal endpoints. Restricted by the normal port 10/100Mb, max. 100Mb is available for access points. As thus 100Mb switch has gradually been obsoleted by gigabit switch.

To achieve 1000Mbps and bring in PoE capability, modern operators often use gigabit PoE switch as access switch to cooperate 1Gb backbone gigabit switch. Here is a 1Gb backbone deployment scenario by FS.COM: Employing S5800-48F4S 48 port gigabit SFP switch as 1Gb backbone in the data center. Linking two 24 port PoE switches in the office to connect and power IP phones, wireless APs, desktops and laptops. Then running two wires to link two 8 port PoE switches in the warehouse for IP surveillance.

gigabit switch 1Gb backbone

Figure 1: Deploying FS 48 port gigabit switch with 10Gb uplink as core switch and FS 8/24 port gigabit PoE switches as access switches.

What Is 10Gb Backbone 10GbE Switch?

Similarly, 10Gb backbone refers to the configuration that 10GbE switch serves as core switch in the data center. Then running gigabit switches with 10Gb uplink back to the central 10Gb switch. To illustrate 10Gb backbone configuration, here is a deployment scenario. In this case, we deploy S5800-8TF12S 10Gb SFP+ switch as core 10GbE switch in the data center. Using S3800-48T4S 48 port switch and S1600-48T4S 48 port gigabit PoE switch as access switches, we run fiber patch cables to corresponding 10Gb SFP+ uplinks on these access switches. As thus the 10Gb uplink bandwidth can be divided to the access gigabit switch normal port.

Assumption on the case 10 same endpoints are connected to 10 ports on the gigabit Ethernet switch. Then each can obtain max. 1000Mb from the 10Gb uplink bandwidth. In this case the gigabit speed is retained. If the upper layer switch is a gigabit switch, then each endpoint can only get 100Mb.

gigabit switch as access switch in 10Gb backbone configuration

Figure 2: Deploying S5800-8TF12S 10Gb SFP+ switch as 10Gb backbone, while S3800-48T4S 48 port switch and S1600-48T4S 48 port gigabit PoE switch are for gigabit access switch.

1Gb Backbone vs 10Gb Backbone: Gigabit Switch or 10GbE Switch as Core Switch?
Virtualization Application

Generally speaking, deploying gigabit switch for a 1Gb backbone vs 10GbE switch for a 10Gb backbone depends heavily on virtualization application. Even in a small office with only several PCs, demanding applications for high bandwidth may require a backbone 10Gb switch. That is, if you or your employees must deal with high-load pictures and videos every day, 10GbE switch backbone is a must to ensure smooth operation and work efficiency. Or you may easily get stuck in network congestion. Say a regular video conference in a midsize enterprise can randomly drop, which wastes time and drag down schedule process.

Number of Users

Also, pay attention to number of users. Counting all the current endpoints: computers, wireless APs, IP phones, etc. And try to measure the load traffic by plotting utilization. Then take future expansion into consideration. If your backbone gigabit switch ports are already hot for using the most bandwidth provided, and you still need to add office devices, then your network is on the verge of severe congestion. In this case 10Gb switch backbone or higher is the choice to go.

Access Point Bandwidth

All in all, choosing between backbone gigabit switch vs backbone 10GbE switch, there is a bandwidth gap that access endpoints are available. If you deploy 10Gb switch as core switch and gigabit switch with 10Gb uplink as access switch, the normal port on the access switch can get max. 1000Mb bandwidth. However, if the backbone is 1Gb and your access switch is 100Mb, then only max. 100Mb bandwidth can be available in the access switch port. So for 1Gb backbone scenario where one use gigabit switch as core switch, deploying gigabit PoE switch instead of 100Mb switch as access switch is a solution to keep up with 1000Mbps speed.

Conclusion

In summary, 1 Gb backbone gigabit switch vs 10Gb backbone 10GbE switch selection depends on the bandwidth your virtualization applications require. In detail, 10Gb switch shall function as 10Gb backbone in the case mass data transfer is a regular task. Thus the gigabit switch normal ports can share max. 1Gb bandwidth. Otherwise you can remain your 1Gb backbone. But for 1Gb access, deploying gigabit PoE switch to replace your 100Mb access switch is a future-proofing and feasible solution to go. FS SFP switch is a good choice for 1Gb backbone core switch whereas SFP+ switch for 10Gb backbone core switch.

Can 10Gb Switch Port Link to Gigabit Switch Port?

With the tendency for higher speed network, 10Gb switch has already become familiar with home individuals, no longer the privilege of enterprise operators. However, the issue of SFP to SFP+ compatibility always puzzles many network switch users, even some engineers. Will 1Gb SFP transceivers work with 10Gb SFP+ ports on 10Gb switch? Or will 10Gb SFP+ run at 1Gb to link gigabit switch? And If 10Gb optics in a switch can auto-negotiate to 1Gb when the other end is 1Gb? All these related questions origin from the link between 10Gb SFP+ slots on 10Gb switch and 1Gb SFP ports on gigabit switch. Thus this article will reveal the mask of SFP to SFP+ compatibility from this point of view.

10G SFP+ Port on 10Gb Switch Take 1G SFP Optics on Gigabit Switch in Most Situations

Will 1Gb SFP transceivers/modules work with 10Gb SFP+ ports? The answer is “Yes” in most cases. There are many vendors providing 10Gb switches that can take both a 10G SFP+ and a 1G SFP in the 10Gb SFP+ slot, but not at the same time for obvious reasons. This option is supported by dual speed operation. So before plugging a SFP transceiver into the SFP+ port on your 10GbE switch, one must consult your rep to make sure the 10Gb switch port support dual speed.

To achieve link of 10Gb switch port to gigabit switch port, here is a simple guide. Install a 1Gb SFP module on the 10GbE switch SFP+ port and the gigabit switch 1Gb SFP port respectively, then connect the 10Gb switch and the gigabit switch with corresponding 1Gb SFP fiber cable or Ethernet copper cable (eg. Cat6).

1G SFP Port on Gigabit Switch Cannot Take 10Gb SFP+ Optics on 10Gb Switch in All Cases

Will 10Gb SFP+ running at 1Gb? The answer is definitely “No”. SFP optics do work in SFP+ slots in most cases, but SFP+ optics on 10Gb switch can never work in SFP slots on gigabit switch. The reason is about a power availability thing. As we know, once an module is installed, the speed of the port is decided. Most SFP+ slots are backward compatible with SFP modules to run at 1G speed. However, the SFP slots on gigabit switch cannot support the 10G speed required by SFP+ modules. For instance, most Cisco and FS 10Gb switches support 10G SFP+ and 1G SFP optics on their SFP+ ports. But some Brocade gear and HP A-series models are SFP+ only. One need to double check the compatibility of this switch with the vendor rep.

FS 10Gb switch SFP+ port link to gigabit switch SFP port

FS 10Gb switch SFP+ port links to gigabit switch SFP port via 1G SFP modules and fiber patch cable.

SFP+ Optics in a 10Gb Switch Cannot Auto-negotiate Down to 1G when the Other End Is Gigabit Switch

Unlike copper SFP modules supporting 10/100/1000 auto-sensing, fiber optics do not support auto-negotiation. Because this technology is based on electrical pluses but not optical pluses. Thus 10Gb SFP+ optics on 10Gb switch can not auto-negotiate down to 1Gb if the other end is gigabit switch. In fact, most SFP and SFP+ transceivers only run at its rated speed and the transceivers at both end of the cable should at the same speed. For example, if a 10Gb SFP+ module is plugged into the 10Gb switch port, it will only run at 10Gb. In this case if you link it to the gigabit switch port, it will not work. When sticking a 1Gb SFP module in the 10G SFP+ port, the 10Gb switch will only run at 1Gb. As thus you can link it to gigabit switch.

Sometimes the 10GbE switch port would lock the speed at 1G until you reconfigure the switch to 10G. It is noted that SFP+ port usually enables a speed under 1G, which means one cannot insert 100Base SFP modules into SFP+ ports on 10Gb switch.

Conclusion

For the issue of SFP to SFP+ compatibility, a simple response is that most SFP+ can take SFP but not vice versa. The uncertain situation requires one to ask their switch vendors for clear reply. Thus 10Gb switch port is possible to link to gigabit switch port to run at 1G speed. The only thing you need to do is to plug each the aforesaid port with a 1Gb SFP module, and then connect the two modules on the 10Gb switch and the gigabit switch with a corresponding fiber patch cable or Ethernet copper cable.

FS S3800-24T4S Stackable 24 Port Switch Introduction

For a wide range of home lab and SMB users, 1/10G Ethernet switch saves budget and plays a big role in network expansion. In this regard we have recommended various gigabit switches with 10GbE uplink, say S3800-24T4S managed 24 port switch with 4 x 10G SFP+ uplinks. Actually, S3800-24T4S also highlights stackable capability. So today let’s dive into S3800-24T4S gigabit stackable 24 port switch.

S3800-24T4S stackable 24 port switch

FS S3800-24T4S Stackable 24 Port Switch Overview

FS S3800-24T4S stackable 24 port switch is one of FS S3800 Series Ethernet switches. It is designed for class-carrier 1GE access and 10G uplink network, and dedicated to covering all kinds of enterprises and operator customers. This gigabit switch comes with 1 x console port, 24 x gigabit ports and 4 x 10G uplinks. Profit from 4 x 10G SFP+ ports, S3800-24T4S 24 port gigabit switches can be stacked together to work as a whole unit for cost-effective 10GE access or aggregation. Besides, it adopts high performance processor to achieve full wired speed forwarding and line-dormant capacity to coordinate with NGGN unified software. Table below lists the detail specifications of S3800-24T4S 24 port switch.

Switch Class Layer 2+ CPU ARM
Switch Capacity 128Gbps Switch Chip BCM53346
Forwarding Rate 95Mpps VLANs 4K
Power Supply 100-240VAC, 50/60Hz Flash Memory 16MB
Power Consumption ≤40W (Full-loaded) SDRM Memory 512MB
Highlights of S3800-24T4S Stackable 24 Port Switch

In addition to the above mentioned information, S3800-24T4S stackable 24 port switch also features other characteristics.

·Multiple Port Configuration

S3800-24T4S gigabit 24 port switch provides high port density with 24 x 10/100/1000base-T RJ45 copper ports and 4 x 10G SFP+ uplinks in a compact 1RU form factor (17.32’’ x 8.66’’ x 1.73’’). The port diversity allows one to directly connect it to a sever, to a 10G switch with uplink port for 10GbE network, or to stack up to four S3800-24T4S gigabit switches together to expand network bandwidth.

·Single or Dual Power Supply

It is noted that FS S3800-24T4S 24 port switch comes with two power versions: single power supply and dual power supply. The S3800-24T4S 24 port gigabit switch with two built-in power supplies provides redundant power supply in unexpected outage. Generally speaking, for L2+ Ethernet switches, single power completely can satisfy the need, and it won’t easily go dead. However, the dual power supply does play backup role in power failure, thus it is ideal for mission-critical applications.

·Good Ventilation and Indication Design

FS S3800-24T4S stackable 24 port switch is equipped with 2 x build-in cooling fans and plenty reserved vents, which facilitate air flow and system cooling. Also, 28 x LED indicators are laid in order to report the working status and display the “slot number” for rapid identification and problem resolution.

·Fully Managed Advanced Feature

As fully managed gigabit Ethernet switch, S3800-24T4S 24 port switch can be managed by both CLI command and web user interface. Moreover, for excellent hardware and software, the gigabit switch is perfectly matching applications of small networks. For instance, it supports various advanced functions, including CPU, QoS, DHCP, VLAN/VxLAN, BCM53346 Chip and etc.

How to Use S3800-24T4S Stackable 24 Port Switch?

As a stackable managed gigabit switch, S3800-24T4S 24 port switch can be either used as standalone switch or a part of stacking system. This flexibility enables availability in various physical networks.

For expanding network capacity and simplifying management, stacking switches is very popular in data centers. A single S3800-24T4S stackable 24 port switch can provide 128Gbps switching capacity to your network. However, it will double the capacity to 256Gbps as 2 switches are stacked as a whole. In fact, S3800-24T4S gigabit Ethernet switch supports up to 4 switches stacked together, extending your network to a total switching capacity at 512Gbps. Also, operators can easily control all the stacked switches with the console port and add or remove a gigabit switch without affecting other switches in the stacking system.

To stack up S3800-24T4S 24 port switches with 10G SFP+ ports, you should connect them via SFP+ modules with fiber patch cable or via DAC or AOC directly. Here is a video presentation for S3800 Series 24 port switch stacking.

Conclusion

FS S3800-24T4S managed stackable 24 port gigabit switch with 4 x 10G SFP+ uplinks is an excellent solution to expand your network from 1G to 10G. Further more, with physical stacking technology, 4 S3800-24T4S stackable 24 port switches can be stacked as a whole system, which boosts your network to 512Gbps total capacity and simplifies management. Besides S3800-24T4S gigabit Ethernet switch, FS S3800 Series also include S3800-48T4S 48 port gigabit switch and S3800-24F4S fiber SFP gigabit 24 port switch.

Related article: FS S3800-48T4S 48 Port Switch Introduction

24-Port Switch Selection: Which Is the Suitable Choice?

An Ethernet switch acts as a bridge to connect different parts of a network together. Although many routers also possess the network switching capabilities and multiple Ethernet ports, the Ethernet switch is not the replacement for routers. It is worth emphasizing that Ethernet switches are smarter than routers in that they operate at the data link layer (Layer 2) and the network layer (Layer 3) of the OSI Reference Model and therefore support any packet protocol. Ideally, switches will make better use of bandwidth if you prefer wired to wireless connections but have more devices than available Ethernet ports. On the other hand, an Ethernet switch is a costly way to expend the network in home or small business. So it is very important to invest an Ethernet switch with the appropriate number of ports to fit your needs. In the midst of various Gigabit Ethernet switches, a 24-port switch is considered as the most common Gigabit switch that connect devices in a local area network. Then this article will explore how to select a suitable 24-port switch.

Popular 24-Port Switch in the Market

FS S3800-24F4S 24-Port Switch

FS S3800-24F4S 24-port switch comes with 20x 100/1000BASE SFP, 4x 1GE combo and 4x 10GE SFP+ slots. The flexible port combination form provide a high bandwidth aggregation connectivity for multiple switch in network to enhance network capacity. Moreover, it is a stackable SFP managed switch, which can provide true stacking of up to 4 switches in a stack acting as a single unit with totally 106 ports (96x 1G Ports and 10x 10G ports). The switching capacity is 128Gbps. This 24-port Gigabit managed switch fits for enterprise network operators who need high performance and low power processor to provide full speed forwarding and line-dormant capacity.

FS S3800-24F4S 24-Port Switch

Figure 1: FS S3800-24F4S 24-Port Gigabit Switch

Cisco SGE2000 24-Port Switch

Cisco SGE2000P comes with 24 10/100/1000BASE-T RJ45 ports and 4 shared Gigabit SFP slots. This 24-port Gigabit managed switch can provide ACL (access control lists), DoS (denial-of-service), VLAN and IEEE 802.1X port authentication. And the enhanced quality of service (QoS) and traffic-management features help ensure clear and reliable voice and video communications. This Gigabit network switch enable you to take advantage of the comprehensive feature set for a better-optimized, more secure network.

Cisco SGE2000 24-Port Gigabit Switch

Figure 2: Cisco SGE2000 24-Port Gigabit Switch (Source: Cisco)

NETGEAR ProSAFE GS724T 24-Port Gigabit Switch

The Netgear ProSafe GS724T is armed with 24 copper 10/100/1000 ports and 2 SFP 100/1000 ports. Each port can transfer data at maximum throughput for a total maximum switching speed of up to 48 Gbps. This 24-port switch is intended for SMB organizations using the switch for applications like VoIP, video conferencing, and system security, etc. And it features a fanless system, allowing the switch to work silently without overheating. This is great for use on homelab, as its quiet operation won’t cause a distraction.

NETGEAR ProSAFE GS724T 24-Port Gigabit Switch

Figure 3: NETGEAR ProSAFE GS724T 24-Port Gigabit Switch (Source: NETGEAR)

TP-Link TL-SG1024 24-Port Switch

The TP-Link TL-SG1024 features 24 Gigabit Ethernet ports and non-blocking switching, which can provide large file transferring and also be compatible with 10Mbps and 100Mbps Ethernet devices. Moreover, this network switch has 48Gbps switching capacity with 8K MAC address table, 10KB Jumbo Frame and 4MB buffer memory. This TP-Link switch is a fanless rack mount design with LED diagnostic lights, so you can easily tell which ports are in use. It can automatically adjust power consumption according to the link status to limit the carbon footprint of your network. The price is $69.99 on Amazon. So this fanless Ethernet switch is good for your wallet both because it is inexpensive to buy and because of its energy-saving technology.

TP-Link TL-SG1024 24-Port Gigabit Switch

Figure 4: TP-Link TL-SG1024 24-Port Gigabit Switch(Source: TP-Link)

Comparison of 24-Port Switch

Gigabit Switch Mode Ethernet ports Gigabit SFP SFP+ Uplink ports Switching Capacity Forwarding Rate Power Consumption Price
FS S3800-24F4S 24 4 combo 4 128Gbps 95Mpps ≤60W(Full-loaded) $449
Cisco SGE2000 24 4 / 48Gbps 35.7Mpps 90W $390
NETGEAR ProSAFE GS724T 24 2 / 48Gbps No Information 29W $219.99
TP-Link TL-SG1024 24 / / 48Gbps 35.7Mpps 13.1W $69.99

From the chart we can see, all the Gigabit switches listed above provide 24 port Ethernet RJ45 ports, only FS S3800-24F4S 24-port switch has 4 SFP+ uplink ports. They have some characteristics in common that make them suitable for being used in places like home or small business office. In terms of the power consumption, TP-Link TL-SG1024 and NETGEAR ProSafe GS724T are lower than others, but the huge price spread exists between these two switches because NETGEAR ProSafe GS724T has another two SFP ports for more flexible application. Among these four switches, if you have no limited cost budget, FS S3800-24F4S is a good choice. It has more flexible port combination and higher switching capacity, that is why it may cost a little more than the other three switches. If you need stronger data transferring capability, FS S3800-24F4S is a better choice considering its forwarding rate. On the contrary, TP-Link TL-SG1024 is the best budget choice. If you want a fanless switch, NETGEAR ProSafe GS724T is an inexpensive and reliable choice, but the install program only works on Windows and the secure management is very difficult to be enabled.

Conclusion

When choosing a Gigabit Ethernet switch, the first factor to consider is how many devices need to be networked together. Purchasing a network switch with too few ports and not enough capacity will prove ineffective, and one that is too large can be a waste of money. Generally, small offices with a few employees should start with a 16-port switch, but a business that is looking to expand its operations soon needs a 24-port switch. So 24-port switch is the most future-proofing and cost-effective choice in small business network. Except the above mentioned S3800-24F4S, FS.COM also provides other three cost-effective 24-port switch for different demands.

FS.COM 24-port Gigabit Switches Mode Description
S2800-24T4F Fanless Gigabit managed switch with 24 100/1000BASE-T ports and 4 combo SFP slots
S3700-24T4S Gigabit managed switch with 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports and 4 10GE SFP+ uplinks ports
S3800-24T4S Gigabit stackable managed switch with 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports and 4 10GE SFP+ uplinks ports

Related Article: 48-Port 10GE Switch Selection: What Is the Right Choice?