Open Network Linux: A Change Agent For Innovation

Driven by speed, economy, and the need for vendor freedom, many companies have been developing custom NOS (Network Operating System) on open networking platforms. To further advance network innovation, OCP (Open Compute Project) has been working to standardize open networking software and hardware. OCP’s Open Network Linux enables organizations to rapidly innovate and build modern, modular, next-generation NOS stacks by leveraging open source software on open network switches.

alt Open Network Linux, A Change Agent For Innovation

What Is Open Network Linux?

Open Network Linux is an OCP networking project. It is a Linux distribution for open hardware switches, namely network forwarding devices built from commodity components. It features an open networking hardware platforms with a unique architecture for pluggable forwarding stack and device management & programming software. It is the basic component for consumers who want to build NOS on top of open networking switches. Based on Open Network Linux, networking solutions can provide speed, freedom, and commercial efficiency and are now adopted by hundreds of data center organizations, service providers, mainstream enterprises, and SaaS/cloud providers. Consumers just need an ONIE (Open Network Install Environment) to install Open Network Linux onto on-board flash memory.

What’s the Competitiveness of Open Network Linux?

Over the years, many bare metal operating systems have emerged, such as Big Switch Network’s Switch Light, Cumulus Network’s Cumulus Linux, Broadcom’s Fast Path. Open Network Linux is a basic operating system that contains only example packet forwarding code. It is mainly expected that you or other projects will write their own packet forwarding code. Open Network Linux has two main goals. First, Open Network Linux aims to become a development platform for tinkers and DYI types to build their own forwarding applications. Second, Open Network Linux desires to be a useful component for building complete commercial solutions on top of bare metal switches. For example, the Switch Light OS of Big Switch Network is based on Open Network Linux. Therefore, the expectation is that people deploying Open Network Linux will deploy or build their own packet forwarding application on top. In addition, Open Network Linux expects that 3rd parties will provide binary-only forwarding applications (e.g., a traditional L2/L3 stack, an OpenFlow agent, etc.) over time. For example, the Open Route Cache or ‘orc’ code supports traditional L3 routing, and the Indigo binary works as an OpenFlow agent.

Supporters of Open Network Linux

There are many companies around the world that support Open Network Linux. For example, Finisar, Freescale, Accton, and Interface Masters provide platform drivers for Open Network Linux. Big Switch Networks and Open Networking add forwarding agents for Open Network Linux. And its hardware support companies include Edge-Core (Accton), Quanta, Dell, Mellanox, Netberg, Inventec, Celestica, HPE, DNI, Ingrasys, Alpha Networks, and a few unnamed/upcoming vendors. Open Network Linux is at the forefront of system support, as it continues to work with the partners and the community, it will further push the boundaries of innovation together.

Why Use Open Network Linux?

In the previous paragraphs we discussed so much about Open Network Linux, so why should we use Open Network Linux? There are several reasons to tell. Firstly, Open Network Linux helps the ecosystem focus on innovation. It helps to deal with many annoying software details to run an OCP switch and build platform drivers with common value asset. Secondly, Open Network Linux enables a reference NOS implementation. Hardware without software is not useful, it helps to package up details and best practices into one place. Thirdly, Open Network Linux help bootstrap the open ecosystem and OCP adoption. It allows commercial companies and DYI folks to build OCP based products faster.

Conclusion

Open Network Linux is a Linux distribution for bare metal switches (e.g., 10gbe ethernet switch, 100gbe ethernet switch, etc.). It supports OCP and non-OCP switches, ORC forwarding agent, and Indigo-based OpenFlow agent. For two years, we have witnessed open hardware and software have been shared with consumers, technologists, and vendors. As Open Network Linux continues to gain attention as a popular distribution for open network hardware, it will result in less integration work for hardware and software vendors, fewer bugs, and increased reliability as ONL based products are shipped to consumers.

Related Articles:
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Why Should You Use Cumulus Linux OS?

A Guide to Bare Metal Switch

Bare metal switch is the foundation for an inevitable shift in data center networks. Its bare metal switching technology has driven the development of large cloud data centers with a simplified supply chain as the economic driver. But in essence, it is just a great physical network with additional benefits of a rich ecosystem that supports automation and monitoring tools and improves economics.

What Is Bare Metal Switch?

A bare metal switch is a device that allows for the decoupling of hardware and software on the networking stack in order to implement abstract network architectures. You have all the rights to choose the applications you need to run, the network operating system that best supports the applications or best fits your operational environment, and then choose the hardware on which to run it all. A bare metal switch comes with a boot-loader called the open network install environment (ONIE), which allows you to load an operating system onto the switch. There’s a multitude of operating systems you can load, such as Broadcom’s FastPath, Big Switch Networks’ Switch Light, Cumulus Networks’ Cumulus Linux, and Pica8’s PicOS.

altA Guide to Bare Metal Switch

What’s the Vendor of Bare Metal Switch?

Bare metal switches are from original design manufacturers (ODMs) with no network operating system loaded on them. Dell is the first OEM to embrace metal networking and provide global comprehensive IT capabilities. Bare metal manufacturers include companies such as Edge-Core (Accton), Mellanox, Quanta QCT, Alpha Networks, and Delta Computer. And its network operating system support and service come from the third-party vendors such as Cumulus, IPinFusion, Pica8 PicOS or BigSwitch. Cumulus Network is one of the largest network system providers and now powers over one million ports worldwide. Enterprises, education, government, and technology entities around the world have adopted bare metal networking to avoid vendor lock-in, increase performance and significantly reduce total cost, both capital and operational.

What’s the Price of Bare Metal Switch?

Pricing in the networking industry is often shrouded in mystery. It is common for traditional networking vendors to extract 4 times average sales price range from SMBs to large operators. In contrast, large data center operators purchase the same switch at an 85% discount. With the revolution in bare metal switches, pricing is becoming transparent and simple. For instance, Edge-Core Network offers a 48 x 10Gb + 6 x 40Gb bare metal switch, which is a 10gbe switch with 72 10Gb ports, has an MSRP of $5,400. Similarly, FS.COM offers an equivalent 48 x 10Gb + 6 x 40Gb bare metal switch for a street price of $2,999. Now, with bare metal networking, data center operators of all sizes can procure high performance, high-quality switches at price points, regardless of volume, usually only afforded to large operators.

What’s the Difference Between Bare Metal and White Box Switches?

A white box switch is often used interchangeably with a bare metal switch, there is nearly no difference between them. A white box switch can be considered as a bare metal switch but it can be divided into three types. The first one, the operating system and hardware in the white box switch are completely separated, it only provides hardware but no operating system, so it can be sold just as a bare metal switch. The second one, the white box switch is already installed an operating system and customers are allowed to choose different hardware for their own preferences. The third one, the white box switch can be sold with hardware and installed OS with or without brand labels. It can be seen that both bare metal switches and white box switches provide flexibility and widen the choice for online buyers

How to Manually Configure Bare Metal Switch?

Bare metal switches normally are from vendors such as Edge-Core (Accton), Dell, HP, Quanta Mesh (QCT), Penguin, Mellanox, Agema, Inventec. Here is the simple provisioning process of a bare metal switch.

Step 1: After unboxing the network switch and powering it up, the switch starts GRUB boot loader. If there is no OS on the switch, it will boot into ONIE.
Step 2: Depending on the version of ONIE, you might see the GRUB loader of ONIE. Remember ONIE is on a read-only flash in the switch and has its own GRUB and boot-loader. Choose the Install OS option.
Step 3: After the complete boot of ONIE, the switch starts looking for IP through its DHCP client. ONIE doesn’t support static IP. If there is not any specific DHCP option for boot-loader file, ONIE will start looking for default files and location to download the switch OS.
Step 4: We need to get a network OS to load on the switch. The current available bare metal network OS compatible are Cumulus Linux, Pica8, ONL, Ipinfusion, HP. Save the file on your PC or a server. A switch will access the file over TFTP/ FTP / HTTP.
Step 5: Setup the server. You can use the traditional tftpd32 application or simple windows IIS to serve the file. We kept the file in tftpd32 for simplicity.
Step 6: Use the install_url command to load the OS on the switch ONIE. ONIE will start accessing and downloading the file.
Step 7: Now the installer script has installed the ONL. Switch reboots and you will see GRUB is changed to ONL boots up and reaches to the login screen.

Conclusion

Over the years, the bare metal switch market has made progress by adapting to proven systems and processes, and by daring to disrupt traditional business models to provide fast, easy, and affordable networks. Today, open networking can support global product offerings from multiple vendors that support a wide range of network operating systems. If you would like to bring a bare metal switch to your network, contact us at FS.COM. We are here providing various port switches like 32 port switch, 48 port switch etc. just for your needs.

Related Articles:
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24-Port Switch Price and Performance Comparison

24-port Ethernet switch not only adds more ports for your home router, but also becomes a preferable option for enterprise networks, with dramatically decreased price, expanded feature sets and improved ease of use. Most 24 port switch price are acceptable for users. Here we introduce four 24-port Gigabit switch and make a 24-port switch price and performance comparison.

24-Port Switches Introduction

Aruba JL354A 24-Port Gigabit Switch

Aruba JL354A is a 24-port layer 2 managed Gigabit switch. It is equipped with 24 10/100/1000 Gigabit RJ45 ports and 4 SFP+ ports. It supports advanced security and network management tools like Aruba ClearPass Policy Manager and Aruba AirWave, facilitating the deployment and management. The Aruba 24-port layer 2 managed Gigabit switch delivers entry level features for the enterprise campus, SMB and branch offices. It provides built-in 10GbE uplinks, robust QoS, static and RIP routing, IPv6, and requires no software licensing.

Aruba 24-port Gigabit switch

FS S3900-24T4S 24-Port Gigabit Switch

FS newly-released S3900-24T4S 10/100/1000BASE-T 24 port Gigabit switch comes with 4 10GE SFP+ uplinks. It is an advanced Layer 2 Plus (Layer 3 Lite) Gigabit managed stackable switch with 10G uplinks. This Gigabit switch is perfect for service providers (ISPs) and multiple system operators (MSOs) to provide home users with triple-play services. Compared with the previous S3800-24T4S stackable switch, S3900-24T4S uses the 24-port switch fanless design, leaving you a comfortable peaceful environment. In addition, the S3900 series switches offered by FS boast nicer web interface which makes it a snap to monitor switch performance, configure ports, even set up port trunks, VLANs, and traffic prioritization. When configuring VLAN, they just require one command and an additional reboot step.

S3900 24-port switch price

Netgear ProSAFE GS724T 24-Port Gigabit Switch

The Netgear ProSafe GS724T is armed with 24 copper 10/100/1000 ports, each capable of powering 2000 Mbps of data throughput in full-duplex mode per port, as well as 2 SFP 100/1000 ports. This 24-port switch enables SMB organizations to harness applications like VoIP, video conferencing, and system security, etc. And it features a fanless system, allowing the switch to work silently without overheating.

NETGEAR-ProSAFE-GS724T-24-Port-Gigabit-Switch

TP-Link TL-SG1024 24-Port Gigabit Switch

The TP-Link TL-SG1024 features 24 Gigabit Ethernet ports and non-blocking switching. It can realize large file transferring and also support 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 indicating the working condition of each port.

TL-SG1024

24-Port Switch Price and Performance Comparison

Gigabit Switches Ethernet Ports SFP+ Uplink Ports Switching Capacity Forwarding Rate Power Consumption Price
Aruba JL354A 24 4 128Gbps 95.2Mpps 29.3 W $692.00
FS S3900-24T4S 24 4 128Gbps 95Mpps 21 W $279.00
Netgear ProSAFE GS724T 24 / 48Gbps Not Sure 29W $299.99
TP-Link TL-SG1024 24 / 48Gbps 35.7Mpps 13.1 W $79.99

In the above chart, four 24-port Gigabit switches are compared in Ethernet pots, SFP+ uplink ports, switching capacity, forwarding rate, power consumption and price which are mostly concerned by customers. All the Gigabit switches listed provide 24 port Ethernet RJ45 ports, but only FS S3900-24T4S and Aruba JL354A 24-port Gigabit switch have 4 SFP+ uplink ports. In addition, FS S3900-24T4S 24-port Gigabit switch is stackable. If you need stronger data transferring capability, FS S3900-24T4S is a better choice considering its competitive forwarding rate. In terms of the power consumption, TP-Link TL-SG1024 and FS S3900-24T4S are lower than others. With regard to 24-port switch price, TP-Link TL-SG1024 is the best budget choice. However, FS S3900-24T4S is cost-effective as it not only provides 4 SFP+ ports to create up to 10 Gbps high-speed uplinks and stack links to enterprise or campus networks but also works smoothly without generating noise.

Conclusion

To sum up, the four Gigabit switches all have their own advantages. What’s more, 24-port switch price is moderate enough and with a few additional researches you will find that 24-port switch price is much lower than that of a 48-port switch whose ports may be idled in some conditions, causing unnecessary waste. There are also many other brand switches in the market, like 24-port switch Cisco SGE2000 and 24-port switch D-link DGS-1024D which enjoys a good reputation. The S3900-24T4S 24-port gigabit stackable switch provides small and medium-sized enterprises with a network that is geared for growth while ensuring performance and reliability.

10G Network Switch Price Comparison

10G network switches are quite popular on the market since our modern business and home networking applications have become increasingly digital. However, it’s not easy to choose the best network switch for your network need from the abundance of available switches, and the network switch price varies greatly. Here focus on 10G network switch price comparison, to help you select a cheap network switch.

network switch price comparison

10G Network Switch On the Market

Defined by IEEE 802.3ae standard, 10 Gigabit Ethernet has become affordable for most companies, and 10Gb Ethernet switch has become their best choice for easing network pressure. A typical network switch has many ports to connect different devices like PCs, printer, etc. at the same time. And the ports are connected to the host separately. Then transmission medium such as transceiver modules, cables are inserted into the ports. And the network switch uses the ports to transmit data at a quick rate to the Ethernet devices on the other end. According to different connections, here we will discuss two kinds of 48 port switches from different vendors. One kind of network switch requires fiber cable connection, and the other kind needs copper cable connection.

These are two products of 48 port switches which rely on fiber cable connection. Cisco WS C3850-48XS-S switch has 48 SFP+ ports that support up to 10G, and 4 QSFP ports that support up to 40G. FS S5850-48S6Q switch has 48 10GbE SFP+ ports and 6 40GbE QSFP+ ports.

These are two products of 48 port switches which rely on copper cable connection. Netgear XS748T 48 port 10G switch includes 44 10GBase-T ports and 4 10G SFP+ ports. FS S5850-48T4Q switch is designed with 48 10GBase-T ports and 4 40GbE uplink.

10G Network Switch Price Comparison of Different Vendors

The following table 1 summarizes the Cisco and FS network switch price and compares the fiber network switches performance.

Model
Cisco WS C3850-48XS-S
FS S5850-48S6Q
Ports
48 SFP+ and 4 QSFP+ ports
48 SFP+ and 6QSFP+ ports
Switch Class
3
3
Switching Capacity
1280Gpbs
1.44Tbps
Latency
612ns
Forwarding Rate
909Mpps
1071.43Mpps
Price(US dollars)
7190.10(Amazon)
3699.00(FS.COM)

Table 1

From the table, we can see clearly that both of them are Layer 3 switches that support SFP+ and QSFP+ ports. Switching capacity of FS S5850-48S6Q switch is much more bigger than that of the Cisco WS C3850-48XS-S switch. However, the price between them varies greatly. Cisco WS C3850-48XS-S network switch price is almost the double of FS S5850-48S6Q network switch. Therefore, FS product is the cost-effective one.

Table 2 compares 48 port switches from Netgear and FS.COM.

Model
Netgear XS748T
FS S5850-48T4Q
Ports
44 10 Gigabit and 4 SFP+ ports
48 10 Gigabit and 4 40 GbE uplink
Switch Class
3
3
Switching Capacity
1.28Tbps
Latency
Forwarding Rate
714.2Mpps
952.32Mpps
Price(US dollars)
3426.35(Amazon)
3800.00(FS.COM)

Table 2

The two Ethernet switches are connected by copper cables. Forwarding rate of FS S5850-48T4Q network switch is bigger, which means it can process more network packets than the other one. Besides, FS S5850-48T4Q switch can support 40GbE uplink. Therefore, although FS S5850-48T4Q network switch price is a little higher than Netgear XS748T switch, I recommend you choose the FS product for its better performance.

Conclusion

From the above, we compare the network switch price from different vendors. FS switches are the highly cost-effective choice. FS.COM covers everything you need to make your network stronger and bigger, including 24 port switch, patch panel, transceiver module and so on. So raise your network with FS networking products.

Ethernet Switch vs Splitter—How Much Do You Know?

Today, our lives hardly do without Internet communication. We do shopping, letter writing and business all relying on the Ethernet connections both at home and office. And Gigabit Ethernet switch and splitter are the networking devices that are primarily used for connecting different computers or other networking devices. However, they are quite different. Here focus on Ethernet switch vs splitter.

Ethernet Switch vs Splitter: What Are They?

First, let’s figure out the definitions of the two terms.

What Is Ethernet Switch?

An Ethernet switch is a high speed networking device that provides more ports for subnets to connect more computers, printers, cameras and so on in a building or campus. Through the ports, the data switch can receive incoming data packets and redirects the data to their intended destination within a LAN. Usually, an Ethernet switch not only works at the data link layer which is also called layer 2, but also can operate at the network layer (layer 3) or above.

What Is Splitter?

A network splitter acts as the optical power distribution device, like a coaxial cable transmission system. It’s one of the most important passive devices which means it doesn’t need external power except for light. As the name implies that it can split a single Internet connection to create extra connections, as a result the additional or other computers on a network could be connected.

Ethernet Switch vs Splitter: What Are the Differences?

Ethernet switch can be used for networks that include different devices, for example, a computer and a video game console or a printer. In addition, general switch needs a power input so that it can divide an Ethernet signal into various signals, and the signals can operate at the same time. As a result, different devices can be connected by the switch and work simultaneously.

As for Ethernet splitter, there is no need for power input. And splitters need to be used in pairs. It physically splits a single Ethernet connection into two connections. Simply put, if you want to connect two computers in one room and a switch in another room, then you need the splitters. Instead of using two Ethernet cables from one room to another, the splitters can physically split one Ethernet cable into two to connect the computers and the switch. This is the main principle for the issue that how to use Ethernet splitter.

Ethernet Switch vs Splitter: Where to buy?

The following products of Ethernet splitter vs switch are from FS.COM.

S5800-48F4S Switch

This is a 10gb Ethernet switch that has 48×1GbE SFP ports and 4×10GbE SFP+ ports. With a switching capacity of 176Gbps, it supports comprehensive L2 and L3 network management features. The switch offers MLAG, MPLS, IPv4/IPv6, SNMP etc. Designed with the max power draw of 75W and switching capacity of 176Gbps, this switch is ideal for traditional or fully virtualized data center.

Ethernet Switch vs Splitter-switch

Figure 1: S5800-48F4S Switch

Conlusion

As for Ethernet switch vs splitter, we have known how do Ethernet splitters work and how do switch work. Both of them can optimize our network that allow us to work in an efficient and high secure way. Welcome to visit FS.COM to pick your own Ethernet switch and splitter.