Open Network vs Closed Network: When and Which to Choose?

Internet plays an indispensable role in today’s society. From birth to now, it has continuously penetrated into various industries and has become the most important part of contemporary social technology and economic development. Therefore, Internet always gives people the characteristics of openness. But apart from the open network, there is the closed network that we rarely know. Let’s start by defining the two networks and make open network vs closed network to see which is more in line with people’s needs.
altOpen Network vs Closed Network: When and Which to Choose?
What Is an Open Network?

An open network can have many definitions depending on different requirements. An open network can refer to a network that must conform to open industry standards. Whether the device is used to interact within a network or externally, an architecture that is open every step of the way is needed. An open network can represent a network with an open ecosystem that defines the deployment scope of the solution set. An open network can mean an open source network that enables innovation in the marketplace while ensuring that the resulting product is constantly secured by the community that is contributing to it. An open network can indicate a network that provides access to the infrastructure in a programmable way through APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). However, those APIs are often closed out or only work with their solution. In summary, an open network allows a variety of entities to provide service on a reasonably equal basis versus each other and the network operator.

What Is a Closed Network?

Likewise, a closed network also has different meanings. A closed network can refer to a private telephone network that has no external (public switched telephone network) connectivity. A closed network can imply a network that uses proprietary technology which is not directly interoperable with other standards-based networks. A closed network can signify a WLAN that does not send its name (SSID) in beacon frames. Stations must know the SSID (Service Set Identifier) in order to connect to access points in that network. A closed network can represent a private network that can only be used by authorized devices. Outsider use is prohibited and enforced through cryptographic means. In short, a closed network is one that sets aside a great deal of the network capacity for a limited set of providers, usually but not always limited to the network provider.

Open Network vs Closed Network

From the above, we know how to define open and closed networks from different aspects. Here we list three different network environments. Take the forth definitions of open and closed networks as an example to compare and choose the network that works best for you.

Business Network

We know that all businesses depend on information flow. A closed network allows information to move freely within the business. And under the transparency provided, managers can directly know the situation and better guide the team’s work. The closed network also supports the need for privacy. Private messages can be sent to specific audiences, and private groups can be created for sensitive, ongoing conversations. Many closed networks provide “external network” capabilities that allow employees to connect outside partners, advisers, consultants, vendors, and suppliers. However, an open network allows employees to view more information, and when employees have the information they need, they make better decisions and are more productive. But in terms of privacy, an open network makes company information public and does not effectively protect the company’s core secrets.

Home Network

With the popularity of wireless networks, many houses are equipped with a wireless network. But is it okay to have an open home network? Not really. Having an open home network can be a security risk as it may allow anyone close enough to your router (e.g., a neighbor or war driver) to access your network and steal your personal information. In this case, a closed network will make your home network more secure.

Social Network

Essentially, social network is a broadcast distribution system designed to share as widely as possible. An open network means sharing with everyone and encourages open behavior. Participants simply “put it there” and less worried about individual reactions. Whereas a closed network means sharing is limited to selected people, interaction only happens between people who have specifically chosen to do so under a mutual trust. If the trust is broken, just rescind the interactive permission. The best social network depends on what the marketing professional is trying to achieve. To grab attention, fast and broad sharing open network is the best. If the idea is to create deeper engagement, then trust is more important, a closed network is more suitable.


Both open network and closed network provide unique value and can be used in different ways for the success of the network. They are widely used in network switches (e.g.,10gb switch). If you have figure out the difference between them, you can start building the network you need.
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The Arrival of 25G CWDM SFP28

With the ever-increasing demands for faster speed and higher density, SFP transceiver modules have undergone several generations of upgrade for signal speed capability and port density updates, from the original SFP to SFP+ and then to the new SFP28 type. 10GbE has encountered bottlenecks due to the surge in demand for high bandwidth. 25G Ethernet becomes the new standard that provides significant density, cost, and power advantages for server switching links. Today we will come to know the CWDM SFP28 with 25G Gigabit Ethernet.

What Is 25G CWDM SFP28?

CWDM SFP28 transceiver operates on four wavelengths (1270, 1290, 1310, and 1330 nm), which combine to be suitable for 100G in data center networks through course wavelength division multiplexing (CWDM). It is an enhanced version of SFP+ designed for 25G signal transmission. The maximum reach is 10 kilometers. The physical structure of the SFP28 is the same as the popular SFP module and SFP+ module, but the electrical interface is upgraded to 25Gbps per channel. The optical connection of CWDM SFP28 is duplex LC fiber patch cables, and the CWDM SFP28 shall be backward compatible with the traditional 10G SFP + pluggable. 25G CWDM SFP28 is a dual directional device with a transmitter, a receiver and a control management interface (2-wire interface) in the same physical package. The 2-wire interface is used for serial ID, digital diagnostics and module control functions. This module provides very high functionality and integration and is accessible via a two-wire serial interface.

altThe Arrival of 25G CWDM SFP28

What Is the Difference Between CWDM SFP28 and CWDM SFP+?

We know that SFP+ is made to operate at 10Gb/s. SFP28 uses the same common form factor as SFP+, but the electrical interface is upgraded to 25Gbps per channel. CWDM SFP+ transceiver often operates at a nominal wavelength of CWDM wavelength. To be specific, CWDM SFP+ transceiver can support 18 wavelengths from 1270nm to 1610nm, and its transmission distance is from 20km to 80km. While CWDM SFP28 has four main wavelengths of 1270nm, 1290nm, 1310nm, and 1330nm. And its maximum transmission distance is 10km. Compared to SFP+ solutions, SFP28 has higher bandwidth, superior impedance control, and less crosstalk. A report once said the price of per unit of 10G bandwidth for 25G server Ethernet adapters is much lower. 25G SFP28 provides 2.5 times the bandwidth, but the price is not 2.5 times. All in all, the main advantages of SFP28 over SFP+ can be summarized into two points: lower cost and higher bandwidth.

Advantages of Using 25G CWDM SFP28

Compared to 4G, the spectrum bandwidth used by 5G has increased rapidly. 4G uses a maximum spectrum bandwidth of 20MHz, while 5G low-frequency band uses 100MHz bandwidth, and 5G high-frequency band (millimeter wave) uses 800MHz bandwidth with an upper limit of 1GHz. At present, there is still some difficulty in data processing and transmission of 5G high-frequency band (millimeter wave) and large bandwidth. Considering the smooth evolution of 5G equipment and the development of the industry chain, 25G CWDM SFP28 solution can well solve the current 5G millimeter wave pre-transmission problem. In this case, one 100G QSFP28 optical module is used on the antenna side and four 25G CWDM SFP28 optical modules are used on the baseband side. The construction of a 5G millimeter wave pre-transmission bearer network can be completed with only one MUX/DeMUX bridge connection. There is no need for devices to add an additional shunt function to perform rate matching on both ends. In all, 25G CWDM SFP28 can cost-effectively upgrade network bandwidth to support next-generation 50G (2x25G ), 100G (4X25G) and storage solutions for cloud and web-scale data center environments.


SFP28 assembly solution supports a new generation of high-density 25G Ethernet switches that facilitate server connectivity in data centers and provide a cost-effective upgrade path for enterprises deploying 10G Ethernet links in the future. If you are considering to build a 25 Gigabit Ethernet network, you can visit FS.COM, which offers a variety of CWDM SFP28 with famous compatible brands.

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FS N5850-48S6Q vs QuantaMesh BMS T3048-LY8 10Gb Bare Metal Switch

As vendors continue to tout networking architectures that decouple software from hardware, bare metal switches are moving into the spotlight. Built on merchant silicon, these network switches offer fewer features than proprietary chips but provide a lower cost and more flexible switching alternative. It also allows network administrators to quickly respond to changing business needs at lower capital costs and reduce the complexity of network operations. In this article, we will introduce FS N5850-48S6Q 10Gb bare metal switch and QuantaMesh BMS T3048-LY8 10Gb bare metal switch and compare them for your reference.

What Is FS N5850-48S6Q?

FS N5850-48S6Q switch is a top-of-rack (TOR) or leaf 10Gb bare metal switch in a compact 1U form factor, ideally suited for high performance and programmable data center environments. FS N5850-48S6Q provides 48 SFP+ 10Gb ports and 6 QSFP+ 40Gb ports, and each 40Gb port can be configured as 4x10Gb up to a total system limit of 72 10Gb ports. It performs excellent low latency and power efficiency in a PHY less design while providing high-reliability features such as redundant and hot-swappable power supplies and fans in forward and reverse airflow configurations. The switch supports advanced features such as MLAG, VxLAN, SFLOW, SNMP, MPLS etc, making it ideal for traditional or fully virtualized data centers. FS N5850-48S6Q 10gbe switch supports current and future data center requirements, including an x86-based control plane for easier integration of automation tools, an ONIE installer for 3rd party network operating systems and compatibility with Software Defined Networks via OpenFlow 1.3.11. Additionally, FS N5850-48S6Q supports the advanced hardware-based VXLAN feature to support over 16M virtual networks.

altFS N5850-48S6Q vs QuantaMesh BMS T3048-LY8 10Gb Bare Metal Switch

What Is QuantaMesh BMS T3048-LY8?

QuantaMesh T3048-LY8 switch is a 10Gb bare metal switch in a compact 1U form factor for higher performance, increased availability, lower latency, and better serviceability. It supports 48 SFP+ (1/10GbE speed) and 6 QSFP+ (10/40GbE speed) ports. By leveraging the new generation merchant silicon chips, QuantaMesh T3048-LY8 is a high-performance, high-density Ethernet switch, which is affordable and can be used to deploy data center infrastructure. By preloading the ONIE (Open Network Installation Environment), QuantaMesh BMS T3048-LY8 provides flexibility and allows choice of network operating system supported by ONIE installer. The CPU board design allows QuantaMesh BMS T3048-LY8 to install different CPUs in order to meet software requirements. This provides an agile installation process and faster response for the changing business demands.

altFS N5850-48S6Q vs QuantaMesh BMS T3048-LY8 10Gb Bare Metal Switch

FS vs QuantaMesh 10Gb Bare Metal Switch

Based on the above information, we have formed a general cognition of FS and QuantaMesh 10Gb bare metal switches. we learn that the two switches have similar functions and structures, but their performances are different. What are the differences? Let’s look at the chart below.

Names FS N5850-48S6Q QuantaMesh BMS T3048-LY8
Ports 48 48
Switch Chip Trident 2 BCM56854 Broadcom StrataXGS Trident2
Switching Capacity 1.44Tbps Full-duplex 1440Gbps
CPU Intel Rangeley C2538 2.4Ghz 4-core Intel Atom Processors
Forwarding Rate 1 Bpps 1071Mpps
Latency 680ns <600ns
Flash Storage Memory 16GB SSD 8GB Micro SD
Jumbo frame 9K Bytes 12K Bytes
Airflow Design Back-to-Front Both Directions
Compatible Software Option Cumulus Linux, ICOS, Open Network Linux, PicOS Cumulus Linux, Open Network Linux, QNOS, OF-DPA

Which One Is Better for You?

As can be seen from the above comparison, FS N5850-48S6Q and QuantaMesh BMS T3048-LY8 both perform well in high performance and programmable data center environments. If you want to choose between them, there are other conditions you can think about. In terms of price, QuantaMesh BMS T3048-LY8 is priced at US$5,700, whereas FS N5850-48S6Q has a more attractive price of $2,999. If your budget is tight, FS N5850-48S6Q 10Gb bare metal switch may be a good choice for you. Another concern for consumers is the warranty. As we all know, high-quality products usually provide excellent after-sales service to enhance their reputation. For both products, QuantaMesh only offers a three-year lifetime warranty, while FS offers a five-year lifetime warranty. In contrast, FS seems to be more concerned about the rights of consumers. Therefore, if you want a cost-effective 10Gb bare metal switch with better service, FS N5850-48S6Q 10Gb bare metal switch will be your best choice.


FS N5850-48S6Q 10Gb bare metal switch belongs to FS N-Series switches and is designed for next-generation metro, data center and enterprise network applications. Apart from that, FS also provides a variety of port switches such as 32 port switch, 48 port switch etc. just for your needs. If you would like to bring a bare metal switch to your network, contact us at FS.COM.

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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.


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.

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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.


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.

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