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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Fanless 24-Port Gigabit Switch Recommendation

Recently, many people have jumped on the bandwagon to use the 24-port Gigabit managed switch with advanced administrative controls. In particular, 24-port switch with PoE technology provides people with great convenience. However, the more power it sustains, the noisier it is. Have you been hassled by the endless noise or interrupted in your work? It is time to put an end to work frustration with fanless 24-port Gigabit switch.

What’s the Magic with Fanless 24-Port Gigabit Switch?

A Gigabit Ethernet switch without fan doesn’t mean that it does not have cooling system. Instead, it adopts a passive cooling system which achieves high level of natural convection and heat dissipation by a heat spreader or a heat sink to maximize the radiation and convection heat transfer modes. The passive cooling makes your switch dumb but not numb, as it still works efficiently. In a word, fanless switch is the most suitable in silent and energy-saving environments. Here introduce three distinctive fanless 24-port Gigabit switches.

Fanless 24-Port Gigabit Switch Recommendation

FS 2800-24T4S Fanless 24-Port Gigabit Switch

S2800-24T4F 1000Base-T switch features 24-port 100/1000Base-T ports and 4 combo RJ45 SFP ports that enable user to mix fiber and copper cabling on a single switch. This 24-port Gigabit fanless switch is designed to meet the demand of cost-effective Gigabit access or aggregation for enterprise networks and operators. It adopts high performance processor to provide full speed forwarding and line-dormant capacity to offer customs multitudinous service features. In addition, S2800-24T4F supports multiple configuration modes to make it easy for network management and maintenance. This switch comes with a four-year limited warranty, including any quality problems during the free maintenance.

HP ProCurve 1800-24G Fanless 24-Port Gigabit Switch

The ProCurve Switch 1800-24G is a 22-port 10/100/1000 switch with 2 dual-personality ports for RJ-45 10/100/1000BASE-T or mini-GBIC fiber Gigabit connectivity. This fanless switch is managed via an intuitive Web interface, ideal for deployment in open offices or homes that require silent operation. It can be mounted on a desk, shelf, wall or in a rack cabinet. However, the demerit of this 24-port gigabit switch is that it doesn’t possesses stacking port.

FS 3900-24T4S Fanless 24-Port Gigabit Switch

FS newly-released S3900-24T4S 10/100/1000BASE-T 24 port Gigabit switch comes with 4 10GE SFP+ uplinks ports. Since its debut, it has gained a lot of attention by its multifunction. As an advanced layer 2 Plus (layer 3 Lite) Gigabit managed switch, it supports stacking with 10G uplinks. In addition, the S3900 24-port gigabit stackable switch offered by FS boats an user-friendly web interface which makes it a snap to configure ports. An industry-standard command-line interface (CLI), accessed through the console port or Telnet, helps simplify the setup and operation of the network. The S3900-24T4S 24-port managed switch is almost an omnipotent switch for choice under many circumstances.

S3900Fanless 24-Port Gigabit Switch


Kill the noise, and attend to your work. Fanless 24-port Gigabit switch ensures noiseless operation and increases the reliability and energy efficiency of the system. Listening to the voice of customers to understand customer issues, FS, a network solution provider, strives to provide innovative and professional solutions for you.

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                                 FS 24 Port Gigabit Switch Selection Guide

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.


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.


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 $280.00
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.


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.

MPLS Network: How Does It Work?

The entire network today has expanded and there emerge faster Ethernet switch like gigabit Ethernet switch and even 10gb switch which provide us with higher information switching speed. However fast they can forward the data packets, they still undergo complicated procedures. Now there is a way to simplify the data forwarding while maintaining the high forwarding speed. That is the MPLS network.

What Is MPLS Network?

MPLS stands for Multi-Protocol Label Switching. It is a system for fast packet switching and routing that provides the ability to target, route, forward, and exchange network traffic. In most cases, MPLS is regarded operating at Layer 2.5 as it enables data packets to be forwarded at layer 2 rather than layer 3. MPLS is a packet-labeling technique that can map IP addresses to simple fixed-length labels for different packet forwarding and packet switching techniques. MPLS can provide applications including VPNs (Virtual Private Networks), traffic engineering (TE) and Quality of Service (QoS). So we know that MPLS is a packet-labeling technique that prioritizes data, but how does it actually work?

How Does the MPLS Network Work?

In MPLS network, packets are directed through the network based on an assigned label. People tag some packets with certain markings. We can compare the packet to the shipping crate that ships something between two locations. If at every stop, the shipping company needs to open the box to figure out what it is and where it’s going to, it will cost a lot of time and energy. Now if we put the label outside indicating where the packet goes from and to, then whatever shipping company see it will know how to deal with it without opening it.

how MPLS network work 1.0

The basic component of MPLS network is label switching router (LSR). An ingress router with MPLS will label data packets (mail packages) on entry to the network (post office), so routers (mail workers) know exactly where the data is going to without having to open the package again and again. The transit router in the MPLS domain transmits the packet to the egress LER according to the label along the label switching path (LSP) consisting of a series of LSRs. Finally, the egress router that resides at the exit is responsible for stripping the label from the packet and forward it to the destination. In a word, transit router switch the data packet according to the attached label, while egress and ingress routers work for the transformation between MPLS and IP technology.

Advantages of MPLS Network

Here, some people may say “MPLS is indeed a good thing, but why should I bother to change to it as my current network runs well?”. This part will tell the advantage of using MPLS network.

First, regarding its cost, it is a cost-effective solution. Multiprotocol Layer Switching (MPLS) is an extremely scalable mechanism for high performance telecommunication networks. It allows for inter-connectivity growth of your network with minimal addition of hardware. An MPLS network uses communications via a cloud based network with each node connecting to the network providers MPLS cloud, which allows for adding new remote connections without the requirements of adding hardware at your primary site.

Second, let’s see its performance. It provides alternative network paths to improve up-time and reduce network congestion. It also allows for multiple traffic types to traverse the network, thus improving bandwidth utilization. It can also improve end user experience by allowing multiple classes of services to different types of traffic such as VOIP.

Third, one of the most notable benefits of MPLS is that it is applicable to any network layer protocol. It supports transport over Internet Protocol (IP), Ethernet, Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) and frame relay; any of these protocols can be used to create an LSP.


In a nutshell, MPLS was originally put forward to improve forwarding speed. It decreases the forwarding overhead on the core routers. To make full use of it, you can go to the website www.fs.com and consult our experts. FS not only provides top-notch Ethernet switch but also first-class solutions.

Necessary Tips for Fiber Optic Cable Installation

FTTH, the concept that has been hotly debated by people in recent years, drives the demand for fiber optic cables and its related products. However, fiber optic cable is fragile and hard to splice, which is worthy of consideration before installation. To make good use of fiber optic cable, well-organized fiber optic cable installation is a necessity.

Fiber Optic Cable Introduction

Fiber optic cable is a technology that uses small threads made of glass or plastic (fibers) to transmit data. However cheap and light it is, the material brings a troubling problem in fiber optic cable installation. It is an assembly similar to an electrical cable while the former one carries light and the latter carries electricity. Normally, fiber optic cable comes in two types, namely, single mode fiber (SMF) and multimode fiber (MMF). Single mode fiber is suitable for long distance data transmission while multimode optical fiber is used in short distance transmission such as computer network linking. Regardless of fiber optic cable types you use, it is necessary to maintain a good fiber optic cable installation.

fiber optic cable installation

Benefits for Good Fiber Optic Cable Installation

Good Working Performance

Good fiber cable installation ensures the highly effective and smooth working of the fiber optic cables. The cables can not only conduct high-speed signal transmission, but also carry more bandwidth. Moreover, if operate inside a large building or fiber optic home wiring, the signal will be strong everywhere in each room, for the fiber optic cables can carry strong signal strength over long distances.

Less Maintenance and Repairs

There’s nothing more annoying than a frequently breaking down cable system. A good fiber optic cable installation can spare you a lot of energy in the future maintenance and repairs, preventing endless frustrations. As for making a good structural installation plan, there are many things to consider. The next part will shed light on fiber optic cable installation guidelines.

Guidelines for Fiber Optic Cable Installation

Fiber cable installation can be categorized into different types, namely aerial fiber installation, direct burial installation, underground duct installation and household fiber cable installation. Regardless of the cabling condition, bear in mind the following guidelines.

Start with proper planning so as to avoid mistakes and problems. Inspect the route before cable installation, detect the possible problems and get the solutions. Decide the number of cabling and connections needed. Moreover, we’d better consider planning ahead for installing additional cabinets, servers and network components.

fiber cable installation

Test every fiber optic cable before and after the installation. For, example, use visual fault locator to find breaks in fiber cable. Make timely replacement or repairs to guarantee the normal installation process.

Do not bend or kink fiber cables. Never exceed the cable bend radius of the fiber patch cord. These will harm the fibers. Use necessary tools to maintain a minimum bend radius of the installed fiber optic cable. Another way is to use bend insensitive fiber cables. Some vendors like FS provides BIF fiber patch cord of 10mm maximum bend radius, which is more flexible in cabling.

Do not mix or match varied core sizes. Here recommends cable ties to bind the same type of cables together in case of confusion. Cable labels also can be used to mark different cables for easy identification.

Use proper tools and techniques. Tools such as fiber patch panel, cable management panel can keep a well-organized cabling. And fiber enclosures can protect cables from external damage and are dust-proof. Fiber raceway can be installed overhead to route and support the cables. FS highly trained and skilled experts specialized in data cabling installation and fiber optic cabling installation are equipped with the necessary tools to create both permanent and temporary joints between fibers according to fiber optic cable installation standards.


It is undeniable that fiber optic cable is worthwhile trying. However, do not follow suit to buy what you actually don’t need. Make clear of its advantage and figure out the fiber optic cable installation. First and foremost, read through this article.

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