How to Choose 10G Switch for Fast-Growing Small and Mid-Sized Business?

Updated on Dec 31, 2021 by

In today's world, the increasing network data is bringing more and more pressure to businesses networks. Small and mid-sized businesses that are growing fast tend to upgrade their networks to 10GbE. However, to deploy 10G networks, 10 gigabit switches are crucial tools to help achieve it. As 10Gb switches come in a variety of types, each different from one another in terms of performance and functions. In the following content, we will mainly focus on guiding you how to choose a 10Gb switch for fast growing SMBs.

Why Do SMBs Need 10G Switches?

Nowadays, data requirement doubles at a rate of every two years, HD videos and 4K streaming contents are becoming increasingly prevalent in businesses, and more and more employees are using their personal devices in company offices, not to speak of the electronic door locks, card readers, and security cameras that businesses are using... All of these result in a great impact on business networks. SMBs have to consider how much data their networks can generate for ensuring a smoothly running, and even to reset their network structures to pursue larger bandwidth and faster internet.

In this case, switching to 10G network is an inevitable choice for avoiding network congestion at busy times, improving the productivity of employees, shortening the response time to customers and bringing new products to the market faster. To achieve this, you will need 10Gb switches to help upgrade your SMBs networks. Following are some factors you need to consider when selecting a 10Gb switch.

10 gigabit switch

Factors to Consider When Choosing 10G Switches for Fast-Growing SMBs?

Different 10G switches have different functions and performances. Here we listed out the main factors to consider when choosing a 10Gb switch for your SMBs networks.

Switch Layer

Network switches can operate at either OSI Layer 2 (the data link layer) or Layer 3 (the network layer) or Layer 4. Switches that work at Layer 2 are called L2 switches. They are MAC address-based and only forward data. No IP address can be configured. They allow end users to connect to the networks directly, therefore they usually require high port density.

For switches that work at Layer 3, also known as L3 switches, they combine both the L2 switching technology and the L3 forwarding function and can be configured with different VLAN IP addresses, which helps ensure network security.

Three-tier network architecture is the most basic hierarchical network design for SMB networks involving three layers and corresponding devices: core layer - core switches, aggregation layer - aggregation switches, access layer - access switches. For core layers, L3 switches should be deployed as they can switch the network packets as fast as possible. For aggregation layer, L2/L3 switches can be deployed as they need to handle all traffic from access switches and provide uplink to the core switches. For access layer, L2 switches with high port density can meet the application requirements and reduce costs for companies. Picture below shows the three-tier network architecture:


For most SMBs nowadays, the three-tier network architecture has been simplified into two-tier network architecture, which is commonly seen deployed in their networks. The two-tier network architecture is networked by core layer and access layer using L3 core switches and L2 access switches. This network architecture allows SMBs to create a more centralized, more flexible resource pool that can be allocated on demand. Picture below shows the two-tier network architecture:


FS provides a variety of L3 10Gb switches with 10G access ports (24-port, 32-port, 48-port 10Gb switch) and 25G/40G100G uplink ports for core switches. All of these L3 10Gb switches are designed to be low-latency and highly redundant to avoid any network congestion or bottleneck as to ensure your network stability and security, offering you great flexibility for your SMBs networks deployment.

Switch Functions

Network Management

According to its management types, 10Gb switch can be divided into managed switch and unmanaged switch.

Managed 10G switch can be managed using console ports, Telnet, CLI, and Web interfaces. Other than that, network management Protocol (SNMP) can be used to configure the switch as well. A managed 10G switch allows you to monitor the network running status and the switch working status either locally or remotely in real-time through background management, which makes it much easier for SMBs to manage their networks and greatly saves costs.

Unlike managed switches, the unmanaged switch allows you to immediately plug and play devices into your network, but it doesn't support network management. Some unmanaged gigabit switches with 10G uplink ports can be used in the access layer, but for fast-growing SMBs, the value of managed 10G switches outweigh the unmanaged 10G switches.

PoE Accessibility

PoE (Power over Ethernet) is a technology that uses existing network cables to power connected devices, such as VoIP phones, wireless APs, surveillance cameras, etc. 10G switch can also be divided into 10G PoE switch or 10G non-PoE switch according to whether it's PoE-support or not.

For fast-growing SMBs who need to deploy wireless networks in their offices, a 10G switch with PoE functionality can be used in the access layer, as it provides power for the existing network infrastructure and eliminates the demand for additional electrical wiring, which offers great flexibility to employ the switch wherever they need and saves costs for companies as well. Just to make sure the power per port (in watts) and the total power budget of the PoE ports meet the needs of your electronic devices.

Obviously, a non-PoE 10G switch does not support PoE functionality. For the core layer of your SMBs networks which do not require connections of a large number of powered network devices, a 10G non-PoE switch is a more suitable choice.


Scalability refers to a switch’s ability to grow both in terms of port speed and the number of input and output ports supported. As the network scale expands, the number of users on the network will also increase. Therefore, when selecting a 10G switch for SMBs, you need to consider the number of future users rather than only meeting the current requirements.

A 10G switch supports stacking and LACP (Link Aggregation Control Protocol) can enhance network extension capabilities and achieve higher bandwidth. FS offers multi-port stackable 10G switches that are equipped with 25G/40G/100G uplink ports. All ports can be stacked via DAC/AOC cables or transceivers to increase port density and simplify management, which enables easy expansion without changing the original network architecture and reduces initial cost of investment for your SMBs. With 25G/40G/100G uplink ports, these 10G switches also provide you a large flexibility in consideration for your network upgrading as your businesses expand.


To cope with this increasingly digital world, it is crucial for SMBs to upgrade their networks in order to achieve a faster network so as to speed up the data processing and avoid network congestion, etc. Just as we explained in the above content, for choosing a suitable 10Gb switch for your SMBs, you have to consider the switch layer, switch functionality and scalability, not only to meet your current demand, but also for future consideration. FS provides different types of 10G switches with multiple ports and different functions for you to choose from. Visit us on FS.com for more information.

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