Nowadays, Gigabit switches play an increasingly important role in the network and are widely used in enterprise networks. Therefore, choosing a good Gigabit switch is especially important. There are numerous Gigabit switches for SMBs, such as FS 3900 series switches, Cisco WS-C2960L series, etc. How to choose the best one? This post will give examples on 24-port switch and 48-port switch selection on hardware performance, functionality and service.
To choose the best Gigabit switch, you should know how many ports you want in the first place. For SMBs, 24-port Gigabit switches and 48-port Gigabit switches are generally used.
Except for port numbers and types, other main hardware performances (forwarding rate, power supply, etc.), functionality (stacking, 802.1ad QinQ, etc.) and services are also important factors when choosing a Gigabit switch. The following parts will compare several 24-port and 48-port Gigabit network switches in these main aspects with details.
Four similar 24-port Gigabit switches and three 48-port Gigabit switches are listed below for hardware performance comparison.
|Hardware Performance||3900-24T4S||3900-24F4S||WS-C2960L-24TQ-LL||S3300-28X (GS728TX)|
|1G RJ45 Port||24||4||24||24|
|1G SFP Port||/||24 (4 Combo SFP Included)||/||/|
|10G SFP+ Port||4||4||4||2 (2 Copper and 2 Fiber)|
|Switch Class||Layer 2+ (Lite Layer 3)||Layer 2+ (Lite Layer 3)||Layer 2+ (Lite Layer 3)||Layer 2+ (Lite Layer 3)|
|Stackability||6 Units||6 Units||8 Units||6 Units|
|Switching Capacity||128 Gbps||128 Gbps||128 Gbps||128 Gbps|
|Forwarding Rate||95 Mpps||95 Mpps||41.67 Mpps||95.2 Mpps|
|Max. Sound Level||0 dB (Fanless)||52 dB||0 dB (Fanless)||32.9 dB|
|Power Supply||Dual Power||Dual Power||Single Power||Internal Power Supply|
|Input Voltage||100-240 V AC||100-240 V AC||110-220 V AC||100-230 V AC|
|Power Consumption||21 W||43 W||23.64 W||28.18 W|
Hardware performance of FS S3900-48T4S vs Cisco WS-C2960L-48TQ-LL vs Netgear S3300-52X (GS752TX):
|Hardware Performance||S3900-48T4S||WS-C2960L-48TQ-LL||S3300-52X (GS752TX)|
|1G RJ45 Port||48||48||48|
|1G SFP Port||/||/||/|
|10G SFP+ Port||4||4||2 (2 Copper and 2 Fiber)|
|Switch Class||Layer 2+ (Lite Layer 3)||Layer 2+ (Lite Layer 3)||Layer 2+ (Lite Layer 3)|
|Stackability||6 Units||8 Units||6 Units|
|Switching Capacity||176 Gbps||176 Gbps||176 Gbps|
|Forwarding Rate||130 Mpps||77.38 Mpps||130.9 Mpps|
|Max. Sound Level||54 dB||0 dB (Fanless)||32.9 dB|
|Power Supply||Dual Power||Single Power||Internal Power Supply|
|Input Voltage||100-240 V AC||110-220 V AC||100-230 V AC|
|Power Consumption||45 W||39.36 W||44.12 W|
Functionality of FS S3900 series switches vs Cisco WS-C2960L series switches vs Netgear S3300 series switches:
|Functionality||3900-24T4S, 3900-24F4S, 3900-48T4S||WS-C2960L-24TQ-LL, WS-C2960L-48TQ-LL||S3300-28X (GS728TX), S3300-52X (GS752TX)|
|802.1Q VLAN Tagging||Support||Support||Support|
|SSH v1/v2||Support||Support||Not Support|
|DoS Protection||Support||Not Support||Support|
|Command Line Interface (CLI)||Support||Support||Support|
|SNMP v1/v2c/v3||Support||Support||SNMP v1/v2c|
|sFlow||Support||Not Support||Not Support|
Here are some of the important functionality explanations on Gigabit network switches:
Stacking: The switch has the ability to be connected to other switches and operate together as a single unit, which is useful for quickly increasing the capacity of a network.
LACP: Combining multiple network connections in parallel in order to increase throughput beyond what a single connection could sustain, and to provide redundancy in case one of the links should fail.
VLAN: A virtual LAN is a logical group of workstations, servers and network devices that appear to be on the same LAN despite their geographical distribution. A VLAN allows a network of computers and users to communicate in a simulated environment as if they exist in a single LAN and are sharing a single broadcast and multicast domain.
SSH: Using encryption and authentication, SSH can implement secure remote access and file transfer over an insecure network. Based on TCP connections, SSH guarantees security and provides authentication for transmitted information.
DHCP Snooping: DHCP snooping is a security feature that acts like a firewall between untrusted hosts and trusted DHCP servers. The fundamental use case for DHCP snooping is to prevent unauthorized (rogue) DHCP servers offering IP addresses to DHCP clients.
Despite the differences in hardware performance and functionality, FS 3900/Cisco WS-C2960L/Netgear S3300 series switches offer different services as well.
FS 3900 series Gigabit switches offer four-year after-sales hardware warranty and lifetime free software, including future software upgrades.
Cisco WS-C2960L series Gigabit switches require extra payments to receive software upgrades. The “upgrade” means replacing a release with one that has an upgraded feature set. Upgrade to add new features or technologies, or replace a release that is no longer supported.
Netgear S3300 series switches offer five-year warranty for hardware but not for the software.
Note: Switches typically have a life span of four to five years.
The comparison of hard performance, functionality and services can be determining features when choosing the best Gigabit switch. For hardware performance, port number & types and forwarding rate (could be tested, such as FS 3900 Ixia Test) are the most import ones. For Functionality, features such as stacking, 802.3ad LACP, MVR, SNMP v1/v2c/v3, etc. are essential. The after-sale services, including hardware and software services, also matter greatly.