“I need a Layer2/Layer3 10Gb switch with 8 or 12 SFP+ ports and a relatively cheap price, and it must support QinQ, MLAG and STP/RSTP/MSTP. Any suggestions?”
Nowadays, questions like the above description frequently trouble network managers following increasing requirements of Ethernet switches. Much evidence shows dramatically growing demands for 10Gb switches as the price comes down, especially 10Gb SFP+ switch with higher Ethernet speeds, which is popular to serve as a leaf switch for data center network upgrade. In this article, we will help you to choose a suitable 10Gb SFP+ switch for your network.
With a 10Gb switch, network congestion at busy times can be avoided, shortening the response time and improving productivity, which has overcome some difficulties of 1Gb switches. 10Gb switch includes 10GBASE-T switch and 10Gb SFP+ fiber switch, but why do we need a fiber one? Usually, 10Gb SFP+ switch consumes less power and has lower latency than 10GBASE-T switch.
The power consumption of 10GBASE-T switch is 1.5 to 4 watts per port depending on the distances, while 10GbE SFP switch uses approximately 0.7 watts per port regardless of distances. Moreover, 10G SFP+ switch offers lower latency with about 0.3 microseconds per link. 10GBASE-T switch latency is about 2.6 microseconds per link due to more complex encoding systems within the equipment. With the advantages of low power consumption and latency, 10Gb SFP+ switch is suitable for large high-speed applications.
Figure 1: FS 10Gb switches.
Possibly you will get confused by a number of options of 10Gb SFP+ switch in the market with different configurations from various vendors. Here we thoughtfully prepare a 10Gb SFP+ switch buying guide for you.
The first factor to be considered is port, including port types and numbers. 10G switch often comes with 10G SFP+ ports, RJ45 or SFP combo ports, and a console port. 10G SFP+ ports are used for uplinking connections and combo ports are deployed for accessing networks. The number of 10G ports often comes with 8, 12, 24 or 48. Furthermore, the 8-port and 12-port SFP+ switches are commonly used for home or small business. 24-port and 48-port SFP+ switches are mainly deployed in data centers or large enterprise networks. You can choose a suitable one based on your needs. See more in Get Further Understanding of Ethernet Switch Port Types.
Switching capacity is an important indicator used to measure the bandwidth and packets per second forwarding capacity of a switch. Definitely the faster the better. But you should know there are no certain relations between the port density and the switching capacity of a 10G SFP+ switch. You can have a very high port density switch with a low switching capacity. Or you can have a low port density switch with pretty good switching capacity. Thus, you should not simply look at the port number of a switch when considering the switching capacity, but to compare the detailed information carefully.
Even though 10Gb fiber switch consumes less power than 10GBASE-T switch does, the power consumptions of 10Gb SFP+ switch also vary in different vendors. This is a vital factor needed to be considered for every switch manager, especially in data centers, as the switch and port numbers are both very large. Some 10G SFP+ switches are configured with independent overload and short circuit protection, and others have LED indicators to show power status. These can help you better conduct operations. Actually, specific power consumption largely depends on how heavily you deal with the data. Thus you can choose a 10G SFP+ switch enough to fit your needs together with relatively low power consumption.
Usually, 10Gb SFP+ switch works at Layer 2 or Layer 3. A Layer 2 switch can only switch packets from one port to another, while a Layer 3 switch is capable of both switching and routing, which is the main difference between them. Thus, Layer 2 switch is a cheap and easy solution for small networks, while Layer 3 switch with more functions is a better choice for large networks, enabling enterprise networks to be segmented and controlled without loss of bandwidth. Well, it isn’t always the case that a more advanced switch is better, but to choose the most appropriate one for your specific application.
This factor means the highlights of 10Gb SFP+ switches of different types. SFP+ switch supports some common features such as MLAG, IPv4/IPv6, VXLAN, NVGRE, SNMP, MSTP, etc, fitting equally in traditional or fully virtualized data centers. Some advanced security features such as Storm Control and IGMP Snooping are also available. They can monitor broadcast, multicast, or unknown unicast traffic for saving bandwidth in the network.
10Gb SFP+ switch is a good solution for home use or data center network. To choose a suitable switch for your network, you need to figure out your needs and applications, and consider the above concerns as well.