Tag Archives: Gigabit Ethernet Switch

Top of Rack VS End of Row: Which to Choose for Data Center Network

The topic, top of rack vs end of row, has been under a hot debate when IT technicians talk about data center designs. With the ever-increasing demand for switch-to-server connections in the data center network, the network cabling is required to be more flexible and effective than ever. In that way, a large of installations for greater computing power can be satisfied. Thus, the two commonly deployed designs (top of rack vs end of row) have been put in the spotlight.

Top of Rack (ToR) Design

In a Data Center, there are several racks of servers or storage equipment. Each rack contains multiple computing devices. The top of rack architecture recommends network fiber switches should be placed in every rack to connect with all the computing devices in the rack. In turn, these network switches will be connected to aggregation switches via fiber optic cables.

Top-of-Rack Network Connectivity

Figure 1: Top-of-Rack Network Connectivity

Notably, the top-of-rack switch, like a gigabit Ethernet switch, can be put anywhere in the rack, not just limited at the top. However, when in applications, the engineers prefer to put on the top instead of the middle or bottom of the rack for their easier accessibility and cleaner cable management.

End of Row (EoR) Design

In the end of row design, each server in individual racks is required to connect with a common aggregation switch directly, without connecting to individual switches in each rack. Usually, aggregation switches are placed at either end of the “server row” for the purpose of providing network connectivity to the servers within that row. In light of that, the aggregation switch is also called the end of row switch. With such a design, each server cabinet will have a bundle of twisted pair copper cabling containing as many as 48 (or more) individual cables routed to the end of row switch.

End-of-Row Network Connectivity

Figure 2: End-of-Row Network Connectivity

Just like the top-of-rack switch, the end of row switch may not just be placed at the end of each actual row. Even just a handful of network racks collectively placed in a small row of their own, the end of row switch is still available to provide copper connectivity for more than one row of servers.

Top of Rack vs End of Row

Top of rack vs end of row data center designs are both popular options for data centers and other network arrangements calling for connections with a large number of servers. In fact, it’s hard to decisively say which type is best. Every type shares both advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages

The top of rack switching can relieve the complexity of cabling and increase the efficiency of on-site deployment. For the reason that all the servers in the same server cabinet are connected to the switch, like 10GBE switches in the same rack, only a few cables go outside the rack reaching to the aggregation switch. In thus doing, fewer cables are installed between the server and network racks, which contributes to a reduction of cable cost. Moreover, this design enables easily upgrade from 1GE/ 10GE network to 10GE/ 40GE network in the future with minimum costs and changes to cabling.
In the EoR design, the number of the device is decreased because not every rack needs to be equipped with switches. Undoubtedly, less rack space is required in the architecture. With fewer devices in the data center, requirements for the cooling system will be reduced which also can save the electric power.

Disadvantages

For the ToR, with cables reduced, the number of racks is still increased. The management for switches will be a little bit tricky. In addition, the ToR approach takes up more rack space for the installation of switches.
As for the EoR, with fewer switches used, more cables are needed between racks resulting in the higher possibility of cable mess and higher cost for higher performance cables. Besides, it’s difficult and more expensive to upgrade cabling infrastructure to support higher speed network. Lengthier cables need to be replaced individually while upgrading from 1GE to 10GE, for example.

Conclusion

Top of rack vs end of row data center designs are the common deployments for data center architecture. Considering that each type bears with benefits and limits, you can hardly tell which one is best. Just as the saying, the most suitable, the best.

How Much Do You Know About Gigabit Ethernet Switch?

In computer networking, an Ethernet switch connects multiple devices, such as computers, servers, or game systems, to a Local Area Network (LAN). Small business and home offices often use an Ethernet switch to allow more than one device to share a broadband Internet connection. A gigabit Ethernet switch operates in the same way, only differentiating in data rates. Gigabit Ethernet is much greater than standard or Fast Ethernet. People can use these switches to quickly transfer data between devices in a network, or to download from the Internet at very high speeds. Gigabit Ethernet transmits at approximately one gigabit per second. That is at speeds nearly 10 times those of Fast Ethernet, which transfers data at approximately 10 megabits per second. The gigabit Ethernet switch is designed to work at these increased speeds, without signal loss or transfer rate reduction.

Gigabit Ethernet Switch

Gigabit Ethernet Switch: Managed or Unmanaged?

Gigabit Ethernet switches are either managed or unmanaged. Usually an unmanaged switch is referred as a “dumb switch”, which can be easily operated by every noob. It behaves like a “plug and play” device. A basic unmanaged gigabit Ethernet switch has no user configuration. It is placed in the network with the cables plugged in and the unit turned on, and there is nothing else to do. In contrast, a mangaed gigabit switch can be configured, and can be monitored and adjusted at your discretion, such as adjust speeds, combine users in subgroups, monitor traffic and report network activity. Although a managed switch is typically more expensive than an unmanaged switch, it offer much greater flexibility.

Gigabit Ethernet Switch or Ethernet Hub?

Although an Ethernet switch is sometimes called a hub, because a switch performs the same job as a hub, there is a huge difference between a true hub and a gigabit Ethernet switch. An Ethernet hub is a device that connects multiple Ethernet devices to a single network. A hub does not gather information and input in one port results as an output in all ports on the network. While a gigabit switch is considered as a more intelligent hub, because it gathers information about the data packets it receives and forwards it to only the network that it was intended for.

Gigabit Ethernet Switch Recommendations

A gigabit Ethernet switch can be an inexpensive and easy way to expand your network in your home or small business. After probing into some parameters like brand, popularity, reviews and performance, here is a list of network switches including Ethernet switches for home, port gigabit Ethernet switches, cost-effective gigabit switches etc.

FS.COM S1130-8T2F 8-Port Gigabit PoE+ Managed Switch NETGEAR GS116Ev2 16-Port Gigabit Smart Managed Plus Switch Cisco SG 300-20 (SRW2016-K9-NA) 20-Port Switch
Dimensions 11 x 8.3×1.7 in 16.9 x 6.6 x 2.8 in 17.32 x 7.97 x 1.75 in
Ethernet Ports 8 16 20
Switching Capacity 20Gbps 32Gbps 40Gbps
PoE Standard Compliant with IEEE802.3af/at × ×
Enclosure Type Rack mount – 1U Desktop Desktop, Rack-mount – 1U
Power consumption 15.4W 10W 16.26W
Price $159.00 $156.88 $184.95

Conclusion

A gigabit Ethernet switch enables devices like computers and printers to connect directly to the internet instead of relying on Wi-Fi. It can speed up data transfers, resulting in faster response times and better frame rates. Additionally, a gigabit switch expands network capacity via the extra ports. Some Ethernet switches with different ports are recommended for your reference, such as FS.COM 8-port PoE switch, NETGEAR 16-port smart managed switch and Cisco 20-Port Ethernet Switch. If you need any 24 Port gigabit switch and 48 Port gigabit switch, or any equipment related to your network,visit www.fs.com for help.