Monthly Archives: August 2017

Broadcom or Intel Network Adapter for Dell PowerEdge Server?

The NDC, Network Daughter Card (also known as Select Network Adapters), is an innovation technology developed by Dell. As an advanced technology on server, the NDC provides the customers with a flexibility of choosing what they want ( 4 x 1GbE, 2 x 10GbE or 2 x Converged Network Adapter.) With this small, removable mezzanine card, we are no longer limited to use network interface cards (NICs) on the motherboard. And it has been used in the twelfth-generation Dell PowerEdge server. This article will focus on Broadcom or Intel network adapter for Dell PowerEdge Server.

About Select Network Adapter

Network adapter plays an irreplaceable role in a server system, as it can reduce CPU usage on the server, which improves the overall system performance. NDC is a paramount member of Dell PowerEdge Select Network Adapters family. There are two form factors of Select Network Adapters—blade servers and rack servers. (You can see the two servers clearly in the following figure.) The Blade Select Network Adapter provides dual port 10GbE from various suppliers. The Rack Select Network Adapter provides a selection of 1GbE and 10GbE port options, such as 1000Base-T, 10GBASET and 10Gb SFP+.

Rack Mount Servers & Blade Servers

Figure1: Rack Mount Servers & Blade Servers

PowerEdge Platforms That Support Select Network Adapters

The Blade Select Network Adapter is offered on the PowerEdge M620 blade server.

The Rack Select Network Adapter is offered on the following PowerEdge platforms:

  • R620
  • R720
  • R720xd

PowerEdge R720 Rack Server

Figure2: PowerEdge R720 Rack Server

Available NDC options
PowerEdge rack servers:
  • Broadcom 5720 Base-T
  • Intel I350 Base-T
  • Broadcom 57800 Base-T and SFP+
  • Intel x540 Base-T
PowerEdge blade servers:
  • Broadcom 57810S KR
  • Intel x520 KR
  • QLogic QMD8262 KR
Form factors of Blade Servers & Rack Servers

Blade servers: There are three form factors of blade servers offered by Dell: Intel x520 Dual Port 10Gb KR NDC, Broadcom 57810S Dual Port 10Gb KR NDC, and QLogic QMD8262-k Dual Port 10Gb KR NDC. Both the Broadcom and Intel blade NDCs will support both 1Gb and 10Gb speeds, while the QLogic blade NDC will run only at 10Gb speeds.

Rack servers: There are mainly two brands of NDC support rack servers—Intel and Broadcom, which would be further explained as follows:

Intel:
  •  Intel Ethernet x540 Dual Port 10Gb BT + i350 DP 1Gb BT NDC: A quad-port rack NDC with 2 ports x 1GbE + 2 ports x 10GBASE-T based on the Intel I350 and x540 chipsets.
  • Intel Ethernet i350 Quad Port 1GbE NDC: A quad-port rack NDC with 4 ports x 1GbE based on the Intel I350 chipset.
    An Intel 2x1Gb + 2x10Gb Base-T rack NDC, as shown in the following figure, offers two types of interconnects to meet various connectivity needs.

Rack 2x1Gb+ 2x10Gb BT NDC

Figure3: Rack 2x1Gb+ 2x10Gb BT NDC

Broadcom:
  • Broadcom 57800S 2x1Gb+2x10Gb SFP+ NDC: A quad-port rack NDC with 2 ports x 1GbE + 2 ports x 10G SFP+ based on the Broadcom 57800S chipset. Just shown as the following figure.
  • Broadcom 5720 4x1Gb Base-T NDC: A quad-port rack NDC with 4 ports of 1GbE based on the Broadcom 5720 chipset.

Rack 2x1Gb+ 2x10Gb SFP+ NDC

Figure4: Rack 2x1Gb+ 2x10Gb SFP+ NDC

How to Choose the Optical Cables and Modules for Broadcom or Intel Network Adapter?

Just take Broadcom 57800S 2x1Gb+2x10Gb SFP+ NDC for example. A Broadcom 2 x 1G + 2 x 10G SFP+ NDC provides two 1000BASE-T ports and two 10G SFP+ ports as shown in Figure 6. We can plug two Dell compatible SFP transceivers into the two 1G ports on the Broadcom NDC respectively to achieve 1G network connection. Likewise, we can also connect Dell compatible SFP+ transceiver such as 10Gb Base SR connector to the 10G port on the Broadcom card for making 10G data transferring. Besides, we can also use Direct Attach Cable (DAC) to achieve 10G network connectivity, such as multimode 10Gb fiber optic cable, Dell 10G SFP+ DAC cable. DAC cables provides a cost-effective solution for very short transmission while 10G optical modules are more suitable for data transferring over long distance.

Broadcom 57800S NDC with Dell SFP+ module

Figure5: Broadcom 57800S NDC with Dell SFP+ module

Conclusion

As technology advanced and 10Gb Ethernet became more prevalent in the data center, there must be a prosperous market ahead for blade servers and rack servers. SFP+ modules and Direct Copper Attached is the current preference for 10GbE connectivity of rack servers. Boardcom and Intel are both famous vendors for providing NDCs for Dell PowerEdge Server, you can select a proper one for your server according to your port needs.

 

Cisco 3650 Vs. 3850 Catalyst Switches

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and 3850 series switches are enterprise class stackable switches. Cisco Catalyst 3650 series was unveiled in 2013 which designed to converge wired and wireless networking. Just in the same year, Cisco launched its first flagship Catalyst 3850 series switches . That provide a converged wired and wireless platform as well. With they have many things in common, many people confused about them and found it hard to decide which one to buy. This article would introduce Cisco 3650 and 3850 series switch as well as their main differences.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series Switch

There are 21 Cisco 3650 Series Switch models in total. All Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series Switches have fixed, built-in uplink ports. The Catalyst 3650 features line rate 24 and 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and an integrated wireless controller. It can be stacked in groups of nine switches for support of up to 25 access points and 1,000 clients at 40Gbps. The uplink ports of all switch models can be divided into the following five types:

  • Four Gigabit Ethernet with Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP)
  • Two 10 Gigabit Ethernet with SFP+ and two 10 Gigabit Ethernet with SFP or four Gigabit Ethernet with SFP
  • Four 10 Gigabit Ethernet with SFP+ or four Gigabit Ethernet with SFP
  • Eight 10 Gigabit Ethernet with SFP+ or eight Gigabit Ethernet with SFP
  • Two 40 Gigabit Ethernet with QSFP+

Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series Switch

Figure1: Cisco 3650 48Port PoE+ Switch

Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series Switches

The Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series Switches are modular and field-replaceable network modules, which has RJ45 and fiber-based downlink interfaces, and redundant fans and power supplies. It fully supports IEEE 802.3 at Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+). Compared with 3650 Series Switches, they have less switch modules—14 switch modules. Besides, they are stackable 3K switches, which can fully meet your requirement for evolving business. Some main features of Cisco 3850 are just listed in the following:

  • Functionality added traffic aggregation. All Unified Access intelligent services can be persevered and delivered across the entire network from the access layer to the aggregation layer.
  • Long distance transmission. The 3850 switches can be used to connect branch offices and small campus buildings. The fiber connections can support up to 80 km of physical distance.

cisco-switches-catalyst3850-3

Figure2: Cisco 3850 PoE+ Switch

  • High compatibility. The 3850 switches support a variety of optical modules and connectors, therefore allowing many deployment options.
  • Enhanced security. It comes with native TrustSec functionality such as Security Group Tag (SGT) so that you have it enabled everywhere—from access to aggregation. Also, fiber connections provide strong physical security.
Differences
—Flexibility

The flexibility of the 3850s is greater than the 3650s, because they are stacking and optional stacking switches respectively. The 3850s can do power stacking, that is an exclusive feature compared to the 3650s. Stacking is built in, and the short stacking cables are included. Larger stacks might require the longer stacking cables, that is a potential downside.

3650s can do stacking as well, but you need to buy the modules separately (and they are like $1,000 a pop list price), which adds up quickly.

—Power

The 3850s is the more powerful device than the 3650s, which featured as the great horsepower. Besides, as we mentioned before, the 3850s can do power stacking while the 3650s cannot.

—Capacity

Compared with the 3650s series switches, the 3850s series switches have higher capacity. The maximum switching capacity of the 3850s switches can arrive at 1280 Gbps on 48-port 10 Gigabit Ethernet SFP+ model while the 3650s switches at 472 Gbps on 48-port Multigigabit models.

Cisco 3650 24Port PoE+ switch

Figure3: Cisco 3650 24Port PoE+ switch

—Price

There are only slight differences between the two switches in terms of price. Just take the 24-port switches of two different series for example, you can see the differences more clearly by clicking the following link:

Cisco-WS-C3850-24P-S:

https://www.amazon.com/Cisco-WS-C3850-24P-S-Catalyst-Networking-Device/dp/B00BDRUDIS/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1502433942&sr=8-6&keywords=Cisco+Catalyst+3850

Cisco-WS-C3650-24PD-S:

https://www.amazon.com/Cisco-WS-C3650-24PD-S-Catalyst-Networking-Device/dp/B00FWJ842U/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1502434837&sr=8-1&keywords=Cisco+Catalyst+3650

Conclusion

This article chiefly discussed the Cisco Catalyst 3650 and 3850 series switches as well as their differences. How to choose? They are both great switches. It depends on what you really want to do and what you want out of your switches, and what your budget is. Besides, if you are looking for the compatible optical modules for those two switches, you can take FS.COM a try. We offer large and in-stock Cisco SFP, SFP+, 40G QSFP+ and 100G QSFP28 optical transceivers with high quality but low cost. For more details, please visit www.fs.com.

Unifi Switch Vs. EdgeSwitch

Recently, Ubiquiti Network Switch is of prevalence for building and expanding home network. EdgeSwitch and Unifi Switch are two main switch series of the Ubiquiti Network Switch. For years, the EdgeSwitch and Unifi Switch are featured as cost-effective, robust performance, and this is why many people have special favour on them. For they both a good choice for growing networks, it is necessary to make clear their differences and decide which one to choose. In this article, we will mainly introduce the EdgeSwitch and Unifi Switch, similarities and differences as well as compatible SFP transceivers for them.

unifi-switch-8-mounting

Figure1: This picture shows Unifi Switch US-8-150W

Introduction to Unifi Switch

The Unifi Switches provide 8, 16, 24, or 48 PoE Gigabit Ethernet ports to satisfy different requirement for expanding Gigabit Ethernet network and making your network cabling looks neat. They support IEEE 802.3af and IEEE 802.3at. And the operation is rather easy, you can directly connect your switch to a storage server through two SFP ports on each switch. The transmission rate can be up to 1 Gbps. For longer distance and higher bandwidth, you can use Unifi Switch with 48-port which additional added two more SFP+ port. The following picture shows a basic parameter of all the Unifi Switches models.

Chart1 Unifi Switch

Information About EdgeSwitch

As same as Unifi Switch, the EdgeSwitch have the same PoE Gigabit Ethernet ports and IEEE protocols. The most distinctive feature of Edgeswitch is that offers an extensive suite of advanced Layer-2 switching features and protocols, and also provides Layer-3 routing capability. There are 6 EdgeSwitch models, the accurate ports’ number are clearly shown in the below chart. You can use ES-8-150W, ES-16-150W and ES-24-250W as well as ES-24-500W switch models to achieve 1G Ethernet network connectivity. For SFP+ transceivers, you can choose ES-48-500W, ES-48-750W to arrive 10 Gbps connection.

Chart2-EdgeSwitch

Similarities

Both Unifi Switch and EdgeSwitch have 8, 16, 24, or 48 PoE Gigabit Ethernet ports.

—Switch models

The two switch basically share the identical switch type (switch ports and Watts), the only difference lies in the EdgeSwitch does not have one with 8 ports for 60W.

—Protocols

The Unifi Switch and EdgeSwitch both support IEEE 802.3af and IEEE 802.3at.

—Supporting Gigabit Ethernet

They are both support 1G and 10G Ethernet connection and have both SFP and SFP+ ports.

Differences

—Color
The EdgeSwitch is black while the Unifi Switch is silver.

EdgeSwitch and Unifi Switch

—Management

The Unifi Switch can only be managed through the UniFi controller while the EdgeSwitch can only be managed through it’s CLI or web interface.

—Routing protocols

The EdgeSwitches only support static routing, and there are no routing protocols implemented while Unifi Switches don’t support routing at all.

FS.COM’s Compatible SFP Module for Unifi and EdgeSwitch:

Multi-mode and singlemode SFP models are available to Unifi and Edge switch. FS.COM is a leading manufacturer and supplier of fiber optic subsystems, components and solutions. Our optical modules are well known as the superior quality and high compatibility. Besides, all of our products are tested and 100% compatible to the major brands, such as Cisco, Juniper, Brocade, Arista, etc. You can rest assured to use them. For this Unifi and Edge switch, we offer the following compatible SFP module:

1000Base-LX: SFP1G-LX-31 1310nm (SingleMode SFPs).

1000Base-SX: SFP-1G85-5M (multi-mode).

1000Base-T: SFP-GB-GE-T Module.

FS's SFP+ transceiver

Conclusion

Ubiquiti Network Switch seems to be an irresistible trend for home network connectivity. Through this passage, we learned that Unifi Switch and EdgeSwitch are different in color, management and routing protocols. If you are looking for compatible SFP transceivers for those two kinds of switch, you can take FS.COM a try. In addition to SFP transceivers, we still offer many other optical products, such as patch cables, SFP+, QSFP and QSFP28 optical modules, network cables, switches, etc. If you are interested, you can visit www.fs.com.