AC Switch vs DC Switch: What’s the Difference?

The first step on integrating a switch into the network is to get it powered up. And as to power supply, there are AC and DC power for network switch, both of which are used for increasing network uptime. Then what’s the difference between AC power Switch and DC power switch? Which type shall we used for our network? This post will give a detailed introduction for the difference between AC Switch and DC switch, and set out how to make a proper decision over AC Switch vs DC Switch.

AC Switch vs DC Switch: What Are They?

AC powered Ethernet switch often has a fixed AC power supply connector, thus it generally gets powered up through power cables such as IEC power cord, NEMA power cord, etc. PoE switches are typical AC switches. Take FS 24 port PoE switch as example, which is equipped with a single 100-240V AC power supply connector (as shown below). It is easy to power up AC switch. All you need to do is connect it to the power socket with proper power cable. For some advanced network switch, turning on its power switch is also necessary.

AC switch vs DC switch

DC powered Ethernet switch can be configured with an internal or external DC power supply. And the external DC power supply is more popular nowadays, which is also known as redundant power supply. Modern fiber switch often has more than one redundant power supply (e.g the following FS 10GbE switch is equipped with two DC power supply). Except for powering up switch, the DC redundant power supply can also protect other power supply when it fails with shorted outputs.

AC switch vs DC switch

AC Switch vs DC Switch: What’s the Difference?

In the market, there are Ethernet switches that support only AC power supply or DC power supply, and there are also some switches which can be used with both AC and DC power supplies. However, the switch can only support one type of power supply at the same time. That’s to say, if you use DC power supply to power up your switch initially, the switch will detect it and operate with DC power. In this case, AC power supply installed in the switch will be disabled. Even if you try to install AC power supply when the switch is operating with DC power, it will also disable the AC power and generates an alarm. So remember not to mix AC and DC power supplies in a switch.

Conclusion

AC and DC power supplied Ethernet switches are all commonly used nowadays. You can select one or the other according to your own case and needs. FS provides both AC and DC switches. For example, we have AC switches such as 8/24/48 port PoE+ Managed Switches which support up to 600W. High quality DC switches are also available. Customers can also custom the power type of switches.

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VLAN vs Subnet: What Are Their Differences?

VLAN and Subnet are both developed to deal with segmenting or partitioning a portion of the network. And they also share such similarities as restricting broadcast domains or ensuring security through isolation of different sub-networks. However, there are obvious differences between them on operation, functionality and deeper objectives. This post will focus on VLAN vs Subnet: what’s the difference?

VLAN vs Subnet: What Are They?

Subnet is a small network composed by a group of IP addresses. It is part of a larger network. Any IP address within the same Subnet can communicate with each other without using routing devices. To be clear, we can think Subnet as the department of a company, people in the same department can talk freely without going out of their department. If you want to reach a address outside of your Subnet, you will have to go through a router or modern Gigabit Ethernet switch with router functionality. Since Subnet is related to IP address, it often works at layer 3.

VLAN, also known as virtual LAN, is a group of devices on one or more LANs in regardless of physical location. That’s to say, it allows devices to be grouped together even though they are not connected on the same fiber switch. However, it often requires the network hardware/software to support VLAN functionality, for example, VLAN switch is essential for setting up a VLAN network. In VLAN, configuration of the network can be done via software extensively. Basically, VLANs are used at layer 2 to break up broadcast domains.

VLAN vs Subnet: What’s the Difference?

As mentioned above, VLAN and Subnet are totally different things in a close look. The following chart lists the differences between VLAN and Subnet in details:

Parameter
VLAN
Subnet
Definition
VLAN is a logical LAN that contains broadcasts within itself, and only hosts belonged to that VLAN will see those broadcasts.
Subnet is an IP address range of IP addresses that help hosts communicate over layer 3.
Logical and Physical Network
VLAN allows us to create different logical and physical networks.
Subnet allows us to create logical networks through the same physical network.
Network Member Control
A VLAN is configured at server/router side. The one who controls the router/server decides which computer/port is assigned to which VLAN. For example, if you have a 24 port 10GbE switch, you can assign 12 ports to VLAN 1 and the others to VLAN 2.
A Subnet is determined by the IP you use and the IP can be chosen by the admin of a computer (or device). Therefore it is done on client side – you can not control it.
OSI Layer
VLAN is a layer 2 term where MAC addresses work.
Subnet is a layer 3 term where IP layer works.
Hardware/Software Based
More of software-based terminology.
More of hardware-based terminology.
Security & Control
VLANs perceived to be more secure and provide more robust control for the network.
Subnet has limited control in comparison to VLAN.
Major Benefit
VLAN is extremely flexible, it brings better work performance, less traffic, and more efficiency.
A Subnet will not be affected when other Subnets going down or having technical breakdowns.

VLAN vs Subnet: Which One Do You Like?

VLAN and Subnet both have their advantages and limits. For example, VLAN allows for creation of different logical and physical networks while Subnet only allows for creation of different logical networks. However, if a network sniffer is employed, users from one Subnet can discover the existence of other Subnets, this will not happen to users of different VLANs. So VLAN vs Subnet: which do you prefer?

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48-port Patch Panel Recommendations

With the emergence of Internet of Things (IoT), more and more network-connected devices are added into the existing network. Most servers and other devices have a limited number of ports available. A patch panel can be used to dramatically increase the number of devices that can connect to a specific piece of hardware. The 48-port patch panel is highly whetted users’ appetite for port expansion. There are many different types of the 48-port patch panel. Are all patch panels created equally?

48-port Fiber Patch Panel

High density 96 fibers or 48-port fiber patch panel is preloaded with either LC or SC keystone jacks to offer installers an economical and high-density fiber termination solution. With 1U detachable horizontal cable management panel, it can protect and organize fiber optic cable in your network. For implementations in 40/100G networks, 48-port fiber optic patch panel has MTP-LC breakout patch panel for an option. This 48-port patch panel is designed with 48 LC Duplex front ports and 4 loss optimized MTP Elite rear ports, which provides more fiber terminations up to 96 fibers than standard fiber panel. The 1U of rack space is perfect for limited-space environments or high-density structured cabling. FS.COM is available with 48-port LC fiber patch panel and MTP-LC breakout patch panel in single mode and multimode version.

48-port Patch Panel

48-port Ethernet Patch Panel

This kind of Ethernet patch panel features 48 unshielded or shielded keystone jacks for Ethernet connectivity, the high-density configuration of the jacks helps minimize the space of network. There are various network patch panels based on Cat cables like Cat5/Cat5e patch panel, Cat6/Cat6a patch panel, or Cat7 patch panel. For 1U patch panel, 48-port Cat5e patch panel and 48-port Cat6 patch panel are most popular in the market. The 1U 48-port patch panel has RJ45 female ports on the front and 110 punch-down style terminals on the rear. It is meant to be mounted on a 19” rack mount enclosure or cabinet and provides an easy method to terminate Cat5e and Cat6 runs. By the way, the Cat6 patch panel is rated up to 10Gbps.

48-port Blank Patch Panel

The keystone blank patch panel offers unlimited flexibility for customization of different applications. The port openings will accommodate all keystone jacks, including RJ45 Ethernet, HDMI audio/video, voice and USB applications. So the 48-port blank patch panel is ideal for integrating network multimedia in residential and commercial settings. The clear numbering on the front provides a quick, easy way to identify cable runs. This 48-port patch panel can mount on any standard 19-inch rack or cabinet.

48-port Blank Patch Panel

Conclusion

Choosing the right size for a given project is typically going to involve looking at how many connections you require today, and whether or not additional connections will be needed in the future. The 48-port patch panel is ideal for use in high-density applications with more connectivity in less space. If you are considering deploying 48-port patch panel, hope this post will be useful to you. For more patch panel solutions, feel free to visit www.fs.com.

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How to Troubleshoot Patch Panel Connections?

In the structured cabling system, patch panel serves as an important tool for good cable management, which can help to avoid fiber optic losses and troubleshoot the connection. However, each of the links is a potential point of failure. In most cases, the trouble is typically found in the connection wiring. When the connection is linked between the patch panel and switch, the failure link often lies in that the patch panel port is not working. Today’s topic will explore how to troubleshoot the patch panel connections.

Deciphering Patch Panel

(1) Fiber Optic Patch Panel

Fiber optic patch panel is a mounted hardware unit containing an assembly of port location for fiber cable management, so that it is often come with rack mount enclosure. The patch panel can terminate the fiber optic cable while providing access to the individual fibers for cross connection. The significant benefit of fiber patch panel is to eliminate the cable clutter and provide port expansion for future growth. Except that, the most common connection problem is caused by excessive signal loss of its connectors or faulty connection of fiber to the patch panel.

fiber optic patch panel with rack mount enclosure

(2) Ethernet patch panel

With the same function of common fiber patch panel, the Ethernet patch panel contains several ports to connect and manage incoming and outgoing Ethernet cables. The copper patch panel is designed in different styles: punch down or feed-through type. In recent years, the feed-through patch panel is more popular in the market since it is much easier to install with the loaded RJ45 ports. With a punch down patch panel, firstly you need to terminate all cables into the patch panel. In this respect, using T568A or T568B configuration is another important considerations. Usually, the connection failure of the copper patch panel is caused by the incorrect punch-down way. For more information about how to punch down a patch panel, please refer to Should We Choose Punch Down or Feedthrough Patch Panel?

Common Causes of Connection Failure in Patch Panel

Generally, the wired connection consists of three aspects: network switch, connection wiring (patch panel is used for cabling) and network device. When the trouble is found on the aspects of patch panel, there are several possibilities:

  • The patch cables going from the switch to the patch panel
  • The ports on the front of the patch panel
  • The RJ45 cable going from the patch panel to the wall outlet
  • The labeling of the patch panel port on the wall outlet

Basic Steps for Troubleshooting Patch Panel

If the failing link is specified at the side of patch panel, you can troubleshoot the connection problems step by step:

Step 1: Use cable testers to assess the condition of patch cords at both ends.

The visual fault locator (VFL) and OTDR are often used to troubleshoot the fault location and power meter of fiber optic cable. And the network cable tester is used for RJ45 cables.

Step 2: Check out the correct link to eliminate faulty patch panel connections.

The appropriate link mode is defined in the mated connection of modular plugs at the end of patch cords and the jacks at the patch panel. For fiber optic patch panel, there are different connector options, including SC, ST, MTP, MPO or LC fiber patch panel. So the corresponding LC, SC, ST, MTP, MPO fiber cables are needed to make the suitable connection. But for copper patch panel, the link problem is often caused by that the patch panel is punched down incorrectly. The TIA 568A/568B wiring standard should be followed. Inappropriate cable category is also appeared in copper patch panel environment (e.g. Cat3 in a Cat5e application).

Step 3: Proper labeling for the correct patch panel port.

Patch panel labeling is a common way to make the troubleshooting easier. A chaotic collection of patch cords can be brought into order with properly labeled patch panels. But in the process of labeling, we can easily get it wrong in a situation where routing the cables from port to port. So cables routed to wrong connection might cause the patch panel link failure. When it is sure that no problem occurs in the mentioned above, you need to check out the labels at both ends.

Conclusion

Diagnosing the failing links of patch panel is a decisive factor to ensure the link meets the required transmission performance. Although troubleshooting patch panel connections can often be frustrating, you will find and correct the cause of the trouble if you keep calm and be logical when problems crop up. By resolving the troubles or possible causes step by step, you can get the correct link quickly.

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How to Install 5U Vertical Cable Manager?

From the largest network infrastructure to the typical desktop computing set, cable management can be an underestimated portion of the overall deployment. In fact, creating a well-organized cable management at the rack will help to simplify access to network equipment, and streamline tracing of cables within the installation. Many options are available for rack cable management, including horizontal and vertical cable management panel, cable ties, cable labels, etc. Today’ topic will focus on 5U vertical cable manager.

vertical cable manager on the rack

5U Vertical Cable Manager Overview

Vertical cable manager is an essential component of a 2 or 4 post racking system, which is used to guide horizontal, backbone or patch cables along the vertical dimension of the rack. To satisfy various applications, the vertical cable management has numbers of options in a variety of styles, widths, heights, and depths. Most of the vertical cable managers are designed with bend radius fingers that provide proper bend radius support for cables. With 5U configuration, FS.COM is available with 3” (84mm) and 5” (128.5mm) wide vertical cable manager that allow for 23 and 38 Cat6 cables separately. The cable managers are made of plastic (ABS) material, and the flame-retardant grade is V-0. They fit all 19in or 23in EIA racks (2 or 4-post).

5U Vertical Cable Manager

The Installation Steps of 5U Vertical Cable Manager

Generally, the 5U vertical cable manager is shipped with M6 nuts and screws to allow installation in the rack enclosures. The following video is a 5U vertical cable management installation instructions:

Step 1: Fixing the M6 nuts on the standard racks.

Step 2: Tweaking the M6 screws into the nuts, but spare some spaces for the 5U finger brackets.

Step 3: Bringing the installation holes of 5U finger brackets and M6 screws into alignment.

Step 4: Make sure that the screws are tightened and the nuts are assembled correctly.

Benefits of Vertical Cable Management Systems

High-density Cable Management

With cable management fingers, the vertical cable manager can simplify cable routing during installation and maintenance. Moreover, it helps to use space efficiently and route more cables in less RU spaces.

Improve Cable Lifetime

Vertical cable management ensures that cables are installed properly from the beginning, so it helps to minimize the risk of excessive bending, or subject cables to heat sources or sharp edges. Come with Velcro cable ties to bundle cables together, it can increase the life of cables.

Minimize Downtime

Vertical cable manager can be easily installed for clean wire distribution along server rack. It helps to cut down the time on locating and identifying cables. Any removal or monitoring of equipment or cabling can be accessed much easier. Besides, different types of cables are easily kept apart with superior cable management, there is less chance of data losing integrity due to electromagnetic interference (EMI).

Superior Airflow

As cables are gathered tidily in a server rack by vertical cable manager, there is less risk of poor airflow. This can help ensure that the data center is run as efficiently as possible.

Aesthetics

On top of many other advantages, vertical cable management also improves the aesthetics of a data center. A data center where every cable is neatly in its place and can be traced easily reflects a well-managed organization.

Conclusion

Managing cables in the data center can seem like a daunting task. But with the vertical cable managers for the racks and enclosures, all of the features combine to provide the user with a vertical cable management solution that simplifies cable routing in a finished professional appearance. When used with patch panel, patch cord, and rack, the user receives a total system that satisfies functional and aesthetic requirements for data centers and telecommunications rooms. For more information, feel free to visit www.fs.com.

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