Open Switch vs Openvswitch: What’s the Difference?

Recently, the open source technology has become more and more popular. As the important parts in the open source network, open switch and openvswitch have raised much attention. However, some people may be confused with open switch and openvswitch. This article will give a thorough introduction to them and make a comparison of open switch vs openvswitch.

Open Switch vs Openvswitch: What Are They?

Open Switch

The open switch is the network switch that runs an open network operating system (NOS). Its hardware and software are separate entities and can be changed independently of each other. Therefore, the same hardware can support different operating systems or the same operating system can work on multiple hardware configurations. This means vendors can customize or rebrand the open switches by adding their own software. And there are multiple open source software such as Cumulus Linux and Pica8 Pic, which can be chosen by vendors. FS has teamed up with cumulus networks and introduced several Layer 2 switches and Layer 3 switches powered by Cumulus Linux OS, for instance, N5850-48S6Q 10GbE switch, N8000-32Q 40GbE switch, and N8500-32C 100GbE switch.

Open switch

Figure 1: Open switch

Openvswitch

Openvswitch or open vSwitch (OVS) is an open source multilayer virtual switch issued under the Apache 2.0 license. It usually operates as a software-based network switch or as the control stack for dedicated switching hardware. Designed to enable effective network automation via programmatic extensions, OVS also supports standard management interfaces and protocols, including NetFlow, sFlow, CLI, IPFIX, RSPAN, LACP, 802.1ag. In addition, OVS can support transparent distribution across multiple physical servers. This function is similar to the proprietary virtual switch solutions such as the Cisco Nexus 1000V and the VMware vSphere Distributed Switch (vDS). In short, OVS is used with hypervisors to interconnect virtual machines within a host and virtual machines between different hosts across networks.

open switch vs openvswitch

Figure 2: Openvswitch

Open Switch vs Openvswitch: What’s the Difference?

As mentioned above, open switch and openvswitch both are open source switch. However, they still differ mainly in two aspects.

Firstly, open switch and openvswitch have different external construction.

For open switch, it is a physical switch that you can use wires to connect it with other network devices. What’s more, it has hardware and software. Its open hardware comes with a boot loader called the Open Network Install Environment (ONIE). Based on ONIE, consumers can load operating system software onto the switch.

For openvswitch, it behaves like a physical switch but virtualized. It has no hardware and represents as an entirely software. There is a software stack running on a server of openvswitch. This software stack could provide connections to virtual or logical Ethernet ports. Thus, there is any port on openvswitch and you don’t need to use wires to connect it with other network devices. Well, OVS can also be integrated with hardware and serve as the control plane for switching silicon.

Secondly, programming flow rules work differently in open switch and openvswitch. Essentially, flow rules determine how inbound and outbound traffic should be treated. The open switch uses VLANs to tag traffic. While OVS can dictate how the traffic should be manipulated before it is forwarded to the exit interface.

Summary

After reading this post, you may know the difference between open switch vs openvswitch. Though they both are good solutions to meet the demand for network agility and scalability, the open switch may be more commonly used in the market now. FS provides N-series open network switch with good quality and nice price. If you have any needs, welcome to visit FS.COM.

Related Article: Open Source Switch: How Much Do You Know?

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Will Bare Metal Switch Be Popular in 100G Data Center?

Nowadays, the requirement for bandwidth and transmission speed in data centers is increasing strikingly. To meet the demand for it, networking industries are moving toward a new direction. Focuses previously changing from 1G, 10G and 40G are now shifting to 100G. Therefore, 100G is the trend of data center. According to a report by Dell’Oro Group, bare metal switch vendors lost share in the 100G data center switching market in 2018 while traditional vendors, such as H3C, Cisco and Huawei, gained. Do you agree with that? Let’s take a look at what the bare metal switch is and whether it will be popular in 100G data center?

Bare Metal Switch Overview

The bare metal switch is a device that allows for the decoupling of hardware and software on the networking stack. It is from original design manufacturers (ODMs) like Alpha Networks or Accton. These companies design and manufacture products for many mainstream switch vendors. However, warranties offered by ODMs are just hardware based and very basic. Therefore, the bare metal switch has no operating system (OS) and no label. Moreover, bare metal switches come with a boot loader called Open Network Install Environment (ONIE). Based on ONIE, consumers can load open source operating system onto the switch.

Why Bare Metal Switch Will Be Popular in 100G Data Center?

Will bare metal switch be popular in 100G data center? The answer is yes. The following is the comparison of bare metal switch and brand-name switch.

Bare Metal Switch vs Brand-name Switch

Features – Bare metal switches have multiple choices of OS, including Cumulus Linux, Big Switch Light, Pica8, etc, and their hardware can be bought from different ODMs directly or banded vendors to suit the 100G data center. While brand-name switches should run on vertically integrated OS and hardware that you have no other choice. Hence, with bare metal switches, more flexibility, and options can be enjoyed.

Performance – The brand-name network switch and bare metal switch share a lot of similar performance when used in 100G data center. While the bare metal switch is simpler because of the automated centralized network device management, unified deployment strategies, and fewer configuration errors. What’s more, unlike the brand-name switch, which only supports the corresponding accessories, the bare metal switches are more compatible and multiple accessories are available.

Cost – Consumers can get hardware directly from the ODMs at a discounted rate compared to similar switches from brand-name networking vendors, because there is no OS installed in it. Moreover, with bare metal switches, the network flexibility and scalability have been greatly increased. This will save much cost for users. And then, with good compatibility, you can choose accessories like transceivers from the third-party, which is much cheaper.

Traditional switch vs bare metal switch

Figure 1: Traditional switch vs bare metal switch

Conclusion

The bare metal switch which enables people to purchase hardware and software independently is gaining popularity in 100G data center. It excels propriety or traditional switches in cost and the flexibility. FS employs bare metal switches and Cumulus Linux providing N-series data center switches, including 10GbE switch, 40GbE switch and 100GbE switch. If you have any needs, welcome to visit FS.COM.

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Access Control List Linux:How Much Do You Know?

Traditional Linux networking is satisfied for most situations when employed in network switch, router or other network devices. However, it still has some limitations such as the problem of UNIX file permissions, which affects network security. Luckily, Access Control List (ACL) has been developed, which is designed to make a flexible permission mechanism in Linux. Well, what is ACL and how to use it in Linux?

Access Control List Overview

Access Control List is a list that grants or denies permissions to the data, which tries to access services attached to that network hardware such as Gigabit Ethernet switch or router. There are several types of ACLs such as access ACL and the default ACL. The former is the access control list for a specific file or directory and the later can only be associated with a directory.

ACL provides an additional, more flexible permission mechanism for file systems. To be specific, it ensures security by blocking packets that are destined to sensitive areas in the network. Based on the protocols, it also determines the type of traffic to forward. And it is also able to deny certain users or groups access to the Internet while allowing others. What’s more, ACL can block specified traffic, which greatly helps enhance the performance of your network.

How to Use Access Control List in Linux?

Usually, there are mainly four steps for the Access Control List configuration.

Installing ACL Package

Before using ACLs for a file or directory, you should install the acl package.

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Configuring ACL

1.Mount the file system consisting of the file or directory with ACL support. Here is the syntax for you to mount a local ext3 file system.

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2.Use the getfacl utility to show a file’s ACL.

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When a file does not have an ACL, it shows the same information as ‘ls –l’, although in a different format.

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3.Use the setfacl utility to add or modify one or more rules in a file’s ACL.

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If a file has an ACL, ‘ls –l’ will display a plus sign (+) following the permission.

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Remove ACLs

1.Use the “-x” option without specifying any permissions to remove rules for a user or group.

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2.Use the “-b” option to remove ACL itself.

access control list
Setting the Default ACLs

Add “d:” before the rule and specify a directory instead of a file name. Then the setting is completed.

What Is Linux ACL Mask and Why Does It Exist?

When setting the default ACL in a directory, some users may be confused to see “default:mask” or just “mask”. Actually, the “mask” is a mask setting, which is used to mask out permissions. Except a file owner or an “other” entry, “mask” is the maximum permission granted by access control entries for users and groups. The “default: mask” on a parent directory is also a mask setting, which is applied to things that are created within it.

Conventionally, people use the traditional Unix applications to run “chmod(…,000)”, which is expected to deny all access to a file. However, it fails unless there is a mask and the old “S_IRWXG” permissions map to it. Although having been upgraded several times, traditional Unix scripts still can’t work perfectly without a mask. In ACLS, the mask is also necessary. Without it, setting the file permissions to a entry such as “000” wouldn’t affect any non-owner user or group entries and other users still have access to the object. What’s more, without a mask, other approaches have defects in granting or denying permissions to the data as well.

mask

Figure 1: “mask” and “default: mask” scenario

Conclusion

From all the above, you may have a general understanding of Access Control List Linux, Linux ACL Mask and how to use ACL in Linux. The use of ACL in the Linux OS is important to the security of network. Recently, FS has teamed up with Cumulus to provide the N-series open networking switch. These switches are suitable for you to configure ACL, including 10GbE switch, 40GbE switch, 100GbE switch, etc. For more information, please read this news: FS.COM Collaborates with Cumulus Networks to Bring Open Networking Directly to Its 100,000+ Customers.

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Network OS Comparison: Open Source OS or Proprietary OS

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Open Source Switch: How Much Do You Know?

Usually, most enterprises employ closed switches in the data center. However, with the increasing demands for customized hardware and software of the switch, the open source switch starts drawing companies’ attention. Well, what is open source switch? How many kinds of open source switch do you know? This article will give a thorough introduction to it and make a comparison of open source switches.

What Is Open Source Switch?

The open source switch is the network switch that runs an open network operating system (NOS). Its hardware and software are separate entities and can be changed independently. Therefore, the same hardware can support different operating systems or the same operating system can work on multiple hardware configurations. This allows vendors to customize or rebrand their open source switches by adding their own software. Moreover, bare metal switch, white box switch, and brite box switch are three kinds of commonly used open source switches in the market.

Open source switch

Figure 1:Open source switch

Open Source Switches Comparison

Are there any differences among bare metal switch, white box switch, and brite box switch? Some are not clear about these open source switches. The following will make a comparison of them.

Bare Metal Switch vs. White Box Switch

The bare metal switch is from original design manufacturers (ODMs) such as Alpha Networks or Accton. These companies design and manufacture products for many of the mainstream switch vendors. However, warranties offered by ODMs are just hardware based and very basic. That’s to say, the bare metal switch has no label, no operating system, and at a low cost. What’s more, it comes with a boot loader called the Open Network Install Environment (ONIE). Based on ONIE, consumers can load NOS onto the switch. And there are multiple operating systems, including Cumulus Linux, Big Switch Light, Pica8 Pic, etc.

The white box switch is the Gigabit Ethernet switch without a label. Basically, it comes with three types. The first type is the one whose OS and the hardware are completely separated. This type is just like a bare metal device. The second type of white box switches may be brought from the vendor who pays more attention to the service of hardware and OS. The third type has hardware and installed OS just like the branded switch, but it can be labeled with the brand of buyer’s company or with no brand labeled.

All in all, a white box switch differs from a bare metal switch in that it comes with an operating system installed.

White Box Switch vs. Brite Box Switches

Just as the bare metal switch, brite box switch is often used interchangeably with white box switch. White box switch is able to use generic, off-the-shelf switching, and routing hardware. Brite box switch is made by an ODM and is often the same switch offered by the ODMs as bare metal. However, it sports a front bezel with a brand name like HP or Dell that it supports a brand name of any reputed IT vendors. All in all, the brite box switch refers to the branded white box switch.

Bare Metal Switch vs. White Box Switch vs. Brite Box Switches: Which Is the Best?

As mentioned above, bare metal switch, brite box switch, and white box switch are all open source switch. They share some similarities, but they still have some differences. Bare metal switch mainly matters to commercial software providers. Brite box switch has the brand. Actually, white box switch has more advantages than bare metal switch and brite box switch. The white box switch is cost-effective and flexible, and its reliability is equivalent to the brand-name switch. More and more enterprises choose white box switch to customize the devices to their need.

Conclusion

The open source switch is more and more important in the networking industry. When choosing open source switches such as bare metal switch, white box switch, and brite box switch, you’d better consider your needs. Any requirements for open source switch, including 1G switch, 10G switch or 40G switch, please contact FS.COM.

Related Article: Whitebox Switch vs Brite-box Switch: Who Is the Winner?

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What Is the Right Router to Switch Connection Diagram?

There are some different ways to set up a network connection, but the most reliable way is to use both the router and the switch. Well, do you know the right router to switch connection diagram? This article will give a clear explanation for the router, the switch and the router to switch connection diagram.

What Are Switch & Router?

The network switch is commonly applied in campus environments, business and other large networks. Usually, it works at the data link layer (layer 2) or the network layer (layer 3) of the OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) model. Therefore, it can support multiple packet protocols. As a multi-port network bridge, the network switch provides various ports for subnets to connect computers, cameras, printers, etc. Through these ports, the data packets can be sent and received between LAN segments.

Router, sometimes called Gateway, is a hardware device usually applied in home and small business networks. Based on layer 3 information of the OSI model, router functions to route packets or traffic by using IP address. This enables the network to go across different protocols.

Network Switch vs Router

Network switch and router both are broadly deployed in network data transmission but they definitely have some differences. Generally, they have three key differences. Firstly, routers typically use software to route. While network switches route packets on ASCI (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) hardware. Another difference is that network switches route packets faster than routers. In addition, based on IP addresses, routers can support numerous different WAN technologies. However, network switches lack some QoS (Quality of Service) features. Actually, the best way to set up a network connection is to use a router and switch in combination.

How to Connect a Switch to a Router?

Conventionally, the router is the first thing you will set up in the LAN. Since the Fiber Optic Service (FiOS) is now widely provided by many Internet providers, a modem should be connected after the router. It turns the digital signal to electrical signals, then these signals can be transmitted over Ethernet cables. Usually, a network firewall is between the internal network and the router so that all flows in and out can be filtered. However, most of the routers include the firewall feature. So there is no need for you to buy a firewall additionally. Then the switch follows. This is the general router to switch connection diagram and the following are the detailed steps to connect a switch to a router.

Router to switch connection diagram

Figure 1: Router to switch connection diagram

1. Unplug the power supplies of all the devices you will connect, including cable modem, wireless router, and the switch. And unplug any Ethernet cables that are plugged into any of them.
2. Connect telephone wire with the modem and connect an Ethernet cable to the port on the back of the modem.
3. Connect the other end of Ethernet cable connected with modem into WAN port of the router.
4. Connect an Ethernet cable to one of the numbered ports on the switch, then connect the other end to a wired device such as a computer or a gaming console.
5. Connect another Ethernet cable to one of the ports on the back of the switch and connect the other end to the port at the back of the modem.
6.Power on the router, modem, Ethernet switch, and the devices connected to the switch. After several minutes, the connection is ready to go.

Summary

After reading this article, you may clear about the right router to switch connection diagram and the proper way to connect them step by step. For suitable switches with high-quality such as 1GB Ethernet switch, 10GB Ethernet switch, 40GB Ethernet switch, or 24-port switch, 48-Port Gigabit switch and so on, FS will be your ideal choice.

Related Article: Network Switch vs Network Router vs Network Firewall

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