Decoding White Box Switch

As data communication industry develop rapidly, people’s requirements for network applications have become more sophisticated. Switch, as a box shaped optical component, is the heart of network connection. On the market, the price of switch is high because of the hardware and software inside it. With a low cost and excellent performance, white box switch has been a hot topic in the past few years. This article is going to decode white box switch.

Overview of White Box Switch

White box switch refers to the ability to use “generic”, off-the-shelf switching (or white box switching) and routing hardware, in the forwarding plane of a software-defined network (SDN). White box switch represents the foundational element of the commodity networking ecosystem. It is really just that—”blank” standard hardware. And customers are able to choose the elements they need to realize their SDN objectives.

white box switch

The operating system (OS) of white box switch may come already installed or can be purchased from a software vendor and loaded separately. For hardware, hardware suppliers can manufacture or design it for white box switch according to customers’ requirements. A white box switch may come pre-loaded with minimal software or it may be sold as a bare metal device.

Advantages of White Box Switch

From the above content, it is not difficult to find that the obvious advantage of white box switch is that the switch can be customized to meet specific business and networking needs. In addition, there are some other advantages of white box switch.

Cost: White box switch is cheaper than branded switch. In fact, most of customers will never use some features pre-loaded in integrated switching and routing platforms, but they still have to pay extra expenses for these features. Being able to be customized, white box switch can remove some useless features for customers. Therefore, the overall cost of white box switch is lower than branded switch.

Quality: The quality of white box switch is as good as branded switch. The hardware suppliers are professional OEM factories, and the hardware installed in white box switch is the same as that in branded switch. Besides, the function of white box switch is designed according to the need of customer. Therefore, the quality of white box switch can be guaranteed.

Capability: White box switch is often superior to traditional layer 2/3 switch. Typically used as a top-of-rack switch or as part of an SDN deployment, white box switch supports industry standards. In addition, it is highly programmable and work with orchestration tools. Characterized by strong telemetry capability and openness, the user does not have to worry about the capability of white box switch.

FS 40G/100G White Box Switches

FS 40G/100G white box switches are based on IPinfusion’s ZebOS with integration of Layer 2 to Layer 4 packet processing engine, traffic management and fabric interface, aiming to achieve flexibility, scalability, efficiency and cost effectiveness in data center networks. Furthermore, the operating systems of FS 40G and 100G Ethernet switches are developed on the basis of Linux and similar to Arista EOS. All the 40G/100G white box switches in FS support SDN function which can make networks more affordable and easier to manage. The following table shows three types of FS 40G/100G white box switches and some equivalents that have the same switching capability.

S5850-32S2Q S5850-48S2Q4C S5850-48S2Q4C
Ports 32*SFP+ & 2*QSFP+ 48*SFP+ & 2*QSFP+ & 4*QSFP28 20*QSFP+ & 4*QSFP28
Throughput 596Mpps 1200Mpps 1200Mpps
Switching Capacity 800Gbps 1.92Tbps 2.4Tbps
CPU Freescale PowerPC P1010 Freescale PowerPC P1010 Freescale PowerPC P1010
Equivalents Cisco Meraki MS425-32 Arista 7280E Cisco Catalyst 9500-24Q

Customers are always trying to find a new way to improve efficiency and reduce cost. This pushes the routing networking to evolve. White box switch, integrating fully open-sourced hardware and software, can effectively lower the cost and meet the requirement for SDN application environment. FS.COM 40G/100G white box switches are high performance gigabit switches that support SDN deployment while providing cost-effective solutions for next generation metro, data center and enterprise Ethernet networks.


Things You Need to Know About Home Network

Network has become an indispensable part of our daily life. If you have a computer at home, I’m sure that you are not unfamiliar with home network. In the past, there was only one way for home network deployment—wired network. However, the pace of network technology development has never slowed down, and now, there is wireless network, which makes it more convenient to get access to the network. As we are in wired network or wireless network environment every day, it is necessary for us to know something about network, especially home network. This article will introduce some basic knowledge about wired network and wireless network.

home network
Wired Network

In wired network, there are two important devices, one is router and the other one is network cable.


We know that router is designed with several physical ports on the front or back of the unit, such as one WAN (wide area network) port, four LAN (local area network) ports and one power input port. Also, there are some LED lights to display device status. All WAN port and LAN ports are RJ45 interface, so one end of network cable can be plugged into them. But for the other end of network cable, there is one difference between WAN port and LAN port. For WAN port, the other end of network cable is plugged into an Internet source, such as broadband service provider; while for LAN port, the other end of network cable is plugged into the RJ45 port on Ethernet-ready device, like computer. The moment you plug a device into a router, you have yourself a wired network.

Network Cable

As for the selection of network cable used for the connection, either cat5e cable or cat6 cable will be OK. The latest network cabling standard currently in use is cat6 cable, which is designed to be faster and more reliable than cat5e cable. Both of them support data speed at 10Mb/s, 100Mb/s and 1000Mb/s, while cat6 cable is able to achieve 10Gb/s. Also, cat5e cable and cat6 cable can be used interchangeably, For most home usage, what cat5 cable has to offer is more than enough. But if you think about future-proof, cat6 cable is a great option in addition to its high price.

Wireless Network

For wireless network, devices don’t use network cable to connect to the router. Instead, they use radio wireless connections called Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity). This is one big difference between wireless network and wired network. The devices used in wireless network don’t need to have ports, just antennas, which are sometimes hidden inside the device itself. In order to build Wi-Fi environment, an access point (AP) is required.

Access Point

An access point is a central device that broadcasts a Wi-Fi signal for Wi-Fi clients to connect to. Generally, each wireless network belongs to one access point. For example, when you hang around some stores, you can see different networks popping up on your phone’s screen and each of them belongs to one access point. For home wireless network deployment, you can buy an access point separately and connect it to a router. Now on the market, a kind of wireless router is available, which is a regular router with a built-in access point. This makes your wireless network building more convenient.


In a typical home network, there are generally both wired and wireless devices, and they can all talk to one another. To build a stable home network, it is important to choose quality router, network cable and access point. Though FS.COM does not provide router, they have high quality network cable and wireless access point.

Applications of FHX Ultra MTP/MPO Cassettes

Nowadays, data communication technology has developed rapidly. To achieve high speed transmission, it is very common to see complex cabling system in data center, which may even include thousands of fibers. Under such circumstances, saving space in data center is a critical issue. Therefore, fiber optic components or cabling solutions which are characterized by high density will gain the popularity among data center managers. MTP component is such one that can satisfy the requirement. And this article is going to introduce FHX ultra MTP/MPO cassettes and their applications in data center.

Overview of FHX Ultra MTP/MPO Cassettes

MTP/MPO cassette is widely used for high-density cabling in data centers. It is pre-terminated and pre-tested enclosed unit which can provide secure transition between MTP and LC, SC or MTP discrete connectors. And it is usually structured with LC, SC or MTP adapters on the front side of the cassette and MTP adapters at the rear of the cassette. FHX Ultra MTP/MPO cassette has three types: FHX ultra 8F MTP-LC cassette, FHX 12F MTP-LC cassette and FHX MTP conversion module. Here is a figure for you to have a better understanding of these three types of MTP cassettes.

FHX Ultra MTP MPO Cassettes
Applications of FHX Ultra MTP/MPO Cassettes

For application, MTP cassette can be easily found in 10G, 40G and 100G network applications in data center.

FHX Ultra 8F MTP-LC Cassette

Since both FHX ultra 8F MTP-LC cassette and FHX 12F MTP-LC cassette serve to realize the transition from small diameter ribbon cables terminated with MTP connector(s) to the more common LC interfaces used on the transceiver terminal equipment, this part will take FHX ultra 8F MTP-LC cassette as an example. The FHX ultra 8F MTP-LC cassette is structured with four LC duplex (8-fiber) adapters on the front side of the cassette and one 12-fiber MTP adapter at the rear of the cassette, and it is often used for 10G to 40G connection. As the following figure shows, we can also add FHX ultra enclosure and FHX MTP adapter panel to the cabling solution. From the left to the right, four 10G SFP+ transceivers are plugged into four 10G ports on the 10G switch. Then they are connected to LC adapters on the FHX ultra 8F MTP-LC cassette through four LC duplex patch cables. The cassette is installed in the FHX ultra enclosure. One MTP trunk cable connects two MTP adapters respectively on the rear of the cassette and MTP adapter panel. Finally, the 40G QSFP+ transceiver on the 40G switch is connected with MTP adapter on MTP adapter panel through another MTP trunk cable. In this application, 100% fiber utilization is realized. What’s more, the 1U fiber enclosure can house 18 x 8F FHX cassettes or 12 x 12F FHX cassettes, with the total fiber capacity up to 144 fibers for LC interface, greatly saving cabling density.

application of FHX ultra 8F MTP-LC cassette
FHX MTP Conversion Module

The FHX MTP conversion module has several kinds, this part will take 3x MTP-8 to 2x MTP-12 (24-fiber) conversion module as an example. This kind of FHX MTP conversion module is structured with three 8-fiber MTP adapters on the front side of the module and two 12-fiber MTP adapters at the rear of the module. We can use FHX ultra enclosure to hold MTP conversion module. The following figure shows the cabling solution for 120G to 120G connection. Three 40G QSFP+ transceivers are respectively plugged into 40G ports on three 40G switches on both sides. Then the three 40G QSFP+ transceivers are connected with three 8-fiber MTP adapters on the front side of the module through three MTP trunk cables. Finally, two 12-fiber MTP adapters at the rear of two respectively modules are connected through two MTP trunk cables. This cabling solution utilize Based-8 MTP cabling system and achieves 100% fiber utilization. With the use of 1U FHX ultra enclosure, twelve 3x MTP-8 to 2x MTP-12 conversion module can be used in this cabling solution, which creates a 33% spacing-saving upgrading path.

application of FHX MTP conversion module

The FHX ultra MTP/MPO cassettes can not only meet the need for saving space in data center cabling, but also realize 100% fiber utilization during the cabling. With superior best-in-class features, FHX ultra MTP/MPO cassettes can offer you cost-effective, simple 10G to 40G, 40G to 40G, 40G to 100G or 120G to 120G cabling solutions and ensures high performance at the same time.

A Closer Look at OM5

We know that for short-reach optical interconnects, multimode fiber is a cost-effective solution. As data centers are constantly moving towards faster speeds and higher densities, the multimode fiber also has evolved over time, from OM1, OM2 to OM3 and OM4 multimode fiber. Now, OM5 is coming. This article will guide you to have a closer look at OM5.

Overview of OM5

OM5, also known as wide-band multimode fiber (WBMMF), is recognized within both the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards. It is designed to support shortwave wavelength division multiplexing (SWDM) which would use 850nm, 880nm, 910nm and 940nm for transferring signals.


Characteristics of OM5

What makes OM5 different? What are characteristics of OM5? The following part will make a summary.

Size: OM5 fiber is laser optimized multimode fiber (LOMF) of 50 micron core. Therefore, OM5 cabling supports all legacy applications at least as well as OM4, and is fully compatible and intermateable with OM3 and OM4 cabling.

Color: TIA has specified lime green as the official cable jacket color for OM5.

Bandwidth: The operating band of OM5 is from 850 to 953nm and its effective modal bandwidth is specified at the lower and upper wavelengths: 4700 at 850nm and 2470 at 953nm.

Speed: OM5 can support 40G, 100G and 400G Ethernet by accommodating SWDM. And it is designed and specified to support at least four WDM channels at a minimum speed of 28Gbps per channel through the 850-953 window.

Distance: When transferring signals at the speed of 10 Gb/s, OM5 can achieve 550 meters; when transferring signals at the speed of 40 Gb/s, OM5 can achieve 440 meters; when transferring signals at the speed of 100 Gb/s, OM5 can achieve 150 meters.

Working principle: Since SWDM will enable 40G and 100G over few fiber strands, when using 25GBASE-SR specifications, 100 gigabit OM5 fiber links could be created using 2-fiber 25 gigabit channels on 4 different wavelengths. Similarly, using 100GBASE-SR4 specifications, 400 gigabit OM5 fiber links could be created using 8-fiber 100 gigabit channels on 4 different wavelengths.

Cost: As the matter of fact, OM5 cabling will costs about 50% more than OM4.

Comparison Among OM5, OM4 And OM3

By comparison, it is not difficult to find that there are many differences between OM5, OM4 and OM3.

  • OM5 carries at least 4X more capacity than OM4 over a meter of fiber and carries 5.7X more capacity than OM3 over a meter of fiber.
  • The color of OM5 fiber is lime green, while standard OM3 and OM4 fiber is aqua.
  • The effective modal bandwidth for OM5 is 4700 at 850nm and 2470 at 953nm. While OM4 is 4700 at 850nm and OM3 is 2000 at 850nm.
  • For 100 transmission speed, OM5 uses 2-fiber 25 gigabit channels on 4 different wavelengths, while OM4 and OM3 requires the use of 8-fibers via 100GBASE-SR4.
  • OM5 supports transmission distance of 440 meters for 40G SWDM system and 150 meters for 100G SWDM system. While OM4 can only achieve 350 meters for 40G SWDM system and 100 meters for 100G SWDM system; OM3 can support 40G SWDM system with distance of 240 meters and 100G SWDM system with 75 meters.


As a new type of multimode fiber, OM5 fiber does have a breakthrough in some aspects. However, it is not very popular on the market. Maybe because its strength is not prominent. Therefore, for OM5, it still has a long way to go.