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.


Introduction to Cisco Nexus 3232C Switch

It is undeniable that switch is the heart of the telecommunication network. Now is the time for 100G Ethernet network and 100G switch is widely deployed in data center. Cisco Unified Fabric family is able to get high-density, advanced programmability, low latency, workload isolation, and wire-rate layer 2 and 3 switching on a data-center-class, Cisco NX-OS operating system. This article is going to introduce one kind of this series—Cisco Nexus 3232C switch.

Overview of Cisco Nexus 3232C Switch

The Cisco Nexus 3232C switch is a 1U fixed form-factor 100G switch with 32 qsfp28 ports. Each QSFP28 port can operate at 10, 25, 40, 50, and 100Gbps, up to a maximum of 128 x 25Gbps ports. It runs the industry leading Cisco NX-OS Software operating system which provides customers with comprehensive features and functions that are widely deployed. In addition, the QSFP28 transceiver, AOC cable and DAC cable can work on its QSFP28 ports. Here is a figure of Cisco Nexus 3232C switch for you.

Cisco Nexus 3232C switch
Advantages of Cisco Nexus 3232C Switch

There are many advantages of Cisco Nexus 3232C switch which will be introduced in this part.

High-density ports: It structured with 32 qsfp28 ports. Each QSFP28 port can be configured to work as 4 x 25Gbps ports, offering deployment flexibility, with up to a maximum of 128 x 25Gbps ports.

Flexibility: The switch can be used for fiber-based network deployment and copper-based network deployment. Both fiber and copper cabling solutions are available for 10G, 25G, 40G, 50G and 100G connectivity, including AOC cable and DAC cable.

High performance and scalability: With a four-core CPU, 8GB of DRAM and 16Mb of dynamic buffer allocation, the switch is suitable for massively scalable data centers and big data applications.

Comprehensive programmability: It enables data center managers to run today’s applications while also preparing them for demanding and changing application needs such as big data, cloud and virtualization.

Applications of Cisco Nexus 3232C Switch

This part will introduce two 100G to 100G cabling solutions for Cisco Nexus 3232C switch to you.

Direct Connection for 100G to 100G

As the following figure shows, two 100G QSFP28 transceivers are plugged into QSFP28 ports on Cisco Nexus 3232C switch set on two sides. The two 100G QSFP28 transceivers are designed with 12-fiber MTP connector interface. Therefore, they can be directly connected by 12-fiber MTP trunk cable. This is the simplest way to achieve 100G to 100G connectivity.

direct connection for 100G to 100G
Interconnection for 100G to 100G

We can also deploy fiber enclosure to get higher density and make the cabling procedure more flexible. Since 1RU rack mount fiber enclosure is able to hold up to 4 MTP fiber adapter panels or 4 HD 12 core MTP MPO fiber optic plug-n-play cassettes, here we take MTP fiber adapter panel for example. From the figure below we can see that, the two 100G QSFP28 transceivers are plugged into QSFP28 ports on Cisco Nexus 3232C switch on two sides. The the 100G QSFP28 transceiver is connected to the MTP adaptor on MTP fiber adapter panel by 12-fiber MTP trunk cable. Then the two MTP fiber adapter panels installed inside two fiber enclosures respectively are connected by 12-fiber MTP trunk cable.

interconnection for 100G to 100G

As a compact 1RU form factor switch for top-of-rack (ToR) data center deployments, Cisco Nexus 3232C switch allows a smooth transition from 40 to 100G Ethernet infrastructure in data centers. It is a high quality 100G switch. I hope after reading this article, you can have a better understanding of Cisco Nexus 3232C switch.