FortiSwitch 124F PoE and FPoE managed switches

The new FortiSwitch 124F PoE/FPoE managed switch is a Layer 2 (Data Link) networking appliance. We are going to look at it’s performance, but first, a few words on switches generally.

A switch is a device that takes in packets (of data) from devices that are connected to its physical ports and sends them out again. However, it sends them only through the ports that lead to the devices the packets ought to reach. In other words, switches connect Ethernet IP devices and forward information between them.

On the other hand, a managed switch communicates across multiple networks while simultaneously providing built-in network security and improving the network’s bandwidth by prioritizing packet requests.

Why a managed switch?

There is no ability to configure an unmanaged network switch because it lacks a “brain.” A managed switch gives you the ability to manually configure, monitor, and manage the devices on your network.

The reason an organization would spend good money on a managed switch with all these heavy-duty features is simply this: managed switches give you greater security, more features, and flexibility. Consequently, you can configure them to custom-fit your network. With this greater control, you can better protect your network and improve the quality of service for those who access the network.

Plus, a managed switch has more software on it that allows the user to have more control over their network. For example, you can use a managed switch to control the LAN to create VLANs (Virtual Local Area Networks).

And why PoE?

Power over Ethernet delivers electrical power to PoE-enabled devices using your CATx (CAT-5, CAT-6, etc.) network cables. Since you don’t need to run electrical wiring, PoE saves money in materials and install time. It’s also flexible, especially for remote applications, since it doesn’t require a nearby electrical outlet. These and other benefits have led to a big increase in PoE’s popularity in recent years. However, the limiting factor has always been power.

The way PoE works is simple. Ethernet cable that meets CATx standards consists of four twisted pairs of cable. Simply put, PoE sends power over these pairs to PoE-enabled devices. First PoE standards use two twisted pairs to transmit data, while the remaining two pairs are for power transmission. However, the new PoE standards allow power and data to go over all four twisted pairs.

Standard PoE provides 15.4w per port. It is compatible with Gigabit Ethernet ports. On the other hand, PoE+ will provide up to 30w per port. It is backwards compatible with PoE. It can also negotiate the power output it supplies to end devices. Essentially, it has a greater power budget that ordinary PoE.

How do I manage all these functions?

A good switch should be simple to set up and manage. The FortiSwitch 124F is tightly integrated into the Fortinet Security Fabric via FortiLink, an innovative management tool. At that point, the FortiSwitch can be managed directly from the familiar, easy-to-grasp FortiGate interface.

So, these are pretty inexpensive switches that can be sent up directly to a Fortigate, functioning as if they are ports on the same fabric. So any individual port can be it’s own separate routed interface and belong to a zone. Pretty cool.

The integration between the FortiGate and FortiSwitch — the reporting and monitoring — is superb. One of the most valuable features is that you can completely isolate devices that are compromising the network.

Features and performance of the FortiSwitch 124F PoE/FPoE

In comparison to the FortiSwitch 124E, the FS-124F PoE and FPoE have 24 GE RJ45, and 4 10GE SFP+ ports. They deliver 128 Gbps of Switching Capacity, whereas the FS124E reached 56 Gbps. They push 190 (83 for the 124E) Mpps Packets per Second. Additionally, they have 1(4) ms latency, to the 124E’s 4ms. Lastly, they support 4000 VLANS. A FortiGate firewall will be able to manage anywhere from 8 to 300 FortiSwitches, depending on the model.

The 124F PoE has 12 PoE ports, and the 124F FPoE has 24.

The 124F PoEs are ideal in converged network environments; enabling voice, data and wireless traffic to be delivered through a single network. Specifically it will suit threat conscious small to mid-sized businesses and branch offices.

Networks today are essential for supporting businesses. And building a small business network is not possible without switches to tie devices together. So if you have any questions, give Corporate Armor a call at 877-449-0458 or email us at [email protected].

FortiSwitch 124F PoE and FPoE At-A-Glance

24 GE RJ45 ports, 4 10GE SFP+ ports
Integrated directly into the Fortinet Security Fabric
128 Gbps of Switching Capacity
190 Mpps Packets per Second