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How to Choose Best Aggregation Switch?



Do you know what role an aggregation switch plays in your network and how to choose the best one? you will get the answer from this article to enable high-performance and cost-effective network solutions.

When selecting an aggregation switch, several critical factors must be considered to ensure optimal performance. These factors may include but are not limited to speed, features, and price. However, in today's highly competitive distribution Layer layer switch market, switches differ in small features, which require careful consideration to select the most suitable switch that is used for the distribution layer in networking. To help you are familiar with these complexities, we present a comprehensive guide to choosing the best aggregation switch.

Aggregation Switch Meaning

What is an Aggregation Switch?

An aggregation switch, also known as a distribution layer switch, it performs as both layer 3 and layer 2 devices in the network architecture, enabling the connection of upper core layer switches with access switches and allowing traffic communication between each other. 


Importance of Choosing the Best Aggregation Switch


In today's rapidly evolving network communications industry, the ability to respond quickly to changing market conditions and customer needs is crucial to the success of any organization. As an integral part of the network infrastructure, selecting the best network aggregation switch is critical to ensuring smooth and efficient data flow across the network. A high-quality aggregation switch offers enterprises the capability to reduce network latency, optimize network performance, enhance user experience, and minimize the risk of network downtime or bottlenecks. 


How Does Distribution Layer Switch Work?

How does Distribution Layer Switch work?


The aggregation switch, serving as a central hub for data traffic management, collects and forwards data from multiple access switches, which are commonly used to connect network endpoints like servers, computers, and other devices. The aggregation switch implements a series of robust security protocols to authenticate and authorize data traffic before forwarding it efficiently to the core switch, enabling complex data exchange processes. Being a data processing center, aggregation switches require high-capacity processing capabilities to effectively identify valuable traffic and achieve optimal network performance. This makes it ideal for enterprise networks, campus networks, and data center networks.

Distribution Layer Switch VS Access Layer Switch

Function Grade

The distribution Layer Switch differs in function grade. Access layer switches are primarily utilized at layer 2 of the network architecture to establish connections with end devices. Aggregation layer switches can be both used in distribution layer devices, typically operating at layer 3 and are responsible for receiving traffic from the access layer and forwarding it to the core layer in the upper layer.

Port Type

Access layer switches feature high port density to accommodate a diverse range of end devices, including PCs, VoIP phones, printers, routers, and IP cameras. In the case of aggregation layer switches, it is critical to prioritize high forwarding performance to efficiently handle all traffic from the access layer. This necessitates a high switching and forwarding capacity, exemplified by the QTS7300-48X2Q4C aggregation layer switch, which delivers an impressive switching capacity of 1920 Gbps and a forwarding rate of 1440 Mpps, enabling it to meet the demands of high-speed networks.


Traffic Management 


The aggregation switch plays a crucial role in managing and controlling traffic from the access layer switch, necessitating a comprehensive range of capabilities, including traffic monitoring, filtering, isolation, and anti-attack measures. Additionally, the aggregation switch must possess load-sharing functionality for the core switch, a capability not typically present in access layer switches.

How to Choose Best Aggregation Switch

Before choosing the best switch for your network, It is very necessary to ask yourself the following questions, which can help with guidance.

How to choose the best aggregation switch?

Port  Configuration


Since the aggregation layer switch uplink port is connected to the core layer switch and the downlink port is connected to the access layer switch, the prerequisite for us to pick the best aggregation layer switch is to consider the type and number of ports. This will ensure efficient forwarding of the entire network traffic. For example, if your network requires 100G ports for uplink and 10G ports for downlink, then you need to pick a switch with both 10G downlink ports and 100G uplink ports. In terms of the number of ports, it depends on the devices you want to connect, the more ports means the more devices can be connected. A switch with a higher port density can reduce the need for additional switches, thereby simplifying the network architecture and reducing management costs


The level of redundancy in switches can vary. It is important to note that the redundancy being referred to here pertains to the power supply and fan design of the switch. Typically, switches have at least one power supply, while some have two power supplies, providing 1+1 redundancy and hot-swappable features that guarantee seamless operation and continued functionality even if one power source is disconnected. The fan contributes to efficient heat dissipation, despite producing some noise during operation. When selecting an appropriate switch, consideration should be given to the need for a fan.

Management of Distribution Layer Switch


The management of an aggregation switch involves configuration, monitoring, and troubleshooting. Network administrators employ a variety of management tools, such as SNMP, CLI, and web-based interfaces, to effectively manage the aggregation switch. Troubleshooting is a critical component of aggregation switch management and involves using various diagnostic tools, including packet capture, port mirroring, and cable testers, to identify and resolve issues. To isolate network problems, network administrators use different techniques, such as ping testing and traceroute. Successful troubleshooting requires strong analytical and logical thinking skills to identify the root cause of problems. By managing the aggregation switch properly, network administrators can minimize the impact of network issues and ensure the efficient operation of the network.

Advanced Function 

Aggregation layer switches typically accept all traffic from the access layer and forward it to the core, so to ensure a high performance and secure operation of the network, we should usually consider the following four advanced features when selecting the best aggregation layer switch.

 Qos: Aggregation switches play a crucial role in network architecture by collecting and forwarding data from multiple access switches, serving as the hub for data from multiple access switches. They are ideal for implementing quality of service (QoS) to prioritize critical traffic, such as voice and video, through classification, labeling, and scheduling techniques. At the same time, QoS can limit the bandwidth allocated to non-critical traffic, optimizing network performance and resource allocation. 

 Link aggregation(LACP): Link aggregation is an important feature of aggregation switches, following specific protocols and standards such as IEEE 802.3ad, LACP or PAgP. enables network administrators to combine multiple physical links into a single logical link, increasing available bandwidth, reducing congestion, and increasing network throughput. Link aggregation also provides redundancy, ensuring that in the event of a link failure, traffic can be automatically rerouted through the remaining links, minimizing the impact of the failure on the network.


Security protocolsThe security policy for aggregation switches contain access control, traffic filtering, and attack prevention measures. Access control employs authentication and authorization protocols, such as RADIUS and TACACS+, to analyze and manage access behavior and ensure that only authorized users and devices can connect to the network. Traffic filtering is essential in preventing unsafe traffic from entering the network by monitoring and controlling the flow of traffic. Attack prevention strengthens the network's resilience against denial-of-service (DoS) and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, with mechanisms such as rate limiting, packet inspection, and access control lists (ACLs) utilized to detect and thwart such attacks.

Aggregation Switch Cost


In the diverse switch market, switches are used in the core distribution layer access layer network architecture. Typically, core distribution and access layer switch function at Layer 3 with full L3 functionality, allowing for a more advanced approach to holding data management, and for aggregation switches, which have high forwarding characteristics not found at the access layer, while being a more cost-effective solution than core switches.


QT Network Distribution Layer Switch Guide


QT, a provider of high-performance and cost-effective products for customers, offers a range of aggregation layer switches that feature advanced functions and high forwarding rates, along with dual power supplies, and support full Layer 2 and 3 functionality, including routing, below are some of the popular models of network aggregation layer switches that have consistently received positive reviews from customers.


Model Name


Transmission capability

Function Features


48x 10G SFP+

2x 40G QSFP+

4x 100G QSFP28

Switching Capacity: 1920 Gbps

Forwarding Rate: 1440 Mpps

support full L3 functions including maximum stacking of 8 devices, IPv6, VPN

High security by supporting DHCP Server Relay/Snooping. Powerful and Rich QOS

Easy management with Console, Telnet, SSH v1/2, HTTP/HTTPS, SNMP v1/v2/v3, RMON, TFTP, FTP, SFTP feature


24x 1G SFP

8x 1G RJ45

6x 10G SFP+

Switching Capacity: 184Gbps

Forwarding Rate:138Mpps

Supports LACP, BFD, MSTP, ERPS, VRRP, ISSU for High-reliability

High Performance with IPv6 functions

support MSTP、ERPS、VRRP、ISSU for high-reliability


24x 1G RJ45

24x 1G SFP

6x 10G SFP

Switching Capacity: 216Gbps

Forwarding Rate:162 Mpps

Support maximum stacking of 8 devices

Support LACP, BFD, MSTP, ERPS, VRRP, ISSU for High-reliability

Equiped with CLI/Telnet/SSH/SSL/SNMP/WEB for easy management

Providing SP, WRR, SP+WRR and other queue scheduling methods


24x 10/100/1000BASE-TRJ45

8x 10G SFP+

Switching Capacity: 208 Gbps

Forwarding Rate:155 Mpps

Support QoS, ACL, and DHCP to ensure high security.

Providing IPv4/IPv6 dual stack

Support data center features including MLAG/VXLAN/EVPN/VARP/PFC


24x 10G SFP+

2x 100G QSFP28

Switching Capacity: 800Gbps

Forwarding Rate:600Mpps

A maximum of 8 devices can be stacked

Support IPv4/IPv6 ACL and MAC whitelisting

Support Console, Telnet, SSH v1/2, HTTP/HTTPS · SNMP v1/v2/v3, RMON · TFTP, FTP, SFTP

QT Aggregation Switch Features

MLAG: Multi-Chassis Link Aggregation (MLAG) is a networking technology that enables to connect multiple switches in your network and make them function as a single logical switch, enhance network redundancy and high availability by allowing one switch to take over the traffic forwarding tasks while master switch happens to fail.


VRRP: QT aggregation layer switches are equipped with advanced Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP) capabilities that allow a group of routers to function as a unified virtual router. A primary router is designated to forward packets sent to the virtual IP address. Other routers in the group act as backup routers. In case of a primary router failure, one of the backup routers automatically takes over as the new host router to continue forwarding packets to the virtual IP address. The adoption of VRRP greatly enhances failover capability and ensures network reliability. 

IPv6: Latest version of the Internet Protocol is available, IPv6 features a larger address space with 128-bit addresses allowing for a virtually unlimited number of unique addresses. Providing better scalability, security, and mobility support, IPv6 also supports seamless mobility, allowing devices to maintain their connectivity even when moving between networks.


Simple management: Each aggregation layer switches support CLI/Telnet/SSH/SSL/SNMP/WEB for easy management, allowing to choose the most convenient management method for network needs to ensure effective manage the networks with flexibility and convenience.




When we want to pick the best distribution Layer switch, some key factors must be considered. Firstly, You should be clear about the environment in which the device will be used. Secondly, the function features should be considered, including, QoS, link aggregation, security protocols, etc, as well as the price. Overall, in practice, we had better take comprehensive consideration to meet the requirements of our network solutions. We are glad to receive your inquiry via  sales@qsfptek.com at any time.



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