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Brocade ICX switches

Western Digital Drives - The Preferred Drives of FreeNAS and TrueNAS CORE

danb35

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I imagine this will be more relevant to .us than other parts of the world where used equipment availability doesn't tend to be as good, but I'm sure it isn't unique to .us. While browsing over at servethehome.com to try to deal with a separate problem, I ran across this megathread:

The specs sounded quite attractive, particularly given the listed prices, so off to eBay I went, and before I knew it, I'd pulled the trigger on a ICX6450-48P--48 ports of GbE, with PoE+ to all of them, and 4x SFP+ ports (though only two of them do 10G without a license--see the thread above for more on those). Fully managed, layer 2 and 3, routing, yadda yadda yadda. It arrived this afternoon, and in about 15 minutes I had it fully upgraded/licensed/configured following the guide linked in the thread above. Twice the capacity of my Dell 5524P, quieter, less depth in the rack, for $150 shipped. Only downside is that (as promised in that guide) the web GUI is pretty bad--but with only a few minutes of Googling, I found enough to be able to configure it using the CLI.
 

Jailer

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Interesting. I still have no need for anything faster than 1GB in my home network but this is good information to stow away in case I change my mind some day. Thanks for sharing.
 

danb35

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In addition to greater-than-gigabit speed (which all the models discussed in that thread do support, to a greater or lesser degree), and in addition to the likely-much-better-than-consumer-gear overall quality (it ought to be; the model I just received was over $5k new), there's the fact that these are managed switches, which gives some handy features. To name just a few:
  • Segment your network using VLANs. I've used this to create an isolated network for my various "Internet of Things" devices, so they can communicate with the Internet and with each other, but not (with very limited exceptions) with my main LAN. You could do the same to, e.g., set up guest WiFi.
  • Route between those VLANs. I'm not doing this at present (it's handled on my pfSense box), but the 6450 is quite capable of handling that routing as well.
  • LAG. Much-denigrated around here, to be sure, but it has its place, and it needs a managed switch to handle it.
And PoE is quite convenient too.

Downsides? Well, they're (mainly) rack-mounted, which means they're kind of big and bulky if you aren't otherwise using rackmount gear. That also means they're trying to cram lots of stuff into 1U, which means heat, which means fan noise.

There is another downside compared to the Dells, though, and that's warranty. I've bought three Dell switches (one 5524, one 5524P, one X1052) used from eBay, and Dell registered them to me without a problem--I have 20+ years of warranty (no, that isn't a typo) remaining on all of them. Doesn't seem to work that way on Brocade.
 

monotux

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That thread is really dangerous - don't fall for it! You'll end up with several great switches for a great price!!!111one

The 7150-c12p is another great example, but with a major flaw - their PSU seems to break quite often. I bought two 7150-c12p for ~150 USD with broken PSU's (one was working when I got it but broke after a few weeks), but replaced it with another model (FSP200-P35-A54) which took about 10 minutes and it's been great since. 12 ports Gbe, PoE+, 2 SFP+ ports, LACP, L3 capabilities, fanless...it's really nice!

I also bought an 6450-24p, the only downside is that my fans were running at full speed, so planning to replace the fans with a quieter model soon, but I'm currently getting along just fine with my 7150-c12p.

I hadn't ever used a CLI based switch before this, and it's hard to go back to normal webui managed switches now.

Edit: Shameless plug - I wrote a small tutorial for the 7150-c12p, mostly for my future self, but it might help someone else? Here it is: https://www.monotux.tech/posts/2022/04/icx-7150-c12p-primer/
 

danb35

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That thread is really dangerous - don't fall for it!
Yeah, I have a feeling STH is going to be a lot like garagejournal.com--an(other) exceedingly expensive "free" website.

I bought the 6450-48P for the network closet in the home, to replace the Dell PowerConnect 5524P (and the 5524 I had stacked with it). Smaller, lighter, quieter. I think it's more capable too, but I never taxed the capabilities of the 5524 anyway. I'd also never used CLI management (though the Dells had it), but I think I could get used to it. Now if it would only accept SSH user certificates... But my fans spin down just fine--they still run, but at a much lower speed than during startup.

After deciding I liked the 6450, I ordered a 6610-48P yesterday for my server room (a good distance away from the house). That will replace a Dell X1052, two Mikrotik CRS305-1G-4S+IN, and a Unifi USW-Lite-8-POE. I'm hoping it will improve network throughput between my network closet and the 10G devices on the Mikrotik units--right now I'm barely getting 1 Gbit/sec, despite everything being connected using 10G fiber. And replacing four devices with one should make for simpler administration.

And yes, I like the look of the 7150-C12P. I just don't have an application for it right now... But the tutorial is helpful for the CLI with other units too.
 
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danb35

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The 6610-48P arrived today. Man, that thing's a screamer--though once it actually boots the firmware, the fans spin down a bit and it isn't too bad. Took about half an hour to update the firmware, reset, license, and do the basic configuration--I'm going to need to tinker some more with the VLANs, but the basic config is done.

And now I've run across this tool, which should facilitate keeping copies of the switch configuration. Still working on getting it set up, though:
 
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