Aggregation Switches >6 SFP+ <= 16SFP+?

tcpip

New Member
Feb 22, 2021
4
1
3
EU > GER
tcpip.wtf
Hey,

anybody have some tipps for me for affordable Aggregation switches?
min req:
- 6 to 16 Pots SFP+ 10G
- some Copper Ports on it would be great
- Managed (Need basic options, VLAN, STP, lldp would be nice)
- Affordable


Normally I used to work with Aruba 2530 / 2540 / 2930 / 5406.. but unfortunately they do not have any affordable >=6 SFP+ Options.
Recently I have a lot of sites where I need to have a 10G backplane in the building and some 2540 on the edge.

I looked into some alternatives I found:
- Unifi 16XG, damn cheap but only makes sense if you run a Unifi controller
- Mikrotik CRS309-1G-8S, cheap currently my fav. but wish there could be something better. SwOS only have web UI and RouterOS is a bit bloated for just a Aggregation switch. As said curently my fav. have running one of it in the lab but hope for some alternatives?!

Thanks for any input
 

tubs-ffm

Member
Sep 1, 2013
78
21
8
Have a look here.
Maybe a used Brocade ICX6610 is something for you.


NOTE #1: do not PM me with switch questions unless they are license requests, they will be ignored. Post them in this public thread, where hundreds of other members can also answer, and the answer will be public for future users

NOTE #2: some of these models require license unlocks. PM or email me to request one (they are free).

Starting a master thread for a few of my favorite affordable switches - I've been using and reverse engineering this switch line for years and figured it's time to share the goodies. The prices below fluctuate a lot with demand and with the best offer feature can usually be beaten. Switches are listed in order of raw capacity/capability, not price.

Choice Beef Cuts:

Brocade FCX - ~$30 on ebay
  • original beef
  • 24/48 1gbE copper (PoE available)
  • I recommend these as a very cheap platform to learn networking with (as they support everything, including BGP), or a lab box. For switches to use in your permanent home network, you might want to look below at the newer models
  • Full layer 3, IPV4 + IPV6 routing, L2/L3/L4 ACL's, VRRP, OSPF, SNMP, sflow, VRFs, tunnels, BGP
  • No 10gbE by default. See Here for notes on adding 10gbE cards
  • The non-PoE models are a little quieter than a dell R710 or ICX6610
  • The PoE models are the loudest switch I've ever used - not recommended for home
  • Fans cannot be modified
  • ~40w power draw
  • 2x redundant hot-swap PSU's
  • Aggregate capacity: 152gbps / 114Mpps (wirespeed regardless of features enabled)
  • Again, these are best for a lab environment on a budget where you don't care about a bunch of 10gbE or noise, but want advanced networking features such as BGP and VRFs

  • Datasheet
Brocade ICX7150-C12P - ~$280 on ebay





Brocade ICX6450 - ~$120 on ebay
  • the beef snack
  • 24/48 1gbE copper (PoE available)
  • 4x 10gbE SFP+
  • Full layer 3, IPV4 + IPV6 routing, L2/L3/L4 ACL's, VRRP, OSPF, SNMP, sflow, all the usual
  • 25w power draw for the 24-port models with or without PoE
  • 50w power draw for the 48-port models with or without PoE
  • 1 small fan, nearly silent (48 port and PoE models have 2 or 3 fans, but they can be removed if you're not using near full PoE load)
  • single built in PSU
  • fans can be modified/replaced to run even quieter/near silent
  • Aggregate capacity: 176gbps / 132Mpps (wirespeed regardless of features enabled)

  • Datasheet
  • FAQ
  • Architecture Brief
Brocade ICX7250 - ~$300 on ebay

  • medium beef
  • 24/48 1gbE copper (PoE available)
  • 8x 10gbE SFP+
  • Full layer 3, IPV4 + IPV6 routing, L2/L3/L4 ACL's, VRRP, OSPF, SNMP, sflow, all the usual, but also adding VRFs and tunnels (but no BGP)
  • 50w power draw
  • nearly silent (same sound level as the ICX6450)
  • single built in PSU
  • fans can be modified/replaced to run even quieter/near silent
  • Aggregate capacity: 256gbps / 190Mpps (wirespeed regardless of features enabled)

  • Datasheet
  • STH post with detailed information




Brocade ICX6610 - ~$200 on ebay
  • the BEEF KING
  • 24/48 1gbE copper (PoE available)
  • 16x 10gbE (8x SFP+ in the front, 8x via 2 QSFP+ breakout ports on the rear)
  • 2x 40gbE (separate from the previously mentioned breakout ports)
  • Supports OpenFlow in hardware for SDN, including hybrid port mode
  • SupportS MACSEC on the SFP+ ports for 80gbps of real time L2 AES-128 encryption
  • Same OS features as ICX6450 but adds advanced protocols like BGP, VRFs, tunnels, everything
  • 80w power draw for the 24 port models with or without PoE
  • 110w power draw for the 48 port models with or without PoE
  • audible - about the same as an R710, little quieter than LB6M
  • 2x redundant hot-swap PSU's
  • Fans cannot be modified
  • Aggregate capacity: 528gbps / 396Mpps (wirespeed regardless of features enabled)

  • Datasheet
  • FAQ
  • Architecture Brief
  • (note: when the above PDF's say the QSFP ports can only be used for stacking, they're lying)
Brocade ICX6650 - ~$600 on ebay

  • beef overload
  • 64x 10gbE (56x SFP+ on front, 8x via 2x QSFP breakout on the rear)
  • 4x 40gbE via rear QSFP (separate from QSFP breakout ports)
  • Supports OpenFlow in hardware for SDN, including hybrid port mode
  • Same OS features as ICX6610 - everything including advanced protocols like BGP, VRFs, tunnels, etc
  • 120w power draw
  • audible - louder than the ICX6610, not screaming but would not want it next to you
  • 2x redundant hot-swap PSU's
  • Fans cannot be modified
  • Aggregate capacity: 1600gbps / 1190Mpps (wirespeed regardless of features enabled)
  • does NOT support stacking
  • DOES support MCT / MC-LAG (cross-chassis LACP)
  • These start to lose out cost wise compared to some Arista models with the same port count, such as the 7050T-64 which are a very good value - it's up to you if you prefer Arista's EOS or Brocade's FastIron OS

  • Datasheet
  • STH post with detailed information
Firmware + Docs:
NOTE: If you buy one of these switches, use the update guide at the following link. It will get you initially set up with a fresh slate, the latest firmware, & the latest documentation. Please do not post configuration questions, errors, etc unless you've followed this first to get set up and on the latest software:
---- Update + Config Guide ----



Software:
These all run Brocade's FastIron OS. If you've done the LB6M flash, it's the same as that (but a much newer version). If you've ever used cisco gear, the CLI is about 90% identical. It's still under active development for all of these switches (most recent firmware release for them was 2 weeks ago).

The firmware/docs are freely available from Ruckus's site (who acquired these from brocade), you just need to make a free account. I also mirror an easy to grab ZIP of the latest FW and docu on my update guide linked above.

Since it's been asked before, yes - all of these are proper ASIC L3 routers that do everything in hardware at line rate, with no oversubscription. Nothing is punted to the management CPU.

These are enterprise/datacenter switches, so the main focus is the CLI interface. However they do have a web UI - granted it's very minimal. You can see screenshots here: Imgur

Optics:
Brocade switches will take any make of optics, the brand does not matter. I've been using quite a few of the $7 dollar 10gbase-SR avago/jdsu/etc modules off of ebay with no issues for a few years. However since "official" Brocade SFP+ modules have come down in price to around $8, I would recommend those as they unlock optical monitoring, so you can see link strength, module temp, etc. They will take any manner of DAC's as well. Same goes for the 40gbE QSFP+ ports on the rear of the 6610 - optics or DACs, your choice.

NOTE: All Brocade switches are compatible with the Mikrotik S+RJ10 SFP+ 10gbase-T copper module, if you want to cheaply turn some of the sfp+ ports into rj45 10gbE copper ports: Mikrotik 6-Speed Rj-45 Module Up To 10Gbps Speeds

Other:
I've tried to keep these a secret hoping to not wreck the used market for them, but there seems to be enough on ebay now it shouldn't matter. Many STH members have already been using them and discussing them in PM's, and I figured all the info and stuff we've shared privately would be of much more use out in the open. I have reverse engineered quite a bit of all these switches and found some things that are nowhere else on the internet - I will post the discoveries I think won't get me in trouble here as I find time


 

Tom5051

Active Member
Jan 18, 2017
278
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43
You don't need to run the unifi controller all the time, only when you want to make changes to the config or to update firmware. Just install it on a server or a pc. The Ubiquiti US-16-XG switch is very nice.
 

Scott Laird

Active Member
Aug 30, 2014
274
109
43
There's also the dirt-cheap UniFi Switch Aggregation, with 8x SFP+ ports for $269, with no fan and a 30W max power draw.
 

tcpip

New Member
Feb 22, 2021
4
1
3
EU > GER
tcpip.wtf
Thanks for the Ideas. The Unifi XG I already used on several sites but I really do not like the fact I need a controller for setup and config changes.
I prefer CLI via SSH this way I can very easy remote manage everything, like a VLAN need to be added.

But as said the Aruba / Cisco Options are about 10 times the price of the Unifi XG :(


The Brocade ICX6610 looks promising. 8x SFP+ and 24T is a combination most times fine. How is it on the Brocade with the SFP+ Ports? On most of my dealer website they are listed as "optional upgradeable to 10G" so they are software / license limited or are there different model types?

Thanks All!
 

tubs-ffm

Member
Sep 1, 2013
78
21
8
Found all info in the awesome brocade thread, will try to find find a used one to have a look. In EU they are not so common on eBay.
ICX 7250 would be a second option. The 7xxx series is the successor of the 6xxx series.

I brought my 7250 on eBay from USA, using ebay's Global Shipping Program (GSP). For the seller it a local shipment to ebay GSP logistic center. eBay is taking care about the international shipping and customs. You will see the final price to pay when you buy. For sure, overall shipping fee and tax is higher. But a bigger choice and I got mine much cheaper as possible outside USA.