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Brocade ICX Series (cheap & powerful 10gbE/40gbE switching)

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BecauseScience

New Member
Feb 3, 2016
19
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What's the stacking compatibility between different ICX models?

Different port counts? ICX6450-48P + ICX6450-24P
POE and non-POE? ICX6450-48 + ICX6450-48P
All 6xxx models? ICX6450-24 + ICX6610-48P
Anything goes? ICX7150-C12P + ICX6450-48P + ICX6610-48P
 

PGlover

Active Member
Nov 8, 2014
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fohdeesha,

icx6610 replacing a stack unit

I need your help. ICX6610 Unit 1 in my stack configuration failed on me today. The Standby unit (Unit 2) kicked in and is working great. I have another ICX6610 switch that I would like to introduce into the stack to get the stack configuration below. The unit I am introducing already has running configuration on it already. I want to make sure that the Standby unit (Unit 2) which is currently running, is the configuration that gets pushed to the new ICX6610 that I introduce into the stack.

Can you please provide instructions on how to introduce another ICX66110 into the stack to achieve the stack configuration below.

stack unit 1

stack-port 1/2/1 1/2/6

stack unit 2

stack-port 2/2/1 2/2/6


Here is the current stack configuration. Stack unit 1 is the ICX6610 that died on me.

SSH@ICX6610-48P Router#show run
Current configuration:
!
ver 08.0.30sT7f3
!
stack unit 1
module 1 icx6610-48p-poe-port-management-module
module 2 icx6610-qsfp-10-port-160g-module
module 3 icx6610-8-port-10g-dual-mode-module
priority 128
stack-port 1/2/1 1/2/6
stack unit 2
module 1 icx6610-48p-poe-port-management-module
module 2 icx6610-qsfp-10-port-160g-module
module 3 icx6610-8-port-10g-dual-mode-module
stack-port 2/2/1 2/2/6
stack enable
stack mac cc4e.24b7.e184
 
Last edited:

UKEE

New Member
Jan 2, 2020
10
9
3
Lexington, KY
Quick fan question (sorry if already posted). I'm thinking about mounting the ICX7250-24 on a wall with the intake vent facing up (to get the ports facing the way that I would like) and the exhaust fan at the lower back side. However, in the current configuration, the air would be pulled from the intake vent at the top to the fan at the bottom of the switch. Could the fan direction be changed (physically or via software) to allow the cooler air to enter near the bottom and ventilate out the top? Thoughts? I noticed when setting up that there was a 'fan direction' listed but not sure what that's for.
 

UKEE

New Member
Jan 2, 2020
10
9
3
Lexington, KY
Thanks again to @fohdeesha for the great guide. Just flashed and setup an ICX7250-24 to go with the ICX6450-24 previously setup.

Also like to thank @arglebargle for the cable guide to convert the ICX6450-24 console cable to the mini USB cable used by the ICX7250-24 using a keystone jack to mini USB cable end and plugging the console cable RJ45 into that adapter cable.
 

tommybackeast

Active Member
Jun 10, 2018
286
105
43
I have a most basic question; my apologies.

Assume the 7250-48p was set up per fohdeesha 's excellent how-to guide. Including setting up a password for root.

The front of the 7250 has a RJ45 out-of-band management port; and I can now putty in on the LAN; as well as access the WebGUI on LAN.

In what situations would a laptop + cat6 cable plugged into the front 7250 Management port be the viable choice.

Simply for those times in an enterprise setting where it is just easy to walk over with laptop with CAT6 in hand?
 
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klui

Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2019
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The front of the 7250 has a RJ45 out-of-band management port; and I can now putty in on the LAN; as well as access the WebGUI on LAN.

In what situations would a laptop + cat6 cable plugged into the front 7250 Management port be the viable choice.

Simply for those times in an enterprise setting where it is just easy to walk over with laptop with CAT6 in hand?
In a typical data center, the management port would be connected to an out-of-band network that's separate from the data networks. This management network would either be in a different VLAN or a separate physical network.

Another use case is if the device can't get network connectivity so someone would bring a "crash cart" and connect to the serial port. Some centers might deploy serial console servers connected to racked components' serial interfaces and those console servers would also be in an OOB network.
 

infoMatt

Active Member
Apr 16, 2019
222
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What socket and CPU would you consider to be the bottom of the line for a modern dual socket server?
It depends on what you might get available at a reasonable price... I'd say something along the line of the Haswell family for Intel server CPU (or, if you prefer, the Xeon E3/E5/E7 v3).
But I'm far from expert in this field :(
 
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infoMatt

Active Member
Apr 16, 2019
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Does anyone have any experience with 6450-24P with just one or two PoE devices connected? Would it still be silent?
The 6450 keeps the same 30%-ish PWM on the fans until inside it reaches 64°C... or just about always as those things consume very little power. As you would call this fan level "silent"... well, it's up to you and your specific item... some will come with louder fans than other. Mine is everyting but silent, even at the low speed.
 
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frameshift18

Member
Jan 9, 2019
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Does the power draw differ between the 24 and 48 port models of the 7250? Like the 6610 and 6450 do. Which 7250 model is the 50w draw listed for in this thread? Thanks
 
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tommybackeast

Active Member
Jun 10, 2018
286
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In a typical data center, the management port would be connected to an out-of-band network that's separate from the data networks. This management network would either be in a different VLAN or a separate physical network.

Another use case is if the device can't get network connectivity so someone would bring a "crash cart" and connect to the serial port. Some centers might deploy serial console servers connected to racked components' serial interfaces and those console servers would also be in an OOB network.
Thanks
 

fohdeesha

Kaini Industries
Nov 20, 2016
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Looking for some help deciding between two switches:
Brocade BR-VDX6740T: https://www.dataswitchworks.com/datasheets/switches/brocade-vdx-6740-switches-ds.pdf
Brocade ICX7750-48C: https://www.dataswitchworks.com/datasheets/brocade-icx-7750-ds.pdf

I currently have 8x servers:
6x: 2x 10GbE-T, 2x 1GbE-T
2x: 2x 10GbE-T, 2X 1GbE-T, 2x 40GbE

  • Both switches have more than enough ports for current and future growth.
  • The BR switch has 4 QSFP+ vs the 6 QSFP+ ports on the ICX. I am unsure if the QSFP+ ports on the BR are uplink only.
  • The biggest unknown is power usage. The ICX quotes 511W-typical to 586W-maximum. The BR quotes 460W-maximum but also states low power consumption, consuming less than 5 watts per 10 GbE port. That would put the switch at 240W + 4x QSFP+ power: where is the 220W being consumed when at maximum draw?
  • The difference in price, BR=$500 and ICX=$895

My current goals are setting up a VSAN and KVM lab. Down the road adding in NSX.

The least of my concerns is price. My main concern is to not bottleneck myself with features I may want down the road but my naivety does not see. 100W+/- is not a deal breaker.
I'm biased on this and I know some here have had very different experiences, but I'm really not a fan of the VDX series. The team that was responsible for them at brocade seems like they had the totally opposite outlook versus the fastiron/ICX team. Nearly everything including the ports are locked down with licenses (which I nor anyone else I know can get), the CLI is weird and does not vaguely follow cisco conventions like the ICX line, etc. They're now also owned by Extreme, so you're not gonna be able to get firmware for them. Finding someone with an Extreme support contract won't even be enough, Extreme's downloads are so locked down you'll need to find someone with that exact VDX model under contract to get access to it's firmware. They're also missing some misc l3 stuff like tunnels (VDX will do L3, but the target market was big L2 fabric, so expect some misc L3 stuff to be missing or wonky). Last time I used them they were also vendor locked on optics (again, total opposite design philosophy versus the ICX line), but this could have changed in recent firmware after they got acquired by Extreme.

The ICX7750 is a workhorse, I have a pair in NYC terminating 5 or 6 BGP sessions and serving an average of 30gbps upstream transit, never had a hiccup with them. We see about 200w power draw under this load, but this is from a metered PDU so probably not the most accurate figure. The ICX7750 also does indeed support PFC if you ever want to run FCoE etc in the future
 
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fohdeesha

Kaini Industries
Nov 20, 2016
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Would it be a bad idea to run a 6450 or 6610 in a uninsulated residential attic? What about a 7150-C12P? I have no idea what the temperatures are up there. Typical weather here runs -10F to 95F at the extremes. The majority of the year is much milder.

I have an attic exhaust fan so I doubt it goes much above ambient even on sunny summer days. I'm hoping the attic won't see the full outdoor temperature swing due to heating and cooling from the living space leaking up there too.

My motivation is laziness. It would be a lot easier to run a few pairs of fiber from the basement to a switch in the attic and do all of my cat6 drops from there. I don't have a good spot to get a bunch of cat6 from the basement to the attic and the attic is the only practical place to bring drops down into individual rooms.
95f might be pushing it, even with an exhaust fan I'm pretty confident your attic will be well above that, but that said you could give it a try, especially if days like that are rare. if it gets too hot it'll shut itself down, I would just keep an eye on the temps
 
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fohdeesha

Kaini Industries
Nov 20, 2016
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What's the stacking compatibility between different ICX models?

Different port counts? ICX6450-48P + ICX6450-24P
POE and non-POE? ICX6450-48 + ICX6450-48P
All 6xxx models? ICX6450-24 + ICX6610-48P
Anything goes? ICX7150-C12P + ICX6450-48P + ICX6610-48P
They have to be the same model, but port count and PoE/non-Poe doesn't matter. EG all ICX6610 models can stack, all ICX7150's can stack

The *only* exception to this is the "mixed stacking" feature with the ICX6610, which allows it to stack with ICX6450's. It's a bit of a misnomer though, as the ICX6450's in this arrangement basically just act like L2 port extenders, all the L3 is offloaded to the ICX6610 (so in this mixed stack, if you lose the ICX6610, stuff connected to the ICX6450 will no longer be able to do L3)
 
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fohdeesha

Kaini Industries
Nov 20, 2016
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fohdeesha,

icx6610 replacing a stack unit

I need your help. ICX6610 Unit 1 in my stack configuration failed on me today. The Standby unit (Unit 2) kicked in and is working great. I have another ICX6610 switch that I would like to introduce into the stack to get the stack configuration below. The unit I am introducing already has running configuration on it already. I want to make sure that the Standby unit (Unit 2) which is currently running, is the configuration that gets pushed to the new ICX6610 that I introduce into the stack.

Can you please provide instructions on how to introduce another ICX66110 into the stack to achieve the stack configuration below.

stack unit 1

stack-port 1/2/1 1/2/6

stack unit 2

stack-port 2/2/1 2/2/6


Here is the current stack configuration. Stack unit 1 is the ICX6610 that died on me.

SSH@ICX6610-48P Router#show run
Current configuration:
!
ver 08.0.30sT7f3
!
stack unit 1
module 1 icx6610-48p-poe-port-management-module
module 2 icx6610-qsfp-10-port-160g-module
module 3 icx6610-8-port-10g-dual-mode-module
priority 128
stack-port 1/2/1 1/2/6
stack unit 2
module 1 icx6610-48p-poe-port-management-module
module 2 icx6610-qsfp-10-port-160g-module
module 3 icx6610-8-port-10g-dual-mode-module
stack-port 2/2/1 2/2/6
stack enable
stack mac cc4e.24b7.e184
you need to factory reset the switch you're introducing so it's clean, then follow brocade's docs Replacing traditional stack units

just connect it via 1 stack port to start off with until it's fully configured and running, then you can alter the stack-port config to match what you want and plug the other one in
 

fohdeesha

Kaini Industries
Nov 20, 2016
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fohdeesha.com
Quick fan question (sorry if already posted). I'm thinking about mounting the ICX7250-24 on a wall with the intake vent facing up (to get the ports facing the way that I would like) and the exhaust fan at the lower back side. However, in the current configuration, the air would be pulled from the intake vent at the top to the fan at the bottom of the switch. Could the fan direction be changed (physically or via software) to allow the cooler air to enter near the bottom and ventilate out the top? Thoughts? I noticed when setting up that there was a 'fan direction' listed but not sure what that's for.
you can open it up and physically reverse the fans, but I would expect less airflow this way than just leaving it stock upside down (in my experience intake fans need to run much faster to achieve the same airflow as exhaust fans in these switch layouts), I would test each way
 
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Jacob M

New Member
Feb 16, 2020
2
2
3
Austin
A quick question and please correct me if I am mistaken.
ICX6610 has 4 QSFP+ ports 2 breakouts and 2 uplink/stack
ICX6650 has 6 QSFP+ ports 2 breakouts and 4 uplink/stack

My questions are can all QSFP+ ports be used to connect to a host with a 40gbe nic? If not which ports and how many on each model can.
 
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