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

aidenpryde

New Member
Apr 30, 2020
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Sorry, one last question: If I purchase one of these from Ebay, and the seller says that it is fully licensed; if it is, and if I reset the switch to factory or otherwise upgrade the firmware, does the license remain unlocked so that all the 10Gbe ports are active?
 

fohdeesha

Kaini Industries
Nov 20, 2016
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the factory reset command in my guide shouldn't delete licenses, but a few users reported that it did. If it does, just PM me and I can send you new licenses. on that note I wouldn't pay the extra cost of getting a switch pre licensed in the first place, just PM me
 
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dwright1542

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Dec 26, 2015
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Can you run both an I and an E power supply at the same time? I'd like to switch from I to E, not sure if the switch will allow that for 30 seconds while I swap them. @fohdeesha Do you know?
 

infoMatt

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Apr 16, 2019
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Can you run both an I and an E power supply at the same time? I'd like to switch from I to E, not sure if the switch will allow that for 30 seconds while I swap them. @fohdeesha Do you know?
I don't think that it allows this configuration... do you have strict uptime requirements? Otherwise, maybe it's wiser to just power it down and back up with the other supply...
 
May 1, 2020
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I'm rather new to SFP+ and this grade of switch but I'm thinking of grabbing one of the ICX6450 for the fun of testing and playing with 10G over Cat6a. Also having PoE would let me toss (in a backup bin) the injectors that came with my Unifi APs and clean up my cabinet a little.

Are switches, particularly these ones, very strict on matching brands of SFP+ adapters? The cheapest 10Gbase-T adapters I found are in this ebay listing for $35. They look to be from this site and this particular listing, which has them as Cisco compatible adapters and they have a separate listing for Brocade adapters.

I skimmed the thread (I hope that I can be forgiven for not reading all 177 pages/3525 comments :p) and saw that you should be able to use any fiber adapter but you'd likely lose signal strength and temperature readings. Does the same hold true for RJ45 adapters? I could see temperature being important to be able to see if I end up doing any of the fan mods that are mentioned, but I'm not sure how much signal strength would let me debug my cable runs unless it gives more detail like interference or some other metric that would let me know if I botched my wiring/punchdowns.

Also I haven't seen a mention of FS on the main STH page (the 10Gbase-T guide notably doesn't mention them), so I'm also curious what the community consensus is on them.
 

blinkenlights

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May 24, 2019
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Are switches, particularly these ones, very strict on matching brands of SFP+ adapters? The cheapest 10Gbase-T adapters I found are in this ebay listing for $35. They look to be from this site and this particular listing, which has them as Cisco compatible adapters and they have a separate listing for Brocade adapters.
In my experience, Brocade is one of the most forgiving in terms of transceiver brand. I used two Ubiquiti 10GbE transceivers in my ICX7250-48 (soon to be listed) and they worked perfectly fine. As I recall, you can also buy transceivers with the appropriate coding from FS (FS - Data Center, Enterprise, Telecom) if you want temperature and other optics monitoring.

EDIT: As far as the reputation of FS, I have not heard of anything wrong with their gear. I suppose you can buy a bad batch... as an enterprise, you buy tons of equipment, so the failure rates invisible to SMB/SoHo customers are readily apparent. To the extent you trust Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/networking/comments/4pmxk8
 
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Wolfstar

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Nov 28, 2015
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Yeah, they work fine. There's even a command in the latest OS for the 7xxx switches (don't think it's backported to the 6xxx) that turns on the optic monitor data for unsupported transceivers if you want it to. I'm currently using a cheap off-brand adapter in my 6450 and it's working fine over Cat6.
 
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sth

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Oct 29, 2015
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There's even a command in the latest OS for the 7xxx switches (don't think it's backported to the 6xxx) that turns on the optic monitor data for unsupported transceivers if you want it to.
Can you share the details please?

@BenjaminCalibration Might be worth verifying the the cable length capabilities of SFP+ to cat5/6 as I recall its limited to around 30-35 meter which may not be enough if you have a larger property.
 

fohdeesha

Kaini Industries
Nov 20, 2016
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Can you share the details please?

@BenjaminCalibration Might be worth verifying the the cable length capabilities of SFP+ to cat5/6 as I recall its limited to around 30-35 meter which may not be enough if you have a larger property.
I added it to the guides for the 7xxx series a while back at the bottom: ICX7250 / ICX7450 - Fohdeesha Docs

tldr:

Code:
enable
conf t
optical-monitor
optical-monitor non-ruckus-optic-enable
write mem
 
May 1, 2020
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@BenjaminCalibration Might be worth verifying the the cable length capabilities of SFP+ to cat5/6 as I recall its limited to around 30-35 meter which may not be enough if you have a larger property.
Not easy to verify the length of a cable after it's installed :p. I just did a REALLY rough measure and it should be under 100ft, maybe 75ft. That should put it in the ballpark of working. I'm not sure if I'd be able to run 10gbit (without upgrading to one of the longer range modules) to the back of my house but I should be able to do the port that I'd want to.

I added it to the guides for the 7xxx series a while back at the bottom: ICX7250 / ICX7450 - Fohdeesha Docs
Speaking of your guides. What firmware do you recommend for the ICX6450? It looks like they updated from the 8030t (in your guide) to the 8030u, but they also still only have 8030h as recommended.
 

fohdeesha

Kaini Industries
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Speaking of your guides. What firmware do you recommend for the ICX6450? It looks like they updated from the 8030t (in your guide) to the 8030u, but they also still only have 8030h as recommended.
I would at least run 8030t from the guide, if you want the absolute latest you can grab 8030u, it's just a couple really niche bugfixes. been meaning to update the guide to 8030u but real life has been busy bending me over
 
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tommybackeast

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Jun 10, 2018
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Yeah, they work fine. There's even a command in the latest OS for the 7xxx switches (don't think it's backported to the 6xxx) that turns on the optic monitor data for unsupported transceivers if you want it to. I'm currently using a cheap off-brand adapter in my 6450 and it's working fine over Cat6.
for my own 7250-48p, all but one of the 10GBe SFP+ connections are via DAC (Cisco and AMP brand). Only one Transceiver and its a Brocade brand.

Can one turn on optic monitoring for DAC cables ? (or only for transceivers)
 

Wolfstar

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Nov 28, 2015
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for my own 7250-48p, all but one of the 10GBe SFP+ connections are via DAC (Cisco and AMP brand). Only one Transceiver and its a Brocade brand.

Can one turn on optic monitoring for DAC cables ? (or only for transceivers)
Nope, DACs don't have anything to monitor - at least not passive ones. (If you've got an active DAC, I suspect your wallet knew it when you purchased it.)
 
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Wolfstar

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Not easy to verify the length of a cable after it's installed :p.
See, you SAY that... but it's not actually true. Here's what you do:

1. Hook the run up to a standard gigabit copper port on the ICX. Make sure the other end is disconnected.
2. Run the command phy cable-diagnostics tdr X/X/X (insert the port you plugged into for the Xs).
3. Run the command show cable-diagnostics tdr X/X/X after 10-15 seconds.

It's not going to be 100% accurate, but it will give you a ballpark on your distance that should be good to within a meter or two. Won't help if the run's 31 meters and the reading says 29 meters, but the cutoff isn't that sharp either. Here's what the output looks like (this port was connected to a 10/100 IPMI port, hence two pairs are terminated; look at the Open pairs to get a better feel):

Code:
Port    Speed   Local pair      Pair Length     Remote pair     Pair status
----    -----   ----------      -----------     -----------     -----------
1/1/8   1000M   Pair A              <50M        Pair B          Terminated
                Pair B              <50M        Pair A          Terminated
                Pair C          <=3    M                        Open
                Pair D          <=3    M                        Open
As you can see, if you have it connected at the far end it will work, but the distance is far less accurate. It will also show you whether or not you've got a host of issues like shorts, miswires, etc. Nifty tool, and all the ICXs have it.
 

bubsterboo

Member
Dec 15, 2019
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See, you SAY that... but it's not actually true. Here's what you do:

1. Hook the run up to a standard gigabit copper port on the ICX. Make sure the other end is disconnected.
2. Run the command phy cable-diagnostics tdr X/X/X (insert the port you plugged into for the Xs).
3. Run the command show cable-diagnostics tdr X/X/X after 10-15 seconds.

It's not going to be 100% accurate, but it will give you a ballpark on your distance that should be good to within a meter or two. Won't help if the run's 31 meters and the reading says 29 meters, but the cutoff isn't that sharp either. Here's what the output looks like (this port was connected to a 10/100 IPMI port, hence two pairs are terminated; look at the Open pairs to get a better feel):

Code:
Port    Speed   Local pair      Pair Length     Remote pair     Pair status
----    -----   ----------      -----------     -----------     -----------
1/1/8   1000M   Pair A              <50M        Pair B          Terminated
                Pair B              <50M        Pair A          Terminated
                Pair C          <=3    M                        Open
                Pair D          <=3    M                        Open
As you can see, if you have it connected at the far end it will work, but the distance is far less accurate. It will also show you whether or not you've got a host of issues like shorts, miswires, etc. Nifty tool, and all the ICXs have it.
That's a cool feature. I gave it a spin on my 6450 but it doens't seem very accurate in my case.
Code:
SSH@switch#show cable-diagnostics tdr 1/1/19

PortSpeedLocal pairPair LengthRemote pairPair status
----------------------------------------------------
1/1/19 UNKWNPair A    <=3    M             Open       
         Pair B    <=3    M             Open       
         Pair C    <=3    M             Open       
         Pair D    <=3    M             Open
This was for a run thats connected to the switch and goes across to another room. Nothing is connected as you can see. I would estimate it must be around 8-10meters.
 
May 1, 2020
37
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Based on the difference between the two of you's results, I'd guess that it does actually need to be connected to get a result. So if I get myself an ICX, I could connect it up to the run and use that command to get a ballpark on whether I can use the shorter 10G-T adapters.

I'll keep that in mind. Right now I think I need to focus my money towards another project but I'll likely be putting one of these guys as my next purchase.