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

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adman_c

Active Member
Feb 14, 2016
257
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Chicago
I hope you all don't mind a very basic question. Is there a difference performance-wise (or otherwise) between two switches stacked and a downstream switch connected to another? For example, if I have a 6450-24p as my primary switch and I put a 6450-C12 in another room, what is the difference between stacking that switch and just trunking my vlans to that switch and configuring it independently? Is it just ease of management or is it cleaner from a networking perspective to have two switches be a single stack?
 

NablaSquaredG

Layer 1 Magician
Aug 17, 2020
1,336
810
113
If you can get by without 10Gbe (and with the older 08.0.30 code train), an ICX6450-C12-PD might be the ticket
Yes, I will import 4 ICX6450-C12

However, I have one place where I currently use a ICX6450-24P which I'd like to replace with the an ICX7150-C12 to save another 15W or so...
 

kpfleming

Active Member
Dec 28, 2021
392
205
43
Pelham NY USA
I hope you all don't mind a very basic question. Is there a difference performance-wise (or otherwise) between two switches stacked and a downstream switch connected to another? For example, if I have a 6450-24p as my primary switch and I put a 6450-C12 in another room, what is the difference between stacking that switch and just trunking my vlans to that switch and configuring it independently? Is it just ease of management or is it cleaner from a networking perspective to have two switches be a single stack?
It provides a single management interface, it can provide redundant links (although there are other ways to do that too), not much else as far as I can tell.
 

jbrukardt

Member
Feb 4, 2016
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39
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89
I'm currently on a fan-modified Avaya 4548gt-pwr. 48 copper gbit (all poe), 4 sfp

Its a little long in the tooth and sucks more power than id like. I do heavily use POE, about 30 of the 48 ports are active POE.

Recommendations for which brocade to jump to as an upgrade? I could use 10gbit in about 4 places, so dont need too many 10gbit ports.
 

koifish59

Member
Sep 30, 2020
66
19
8
I'm currently on a fan-modified Avaya 4548gt-pwr. 48 copper gbit (all poe), 4 sfp

Its a little long in the tooth and sucks more power than id like. I do heavily use POE, about 30 of the 48 ports are active POE.

Recommendations for which brocade to jump to as an upgrade? I could use 10gbit in about 4 places, so dont need too many 10gbit ports.
ICX6450-48p. Same as your current one, but probably less power, so I'm not sure that's really an "upgrade"
 

Chow

New Member
Mar 15, 2022
11
0
1
How long could the password be for the ICX 7250? 40 Digit´s are no Problem for SSH, but not for Webserver? The Webserver rejected than?!

EDIT: it seem´s 30 Digits are ok for the webserver. 40 not!
 
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frogtech

Well-Known Member
Jan 4, 2016
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I have 2 7250-24P switches and ultimately here's what I ended up doing fan/noise wise.

At stock the switches aren't that bad, but -anything- I could do to make the living room experience more pleasant was worth. Ended up trying a few different fans, and ended up using 2x SuperMicro FAN-0065L4 per switch, which I got on ebay (4 for $30 shipped), these are the Delta FFB0412SHN that might have been mentioned in this thread once.

I live in SE Texas, where the summers get pretty warm, I try to keep the AC at 74 during the day and 72 when the sun starts going down, so consider that to be my "ambient" temp. 23-25c basically. At stock the switches were anywhere between 55-60c, not really that low to justify the fan's noise. As stated, I swapped a bunch of fans but found that if the fans don't move enough air your temps will steadily creep up. I would not use anything under a fan that spins at 5000 RPM (after the 12V current to the fan is ramped down to I believe 4.6~V that is also stated somewhere in this thread?).

Admittedly, these are not that much quieter, but they're close enough in spec to current fans, and run anywhere between 1-1.5k RPM slower than stock (depending on your stock fan revision), that the pitch isn't as annoying and it's honestly quite a bit more tolerable. Temps were around 56-60C idle.

The last thing I did was I purchased some 60x10mm fans as suggested in this thread and strapped them to the ASIC of each with some self tapping screws. Just whatever I had laying around that were the same size. One thing I did that was different was, I had 2 diff 60mm fans since the Sunon wasn't in stock, those being the StarTech 60mm fan that's on amazon for 6.99, and a fan that is identified as model YY6010H12S. The differences between these two are the blade design and the max RPM (4000 vs 3500). To me it doesn't seem to make a difference, I just ordered what I could get quickly so I wasn't spending that much time on this.

Ended up tying those into fan 2 header with a splitter, re-arranged fan pins blah blah. Lastly, I also ended up adding a washer to each screw (I used two screws per fan, cross-wise) which I think made an interesting difference. With the 60mm fans I wasn't really seeing anything great in terms of performance; I gained about 1-2c off my idle which could just be margin of error. After adding the washer my idles dropped to 53-54. Not really sure what the washer is doing here besides maybe preventing the fan from actually trapping turbulent air as a result of being too close? Anyway, figured that was the 'secret sauce' for me, YMMV.

edit: one thing I forgot to add is, it is my opinion that the lack of ventilation on the side closest to the ASIC contributes to temps. I considered cutting a rectangle out and fitting mesh in some fashion but didn't want to spend time doing that at this point. If you really have the time and patience you can just drill in ventilation holes.
 
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Wolfcastle

Member
Jan 3, 2022
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yeah, there's a reason it's not in my main post, it has so many little hidden limitations, and fully loaded it can't even match the bandwidth on the 6610's rear ports alone, while running the same fans and PSUs. not to mention the 10gbe modules are at insane prices these days (like, $400 each or more), so the only way to really get a usable config is to buy one that already has a module like the one you linked. I've specd them for a couple clients who had very specific needs that the 8030 codetrain on the 6610 couldn't fill in colo like mss clamping in hardware to accommodate gre tunnels, etc, but for home use meh
7450 has lower bandwidth than 6610 but the newer software, lower power, and higher power PoE ports are pretty nice in certain applications. I agree with you that you need to find one that has the modules already otherwise it isn't worth it.
 

fohdeesha

Kaini Industries
Nov 20, 2016
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7450 has lower bandwidth than 6610 but the newer software, lower power, and higher power PoE ports are pretty nice in certain applications. I agree with you that you need to find one that has the modules already otherwise it isn't worth it.
the power draw is almost identical, +/- 5-10% in my experience. the newer PoE is nice indeed
 

fohdeesha

Kaini Industries
Nov 20, 2016
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How long could the password be for the ICX 7250? 40 Digit´s are no Problem for SSH, but not for Webserver? The Webserver rejected than?!

EDIT: it seem´s 30 Digits are ok for the webserver. 40 not!
if you have the web UI enabled, 30+ digit passwords are the least of your worries
 
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Wolfcastle

Member
Jan 3, 2022
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the power draw is almost identical, +/- 5-10% in my experience. the newer PoE is nice indeed
To be fair, I haven’t actually measured either of them but with no PoE load the 7450-24 is listed at 75W while the 6610-24 is listed at 120W. Fans are probably non negligible in both cases if you don’t swap them out since they’re > 10w each at full speed and you need a minimum 3/switch.
 

fohdeesha

Kaini Industries
Nov 20, 2016
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To be fair, I haven’t actually measured either of them but with no PoE load the 7450-24 is listed at 75W while the 6610-24 is listed at 120W. Fans are probably non negligible in both cases if you don’t swap them out since they’re > 10w each at full speed and you need a minimum 3/switch.
6610-24Ps measure around 80 watts, actual measurements for these should all be in my OP
 

Freebsd1976

Active Member
Feb 23, 2018
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@fohdeesha my icx6450 suddenly lost web and ssh connect. pc connect to RJ45 port still work , but server connect to SFP+ are not (can't ping form pc , but the server's nic light still remain normal ).
after reboot the 6450 , everything seems ok, no error or warning message in logs.
do i need worry about this?
 

blinkenlights

Active Member
May 24, 2019
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7450 has lower bandwidth than 6610 but the newer software, lower power, and higher power PoE ports are pretty nice in certain applications. I agree with you that you need to find one that has the modules already otherwise it isn't worth it.
@fohdeesha and I discussed this privately a while ago. Either platform (Broadcom or Marvell) will meet the needs of most everyone with 1/10 GbE devices. If you are really bumping into performance limitations on either one, there are better options available like Arista.

When I rebuilt my home network, my main considerations were: number/type of ports and ongoing software support (bug and security fixes). Ongoing support made ICX7xxx an easy choice; don't forget that the ICX6xxx switches were designated EOL/EOS in mid-2018 and the last update of the 8030 codetrain was in 2020. For ports, either 7250 or 7450 fit the bill. I started out with an abused ICX7250 that apparently lived in a hot IDF closet in Florida, but quickly replaced it with two 7450s.. the modularity (spare parts) made more sense for when the 7450 eventually goes EOL.
 

jbrukardt

Member
Feb 4, 2016
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it seems the "beef king" 6610s are dirt cheap now, like 50 bucks on average on ebay. Other than being EOLed and a bit power hungry is there a catch im missing?
 

jbrukardt

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Feb 4, 2016
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How do you tell what models have POE+. The model #s are the same, are all models capable and it just depends on the power supply?
 
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blinkenlights

Active Member
May 24, 2019
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How do you tell what models have POE+. The model #s are the same, are all models capable and it just depends on the power supply?
You're not missing anything. If you are comfortable with the age of the switch and don't need/want any new features of the 809x or 9xxx codetrains, get yourself a nice switch. In fact, get two.. when I priced out buying individual spare parts (PSU, fan, port modules) it was just as expensive to buy a fully kitted out switch.

On the POE+ question, those models have a "P" at the end - see page 6 of the datasheet: https://www.dataswitchworks.com/datasheets/switches/brocade-icx-6610-ds.pdf
 
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jbrukardt

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Feb 4, 2016
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awesome, thanks! The 6610 is definitely a bit old codewise, but way newer than what ive got (avaya 4548gt-pwr) and the multitude of 10gbit availability will be nice
 

clcorbin

Member
Feb 15, 2014
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it seems the "beef king" 6610s are dirt cheap now, like 50 bucks on average on ebay. Other than being EOLed and a bit power hungry is there a catch im missing?
I use two of them stacked, one in the garage and one in my "hobby room" closet. The only extra downside to these switches has to be the noise. They are a bit noisy on low fan speed, but the instant they hit 75C (and that is pretty easy...), the fans will spool up to 18,000rpm+ and they sound like a jet getting ready to take off (ok, slight exaggeration). Then, 10 to 15 seconds later, they drop back down for a bit.

How bad this is all depends on where you are placing them and how sensitive to noise you are. These sort of things don't bother me TOO much, but I will say, I have purchased a nice piece of 1/8" plexiglass to make a new cover and allow me to place the 120mm fans on top of the hot spots. I'll also build a pulse generator/fan monitor out of attiny45 8 pin MCU to give me a nice fan header and to keep the switch happy. I'll probably leave the fans in the power supplies alone (I want to keep them cool and on low speed, they are not too bad) but pull the 4 fans out of the two fan trays and feed in the signal from the pulse generator to them.

Overall, I am very happy with the upgrade from my Aruba S3500 stack. The Brocade is definitely a LOT more capable and flexible hardware. Not to mention the 16 10Gb ports on each of them...