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

Dhiru

Member
Aug 14, 2016
45
11
8
I currently have a Brocade FastIron FCX648S-HPOE switch and it's too loud for my liking. I am thinking of replacing it with a 6450-48P switch. Will it be a good upgrade or a downgrade in terms of features, power consumption, heat and noise?
 
Last edited:

fohdeesha

Kaini Industries
Nov 20, 2016
1,818
1,583
113
29
fohdeesha.com
I currently have a Brocade FastIron FCX648S-HPOE switch and it's too loud for my liking. I am thinking of replacing it with a 6450-48P switch. Will it be a good upgrade or a downgrade in terms of features, power consumption, heat and noise?
I have owned a lot of enterprise and carrier gear and the POE version of the FCX is literally the loudest piece of gear I've ever owned. the power supply fans are like banshees, they're not software controlled. an ICX (any of them) will be about 1000x quieter

If your FCX does not have the advanced license (which it probably doesn't), the feature set to the icx6450 will be identical. If your FCX is licensed for the advanced routing features, the icx6450 will be missing VRFs and BGP, but I have a feeling you're not using those
 
  • Like
Reactions: adamvh

Dhiru

Member
Aug 14, 2016
45
11
8
I have owned a lot of enterprise and carrier gear and the POE version of the FCX is literally the loudest piece of gear I've ever owned. the power supply fans are like banshees, they're not software controlled.
It's been only few weeks since I bough the FCX switch for really cheap (< $50) hoping it would power my home IP cameras. It did the job well and pretty easily, but I could literally hear it scream through the entire house. I guess the FCX switches are more suitable for datacenter usage provided how loud they are.

If your FCX does not have the advanced license (which it probably doesn't), the feature set to the icx6450 will be identical. If your FCX is licensed for the advanced routing features, the icx6450 will be missing VRFs and BGP, but I have a feeling you're not using those
I haven't got any licenses on my FCX. The only downside is that the FCX doesn't have 10GbE uplinks without installing a XFP module. It's a good thing that ICX6450 comes with 10GbE uplinks, but I can't find a ICX6450-48P as cheap as FCX648S-HPOE. The noise on the FCX makes the switch totally unusable, but on the contrary there are a lot of deals on these switches in eBay. ICX6450 is quite rare to find cheap these days. I might try a PSU fan mod someday and hopefully I can put these FCX switches to use till I wait for 6450's to drop in price.
 

PGlover

Active Member
Nov 8, 2014
465
52
28
53
I am looking to purchase a Ruckus R720 AP. It looks like the AP requires 802.3at. Will the ICX 6610 be able to power the R720?
 

Corey Clingo

New Member
May 13, 2016
5
4
3
54
I've been looking for a 24-port PoE switch as a house access switch (and to power my accretion of PoE devices without all the injectors I'm using today). I also wanted a 10GbE uplink for a time not too far into the future when I get my NAS built, and start looking at a VM host server -- at which time I wanted a multi-10GbE switch for those (I never imagined that 40GbE would be within reach!).

My home switches now are HP 1810 series, which are quiet/fanless and work well. The web GUI is OK but cumbersome if you are doing a lot of VLANs. Then at $DAYJOB a couple months back, I had to make some changes to a couple of Cisco 2960s to get some electrical substation gear to communicate. I only do IT as a hobby/means-to-an-end, but have used Unix-ish OSes for a long time, so I appreciate the efficiency of a good CLI. And Cisco's seemed quite decent. (I've also hacked some Tcl, and evidently the Ciscos still run an embedded Tcl interpreter to boot :) ). But Cisco's requirement of a support contract for firmware updates made them a non-starter for my home use.

So searching for some cast-off enterprise gear that would do 10GbE, and whose maker would allow me to download updates, I stumbled upon this thread. These switches look pretty awesome; I know my way around the L2 stuff well enough to be dangerous, but some of the capabilities these have I've never even heard of. The prices aren't quite as good as in the OP; I'm seeing at best $220+$25 shipping for the ICX6450-24P and maybe $340 for the ICX6610-48P, but that's still pretty darn good.

Anyway, I appreciate this thread @fohdeesha, and the effort you put into this, as well as that of the other contributors. I'll probably be sending you a PM soon :)
 

fohdeesha

Kaini Industries
Nov 20, 2016
1,818
1,583
113
29
fohdeesha.com
I might try a PSU fan mod someday and hopefully I can put these FCX switches to use till I wait for 6450's to drop in price.
sadly like the ICX6610, the PSU fans in the FCX are software monitored so it's not really doable. back when I only had FCX's they were actually the first switch I tried to fan-mod, I purchased the exact correct Delta model as the stock fan, just lower RPM. It would refuse to boot if the RPM didn't match what it expected (which is something absurd like 18,0000 RPM). Short of building a little arduino harness to fake an 18K PWM signal and somehow finding room for it in the cramped delta PSU's, you're out of luck
 

jzeus

New Member
Jan 22, 2017
17
1
3
sadly like the ICX6610, the PSU fans in the FCX are software monitored so it's not really doable. back when I only had FCX's they were actually the first switch I tried to fan-mod, I purchased the exact correct Delta model as the stock fan, just lower RPM. It would refuse to boot if the RPM didn't match what it expected (which is something absurd like 18,0000 RPM). Short of building a little arduino harness to fake an 18K PWM signal and somehow finding room for it in the cramped delta PSU's, you're out of luck
Any one wants to try this Fake Fan RPM Sensor — www.TechIdiots.net - www.ElectronicInsanity.com ? Is there a Rotor-Lock signal on the sense pin?
 
Last edited:
Jan 10, 2019
52
10
8
blog.azureinfra.com
Modding my 6450 a bit.
- Fan swap to completely silent Noctuas
- mounting a 2nd fan in the provided mounting point (and fan header) (2 Noctuas slightly exceed the total CFM of the original fan, while remaining completely quiet)
- cutting hole in casing
- 3D printed insert for hole to provide less restrictive flow to both fans.

View attachment 9773
The bottom-left screw hole lines up with the bottom-left screw hole in the case itself.
Just wanted to know how this project turned out.. Are the temps ok now? I tried to put the Fans in, but they stop working after a few minutes (no rotation at all)..

I dont know how you get such low temperatures.. I removed 1 fan of the three.. (and while the noise is less).. my temps are shooting up the roof.. (under 0 load)

Fan controlled temperature: 43.5 deg-C

When I tried to replace the fans with Noctua fans, they seem to start.. then during the boot process they go down to 0 and stop spinning.. (possibly due to the lower voltage?).. but with 3 original fans, my temp stays at 37C.

When using just the Noctua's (and basically dont have a fan at all... I see the temps rise to around 50C.. and then I manually shut it down.. as it makes no sense to keep the temp going up..)

Ultimately my 6450-48p needs to POE a handful of devices (UBNT AP's and CloudKey).. so not too much.. -- is that doable with just 3x Noctua NF-A4x20 FLX 's ?
 
Last edited:

fohdeesha

Kaini Industries
Nov 20, 2016
1,818
1,583
113
29
fohdeesha.com
Ultimately my 6450-48p needs to POE a handful of devices (UBNT AP's and CloudKey).. so not too much.. -- is that doable with just 3x Noctua NF-A4x20 FLX 's ?
you could probably do it with just one. Don't turn it off just because the temperature's rising, it won't let itself get too hot. It doesn't even bother spinning the fans up full speed until it gets to like 70c, 50c is nothing

you need a fan model that has a lower voltage to start the rotor, like these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007WLQAKE/?tag=servecom-20

they spin up on both fan speed 1 and fan speed 2 and are basically silent, there's a few people in here cooling 48P's with just one or two
 

fohdeesha

Kaini Industries
Nov 20, 2016
1,818
1,583
113
29
fohdeesha.com
also just checked ebay for the first time in a while, looks like prices on both have creeped up noticeably, was hoping they would finally start back down by now!
 
Jan 10, 2019
52
10
8
blog.azureinfra.com
Sorry, I guess my question wasn't very clear how do I avoid using dual mode in my config?
Thanks
You can still do dual-mode, but then add the Untagged VLAN in the dual-mode command for the port to remove it from the default-vlan-id

Code:
vlan 10 name phone
tag e 1/1/1
vlan 20 name data
tag e 1/1/1
int e 1/1/1
dual-mode 20
the result is 1/1/1 being untagged in vlan 20, sending/receiving also tagged vlan 10 packets

avoiding it all together (basically how you would expect it to work.. ) works only on the later versions of the software (8.0.80).
 
Last edited:
Jan 10, 2019
52
10
8
blog.azureinfra.com
is there a reason in the quickstart guide for :
Code:
aaa authentication enable default local
that forces me to authenticate with username/password twice on SSL connections..

why not remove that one, keep only
Code:
aaa authentication web-server default local
aaa authentication login default local
and if you want a bit more security, add the master password?
Code:
enable super-user-password <password>
 

fohdeesha

Kaini Industries
Nov 20, 2016
1,818
1,583
113
29
fohdeesha.com
because then there is no record in the logs or elsewhere as to what account logged in or what account made what changes. If you're using it at home and only have one user, go for it

avoiding dual-mode altogether doesn't have anything to do with v8080, you can do it on any version. You just tag vlan 20 on the other end device (since it's clearly capable of tagging, as one of the vlans is already tagged), so you're not pushing untagged and tagged packets over the same wire (which, outside of some VOIP/office settings is bad practice). Then you just skip dual-mode and tag both vlans as normal on your switch. That's one of the main reasons everyone suggests moving the default traffic vlan to something other than 1, because then you can make it tagged like everything else. If your device on the other end of the switch supports tagging and separating vlans, there's zero reason to arbitrarily make one of them untagged when the rest over the wire are running tagged. This point gets confused and implemented improperly enough I think I need to add it to the guide website
 
Last edited: