Can anyone help me pick a new switch?



  • I'm looking to upgrade my current switch (it's old, very old).
    I'm hoping to find something used, 24+ gigabit ports, and managed (preferable with CLI access (over SSH, not only serial) not just web).
    (An extra bonus if it's passively cooled).

    I'm fine with something used on Ebay.  Does such a switch exist?


  • LAYER 8 Netgate

    Of course they exist.

    You didn't give a top end on how much you want to spend.



  • Cisco SG300-24 $270 new. 24 1gb ports, 2 SFP slots, web manageable, ssh manageable, runs IOS[1], and the best part, does layer 3 routing (static routes, no routing protocols). Fanless.

    VLANs, ACLs, Radius and TACACS authentication, and a ton of other things you probably won't need.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA1EA2HJ3699

    I just bought one of these for a client, and so far have been extremely impressed with it.

    f you want to go the used route, looks like Cisco 2960G switches are going for under $200 on ebay. I have several of these, and they are great switches, but they aren't fanless. No layer 3 either.

    [1] - Cisco calls it IOS, and it behaves like IOS (tab autocompletes, ? gives possible matches), but the actual commands aren't the same as a Catalyst or Nexus switch.


  • LAYER 8 Netgate

    And if you don't need Layer 3 the SG200-24 is even cheaper. But for the extra $50 or so I'd get the router code.



  • @GomezAddams:

    Cisco SG300-24 $270 new. 24 1gb ports, 2 SFP slots, web manageable, ssh manageable, runs IOS[1], and the best part, does layer 3 routing (static routes, no routing protocols). Fanless.

    VLANs, ACLs, Radius and TACACS authentication, and a ton of other things you probably won't need.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA1EA2HJ3699

    I just bought one of these for a client, and so far have been extremely impressed with it.

    f you want to go the used route, looks like Cisco 2960G switches are going for under $200 on ebay. I have several of these, and they are great switches, but they aren't fanless. No layer 3 either.

    [1] - Cisco calls it IOS, and it behaves like IOS (tab autocompletes, ? gives possible matches), but the actual commands aren't the same as a Catalyst or Nexus switch.

    I'm having a hell of a time finding any actual places that list SG300-24
    The one you linked on Newegg is something completely different.

    This is the closest I can find with 24 gigabit ports: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004GHMU5G/
    Is that a recommended one?  If so I'd probably go for that used.

    Right now I'm on a Dell Powerconnect 2724 (and I'll be honest, it's horrible.  It takes 5+ pageloads to create and assign a vlan.)  It's fine if the commands aren't the same as a Catalyst.  The only CLI I actually have used for a switch is Extreme, so I have nothing Cisco to unlearn.

    @Derelict:

    And if you don't need Layer 3 the SG200-24 is even cheaper. But for the extra $50 or so I'd get the router code.

    I can't find a 200-24 (I found a 200-26 though) and that does mention Layer 3 capabilities?  Did they maybe add that to the 200 line?

    The only "-24" ones I'm seeing are SF and are 10/100 not gigabit.


  • LAYER 8 Netgate

    I meant -26. Sorry.

    As far as I know the Cisco small business line runs like this:

    SF200 - Fast Ethernet with gig uplinks, Layer 2, No CLI
    SF300 - Fast Ethernet with gig uplinks, Layer 3, CLI
    SG200 - All-gigabit, Layer 2, No CLI
    SG300 - All-gigabit, Layer 3, CLI

    I think that description on amazon stating the SG200-26 is Layer 3 is in error.

    Cisco.com says it's a layer 2 switch.

    http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/collateral/switches/small-business-200-series-smart-switches/data_sheet_c78-634369.html

    Cisco Small Business "300-series" switches are a good bargain with a good CLI and a good feature set.

    ETA: More differentiation between 200- and 300-series switches.



  • Please go with the SG300 series switch, because the SG200 does not have a CLI likes the SG300 series
    switches come with, and if you don´t need the Layer3 features disable it in the setting and use it as a
    Layer2 switch but then with CLI!!!

    Another one would be the D-Link DGS1510-24 that would fitting your needs.


  • LAYER 8 Netgate

    SG200 does not have a CLI likes the SG300 series switches

    I did not know that. I thought the differentiation was Layer 3. Thanks.



  • @BlueKobold:

    Please go with the SG300 series switch, because the SG200 does not have a CLI likes the SG300 series
    switches come with, and if you don´t need the Layer3 features disable it in the setting and use it as a
    Layer2 switch but then with CLI!!!

    Another one would be the D-Link DGS1510-24 that would fitting your needs.

    Oh that's a big one.  I'll look at the 300 and the D-Link.

    CLI is one of the big things I'm looking for.  So much easier for simple operations than a ton of page loads.  Thanks.

    (May need to look for older revisions of it though for price.  It's for a home network so budget is…limited.  Though no set cap.  I'm putting money towards it while I run my powerconnect 2824 to the ground).



  • The 200 series do not have a command line and they have fans (although they are pretty much silent). I bought one a while back. Fine switch, but doesn't meet your requirements.

    Hmmm, not sure what happened on that Newegg link I posted. It looks like Newegg only sells the PoE version of the SG300-28

    Anyway, here is the switch you want from Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Cisco-SG300-28-Layer-Switch-SRW2024-K9-NA/dp/B00TGOMT2S/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1457024604&sr=8-6&keywords=sg300



  • We have a metric butt load of SG300-28PP switches deployed on one of our larger projects….Clients wont cough up for Catalyst, Nexus or Meraki level pricing.  They're good switches and we've had very few issues.....though SNMP has been one of them....We have had some PoE issues with the SG300-10PP switches but its not been widespread and was fixed with firmware updates.  If you dont need to monitor port up/down, then the SG300-28PP is a great switch for the money.



  • @MontTech:

    We have a metric butt load of SG300-28PP switches deployed on one of our larger projects….Clients wont cough up for Catalyst, Nexus or Meraki level pricing.  They're good switches and we've had very few issues.....though SNMP has been one of them....We have had some PoE issues with the SG300-10PP switches but its not been widespread and was fixed with firmware updates.  If you dont need to monitor port up/down, then the SG300-28PP is a great switch for the money.

    To make sure I understand, your SNMP issues are related to port up/down monitoring?

    I'm asking because the local IT guys and engineers at some of our manufacturing locations will often go out and buy cheapo switches to expand a network drop at a "temporary" area. Since these switches are out in the open, line techs start plugging in cables willy-nilly (why? I have no idea) and end up creating loops which cause the upstream Cisco switches to shut ports down which shuts down manufacturing lines. They then get pissed off and demand that I disable loopback detection on the Ciscos (Um, no, you really don't want that).

    Anyway, I am strongly considering asking them to stock up on SG300s to use in these scenarios. I can detect them, I can manage them, and best of all, they have spanning-tree.


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    I have a TP-Link switch currently and it's doing very well. Nice https GUI, Cisco-like CLI over ssh, fanless, more features than I need. Though mine is only 16 ports (TL-SG2216), it has a 24-port big brother: http://amzn.com/B016M1QTS2 – Currently $152, also appears to do L2 + static routing for L3.

    See also: This recent thread: https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=76022.0



  • @GomezAddams:

    @MontTech:

    We have a metric butt load of SG300-28PP switches deployed on one of our larger projects….Clients wont cough up for Catalyst, Nexus or Meraki level pricing.  They're good switches and we've had very few issues.....though SNMP has been one of them....We have had some PoE issues with the SG300-10PP switches but its not been widespread and was fixed with firmware updates.  If you dont need to monitor port up/down, then the SG300-28PP is a great switch for the money.

    To make sure I understand, your SNMP issues are related to port up/down monitoring?

    I'm asking because the local IT guys and engineers at some of our manufacturing locations will often go out and buy cheapo switches to expand a network drop at a "temporary" area. Since these switches are out in the open, line techs start plugging in cables willy-nilly (why? I have no idea) and end up creating loops which cause the upstream Cisco switches to shut ports down which shuts down manufacturing lines. They then get pissed off and demand that I disable loopback detection on the Ciscos (Um, no, you really don't want that).

    Anyway, I am strongly considering asking them to stock up on SG300s to use in these scenarios. I can detect them, I can manage them, and best of all, they have spanning-tree.

    Yeah, our issue with them has been with port up/down monitoring.  Even when disabled, the switch will still send SNMP alerts….We've had a ticket open with Cisco for months now and all they'll say is it will be fixed with a future firmware update....So far that hasnt happened.  The only other issue we've seen was specific to the SG300-10PP and that was PoE related....Other than these 2 issues, they've been good switches and we continue to deploy them daily. If I had to nit-pick, I guess I could throw in the GUI being slow at times but that's no big deal....The purists will flame me but I prefer GUI to CLI  ;D



  • I use the sg200 series at many offices with pfSense and clans and have had no issues.  Just make sure to apply latest firmware!





  • Is it gigabit? It says Brocade FastIron WS FWS648. FWS648G is the gigabit model.



  • you are correct but there are plenty of them online that are gigabit. Also make sure you buy one with the power bridge so PoE is enabled. If not you will have to get the adapter, which I have seen on ebay as well. I have the switch with the slot for 10Gb.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Brocade-FastIron-Edge-GS-648P-P0E-B966694-/381402361513?hash=item58cd5a2ea9:g:ZhAAAOSw37tV9yMr

    is the one that I have and it is gigabit and PoE. I brought two of them because I couldn't believe the price and didn't want to take the chance of it failing on me. Mine has been going strong for 2 Years now.



  • Seconding foundry/brocade, they're basically indestructible. After using them at work I fell in love after falling out of love with cisco and now my home is full of the GS and FESX series, the GS's running 10gbe as well.

    the CLI is 90% cisco and the 10% that isn't is easily figured out with the manual, and they even have a (simple) web interface if that's your thing.

    The prices for the fastiron series second hand are unbelievable. Search for Fastiron 648P on ebay - 48 ports of gigabit layer 3, 4x sfp slots, and a slot for a 10gbe card - $30 bucks typical price. They come PoE hot and there's a chance some of the $30 auctions you'll get will come PoE hot, but to guarantee it comes with the PoE daughter board you'll want to bid on an auction that includes the boot screen showing it has the poe mainboard or the chassis has a PoE logo, but even then 70~ dollars shipped for 48 PoE hot ports of either l2 switching or L3 routing depending on which firmware you want to load and pretty much indestructable hardware is an incredible deal

    If anyone needs the latest firmware for these, feel free to send me a PM

    typical price for a 648p http://www.ebay.com/itm/301929368638

    datasheet of the featureset you're getting - https://www.brocade.com/content/dam/common/documents/content-types/datasheet/ds-fi-gs-series.pdf

    example auction where it's specifically marked as PoE version - http://www.ebay.com/itm/141924304384

    they also work with any brand of optic which is nice. If you don't see any Fastiron GS's available just wait a couple days, they come and go all the time



  • Those brocade ones do look nice.

    Only thing is I'm guessing they're not passively cooled, though if they're as inexpensive and reliable as that, I could afford to replace it if one burns out vs a cisco one.


  • LAYER 8 Netgate

    Those old Foundry/Brocade switches are built like tanks. IIRC they all take redundant power supplies too. My concerns would be power consumption and noise. And they're 1.5U high, which can get to be annoying.



  • @Trel:

    Those brocade ones do look nice.

    Only thing is I'm guessing they're not passively cooled, though if they're as inexpensive and reliable as that, I could afford to replace it if one burns out vs a cisco one.

    They're actively cooled like all datacenter network gear, after bootup in a typical/warm house environment they're only a little more noticeable than a desktop PC, or maybe the same volume as a gaming PC with a few extra fans. Something you'd never even hear if it was in another room. (This is for the Fastiron series like FWS, GS, FESX, etc. Their newer edge L3 switches like the FCX Series are literally jet engines at idle, and the PoE models on top of that, forget it  ;D ) If you're familiar with the quieter Dell r610 and r710 servers, they're quieter than that if that helps

    For power draw the Fastiron GS and FESX series idle at about 30W or less with typical home network traffic going through them, on the PoE models this will obviously go up with the more PoE devices you add like any other PoE switch.

    As others have said they really are built like a tank though, I have yet to have a single port or fan die on any of them, and I've had some in remote ped cabs that get hotter/colder than they should. Sorry if I'm coming off like a sales person  ;D just can't believe how undervalued they are on the used market - PM me if you need latest firmware for any if them

    (and yes like Derelict said they're 1.5u which can be fun if you have just one in a rack and are tight on space - if you have two they make a nice 3u  :P )



  • @Trel:

    Those brocade ones do look nice.

    Only thing is I'm guessing they're not passively cooled, though if they're as inexpensive and reliable as that, I could afford to replace it if one burns out vs a cisco one.

    They have fans but they are not too loud. I built a comm room in my basement so the noise is not that big of a deal but even when I open the door to the room the noise is like a low rumble, rather than a high pitched winding noise. I guess if you really wanted to tinker with them you could replace them with some ultra-quite fans.

    Ditto on everything that Fohdeesha said. These switches are so devalued in the used market it like I just want to keep buying them for projects that I may have in the future that don't necessary require a service contract.



  • @mikeisfly:

    @Trel:

    Those brocade ones do look nice.

    Only thing is I'm guessing they're not passively cooled, though if they're as inexpensive and reliable as that, I could afford to replace it if one burns out vs a cisco one.

    They have fans but they are not too loud. I built a comm room in my basement so the noise is not that big of a deal but even when I open the door to the room the noise is like a low rumble, rather than a high pitched winding noise. I guess if you really wanted to tinker with them you could replace them with some ultra-quite fans.

    Ditto on everything that Fohdeesha said. These switches are so devalued in the used market it like I just want to keep buying them for projects that I may have in the future that don't necessary require a service contract.

    I'm guessing there's no option for new, and it's all used equipment, right?



  • The Fastirons listed above have been replaced by the Fastiron FCX/SX series (maybe the ICX series as well, I'm more knowledgeable on their current carrier gear than I am edge switching), but expect $3,000 to $4,000 for base models and going up quickly from there. The stuff linked above for 30 bucks went for the same pricing when new years ago - if it makes you feel any better they're still actively updated, the firmware running on my GS was pushed out by brocade just a couple months ago


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