New to managed switches

I need to buy an additional POE switch for my toys. It looks like I can save room in my rack using a 1U enterprise grade switch instead of buying another dumb switch.

I’ve not used a managed switch before. There seem to be some great deals out there. Can y’all tell me of any gotchas I need to consider? And if these are loud? My rack is in the utility room next to the dining room, and there is not a door. I don’t mind learning a little bit, but I am unable to become a certified professional to make it work. I’m comfortable using a CLI, but prefer web based.

Juniper EX2200-48P
Cisco WS-C3750E-48PD-SF
Cisco WS-C2960-24PC-L
Cisco WS-C3506x-24P-L
Cisco WS-C3750X-48P-L

1 Like

I’d recommend an icx 6450 with either 48 or 24 ports as it’s relatively quiet, has 4x10Gbe ports and can be had for around $150.

Config is done via cli, which is cisco-esque

1 Like

Thank you for the feedback. It’s about $150 on eBay.

Would you say the Cisco switches are louder and quieter? Looks like I can get one for on eBay for half the price.

I assume you’ve used the Brocade? The one on eBay says 780 watts. Do you know how much of that is available to POE? I’m hooking up 120-150 watts if everything pulls full power.

I think the POE available power is about 750 watts. I haven’t measured it myself, but check out the servethehome thread on it, lots of benchmarks there.

It’s been about a year since I’ve done a ton of research in the space to pick my switch, but when I was looking the only 10Gbit capable switches (I only needed 2 to 4 ports, so not like a full switch but a 1Gbit switch won’t do it) the cheaper cisco switches sounded like airplanes.

There are some older ones that are cheaper and quieter, but you lose 10Gbit which mattered for me.

Look into the homelab subreddit, create a post there and ask, they have people running switches in their living rooms and stuff so they talk about Wife Acceptance Factor (WAF) sound measurements etc.

WAF is the best feedback I’ve received in weeks. Thanks for that…

Answer really depends on what you are running through the switch, and whether you need layer 3, or whether spanning tree will suffice for you. Speeds over 1Gbe are generally not useful in consumer environments, and add a lot of expense for gains you are unlikely to notice.

Regardless, it’s tough to beat a used cisco switch, they hold up well, and there’s a mountain of examples and discussions about them on the net. Bear in mind, it makes a difference which software they are running, as to the features they support.

There are also a number of good switches aimed more towards the consumer market, that would work perfectly well, unless you are trying to do something beyond a simple single broadcast domain network.

For POE, check the version the switch you are interested supports.

Old Cisco Switches especially in 1U form factors are loud if you are looking for silent operation you probably should head back to the consumer space as most enterprise networking gear has high speed fans

Being in possession of some 1Gb Catalysts, this is a concern I expect to have to mitigate whenever I get around to deployment; mercifully I have a closet attached to my home office where they can live, provided I make arrangements to exchange air.

The best option to find some Fan Less designs but likely will be more expensive.

If you want to lower cost and uptime is not that much of a concern get a 2950/60 and remove the fans and say a prayer :pray: every night. If your concerned could likely run a small fan on the outside or modify it for slower/quieter fans. But ultimately the 1U’s are loud so go at least 2U.

@malcolmputer I pulled the trigger on the 48 port Brocade. Wish me luck…

Have a look through this thread,

Let me know if you have any questions.

Sometimes, fanless solutions are sort of marginal on their cooling. I have a fanless protectli firewall, ubiquity 8 port 150W PoE switch, and a couple of netgear 8 port SNMP monitorable switches. The ubiquity at minimum isn’t rated for anything to be stacked on it. I’ve added 1\4 inch tall rubber feet under all the switches, and have a personal desk fan blowing across all the gear. That fan is far quieter than most gear with built in fans, and seems to be cooling quite well.

@kbraby Thanks. I wanted a 24 or 48 so I could the eliminate existing 24 port in the rack and the 8 port POE switch. A little noise is okay. The fans on the Brocade are replaceable. If the noise is still too much I can try replacing them one at a time with small noctura fans.

I think changing the fans will cause more problems than it solves. It’ll be loud as shit when it turns on. After a minute or so it’ll go to a thermal throttling mode. It shouldn’t be too bad as long as you’re not regularly sitting in the same room with it.

Whilst they cost a little more, I like using Unifi switches since they’re actually quiet out of the box and don’t require much overhead for serious home users.

I don’t use them in my DCs but they’re popular with home labs.

Second the unifi. I just installed a 48 port USW along with a full unifi system last week. They are silent.

The most important thing I would tell you is to read up on and understand your POE flavors. -af -at -passive; 24V 48V 57V. All of that is used (and I’ve only looked within the ubiquiti family. I’m sure others have other formats). It’s a real PITA to drop change on a big POE switch only to find it still needs a converter to your device.

I have a gap under the door to the closet in my computer room so I didn’t have to install any vents in the door. I put a high flow bathroom exhaust fan in there to take the heat out and it works very well.

The only problem… you think switches are noisy? I have 2 Cisco UCS servers in there. Holy shit they sound like jet engines at times.

I’ve got my USB - RJ45 serial able hooked up, but I do not get any data showing in Putty when I boot the switch. I’m in the console port on the switch, and the Putty settings are correct.

I don’t think the cable is bad. Windows loaded the drivers for it, and device manager recognizes when it is plugged in and unplugged.

Is there a way for me to test the console port?

Check and make sure the pinout on the cable matches the manual for the switch. I think it uses a “cisco” pinout, but check to make sure it matches your cable.

Well, it maybe backwards…

  • The Brocade manual shows TX on pin 3 and RX on pin 6.
  • Cisco diagram on google has TX on pin 6 and RX on pin 3.

I guess I’ll have to punch an adapter cable…