Today we are going to take a look at the FS N9510-64D. This is a 64-port 400GbE switch powered by the Broadcom Tomahawk 4 switch chip. In this piece, we are going to look at networking hardware that is 4-8x faster than what many are using these days. Let us get to it, and some of the challenges we faced in the process.
Getting to 400GbE the Video
Getting this working was not as simple as one may assume. While the switch ran a fairly Cisco-like Broadcom/ FS management stack, the real challenge came with getting everything working. This was an extremely expensive piece to do, and we barely got it done before our 400GbE NICs had to go to FedEx. Still, we have a little video about it:
We always suggest opening this in its own tab, window, or browser for the best viewing experience.
FS N9510-64D 64-port 400GbE Switch External Overview
The switch itself is massive. It is a 4U unit. The bottom 2U of the switch is used for the 64x QSFP-DD ports. The top 2U is used for cooling.
We are going to quickly note here that the right rack ear was damaged on the inbound shipment to STH. DHL seemingly dropped the package on its corner out of the airplane it took to get here.
The top of the switch is a giant air vent. One can see it here with the rear fans removed. This is to cool the massive Broadcom Tomahawk 4 switch chip heatsink.
On the left side of the switch, there are status LEDs, a management port, serial console port, and a USB port.
The switch uses QSFP-DD optics and DACs. We previously looked at the FS 400Gbase-SR8 400GbE QSFP-DD optics.
These look small when plugged in, but they are actually larger than their QSFP28 predecessors.
On the rear of the switch, we have power and cooling, both of which are substantial efforts.
The fans are dual-fan modules.
They are also hot-swappable as we would expect in a $55,000 switch.
The Great Wall power supplies are 1.3kW 80Plus Platinum units. They are typical power supplies one might find in a modern high-end server.
Next, let us get inside the system and see how this switch is built.