Power Consumption and Noise
The switch itself comes with redundant 750W PSUs that are high-efficiency 80Plus Platinum units.
Our switches in the lab running with mostly optics are running in the 350W range. Dell lists the typical power consumption at 360W which seems reasonable from what we have seen. If one loads the switch with higher-power optics Dell says it has a 635W max. One can also lower the power consumption by using DACs. There is a large variation in these switches depending on what kind of pluggable components are being installed, so hopefully, this range is helpful.
In terms of noise, this is certainly not a quiet switch. Without optics installed, it idles around 40dba. Fans ramp from there based on the traffic and optics connected. We would not recommend it even for a lightly sound isolated cabinet in an otherwise quiet office. This is a switch designed for data center racks, not necessarily edge deployments where racks may be close to quiet spaces.
This is one of those tear-downs that tells us a lot. Specifically, the S5148F-ON we recently looked at has very poor resale value on the secondary market, often even substantially less expensive than the S5048-ON previous generation. The Dell S5200F-ON series, like this S5232F-ON, have a large number of improvements that will help them hold more value over time.
Under the sheet metal, there are three main improvements that we should point out. First, this is based on the Broadcom Trident 3 switch chip which is relatively well supported in the open networking communities. Second, this uses the Intel Atom C3000 series that was not associated with the Atom C2000 AVR54 bug. Third, we see a shift to an industry-standard ASPEED BMC. Combined, these changes are more in the spirit of open networking.
One item we wish Dell would do is to be more open with what is inside its switches. For example, searching for “Broadcom”, “Trident”, “Intel”, and “Atom” on the S5232F-ON spec sheet did not get us any results. These are the primary components of switches. If Dell wants an open networking solution, it needs to start being more open on the basic hardware with its customers.
Overall, this seems to be a fairly nice package. So far it has been working well for us and may end up being part of our fiber build-out series. If it does make it to that series, you will see a lot more of this switch on STH, but we have a few other options.