FS N5860-48SC Power Consumption and Noise
In terms of power consumption, we again want to mention the power supplies. We are not sure why FS uses different power supplies on this switch versus the “S” series. In looking at the company’s site, it sells these Great Wall units for $529 each. That feels like quite a bit. A similar-class Supermicro power supply with 80Plus Gold/Platinum ratings would usually be half of that or less.
The power consumption of the switch was around 122W when the switch was completely idle, but it scales with the number and type of optics as well as how much traffic is being passed. For example, the SFP-10G-T modules that convert SFP+ to RJ45 for 10Gbase-T use 2-2.3W each. That is in line or lower than with other modules we have seen. Still, we can easily see how this switch will use 200-300W or more when fully populated with modules. We also see the direct impact of the new power supplies on the idle power consumption.
Some of our readers ask if these 10G switches can be used in a SMB equipment closet or in an office rack. Just like the S5860-48SC, this switch idled above 40dba for us without modules and FS’s specs say it can hit almost 80dba. Our recommendation is that this should be used in a datacenter or alongside other noisy rackmount gear. That is the target segment for this switch, but do not expect that it is low noise so you would want it in a quiet office environment.
At the end of the process, where did we come out? The fact is this is a reasonably priced 48x SFP+ and 8x QSFP28 switch. For many, 10GbE switches are no longer being deployed as the cost of 25GbE has made upgrading very small. The switchover point happened recently, but 25GbE is the trend. That is taking longer than the 40GbE to 100GbE transition that has sharply shifted. For those not interested in deploying a 25GbE switch in Q4 2022, perhaps this is the best option out there. With switch availability being so poor in 2022 that can matter as well.
Some things clearly need easy work. Standardizing power supplies across the line, using industry-standard airflow direction markings, and even simple things like basic security of requiring a password change or randomizing the password would go a long way.
FS is using a standard Broadcom Trident 3 switch ASIC, and with this version, unlike the “S” version, we get features like PFC we want to see for 100GbE ports that may be doing RDMA networking. This is a more feature-rich switch.
Savings, of course, come not just from the switch but also from the optics. The company sells a variety of optics that are very reasonably priced. These can save four figures per switch.
Overall, changing the power supplies and moving to a more feature-rich software platform on this switch (save a web GUI) makes this perhaps a better value for many.