FS N8560-32C 32x 100GbE Power Consumption
Power consumption on this unit is very reasonable. We saw an idle of around 155W. Our peak was closer to 300W. FS says the unit fully loaded with high-power optics can hit up to 450W.
The two 550W PSUs seem adequate to provide redundant power and we tested running on both, on either PSU, and then simulating a power failure on the PSUs using a switched PDU and the unit continued to operate.
Again, we would like to see FS use 80Plus rated PSUs for those IT organizations that need this information for their sustainability planning.
FS N8560-32C 32x 100GbE Pluggable Value Proposition
While the switch itself costs $9,399 at list, the real savings for this switch over many of its competitors come from the optics and pluggables. We recently looked at FS QSFP28-100G-SR4 v. QSFP28-100G-IR4 modules and their differences.
FS also has a number of DACs such as the 100GbE QSFP28 DAC and the QSFP28 to 4x SFP28 (100GbE to 4x 25GbE) DACs available, along with cables.
On switches like these, often 30-100% of the switch price on FS switches can be optics. With larger brands, the optics and pluggables can cost several times as much. That is one of the key value propositions of the N8560-32C.
Overall the switch worked well for us in our testing. At $9,399 it is a bit less expensive than switches from companies like Dell, and can be quite a bit less than switches from traditional networking vendors on the 32x 100GbE switch front. Those savings usually increase when optics are included. The challenge is that like the rest of the industry, these are still showing quite a backlog. Currently, the company’s website says it is in stock but has a December 12 delivery date, or one almost six months out. Many Cisco and Arista switches are back-ordered well into 2023, so while six months sounds like a lot, it is less than some competitors.
One item we always urge FS to do is to clean up the reviews on its website. There are reviews on the company’s website that all say verified purchase but all just say the product is great. There are small things like blue handles on the rear fans that anyone with experience with switches would put in a review, and without those, they just look out of place. Breaking into the networking space is hard, but these kinds of vendor website reviews are not helping FS, and that is something our readers reiterate.
Overall, the FS N8560-32C was less expensive than many other options in the market, especially with optics included. It worked well for us and uses higher-quality components like the Intel Xeon D-1527 than we were expecting. Still, there are a ton of features we did not get to test fully just given how many features modern switches have. If you are thinking of deploying FS switches, especially with market supply constraints, then perhaps ordering one of these and trying it in your environment is worth a try.