FS N8560-48BC 48x 25GbE 8x 100GbE Switch Review

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FS N8560 48BC Front Angle
FS N8560 48BC Front Angle

Today we have a 25GbE option from FS.com. The FS N8560-48BC is an interesting switch combining some elements that we have seen before with other elements that are new. The switch itself is a 48-port 25GbE switch but there are also 8x 100GbE ports making for a surprising amount of connectivity. Let us get to the hardware.

FS.com N8560-48BC 48x 25GbE and 8x 100GbE Switch Hardware Overview

As we typically do with our hardware reviews, we are going to split our hardware section into internal and external overviews.

FS N8560-48BC Switch External Hardware Overview

The N8560-48BC is a 1U switch that is 387mm or 15.2″ deep so it will fit into most racks needing this density of switch.

FS N8560 48BC Front
FS N8560 48BC Front

The main feature of the switch is the 48x SFP28 ports for 25GbE. These ports also will operate at 10Gbps speeds.

FS N8560 48BC SFP28 25GbE Ports
FS N8560 48BC SFP28 25GbE Ports

There are so many switch ports on the front of the 1U that the status and ID LEDs are on the edge below the switch. That small area even has the FS logo and the N8560-48BC model number.

FS N8560 48BC SFP28 25GbE And Model Number
FS N8560 48BC SFP28 25GbE And Model Number

On the right side of the switch, there are eight QSFP28 100GbE ports. These ports are meant for uplinks and can also run at 40GbE speeds.

FS N8560 48BC QSFP28 100GbE Ports
FS N8560 48BC QSFP28 100GbE Ports

The rear of the switch is dedicated to that airflow, made up of fans and power supplies. There is, however, one additional feature not present on all switches.

FS N8560 48BC Rear
FS N8560 48BC Rear

That feature is the management area. This small block has the out-of-band management port, the serial console port, and a USB port for upgrades. On some switches, this is found on the front of the switch, and we generally prefer it there, but there is no room on this switch.

FS N8560 48BC Management And Serial
FS N8560 48BC Management And Serial

The fan modules are dual-fan modules on a hot-swap carrier sled. Something we would have liked to see is that the handles adopt industry-standard coloring of red for the direction of the airflow, like the PSUs. There are a total of four of these redundant fan modules in the switch. At least one can read the text on the fan modules and see they end in -FB or front to back.

FS N8560 48BC Fan Module
FS N8560 48BC Fan Module

The power supplies exhaust to the rear and thus have red tabs on them (red for hot.) These are 550W units. It would have been nice to see some efficiency rating like “80Plus Platinum” or some indication of efficiency on the PSUs. For many organizations, this is becoming required as part of sustainability efforts with companies specifically looking for all gear to be rated with 80Plus Gold, Platinum, Titanium, or so forth as a minimum spec for IT equipment.

FS N8560 48BC 550W PSU
FS N8560 48BC 550W PSU

Overall, this is a nice layout for a 48-port 25GbE switch and compared to previous generations, it has eight 100GbE uplinks instead of just four or six.

Next, we are going to open the switch and get to the internal hardware overview.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Niece Review!

    I use a pair of these in a stacked configuration in the Data center. While these are good switches for the price, there are some caveats to be considered.
    The SFP28 Ports seem to be QSFP28 internally therefore you can not change the Port speed per port only per group of four ports. E.g. 1-4 can be 10G and 5-8 can be 25G but ne can not mix and match e.g. Port 1 10G and Port 2 25G.
    The error messages were not helpful so it was a lot of testing to find out.
    Another thing is that switch ports can not negotiate slower than 10G so there is no way in connecting older 1G/SFP switches via fiber, DAC or copper Module.
    The user Manual is quite extensive which is quite helpful.

  2. Considering the price, this is actually not that bad. I wont compare this to Brocade enterprise solutions, or Cisco deployments, but for what you get, it isn’t bad at all if used at scale.

    Assuming you had a resourceful IT/Networking department, I could see these running quite well in a large business or office environment, or even support the backbone of a major firm.

    Good review :.)

  3. Can you make sure the last page actually applies to this switch, you obviously copied some of the text from the N8560-32C review and used it in this review (headers on 3rd page). It appears the text applies to this switch but it isn’t completely clear. I would also like to see a review of the similar model N8550-48B8C that has support for SONiC as well.

  4. The modular build inside with the fan control board is nice.
    However, FS should have extended that one to include the power supplies and their connectors. Right now the power supplies plugs directly into the ‘main’ board with the Broadcom & MIPS, that is most expensive to replace. Well done review, thank you.

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