Today we have a review of the FS S5860-20SQ. This is one of the more interesting switches we have seen with a unique combination of ports and capabilities. To be frank, we have had quite a bit of feedback that we should review FS switches at STH over the years, but this is our first opportunity to do so. We did not know what to expect. Generally, the S5860-20SQ offered more than we were expecting. In this review, we are going to show a bit about the switch. We are also going to try getting into an appropriate level of detail for STH readers.
FS S5860-20SQ Hardware Overview
Since this is a longer piece, we are going to have our normal hardware overview, except split generally into external and internal sections. We also have an accompanying video where we could show more angles than we can in photos. You can see that video here:
As always, we suggest watching that video in its own YouTube tab/ window. Let us get into the review.
FS S5860-20SQ External Hardware
The switch itself is a 1U unit. This is interesting since the switch is not the highest port count switch so it almost feels like it could be a half-width switch except that it would be slightly too wide. As a result, we get a very different looking front from what we normally see.
To discuss the switch, we are going to start on the left side and move to the right.
On the left side, we have a USB port for manual configuration changes. We also have a console and a management port. We are going to discuss management later in this review in its own segment.
Now the part many have been waiting for. We get a total of 26 ports. FS markets the switch as a 24-port switch, but that seems like it is more to hit marketing keywords than physical features. There are a total of 20x 10GbE ports that are SFP+ ports. These are arranged in a block of 16 ports with another four to the right. To the right of those, there are four more SFP cages, but these are SFP28 25GbE ports.
That is not all though. There are additionally two more QSFP+ 40GbE ports that can be broken into 4x 10GbE links each. FS.com is known for selling lower-cost optics, and although we did not have them, the company has breakout DACs and optics to run these in 4x 10GbE mode.
On the subject of pluggables, the cost for FS modules is significantly lower than from companies such as Cisco and Juniper. When we discuss the switch price at $1399, that is only part of the cost. This switch can use 26 pluggable devices which means that even saving $50-60 per module pays for the switch. There are those who swear by Cisco modules, however, this is the trade-off that FS is leveraging with its switch line.
On the right of the front panel, we have a large air vent and the model number.
One small item is that this switch uses what appears to be an adhesive faceplate on the front panel for labels. This is not uncommon in the industry, but it does not look pleasing in some areas. In a rack, perhaps it is a non-issue, but we know some of our readers will see the different color metal and faceplate and have reactions so we just wanted to point it out.
The rear of the switch is next.
On the right side, we have a grounding point and a cable one can use to ground the switch. For a $1399 device, we were not expecting this.
The fans also were surprisng. In the higher-end switch segments, we typically see hot-swap fans. In the $1399 range, it is less common. This switch has rear serviceable fans which is a big plus. A fan can be replaced without removing the switch.
Here is the fan module. One can see a relatively large fan PCB compared to some of the higher-end switches. We are not sure if it impacts function, but it is large.
The power supplies are even FS branded. These are 150W swappable units. We are going to let our readers read the labels to see if these have relevant markings for their deployments.
Perhaps the strangest feature on the rear is the service tag. The service tag is in the rear of the chassis. For many deployments, this will be in the middle of a rack and hard to access. We wish that FS relocates this to the port side in future revisions.
Looking at the side of the chassis, we see two main features. In the middle, there is a warranty seal.
Rack ears can be mounted on either side, adding to the deployment flexibility. One of the fun aspects of the FS design is that the rack ears have four holes. There are eight screws total (four for each rack ear.) Still, there are only three mounting holes on the chassis per rack ear which means we can only install three of the four screws on each side. You can see one side below to get a better idea of this.
Next, we are going to take a look inside the switch.