We did fairly simple line-rate testing pushing traffic through the port pairs on the system. We just wanted to validate the port speeds.
We also loaded the ports with 10GbE traffic.
Overall, this is not a surprising result. We know many of our readers will want to test L3 capabilities, but there is a lot to test with that as the applications get more complex given the available features (e.g. do we test turning as many on as we can?) so we did not have the best test case. As a L2 switch, it seems to perform well. Something to improve upon in future reviews.
Management was perhaps the biggest surprise of this switch. First off, there was a CLI as one would expect from a switch. Broadcom maintains a base OS for its switches so this will feel largely familiar to those who have used this solution.
One can also use external tools. FS has an example using Zabbix to monitor and manage the switch. What we wanted to focus on was the truly surprising feature: a WebGUI.
Setting up the switch one can use admin/ admin but is prompted for a new password. Then there is a configuration wizard that has different steps for Layer 2 and Layer 3 setups. Perhaps the one item that needs to be changed is that the default IP of the management interface was 192.168.1.1. For many, this is not an issue. On the other hand, it is usually a leading practice not to use this IP address for a switch since that is often used by many home/ SMB networking solutions as the default. If you plug the switch into a basic network just to configure that has a 192.168.1.1 gateway, chaos can ensue. Instead, you will want to directly connect to the management interface using a static IP and then configure the switch from there. Given the target market for this switch, either a DHCP address or default that is another address would be a better option to make setup easier for some customers. Again, there are many ways that this is prevented, but generally, this IP is avoided by switches in the industry because of that. It is also a simple fix for FS to implement.
The web interface was very easy to use. It was not necessarily as fast as some solutions on the market, but it was relatively responsive.
One item we noticed was that the web interface also felt more modern than some switches we have used. Assuming many admins will not have had a previous FS switch, then most using this switch will not have used this interface prior to this initial experience. It was certainly laid out reasonably well. We also like that it did not require web registration like newer Netgear ProSAFE switches to get to this level of functionality.
One item we noticed is that there seems to be more configurability in the CLI than in the web interface. That is fairly common. At the same time, it seems like FS will cover a large set of use cases in the web interface even if not all of them can be addressed.
Since this is the web format, we cannot show 100 screenshots in a review. One can see more on the web interface in our video on this switch where we have a section going through more screens. It is certainly not a perfect solution. What it does do is adequately present an easy-to-navigate solution to get started with this switch. We will often see SMBs purchase switches in this ~$50/ port class. Those are the same businesses that often do not have full-time network admins and where this web interface is vitally important. We know many STH readers will immediately go into the CLI, but this is a differentiator versus purchasing a second-hand data center switch in this price range.
Next, we are going to discuss power, noise, and our final words.