Power and Noise
In terms of power consumption, we saw around 30W at idle without pluggable modules installed on 208V power and 31W on 120V power. The power supplies are 150W units and that ~120W delta provides plenty of power for the SFP+/ SFP28/ QSFP+ modules. Still, it is likely that the overall power consumption is going to be determined more by the type and quantity of modules used rather than the base switch itself.
One other item we would like to have seen is that FS gets an efficiency rating on its power supplies. For example, if these were 80Plus Platinum or Gold PSUs, that would be a nice feature to market. We do not do power supply efficiency testing for switches, but most have some sort of efficiency rating.
On noise, we measured around 42dba at 1M in front of the port side of the switch. That is nowhere near high-end switches, but it is also not extremely quiet. This is the type of switch that we would say to put in an equipment rack but not next to your desk.
Swapping the fan modules for more standard 4-pin PWM fans and doing a little ducting work to potentially make the switch quieter could open up potential use cases for 10GbE on office floors. Current noise levels are a bit too high even though they are not loud.
Testing a switch from a new vendor is something we are always apprehensive about. FS does not have the same history in the market as some other well-known vendors. At the same time, by leveraging Broadcom’s software base, it seems as though FS was able to bring a reasonably well-featured switch to the market that even has features like a web interface.
What is truly unique is the port count. With 20x SFP+, 4x SFP28, and 4x QSFP+ ports we have a solid mix of 10/25/40GbE networking. There are few switches in the market with this port count which is a differentiator itself.
Probably the easiest way to understand the value proposition on this switch is when it comes to optics. FS has 25G 40km SFP28 modules for $819 which is very reasonable compared to many other options. Likewise, shorter range DACs and optics are relatively lower priced than solutions from Cisco and others. When using short-range DACs or optics, the price of the switch itself is around half of the total cost of the solution. Using longer-range options can make the pluggable portion cost more than the switch itself. This is well-known in the networking industry, and that may be why FS is making switches. It can provide a low-cost and compatible switch and optics solution.
Overall, we are not sure if this is a switch that is going to turn a Cisco customer into a FS customer in the large enterprise segment. For the SMB segment, FS seems to be on a good path and this certainly has a simple value proposition. We were pleasantly surprised that the FS S5860-20SQ offered more than we expected.