Today we have the review of a switch affectionately called the HPE Aruba Instant On 1960 24G 2XGT 2SFP+, or the shorter model number, the JL806A. As the name suggests, this is part of the new Instant On 1960 series of products. We previously reviewed the 48-port version in our HPE Aruba Instant On 1960 48G 2XGT 2SFP+ Switch Review JL808A article. Now, we are (finally) getting to the 24-port version.
HPE Aruba Instant On 1960 24G 2XGT 2SFP+ Switch Hardware Overview
With many of our recent reviews, we have been splitting the review into external and internal hardware overviews. We are going to continue that tradition here before moving into management.
We have a video version of this review as well. The video also includes the 48-port version of this switch:
As always, we suggest opening this in its own YouTube tab, browser, or app for the best viewing experience.
With that, let us get to the hardware.
HPE Aruba Instant On 1960 24G 2XGT 2SFP+ Switch External Hardware Overview
The switch itself is a 1U design with rounded corners instead of the boxy right angles we are accustomed to seeing. Since space is not at a premium inside this chassis, this is a nice aesthetic touch.
The main feature of this switch is its 1GbE port count. This has a total of 24x 1GbE ports. As a note, this is the JL806A model. There is also an Aruba JL807A that is the PoE version of this switch.
There is a part of us that acknowledges that the 1GbE market is huge. Still, for a late 2021/ early 2022 switch platform, it would have been nice to see a 2.5GbE offering. We have been seeing many more 2.5GbE corporate desktop PCs, firewalls, and WiFi APs recently so the ecosystem is transitioning, albeit slowly.
In terms of ports, there are four 10GbE ports. Two are 10Gbase-T ports. The other two are SFP+ ports. While it is nice to have dedicated 10Gbase-T ports, having four SFP+ these days with the prevalence of SFP+ to 10Gbase-T adapters would have been a more flexible solution in some circumstances. Then again, people search for switches by port type so having a 10Gbase-T port can make sense from a marketing standpoint.
On the rear of the switch, we basically have just the power input. The PSU is internal and not redundant as we will see in the internal overview section.
One of the more fascinating features of the 24-port model is this large vent. As we will see in the internal overview, this is a passively cooled switch. As a result, this vent is used to extract heat from the hotter part of the switch. There is one downside. This switch is not intended to be mounted directly under a desk/ table like many of the other 1960 switches because that would cover this vent.
Aruba has a small service tag. This is the only place where the model number is easily identifiable on the front of the system. We wish that Aruba added some identifiers to the faceplate. There is plenty of room.
One item that must be noted is small but important. If you look at the Instant On 1960 24-port and 48-port switches you will immediately notice something. The LEDs, 10GbE ports, and twenty-four of the 1GbE ports are all aligned. Likewise, the power inputs on the rear are lined up as well. For those that obsess over cable management, this consistency is a virtue. It also makes the line feel like a higher-quality line since we have seen other vendors just use the lowest cost placement that ends up not aligned within switch lines.
With that, let us get inside the switch to see how it works.