MikroTik CSS326-24G-2S+RM Mini Review Cheap 24x 1GbE 2x 10GbE

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Mikrotik CSS326 24G 2S RM Front
Mikrotik CSS326 24G 2S RM Front

The Mikrotik CSS326-24G-2S+RM is not what I would call a glamorous switch. It is instead a switch with a mission. For a sub $130 street price you get 2x SFP+ 10GbE ports and 24x 1GbE RJ-45 ports. The package is rack-mountable in all but the shortest depth racks. It is also completely silent. Mikrotik did not include a fan. Cheap, silent, and decently fast, what is not to like?

Mikrotik CSS326-24G-2S+RM

Normally we do a lot of product photos. This time, there is not much to show. The rear of the unit has a DC power input cable and a grounding point, that is all.

Mikrotik CSS326 24G 2S RM Rear
Mikrotik CSS326 24G 2S RM Rear

Here is the front of the unit again:

Mikrotik CSS326 24G 2S RM Front
Mikrotik CSS326 24G 2S RM Front

There are three sets of 8x 1GbE ports for a total of 24. There are 2x SFP+ ports for 10GbE connectivity. Unlike the Mikrotik CRS236-24G-2S+RM there is no “fancy” LCD. You get a 1U white box with rack mount ears, a power input, and network ports.

In terms of performance, here is what MikroTik claims:

Mikrotik CSS326 RM Switch Performance
Mikrotik CSS326 RM Switch Performance

This is not the switch you get for L3 switching performance. This is the switch that replaces $100 unmanaged numbers or your favorite IPMI interface switch.

SwOS Management

Selling at a minimal premium over 24x 1GbE switches with no 10GbE, you would normally assume that you are getting no software management. If you start with that expectation, the SwOS is going to seem completely amazing:

Mikrotik CSS326 RM SW OS VLAN
Mikrotik CSS326 RM SwOS VLAN

You get a GUI. You can configure things like port based VLANs, LAG and port isolation. You certainly do not get the rich features of RouterOS. Then again, this is about half the price of the RouterOS (CRS226) version with the LCD and RouterOS:

MikroTik CRS226-24G-2S+RM LCD and 10Gb
MikroTik CRS226-24G-2S+RM LCD and 10Gb

When your comparables have no management, and you have a management GUI, that is a clear win. You do not need to be a CCNA IT guru to configure the switch. Since MikroTik updates SwOS with new features our suggestion is to just buy one yourself to see if it has what you need.

Power Consumption and Noise

Like the rest of the unit, there is not much to it. Noise is easy since this is a fanless design, there are no moving parts. Although it is a rackmount switch, there is nothing to make noise.

Being fanless also helps with power consumption we were unable to get our switch to over 14W. MikroTik’s specs claim 19W so there may be more room.

Final Words

Why would anyone want a 24x 1GbE Switch with SFP+ uplinks? If you have a SMB with a small flat network and want to share a Xeon D or Atom C3000 series 10GbE NAS or virtualization server, this works fine. Where I am using it: for management interfaces. Using this switch I have a low power switch that provides 1GbE for management. I can have a QSFP+ 40GbE switch and use a 4-to-1 breakout cable to connect all of my lab’s management interfaces using this switch. I can run servers on 40/56GbE and only need 1GbE for management. For that purpose, it works great. No restarts in almost three months. I got mine for $125 and my modest expectations were greatly exceeded.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I’ve been using this switch for a few months now, and the only niggle about it is the ports are upside down from expected (IE, I expect port 1 to be top left, not bottom left). The other point missed in this a

  2. I’ve had one of these for a few months now (since June), based on a recommendation by another forum member actually. I’m finding it to be a perfect home solution.

    Your example use case is EXACTLY what I use it for: an Atom C2000 FreeNAS box and my workstation to the 10gb ports via cheap Mellanox ConnectX-2 cards and twinax, and the rest of my home network plugged in as required.

    It may not be the BEST solution, but the features do allow you to shut specific ports off from others, so I’ve done that with my server’s management port and the workstation’s 1gbE port for management by making them only able to route to each other.

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