MikroTik CSS610-8G-2S+IN Management
The MikroTik CSS610-8G-2S+IN switch has fewer management options than on the company’s higher-end units. Unlike the CRS series, this is a CSS switch which means we get SwitchOS or SwOS only and not RouterOS. RouterOS has a lot more functionality, but for a basic switch, SwOS is acceptable.
Using SwOS we get a basic web interface for management which works reasonably well. This is a fairly easy GUI to use and with only ten ports total, this works well enough. Again, we are comparing this to lower-end sub $100 switches, not high-end and more expensive switches.
One will notice that SwOS lacks a huge number of features, but for a L2 switch, this is acceptable. A challenge we had was that the initial release firmware was more like an early beta firmware. Using RC6 we felt this hit a threshold of usable, but we urge MikroTik to make an effort to have features like VLAN functionality working in initial release firmware. That is why we are caveating this as a slightly better than an unmanaged switch replacement, not as a much higher-end device.
Something that we did want to point out quickly here is that SwOS does not require registration. We have seen solutions for the SMB space from Netgear, EnGenius, and others require web portal registration to use this level of management features. We like the MikroTik version better since it is local and simpler. If you want to manage a larger number of devices using WinBox or something like that you will likely want a higher-end MikroTik switch.
MikroTik CSS610-8G-2S+IN Performance
We typically use these for fairly simple networking either with flat networks or using some VLANs but without routing. Since our typical network usage is small file transfers when we are doing things like loading ISOs via IPMI or running management tasks. If you need highly specialized networking or the lowest latency switch, you probably are not looking at a low-cost switch like this. For its intended use, it is fine. Here are the official switching results from MikroTik:
Performance is acceptable for a switch that is designed to provide very basic connectivity between endpoints. Again, we need to keep in mind the segment we are in here.
Next, we are going to look at power consumption and noise before getting to our closing thoughts.
Power Consumption and Noise
When we plugged the MikroTik CSS610-8G-2S+IN in, it was completely silent. This is what we expected given that there is no fan in the unit. At the same time, there is no fan, because the unit is low-power and able to be passively cooled.
When we hooked this switch up to 120V power and our TrueRMS power meters, we saw very respectable power consumption:
- Idle Power: 5W
- Max Observed Power: 9W
- Max Power from Spec Sheet without attachments: 5W
- Max Power with attachments from Spec Sheet: 11W
We know in many situations, every watt counts. Still, these are very low power units.
Next, we are going to discuss our final thoughts.