The QNAP QSW-M5216-1T is a 16-port Desktop 25GbE Switch

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QNAP QSW M5216 1T Front Launch Cover
QNAP QSW M5216 1T Front Launch Cover

In case you think the title is a typo, given how shocking it may seem, it is not. The QNAP QSW-M5216-1T has sixteen ports of 25GbE in a desktop switch design. If that sounds crazy, then perhaps it is. This is the kind of switch many of our readers have been asking for.

QNAP QSW-M5216-1T 16-port 25GbE Switch

QNAP has a marketing slide deck for this switch in a video that would make one smile. It is 40+ slides where many are explaining why 25GbE is good. We are going to skip that for the STH readership since we have reviewed many 25GbE solutions thus far. here is the front of the switch with features called out.

QNAP QSW M5216 1T Front Slide
QNAP QSW M5216 1T Front Slide

What is less obvious from the product page is the rear. There is a management port, a serial port, and a single power supply.

QNAP QSW M5216 1T Rear Slide
QNAP QSW M5216 1T Rear Slide

Inside, we can see that there is a large heatsink. Also from the photos of the switch and that heatsink photo, our guess is that the airflow is via a side exhaust on this switch.

QNAP QSW M5216 1T Internal Slide
QNAP QSW M5216 1T Internal Slide

Here is the spec of this switch. While there are sixteen 25GbE ports, the other port is a 10Gbase-T port that can do multi-gigabit, so you could have 2.5GbE as well.

QNAP QSW M5216 1T Spec Slide
QNAP QSW M5216 1T Spec Slide

We also found the QSS Management page for VLAN configuration buried in the documentation. This switch looks like it has a web GUI management as well. QNAP calls this a Layer 2 switch so there are some simple options here.

QNAP QSW M5216 1T WebGUI VLAN
QNAP QSW M5216 1T WebGUI VLAN

This is certainly unique and something different than what we normally see.

Final Words

This seems to be a switch announcement where we have more questions than answers. What switch chip is QNAP using? QNAP says it is cheap, but we cannot find one listed for sale on Amazon or another large retailer. How would it compare to a used enterprise switch since a 48-port 25GbE with 4-6 100G ports are loud, but they’re also $3000.

Unfortunately, QNAP never has us test its switches, but we get lots of requests for them. Maybe we can get this one for a review.

13 COMMENTS

  1. Would love a “hot rod” switch with a fan and the heatsink sticking out the chassis. Another question for people planning to put it in a rack tho

  2. Meanwhile, if you know what you are doing, you can find a Mellanox SX6025 36-port unmanaged 56Gb/s InfiniBand, you get ~45 GbE, for about $150~$200 on eBay.

    “New” 10 or 25 GbE hardware is nice if you are a corporation, school, university with an IT budget. For individual, SOHO, start-up and organizations short on IT money, data center used hardware on eBay is the way to go.

  3. MESA NEEDS THIS..
    Reasons.. This is gonna be a stealth quiet switch. And with 10/25GB connectivity, for under $1400.. The ability to have 50GB per NAS, Server. 5GBS r\w is INSANE… I am enjoying 25GB, using Point-2-Point. BUT a switch, with that many ports, will change ALOT of environments.

  4. Same here — using DACs between machines and dedicated hardware, would love to fix that, not interested in screamer hardware. Was planning on a unifi switch pro agg, but this seems like a reasonable alternative. The 3(ish) compatible transceivers on the list don’t exactly cover all the bases….

  5. I’ve always considered “desktop” switches to have the ports coming out the back, not the front. This would not work well on a desktop.

  6. QNAP’s spec page for this has side shots that clearly show screws for rack ears, and the spec itself says it’s a rackmount form factor. OTOH, it seems to have feet as well, so it’s a bit of a hybrid. Clearly not a replacement for the dearly departed Leaf, and without qsfp28 or layer3 switching it isn’t even a half-leaf, but it may soon have the benefit of being a reasonably-priced option. I suppose I’ll have to research QSS.

  7. @Mark

    Probably as an uplink for traffic which doesn’t need 25GbE access. DNS, DHCP, web, etc. NAS and workstations/servers on 25GbE ports, and the rest of the network on multi-gig switches.

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