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This is an incredibly good value 10GbE switch which is hard to beat at the moment. What makes this switch a no-brainer for me is that it's passively cooled and therefore it is silent in operation. It does get a little warm when under load but that's a small price to pay for silence!
Despite being branded as a 'Cloud Router Switch' the CRS309-1G-8S+IN is a Layer 2 Switch and not a Router. It can run RouterOS so it can be used for routing and other layer 3 functionality but the 800MHz 32bit ARM CPU in the device simply isn't powerful enough and you will take a significant performance hit (by significant we're talking maybe a max of 2.5 Gbps throughput).
That aside, the CRS309 is a very good layer 2 switch and essentially is able to offer full non-blocking throughput of 81 Gbps. I'm not actually able to verify that claim but I can easily max out out multiple 10GbE ports at a time with no issues at all.
The switch has 8 SFP+ ports which seem to be highly compatible with a number of transceivers. I'm using 10GTek fiber transceivers in a few ports with no issues. I'm also using Mikrotik S+RJ10 transceivers for RJ45 connections because I've found other transceivers don't negotiate 2.5 GbE or 5.0 GbE properly on this switch and the Mikrotik modules have DDM built-in to monitor the temperature etc. which is really useful.
You can run SwitchOS or RouterOS on the CRS309-1G-8S+IN. SwitchOS is a simpler interface and only exposes Layer 2 switch functionality, however it can only be managed via the web browser which isn't ideal. I'm using RouterOS because I am more familiar with that and I can use Winbox and SSH to manage it in a way that I prefer. There is a risk with RouterOS in that you can inadvertently turn on features that disable hardware offloading of the switch ports and fallback to the CPU but if you strictly use Layer 2 features this shouldn't be an issue.
The lights are bright on this switch and blue power LED is like looking at the sun! You can turn pretty much all of the LEDs off, apart from the lights on the single RJ45 on the right hand-side of the front. This port is suggested to be used for management traffic but I was happily using it as an uplink with multiple VLANs at one point. If you don't use this port then the LEDs do not light up.
A couple of users seemed to have massive trouble getting this device to work properly without it 'taking over' their network. Mine came preinstalled with RouterOS and also had a DHCP server enabled which means it probably would have interfered with my existing LAN. One thing you come to learn about MikroTik kit is that it nearly always comes with static IP Address of 192.168.88.1 configured as its default, so you need to connect to it standalone/directly and configure the device in a basic way before plugging it into your network. This alone means this device is not plug and play and requires some degree of networking knowledge to configure.
This switch uses MikroTik's newer bridge method. In the most basic sense you add all of your ports to a bridge and they should be able to switch with each other with hardware offloading enabled. If you want to add VLANs, you need to add these to the bridge too and more importantly, you'll need to turn on VLAN filtering on the bridge, which is disabled by default. The tagging of VLANs is unlike any other brand I've used before but you essentially tag and un-tag the ports (and the bridge itself) in the Bridge > VLAN section. You should try to make sure that your routing is performed by another device on your network otherwise performance will suffer badly. I've found that not adding IP Addresses to my VLANs on this switch reduces the chance of me inadvertently falling back to CPU based switching.
Overall it's a brilliant switch and offers incredible value for money. Whilst there is a steep learning curve at the start and it's definitely not plug and play, it's not really difficult to manage the switching config afterwards. I think you'll be hard pushed to find a similar feature-rich product in this price range.
Pros: - Amazing value for money - Passively cooled (silent) - Excellent Layer 2 throughput (162 Gbps switching capacity/81 Gbps non-blocking throughput) - Compatible with lots of transceivers - Manageable with multiple means i.e. SSH, Winbox, WebFig - Can also be powered via PoE on the Ethernet port - Console port
Cons: - Not plug and play and requires some networking knowledge to configure it - Layer 3 functionality has massive performance impact - No Console cable supplied
Took me all of 10 minutes to get set up to a point where I could see it on the network and passing traffic.
1) download WinBox from the Mikrotik website. 2) connect an RJ45 patch cable between the device and the Ethernet port of the PC that you downloaded the Winbox app onto. 3) populate the "Connect To:" dialogue box in the WinBox app with the E09 MAC address of the port (On the label affixed to base of the device) 4) Hit "Connect" and you are in. Set the IP address of the device and the gateway.
That's all I did to get mine on my network. You can then log into the device from the IP address you gave it and configure it to your hearts content.
"Art of Server" has uploaded some really good video's on Youtube on the device which prepped me for its arrival.
A friend of mine had recommended this to me as I wanted to update my lab at home. It's amazing value for money with 8 10Gb ports and a 1Gb copper port as well. The throughput is great, supports VLANs and layer-3 features as well.
The GUI is a little clunky, but that's a minor criticism given how capable the device is.
I purchased this for my business and I'm impressed with what it can do. In a real world scenario where I'm copying large data across my network, I was able to reach speeds around 5gbps (640MBps) however it's highly likely that my storage hardware was the bottleneck that restricted it from going faster. Even though I never fully maxed out the 10gb connection, having speeds that are 5x faster is definitely worth the upgrade.
The feel of the product feels rather cheap with very thin metal enclosure but then again, I can't complain when you look at the price.
Works as expected and can be powered by PoE leaving 8 10Gb SFP+ ports. Layer 3 performance is really bad but it's not really the inteded use. When routing between different VLANs the throughput performance is about 500Mbit/s. L2 performance is almost line speed and LAG works well. I used SwOS for L2 to reduce complexity in configuration, very simple. Default RouterOS has very many settings which are not needed in a simple setup.
Je viens de rentrer dans le monde très spécial des routeurs/switch Mikrotik avec deux routeurs CRS305 + un CRS309. La prise en main n'est pas évidente au début mais on s'y fait vite grâce à un support technique très performant et de qualité. Ces routeurs étant reliés entre eux par fibre optique avec modules fibre SFP+ 10GB. Les performances sont bien évidemment au rendez-vous et le prix est plus que correcte. Très bon matériel.