DAX recently introduced two managed switches with fibre connectivity for data
centers-DX-5712GS and DX-5050MG. While DX-5712GS is a layer L3 SNMP managed
Gigabit Ethernet standalone switch, DX-5050MG is an L2 managed switch. Here is a
detailed account of what all features they have and how they performed on
This is a good choice when you have a mixed Ethernet network. It's a layer 3
managed switch with four 10/100/1000 Base-T ports and 12 gigabit SFP (Small form
factor pluggable) ports. Small Form-factor luggable is a specification for
optical modular transceivers. The SFP ports are designed to be used with small
form factor connectors, and they are hot-swappable and also provide physical
compactness. SFP modules support Fibre Channel, Gigabit Ethernet (GbE), and
SONET applications and can provide data rates upto 5 Gbits/sec. Out of these 12
gigabit SFP ports, four ports are combo. For SFP ports, you require SFP modules,
which are interfaces for fiber optic connections and it also provides support
for Gigabit Ethernet applications.
The device supports up to 16K MAC address entries and supports all known L2
features like VLANs support, IGMP snooping, link aggregation, Broadcast storm
protection etc. In L3 features, it provides support for OSPF routing, IP
Multicast Routing, IP Redundancy and support for super and multi netting. It
also lets you do traffic prioritization through IP precedence and IP port
priority features. In its security options, you have port security wherein you
can configure a port with one or more device MAC addresses that are authorized
to access the network through that port. Other than that it also supports IP and
MAC ACLs, encryption for web management. It also has redundant power supply
option for power fault-tolerance which ensures a reliable system .
This is a Layer 2 managed Switch with forty eight 10/100 Mbps Fast Ethernet
ports, two Gigabit ports for stacking/uplink and two combo G(RJ45/SFP) ports for
uplink. These four Gigabit uplink ports support both Gigabit Copper as well as
Gigabit Fiber. The switch supports all standard L2 features like support for
VLANs, link aggregation, port mirroring, Spanning Tree Protocol etc. It also
supports port trunking with up to 4 trunk groups.
It supports 8 ports in each group per stack. The switch also has auto sensing
and auto negotiating capabilities which allow the switch to automatically sense
whether the network device is running at 10 Mbps or 100 Mbps, and it then
adjusts itself for optimal performance. In auto negotiating, it automatically
negotiates and runs the highest supported transmission rate, whether half or
full duplex. The switch has a comprehensive set of security features for
connectivity and access control. It includes ACL, RADIUS (Authentication),
port-level security, and identity-based network services with 802.1x, TACACS,
SSL and SSH.
Tests and results
The switches were easy to configure through their web interfaces and can also be
configured through telnet. We used NetIQ Qcheck for testing the switches. The
DX-5050MG gave an average throughput of 93Mbps and maximum throughput of 94Mbps
in an isolated network while transferring 1000 Kbytes of payload from one end to
another and response time of 1ms. Subsequently, we flooded the switch with large
amounts of traffic and the throughput went down to 71 Mbps, which is less than
the Netgear ProSafe FS728TS switch, which we tested earlier (August issue) and
had scored 73 Mbps.
To test the CoS feature of this switch, we tried a simple test. We connected
three machines with the switch. Then, we transferred a 200 MB file from two of
the machines to the third machine simultaneously. We first did it with CoS
disabled, and time taken by the two machines was 49 seconds and 51 seconds
respectively. We then enabled CoS and gave one of the ports priority over the
other. This time, the port with the lower priority took 40 seconds to transfer
the data and the port with higher priority took just 26 seconds, which was
almost half the original time.
For testing the Dax DX-5712GS, we connected it with DAX 5050MG with a fibre
optic cable for cascading and we created a gigabit isolated network with
machines connected to gigabit ports of both the swtiches. The maximum throughput
was 720 Mbps on transferring 1000 Kbytes of payload from one end to another. On
flooding the switch with traffic, the throughput came down to 532Mbps and the
avg response time was 1 Ms.
Bottom Line: Considering the features and usability of DX-5712GS in
data centers and its good performance, it's worth a buy, while DX-5050MG is
also feature-rich and gave pretty good performance, but its price is something
you would want to look into further.