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Asterfusion SONiC NOS based 48x1G RJ45 PoE+ layer 3 Enterprise Switch Overview

written by Asterfuison

July 4, 2023

Previously, we’ve written a lot articles about open networking and white box switching. From now on, we will start to do a series of Asterfusion switch teardowns for a more detailed evaluation. Before the text begins, it is necessary to give a brief introduction to the Asterfusion switch family, which is divided into DC Fabric and Campus Access . The former provides TOR and SPINE application networking for data centers, and the latter offers typical networking capabilities for campus access. 

Asterfusion named its SONiC-based enterprise distribution as AsterNOS, and the system model equipped with AsterNOS was named CX series. Among them, CX200-M is a new generation Campus Access series, the speed starts from Gigabit access; that is part of the Asterfusion’s campus network solution for aggregation and access layers. But actually, the solution is based on Spine/Leaf architecture, not the traditional “access-aggregation-core”, which we’ll briefly introduce the changes it bring at the end of this article) . CX3/5/7-N is DC Fabric series, from TOR 10G access to spine 400G core rate. We will introduce these products one by one in the series of evaluations.

Asterfusion 1G-400G bare metal switch

Today we’re taking a look at a 48x1G RJ45 PoE++ switch- CX206Y-48GT-M-HWP4, according to the naming rules, this is a campus access product with 6 ×25G uplink ports (6Y) and 48 Gigabit downlink electrical ports (48GT)

Asterfusion CX206Y-48GT-M 48-Port PoE+/++ Switch. 48x1gbe

Asterfusion SONiC NOS-based layer 3 48x1gbe RJ45 PoE+@740W Switch Overview

Asterfusion CX206Y-48GT-M 48-Port PoE+/++ Switch

The switch is a standard 1U size (440mm*44mm*470mm) with 48x1Gbe (RJ45) ports with 6 x 25GE/10GE uplinks (SFP28/SFP+) on the front.

Asterfusion CX206Y-48GT-M management ports

On the far right side of the switch is the management area, which has a console port and a USB 2.0 port. There is also an RJ45 port for out of band management.

Ports 49 and 54 are the SFP28/SFP+ cages for 10/25GbE uplinks, which together can provide up to 150G of uplink bandwidth, that is sufficient to meet most of the needs of these switches in the market.

Asterfusion CX206Y-48GT-M switch

All 48 Ports support PoE+@30W, with ports 1-8 supporting PoE++@60w, with a total POE power budget of 740W , which can provide remote power supply for PD devices such as IP phones, wireless APs, cameras,enables high density deployment.

click for what is POE switch?

1+1 Hot-Swappable Power Supplies and 3 Smart Fans

The dual power supplies can be replaced without shutting down the system, and the variable-speed fans with left-to-right airflow automatically adjust fan speed to reduce power consumption.

Asterfusion SONiC NOS-based 48x1gbe base-T PoE+Switch Internal Hardware

Asterfusion CX206Y-48GT-M switch internal

First,we can see there is no separate control and management CPU inside the machine——because the switch uses a Marvell® Prestera® series chip with an integrated management and control CPU, reducing the number of internal components.

Now let’s look at the PSE board, which is mounted on top of the motherboard and has six screws holding it. A few pictures from different angles are provided below.

After removing the screws and flipping the PSE board, here is the side of the board facing down.

Now let’s come to the rear part of the machine, where there are actually two additional connectors, leaving space to increase the number of fans. This component is designed to modulate the fan speed and keep the chip cool. As we can see, there is no blockage of airflow between the chip and fans.

Overall, the Asterfusion CX206Y-48GT-M-HWP4 is a mid-to-high-end campus access switch, consisting of a control system, data center-grade switching chip, monitoring system, Hot-pluggable power supplys, and fan modules . The hardware architecture follows an open, standardized design concept and can provide high-density PoE access capability.

Next, let us get to the software side.

SONiC Enterprise Distribution- Support VXLAN, MCLAG, BGP-EVPN In campus network

CX206Y-48GT-M-HWP4 is a Muti-Feature SONiC based switch, equipped with Enterprise SONiC Distribution- AsterNOS.

Asterfusion SONiC NOS

Compared to community SONiC NOS:

  • AsterNOS provides turnkey solution, has more advanced features than community version
  • Compared to community version with half-year version, AsterNOS has faster response, we doquarterly Version Release
  • A good user experience :Provides Klish CLI, REST API and unified op-style across multiple ASIC vendors
  • 100+ Software Developers: Strong R&D team with flexible and comprehensive service support abilities

Leaf Spine-based cloud network aritecture, different from traditional layer2/3 network

Finally, let’s briefly answer the question posed at the beginning of the article.CX206Y-48GT-M-HWP4 switch is part of Asterfusion CX-M series, and these switches are being used to build an enterprise campus network with a Spine/leaf architecture — when the legacy topology is discarded,what will happen to our enterprise and SMBs networking?The core point is that we get a full Layer-3 IP fabric that simplifies the legacy network architecture,and it offers better scalability and simplifies network operations and maintenance.

Asterfusion campus switch full Layer-3 IP fabric

In tranditional campus network, many complicated features are deployed to avoid the risks such as ethernet loop and broadcast storm. Asterfusion cloud cluster adopts all layer-3 networks to naturally avoid the above risks. Compared with the layer-2 network running STP, it can take full use of the network resource. Moreover, you don’t even need to deploy those complex stacking architectures. For more:;

Overall, this is a cost-effective campus access switch, suitable for large and medium-sized offices and campuses. The hardware provides 48 Gigabit downlink electrical ports and 6 × 25G uplink ports with 740W POE power supply and 1+1 hot-swappable PSUs and 2+1 smart fans.
In terms of software, it supports VXLAN, MCLAG, BGP-EVPN, and other advanced functions.

Today’s analysis about CX206Y-48GT-M-HWP4 is over here. In the next articel, we will do switch teardown analysis of Asterfusion 32×400G switch(CX732Q-N) , Please stay tuned!

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