QNAP QSW-1105-5T Switch

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L&LD

Part of the Furniture

dfunked

Regular Contributor
I'm considering upgrading, but feel like this is a weird middle ground and I'll just end up replacing it or end up with some kind of monstrous daisy chain...
Ideally I'd like something with a couple of 10GbE ports for NAS/main PC and the rest 2.5GbE, so guess I just need to wait and see what comes to market now that there's more of a push for 2.5GbE in the home networking space.

I guess something like the Zyxel XGS1010-12 would be a better fit for me (if it had RJ45 instead of the 2x SFP+), and is only £20 more expensive than this. If this cost like £50, then I'd probably buy one and daisy chain for now, but a 5 port unmanaged switch for £100+ is a hard pill to swallow!
 

Fraoch

Senior Member
Impatiently waiting for this! My new motherboard has 2.5 GbE (RTL8125) and I'd love 2.5 GbE in my FreeNAS server. But the FreeNAS just needs a little boost beyond gigabit, no need for 10 GbE - 2.5 GbE would be perfect. However FreeNAS can only use super-expensive 10 GbE cards in multigig mode to get 2.5 GbE, like the Intel X-550, but all I need is 2.5 GbE.

The Realtek RTL8125 cards are cheap so I made an OpenMediaVault server with surplus SSDs and installed one into it. Works perfectly direct NIC-NIC at 2.5 GbE speeds. All I need now to integrate this into the network is this switch...and there's enough ports that I can upgrade the FreeNAS server too when it accepts reasonably priced 2.5 GbE cards, either the RTL8125 cards or the Intel I225-V cards.

It would have been nice to have everything on one switch but I need 10-12 gigabit ports and 2-3 2.5 GbE ports. None of them will do both yet so I'll settle on a 16-port gigabit + this 5-port 2.5 GbE switch cascaded. Maybe once the market matures there would be a 16-port 2.5 GbE managed switch...

There doesn't seem to be much interest in this QNAP switch though, which is worrying for future products. Amazon doesn't stock it yet here in Canada and all other suppliers show it backordered. I have one that got back to me saying "special order only" which indicates to me that they don't expect much demand for it and won't be stocking it. I placed an order with them, it's showing delivery September 7th.
 

Fraoch

Senior Member
I should update everyone, I got this two days ago. I'm pleased, it works perfectly and does exactly what it says it does. I'll post a review if anyone's interested.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
@Fraoch, I would like to read about your impressions and any testing you did with this hardware. :)
 

Fraoch

Senior Member
OK!

I'm kind of surprised, I think I'm one of the first purchasers of this. Has anyone else gotten one? Very surprised in that the American dealers are all out of stock/backorder but I got this from a Canadian distributor while all other stores here currently show it on backorder too.

I got this because, like many of you, my motherboard came with 2.5GbE networking through a Realtek RTL8125 and I was wondering what I could do with it. There's not much point upgrading my FreeNAS to 10Gb, its RAIDZ2 array can barely do 150MB/s - so just barely above gigabit. 2.5Gb would be of benefit though, if it could be done at low cost. Enter this switch! Other switches on the market with multigig ports don't offer as many multigig ports or are far more expensive. And adding 2.5GbE to FreeNAS is not cheap, it has to be done with an expensive 10G NIC capable of multigig like the Intel X550.

2.5GbE NICs based on the Realtek 8125 are cheap, but they're not compatible with FreeNAS and may never be. They're supported under Linux, so I built a small OpenMediaVault server out of spare parts including my old SATA SSDs. It's all SSD storage, and the 2.5GbE card works perfectly in it. So I'll use this switch with my main PC, my OMV server and eventually my FreeNAS (maybe when it supports the Intel I225-V). I could also upgrade to a Wifi6/AX AP with a 2.5 GbE port.

The box hints that this is a no-frills switch. Looks very much like QNAP kept the price down by doing away with frivolities, which is the whole point.

PXL_20200929_133824133.jpg


The box contains the switch, a tiny 6-page folded quick start guide, mounting screws and anchors, desk mounting feet and the power supply.

PXL_20200929_134201832.jpg


And here it is out of its bag. The switch is all metal and heavy for its size. The vents are very open on either side and there's a large heatsink visible inside. I was tempted to open it up and take a look - thinking it was cobbled together from Realtek RTL 8125s - and the screws are all accessible with no warranty sticker covering them, but the fact that there's a single heatsink means it's a proper switch controller.

PXL_20200929_134253853.jpg


About the only thing that looks different than the early review units and early manufacturer photos is the snazzy "2.5 Gbps SPEED SUPPORT" sticker. I should get one for my car.

Comes with a really tiny 12V 1A power supply - it looks like one of those rounded-off square USB power supplies. I apologize for the out-of-focus photo.

PXL_20200929_142215086.jpg


On bootup, it tests its LEDs. There's a power LED, a loop detection LED, and one multicolour LED for each port. Amber is less than 2.5 Gb, green is 2.5 Gb. Each port LED will flicker to indicate activity.

One of its few extra functions is loop detection. I'm not sure why you'd have this on such a small switch but better having it than not. The red loop LED slow blinks along with the affected ports.

PXL_20200929_143212225.jpg


Continued...
 

Fraoch

Senior Member
Installed and - OH MY GOD THE DUST - sorry. The power jack on the front of the switch is very unusual but it has its advantages - the cables all come in from the front anyway and this allows the switch to be pushed right up to the back of something without crushing the thin power cable like on my EdgeRouter Lite beside it.

From left to right, 1 GbE uplink to my core gigabit switch, my workstation, and to my 2.5 GbE OpenMediaVault server, currently shut off but with its NIC at 10 Mbps standby for WOL.

PXL_20200929_144053108.NIGHT.jpg


Send a magic packet to the server, which always works well, waking it up. Amber light remains for a while, then goes out, then comes back green, 2.5 GbE.

PXL_20200929_145120876.NIGHT.jpg


Damn I need to dust back there. Anyway.

Workstation connection:

Screenshot from 2020-09-29 10-38-27.png


Server connection:

Screenshot from 2020-09-29 10-53-12.png


Performance testing. Note I have two connections to my server - the 2.5 GbE connection through this switch for file sharing and a gigabit connection for management.

Ping testing over the switch:
Code:
$ ping 192.168.1.15 -c 10
PING 192.168.1.15 (192.168.1.15) 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from 192.168.1.15: icmp_seq=1 ttl=64 time=0.293 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.15: icmp_seq=2 ttl=64 time=0.192 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.15: icmp_seq=3 ttl=64 time=0.226 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.15: icmp_seq=4 ttl=64 time=0.241 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.15: icmp_seq=5 ttl=64 time=0.194 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.15: icmp_seq=6 ttl=64 time=0.224 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.15: icmp_seq=7 ttl=64 time=0.212 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.15: icmp_seq=8 ttl=64 time=0.227 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.15: icmp_seq=9 ttl=64 time=0.216 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.15: icmp_seq=10 ttl=64 time=0.216 ms
  
--- 192.168.1.15 ping statistics ---
10 packets transmitted, 10 received, 0% packet loss, time 9222ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 0.192/0.224/0.293/0.026 ms
Versus testing over the gigabit switch:
Code:
$ ping 192.168.1.53 -c 10
PING 192.168.1.53 (192.168.1.53) 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from 192.168.1.53: icmp_seq=1 ttl=64 time=0.213 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.53: icmp_seq=2 ttl=64 time=0.217 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.53: icmp_seq=3 ttl=64 time=0.224 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.53: icmp_seq=4 ttl=64 time=0.221 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.53: icmp_seq=5 ttl=64 time=0.224 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.53: icmp_seq=6 ttl=64 time=0.217 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.53: icmp_seq=7 ttl=64 time=0.194 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.53: icmp_seq=8 ttl=64 time=0.235 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.53: icmp_seq=9 ttl=64 time=0.226 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.53: icmp_seq=10 ttl=64 time=0.219 ms
  
--- 192.168.1.53 ping statistics ---
10 packets transmitted, 10 received, 0% packet loss, time 9213ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 0.194/0.219/0.235/0.010 ms
Nothing to note here. It's not impeding anything and behaves the same as my gigabit switch. So similar that it may be a clue - more on this later.

iperf throughput tests:
Code:
$ iperf -c 192.168.1.15
------------------------------------------------------------
Client connecting to 192.168.1.15, TCP port 5001
TCP window size:  935 KByte (default)
------------------------------------------------------------
[  3] local 192.168.1.77 port 35518 connected with 192.168.1.15 port 5001
[ ID] Interval       Transfer     Bandwidth
[  3]  0.0-10.0 sec  2.74 GBytes  2.36 Gbits/sec
Versus iperf tests over my gigabit switch:
Code:
$ iperf -c 192.168.1.53
------------------------------------------------------------
Client connecting to 192.168.1.53, TCP port 5001
TCP window size:  944 KByte (default)
------------------------------------------------------------
[  3] local 192.168.1.77 port 48332 connected with 192.168.1.53 port 5001
[ ID] Interval       Transfer     Bandwidth
[  3]  0.0-10.0 sec  2.74 GBytes  2.36 Gbits/sec
Oops, that's weird, that went over the 2.5 GbE connection even though that IP is assigned to the gigabit port. More on this later, but at least I confirmed the switch is operating at wire speed. 2.36 Gbits/sec agrees with a direct connection I tried before I had this switch.

And finally, file sharing tests. I'll be using NFS because it's the fastest for my use (I run Linux and tested this - NFS tested the fastest. It's more efficient and multi-threaded). First clearing caches then "pushing" the file from the workstation to the server, twice because I screwed up the name:
Code:
# echo 3 >/proc/sys/vm/drop_caches
# pv Windows\ 10\ Educational.iso.xz > /home/Shadowfax/Backup
3.71GiB 0:00:13 [ 288MiB/s] [================================>] 100%            
# pv Windows\ 10\ Educational.iso.xz > /home/Shadowfax/test
3.71GiB 0:00:13 [ 271MiB/s] [================================>] 100%
Even faster than my previous tests, 288MiB/s = 2.42Gb/s = 302MB/s. Agrees with iperf plus a little bonus.

Now a "pull" from the server to the workstation.
Code:
# pv /home/Shadowfax/test > test
3.71GiB 0:00:34 [ 110MiB/s] [================================>] 100%            
# echo 3 >/proc/sys/vm/drop_caches
# pv /home/Shadowfax/test > test
3.71GiB 0:00:34 [ 111MiB/s] [================================>] 100%
'ere now, wot's dis? 111MiB/s = 0.931 Gb/s = 116MB/s.

Looks like that one went over gigabit despite me specifically mounting the IP address of the 2.5 GbE interface of the server. That would explain the weirdness earlier. Some sort of routing issue or something. Easily solvable, just disconnect the gigabit connection to the server.
Code:
# echo 3 >/proc/sys/vm/drop_caches
# pv /home/Shadowfax/test > test
3.71GiB 0:00:13 [ 277MiB/s] [================================>] 100%
Proper!

I should mention throughout these tests the switch didn't get hot. It's just barely above ambient directly above the heatsink. An IR thermometer shows 31.9°C maximum on the top of the switch, in a 23.4°C room. So the heatsink is more than adequate, this switch does not need fan cooling. Its very open venting and heatsink should be more than enough even with all ports active.

So that's it. This switch does exactly what it says on the box, no more, no less. It seems well built and well cooled and works perfectly both at gigabit and at 2.5 GbE for a price per 2.5 GbE port no other switch can match.

This is not a "forever" switch - much like I outgrew 4 10/100 ports off my router to 4 gigabit ports off my router to an 8-port gigabit switch, and much like I outgrew that to an 8-port managed gigabit switch, and much like I outgrew that to a 16-port managed gigabit switch, it would be better to have an 8- or 16-port managed 2.5 GbE switch. But for now it works perfectly and allows room for expansion - I can add a connection to my FreeNAS server when I can get a 2.5 GbE (or low-priced 10 GbE) card with auto-negotiation. I can also add a WiFi 6 / AX access point with a 2.5 GbE port, though I'd have to use a PoE injector.

It was worth the wait and the price I paid for it.
 

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