About two weeks ago I started experiencing some strange network issues: Nagios kept reporting devices dropping off the network and reconnecting, the TiVo Minis would lose their connection to the Bolt, etc. I eventually traced it to one of my TRENDnet TPE-TG44g switches (specifically the one in the closet that most of the home network traffic travels through on its way to the router) constantly rebooting. It was out of warranty so I had to buy a new switch to replace it. Since I already two Unifi wireless access points on the network (and I run the Unifi Controller software to manage them), I decided to spend a little extra and get the Ubiquity Unifi Switch 8 POE-150W.
The US-8-150W is a fanless eight port (plus two SFP ports) switch that supports gigabit and PoE/PoE+/24V passive PoE. There’s no power brick (yay!) just a single cord. I also bought two gigabit transceivers for the SFP ports giving me a total of 10 gigabit connections (I used those two SFP ports for the uplinks to the router and another switch on the network since they don’t require PoE).
Like the other Unifi equipment, it’s managed centrally by the Controller. Once I had the switch connected to the network, it appeared in the controller, I adopted it, and then could start the configuration process. You can configure each port independently in the controller software. The big draw for me was the 24V passive PoE support. This allowed me to get rid of the PoE injectors that come with the Unifi APs … two less bricks, two less power cords! Since it’s a managed switch, it also supports VLAN tagging so I was able to set up my Guest and IoT VLANs on the necessary ports to keep that traffic separate. You can power-cycle PoE devices via a “restart” link on each port. Another cool “side effect” of having this switch in the network path is that now all of my network devices appear in the Unifi Controller (before it was just the wireless devices). I now have a central location to see everything connected to the network.
The unit is also fanless (and thus, silent), so it runs HOT. It comes with mounting brackets so you can wall- or desk-mount it, but Ubiquity warns not to stack anything on top of it. As I was setting it up, I found the all-metal case can easily get hot enough to burn you (or at least keep your coffee warm). In my closet, the unit runs at ~77C internally (~170F) and has a surface temperature of ~109F. So handle with care! One minor note: all of the images of the US-8-150W made me think it was white, like the Unifi APs, but it’s actually silver.
Now I just need to replace the old 100mbps Unifi AP (now considered a “legacy” device) with a newer gigabit model!