Melanox vs FS

  • Hi guys,

    we're looking into building a CEPH cluster and while bonding multiple 10Gb interfaces should do it at the beginning, we should outgrow it pretty soon. Adding more storage nodes will complicate things even further.
    The next step up is 25Gb or 40Gb. We use Nexus 3172 10Gb+40Gb uplinks refurbs in prod that we get for cheap (~$4k). Cisco gets pretty expensive at full 25Gb/40Gb though.
    Both Melanox and FS have cheaper options for that, however Melanox cost 2-3x more for a similar spec switch. Is there an obvious reason for that?
    Wondering if any of you had experience with either. Quality in general, support and warranty, etc.
    Currently we have smartnets, so we get decent support and they answer pretty much any question and help with config if we're lucky to hit CCIE right away or wait until it gets escalated high enough.
    How is this different when going with Melanox/FS?
    Also, is there a big difference between Cisco IOS and Melanox Onyx, Cumulus linux, etc. configuration?

  • Have you looked at Arista by any chance? I don't have any experience with them but they have made their name on the higher speed networking technologies.

  • Mellanox is a solid networking company with many years of experience in HPC and clustering. Nvidia with Mellanox interconnects are running on half of the world top 500 supercomputers and Nvidia recently bought them, outbidding Intel and others.

    FS is a solid manufacturing company but not at all the same type of company.

    If I'm looking for switches, I'd be looking at Mellanox for sure. FS for cables though.

    I was also under the impression that most datacenters are going from 10/40GbE to 25/100GbE and leaving 40GbE behind.

  • Mellanox definitely has the name and reputation in this case, if that means anything. But saving money is saving money 🙂

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