Hardware

3Com tops list of green network switches in energy efficiency

Switches made by 3Com topped a survey by In-Stat in terms of energy efficiency. This is so for fixed-configuration 24 and 48-port switches.

Switches made by 3Com topped a survey by In-Stat in terms of energy efficiency. This is so for fixed-configuration 24- and 48-port switches.

According to the study, results vary in Gbps (gigabits per second) per Watts of 0.5 Gbps/Watts to 3Gbps/Watt, or more than 600% difference.

Excerpt from Network World:

In-Stat finds that in general, energy efficiency drops as the number of switch ports increases. Energy efficiency does not vary much between low- and high-end models of switches made by the same manufacturer, the study says. More important is who makes the switch. "In-Stat determined that even among similarly equipped switches capable of performing identical tasks, there are significant vendor-specific differences in energy efficiency," the study says.

Interestingly, Cisco came in as the bottom two among both 24-port and 48-port switches. Sharing the bottom two slots was Cisco in the 24-port switch category, and HP's ProCurve for 48-port switches. Vendors tested in this report were 3Com, Allied Telesis, Cisco, D-Link, Enterasys, Extreme, Foundry, Force10, H3C, HP, Netgear, Nortel, and SMC.

In this instance, it is not known if the backplane capacities of the switches were taken into consideration. Will this report influence you in your selection of network switches?

About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

3 comments
kirklynne
kirklynne

The report is a complete sham. It simply takes the maximum power capability and divides it by the port speed capacity. It does not measure the actual switch output in a real-world situation. Take a look at the latest Miercom report that actually measures switch power supply usage in a real-world environment. The Nortel reports are similarly bogus, actually comparing Nortel's non-PoE switch against competitor's PoE switches. Nortel is actually one of the worst performers on power required to deliver network throughput, but their marketing message is as reliable and honest as their earnings reports.

paulmah
paulmah

Will this report influence you in your selection of network switches?

DomBenson
DomBenson

The power consumption of switches, as a proportion of the power consumption of the systems they service is so small that it is hard to imagine this being a major factor in purchasing. Real-world switch throughput, stacking capability, management features, compatibility with existing switch stacks and switch layer are all far more important. Given these, switching capacity per watt comes a poor last place. This is more likely to be relevant for blade chassis switches.

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