Annotated switch beauty shots show four models

Modules come in three flavors.

  • 2 x QSFP
  • 4 x TwPair
  • 4 x SFP+

    Dell introduced the 8100 series switches in 2012. With persistence, it is possible to find release notes and manuals on Dell's web site. Dell has developed code for their Trident+ switches that automatically finds ports hooked to Equilogic file server equipment and configures it for reliable FCoE type service. The implementation includes both 802.3X flow control and 802.1Qbb Priority flow control.

  • The data sheet is not a lot of help. Key parameters, such as they are:


      MAC addresses128K
      Static routes512 (IPv4) / 256 (IPv6)
      IPv4 routes8K
      IPv64K (shared CAM space with IPv4)
      Switch fabric capacityup to 128 Tbps (full duplex) or
      Forwarding capacityup to 960 Mpps
      Link aggregation8 links per group, 72 groups per stack
      Queues per port4 queues
      Layer 2 VLANs4000
      Line-rate Layer 2 switchingall protocols, including IPv4 and IPv6
      Line-rate Layer 3 routingIPv4 and IPv6
      LAG load balancingbased on Layer 2, IPv4 and IPv6 headers
      Packet buffer memory9 MB
      CPU memory2 GB

    N4000 family

    Dell is killing off the PowerConnect line in favor of the "S" series for the data center and the "N" series for everything else. The N4000 had its press release debut in December 2013 with initial product shipments in Q1 2014. The data sheet for the new N4000 series switches are very similar to the 8100. The sheet metal seems identical. There are some small differences in e.g. the number of static routes.

    See the entry for the Cisco 3064. Introduced as 3064PQ, it was upgraded to the 3064X. There is a whiff of an underlying Broadcom chip revision that caused the 3064PQ to go away. The same sort of small change may be at play here, too.