[Official] Aruba S2500 Managed Ethernet Switch (PoE+/10GSFP+)

Overview

Introduction

48 POE+ ports. 4 SFP+ ports. L3 Managed enterprise grade switch! $120. Hell Yeah!

A few Server Builds members have purchased the Aruba S2500 switches from eBay and have had a ton of success with them. They show up in like new condition (mine had plastic wrap still installed) and work out of the box, with very little modification! They’re great ways to get 10GB into your house on the cheap and also replace expensive PoE switches.

For me this switch checked all the boxes. It’s got 48 ports. More than enough for most homelab needs. It’s got PoE/PoE+ to power your APs and IP Cameras. It’s got SFP+ to tickle my 10G fancy. This is the seller I bought from. I’ve got mine deployed now and I wanted to share some tips I mostly got from this youtube series. Check out his videos if you want to learn more :slight_smile:

Models

Model 1G Ethernet Ports 10G SFP+ Ports PoE Power Supply Price
S2500-24P 24 4 PoE, PoE+ 580W $97
S2500-48P 48 4 Poe, PoE+ 580W $110
S2500-24T 24 4 N/A 150W $79
S2500-48T 48 4 N/A 150W $110

The Installation Guide from Aruba has a ton of good information in it!

Comparable switches

Nothing really comes close to the value of the S2500 especially if you’re looking for 10G and PoE in one package.

Cheapest SFP+ 10G: MicroTik CRS305-1G-4S+IN

  • Price: Amazon: $138 / eBay: $141
  • Ports: 1x1G, 4xSFP+ 10G
  • PoE: No PoE output, but can be powered via PoE via the 1G port

Cheapest PoE & SFP: Netgear GS724TP

  • Price: Amazon $231 / eBay $220
  • Ports: 24x1G , 2xSFP+ 10G
  • PoE: 190W, 24 PoE+ Ports

Cheap PoE 1G Switch: TP-Link 5/8 Port PoE

So even if you hobbled together some of the other switches you’d still come up short compared to the value you can get out of these Aruba units!

Unboxing

Here are a few pictures I snapped during my unboxing

Noise

The switch is much quieter than I expected. Even when the fans first spin up I’d consider it in the bearable range, but once they calm down after first boot it’s quiet for an enterprise grade 1u switch.

During Boot

On initial boot its decently loud, 57db according to my Apple Watch. Noise Sample During Boot.

While Running

After it finishes booting though it gets a lot quieter, 47db from that distance definitely within the realm of not annoying. Unless you’re sleeping next to this thing. Noise Sample During Normal Operation

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Silencing Mod

The noise during normal use is completely unremarkable, but if it does bother you there is a guide for installing 40mm Noctua fans to make it completely silent.

Power Draw

I got out the Kill A Watt to do some power measurements for the 48 port PoE switch.

During Boot

When first powered on it drew about 55W from the wall with nothing plugged in.

At idle

After the boot process finished and things settled it ended up about 66W draw.

With APs

Once I plugged in the Unifi-AP-HD’s the draw went up a bit to 72W & 84W with one and two APs plugged in, respectively


This is confirmed by the Power Usage chart in the switch software.
image

Setup

The switch will probably work as an L2 switch right out of the box, but it is highly recommended that you at least factory reset it to ensure it doesn’t have any weird VLANs or ports settings messed with. In addition to the factory reset I’ll cover setting it up so you can access the web interface, updating to the latest firmware from HPE Aruba and enabling all 4 SFP+ ports for use.

Factory Reset

To factory reset the switch, use the buttons and screen on the front of the unit.

  1. Press the menu button until the cursor is on the “Maintenance” menu item
  2. Press the enter button to enter into the Maintenance menu and then keep pressing menu until you get to the “Factory Default” menu item and then press enter.
  3. When prompted to “Reload Box?” follow the onscreen directions and press enter to start the factory reset
  4. It takes about 3 minutes for the switch to factory reset.

At this point the switch is totally usable as an L2 Switch! Keep reading if you want to enable the web interface so you can mess with the L3 stuff, or if you want to enable all of the SFP+ ports for use.

Setting up Web Interface

After a factory reset you can set up the username and password for the web and SSH interfaces. To do this you need to navigate through the menus to the GUI Quick Setup and then plug a computer into the switch that you can use to set it up.

  1. Press the menu key on the switch until you find the “Maintenance” menu item.
  2. Press the enter button to enter the Maintenance menu and then keep pressing menu until you get to the “GUI Quick Setup” Menu item and press enter
  3. You’ll see a confirmation that “Quick-Setup invoked” this starts a 10 minute timer for you to proceed with the web interface setup
  4. Plug a computer into one of the front ports on the switch. Set the computer to DHCP and it should get a lease from the switch in the 172.16.0.0/24 subnet. (for me it was 172.16.0.253).
  5. You might have to open command prompt (“Start”->“Run”->type “cmd” and hit enter) and then run the commands “ipconfig /release” and then “ipconfig /renew” to get the DHCP lease from the switch
  6. Once you’ve got a DHCP lease you can open a browser (I used firefox, another youtuber recommends internet explorer in compatibility mode if you run into trouble) and navigate to http://172.168.0.254/ which should redirect you to https://172.168.0.254:4343/. If you get security warnings just click through the proceed option.
  7. In the web interface set the admin password (for use in the web interface and logging into SSH) and the Enable Mode password (for configuring more advanced features, which will be needed later to turn on the extra SFP+ ports. Set the date and time and leave Tunneled Server IP Address blank. Click Next.
  8. On the next screen you’ll set the IP Address of your switch. I use the 192.168.144.0/24 so I set the switch to 192.168.144.2 (my router is 192.168.144.1). You want to pick a static ip outside of the DHCP range of your router to avoid conflict. Set the subnetmask to 255.255.255.0 and the Default Gateway to the ip address of your router (for me, 192.168.144.1). You can leave the rest of the boxes as default and click next.
  9. Click Ok to the “No upstream ports are selected.” Dialog
  10. You’ll be presented with a summary of the changed you made, feel free to review them and then click Finish.
  11. The switch will start saving the configuration
  12. Once complete you should see a confirmation:
  13. Now you can plug your switch into the network with the rest of your devices as well as the PC you’re using to configure it. You might need to ipconfig /release & ipconfig /renew on your PC to get a normal DHCP lease again. Once you’ve got a normal DHCP lease, or have configured a static IP for your PC on the same subnet that you set the switch to you can access the web interface via http:// (for me http://192.168.144.2) and it will redirect you to the https login page.
  14. Use “admin” for the user and the password you previously set for admin
  15. We made it in!!!

Updating Firmware

Finding newer firmware

HPE bought Aruba in 2015 so there are two places you can get the firmware for this switch. The old Aruba site or from HP. I recommend getting it from the HP site since it is newer, but it requires login.

Updating the firmware from the web interface

  1. Once you’ve downloaded the firmware you want to use navigate to your switch’s web interface at http:// and login using the credentials you made in the previous section.
  2. Click on the “Maintenance” section in the bottom left and you’ll be able to see the version that your switch currently has (for me 7.4.0.2)
  3. To update firmware, click on “Image Management” in the left nav
  4. Choose the local file option and browse to find the firmware you downloaded. Chose Yes to both “Reboot after upgrade” and “Save current before rebooting”.
  5. After you’ve got all the options set click “Upgrade Image”, you’ll see a progress bar.
  6. Once the firmware upgrade is complete you’ll see a dialog:
  7. Clicking okay will start a timer for the switch to reboot
  8. Let the switch reboot
  9. When I logged in I got security errors from https, just ignore those.
  10. After dismissing the security errors you are prompted to log in
  11. If you navigate to the “Maintenance” page again, you can see that you’re on the newer firmware now!

Enabling all 4 SFP+ Ports

Only two of the SFP+ ports are switching ports the other two are stacking ports for connecting mutliple Aruba switches together. If you want to use all 4 you need to SSH into the switch and disable the stacking interfaces.

When logged into the switch you can see the two yellow SFP+ ports, these are the stacking ports.

  1. Download putty if you don’t already have it and connect to the ip you set up for your switch previously
    image
  2. Login with the username “admin” and the password you previously set for the admin user
    image
  3. Type “en” and press enter to enter “Enable Mode” where you can do more advanced config. You’ll be prompted for the Enable Mode password you set up previously
    image
  4. Type “show interface brief” and you can scroll through the interfaces with space bar until you see the stacking interfaces are listed here, we don’t want these…
    image
  5. Type “delete stacking interface stack 1/2” and hit enter then type “delete stacking interface stack 1/3” and hit enter.
  6. Type “show interface brief” and press enter and then use space again to scroll through the interfaces and notice there are no longer any more stacking interfaces!
    image
  7. If you refresh the web interface you should see the yellow stacking ports are now gone:

Success! You’ve now got 4 SFP+ interfaces! You are now ready to use your switch to it’s fullest capacities

Known Compatible Connectors

SFP Connectors are known to sometime be picky for certain manufacturers.

Officially Recommended SFP Connectors

Oficially Recommended DAC Cables

Official support list from Aruba Thanks @seanho!

Unofficial, but independently verified working Connectors

I’ll start updating with known compatible gear once people start testing this stuff in the wild

DAC Cables

To be determined

Transceivers

To be determined

Known not to work

To be determined

22 Likes

Excellent writeup, Marshall! Another very similar switch is ICX6450, also 4xSFP+ and 24/48 Gb with or without PoE. Quieter, somewhat lower power draw, and about $100-150.

Also, official Aruba compatible transceivers:

Thanks! I’ll add a link to the interoperability list in that section :). I looked at the Brocade a bit too and both look like great switches.

Great writeup! I got my S2500-24P from the same seller and was thrilled that it was basically brand new (factory plastic still in place over all of the ports). I went through basically all of these same steps, but had to piece them together from various places. Thanks for compiling!

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Awesome, @Amelios! Are you using the SFP+ Ports? It would be great to hear what connectors/cables you’re using so I can share w/ the community. Also post if you do any fun L3 stuff like Jumbo Frames or VLANs :slight_smile:

For other interested folks, this is the link to the SFP+/10GBase-T RJ-45 adapter you tested:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BHDJKRD/

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Not yet… Currently I have some 10G, but it’s point to point with Base-T (might switch to SFP+ at some point). Haven’t started doing any VLANs or anything yet, but maybe soon. Just needed a higher capacity switch and wanted to futureproof myself (mainly PoE) a bit.

Thanks for putting this in a written guide. I bought this switch a week ago and it just arrived today. Reading your guide will make it a lot easier than trying to do this while watching Vicious Computers video series.

Bought one of the 48 ports, I’ll get back to you all about the DAC Cables. I have a spare so I’ll use it and report back when I get it hooked up.

i have a 24POE

The cable mine came with which i literally cannot find right now, was some no brand 1.5 foot sfp+ cable that ill post a model number for if and when i find it works with Mellanox Connectx-2 Cards i found on ebay model# HP 671798-001

However, those cards DO NOT work with this 10Gtek cable (but not sure if it wouldn’t work with other cards, I do not have others to test yet but looking at some cheap solar flares i put a bid on)

I also have a gigabyte GA-7PESH2 Board from the NSFW Anniversary 1 Build that is working great with this generic transceiver and a random Cat6 Cable

updated - 74752-1301 Molex 10GB SFP+ just received these cables and they work with the CX-2 Cards i have.

Aruba S2500-24T purchased, order inbound. $120 CAD with international shipping to Canada from US.

Great info, should sort out my immediate 10g home needs.

Thanks again for info.

Great guide. I picked up a S2500-24P for $88 shipped a few months ago, and I’ve been very pleased with it so far. I haven’t dipped my toe in the SFP+ / 10Gb end of the pool yet, but mostly because I read about incompatibilities and wanted to do some research first. Thanks for saving me some time.

I’m curious if anyone is pulling switch snmp metrics into a monitoring solution like a Telegraf / InfluxDB / Grafana stack?

From this brand switch specifically or just switch metrics in general? I’ve got a Grafana dashboard setup pulling stats from my Cisco 3560CX 8 Port switch.

I just followed this guide to configure my switch and there are a couple things to note.

  1. My switch IP was not 172.168.0.254. It was 172.16.0.254.

If you just do an ipconfig /all on your PC you should be able to see what your gateway is. That is the ip of the switch.

  1. If you want to not have to type in the enable password every time then do the following:
  • When you log into your switch enter the enable password to enter privileged mode.
  • Enter configure terminal and now your prompt should look like (switchname) (config)#
  • Type enable bypass and hit enter

Now you don’t need to enter the enable password anymore. If you want to switch it back to enter your enable password just type no enable bypass.

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If I want to keep one of the stack connections, since I bought two of these switches, would I just type: “delete stacking interface stack 1/2” and then that would leave the last port in stacking mode?

Edit: Just went ahead and tried it, and that did seem to work. Just let me know if I’ve unintentionally screwed something up.

I got pulled into Serve The Home’s Brocade ICX thread. I’m helping them build a wiki. If you want additional options (QSFP+) that won’t break your bank, check it out. I got the fanless “microbeefer” to start screwing around with sfp+ and 10g. QSFP+ is next.

The Aruba or the Brocade’s are more economical and less power than the Netgear posted above

You are the man! been sitting on mine for about a month now as just a dumb switch. ran through your steps with only a couple bumps and its working perfect now.

one note was that on my 24p when I ran “show interface brief” it didnt show anything for stack even though the GUI showed me the stacks on 1/2 and 1/3. Went ahead and ran the delete command on those two and it worked great, running 3/4 things on 10G now.

Thanks again xijio!