Managed the EnGenius ECS2552FP network switch (opens in new tab) offers 32 x 1 Gbps and 16 x 2.5 Gbps copper Ethernet ports in addition to four SFP+ ports. It supports Power Over Ethernet (PoE) on all 48 copper ports with a 740W power supply, which is pretty impressive for the form factor. The switching capacity of 224 Gbps is twice the throughput of all ports and should be more than enough to avoid lag.
The EnGenius ECS2552FP (opens in new tab) provides Layer 2 and Layer 3 services such as VLAN tagging and QoS queues. It comes standard with a cloud accessible GUI that is also available locally. The excellent mobile application includes most of the features available in the cloud. Things we didn’t like are the always-on fan, the clunky firmware update process and last but not least the mode LED switch which can confuse the user.
EnGenius ECS2552FP: Pricing and Availability
The ECS2552FP switch has a suggested retail price of $1599 with other models available ranging from eight ports with PoE (ECS1008P) to 28 ports without PoE (ECS1528). The ECS2552FP is ideal for a small business that needs its communications infrastructure, monitoring and data backup all on the same switch.
EnGenius ECS2552FP: Design
The ECS2552FP is a rackmount 1U unit with all communication ports on the front panel. The dark gray metal box measures 31 cm x 44 cm x 4.4 cm and weighs 4.9 kg. The managed switch comes with a power cord, a rack mounting kit, mounting screws, an RJ-45 console cable, and a quick installation guide.
Three fans on the left serve as air outlets and are always on, generating approximately 50dB of audible noise from one meter away. This is not really a problem in data centers, but is unbearable on a desk in an office environment. The back of the switch has a 120V-240V AC socket. The switch consumes approximately 30W when idle, with no Ethernet connections.
A console port, status LEDs, LED mode switch, and reset button are all located on the front. Each Ethernet port has two LEDs for mode and activity. The mode switch allows each LED to display the PoE or LAN status. The ports are divided into two color-coded groups. The yellow group supports up to 1 Gbps, while the orange group supports up to 2.5 Gbps. Four 10G SFP+ slots are available to distribute data across multiple switches.
Power over Ethernet on the EnGenius switch is provided by a 740W power supply available for all 48 copper ports. The switch’s PoE interface is specially designed to support cameras. Power can be sent over 250 meters, while faulty external units can be detected and automatically rebooted. Also capable of deep packet inspection and filtering, the ECS2552FP is powered by a dual-core 1GHz CPU along with 512MB DDR RAM and 128MB Flash memory.
EnGenius ECS2552FP: In use
The EnGenius ECS2552FP boots up in about four minutes. There is a small delay between the switch-on time and the moment the fans start. Five status LEDs are arranged vertically, and the first three indicate whether the switch is connected to a network, whether network errors have been detected, or whether the PoE is working properly. The other two indicate the status of the LED mode which can be LAN or PoE. We weren’t a fan of the multi-mode LEDs, as it is more prone to confusion than it is useful.
To take full advantage of the switch, device registration is required. This is done using the Cloud To-Go Engenius app and a QR code on the bottom of the case. Once the installation is complete, the switch can be accessed from both the cloud and the mobile application. The latter supports most of the features available in the cloud. Thanks to the well-designed user interface of the mobile app, most configurations can be done in no more than four steps.
The cloud interface continues to work even when the switch is offline. This opens up the option to adjust all settings offline and wait for the device to go online and update. This is a convenient way to deliver the switch in one go, reducing the chance of attacks that can occur during a live setup.
New switch features are available for a fee through the EnGenius cloud service. Available as a one-year free trial with the purchase of the ECS2552FP, the ProSW license adds the ability to capture packets on-the-fly across multiple ports or display a list of connected MAC addresses . The ProSW license also allows a backup of the switch configuration.
EnGenius ECS2552FP: the competition
Investing in a good switch is something that pays for itself in the long run. When configured correctly, a switch will quickly transfer data between nodes while monitoring the overall health of the network. Needless to say, the network switch market is filled with companies like Cisco and Broadcom. EnGenius offers a solution that is extremely easy to set up and operate.
The Netgear GS752TPSB switch provides the same basic functionality as the ECS2552FP. It has 48-port 1GbE with six 1G/2.5G SFP slots. Although it costs $1499, it only offers 384W PoE power budget, which is about half of what the ECS2552FP offers, while also missing the 10G SFP+ ports.
EnGenius ECS2552FP: Final Verdict
EnGenius takes product design seriously. This can be seen with his ECS2552FP network switch. An abundance of ports and an unparalleled 740W PoE power budget make this switch the right choice when there is a need to support dozens of PoE IP cameras or VoIP phones. Features include real-time monitoring of the PoE ports and automatic recovery of PoE failures. What makes the EnGenius switch stand out is its snappy cloud interface and accompanying mobile application. They stand head and shoulders above the competition.
The ECS2552FP is not perfect in any way. The always-on fan is loud even with no PoE devices connected. Upgrading the firmware takes some practice to get it right, while the mode LED can be confusing at times.
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