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MikroTik CRS518

Jun 14, 2023

MikroTik has a new 25GbE/ 100GbE switch. The MikroTik CRS518-16XS-2XQ-RM is the company's new higher-performance switch designed to move up-market from the company's 10GbE lines to something more modern. In the data center, 10GbE port shipments have been rapidly dropping, so it is important that the company gets to 25GbE soon.

The unit itself is a 1U switch. It is also, in many ways, a stablemate to the MikroTik CRS504-4XQ-IN. Instead of four 100GbE ports, we get two 100GbE QSFP28 ports and 16x 25GbE SFP28 ports. Since it is a MikroTik switch, it is also rack-mountable in a 1U form factor.

Powering the switch is the Marvell Prestera Aldrin2 switch chip. MikroTik is using a higher-quality switch chip than Ubiquiti's 25/100GbE line. Ubiquiti is using a 4th-tier switch chip by sticking with Nephos, a company with a tiny market share. Marvell is a much larger vendor and has a larger customer base. The larger customer base generally drives quality. Still, Broadcom is the heavyweight in the 25/100GbE switch space.

The rear of the unit has two power supplies and four fan modules.

These PSUs and fan modules are hot-swappable and redundant. MikroTik is trying to move up market.

Hopefully, we can get one of these. We are also hoping the MikroTik CRS504-4XQ-IN we have had on order arrives at some point.

MikroTik is moving up-market into 25GbE and 100GbE. Hopefully, 2.5GbE is not far behind. It will be nice to have a low-cost vendor in this space using decent switch chips. Also, these should use much less power than some of the more expensive 25GbE and 100GbE switches we have already reviewed so that will help bring this level of performance into lab environments.

Update: We now have our MikroTik CRS518-16XS-2XQ-RM Review live and an accompanying video: