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SWOS or ROUTEROS: Confused

Posted: Sun May 19, 2019 11:57 am
by alex_rhys-hurn

For the CRS317 I am confused. SHould I run SWOS or ROUTEROS?

My application is a strictly switching application, no L3 stuff needed except for management.

I ask because it seems that even in RouterOS the CRS317 can still deliver HW based features at full speed.

Your advice much appreciated.


Re: SWOS or ROUTEROS: Confused

Posted: Sun May 19, 2019 12:48 pm
by mkx
CRS series can run both SwOS and ROS (one at the time) and generally switching functionality and performance is the same regardless OS.
Choice of OS then depends on admin's preferences about management (SwOS only supports Web GUI, ROS supports CLI, Web GUI and winbox GUI)... And ROS adds routing functionality (e.g. inter-VLAN routing) ... but generally CRS are poor routers, so this feature is not really for everybody.

Bugs are not the same though. ROS seems to suffer from less bugs, but YMMV

Re: SWOS or ROUTEROS: Confused

Posted: Sun May 19, 2019 9:51 pm
by k6ccc
This is likely more opinion rather than hard facts. There are some on the forum that hate SwitchOS and have nothing but problems, and there are some that have no issues with SwitchOS at all. Personally I am in the second camp. I have a CRS326-24G-2S, two CSS326-24G-2S, a CSS106-5G-1S, and a RB260GS that are all running SwitchOS without any issues. All are running multiple VLANs (about 20 VLANs for the CSS326s, fewer for the others). Every bit of traffic on my LAN network here at home goes through at least one of the CSS326s and most goes through more than one.
All routing is handled by one of my two MT routers that are plugged into the garage CSS326.

Re: SWOS or ROUTEROS: Confused

Posted: Sun May 19, 2019 11:44 pm
by karwos
In the end, all traffic is handled by specialised switch chip. Its just the way how HW registers of such specialises chip is configured (vlans, speed, acls, port isolations), but also way how administration os done (snmp, routeros), personal preferences. Routeros is more complex, but also can be configured as a router, or with some L3 tools (netwatch, sxheduler).

Test both and go for better suitable option for You.

Biggest disadvantage of ROS is complexity of vlan configuration. Besides of complexity, even if you will learn for example crs125 vlan conf, they have changed method of configuration (hw offloaded bridge) and its completly diffrent now. And in crs125 not all can be hw offloaded, so its mess now. In the end if you learn everything, they changed switch configuration menu and with latest CRS3xxx is another story.

If you are not familiar with ROS , better to not risk getting traffic handled by cpu (common beginner mistake - then will complain about bad performance - alzo one option not supported by hw offload can break whole hw offload).

In the end, if you are not familiar with ros just start with swos.