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CRS326: RouterOS or SwOS?

Posted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:35 am
by macfreek
I have a CRS326-24G-2S+, and since I only use switching functionality, I installed SwOS, assuming that it has more switching functions than routerOS.
However, I recently found that SwOS does not support LLDP, while RouterOS does. So this questions my assumption.

So my question is: Are there any features in SwOS that are not in RouterOS? In particular, I'm interested in support for 802.1q, link aggregration, hardware offloading, IGMP snooping, and possibly 802.1x. And given my interest in these features (and not in routing features), should I run SwOS or RouterOS?

While searching this forum for this topic, in a post someone claimed that "RouterOS has all functionality of SwOS". However, if that's true, why would Mikrotik make the CRS dual bootable? Perhaps I simply don't understand the difference between RouterOS and SwOS. I read that SwOS is an newer product than RouterOS, but that does not clarify if SwOS is either better, more stripped down, written for other hardware, or simply for a different functionality.

Re: CRS326: RouterOS or SwOS?

Posted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 2:11 am
by k6ccc
A lot of that is personal preferences. I have a CRS326 that is being used exclusively as a managed switch. Other than about a half dozen VLANs, there is nothing fancy. I am running it under SwitchOS and always have. I also have two CSS326 switches - obviously running SwitchOS, plus two a CSS106-5G-1S and a RB260GS. My switches are used exclusively as switches and use SwitchOS. My routers are used exclusively as routers and use RouterOS.

Based on your needs, I would use RouterOS as you are trying to do things that SwitchOS does not support.

BTW, in case you are wondering why I bought a more expensive CRS326 rather than another CSS326 - I didn't. The vendor inadvertently shipped me a CRS326 when I ordered a CSS326. When I realized the error, I contacted them and they decided it was not worth the time nor expense to ship me a CSS326 and have me ship the CRS326 back to them, and told me to keep the CRS326. Not only that, but for my trouble, they gave me an account credit to be used on a future order. That's what I call customer service. And yes, I have bought several more items from them - and will continue to do so in the future.

Re: CRS326: RouterOS or SwOS?

Posted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:00 pm
by networksalva
Had you had a chance to boot SwOS and explore the GUI.
For any newbie, the first thing is testing out the technology first hand. I will give out my very limited experience on SwOS

Switch OS is very different from RouterOS
you cannot connect to the switch using SSH or Winbox, it only has WebGUI
Another thing the switch has default IP and it is static only (meaning no DHCP) that’s why I have decided to almost way chance my factory default subnet to something else.
It is my perception that SwOS is very simple to use.
About LLDP (or CDP) you can find the switch in the neighbors in Winbox also on the neighbors on your router OS.
In order words. SwOS advertises itself but I have not seen you can see other on it.

Regarding VLAN configuration (VLANs is a topic that is very heterogeneously understood out there)
To say something universal
VLAN setup is straightforward
I think switchOS has awesome discovery of VLAN features I have not seen anywhere else. Therefore. It’s a must have in your network tool kit.

I don’t know if SWOS is a L2 OS meaning can the switch be configured as a L3 Switch and then do some routing. I still have not played enough around to know but I wish we could.
Now. Mikrotik RouterOS is my very favorite L3 Switch anyway. So I wouldn’t give that up.

SwOS is unnecessary and it just there for people who cannot handle a full featured RouterOS just because they haven’t tried and won’t.