What management functions on GigaBlox Rugged are available?

– Copied from a customer email –

Is it possible to set up Quality of Service (QoS) type preference for specific devices on the GigaBlox Rugged – effectively using it as a managed switch?

Can you recommend a similar inexpensive switch that uses the same network controller such that we can do some primitive lab testing on?

Unfortunately setting up anything in the way of management on GigaBlox Rugged isn’t easy. It is possible to do so, but requires a very expensive software license and a lot of trial and error. The chip on GigaBlox is a bit unlike other chips in that it lacks an easy to use serial programming interface for configuring its registers. Instead you have to reflash the firmware every time, which is very cumbersome.

Unfortunately there isn’t much in the way of evaluation boards that use the same chip as GigaBlox Rugged. The closest thing is this, which is $1200 and the software is really tricky to use.

For this reason we decided to not pursue management functions on GigaBlox Rugged; it’s just too much effort to maintain the software toolkit on that. Instead we will be focusing our management efforts on UbiSwitch and SwitchBlox Rugged. This allows us to focus on two chips that have a sane programming interface, and really do a good job on the switch management interface software.

I might suggest using UbiSwitch + UbiSwitch Mini Baseboard, which has the same number of ports as GigaBlox Rugged and will (eventually) come with software management. The cost is higher though :confused:, but given your order volumes, there’s likely some bulk discounts we can give you.

Side topic
We do have something in the works in the way of a low cost (less than $150) gigabit switch that we are working with in collaboration with Blue Robotics, that should have basic management including QoS. However this is not ready yet, and as we are, we have quite a large software development backlog, so this isn’t going to happen before Q2 2024 unfortunately.

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