Ubiquiti UniFi 16 XG Switch Basics

First off let’s start with what Ubiquiti’s UniFi 16 XG switch is and isn’t. The 16XG is a managed 10gig switch which is configurable using Ubiquiti’s UniFi controller. The 16 ports on the 16XG are broken down as 12 SFP+ ports that can accept DAC cables, RJ45 copper transceivers, or fiber transceivers and 4 fixed RJ45 copper ports. However, the 16XG is not a L3 managed switch so you should not expect to do L3 switch based inter-vlan routing and if your uplink port is a 1gbps link then expect traffic between vlans to be limited by the speed of that port.

Connecting and Adopting the 16 XG

There are a few ways to tell new UniFi devices where the controller is

  1. If the controller and UniFi device are on the same subnet the device will automagically show up in the controller for adoption
  2. Find the device IP and ssh into the device and run: set-inform http://ip-of-controller:8080/inform
  3. Set DHCP Option 43 to the IP of your controller

Port Basics

The first thing that you need to know about vlans on the 16XG is that Ubiquiti calls them “Port Profiles” they may have additional functionality that I’m not aware of besides simply being named vlans but for the purposes of the switch and APs that I own they’re just that. Another thing that a new user should know is that ports configured as the all profile function as trunk ports with all passed packets being vlan tagged. As usual vlans need to be added in the controller to be used on the switch in addition to being simply passed to it over a port – Ubiquiti didn’t add any auto-discover magic here.

If you want to use a single uplink trunk port between your router or other switch as I did you will want to first configure the uplink port as an untagged vlan, adopt the device and then configure the management vlan and ip settings of your management vlan before configuring the uplink port as the desired set of trunked vlans. Setting paths:

  • Management vlan: switch > config > services > management vlan
  • IP settings: switch > config > network > your usual IP options
  • vlan settings: settings > networks > new network > set vlan only, name as desired, and set the vlan number to the same as your other devices

Conclusion

Overall, for the price of $599 or less the UniFi 16 XG is a relatively affordable, capable, and mostly silent switch for homelab or homeprod purposes or perhaps a small business setup. Although the 16 XG does have a pair of 80mm exhaust fans they are not audible over the fan noise of my r210ii and general background noise of my apartment. If running a business that requires more than 16 10gig ports or you need 10gig layer 3 routing capabilities then you’ll need to look elsewhere for a louder and likely more expensive switch but then you probably aren’t reading this blog anyway. Thanks for reading, I plan to write a followup post about running this switch as the network back-end for my Proxmox Ceph cluster so look for that in the near future. If you have any questions please us know by dropping a comment or via the contact us page.

Sources

https://help.ubnt.com/hc/en-us/articles/204909754-UniFi-Device-Adoption-Methods-for-Remote-UniFi-Controllers