The UDM PRO MAX has landed - we've seen the day one reviews - So what are my initial thoughts on this product?

Published 4/24/2024
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Yesterday Ubiquiti released a new UDM product and like everyone else I eagerly watched the reviews from the lucky few selected to get there hands on early versions. 

We all love a new Ubiquiti product, and being the router the UDM Line always catches lots of attention and rightly so, the software side has been growing with leaps and bounds with improvements and new features so keeping the hardware up to date just helps us use those features to the MAX Pun intended.

Ubiquiti Describe it as :

Professional-grade, rack-mount Cloud Gateway with 10 Gbps performance, multi-WAN load balancing, and two NVR drive bays designed for large-scale, multi-application Unifi sites.

First, full disclosure this is my thoughts not a review. I haven't seen, touched or used this product but based from the day one reviews and of course that's been influenced by feedback and comments I've seen.

What's Changed

The most obvious change is always physical, and that's the inclusion of a second drive bay - a great addition that allows raid storage of protect CCTV footage protecting against drive failure.

The thing to remember though that we need to focus on just the hardware specification because all the consoles run the same software so while in the future some features may be model dependent at the moment as far as I know I am expecting features to be the same.

So lets grab the specs from the store… 

CPUQuad-core ARM® Cortex®-A57 at 1.7 GHzQuad-core ARM® Cortex®-A57 at 1.7 GHzQuad-core ARM® Cortex®-A57 at 2.0 GHz
System Memory4GB DDR44GB DDR48GB DDR4
Onboard Storage16GB eMMC





WAN Interface

1GB RJ45

10G SFP+

2.5GB RJ45

10G SFP+

2.5GB RJ45

10G SFP+


First - With that speed bump i'm not convinced the CPU is an A57, but that's an extra 15% which will explain the IPS/DPI performance boost so either way that's a win - couple that with double the RAM giving it more resources for the applications especially Network and Protect - YAY!

It keeps the SSD and 2.5GB RJ45 from the SE but loses the POE which to be honest i'm fine with, remember this is designed to work with extra switches, so onboard POE is just extra cost.

With more UNIFI devices becoming available, and lets not forget systems like Talk put a phone on every desk so a more powerful UDM PRO has actually been really needed, this provides that upgrade path and a tempting starting point for new networks. The question in my head though is could it have been more?

Talking cost - lets ignore that it's new so is bound to cost a bit more.


One common thread in the reviews was to highlight shadow mode - Shadow mode is what Ubiquiti are calling redundancy. The idea is that if a router dies for any reason then a second can jump into action and take over reducing downtime to a few moments, this can be really important especially to business where losing connectivity equates to lost revenue. 

The thing is up till now shadow mode has required manual intervention which effectively reduced it to a “hot spare” making it well nearly pointless, because of this restoration time you would have been better off leaving a new one cold either racked or in a box ready to be swapped in and restored just to save on the electricality costs. Now though the paired UDM will just take over.

Should mention that I haven't seen an indication that you can manually fail over .. hopefully as that can be useful especially if you plan to work on a live network.

This is a great addition to the UDM line, it's these enterprise features that we want to see, but the caution is it's a software feature and is due to be available on the UDM PRO and UDM SE.

Protect recordings..

The additional drive bay gives us RAID one to protect against drive failure - something that is missing from the UDM PRO and UDM SE

It's worth noting though that according to the reviews if there is a failover protect does carry on with camera recordings, but existing recordings aren't copied so footage on the failed UDM-PRO-MAX is sort of lost until a working UDM-PRO-MAX is brought in.

My Thoughts

So what do I think of this device?

I like the second drive bay, which is handy in a basic use case, but I think if your planning on using this in a redundant setup especially at this price point - I would be thinking UNVR, so personally I would have left the extra drive bay for a UDM PRO 2… Worth nothing that shadow mode is meant to be coming to the UDM PRO and UDM SE as well. 

A lot of people have questioned the lack of POE, although i have to say I'm fine with that, this is designed to be used with a switch or more likely an aggregation switch as the core switch with several switches from there - following that thought I would have removed that 8 port altogether much like the UXG but with the ability to run network, talk, protect etc…. Sure you need one RJ45 for the heartbeat but I honestly think that if your considering using that inbuilt switch your probably on the wrong device and the UDM PRO or UDM SE would be more than adequate.

That leads me to my main thought where router redundancy is a great step forward.. but the UDM PRO MAX only has 2 SFP+ ports. Although it can be reassigned one of those is needed to be used for dual WAN leaving just one for LAN use the problem with this is that I also want to be able to have switch level redundancy, after all it would be no fun to have the routers working but you lose your network because one of your core aggregation switch's dies. 

In real world use I've always used the RJ45 (Great to see that at 2.5Gbs) for WAN, leaving both SFP+ ports for LAN connections, remember you can't aggregate those ports so that's a potential single 10Gbs link to two core switches up till now that's been ok as with the UDM PRO or UDM SE it's a one router one switch king of deal - redundant core switches isn't a thing, neither is physical network isolation - but this is for large scale.

That Large Scale really means a lot of Access Points, Access Hubs, Camera's and telephones - but not always - we have DMZ and server networks to consider that means a lot of inter V-LAN traffic which makes me want to be able to aggregate those ports for more bandwidth. 

At the end of the day if the core switch fails - that's end of your network - which makes me think that if your going to have redundant routers then redundant core switches is just following the logic train. Ultimately that means it should have at least 4 SFP+ ports, hey can dream right?

Even if it's never been a problem (basic deployments = one router one switch rule) For me lack of SFP+ ports has actually always been strange.

What will i use it for?

I guess the question is more a case of will it sell - Yes I want one :) - But….

For me it's not about failover, It's great to see that coming but if it comes to the UDM PRO then it's not a reason to chose this device over the others, and really neither does the port layout matter at this point that's just personal preference and being able to deploy into more scenarios.

For me when with this device and considering a use case then what is important is how many devices it can handle and the increased performance you get from it. So while it would be great to say here is a new use case Unifi can be deployed in, I can't so it's falling into the camp of - “The UDM us struggling now we have an upgrade for it” and that should not be underestimated. 

I'm a little saddened by that - but I want one.

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