1U Supermicro Server 6x 10GBE RJ45 X10SLH-LN6TF LGA 1150 H3 X10SLH-N6-ST031

PigLover

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so anyone have feedback if my crazy dream of using this as a 10G switch is good crazy or bad crazy?
(I don't have any 10G networking equipment in my house right now, except for cat 6 and 6a cables).
You could make it functional in that role fairly easily. It would work.

Performance would be limited by the fact that it would require all packets to be processed by the CPU. In a "real" switch the layer-2 functions happen in a matter of uSeconds and the first bits leave the switch almost immediately after the CRC is checked, so a packet comes in and leaves very quickly and very little inter-packet delay is introduced.

With this simulating a switch the whole packet needs to be received before it is processed by the CPU, the CPU needs to decode it and then send it back out on the other "ports". This creates single packet latency which is AT LEAST the time it takes to read a whole packet and likely adds 10's of ms additional delay. Note that this is not really as bad as it sounds because the NICs in this box do some offloading and some parallel processing gets done - e.g., the NIC is reading and preparing the next packet while the CPU is processing the last one - but the inter-packet delays introduced will dramatically limit throughput.

You will ultimately be limited in total throughput by the CPUs capacity.

In a home environment with very little of your traffic actually requiring 10Gbe performance and almost certainly never more than 2 hosts talking to each other at that rate you may be OK. It will never be really satisfying for benchmarks but it will work decently for "real" home/lab network workloads. It could really work rather well if you also use this device as your VM host for most services or stack disks onto it as a NAS because that will make most of your traffic most of the time actually terminating to this device rather than using it as a "switch".

You'd also learn a LOT doing this. About how switches work, about how to simulate them on a server, the upsides and downsides of doing this, about high speed networking performance, etc. Depending on how much you experiement you could lean a lot about different options for how high speed packet processing is done and the toolsets to implement it (e.g., VPP vs DPDK vs BPF, and combinations of these). Some of those lessons might be time consuming and perhaps even painful...

If it were me and I needed a low-cost entry into 10Gbe networking I'd just buy one of these: MikroTik
 
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EasyRhino

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thanks for explaining some of the delays and performance issues there would be.

If it were me and I needed a low-cost entry into 10Gbe networking I'd just buy one of these: MikroTik
thanks, i'm also really cheap. So the microtik costs more than the supermicro motherboard would (I have an 1150CPU and DDR3 laying around) plus I would need to buy transceivers.

Biggest problem might be the wife acceptance faster, she already wonders why I just finished building a home server tower out of a LGA 2011 platform, so having another box laying around (even micro atx) might send her over the edge.
 

Schut

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Apr 13, 2020
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You could make it functional in that role fairly easily. It would work.
Thank you as well for this reply - very helpful.

I've ordered one of these for an overkill home pfSense router. I currently have one of the fanless Celeron J1900s now, and it's totally fine except I'm expecting better OpenVPN performance from this. This would be my first 10GB device of any kind, so I was thinking of limping along running multiple LAN ports for a time, at least until I can establish if any of the 10-20 meter Cat5e runs in my house can be cajoled into supporting 10GB, or if I'll have to pull Cat6a.

Eventually I expect a MikroTik switch is in my future though.
 

Wolfstar

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Still seeing it listed for $155 for the server, but I'm now showing it with $45 shipping charge, so bear that in mind. Honestly, glad I got it before they added the shipping charge, but that's more than reasonable for shipping from Santa Clara to southern Maine for a 30+ pound 1U server. It's also why I wasn't overly upset with them taking a week to ship it, though I would hope shipping if you're paying for it would be a hair faster on the turnaround.

EDIT: Motherboard is still free shipping though and I don't believe price has changed.
 

Markess

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May 19, 2018
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Still seeing it listed for $155 for the server, but I'm now showing it with $45 shipping charge, so bear that in mind. Honestly, glad I got it before they added the shipping charge, but that's more than reasonable for shipping from Santa Clara to southern Maine for a 30+ pound 1U server. It's also why I wasn't overly upset with them taking a week to ship it, though I would hope shipping if you're paying for it would be a hair faster on the turnaround.
$45 looks to be a flat rate. They want the same $45 to send it to me 130 miles away as to you 3000+ miles away.
 

Schut

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Wolfstar has yours shipped? Mine was ordered on the 14th for $155 with free shipping, but no tracking yet.
 

Wolfstar

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Wolfstar has yours shipped? Mine was ordered on the 14th for $155 with free shipping, but no tracking yet.
Yeah, mine shipped this past Wednesday (15th) and I ordered the prior Thursday afternoon (9th). I did message them Monday night about it since it was listed as a 3 business day handling time, and he replied Tuesday afternoon that they were shipping Wednesday. I think they're having issues getting things shipped out due to the current mess.
 

Bert

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I noticed that I cannot clear the BIOS password after entering the posted passwd. Was anyone able to manage to get the password cleared? After I clear the password, MB reboots twice and sets back the original password.

I also noticed that the listing is wrong. There are no 1 GB ethernet port. There is one dedicated IPMI port. It seems like the other port is just a stub.
 

BlueFox

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I also noticed that the listing is wrong. There are no 1 GB ethernet port. There is one dedicated IPMI port. It seems like the other port is just a stub.
On some motherboards (example), IPMI is shared with a 1GB NIC. Install an OS and you'll presumably see it.

As for the other RJ45 connector, that's a serial port, not a NIC (which is why there are no LEDs).
 

Wolfstar

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On some motherboards (example), IPMI is shared with a 1GB NIC. Install an OS and you'll presumably see it.

As for the other RJ45 connector, that's a serial port, not a NIC (which is why there are no LEDs).
Oh nice! Yay for more RJ45 serial connectivity! Anyone know if it uses the standard Cisco pinout? If not, I'll check it when I get mine this afternoon.
 

Wolfstar

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Has anyone confirmed that the bios password works?
To directly and clearly answer, yes, the BIOS password obtained does in fact work - Sl@b10s! - and yes, I am unable to clear it as well. Other than that, arrived extremely well packed and I had managed to miss the fact that a rail kit was included so that made me quite happy. Looking forward to the Stock/Custom BIOS, but I can live with the password for now.

Now I gotta figure out what I'm actually going to do with it.
 

NYCone

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To directly and clearly answer, yes, the BIOS password obtained does in fact work - Sl@b10s! - and yes, I am unable to clear it as well. Other than that, arrived extremely well packed and I had managed to miss the fact that a rail kit was included so that made me quite happy. Looking forward to the Stock/Custom BIOS, but I can live with the password for now.

Now I gotta figure out what I'm actually going to do with it.
I don't mean to sound repetitive, but can you make changes in BIOs other than the PW?
 

Bert

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Mar 31, 2018
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To directly and clearly answer, yes, the BIOS password obtained does in fact work - Sl@b10s! - and yes, I am unable to clear it as well. Other than that, arrived extremely well packed and I had managed to miss the fact that a rail kit was included so that made me quite happy. Looking forward to the Stock/Custom BIOS, but I can live with the password for now.

Now I gotta figure out what I'm actually going to do with it.

Can you share your thoughts here what to do with it? My naive thinking is putting ESXi to host PFSense as 10 GB router and a Windows VM for small file server. Yet I wonder if there are better open source switch solutions out there so I can use base as Windows for managed switch and host PFSense for firewall/openVPN.
 

Schut

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Looks like the original listing for the $155 shipped server has been updated to brag that the BIOS has been updated and the password cleared. I'm hopeful my machine (which hasn't shipped yet) will get this treatment, and I've messaged the vendor to indicate I can wait a few days.

Price is now hiked again to $170 + $45 shipping.
 

Wolfstar

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Can you share your thoughts here what to do with it? My naive thinking is putting ESXi to host PFSense as 10 GB router and a Windows VM for small file server. Yet I wonder if there are better open source switch solutions out there so I can use base as Windows for managed switch and host PFSense for firewall/openVPN.
I'm really not sure right now. My early thinking is that it's more power than I want to devote to a router and my primary reason for buying was because honestly the case wasn't worth much less. My problem is a severe lack of 10GBaseT infrastructure - I've got a copper SFP+ on the way; right now its limited to gigabit - but I can work around that.
 

Bert

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I'm really not sure right now. My early thinking is that it's more power than I want to devote to a router and my primary reason for buying was because honestly the case wasn't worth much less. My problem is a severe lack of 10GBaseT infrastructure - I've got a copper SFP+ on the way; right now its limited to gigabit - but I can work around that.
I don't mind the power usage because I want to dual purpose this as NAS and pfsense box.It can also work as a 10GB switch for my rack servers.

It seems like windows server has built in capabilities to work as a switch but I am not sure:

SDN with Windows Server 2016 » ADMIN Magazine

Btw, I completely get it I won't get agg speeds of 100Gbit/sec like a purpose build switch but I don't need that. 20Gb/s is probably the most I would need, even that is questionable since most of my data is on spindles.
 
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Fritz

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I don't mind the power usage because I want to dual purpose this as NAS and 10GB pfsense box.It can also work as a 10GB switch for my rack servers.

It seems like windows server has built in capabilities to work as a switch but I am not sure:

SDN with Windows Server 2016 » ADMIN Magazine

Btw, I completely get it I won't get agg speeds of 100Gbit/sec like a purpose build switch but I don't need that. 20Gb/s is probably the most I would need, even that is questionable since most of my data is on spindles.
Does a 10G PfSense box make sense?