Any reason not to buy higher port switches?

Discussion in 'Networking' started by OBasel, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. OBasel

    OBasel Active Member

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    I have a few small switches around 16 and 24 ports each. I'm noticing that I'll use 1-2 ports to uplink on each so my net ports are lower.

    I'm thinking I'll just buy a 48 or 52 port 1G switch and a 32 port 40G switch. I'll just slice the bigger switches into VLANs if I want to have a "physical" switch.

    Here's why. It's fewer boxes. It's ultimately going to be lower power. It's also less to manage going to fewer switches.

    Is there any reason not too other than a single switch going down causes more downtime?
     
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  2. WANg

    WANg Active Member

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    Higher power usage (if the density is not taken advantage of), louder fans, might need more expensive optics (if you go to a brand-new 10/40G switch)
     
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  3. Patrick

    Patrick Administrator
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    If you can use DAC's, getting a 32 port 40GbE switch is a good idea. You get a lot of flexibility.

    The point about higher power consumption is spot on, but it depends on what you get and how you use it. I think for 1GbE switches in particular I prefer a 48 port 1GbE switch to 24 port switches to have fewer switches to manage.

    One case where I like 24-port switches is in the lab. You can use a bottom and/or mid rack switch then uplink with SFP+ which helps keep your cable lengths short.

    The issue is that with 2U4N boxes you are using 4x management + 4x 1GbE provisioning NICs per node so each uses 8x 1GbE ports. With 24 port switches that is one switch per 3 2U4N machines or 1 switch per 6U of servers which is a pain.

    On your thought of using VLANs to make "physical" switches, I am fairly sure that was one of the earliest use cases for them.
     
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  4. koisama

    koisama New Member

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    One big switch can be more efficient compared to multiple smaller ones, but it's going to be a waste if you don't use the ports.
     
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  5. WANg

    WANg Active Member

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    When it comes to the 10s, I am not a fan of 10GBaseT (copper) - it just seem pointless what with the short runs and all. When it comes to 40s, it depends on whether you are going passive or active DACs. For short homelab runs (<5 m) I go with passive DACs, which are fairly cheap.

    When it comes to 1GbE big switches (not the SoHo oriented, low noise/small size footprint switches), there's almost no point skimping on ports, as the 24s and 48s are almost always housed in the same chassis, except with a blanking plate on the former. Considering the number of high port count, high quality switches coming off-lease onto the eBay/secondary markets for homelabs and small businesses available at a very reasonable price (The Juniper EX4200-48POE is one), it'll be a shame not to get them.
     
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  6. gslavov

    gslavov New Member

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    I would seriously hesitate getting an EX4200 for a home lab. We have a few of those in our racks and they have to be some of the loudest switches ever made. After many customer complaints Juniper released a new version of the power supplies that were significantly quieter but still far too loud for a home lab.
     
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  7. Samir

    Samir Active Member

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    For me it's about proximity to what I'm connecting to the switch. If everything is in the rack--sure, one big switch.

    But if I'm dealing with smaller clusters of systems in different rooms, I'd rather have a switch in each of those environments even though it does squeeze the bandwidth a bit back to the backbone and introduces an additional point of failure.
     
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  8. c4tinocc

    c4tinocc New Member

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    As a few users have mentioned, power consumption is a factor but for the most part it is recommended to purchase a switch with more ports than what you currently need to allow room for growth as needed, although you wouldn’t want to purchase a 48-port switch if you only need 10-ports. I’d say having 10-12 extra ports would be fine on any particular switch. At the end of the day, running one larger switch instead of multiple switches may even end up saving you power by housing everything under a single switch . . . . and more efficient to manage.
     
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