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. fitzpattywagon

    fitzpattywagon New Member

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    Crap. I just bought 2 of these to play with. I was hoping they weren't that loud. Any suggestions?
     
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  9. Samir

    Samir Active Member

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    What did you buy? Not all larger switches are noisy.
     
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