Connecting Fiber Directly to a Managed Switch

moriel5

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Aug 4, 2019
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Hello, currently I am still waiting for FTTN, let alone FTTH (currently FTTH is only available for businesses, while homes have to make do with subpar (as in, even worse than it should be)VDSL2), however I am trying to remake the home networking (a few decades old, the house networking was like this when it was bought) in order to fix a few nature-induced issues, as well as prepare for the future.

As part of this, I am looking to buy a 2nd hand L3 switch (budget constraints) in my area, and what is being offered is the HP ProCurve 2910AL J9146A (24-port, 1GBt/s, 4 of them combo ports, and all RJ-45 ports support PoE (yes, we will be needing them), with optional support for up to 2 10Gbt/s expansion modules (2 SFP+ ports for each)), for the rough equivalent of 170$ in the end I'll probably get the Brocade FCX648S-HPOE.

I have already spoken to my ISP, and they assured me that once FTTH will roll out (only now they got permission to start rolling out FTTN, however they have already finished preparations (as in, they already have the necessary hardware in place, ready for roll-out (and yes, during my research, I got to see it with my own eyes), customers will be able to connect it directly to their SFP-equipped routers (their newest branded router, which contains a Broadcom/Avago SoC, for example, has such a connection).

My question is, once all of this is said and done, will I be able to connect the fiber connection (with a reciever, of course) directly to the managed switch, and actually utilize it for the internet connection?

Update: I have ordered the Brocade FCX648S-HPOE.
 
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j_h_o

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I'm doing something similar to this, with Bell Canada, which does FTTH with Huawei SFP modules. I use a Brocade switch which happily accepts the Huawei SFPs. At most sites, my EdgeRouters or pfSense happily establishes the PPPoE session on a specific VLAN.

While I haven't used the J9146A specifically, I would strongly suspect that the HPE/Aruba switch would reject most non-HPE modules. You could probably use a SFP to 1000Base-T media converter, but I don't believe you'll be able to connect the ISP SFP module directly to this switch.
 
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Fallen Kell

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Just thought I would mention that you might want to look at the Brocade ICX Thread on here before you purchase a switch. You can get Brocade ICX6450 48 port PoE managed L3 switch with 4 SFP+ ports for around $150 on eBay. If you want a step up, you can usually get a ICX 6610 48 port PoE for around $190 (this has 8 SFP+, 2 QSFP+ (40gbe), and 2 QSFP+ for breakout cables (I.e. 4x10gbe SFP+)). Don’t expect the 6610 to be quiet, but if you plan on putting it somewhere out of the way, it won’t be an issue.

As a bonus, the switch should be able to accept the SFP+ module that your ISP would provide allowing you to directly connect it to this switch. I would still recommend putting it in as a VLAN and having firewall/NAT router handle the routing to the internet from you local lan (something like pfsense or similar).
 
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moriel5

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Aug 4, 2019
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Thanks guys, that sounds wonderful.
The only problem is the steep import taxes in my country, which could potentially have me paying an 18% premium on anything 75$ and up, not only from the product price, but also from the shipping price, which is usually not cheap for this kind of hardware.
Unfortunately, I the FCX models don't include both SFP support and PoE at the same time, which is a bummer. Never mind, it appears they do, which makes things more interesting.

I'll see what I can do, including speaking with my ISP about compatibility with the recievers.

That thread has made me really want a Brocade switch, by the way.

Update: Yikes, shipping starts at around ~$60 to my country, and it does not appear possible to get a Brocade switch from within our borders.

Update 2: The cheapest ICX6450 with PoE available for shipping to here costs 149.95$, however shipping is nearly that, effectively doubling the price, and setting it beyond my budget.

Update 3: Thank goodness, I had managed to find a used FCX624S-HPOE (with power supplies included), for only 74.99$, and shipping at 79.41$.
This looks good.

By the way, do you think that I'll be able to mod the fans via a bit of soldering?

Update 4: I now found a Seller Refurbished FCX648S-HPOE for slightly more (54$+122.20$ shipping), I am seriously contemplating which should I get.
 
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fohdeesha

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the PoE version of the fcx is one of the loudest pieces of equipment I've ever heard and that's the model you found ( FCX648S-HPOE ) - fans are not moddable. the non-poe version is quiet
 
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DavidB

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Aug 31, 2018
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If you are just looking to convert your FTTH from fiber to RJ45 as cheaply as possible I would recommend getting a simple media converter like the TP-Link MC220L. Also keep in mind that the SFP module you'll need is likely specific to your provider (wavelength wise) with many networks using a single fiber strand. You'll need something like a TP-Link TL-SM321B or comparable 1000Base-BX WDM Bi-Directional SFP Module to connect the fiber coming into your house.

If you're looking for a cost effective routing option you probably should take a look at the Ubiquiti EdgeRouter 4/6/12 options as they can directly take an SFP module.
 

sovking

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Jun 2, 2011
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Another option is to use a Mikrotik switch with SFP module. Mikrotik switches and router are not picky about transceiver (see here). You can get a small one to put in cascade another switch of your choice (e.g. Brocade ones) or you can get one with PoE ports. Take a look on their web site.
 

moriel5

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Aug 4, 2019
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the PoE version of the fcx is one of the loudest pieces of equipment I've ever heard and that's the model you found ( FCX648S-HPOE ) - fans are not moddable. the non-poe version is quiet
That is something I am well prepared for. I can sleep without any issues next to train tracks with trains constantly running through, and I intend to place the switch in a seldom used room.

What prevents me from modding the fans, by the way? I could just solder different fans on if they are soldered.
 

moriel5

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Aug 4, 2019
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If you are just looking to convert your FTTH from fiber to RJ45 as cheaply as possible I would recommend getting a simple media converter like the TP-Link MC220L. Also keep in mind that the SFP module you'll need is likely specific to your provider (wavelength wise) with many networks using a single fiber strand. You'll need something like a TP-Link TL-SM321B or comparable 1000Base-BX WDM Bi-Directional SFP Module to connect the fiber coming into your house.

If you're looking for a cost effective routing option you probably should take a look at the Ubiquiti EdgeRouter 4/6/12 options as they can directly take an SFP module.
I am on a limited budget, and I need to organize our home network at the same time as preparing for FTTH, thus requiring a switch with at least 20 ports, of which at least 10 need to be PoE.
 

moriel5

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Aug 4, 2019
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Another option is to use a Mikrotik switch with SFP module. Mikrotik switches and router are not picky about transceiver (see here). You can get a small one to put in cascade another switch of your choice (e.g. Brocade ones) or you can get one with PoE ports. Take a look on their web site.
But the pricing?
 

DavidB

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@moriel5 an EdgeRouter 4 + a POE Switch is probably cheaper, more quiet and more power efficient than reusing + shipping old enterprise gear.
EdgeRouter 4 + TP-Link TL-SG1218MPE for example. You will need to route and firewall outbound traffic, so you'll never be able to only use a switch to directly connect all your devices to the FTTH.
 

sovking

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@moriel5 an EdgeRouter 4 + a POE Switch is probably cheaper, more quiet and more power efficient than reusing + shipping old enterprise gear.
I don't think so: EdgeRouter 4 cost around 150 Euro + Tax (new), while Mikrotik RB260GS 33 Euro + Tax also because it just a switch and probably the OP wants to do L2/L3 serious stuff after this conversion with better gears (like Brocade POE switches, or by using some sort of firewall like pfSense and so on).
 

EngChiSTH

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Jun 27, 2018
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My question is, once all of this is said and done, will I be able to connect the fiber connection (with a reciever, of course) directly to the managed switch, and actually utilize it for the internet connection?
under your plans, who (what device) is handling the routing?
managed switch is not a router

unless you have something handling routing functions , the answer to your questions above is 'no'
 
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moriel5

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Aug 4, 2019
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I don't think so: EdgeRouter 4 cost around 150 Euro + Tax (new), while Mikrotik RB260GS 33 Euro + Tax also because it just a switch and probably the OP wants to do L2/L3 serious stuff after this conversion with better gears (like Brocade POE switches, or by using some sort of firewall like pfSense and so on).
I wish to do so, however my budget does not allow me to do so yet.
 

moriel5

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Aug 4, 2019
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under your plans, who (what device) is handling the routing?
managed switch is not a router

unless you have something handling routing functions , the answer to your questions above is 'no'
Thanks, finally someone has answered my original question.

Since I do not yet know how FTTH will be configured, I ask, why would such a Brocade or Microtik switch not be able to handle the routing?
And currently I have a Xiaomi Mi 3G (the original, V2 is horrible, and with a different chipset) running PandoraBox (will be running OpenWrt proper when I'll have the time), for routing (I also have a Netgear DM200 running OpenWrt and a newer modem firmware for vectoring, however that is for xDSL (VDSL2 here)), however I am currently trying to get either a Linksys Wrt32X or (preferably) the Wrt3200ACM, 2nd hand, so routing shouldn't be a problem.
 

fohdeesha

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What prevents me from modding the fans, by the way? I could just solder different fans on if they are soldered.
it's the fans in the power supply bricks that are loud - the system monitors their RPM and if it's lower than usual (because you replaced them with slower fans), it will refuse to boot. You'd have to build some type of PWM circuit to fake a high RPM so the switch thinks the default fans are there, and somehow cram all of it into the psu brick where there's pretty much zero extra room already