Connecting Xeon-D 10G base-T to SFP+ switch

bateau

Member
Jan 22, 2017
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SHORT VERSION:

Has anybody tested compatibility between any of the 'cheap' 10GBASE-T SFP+ Transceivers like from fs.com or edgeoptic.com and the 10G copper ports on a Xeon-D Supermicro sys-5028d-tn4t? What is the outcome?

LONG VERSION:

Looking at the various threads, when choosing between copper or fiber for 10G+ speeds, the consensus seems to be: go for fiber.
The problem is: how do I connect my Xeon-D system (sys-5028d-tn4t) that came with 10G copper ports to a mostly fiber network? My other servers have SFP+ connections.

My constraints:
  • low power use
  • preferably less than 500EUR excl VAT
The options I see:
  1. LAGG/LACP. That is not going to cut it, as I would need 10G speeds point to point (it is used mainly for file copy between servers), and LACP will not help there.
  2. NIC bonding in linux. That would help prevent the above issue, but is messy to set up, would not be universally applicable, and would not allow me to go over 3 or 4 gbps with the built-in NICs. Prefer not to.
  3. A mixed copper/fiber switch. The only switch I have seen that is under my price limit and has both SFP+ and 10G Base-T, is the Ubiquity ES-16-XG. That switch still has huge problems keeping 10G speeds on the copper ports, so is out of the question for now. Netgear XS708T is over my self-imposed price limit.
  4. Add a SFP+ card in the server. Bad luck, the only PCIe slot in the server is already full with NVMe drives.
  5. Use a 10GBASE-T SFP+ Transceiver. 330 EUR at fs.com or 272 EUR at edgeoptic.com. It would be an expensive link, but less expensive than a new switch. Could be promising.
My questions:
  • Has anybody tested any of the 10GBASE-T SFP+ Transceivers with the 10G copper ports on the sys-5028d-tn4t? It seems those NICs are particularly difficult.
  • Any other options? (please don't propose a change of motherboard or moving NVMe disks elsewhere, that is all going to be more expensive when you take everything into account.)
 
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TangoWhiskey9

Active Member
Jun 28, 2013
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Option 6 - sell the current board and get a SFP+ one

It'll be a harder swap but integration will be easier.
 

bateau

Member
Jan 22, 2017
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Option 6 - sell the current board and get a SFP+ one

It'll be a harder swap but integration will be easier.
I thought about that, but disqualified it: that would be a 700 (lower powered processor) or a 1000 EUR (higher powered processor) swap. Above the budget limit. That could also buy me a bigger more capable switch (2nd hand or not).
 

TangoWhiskey9

Active Member
Jun 28, 2013
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Even if you count selling your current board? Maybe it's different in the EU but in the US it would cost around $50-100 after selling your old board.
 

bateau

Member
Jan 22, 2017
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Have been looking at it. It would be an upgrade from 8 to 12 core (Xeon D 8C 2.xGHz with SFP+ does not exist, and I prefer not to downgrade) so the difference would be bigger. But yes, it is an option. As is moving to the new Atom boards, although I do not know if/when they will appear on the vmware compatibility list, and I am not sure yet what features I will have to forfeit on.
But that is not really the question. The question is more: is there a way to make use of the 10G copper ports on the Xeon D systems in an economical way or should I move away from it. You suggest moving away. I hear that.
 

Jerry Renwick

Active Member
Aug 7, 2014
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10G switches with BASE-T copper ports are usually expensive, search for a used one at ebay or Amazon may be a good choice.

As for the 10G copper SFP+ at fs.com or edgeoptics, I haven't tested it on the Xeon System, so I can't give you any suggestion. But you can consult with fs customer service about the compatibility issue, they are surely to help you out.
 

CJRoss

Member
May 31, 2017
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10G switches with BASE-T copper ports are usually expensive, search for a used one at ebay or Amazon may be a good choice.
I am in the same boat as the OP. My problem with used 10G-BASE-T gear is that they're all designed for the datacenter and therefore make way too much noise.
 

Evan

Well-Known Member
Jan 6, 2016
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Actually it's not that 10G BASE-T is make for datacenter is that it's used so much more power and hence more heat so needs more cooling.

It's why I am happy for 2.5/5g with low power and sad that SFP+ & SFP28 are not really the only standard and option. People have got of the fear of fragile fiber I think.
 

saivert

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Nov 2, 2015
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The problem with fiber optics is that it is a myriad of standards. Copper is much simpler and only one connector regardless of interface speed (if you discount coax and all the ancient stuff).
If they had just made fixed optics switches and NICs with just LC-LC connectors (Chelsio actually sold NICs with only LC-LC) and dropped the idea of SFP/SFP+/QSFP modules they could have lowered the per-port cost a lot I guess but that just never happened for some reason.
 

Evan

Well-Known Member
Jan 6, 2016
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Lots of good reasons, let's be honest it's not great for home users with no idea about IT infrastructure, for most of us it's fine and actually even the so called simply rj45 is not really, especially if you want speeds over 1G
 

bateau

Member
Jan 22, 2017
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Update: miktotik just came out with a 65USD SFP+ to RJ45 10G adapter. MUCH more interesting than the 300+ prices seen elsewhere, although I think 10GTek and sf.com will catch up soon. But I guess I won't be experimenting with it, as I went for Cisco SG350X, has both SFP+ and RJ45 10G ports. Got them for 50% of the list price (and they look new to me), otherwise wouldn't have considered them. So: there are loads of options.
 

zhoulander

Active Member
Feb 1, 2016
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Took me a bit to find it, but yes... pricing is very attractive!

Price tag $65 shows here on page 8: https://download2.mikrotik.com/news/news_78.pdf
Product PDF: https://www.mikrotik.com/download/share/sfp_splusrj10.pdf

Mikrotik S+RJ10 - new unique 6-speed RJ-45 module

This unique module opens up a whole world of high speed connectivity possibilities, offering up to 10 Gbps speeds over regular familiar twisted-pair cables in your existing products that have SFP+ ports. Any MikroTik device that has SFP+ ports can now be used without installing any optical fiber, just plug the S+RJ10 and your network can be upgraded to 10 Gbps, making it ready for the next generation of RJ45 hardware.

Based on Marvell 88X3310P
Power consumption 2.4 W max (10GBASE-T, 30 m link)
Can only be used in SFP+ ports

EDIT: DERP. Someone else posted the same info in another thread on this subforum. I should have just searched these forums first!
 
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Matt Lund

Member
Oct 20, 2016
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That module could be super helpful. Anyone purchase one? I haven't seen retailers after a quick search.
 

ppiixx

New Member
May 8, 2017
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They only announced it last week. Looks like suppliers are expecting it in october.

It is based on a marvell chip so hopefully we will see a wave of reasonably priced options from others (fs.com etc)
 

bateau

Member
Jan 22, 2017
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By the way, I'm really insterested in the Cisco SG350X switch the OP has got at half of the list price. Where did you buy it? Is it working well?
Got it from a drop-shipper: pc21.fr. It seems I got the last 2. You can also try lambda-tek. Right now listed for 466EUR excl VAT. I like them very much. Took a little bit getting used to, but they are so much better than zyxel and the like.
  • A lot more features, and better build quality.
  • They accept any SFP+ or DAC I've thrown at them (also the fs.com SFPs and DACs). The logs may be indicating strange non-10G SFPs, but they all work flawless and at 10G.
  • Low power. around 15W idle. They should even be able to work without fans as long as you do not use 10GbT.
Only things:
  • A shame that getting info about the stack link quality is hard to get to.
  • Just slightly too loud for my taste, thinking about replacing the fan with a low noise noctua. Easy to do, but lower CFM, so will have to monitor the temperature.
 
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bateau

Member
Jan 22, 2017
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thinking about replacing the fan with a low noise noctua.
Feedback just in case anyone wants to try it: don't. The original fan (Delta AFB0412VHB) is 9k RPM. Noctua 40mm only has 5k RPM, and will not run correctly with the device's fan controller. (yes, I changed the fan pinout to match the device's pinout)
I added a small piece of foam under the fan, and noise level went down enough for me.
 

bateau

Member
Jan 22, 2017
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From fs.com I only tried/have the generic SFP+ and generic DAC. Don't have anything from edgeoptic.
 

bitrot

Member
Aug 7, 2017
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Feedback just in case anyone wants to try it: don't. The original fan (Delta AFB0412VHB) is 9k RPM. Noctua 40mm only has 5k RPM, and will not run correctly with the device's fan controller. (yes, I changed the fan pinout to match the device's pinout)
I added a small piece of foam under the fan, and noise level went down enough for me.
Thank you for the feedback, greatly appreciated, as I'm actually interested in the Cisco SG350X-24 myself, but could not accept the noise.

I found this seller on eBay who claims that the quiet SUNON fans he is offering will work fine in the SG350X series switch without throwing errors:

Quiet Version! Cisco SG350XG-2F10 fan 3x Sunon 18dBA Noise Best Home Office | eBay

Of course you'd only need one fan of those for your SG350X-24, but it would be interesting to know what the exact model number of those fans are and if they have to be modified in any way to work in the Cisco 350X series switches.
 

bitrot

Member
Aug 7, 2017
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I did some research and it looks like the fans sold on eBay could be this exact model:

Sunon MB40201V3-000U-A99

(40 mm x 40 mm x 20mm, 6.3 CFM, 5200rpm, 18dB)