Home Lab moving to 10GbE

tim_othy

New Member
Sep 18, 2017
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Hi All,
Hopefully the attached image gives a good idea of the setup I have in mind (blue cable is 1GbE). I have yet to buy the items in red and I'm looking for recommendations.
test_bed.png
What I have found so far is:
2xSFP+ switch = D-Link DGS-1510-20 ~= £180
SFP+ NIC = StarTech PEX10000SFP ~= £175
FO cable = Maplin OM3 15m cable ~= £30 each
transceivers = 10GTek AXS85-192-M3 ~= £30 each
I'd like to keep costs as low as possible - i.e., cheaper 10GbE cards, so any help very much appreciated.
Thank you.
 
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Rand__

Well-Known Member
Mar 6, 2014
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Welcome:)

Unless you need advanced functions, how about
-T1700G-28TQ for 4 SFP+ Ports (and silent)?
-Mellanox Connect x2 10 GBe Cards 1 or 2x SFP+) (€30)
-Matching DAC or transceivers eg from FS.com (see other discussions in Network subforum).

Mellanox ConnectX-2 PCIe x8 NIC 10 Gigabit 10GBe SFP+ Single Port Server Adapter | eBay

Switch seems expensive in uk but maybe you can get it from Amazon Germany, its at €242 there currently.
 

bateau

Member
Jan 22, 2017
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If you can spare it, go for a 4 or more x SFP+ switch. You will need it later on.

Low cost options for that (all prices EUR excl VAT):
Mikrotik CSS326: 120EUR, only 2SFP+, but unbeatable price, and fanless
TP-Link T1700G-28TQ : 24oEUR, fanless
Fs.com S3800-24T4S: 260EUR, add shipping 60 EUR
Trendnet TEG-30284: 290EUR, people say they are loud
D-link DGS-1510-28X: 320EUR
Ubiquity ES-16-XG: 490EUR, 12 SFP+
Juniper and Cisco in their SMB line, above 500EUR, but there are deals (I got mine at 58% discount)
If you don't mind the noise and power consumption, there are loads of enterprise switches on ebay.
Quanta, HP, Dell X4012 or X1052,....

fs.com has great prices, but shipment can be a killer.
mikrotik is also very interesting.

There is a thread on low cost switches here somewhere.
 

tim_othy

New Member
Sep 18, 2017
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Thank you chaps!
Yes, I will go 4x SFP+, I don't mind spending a little more for the expandability.
Thank you for the link to the low-cost Mellanox adapter - that's more like it!
fs.com shipping, yes, it's noticeably more than for most, but it's not a showstopper - and they have a huge range.
 

Rand__

Well-Known Member
Mar 6, 2014
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there was a discount option for shipping somewhere here in the forum (contact via email) as long as they have not opened their dependence in Europe
 

tim_othy

New Member
Sep 18, 2017
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Nearly there (I think). Mellanox ConnectX-2 and TP-Link T1700G-28TQ ordered.
From fs.com, I have opted for 4x Mellanox MFM1T02A-SR Compatible Transceiver (Mellanox MFM1T02A-SR 10GBASE-SR SFP+ Transceiver | FS.COM) and 2x 30m LC UPC to LC UPC Duplex 2.0mm LSZH OM3 Multimode Fiber Optic Patch Cable (OM3 50/125 LC—LC Multimode Fiber Optic Cable Duplex 30m (98ft) — Aqua | FS.COM).
Compared to 1Gb networking, it's odd going from a single CAT6 cable to the transceiver-pair+fibre combo, but so be it :) I'm guessing a lot of newbies like me stumble across this, "I have to buy a transceiver as well as the cable?"
 

ppiixx

New Member
May 8, 2017
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That only has 2 SFP+ ports. If you only need 2 you could get the mikrotik CSS326 for around £110 including shipping from eurodk

Half the price for 24 gig ports and 2 SFP+ ports plus it is fanless
 

saivert

Member
Nov 2, 2015
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Norway
Mellanox Connect-X 2 cards needs a well ventilated case or they will run very hot (Max rated temp is 55 C). It was very uncomfortable when I touched the heatsink on the card I have in my silent desktop PC.
I had to put a fan on mine which turns them into dual slot nics.
Something like the already suggested (by OP) Starttech.com cards (they use very little power according to specs) may be better if used in a regular ATX case without high airflow.
 

tim_othy

New Member
Sep 18, 2017
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Thank you for the advice on the Mellanox Connect-X 2 card. It is going into a custom-built silent PC with no airflow, so I can add a case fan to blow directly on it (PCIe slot 5 in an ASRock z97 Extreme9 board).
 

tim_othy

New Member
Sep 18, 2017
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Hello, chaps. So, all the kit has arrived. I decided to start with the cabling(fs.com #42270) and transceivers (fs.com #65334).

Now, it all seems to fit together correctly, indeed I deliberately tried the incorrect orientation and of course, it doesn't fit.

So, I have a patch cable terminated by 2 transceivers, but... I notice the cable is spec'd as A(Tx) to B(Rx) yet the Tx port on the first transceiver connects to the Rx port on the second via the same piece of cable (labelled A at both ends), sleeve is coloured yellow at both ends and the Rx port on the first transceiver connects to the Tx port on the second via the other piece of cable (labelled B at both ends), sleeve is coloured white at both ends.

I came across this...
The Golden Rule of Polarity

Now, I'm confused :(

Is the cable actually A to A? Or is the cable labelled incorrectly? Or is there something am I missing?
 

bateau

Member
Jan 22, 2017
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You have an LC cable and LC SFP+ transceivers. Unless you tore the LC connector apart (which is strongly discouraged), there is only 1 way they all fit. And the way they fit, is the way they work ;). No need to worry about A or B.