Quiet switch w/10Gb uplink (PoE a plus)

Discussion in 'Networking' started by pcmoore, Jun 1, 2018.

  1. pcmoore

    pcmoore Member

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    Hello all,

    Over the past year I've been slowly upgrading various bits of my network to 10Gb and I'm now to the point of wanting to upgrade some of the "access" switches in the living areas of my home. For most of these switches I don't need 10Gb device ports, 1Gb is sufficient, but I would like to leverage the 10Gb capabilities of the uplink (10GBASE-T). Some type of management is desirable, as is the potential for LAG/LACP on the uplink, but these portions of the network will be mostly static so the management interface is largely for troubleshooting. Support for the various PoE standards is a plus, but not a requirement as I've already got a collection of injectors that can be used if needed; even if I do make use of the PoE capabilities in the switch, I expect the power load to be low (one or two devices).

    The big constraint is that it needs to be *quiet*. While none of these switches are going into a bedroom, they are going into a living room, home office, etc.; they don't need to be fanless, but they do need to be close to silent.

    Unfortunately I haven't been able to find a lot of switches that meet these requirements, so I'm reaching out to you nice people in hopes that you can point me in some new directions. A quick summary of what I've found so far is below:
    • Mikrotik CSS/CRS326-24G-2S+RM (~$170 new)
    No fans so noise is not an issue, does have management capabilities, no PoE. The uplink ports are SFP+ which would require a S+RJ10, or some other 10GBASE-T transceiver, which carries cable length limitations (~30m vs ~55m) and heat risk. Unfortunately, they have external power supplies which is a big negative as I have developed an irrational hatred of wall warts over the years. On the plus side, the switches are absurdly cheap and seem to be well reviewed.​
    • Mikrotik CRS328-24P-4S+RM ($340 new)
    Similar to the CRS326 but adds PoE, an internal power supply, and fans. From what I can tell RouterOS handles the fans well, with little to no fan activity on a lightly loaded switch (PoE load) at room temperature; unfortunately SwitchOS still seems to be a bit noisy, but improvements are expected in a future release (a common theme with SwitchOS from what I can tell). The uplink ports remain SFP+. While more expensive than the CRS326 these switches would appear to still be a bargain, but there does not seem to be many (any?) real world reviews for these devices. Does anyone have any CRS328 experience they can share?​
    • Netgear XS505M / XS508M (~$600 for 8-port new)
    The switches do have a fan, but they are touted as "whisper quiet" as based on the XS708T review here it looks like 23-30db can be expected (likely good enough for most of my needs). All of the ports support 10GBASE-T (the multi-gigabit support is not interesting as my aggregation switch only speaks 1/10GBASE-T). No management or PoE, but there is an internal power supply. :)
    • Netgear GS110MX (~$200 new) / GS110EMX (~$250 new)
    Compared to the XS505M/XS508M, these switches lose the fan, but gain an external power supply. They also only support 10GBASE-T on two of the ten ports (which is fine for my use case, but worth noting). The EMX model has basic management capabilities while the MX model does not. No PoE.​
    • Netgear XS708Ev2 (~$640 new) / XS512EM (~$850 new)
    I consider these to be the XS508M's big brothers. All of the ports in each switch support 10GBASE-T (the XS512EM does offer some SFP+ combo ports) and basic management is provided, but no PoE. Both switches have two fans, with the XS708Ev2 carrying a ~36db noise rating (probably a bit on the loud side) and the XS512EM carrying a ~30db/idle to ~40db/loaded rating (probably okay when idle, too loud under load). Does anyone have any experience with these switches? Is the noise rating accurate in the real world?​
    • Netgear MS510TX (~$350 new) / MS510TXPP (~$450 new)
    Two more relatives to the humble XS508M, and close cousins to the XS708 and XS512 models. Both of these switches have fans, although the noise ratings are ~21db and ~29db respectively. Both switches also have internal power supplies and provide management capabilities, the MS510TXPP even provides PoE+ support. Although both switches do have an odd port configuration with an assortment of speeds across the switch; both have at least one 10GBASE-T port.​
    • Netgear XS708T (~$820 new)
    Favorably reviewed on this site, so I don't have much to add. Fans, but they fall into the "reasonable" noise level category, management support, internal power supply, plenty of 10GBASE-T ports for my needs, no PoE.​
    • Dell N1124T-ON (~$1160 new)
    This is the wildcard entry in the list and I've really only included it because I've used a fair number of Dell switches over the years and have had good experiences with them, especially the freely available firmware updates for older models. Fanless, internal power supply, management support, no PoE, and 10Gb uplinks are SFP+ so a 10GBASE-T transceiver would be required (may be able to use the Mikrotik S+RJ10).
    Does anyone have any other switches they can think of which might be a good fit? Any experience with the switches listed above?

     
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  2. PigLover

    PigLover Moderator

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    I've got the Mikrotik CSS/CRS326-24G-2S+RM in my wiring closet and the Netgear GS110EMX on my desk. Both have been great, rock solid, quiet (obviously - fanless). The environment for the Mikrotik is not well controlled and it gets quite hot (there is limited airflow and other hot things on top of/under it) - it doesn't report temps on SNMP so I have no way to log the temps, but it hasn't had any heat related issue.

    I know the wall-warts are annoying, but I wouldn't leave off good choices just because of them unless you are installing in a place where house power is not available.

    Both of them only have two 10Gbe links and I'm basically using them as add-drop nodes. They work great for that. Been very satisfied.
     
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  3. zhoulander

    zhoulander Active Member

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    TPLink T1700G-28TQ 24 x 1G + 4 x SFP+with S+RJ10. Fanless.

    XS708T is a nice switch already at stock, but noise can benefit greatly from a fan swap using Noctua 40x10mm fans.

    HP JL258A 8 port POE + 2 SFP+ ~$300-350 USD on eBay with a S+RJ10. Fanless. External PSU.

    HP JG962A 24 port 1G POE, 2 x 10GBase-T + 2 x SFP+ is ultimately what I settled upon, with a fan swap using Noctua 40x20mm fans.
     
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  4. Evan

    Evan Well-Known Member

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    C3560CX-8XPD-S
    PoE+, couple of 10G base-t (multi gig actually, so 1/2.5/5/01), couple of 10G SFP+
    Fanless
    Internal power supply

    $$$ but it’s Cisco enterprise switch, just compact and fanless.
     
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  5. StammesOpfer

    StammesOpfer Active Member

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    Dell 5524/5548 are fairly quite the poe version still isn't bad but it isn't silent.

    SPF+ but perhaps the low price helps offset transceiver cost.
     
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  6. pcmoore

    pcmoore Member

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    Thanks for the input. It's a little unfortunate that there is no easy way to automate monitoring of the CRS326's temperature, but it is good to know that it can tolerate a fair bit of heat. I still worry a bit about the heat generated by the S+RJ10, but I've got one on order so I can do some testing, both for temperature and cable length.

    As for the external power supplies ... sigh ... yes, I'm not eliminating switches because of this (I've already got plenty of "things" that require external supplies), I just dream of the day when I can throw the last one in the trash ;)
     
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  7. pcmoore

    pcmoore Member

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    I've seen a lot of people get excited about the TPLink switches, justifiably so; it's cheap, fanless, and has a decent number of ports. However, it seems like in every thread there is at least one person with a buggy TPLink story. I've personally never used a TPLink switch, but my experience with other consumer grade networking gear has not been positive.

    Have you done a fan swap on the XS708T? If so, I assume it still runs at a reasonable temperature and there are no reported fan/temp faults?

    As far as HP switches go, I had heard you needed a paid support contract to get firmware updates, but since I was just able to download the firmware for both the switches you mentioned I guess that was bogus, or maybe just for the higher end switches? Regardless, how do you lik the HP JG962A (HP 1950), and what are the noise and temperature readings with the Noctua fan swap? This could be an interesting option ...
     
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  8. pcmoore

    pcmoore Member

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    I know Cisco makes good stuff, but it usually tends to demand a bit more of a price premium than I am willing to spend.
     
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  9. pcmoore

    pcmoore Member

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    I remember looking at these prior (bonus points for the novel HDMI based stacking ports!) but I thought I dismissed them due to noise. However, digging a bit deeper I see that most of the noise complaints are for PoE variants. If this proves to be a viable option it might be an alternative to the Mikrotiks as the 5524s appear to be quite cheap on the used market.

    Do you have a 5524? If so, what is the noise/temp like? Have you found the need for a fan swap?
     
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  10. Anathematician

    Anathematician New Member

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    Check out the Juniper ex2300-c-12p series. 2x 10gbe uplinks, 12 poe gigabit ports and no fans so completely silent. You get level 2 and some level 3, it’s a bit more than the TP-link or mikrotik but cheaper than Cisco. I didn’t see how many ports you needed though, so may not fit your requirements. ​
     
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  11. Evan

    Evan Well-Known Member

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    Yep can’t argue with that, about the $1k mark if you can get a reasonable discount, so for sure not a cheap option.
    Just thought to throw it in since I knew them and use them and seemed to meet all the requirements.

    Watching the thread with interest as at home something cheaper but similar would be great.
     
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  12. IamSpartacus

    IamSpartacus Well-Known Member

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    POE + 10Gb + quiet is not a recipe I've ever seen made. On the other hand if you don't need POE I've got a Dell X1052 available in the FS forum. Four SFP+ ports, 48 1Gb ports, and a pretty quiet switch especially compared to your typical enterprise switches.
     
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  13. StammesOpfer

    StammesOpfer Active Member

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    I have a couple, although I no longer use them. The POE version does make some noise not terrible but not quite. The non-POE will actually shut off the fans completely part time and when they do spin up they are audible but not terrible. I imagine since it does run without fans completely part time that low flow fans (quite) would still be effective at cooling if the stock ones were determined to be too loud. I have 2x 5524 and 1x 5524p if you are interested... No pressure. I was happy with them until I needed something more (Brocade ICX6610).
     
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  14. zhoulander

    zhoulander Active Member

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    Yes, it runs fine with no faults, granted my load on it is very light with only a few 'clients' on it at a time, and very infrequently under sustained loads. I do notice the noise but right now it's literally on the desk next to my seated position. Tucked away in a corner it would 'disappear'.

    I've had no issues downloading updated firmwares. It's a perfect combination of what I need - decent web GUI, PoE, good mix of ports, and CLI with a google-able password. It would only get replaced with a comparable Ubiquiti switch (if one ever gets released), or the new fanless Cisco 2960L if they ever become reasonably priced.

    Couple notes about the fan swap:
    - Dupont M-F wires will be needed to connect the fan since it uses a non-standard connector
    - Ground the fan speed sense wire so the switch doesn't go into alert mode (fan speed to slow)
    - Run the Noctuas at full speed since they're moving significantly less air than stock

    I'm running several PoE cameras and a couple of phones off it and haven't had issues with stability or overheating. No temp or noise readings unfortunately. The noise is louder than the Noctua in free-air but not obtrusive. My R210ii's are subjectively louder than the fan-modded switch.

    Here's the Cisco switch - STH just put an article on it a couple days ago.
    https://www.servethehome.com/cisco-catalyst-2960-l-switches-offer-fanless-at-195w-poe/

    The 24 x 1G POE + 4x10GBe is pricey though, at almost $3K CAD.
    Cisco 2960L-24PQ-LL
     
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  15. weust

    weust Member

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    I actually have this switch and turned it off last weekend to migrate to another switch (more ports).
    Mine is a EU model so if you're in the US that might be an issue power wise (I don't know if it has a switch PSU). Haven't put it up for sale yet.

    Expensive, but at the time (2 or 3 years ago) it was the only model (besides D-link) that had what I wanted.
    6*1GbE, 2*Multi-GbE, 2*SFP+ and POE and fanless.
     
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  16. pcmoore

    pcmoore Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion. While still pricey, it is cheaper than the Cisco, with prices appearing to be comparable to the XS708T. The Netgear offers 10GBASE-T on all the ports, but the Juniper offers POE. I was hoping to end up with options under $800/switch (used is OK), but perhaps I can get lucky on eBay. I've already been surprised at what I have found for my "core" 10Gb switches in my rack.

    As for the port count, yes, I just realized that I somehow left that out of my original post - oops! I'm currently looking for either two or three switches (I'm still debating the merits of going to 10Gb on one of the switches); for two of the switches, eight ports should be sufficient, for the other I could get by with eight ports, but 12 or 16 would give me a bit more headroom. One of the eight port switches needs to be moderately compact, the other two switches don't have any real size restrictions (your typical rackmount is fine). There is obviously no upper limit assuming the noise requirements are met.
     
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  17. pcmoore

    pcmoore Member

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    I appreciate the suggestion, even if it might not be the right fit for me at this moment.

    I figured there were probably of few of us looking for something similar. So far I've found this thread (and several others in this forum) quite helpful.
     
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  18. pcmoore

    pcmoore Member

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    Well, we've seen a few mentioned in this thread that seem to fall into this category. The cover story over the weekend even highlighted several options from Cisco. While it may be internal optimist speaking, I'm hopeful we'll see a few more suggestions in this thread too :)

    I actually just decommissioned a X1052 that has served me well for several years. Nothing wrong with it other than it only had four SFP+ ports and that was too few to satisfy my 10Gb "itch". I plan on using it to test drive the Mikrotik S+RJ10 that should be arriving this week (assuming it works with the Dell), and perhaps using it as a backup/test switch in the future.

    I did briefly try it out in my office, but even idling with no ports active it was too loud. I may experiment with a fan swap, but I would prefer to find a stock switch that is quiet by design if possible. Also, depending on how the S+RJ10 testing goes, I may need to find a switch that supports 10GBASE-T natively.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
  19. pcmoore

    pcmoore Member

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    Thanks for the input, it seems to match what I've read elsewhere: the PoE variant is probably too noisy for what I'm looking for, but the standard switch *may* be just fine as-is or with a fan swap. While I would prefer a switch that doesn't require modification, the used prices appear to be cheap enough that I could almost justify one as an experiment. If it works, I think I would prefer this over the Mikrotik CRS326 at roughly the same price. Any thoughts on what you might want for your 5224(s)?

    The next big question is if a S+RJ10 has enough power to drive my existing wiring, hopefully I'll know later this week.
     
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  20. pcmoore

    pcmoore Member

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    Thanks. That sounds like it probably right on the border of workable for me; I'll have to give it some thought.

    Also good to know, thanks. Especially the bit about the non-standard fan connectors; I hate getting half-way into a project and having to delay because I don't have the right parts to finish ;)
     
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