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[Discuss] 10G Network Equipment 24 Port and 48 Port

On Thu, 20 Dec 2012, Stephen Goldman wrote:

> Hello Blu,
>        Seeking input from others on 10G networking equipment.
>        Specifically looking to increase bandwidth from 1G to 10 G. No 
> vlans, no switch stacking just an increase in speed.

I don't think any 10GBE switch omits the fancy stuff. There are no 
dumb 10GBE switches, which is too bad, since I think there are plenty of 
applications which only need switching, and don't depend on the switch for 
routing, or firewalling etc.

> Requirements-
> One end a 24 10G switch - over single mode to a 48 10G.
>        The existing equipment is a 10 + year old 4006 core switch.
>        Received a quote from Dell for the Power Connect 8132 &  8164 ..
>        A colleague suggested NETGEAR for a fraction of the cost.
>        Needs to be highly reliable and just work. Can any share any 
> experiences here please?

10GBE ethernet is a swamp of incompatibility. See these before wading in:

We have experience only with DAC (copper coax) connections, FO may be 
different (and is certainly more expensive).

NICs and switches may support passive or active DACs, or both. DAC vendors 
generally say which kind of cable they are selling, NIC and switch vendors 
rarely say what they support and the sales staff is unlikely to know.

DACs have a vendor ID, and NIC drivers and switches may examine the vendor 
ID and refuse to work with a competitor's cables, or they may only log a 
warning. You could easily get into a situation where the switch insisted 
on one brand of DAC, and the NIC on another.

In our case the Chelsio card firmware used for PXE booting refused to 
operate with any non-Chelsio DAC, while the Linux and FreeBSD operating 
system drivers had no problem with the same cable.

The HP NICs we have are dual port, and are too hot to touch when in 
operation. Otherwise they work (including PXE booting) with several brands 
of cable.

Some brands of passive DAC (including Cisco) are available only up to 5 
meters, while others are available up to 7 meters. I have read that active 
DAC was good to 10 meters, but haven't seen such cables for sale.

We have a Brocade switch, it was $8,500/24-ports and it has presented no 
problems. It has worked with 3 brands of DAC and 2 brands of NIC (Chelsio 
and HP).

The sales guys tell us to avoid the problems by using Fiber Optic 
connections, for about $1,200 more per connection.

Daniel Feenberg

> Thank you,
> Stephen
> Stephen Goldman
> Systems Administrator
> Massachusetts Institute of Technology
> Department of Biology
> 31 Ames Street 68-211
> Cambridge, Ma 02139
> sgoldman at -617-452-2595
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
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