Monday, April 27, 2015

10Gbe Networking still too rich for me

Several years ago Marcus and Agata meticulously planned our last Apartment.  All aspects of the construction were considered including of course the Computer infrastructure.

We did the forward looking thing and wired the whole apartment for Ethernet.

10Gbe  that is to say 10 Gigabit Ethernet

Marcus felt sure that in the forthcoming years the cost would plummet and it would be economical to install more than the cabling.

However in 2015 I am disappointed that this is still not the case.  Whilst in the Enterprise, 10Gbe Server LAN ports, Network Switches, and SOHO Network Storage are no strangers if not commonplace the focus in the home has definitely been faster wireless.

In fact the Enterprise is now toying with 40Gbe  (40 Gigabits per Second) network adaptors.

Lenovo Mellanox ConnectX-3Pro  40Gbe

So if I was going to upgrade my home Infrastructure right now to 10Gbe networkability what would I choose .....?


If you are building your PC from scratch right now in April 2015 I'd propose the Supermicro   X10RH-iT server E-ATX sized motherboard

This includes 2, 10Gbe ports and I would say that with 16 memory slots you can get to 128GB memory with ease. I personally always recommend a Dual Processor Motherboard for maximum CPU cores if you work with virtualisation  (Although Xeon E5-2xxx are hugely more expensive than Xeon E5-1xxx and necessary for dual processor configs).

The price of the above motherboard is peanuts compared to the cost of processors and memory.  We are looking at about 6K USD ballpark.

10Gbe Cards

Plan B would be to retrofix an existing motherboard placing into a x8 or better PCIe slot the Intel x540-T2 networking card.

Intel provides this dual port single PCIe x8 card for less than 500 USD

10Gbe Switch

For a change [to me] Netgear actually make a competitive 8 port 10Gbe swtich ... Netgear XS708E .Costs just less than 1000 dollars.

You might also consider  ZyXEL XS1920-12

10Gbe NAS

This is an easy choice: Synology DS2015xs.  Of all the items listed here it's relative low cost   (1500 USD without drives). It is a positive bargain.

For the money you get 2, 10Gbe network ports,  and 2, 1 Gigabit Ethernets.

In the NAS world to me decent software is key and so this immediately limits the field down to Synology of QNAP.  If you are a QNAP advocate then I'd a TS-470 Pro with the optional 10Gbe card

Still to rich. What is the minimim?
Even allowing for resuse of components from the existing server and disk in existing NAS,  the upspend to get from current to the above configuration is substantial  (at least 10K USD).  Too rich for Agata and Marcus!

So for the absolute minimum one could:

  • Retrofit your current server with a single  Intel x540-T2 networking card and link with just cables without using a Network switch directly to the Synology DS2015xs.

I don't know how it is going to work out, but our home NAS configuration has not changed for over 3 years now, something needs to be upgraded!

G.Skill 16GB Unbuffered Memory Module
Netgear XS708E digitec
Zyxel XS1920-12 10Gbe Switch
Intel X540-T2 Ethernet Card
QNAP Thunderbolt NAS

And Finally
Last minute interesting developments for those of you with powerful Servers with Thunderbolt (Apple or PC's with a card), QNAP is releasing combined DAS(Thunderbolt 2) with NAS (Ethernet) storage devices soon.

QNAP Thunderbolt

ASUS Dual Thunderbolt 2 card