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Wired Networks Thread, 10Gb Cat6 module for HP A5500-48G-EI core switch in Technical; Hi folks, We have an HP A5500-48G-EI core switch in our comms room, however we recently (couple of years) moved ...
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    machin05's Avatar
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    10Gb Cat6 module for HP A5500-48G-EI core switch

    Hi folks,

    We have an HP A5500-48G-EI core switch in our comms room, however we recently (couple of years) moved all of our servers into a separate room due to overheating and space issues.

    At the moment we have Cat5e points in the server room and they all run back individually to the comms room and into the core switch.

    I am currently looking at ways of improving the infrastructure of our network and want to install a switch in the server room and have a 10Gb link over Cat6 between that switch and the core switch in the comms room.

    For the HP A5500-48G-EI core switch, am I right in thinking that I need to buy one of these to enable a 10Gb cat6 input? - JG535A HP 5500/5120 2-port 10GBASE-T Module - Lowest Price Hardware

    In the server room I was thinking about a Netgear M7100-24X 24 port 10Gb-BaseT switch (ideal world and offers ful 10Gb server backbone upgrades) or a Netgear M5300-28G 24 port 1Gb with 2x 10Gb built-in.

    Can anyone see any holes with this plan?

    Is that module my only option for the HP core switch?

    Cheers in advance...

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    Michael's Avatar
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    For 10Gbps operations, I would highly recommend using a fibre module and OM3 fibre. You're guaranteed no electrical interference, plus it works over longer distances than CAT6 (if needed).

    For the server room, buy another HP switch, also supporting 10Gbps such as the HP 2920 (J9728A).

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    machin05's Avatar
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    I did have a look at fibre, but the transceiver for the core switch alone was too costly.

    HEWLETT PACKARD HP X130 10G SFP+ LC SR Transceiver (JD092B) - www.misco.co.uk

    Then you would need a fibre transceiver for the new HP 2920. I don't think my budget would stretch far enough.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    How far do you need to run the CAT6 cable?

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    machin05's Avatar
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    Not too far - halfway down the corridor 40-50m - I'll get our cable guy to confirm that though!

    That HP switch looks like it can support Cat6e 10Gb RJ45 - cheers for that

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    Michael's Avatar
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    In that case I would suggest CAT6e, as this has a frequency of 750MHz vs. CAT6 which is only 250MHz. CAT6e should run to 100 metres at 10Gbps, but I agree, ask a cable guy to confirm.

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    The specs for that module is Cat7

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    IMHO - installing a new switch into the server room and running a single link back to the comms room (even at 10gig) is a step backwards (and also a waste of money). You're always bettter off running the server runs straight back in to the core sitch for optimum speed and efficency, and as that is exactly what you have now, I see no point in changing it!

    Cat5e points are perfectly capable to run 1GB links per server for 50m runs. So what you have now - is great in my oppinion.

    If you do want to upgrade for the sake of it, then run new cat6e runs per server from the server room into the comms room, still avoid putting a switch in the server room.

    Reasons to avoid what you suggested.

    1. Inneficient. Keep the number of switches and daisy chaning to a minimum, even at 10gig.
    2. Expensive. Forking out for a 10gig capable switch in the server room is overly expensive, given that it will give you NO performance boost.
    3. More single points of faliure. If the 10gig switch in the server room fails, your network is down (and you're thinking of going netgear for this??). If a rat chews through your nice new cat6e cable, your entire network is down.
    4. Doubling up on future bottlenecks - if you decide to upgrade all your servers (or buy new) to 10 gig, your new switch in the server roomis worthless, you have to buy another one. you may as well have kepot it all on the core switch and just upgraded that.

    Thats my 2p mate!

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    machin05's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMcCoy View Post
    The specs for that module is Cat7
    Well spotted!

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    machin05's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AButters View Post
    IMHO - installing a new switch into the server room and running a single link back to the comms room (even at 10gig) is a step backwards (and also a waste of money). You're always bettter off running the server runs straight back in to the core sitch for optimum speed and efficency, and as that is exactly what you have now, I see no point in changing it!

    Cat5e points are perfectly capable to run 1GB links per server for 50m runs. So what you have now - is great in my oppinion.

    If you do want to upgrade for the sake of it, then run new cat6e runs per server from the server room into the comms room, still avoid putting a switch in the server room.

    Reasons to avoid what you suggested.

    1. Inneficient. Keep the number of switches and daisy chaning to a minimum, even at 10gig.
    2. Expensive. Forking out for a 10gig capable switch in the server room is overly expensive, given that it will give you NO performance boost.
    3. More single points of faliure. If the 10gig switch in the server room fails, your network is down (and you're thinking of going netgear for this??). If a rat chews through your nice new cat6e cable, your entire network is down.
    4. Doubling up on future bottlenecks - if you decide to upgrade all your servers (or buy new) to 10 gig, your new switch in the server roomis worthless, you have to buy another one. you may as well have kepot it all on the core switch and just upgraded that.

    Thats my 2p mate!
    Cheers dude, appreciate the input.

    I was also looking for a way of freeing up ports in the core switch and allowing for some expansion in the server room as nearly all cat5e ports are being used.

    Point 4 was the reason I was looking at the NETGEAR - it's a full 24x 10GbE switch so wouldn't need replacing for future backbone upgrades. Wanted to avoid Netgear to be honest, but they seem to be the only guys selling full 10GbE switches at a reasonable/affordable price point - which was one of the drivers behind investigating this project.

  11. Thanks to machin05 from:

    AButters (20th June 2014)

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    Michael's Avatar
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    I think the idea of 10Gbps is if you had 2 buildings with say 5 servers each, each connected at 1Gbps, then the buildings themselves connected at 10Gbps, you remove the bottleneck.

    You'd need one hell of a dense array to justify putting 10Gb network adapters into a server. SSDs do a better job utilising gigabit, but don't really push it to its limits.

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    I think the idea of 10Gbps is if you had 2 buildings with say 5 servers each, each connected at 1Gbps, then the buildings themselves connected at 10Gbps, you remove the bottleneck.

    You'd need one hell of a dense array to justify putting 10Gb network adapters into a server. SSDs do a better job utilising gigabit, but don't really push it to its limits.
    One SATA mechanical HDD will easily saturate a Gb link, 150-180MB/s sustained. A SAS array will easily push 500MB+ peak transfers, obviously it's only any good with multiple switches and multiple clients that can use the bandwith. 10Gb is pretty much required for a virtualisation host to the core switch these days.

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    Again it very much depends on the environment it's in, what you're hosting, but also to focus on real-life uses rather than theoretical maximums.

    Personally in a server config, it's a lot cheaper to buy/install a dual or quad gigabit Ethernet adapter, rather than a single 10GbE adapter. No doubt this'll change in future, but last I checked a 10GbE adapter is in the region of £400-£500, whereas a dual gigabit card is more like £150.

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    Quote Originally Posted by machin05 View Post
    Point 4 was the reason I was looking at the NETGEAR - it's a full 24x 10GbE switch so wouldn't need replacing for future backbone upgrades. Wanted to avoid Netgear to be honest, but they seem to be the only guys selling full 10GbE switches at a reasonable/affordable price point - which was one of the drivers behind investigating this project.
    This is the reason that I went with Netgear for my full infrastructure. I use an M7300 (the fiber version of the one that you've linked) as my core switch with 2 10Gb fiber links to each cab, running the M5300s in stacks. I can't fault it.

    Personally, if your budget allows, I would get 2 M5300 switches with dual 10 input (one toeach switch) aggregated to 1 link for resilliance. I don't know if HP now offer this but Netgear allow you to aggregate ports over 2 switches in a stack. I have this setup with my 3 VM Hosts each with 8 Gb Ethernet ports, 4 on each switch, for example.

    (hope the ramble makes sense to someone out there!)

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    foofighterjim's Avatar
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    Also correct me if I am wrong but isn't the maximum run length for Cat6 on 10GB 55 meters. so you could be running close to maximum length by the time you factor in running down from the ceiling.



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