Holy Switch! 10GbE Switching in the Home Lab

XS708EOver the last five to six months I set out to revamp/rebuild both the compute nodes and networking layer in my home lab. These lab upgrades seem to pop up post VMworld (posts here and here) as the idea of running the latest and greatest software from either VMware or its partner eco-system gets my mind racing and the PayPal account to open up.

With this latest round of host upgrades, I was able to introduce 10GbE networking functionality into the lab as the new host servers have dual integrated Intel X540 10GbE adapters. That put me into the market for 10GbE switch as my current switch (Cisco 2960) only supports 1GbE links. Jumping over to NewEgg.com I took a quick look at the available options for 10GbE switching and as you can imagine there are not a lot of “affordable” options out there. The main two models that jumped out where both made by Netgear, the Pro-Safe XS712T (12 ports) and the Pro-Safe XS708E (8 ports).

In comparing the two models I end up selecting the XS708E 8 port model for both a cost reason (the price per port was cheaper) and that I would either need to add two more hosts or a 10GbE Synology array in the future to really tap into the extra ports provided(I keep telling myself this was good reasoning Smile ). As it stands now, with my three hosts I can dedicate one 10GbE interface for VSAN traffic and the other for vMotion traffic, and have two ports free on the switch for future expansion.

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