Note: that should say CAT*6*A, not *7*. Other than that, no changes.

Moshe Katz
-- +1(301)867-3732

On Tue, Mar 27, 2018 at 8:10 PM, Moshe Katz <> wrote:

> According to the specs that I found on HP's website, your HP switch does
> not support 10Gb, only 1Gb on its mini-GBIC ports. You will definitely need
> a new switch to take advantage of 10Gb.
> If you do get a switch that supports 10GBase-T, you should definitely
> consider the Intel X540. The vast majority of reports that I have seen say
> that it works great. (There was one report I found on a forum claiming
> performance issues, but others on the same thread said it worked fine for
> them.)
> There are also many dual-port SFP+ cards out there (such as the Intel
> X520) that are not too expensive and support lots of different types of
> SFP+ connectors. Although Intel does not make a 10GBase-T SFP+ itself,
> there are third parties that make it. You would use one of those to connect
> to the 10GbE feed into the rack and then a regular fiber SFP (or the option
> listed below) to connect to the switch.
> To connect the pfSense to the switch, I would probably use a Direct-Attach
> cable (DAC) instead of fiber or Ethernet. Approved Optics
> <> is a company that makes many OEM network
> connectors under contract and they also make their own versions of them at
> significantly reduced prices. Their DAC Finder
> <> tool lets you order a cable that
> has SFP+ ends for different manufacturers (for example, an Intel end for
> your pfSense and an HP end for your switch). There's no need to worry about
> fiber or CAT7A Ethernet cables; just plug the cable in (taking care to make
> sure it is oriented correctly) and that's it.
> Since you have a limited budget, I really recommend going the
> direct-attached route. They are so much cheaper and more resilient than
> fiber, and switches with SFP+ slots are often much cheaper than switches
> with 10GbE. For example, you can get a Uniquiti EdgeSwitch with 48 Gb ports
> and 2 SFP+ ports for just around $400. These are the switches I have used
> in many of our limited-budget installations in the past (including in a
> University setting like yours seems to be from your email address) and they
> perform well. (Note that Approved Optics does not have official Ubiquiti
> cables, but many on the Ubiquiti forums report that it works with Cisco and
> other brand cables as long as they are 2 meters or shorter. In a single
> rack, that should not be an issue.)
> Moshe
> --
> Moshe Katz
> --
> -- +1(301)867-3732 <(301)%20867-3732>
> On Tue, Mar 27, 2018 at 6:41 PM, Paul Mather <>
> wrote:
>> A 10GBASE-T port became available to us in our server rack.  The rack
>> currently has a 20-node Hadoop cluster, each node having dual Intel i350
>> 1000BASE-T NICs.  The Hadoop nodes connect to an old HP 2910al-48G 48-port
>> GbE switch that, in turn, connects to an old Dell R310 server running
>> pfSense that serves as the WAN gateway for the cluster.
>> It appears that the choice (not ours) of RJ45 for the 10 GbE provided for
>> us in the rack will necessitate some equipment changes if we are to utilise
>> the 10 GbE connection.  Having done some investigation, I've decided the
>> following changes are likely needed, and I would like to solicit from the
>> list comment regarding any obvious blunders in the plan below:
>> 1) I need a 10 GbE uplink capability from my switch to the pfSense
>> gateway and also 10GBASE-T WAN connectivity from my pfSense gateway to the
>> 10GBASE-T port in the rack.
>> 2) The 10 GbE expansion options for the HP 2910al-48G are limited and I
>> couldn't actually find any 10GBASE-T solutions (IIRC).  If I went for 10
>> GbE SFP+ in the HP 2910al-48G that would mean I would also need 10 GbE SFP+
>> capability in my pfSense gateway---likely meaning I would need two 10 GbE
>> NICs (one SFP+ and one 10GBASE-T), which means...
>> 3) It is probably cheaper (alas, we are on a budget) to buy a new switch
>> to replace the HP 2910al-48G that includes 10GBASE-T uplink capability.
>> That would let me just have a single 10 GbE card for the pfSense gateway.
>> I think the Netgear GS752TX 52-port switch would be a good candidate as it
>> includes two 10GBASE-T ports in addition to the 48 1000BASE-T ports.
>> 4) I am considering a Chelsio NIC for the 10GBASE-T WAN/LAN connections
>> because I keep hearing these are the best-supported 10 GbE cards under
>> FreeBSD.  I'd get a Chelsio T420-BT but these seem to be discontinued in
>> favour of the Chelsio T520-BT.  Are there any better choices I should be
>> considering?  Intel X540-T2??
>> So, as I said earlier, are there any glaring problems in the above plan?
>> (Does it seem sensible?)  Or, alternatively, is there a much better
>> solution that I've overlooked entirely?  Constructive criticism/input is
>> appreciated.
>> Thanks in advance.
>> Cheers,
>> Paul.
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