New 10g office switches advice

Posted on 2014-01-05
Last Modified: 2014-01-11
Moving into a new office space as we grow and I'm looking for advice on switches. At the current location we have 4 netgear smart switches (gs748t). Let's call one the core with the servers and it has 4 port lags to the "edge switches" for workstations. Wifi ap are one on the core and two on the edges due to placement as things grew over the last 5 years. VoIP uses local Poe injectors under each desk.

For the new location:
I'll have one room with all my servers and switches and all workstations home run here. Desks will have VoIP phones with a second cable.
I've ordered two new servers with 10g baset onboard and so I want to have a 10g switch as my core. There really are not many options in the sub 10k price range here so I'm thinking about the netgear 7100 series. I can put all my 10gBaseT servers here as well as a sfp+ to my sonicwall NSA3600
Then take another sfp+ and run it to a stack of 2 48p switches for desktops. I'm thinking the netgear m5300 series. The only non netgear gigabit with 10g sfp+ uplink model I could find was the Cisco 500x series. What worries me about Cisco are the short lifespans of their SMB lines. I like keeping all my layer3 in the sonicwall and there just are not that many gigabit with 10g uplink switches out there. I think hp has a model you can add a sfp+ module to but their lines are so confusing its hard to get them straight.
Finally I would add a few Poe switches I would patch to the phones. They are only fast Ethernet so I'm not too concerned about these switches. I don't see the point of $3k 10g uplink Poe switches just for phones.

I have lots of experience in the SMB networking field but as the company grows I need to learn about this larger scale gear. I'm really just looking for advice from someone with more experience with this sort of thing. 1g switches with 1g uplinks in a lag just seems silly to me but that's what I see everyone offering.
Question by:Aaron Tomosky
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Expert Comment

ID: 39758349

Why do you want to have a separate run for VIOP?  This doubles the number of cable runs you have and depending on the number of desktops could drastically increase the number of switch ports you need, money you could spend on

The WHOLE justification of VIOP is to reduce costs by using existing LAN infrastructure.  By setting up VOIP on its own infrastructure your defeating the purpose of VOIP.
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Assisted Solution

giltjr earned 500 total points
ID: 39758354
Since the 7100 does not do L3, I am assuming for the 5300's you are getting one of the L3 models.
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Author Comment

by:Aaron Tomosky
ID: 39758382
I've got avaya VoIP phones I'm stuck with. They are 10/100 and so I'm not using them as a pass through, so obviously I need two jacks per desk.

I don't really think I have a need for l3 at any of the switches as my sonicwall can do one or more sfp+ connections. Technically it's a router on a stick but that's a big stick. If there isn't a performance reason then why would I want to bother putting access rules in my switches?
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Accepted Solution

giltjr earned 500 total points
ID: 39758431
So you feel you need more than1 Gbps to the desktop?  That is fine.

The NSA 3600 is a fairly hefty firewall.  I am assuming you got it because you felt you needed that much horse power.  However, unless the specs have changed  it only has 3.4 Gbps of basic firewall throughput.  Not sure how much of that you are using now or what else you may be doing with it (VPN , DPI, IPS, other?) and I'm not sure how your network will be fully setup and what it it does.

However, if you feel that you need more than 100 Mbps to the desktop, it seems to me that 3.4 Gbps could be a bottle neck.  If you do more than "basic" firewall the throughput could be much lower.  In fact it is rated at 900 Mbps for "real world Internet mix" (IMIX).
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Author Closing Comment

by:Aaron Tomosky
ID: 39772030
Technically both of these switches do L2+ and the 5300 series can do L3 with an upgrade. giltjr Brought up some good points and got me thinking about L3 and throughput of the sonicwall, not just it's connectors.

I was really looking for alternative brands or setups to match this config, but since no one came up with those, I'll run with my original assumption that the market just doesn't really have any 10g-BaseT switches under 10k except netgear. Now that intel is including dual 10g nics on many of it's server boards I was hoping this would change.
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Expert Comment

ID: 39772165
Oops, I meant to get back to you.  I only found one other 10 Gbps TOR switch that was under $10K, and a couple just over:

D-Link DXS-3600 under $9K

Extreme Networks Summit X650-24x  $11K

BNT RackSwitch G8124R $11K

Mellanox SX1024 Switch $13K  -- but it has 60 ports, 48 SFP+ 10 Gbe ports  and 12 QSFP 40/56 Gbe ports for uplinks.

My personal opinion, I'm not sure I would trust a Netgear or D-Link 10GbE switch.  It could be they are low just to get in the market.  I would not hesitate to get and Extreme Networks switch.  

Never heard of Mellanox but at twice the number of ports and 40 GbE uplinks for just a few K more, I would definitely ask if I could have a evaluation unit for 30 days.
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Author Comment

by:Aaron Tomosky
ID: 39772336
Giving netgear $5k for one switch was giving me second thoughts. Same for the 2x 1g/10g sfp+ uplink switches, those are $2,500 each.

If you don't mind, I'd like to run a ExtremeNetworks solution by you since I have no experience with them:

1x 10g-BaseT for servers (for now I have need of 4 ports but this will go up):Summit X650-24t with VIM1-SummitStack Module? This should run all my servers with future expansion, stack to the others, and I connect my sonicwall NSA3600 sfp+ to the module here? As long as I have a 10g stack bandwidth i'd think that would be sufficient
2x for workstations: Summit X450e/a or can I use the X440 series? I just need 1g ports with a good uplink, but since they are in the same rack, stacking works fine. Which model would you recommend and why? The range of options is sort of confusing.
2x 24port POE: my only non voip phone poe needs are a few cameras and access points. If I use local injectors for those I can do a 10/100 poe switch which for other brands is only $500. Would this be the Summit X250e-24p?

Additional Questions:
Any problems stacking all these together? would the slow x250e slow down the whole stack?
Is there any type of gui for this stuff or all cli?

I think they will all just stack together according to this:
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Expert Comment

ID: 39774066
--> Summit X450e/a or can I use the X440 series?

You may need to see if there are any more differences, but the X450e does POE and I don't think the X450a does.  The X450's are newer than the X440's, you may want to verify when the X440's may go out of support.  If you try and stack x440's with other "newer" switch just be aware that all switches in the stack need to be running they same firmware level.  

--> If I use local injectors for those I can do a 10/100 poe switch which for other brands is only $500. Would this be the Summit X250e-24p?

Sure, not a problem.

-->  would the slow x250e slow down the whole stack?

I will not slow the stack down, it supports 40 Gbps stacking just like the other switches.  Now, of course, since it ports are 10/100 any traffic following through those ports will be slower.

All of the switches mentioned have a web based management interface:

Comparison chart that includes the x450e, x450a, and x250e.
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Author Comment

by:Aaron Tomosky
ID: 39774072
Thank you very much for the follow up. If i need anything else I'll make a new question
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Expert Comment

ID: 39774119
Thanks and good luck.

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