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SFP+ to RJ45 connection

JenWest1919

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Jun 5, 2017
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Hi everyone,

I'm pulling my hair out trying to understand how to get to a 10gbe connection.

1) I ordered a Chelsio T520. This uses an SFP+ connection
2) This means I need to have an SFP+ cable to go to whatever router/switch I end up using.
3) Most routers/switches I'm seeing have one SFP+ port, followed by a bunch of gigabit (not 10gbe) ports.
4) The ones that have multiple SFP+ ports don't help, because I'm using Cat6a cable up to my wall jack, followed by my MOBO having a 10gbe RJ45 connection

So... anyone know where I can find a router/switch that has an SFP+ port PLUS actual 10gbe RJ45 ports that doesn't cost ~$1,000?

Or, any other recommendations?

Thank you
 

danb35

FreeNAS Wizard
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Aug 16, 2011
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JenWest1919

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Jun 5, 2017
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Sure they do; just use a SFP+ module with a RJ45 rather than with optics. Something like this: https://www.balticnetworks.com/mikrotik-6-speed-rj-45-module.html
Thank you for the response.

I was looking at these transceivers earlier.

I imagine the only way to do this would be:

SFP to SFP switch
1 transceiver connects NAS to existing 1gbe router (for wifi access)
1 transceiver connects from 10gbe RJ45 port on desktop MOBO, to new 2 outlet wall jack, one of which goes to the SFP port, and the other to the existing router. The 10gbe port on mobo connects to SFP port using transceiver, and the 1gbe port on mobo connects to regular gigabit for internet....

Is this unnecessarily complicated?

Sure wish there was a switch that was just 1 SFP port, with a bunch of 10gbe RJ45 ports :p
 

danb35

FreeNAS Wizard
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Is this unnecessarily complicated?
It sounds like it. Why are you proposing to run the 10G and the 1G ports on your desktop separately? There seem like two relatively simple ways to accomplish what you're wanting:
  • Get a switch with enough SFP+ (note, SFP+ is not the same as SFP) ports to cover the 10G hosts you want to use, and at least one GbE port. Wire it to the rest of your network using the GbE port, connect to the T520 using fiber or a SFP+ DAC, connect to the remaining copper infrastructure using SFP+/RJ45 modules.
  • Alternatively, use a SFP+/RJ45 module in your T520, then use a switch with the desired number of RJ45 10G ports.
 

l@e

FreeNAS Experienced
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Nov 4, 2013
Messages
139
1 transceiver connects NAS to existing 1gbe router (for wifi access)
1 transceiver connects from 10gbe RJ45 port on desktop MOBO, to new 2 outlet wall jack, one of which goes to the SFP port, and the other to the existing router. The 10gbe port on mobo connects to SFP port using transceiver, and the 1gbe port on mobo connects to regular gigabit for internet....
don't forget to put 2 extra IP for th direct path ws - server
 

JenWest1919

Newbie
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Jun 5, 2017
Messages
29
It sounds like it. Why are you proposing to run the 10G and the 1G ports on your desktop separately? There seem like two relatively simple ways to accomplish what you're wanting:
  • Get a switch with enough SFP+ (note, SFP+ is not the same as SFP) ports to cover the 10G hosts you want to use, and at least one GbE port. Wire it to the rest of your network using the GbE port, connect to the T520 using fiber or a SFP+ DAC, connect to the remaining copper infrastructure using SFP+/RJ45 modules.
  • Alternatively, use a SFP+/RJ45 module in your T520, then use a switch with the desired number of RJ45 10G ports.
Thank you for the response!

The struggle seems to be finding a switch/router that fits the requirements.

I think I found a solution, though. Correct me if I am wrong!

NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro Gaming 10 port Gigabit Switch - has two 10gbe ports...



Sorry for sounding dumb asf, but if I connect my router to this switch, that provides internet access to my desktop, yes (as shown in diagram, desktop would be connected to the switch's second 10gbe port)?

Thank you
 
Last edited:

l@e

FreeNAS Experienced
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Nov 4, 2013
Messages
139
Should work.
Just remark of sfpp adapter , check with chelsio support if msa is supported anda that adapter has msa
 

l@e

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Nov 4, 2013
Messages
139
but if I connect my router to this switch, that provides internet access to my desktop, yes?
It will perform as it is directly plugged to router for the internet part
 

jgreco

Resident Grinch
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Sure they do; just use a SFP+ module with a RJ45 rather than with optics. Something like this: https://www.balticnetworks.com/mikrotik-6-speed-rj-45-module.html
Please be careful with what you say. Many switches and devices may not be able to drive this.

On one hand, 10Gig on Category cable requires substantially more power than your typical SFP+ port is designed to provide. The typical way manufacturers are getting around this is to reduce the allowable cable length. However, specific manufacturers may also be cheating and boosting the power available to SFP+ modules.

On the other hand, these things have some firmware built into them and the switch basically needs a "device driver" that knows how to talk to them. It isn't super-complicated, but devices with SFP+ ports often reject things they don't understand and weren't designed to work with.

There's a lot of room for frustration, disappointment, and failure here.
 

danb35

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Please be careful with what you say. Many switches and devices may not be able to drive this.
Fair enough--I had the little Mikrotik switch on my mind, which I'm pretty sure would work with that module. But my suggestion to use such a module with the T520 card might not have been practical.
 

jgreco

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Fair enough--I had the little Mikrotik switch on my mind, which I'm pretty sure would work with that module. But my suggestion to use such a module with the T520 card might not have been practical.
Yeah, the little 4-port Mikrotik 10G switch, assuming it's compatible with that copper SFP+, well it wouldn't be CHEAP, but it'd work.
 

danb35

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OTOH, I've had that switch on order for two months, and balticnetworks.com now says they don't expect it to ship until April.
 

jgreco

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OTOH, I've had that switch on order for two months, and balticnetworks.com now says they don't expect it to ship until April.
Sigh. The modern wonderful magic era of networking and computers.
 

JenWest1919

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danb35

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the only switches I found supporting SFP+ are upwards of $600 to begin with....
Then really, you haven't been looking, or even paying much attention to other threads you've been involved in. This one's been mentioned to you before:
https://www.balticnetworks.com/mikrotik-4-port-sfp-802-3at-af-switch-l5.html
...and it's $125 (though finding one in stock may be difficult). This one:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/DELL-POWERCONNECT-5524-24-PORT-GIGABIT-SWITCH/132931323915?epid=8010480597&hash=item1ef353080b:g:YccAAOSwhEhcTNQd:sc:FedExHomeDelivery!31324!US!-1:rk:1:pf:0
...though used, is even less. There's an Aruba switch that @Chris Moore has mentioned a few times that gives you 4x SFP+, 48x GbE for around $150.

Especially if you're willing to look at used gear, there are lots of options well under $600 (indeed, under $100).
 

JenWest1919

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Jun 5, 2017
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I've looked at these but I've been confused and haven't been entirely sure if they're appropriate for my use-case scenario.

Using that Mikrotik for example -- That would require:
1) An SFP+ cable from the NAS to the switch
2) Cat6a cable, with a transceiver, from the switch to the wall jack
3) Cat6a cable, with a transceiver, from the switch to my router

Is that correct? Referencing my other question in an earlier post -- if I take a Cat6a cable (with transceiver to make the SFP+ connection) and connect my router using that to one of the ports on the switch -- that provides my desktop with internet, right?
 

Chris Moore

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You would be better off to go with the Aruba switch that I have and connect one of the 1Gb ports to the router to get internet to everything on the switch, then use SFP+ cabling to connect the switch to both the NAS and the Desktop computer by putting a very reasonably priced SFP+ network card in the Desktop computer. No point in all those conversions.
 

Chris Moore

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JenWest1919

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You would be better off to go with the Aruba switch that I have and connect one of the 1Gb ports to the router to get internet to everything on the switch, then use SFP+ cabling to connect the switch to both the NAS and the Desktop computer by putting a very reasonably priced SFP+ network card in the Desktop computer. No point in all those conversions.
Thank you for the responses and information.

That seems doable. I've been Googling and I'm assuming I need OM4 Fiber Optic cable then some SFP+ connectors/wall jacks? That was the downside in my mind of running SFP straight to my desktop, as it's about a 30 foot run and would require getting another new card for the desktop.

Is there a particular advantage to doing things this way versus swapping for an RJ45 Intel (for the NAS), then picking up that 10gbe switch?

Of course I'm impatient and already ordered 50 feet of cat6a, connectors and installation tools last night :p
 
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