recommandations for a home Gigabit switch - Hardware

This is a discussion on recommandations for a home Gigabit switch - Hardware ; Hi again, I'm looking for a relatively cheap Gigabit switch for my home network. I'm currently running on 100Mbit/s ethernet and I'm clearly saturating the link everytime I send huge files (either through NFS or SCP, depending on what I'm ...

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Thread: recommandations for a home Gigabit switch

  1. recommandations for a home Gigabit switch


    Hi again,

    I'm looking for a relatively cheap Gigabit switch for my
    home network.

    I'm currently running on 100Mbit/s ethernet and I'm
    clearly saturating the link everytime I send huge
    files (either through NFS or SCP, depending on
    what I'm doing...).

    I'm not hoping to do sustained 100 MB/s file transfer
    (I know my hard disks wouldn't follow), but I'm looking
    for something faster than what I already have.

    My Linux systems have ASUS motherboards with
    Gigabit ethernet onboard chips and finding Gigabit
    ethernet rated cable shouldn't be too expensive.

    So basically all I need is a switch, preferably with 16
    ports (I've got several PCs and two network printers).
    I'm on a budget and although I'm usually not a huge
    Dell fan (I have one LCD from Dell bought 4 years ago
    and that's it), I was thinking of this :

    99 Euros (around $130 USD) : PowerConnect 2716

    http://www1.euro.dell.com/content/pr...bsd&cs=ukbsdt1

    I think it's manufactured by HP.

    Would that be an OK Gigabit ethernet switch? Are there
    gotchas?

    I realize it's not a $1 500 Cisco but for a home network,
    would it be OK?

    Thanks for your lights, I'm a complete Gigabit ethernet newbie,

    Driss


  2. Re: recommandations for a home Gigabit switch

    On Sat, 19 May 2007 12:12:46 -0700, neuneudr wrote:

    > Hi again,
    >
    > I'm looking for a relatively cheap Gigabit switch for my home network.
    >
    > I'm currently running on 100Mbit/s ethernet and I'm clearly saturating
    > the link everytime I send huge files (either through NFS or SCP,
    > depending on what I'm doing...).
    >
    > I'm not hoping to do sustained 100 MB/s file transfer (I know my hard
    > disks wouldn't follow), but I'm looking for something faster than what I
    > already have.
    >
    > My Linux systems have ASUS motherboards with Gigabit ethernet onboard
    > chips and finding Gigabit ethernet rated cable shouldn't be too
    > expensive.
    >
    > So basically all I need is a switch, preferably with 16 ports (I've got
    > several PCs and two network printers). I'm on a budget and although I'm
    > usually not a huge Dell fan (I have one LCD from Dell bought 4 years ago
    > and that's it), I was thinking of this :
    >
    > 99 Euros (around $130 USD) : PowerConnect 2716
    >
    > http://www1.euro.dell.com/content/pr...tdetails.aspx/

    pwcnt_2716?c=uk&l=en&s=bsd&cs=ukbsdt1
    >
    > I think it's manufactured by HP.
    >
    > Would that be an OK Gigabit ethernet switch? Are there gotchas?
    >
    > I realize it's not a $1 500 Cisco but for a home network, would it be
    > OK?
    >
    > Thanks for your lights, I'm a complete Gigabit ethernet newbie,
    >
    > Driss


    I've got a couple of 8 port Netgears and an 8 port Dlink, they work fine.
    I see that the Netgears are available for less than $50 on Newegg, there
    is a Dlink for $40.

  3. Re: recommandations for a home Gigabit switch

    General Schvantzkoph wrote:
    > On Sat, 19 May 2007 12:12:46 -0700, neuneudr wrote:
    >
    >> Hi again,
    >>
    >> I'm looking for a relatively cheap Gigabit switch for my home network.

    [snip]
    >> So basically all I need is a switch, preferably with 16 ports (I've got
    >> several PCs and two network printers). I'm on a budget and although I'm
    >> usually not a huge Dell fan (I have one LCD from Dell bought 4 years ago
    >> and that's it), I was thinking of this :
    >>
    >> 99 Euros (around $130 USD) : PowerConnect 2716
    >>
    >> http://www1.euro.dell.com/content/pr...tdetails.aspx/

    > pwcnt_2716?c=uk&l=en&s=bsd&cs=ukbsdt1
    >> I think it's manufactured by HP.

    [snip]
    > I've got a couple of 8 port Netgears and an 8 port Dlink, they work fine.
    > I see that the Netgears are available for less than $50 on Newegg, there
    > is a Dlink for $40.


    I, too, use an 8 port D-Link gigabit switch. It was quite cheap when I
    bought it 4 years ago. It's adequate, but that's about all I can say
    about it. It doesn't support jumbo frames and doesn't have any sort of
    management features whatsoever. If I were to purchase another GigE
    switch, even for home use, I'd definitely want it to support jumbo
    frames. The Dell unit mentioned by the OP does, and appears to have at
    least some management features too. Personally, I'd tend to favour the
    Dell for those reasons over the cheap D-Link that I currently use.

  4. Re: recommandations for a home Gigabit switch

    On May 19, 11:45 pm, John-Paul Stewart
    wrote:
    ....
    > I, too, use an 8 port D-Link gigabit switch. It was quite cheap when I
    > bought it 4 years ago. It's adequate, but that's about all I can say
    > about it. It doesn't support jumbo frames and doesn't have any sort of
    > management features whatsoever. If I were to purchase another GigE
    > switch, even for home use, I'd definitely want it to support jumbo
    > frames. The Dell unit mentioned by the OP does, and appears to have at
    > least some management features too.


    I'm mostly interested in the Dell because it's reasonnably cheap (99
    Euros
    here), it has 16 ports and it's apparently OK as a Gigabit switch.

    I don't know if I'd ease the load on the CPUs by using jumbo frames
    when the case I'm most interested in is transfer of huge files between
    two PCs. I suppose that having less interrupt fire would be a good
    thing but once again I'm a complete Gigabit ethernet newbie.

    :-/

    I'll probably buy it and see.

    Thanks for your inputs,

    Driss






  5. Re: recommandations for a home Gigabit switch

    neuneudr@yahoo.fr writes:
    >I don't know if I'd ease the load on the CPUs by using jumbo frames
    >when the case I'm most interested in is transfer of huge files between
    >two PCs.


    Probably yes.

    BTW, if you just want to connect two PCs to each other, you don't need
    a switch. Just use a cable between the PCs; with 100Mb Ethernet you
    needed a special crossover cable; with GbE a normal cable works.

    - anton
    --
    M. Anton Ertl Some things have to be seen to be believed
    anton@mips.complang.tuwien.ac.at Most things have to be believed to be seen
    http://www.complang.tuwien.ac.at/anton/home.html

  6. Re: recommandations for a home Gigabit switch

    John-Paul Stewart wrote:

    > General Schvantzkoph wrote:
    >> On Sat, 19 May 2007 12:12:46 -0700, neuneudr wrote:
    >>
    >>> Hi again,
    >>>
    >>> I'm looking for a relatively cheap Gigabit switch for my home network.

    > [snip]
    >>> So basically all I need is a switch, preferably with 16 ports (I've got
    >>> several PCs and two network printers). I'm on a budget and although I'm
    >>> usually not a huge Dell fan (I have one LCD from Dell bought 4 years ago
    >>> and that's it), I was thinking of this :
    >>>
    >>> 99 Euros (around $130 USD) : PowerConnect 2716
    >>>
    >>> http://www1.euro.dell.com/content/pr...tdetails.aspx/

    >> pwcnt_2716?c=uk&l=en&s=bsd&cs=ukbsdt1
    >>> I think it's manufactured by HP.

    > [snip]
    >> I've got a couple of 8 port Netgears and an 8 port Dlink, they work fine.
    >> I see that the Netgears are available for less than $50 on Newegg, there
    >> is a Dlink for $40.

    >
    > I, too, use an 8 port D-Link gigabit switch. It was quite cheap when I
    > bought it 4 years ago. It's adequate, but that's about all I can say
    > about it. It doesn't support jumbo frames and doesn't have any sort of
    > management features whatsoever. If I were to purchase another GigE
    > switch, even for home use, I'd definitely want it to support jumbo
    > frames. The Dell unit mentioned by the OP does, and appears to have at
    > least some management features too. Personally, I'd tend to favour the
    > Dell for those reasons over the cheap D-Link that I currently use.


    Just curious... John-Paul... but how much performance boost would you expect
    with being able to setup for jumbo frames? Something like that would
    require nics that support jumbos also... Sounds a bit expensive, but if the
    performance increase is great enough, maybe it'd be worth the cost.

    Cheers...

    --


    Jerry McBride

  7. Re: recommandations for a home Gigabit switch

    > Just curious... John-Paul... but how much performance boost would you
    > expect
    > with being able to setup for jumbo frames? Something like that would
    > require nics that support jumbos also... Sounds a bit expensive, but if
    > the
    > performance increase is great enough, maybe it'd be worth the cost.


    I think that you'd see a BIG boost when moving large files. It allows for a
    lot less handshaking during the transfer process.



  8. Re: recommandations for a home Gigabit switch

    > I'm looking for a relatively cheap Gigabit switch for my
    > home network.
    >
    > I'm currently running on 100Mbit/s ethernet and I'm
    > clearly saturating the link everytime I send huge
    > files (either through NFS or SCP, depending on
    > what I'm doing...).
    >
    > I'm not hoping to do sustained 100 MB/s file transfer
    > (I know my hard disks wouldn't follow), but I'm looking
    > for something faster than what I already have.


    If that's the case, any gigabit switch would work fine. If you're
    transfering large files, then jumbo frames are a benefit - if your NICs
    support them as well. If not, it doesn't matter if the switch does. You
    won't get full gigabit speeds in any event unless your NICs are PCI-X or
    PCI-E interface, but even on a plain PCI interface, you can - as you seem to
    be aware - do more than most folks' hard drives will sustain.

    > My Linux systems have ASUS motherboards with
    > Gigabit ethernet onboard chips and finding Gigabit
    > ethernet rated cable shouldn't be too expensive.


    Considering that cat-5 or cat-5e is just fine for gig-E, you bet it's not
    too expensive. :-) If you were running very long runs, the cable might
    become more of a factor, but I've seen abominations of cabling run pretty
    well at shorter lengths. :-)

    > So basically all I need is a switch, preferably with 16
    > ports (I've got several PCs and two network printers).
    > I'm on a budget and although I'm usually not a huge
    > Dell fan (I have one LCD from Dell bought 4 years ago
    > and that's it), I was thinking of this :
    >
    > 99 Euros (around $130 USD) : PowerConnect 2716
    >
    > http://www1.euro.dell.com/content/pr...bsd&cs=ukbsdt1
    >
    > I think it's manufactured by HP.
    >
    > Would that be an OK Gigabit ethernet switch? Are there
    > gotchas?


    It will be just fine. The NetGear gs116 is another good switch, and they
    both support jumbo frames (up to 9000 bytes), but is probably a little more
    expensive.

    > I realize it's not a $1 500 Cisco but for a home network,
    > would it be OK?


    You'll probably get just as much speed from the one you've mentioned than
    the Cisco. The advantage of Cisco switches comes when you need to do
    filtering, management, or try to use your ethernet switch as a route. And I
    don't know if Cisco's ethernet switches are as bad (I HOPE not), but their
    routers are infamous for having the worst autonegotiation in the world. :-)

    steve



  9. Re: recommandations for a home Gigabit switch

    >> Just curious... John-Paul... but how much performance boost would you
    >> expect
    >> with being able to setup for jumbo frames? Something like that would
    >> require nics that support jumbos also... Sounds a bit expensive, but if
    >> the
    >> performance increase is great enough, maybe it'd be worth the cost.

    >
    > I think that you'd see a BIG boost when moving large files. It allows for
    > a lot less handshaking during the transfer process.


    In this case, where the hard drives are a limitation before the Gig-E,
    it's probably not huge. Bogging down from interrupts was more of a problem
    when CPUs were more anemic, and before interrupt coalescing/NAPI were in
    use. If his NICs don't support jumbo frames already, it's probably not
    worth it in his case to buy new ones.

    steve



  10. Re: recommandations for a home Gigabit switch

    Jerry McBride wrote:
    > John-Paul Stewart wrote:
    >
    >> General Schvantzkoph wrote:
    >>> On Sat, 19 May 2007 12:12:46 -0700, neuneudr wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> Hi again,
    >>>>
    >>>> I'm looking for a relatively cheap Gigabit switch for my home network.

    >> [snip]
    >>>> So basically all I need is a switch, preferably with 16 ports (I've got
    >>>> several PCs and two network printers). I'm on a budget and although I'm
    >>>> usually not a huge Dell fan (I have one LCD from Dell bought 4 years ago
    >>>> and that's it), I was thinking of this :
    >>>>
    >>>> 99 Euros (around $130 USD) : PowerConnect 2716
    >>>>
    >>>> http://www1.euro.dell.com/content/pr...tdetails.aspx/
    >>> pwcnt_2716?c=uk&l=en&s=bsd&cs=ukbsdt1
    >>>> I think it's manufactured by HP.

    >> [snip]
    >>> I've got a couple of 8 port Netgears and an 8 port Dlink, they work fine.
    >>> I see that the Netgears are available for less than $50 on Newegg, there
    >>> is a Dlink for $40.

    >> I, too, use an 8 port D-Link gigabit switch. It was quite cheap when I
    >> bought it 4 years ago. It's adequate, but that's about all I can say
    >> about it. It doesn't support jumbo frames and doesn't have any sort of
    >> management features whatsoever. If I were to purchase another GigE
    >> switch, even for home use, I'd definitely want it to support jumbo
    >> frames. The Dell unit mentioned by the OP does, and appears to have at
    >> least some management features too. Personally, I'd tend to favour the
    >> Dell for those reasons over the cheap D-Link that I currently use.

    >
    > Just curious... John-Paul... but how much performance boost would you expect
    > with being able to setup for jumbo frames? Something like that would
    > require nics that support jumbos also... Sounds a bit expensive, but if the
    > performance increase is great enough, maybe it'd be worth the cost.


    Unless you are ONLY transferring HUGE amounts of data (not just little
    files, etc.), then jumbo frames will only buy you headaches, since your
    whole network will have to convert to jumbo frames. IMHO, it's not
    worth it. I would only implement it in VERY specific circumstances.

  11. Re: recommandations for a home Gigabit switch

    On May 21, 6:18 am, "Steve Wolfe" wrote:
    ....
    > You won't get full gigabit speeds in any event unless
    > your NICs are PCI-X or PCI-E interface, but even on a plain
    > PCI interface, you can - as you seem to be aware - do more
    > than most folks' hard drives will sustain.


    That should be fine for me. I don't know exactly if the
    onboard GbE card of my ASUS (P5LD2 SE) are PCI-X
    or PCI-E or just plain PCI but anyway I've got slow
    hard disks (I'm not using any stripped RAID setup) so
    it indeed doesn't matter.

    ....
    > > Would that be an OK Gigabit ethernet switch? Are there
    > > gotchas?

    >
    > It will be just fine.


    Great. I'll "buy it and see"

    Thanks to everybody for their inputs,



  12. Re: recommandations for a home Gigabit switch

    Jerry McBride wrote:
    > John-Paul Stewart wrote:
    >
    >> General Schvantzkoph wrote:
    >>> On Sat, 19 May 2007 12:12:46 -0700, neuneudr wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> Hi again,
    >>>>
    >>>> I'm looking for a relatively cheap Gigabit switch for my home network.

    >> [snip]
    >>>> So basically all I need is a switch, preferably with 16 ports (I've got
    >>>> several PCs and two network printers). I'm on a budget and although I'm
    >>>> usually not a huge Dell fan (I have one LCD from Dell bought 4 years ago
    >>>> and that's it), I was thinking of this :
    >>>>
    >>>> 99 Euros (around $130 USD) : PowerConnect 2716
    >>>>
    >>>> http://www1.euro.dell.com/content/pr...tdetails.aspx/
    >>> pwcnt_2716?c=uk&l=en&s=bsd&cs=ukbsdt1
    >>>> I think it's manufactured by HP.

    >> [snip]
    >>> I've got a couple of 8 port Netgears and an 8 port Dlink, they work fine.
    >>> I see that the Netgears are available for less than $50 on Newegg, there
    >>> is a Dlink for $40.

    >> I, too, use an 8 port D-Link gigabit switch. It was quite cheap when I
    >> bought it 4 years ago. It's adequate, but that's about all I can say
    >> about it. It doesn't support jumbo frames and doesn't have any sort of
    >> management features whatsoever. If I were to purchase another GigE
    >> switch, even for home use, I'd definitely want it to support jumbo
    >> frames. The Dell unit mentioned by the OP does, and appears to have at
    >> least some management features too. Personally, I'd tend to favour the
    >> Dell for those reasons over the cheap D-Link that I currently use.

    >
    > Just curious... John-Paul... but how much performance boost would you expect
    > with being able to setup for jumbo frames? Something like that would
    > require nics that support jumbos also... Sounds a bit expensive, but if the
    > performance increase is great enough, maybe it'd be worth the cost.


    My NICs (nice Intel ones) already support jumbo frames, so the cost of
    upgrading isn't that big a deal (new switch only).

    Why I'm interested is that I see 25-100% CPU usage on a 1.0 GHz P-III
    system that I use as a file server, when transferring files over NFS or
    FTP. According to 'top' most of that is 'system' time which I presume
    means it is largely time that the CPU is spending servicing interrupts
    from the NIC. (This level of CPU usage does not happen when
    transferring files locally, so I do believe it to be network-related
    rather than disk-related.) Transfer rate is around 10-12 MB/sec with
    files on the order of 100 MB and drops even further to <2 MB/sec on
    multi-gigabyte files while the load average goes through the roof.

    From what I've read, jumbo frames would help a lot with this situation.

    (On a 3.0 GHz P4 system I see up to 25% 'system' CPU usage when
    transferring large files across the network.)

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