confused between choosing a switch with 10Gb ports vs 1Gb layer3 switch which has optional 10Gb uplink port. are they same?

that means I want to have a 10Gb pipe between storage server and the two hosts (each having 10GbE HBA) - which switch do I go for?

please advise ASAP. thanks

switch models in consideration. Dell Powerconnect 6224 - native 1Gb ports + two 10Gb uplink modules

Dell powerconnect 8024 - native 10Gb ports

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    Would be worth giving us the make/model of the 2 switches in question – AliGibbs Nov 25 '10 at 13:26

No, they're not the same. The "uplink port" on a switch is where it connects "up" towards the rest of the network. There is generally only one (though some models have two for redundancy purposes). The uplink bandwidth is shared by all the devices trying to communicate with the rest of the network at the same time. By putting a 10Gb uplink on a 1Gb switch, it would let (for example) 10 devices on the switch communicate at 1Gb each at the same time with the rest of the network. Otherwise if the uplink was only 1Gb, those 10 devices would only be able to get about 100Mb each.

It's probably physically possible to connect your 10Gb HBA to the 1GB "Layer 3 switch" (back in my day, we called this a router!), depending on the make and model and physical connections (fiber or copper?) but your HBA would then be communicating at 1Gb.

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  • do you mean uplink ports are limited by which switch they are on? – John-ZFS Dec 27 '10 at 18:09
  • @John-ZFS: Helvick's 3 port explanation was better for your case. It's not that the uplink port is "limited", it's that you only have two 10Gb ports and 3 things to plug in. Something would have to be plugged into a 1Gb port, and whatever connected over that 1Gb port could only talk at 1Gb. – DerfK Dec 27 '10 at 19:47

The 10GB optional ports on PowerConnect 6224\6248 switches can be used to connect to any 10GB port, provided you have the correct module installed (SFP+\CX4\XFP and 10GbaseT). These are sometimes called uplink ports but there is no specific limitation on what you connect them for unless they are specifically used for stacking switches using the CX4 modules. They can be used to provide 10GB connectivity to servers with a 10GB nics if that's what you want to do. These are in addition to the 24 1Gigabit ports. There are only two of these ports, regardless of the connector type that you choose.

The 8024 is an all 10Gbit switch where all ports can be used to connect to 10Gbit nics, or used as inter switch links to other 10Gbit switches.

Since you want two hosts to connect to a storage server at 10Gbit you will need at least 3 10Gbit ports, if not more, as I'd hope that your storage server has more than 1 network port. If that is the case then the 8024 is the Dell switch you want. If your storage server only has 1Gbit connectivity then connecting the hosts via 10Gbit wont do much for you in terms of storage access but it might help a bit if you need to use those same connections for other network traffic as well. In any case if only your hosts have 10Gbit ports then the 6024 can be used to connect them at 10Gbit (with the appropriate 10Gbit module of course).

There are other issues that you should consider - NIC\HBA redundancy on the hosts, switch redundancy and redundancy within the "storage server" but that's a much larger discussion.

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You will need at least two 10Gb ports if you want your devices to communicate. Now... call me crazy but if there are only two devices why not cross-connect them?

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The L3 thing is a red-herring, basically one switch already has 10Gbps ports, the other can have them if you want. I'd speak to someone in sales about the specific needs and makes/models - or tell us the same.

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  • hi, it is Dell powerconnect 6224 & 8024 – John-ZFS Nov 25 '10 at 13:52

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