Time to go 10Gb Ethernet – Awesome deal on 10Gb NIC and 3m DAC

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Mellanox ConnectX-2 EN
Mellanox ConnectX-2 EN

If you have been holding out on 10Gb Ethernet, the STH forums has an awesome deal. There is a popular seller on ebay selling a Mellanox single port SFP+ 10Gb Ethernet adapter for $20, with a SFP+ DAC. Here is a link to the ebay listing and at the time of this writing there are over 150 available. One of the biggest concerns with using SFP+ is cabling costs. 3m SFP+ DACs can easily cost $20 themselves on the used market. The Mellanox MNPA19-XTR will often run $18-25 itself making this deal cost about half of getting on used.

The Mellanox MNPA19-XTR is an older card, however Windows 10 does support it out of the box as do many other OSes. While we may see support wane in the future, for now and for $20 it is a solid option.

We have a STH forum thread on getting 10GbE switches for under $550. 1GbE with a few 10Gb SFP+ switches are popular for home lab environments because one can put virtualization hosts, storage servers and workstations on the 10Gb links. SFP+ uses much less power than 10Gbase-T which is also important in home/ office networks.

We have also reviewed a number of relatively low cost switches with 10Gb SFP+ ports on them:

Again, if you have been waiting for a reason to upgrade to 10Gb Ethernet, this is going to be a very strong case. Here is a link to the $20 deal on ebay. You can pair two of those ebay cards and cables with a MikroTik CRS226-24G-2S+IN ($248 with Prime Amazon or $250 ebay) and have 24 port 1GbE = 2x 10Gb SFP+ setup for under $300. The MikroTik is also a fanless unit that sips power making it an excellent choice for a simple network.

Credit for this one goes to Sleyk on the STH forums.

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Patrick has been running STH since 2009 and covers a wide variety of SME, SMB, and SOHO IT topics. Patrick is a consultant in the technology industry and has worked with numerous large hardware and storage vendors in the Silicon Valley. The goal of STH is simply to help users find some information about server, storage and networking, building blocks. If you have any helpful information please feel free to post on the forums.

4 COMMENTS

  1. I have used a couple of different SFP+ modules in these cards with no issues. Some Cisco SR, Intel SR, Cisco compatible generic LR, and Brocade compatible generic LR. All of them have worked with no issues.

  2. Hey Patrick! Thanks for the shout out! I’m glad I found this auction. It is by far my favorite auction to get started on 10GB. Price is excellent, and the card works well. I have been reading all your posts on this site for a while now, and I express nothing but thanks and gratitude to you and all you knowledgeable people on here! See you in the forums!

  3. Mostly all the 10GB SFP+ transceivers will work. So far, I haven’t seen any issues with using a different brand.

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