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:
- MikroTik CRS226-24G-2S+IN Review
- MikroTik CRS226-24G-2S+RM Review
- D-Link DGS-1510-28X Review
- D-Link DXS-1210-12TC Review
- Netgear ProSAFE XS712T 12-Port 10GBase-T Smart Managed Switch Review (XS712T-100NES)
- New Netgear ProSAFE XS708T, XS716T and XS748T 10Gbase-T Switches
- QCT QuantaMesh T1048-LY4A review – our datacenter lab switch
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.