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Why No 10GbE For Home Users?

Discussion in 'Switches, NICs and cabling' started by Razor512, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. Razor512

    Razor512 Senior Member

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    When are we going to get 10gigabit ethernet for home users?

    1 gigabit = pretty ancient as it has not improved in years.

    Is there any chance of the router companies finally counting this as the last tribute to gigabit ethernet, and finally decide to bring out a router with 4-8, 10 gigabit ethernet ports, then sell lower cost 10 gigabit adapters for desktop computers, then finally have laptop makers include 10gigabit ethernet with the laptops?

    While it is awesome that they are pushing forward with wifi, they have forgotten about wired connections.

    Gigabit is already a bottleneck for most LAN's.
     
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  2. PrivateJoker

    PrivateJoker Very Senior Member

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    You are a very interesting fellow. First 2.4ghz 40mhz channels, and now 10GbE ethernet in the home. . . ;) They haven't forgotten about ethernet/hardwire cabling, it's just that the convenience to price equation for most consumers is still in that $100-$200 area for one device to be a router, maybe also do some file sharing, etc., and thats it.

    I don't know what exactly constitutes a "last tribute" router, but no I don't think the sunsetting of Gigabit 1000-T is on the horizon soon for the consumer and we (as consumers) will vault to 10GbE.

    First 10GbE NICs are $500-1000 (which is more than you can get a laptop or desktop for these day still), and the switches are insanely expensive. Also, GbE cannot be saturated in a LAN with anything less than quite powerful CPUs and extremely fast SSDs, from multiple computers on the LAN simultaneously doing txfring at full speed. That's not a really common place SOHO need unless you are doing some extremely high end video/photo editing. I know more than one people that do photography or video as their vocation and have never once broached the subject of needing faster wired connectivity and switching. Faster NAS, sure, faster client workstations, sure. . .10GbE - most definitely not. And a good friend of mine was one of the first guys with a Red 4k camera when they hit the streets. Trust me, he has more serious LAN needs than you and I put together, and he's doing ok.


    More than half the stuff that's plugged into my 24 port GigE switch isn't GigE and it just doesn't matter - printers, Airplay devices, even my HD Tivos and Apple TV connect w/ 100-TX because in about 1/5-1/10th of that usable bandwidth they can stream from the outside a movie that comes close to HD, or using about half that bandwidth they can do it internally from other sources at actual HD bandwidths. I can transfer multiple movies around my LAN in HD, with those client devices using only 100-TX (in fact, the new TiVo does it over MoCA 1.1, which is not fast!) and also backup several computers simultaneously to my NAS doing multi-GB backups over wifi and hardwired, and my router doesn't break a sweat (that was doing multiple backups and multiple large file copies simultaneously (one of the clients was running an SSD which helps it do both R&W a little faster from the NAS, and what it doesn't show is that I was also streaming Netflix great on other devices at the same time) and my speeds are great, and I would guess I move more data WAN to LAN and LAN to LAN than 90% of SOHO do in a day.

    Even w/ 4k coming, well, I doubt a lot of 4k content is going to be available streaming just because why would you want to compress it any more than you have to, but look what they are doing w/ HDMI 2.0 - you can use the same dang cable! Look at what they are going to cram into that cable, it's amazing. Yes the devices will need HDMI 2.0, but I don't know - they seem to be gracefully able to squeeze more and more out of UTP/STP copper and also HDMI (and even HDMI 1.4 has a built in 100Mb ethernet channel) and there as an emerging HDMI over Cat5e/6 standard (not just baluns, an actual new kind of physical way of doing HDMI called HDbT).

    What kind of devices people end up using in their homes in what kind of use cases will dictate the technology that emerges at the best price point to get it done. It's hard to predict what that will be and if we'll all have great WAN speeds to consume data and also upload/share our own content, but quickly advancing abilities in things like quality and affordability of HD TVs, streamed content, high megapixel cameras, fast home broadband, easier (less techy) setup of local and wide storage, more utilization of cloud resources, etc., will dictate the demand for and usage of higher speed wireless and wired standards - maybe they will be able to squeeze more out of the copper we already have, who knows. These companies are not exactly slow to try to convince consumers (and a great job they do) that they need to keep upgrading, don't worry.

    I don't think you can put the cart in front of the horse and expect people to jump into enterprise level stuff to tackle problems they don't yet have. I think Moore's Law and the Invisible Hand would argue strongly that the widespread availability will not be preceding the demand anytime soon. ;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2013
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  3. Razor512

    Razor512 Senior Member

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    For me, the issue is that a good NAS can saturate a gigabit connection, and many good NAS systems are able to provide greater than gigabit speeds (as some can provide additional overall throughput if teaming is used. Only issue is that teaming does not scale well and it leads to more complex setups where a single system may not be able to take advantage of the additional throughput.

    With NAS devices becoming more popular, it just seems like this is a good time to move on and get some faster wired connectivity.

    I am sure prices can come down if they focus on consumer needs. Most of the 10gigabit switches and adapters are insanely expensive, and I feel it is a case of simple price gouging based on target market.
    For example, putting the word "baby" in the title of any product, instantly quadruples the price.

    For example, polyethylene is very low cost, you can get over 1 pound of the stuff for less than $1, but if you take that polyethylene and make simple shape (simpler than a polyethylene bottle of a negligible cost), for example, the shape of a lens hood, and even mention anything to do with photography, then you get the end result of a tap dancing marathon on top of a number pad, with a $ sign in the front.

    Or how a $1 per foot tube instantly becomes $500 per foot once the word medical is involved.

    Or rent a hall for a business party, and see a significantly lower price than renting that same hall for a wedding for the same amount of time.

    Once they device that it is time for home users to enjoy 10 gigabit, then you will see prices for the adapters and switches quickly fall close to the levels of gigabit switches and adapters.

    It will also be interesting to see other technologies that have been out for a while and can most likely come down in price, such as infiniband (if they can do something about those cable lengths, and implement EoIB), also make it to the home user setting, (eg just like how they sell different levels of 802.11ac, they can sell different levels of infiniband, eg a user may choose to go with 40gbit infiniband instead of the 10 gigabit, and share text documents and spreadsheets more quickly with other people on the network :)

    This will also allow for other technologies to move forward more quickly because companies will not be designing to a throughput starved environment.

    I guess overll, what has me concerned, is that routers are simply having small incremental improvements, nothing truly groundbreaking for a long time.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2013
  4. matthelm

    matthelm Regular Contributor

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    As "PrivateJoker" said, the first problem is price. If you know what you are doing, and don't mind buying used, you can get clear to 40Gb in the home for an OK price. If you get a good deal on Ebay, you'll only pay about $50 or $100 per card. Of course, the cable runs about $50/foot, which might add up to a bit.

    Second, again, like he said, very few things need that much speed. High bitrate Blu-Ray top out at about 30Mb, which doesn't even hurt 100Mb (I do Blu-Ray on 100Mb with a 5 year old device, all day long), much less 1Gb, and most people are now using HD over the net, which is about 2Mb. (wait, we are going the wrong way!!!) Example of 1Gb speed, I just did my monthly system backups, and at around 25GB, that took about 5 (?) minutes on 1Gb. Do I really need that to drop to 1 minute, not really.

    Third, have you looked at the power usage on these cards. They are about the same as a low powered NAS box, WITH the HDs!!! (that device above uses about 5-7 watts, not 100+)

    Now, the NAS can saturate the 1Gb, but doing what? Streaming a single mp3 file? I don't think so. ;-) Yes, there are times when I wish I had a faster connection, but most of the time, it really doesn't matter.

    As for price for new tech items, when you only sell a few items per year, you have to recover your design cost. The company I work for sells a product that at a guess, cost about $100 to make, for around $3-4K. (please note, our customers are VERY happy with this price, as the features are unheard of in this field, and this is only 1 part of the system, full system = house down payment!) Of course, their were about 15-20 EE/ME on the project for 2 years, and we only sell about 200-300 units a year. How are we to recover the design cost, if we only sell for lest say $200????? This is the same type of product. Only a few people NEED these kinds of speed, so the number of sells are low, but design time is VERY high. Plus with a tiny market, nobody is going to want 1/2 of it, so little competition.

    I remember when 1Gb was the same price as the current 10Gb stuff, I think I paid about $150 for my first 1Gb card, Heck, I think I paid over $100 for my first 100Mb card!!! When more people started using it as "standard", these prices will drop.

    See this link, if you think "most" people need 10Gb in the home:
    http://forums.smallnetbuilder.com/showthread.php?t=12495

    As for the different types of networking, I don't think they will ever take off at home. People want "standards" for a reason, which means Ethernet or WiFi. The real reason for all the changes in the WiFi stuff, is as a whole, WiFi sucks no matter what you do, so every little bit helps. (see all the people asking why they can't do HD TV over WiFi, where HD TV is about 6Mb, and the WiFi is rated at 20Mb+)
     
  5. Terry Kennedy

    Terry Kennedy Regular Contributor

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    The Intel X540-T1 is a very good 10G card (RJ45/copper) - I get 9.89Gbit/sec throughput with TCP - and sells for a little over $300. You can get at least one 10G switch (the Netgear XS708E) for a little over $100/port (I'm selling one for even less over in the classifieds here).

    This part of the market is not driven by home / SOHO users, though - it's the datacenter crowd. The standard "top of rack" switch there tends to have between 24 and 48 10/100/1000 copper ports, and between 2 and 4 SFP/SFP+ (1000/10G) uplink ports. The idea is that the traffic is aggregated at the top of the rack and then sent off to some massive switch elsewhere in the datacenter. Those uplink ports have started to move to 40G, while the rack device ports are still 1000.

    There doesn't seem to be much demand for lots of 10G ports in top-of-rack switches, regardless of whether they're fiber or copper. Dell had two 24-port 10G switches - the 8024F had 24 SFP+ ports, of which 4 were shared with copper ports, while the 8024 was the opposite, having 24 copper ports of which 4 were shared with SFP+ ports. The first outsold the second by something like 10-to-1.
     
  6. stevech

    stevech Part of the Furniture

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    I've seen that common Windows and Mac comptuers' IP stack exceed 1Gbps, much less 10x that. And for misc. file stransfers, the file system/disk constrains speeds. So these 10Gbps speeds are used for backbone/aggregated links.

    In the same manner, we rarely see a fiber media interface in a desktop PC. Nor tertiary switches.
     
  7. Busto963

    Busto963 Occasional Visitor

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    Terry was generous enough to share his thoughts with me on a similar issue, but I think the quickest and cheapest way to do this is to use a switch that has 10G SFP+ ports, a direct attach cable, and an adapter like the Intel X520.

    Retail price for the adapter is ~$350.00
    Retail price for a DAC cable is ~$100.00

    Realistically, there are few networked machines or devices that can really need 10G let alone use it. Server to switch, and maybe a work station or two, means you really only *need* at most 4 SFP+ ports.

    You can buy switches with 2/4 10G SFP+ ports without smashing the family budget. You could also go direct from your server to the work station

    You will save a boat load of money if you can go this route. The challenge is of course the DAC cable length tops out at ~15 meters, and installing the DAC cable is not like pulling cable - some thought and care needed.

    And thanks again for helping me work through my setup Terry!
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2013
  8. PrivateJoker

    PrivateJoker Very Senior Member

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    Thank you Terry & Busto for sharing your info, much appreciated. Can I ask do both of you run these equip in your home, or for a business you own or something? What particular demands were you placing on your existing equipment that stepping up to 10GbE (on a NAS/file server??) helped you achieve a higher level of total throughput/performance that you weren't getting? It's hard for me, because I don't see a lot of networks with those demands, to envision what stepping up to 10GbE in parts of it could actually do.

    Thanks again for sharing!
     
  9. Terry Kennedy

    Terry Kennedy Regular Contributor

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    In my case, it's in my house. It is entirely for hobby use, though I have similar equipment at my job (I'm chief engineer for an ISP).

    It just sort of grew over time as I played with various hardware. Some of those turned into products that we've replicated for use at my company, some of it is stuff that my company doesn't use (we just do connectivity / transit, no hosting). Currently the link speeds at work are 10Gb, though we'll probably update some of the redundant links to something faster as costs come down. For work, it's mostly the cost of the switches and optics, as we lease dark fiber between our nodes (so we can go as fast as we want).

    My RAIDzilla II NAS boxes can do > 500Mbyte/sec sustained (over periods longer than 24 hours). That's some 4x faster than Gigabit speed. I have a nightly job that synchronizes pairs of 'zillas, and it speeds up quite a bit with 10G. Since each 'zilla holds 32TB and I have 4 of 'em, that's a substantial time savings.

    Right now the client PCs (Windows 7) only have Gigabit ports. At some point I'll experiment with putting a 10G card in one and see if things get faster. I had planned on only having the 4 'zillas and my FreeBSD box on 10G, but I wasn't too pleased with the Netgear XS708E switch I'd bought (I really wanted full management / SNMP with a Cisco-ish interface), and I got a fantastic deal on a Dell 8024 switch, new-in-box with warranty, since Dell was replacing that model with a newer one. So now I have 24 10G ports.

    I'm actually most of the way through a major redesign of my home server room. My equipment had overflowed the one rack cabinet I had, so I decided to replace that cabinet with a pair of cabinets to get some breathing room. Here's a PDF (from Visio) of the layout. I'll post pictures when it's done in a week or two.
     
  10. PrivateJoker

    PrivateJoker Very Senior Member

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    Thank you so much for sharing, that is a seriously heavy duty sick home setup! Can I come over and hang out some time?! Take some pictures of me in your home server room and post them to Facebook, etc? ;)
     
  11. Busto963

    Busto963 Occasional Visitor

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    I wish that I could say I am some sort of guru like Messr Kennedy, but I am just average Joe, retired, that has a one man consulting side business (and not in IT or a related field!).

    In the process of upgrading my network, I got the proverbial "smoking deal" on a switch with 10G SFP+ ports (Zyxel XGS1910-24).

    My setup: a dual port intel X520 in the server, with DAC from server to switch, and a DAC to a single workstation. Doing the switch to server DAC was easy. I am in the process of remodeling my home office, which is conveniently located directly over the basement room where my network rack and AV closet is. I am going to install to sections of 1.5" EMT conduit in the walls which will make running ethernet, RG6, and the DAC easy.
     
  12. Terry Kennedy

    Terry Kennedy Regular Contributor

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    Here is a picture of the progress so far. It is coming along nicely. I still have to do a bunch of KVM switch cabling, along with the phone lines (there are 16 VoIP lines in there), and then I have to put the cabinet sides and doors on.
     
  13. PrivateJoker

    PrivateJoker Very Senior Member

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    Drool! I absolutely love the big green LCD clock too!
     
  14. Terry Kennedy

    Terry Kennedy Regular Contributor

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    It's from CSS Time Machines. I have a Stratum 2 NTP server in the rack, and the clock gets its time from there. The clock does have a couple quirks, and if you're thinking of buying one, I can tell you about them.
     
  15. stevech

    stevech Part of the Furniture

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    The RAID arrays... wow.
    NSA wannabe?
     
  16. coxhaus

    coxhaus Part of the Furniture

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    Nice system. Good thing you are not in Texas, that much equipment would require a lot of extra AC to keep it all cool. Do you have a computer room or is the system in the garage?
     
  17. Terry Kennedy

    Terry Kennedy Regular Contributor

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    In the warmer months, powering and cooling it runs some $750/month (thanks to our ruinous Northeast electricity rates). I just switched over to outdoor air cooling (6" duct and fan) so bills should drop shortly.

    It is in my spare 2nd dining room (I have a monster of a house from the 30's, and it's just me and Tiger.
     
  18. MaxGrit

    MaxGrit Occasional Visitor

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    lol

    NSA is elephant to his ant
     
  19. phayze

    phayze New Around Here

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  20. W4RH34D

    W4RH34D Regular Contributor

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    I wonder if thunderbolt2 could be switched for more than direct pc to pc connections.