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Technology is the term we use for things that don't quite work yet.

So after my mild disappointment with Apple releasing an uninspired speed bump to the recent MacPro line (no case redesign (it could lose 20lbs), eSATA, 10GigE, FW1600, or even USB3.0), I started doing some research on 10GigE just to see the state of affairs.

Things I learned:

1. What I want is 10GBase-T the standard RJ45 cabling we all love.
2. Cat6 isn’t going to cut it, Cat6a or Cat7 are going to be the only ‘real’ options. I say it like that because under good conditions (short distances, low interference, not in big bundles of cables) Cat6 will work. But, for safety sake, I wouldn’t count on it.
3. Various fiber and copper cables are being used in the interim. CX4 and SFP+ are the common cables in use and are designed for shorter connections. But, they aren’t that interesting unless you’re building a small dedicated cluster and really what I want is something that interoperates in the rest of the GigE world.
4. There are 3 (that I could locate) actual 10GBASE-T switches, most are just gigabit switches with a couple 10GBASE-T uplinks OR are massive datacenter switches. The 3 I did find are too expensive ($11000-19000) for home use, but aren’t out of range for the right small business application.

Arista 7120T-4S
This 24 port swtich is really the best choice if you need ultra low latency (think network computing) and/or raw bandwidth (think editing RAW HD Video). It features 20 auto-negotiating 1/10GBASE-T ports and 4 SFP+ uplinks. Network World tests put the latency at a very stable 800ns! That’s 0.0008ms a.k.a. very, very fast. I would love a low cost 8 port version of something like this. A quick google product search shows you can pick one of these up for ~$13,500.

Dell PowerConnect 8024
Another possibility is the Dell 8024. It has the most configurable port setup (24x SFP+ (10Gb/1Gb) w/4 Combo Ports of 10GBASE-T (10Gb/1Gb/100Mb) or SFP+) and is the lowest cost of the bunch at ~$11,500 (google product search). If you need all 24 ports, or if that extra $2k is going to put you over budget or if you merely need the extra bandwidth 10GigE brings, this is probably your best choice.

Extreme Networks Summit X650-24t
While I’m a big fan of Extreme as the underdog of high performance network switching, unfortunately, as far as I can tell from the datasheet, the ports are 10GBase-T ONLY and aren’t backwards compatible with GigE or slower. This is a bit disappointing as they were a great company to work with back in the Static days when we used their products. On a positive note they performed the best on IGMP multicasting, so if IP multicasting is your thing, this is your switch! $18,709.86 on Amazon :)

Network world did a nice review (although its terrible to navigate) of the bunch and put the Arista on top. Here is the comparison chart for a general overview.

Further reading:
High Performance Made Simple: The 10 Gigabit Ethernet Cluster

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