10Gbps Networking

I looked into updating my Network to 10G a few years ago, probably 3 to 4 years ago.
It was a no go simply because of the cost. Its still not cheap, and before you even think about it, here are a few questions you need to ask yourself.

1, Does your house already have a wired network with CAT6a cables?
If not, you will have to rewire the network cabling, and also install CAT6 compliant face plates.

2, Do you have at least two PC’s with an HDD/SSD capable to reading and writing at 250MB per second or better? If not, do you have a server capable of at least the same sort of throughput?
if not, then you’ll need to update the hardware or forget about 10G networking.

3, Does your PC or server already have a 10G nic, and if not, does the server or PC have a x4 PCie3 socket free?
If not you will have to update that as well.

4, Do you really need 10G (10Gbps)?

More later. Including my own networking system and performance…

Onward.

You should think very carefully before you start such a project, and what you actually want from the system.
If all you want to do is connect two nearby PC’s to a 10G network, then you may get away with just buying 2x 10G Nics, and a good quality CAT6a cable.
Connect the two PC’s together via the 10G Nics, then run a second CAT cable from the motherboards 1G Nics to your Internet router.
You will then have to manually set routing and IP and MAC address’s.

If you have a server and intend to go for a full wired network, then you will need a 10G network switch. Preferably a switch with 2x 10G ports.
You would then fit a 10G NIC to the server, and then connect that to one of the 10G ports on the network switch.
You would then fit another 10G nic to your PC, and connect that to the other 10G port on the network switch.

That would give a very fast connection to the server from your PC. The server would also have a 10G link to the rest of the network.
Saying you have 1G lans in the rest of the gear on the network. That configuration would allow up to 10 other devices to have a full one gigabit of bandwidth to the server.
That is the configuration that I’ve installed.

The main PC is also used for video editing. Raw uncompressed 4K video can exceed 45GB in some cases. Up until I installed the 10g network, it was painfully slow to send or receive that data from the server on 1G network.

The server is pretty powerful. It has an 8 core CPU, 32GB of RAM.
A 6 drive Seagate IronWolf RAID array, and an 250GB Nvme SSD cache drive.
The cache is configured to keep a copy of any file sent to the server for 72 hours. Or up to 50% of the cache drives capacity.before deleting it.
So when you pull a cached file from the server there is plenty of bandwidth to saturate the full 1GByte per second that the network is capable of.
The RAID array is capable of about 540MB’s on its own in any case.

The main PC has an 8 core CPU, and 32GB of RAM. A 500GB Nvme SSD as an OS drive. The rest of the storage is all SSD. and I have 2x SATA SSD’s in RAID 0 as a scratch drive. Again more than enough throughput to saturate a 10G network.

All the network cables run to a well ventilated cupboard, which houses the server, the network switch, network printer, and the internet router.

Screenshot of a multi GigaByte transfer from the server to my main PC.

We can see the transfer is taking place at 1.07 GigaBytes per second.

OK time for the equipment list and the costs.

  • 250M of CAT6a cable - £72

  • 10x multi coloured RJ45 plugs (different coloured plugs are useful for making a map of your network cabling). - £13

  • 10x RJ45 face plates - £42

  • Cabling toolkit (a must for fishing cables in stud partitioned walls, and under floors. = £28

  • 2x Asus XG C100C 10G nics - £178 for the two.

  • 1x Netgear GS110MX 10G Network switch with 2x 10G ports and 8 1G ports. - £144

  • 5x days of my time to run all the cabling. Install the switch, and fit and configure the nic’s, and of course test it all. Most important for me. Not a network cable to be seen anywhere.

Total cost £477
Not a cheap solution, but it makes life much easier for me.
No screaming from my daughter or hubby, that their stream has frozen because i’m transferring a large file to or from the server.
A wired network is so much more reliable than WiFi. :slight_smile:

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it is something i always considered but the effort needed when its just me 1gig is enough

It’s certainly a lot of effort, but I viewed as a once only project in this house.
Myself and my daughter are stuck at home during lockdown. So we done the wiring together.

Also, because it was deemed something we would only do once. We spent a lot of time planning it.
Example. In the lounge there are two places where we would place the TV and the other gear that hooks up to it.
So in the lounge there are two network sockets. One in each place we would have the TV.
The other gear that hooks upto to TV, including the TV are hooked up to a 5 port Gbit switch I already had, then goes to the network socket on the wall.
Only one of the network runs are connected to the 10G switch, but both cable runs are in the cupboard. Its the same with master bedroom. It also has two sockets and cable runs.

I spoke about coloured RJ45 plugs.
Green are the lounge ones, and red are the master bedroom. Blue from bedroom 2, purple from bedroom 3, White from the kitchen, pink from the hallway, and black from my main PC and server, grey from the Internet router and network printer to the switch, and finally yellow from the DAW PC in the studio.

We have a map printed on A4 paper, laminated, and pinned to the wall inside the cupboard.

For us it was worth the effort, but I can see where you are coming from if you live alone.

[edit] i forgot to mention. There is also a 5 port switch in my daughters bedroom, so she can connect her PC, laptop, xbox and smart TV.

Something I may do in the next house want to sell up soon as I can

Great work Dee

The color coding is definitely a plus.
I helped run the new cables here at work and that was a job and a half running up and down walls through drop ceilings and everything else.
I am surprise you didn’t go ahead and run Cat 7 cable, we just put all our servers on Cat 7 I was told we got a little more performance out of doing that,not sure I can tell myself.

We would have used CAT7 if the supplier had a 250M drum in stock. I wouldn’t minded paying the extra.
They only had 100M drums in stock priced at £49 per drum. We had calculated we needed 215M of cable, so that would have meant buying 3 drums.
I was assured that CAT6 was good for a run upto 55M @10G speeds. the longest run is from bedroom 2 which was 38M, and is a 1G run.

The 10G runs are 11M and 1.5M respectively.

In the end we used about 230M of cable. Some of that wasted trying to perfect using the cable cutter and RJ45 crimping tool. We also left 1M of cable behind each socket, and a bit extra at the other end.

It does a take few tries on that crimper, for the short runs you should be fine for a long while.
Cat 6a and Cat 7 has the added noise reducing which is good around all our office lights.
We just wanted to future proof as much as we could ( I do not want to rerun wire again here ) that’s for sure.
Leaving extra line behind each socket is great the same as I do when I run electric wiring,because you just never know.
I used Cat7 at home to run to my detached garage also ,it was a 121ft from router that worked out great for me.