10G Home Networking Dilema

Looking for help deciding on a solution to get 10G networking between two sides of my home. On one side of my house is my office, which I share with my wife. On the other, my AV room, which will likely house the soon to be arriving 50T TrueNAS Mini X+ with 2 10GbE ports (tee hee). My house was pre-wired with cat5e, so I know I can’t get near the theoretical max over the ~50’ cross-house runs. Thanks to Tom, I discovered the MikroTik CSS610-8G-2S+IN and started entertaining putting one in each location.

I know the SFP+ transceivers can support fiber or twisted pair. Since I’m pulling the wiring in question, it’s going to have to be the latter, as my knowledge of fiber starts with those sparkly flashlights one used to get as kids and ends with the big fat checks we used to cut to consultants like Tom at my last company. Now 10GbE is spec’d to up to 100m over cat6e, but the numerous SFP+ transceivers I’ve checked out on Amazon all top out at 30m.

Am I hosed, ill-informed or both? When I first start investigating this project (and when I also must have been smoking crack), I was checking out 50’ runs of OM3 SC/SC that I’d planned to stretch across my attic and somehow drop down through my walls (see the crack part). I see options for fiber to ethernet converters that are logistically possible with my setup, but that gets kludgy and spendy fast. Compounding this insanity, the asshats that wired my house only ran a single drop(!) to each room, but that’s another topic.

Any magic solutions I’m not aware of? I should further clarify that I will spend within reason and that I’m eyeballing MikroTik because of the tiny size and dual SFP+ ports.

Advice greatly appreciated. Definitive answers even more so!

Thanks,
-MB

Note: said crack must have scrambled my calculating unit as I just realized I was equating ems and effs.

So I should be good with distance. Otherwise, does my proposed approach seem sound?

-M “Knucklehead” B

The transceivers from FS.com support 80M https://youtu.be/dL3DiKF4tY0 so that might work better.

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It is also worth noting that because distance is an issue, I would avoid running any slim cables 28 gauge and up for those long runs. While they are now officially part of the specification it is at a reduced distance.

Yup. Planning on running cat6A from Monoprice. Here’s the description:

Monoprice Cat6A Ethernet Bulk Cable - Solid, 550Mhz, F/UTP, CMR, Riser Rated, Pure Bare Copper Wire, 10G, 23AWG, No Logo, 500ft, White (UL) (TAA)

-MB

That will work perfectly

Just what I wanted to hear. Thanks.

Now to figure out how to cleanly get it into my walls. I really hate climbing around in low, insulation-filled attics, but at least it’s better than low, below house dirt crawlspaces.

I’m still learning, so I’ve got to ask: why?

Why do you need 10G from your office to your new NAS? And if you do need 10G between what’s in the office and the NAS, why not just put the NAS in the office and save the hassle of rewiring? Can your AV system not run on a 1Gb connection from the NAS In the office to the AV system on the other side of the house?

Where’s the need to go through the hassle of rewiring to have the 10G connection across the house? Not trying to be snarky. Just wondering what I’m not seeing? Is it because I’m still living with 1080p? Is it because I hate crawling around in attics for any reason?

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Eminently reasonable questions, @Super_Stealth.

I suppose the simplest answer is because I can, to say nothing of it’s fun and I’m learning about cool stuff, but there are some “requirements” that have led me in this direction. The NAS can’t be in our shared office because my wife won’t accept having a big black cube with bright blue lights there for aesthetic reasons. The only practical place I have for it is within my entertainment cabinet. Ideally, it would go in my server room, but unfortunately my server room is a Leviton wall panel jammed between a pair of studs that I struggle to fit a small pfSense firewall and switch into with the RJ-45 and coax patch panels.

As I’ve finally upgraded my AV rig to 4K and the 400 or so Blu rays I’ve already ripped are rapidly be joined/replaced with UHD rips that will be served via Plex from aforementioned NAS. Said NAS will also be serving our 700+ disc collection of ripped CDs, SACDs and Blu ray Audio Discs. Said NAS also acts as local back-up to 7 laptops and desktops, in addition to mundane file-serving duties. Lastly, I was plotting to connect an office computer to the NAS via iSCSI, so I could back-up the monster as part of my Backblaze personal license, but that’s pretty scuzzy (no pun intended), so I’ll likely create a Linux VM on it and use the b2 CLI to throw the data in a b2 bucket.

About six months ago, I finally got gigabit fiber to my house and I’ve come to discover that I really don’t like to wait. A 10G link between the two main consumers will likely ensure that I at least won’t have to within my home. I also don’t see data sizes decreasing in the future, so why not get ahead of the game. Hell, at least I dropped the idea of actually running a fiber between the two points.

Cheers,
MB

Thumbs up to all those reasons, especially “because I can” and “it’s fun.”

Regarding those bright blue lights, may I suggest duct tape regardless of the room it’s in? Duct tape is the solution to many of life’s problems. But not for the spousal approval factor… Which may explain why I’m single.

And my home Server closet is split between a Home Depot wire shelving unit in the basement and an IKEA cabinet in the living room, so I definitely empathize with that problem.

But with your thorough explanation, and under the heading “because you can,” in regard to future proofing:

I say go fibre and lots of it!

Go big or go home!

Forget 10G!

Go for 100G or… bust?

Sorry, got carried away for a moment…

In your position, I wouldn’t have the good sense not to go fibre. Every YouTube video makes it look so easy, right…? So it must be easy…

Since you’re going to be crawling around in your attic to pull the cat 6e, you might want to consider running the fibre at the same time. Cat 6e because it is easy to work with and you’ll plug it in and it will mostly just work. And the fibre for learning? And for when 10G isn’t enough anymore and you don’t want to wait…

Fiber needs to be treated with care, while one can be relatively rough with cat6a, which will come in especially handy while I’m cursing and thrashing about from the splinters and banged head crawling around in my crawlspace attic. Even more importantly, you can practically pick up an RJ45 crimper at a grocery, while the tools and knowledge for fiber are not cheap nor trivial.

As for the NAS, I like to keep a pretty clean desk, so I don’t want the thing on it, under it or near it. Tucked away in a console will suit me fine.

Now for the final two issues:

  1. Did the people who pre-wired the house with cat5e a) tack it to the studs like animals or b) properly run it through conduit. I fear it’s the former, which means I’ll be studying Tom’s video on running cable through walls carefully (and likely buying more tools).

  2. It turns out that the software for that key component CSS610-8G-2S+IN switch is a complete dumpster fire and is now a project blocker for me, as it’s a unicorn in the switch space. Apparently, MikroTik shipped with beta (alpha?) code. Among numerous bugs, web management could not be accessed via the SFP+ ports and VLANs just didn’t work(!). Compounding matters, management has not provided any kind of timeline for resolution.

Well, at least I have my WiFi AP replacement project to keep me busy…

-MB

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You are probably better to go with optical fiber instead of wasting your time with Ethernet cables on such distance that will be prone to interference and what not. By using a 100m (or more) single mode LC optical fiber, you can hook it your your 10G SPF+ connectors and be done with it. The only speed limit now will be your equipment, not the fiber. And you don’t need to “baby” the fiber as for such distance, it should be enclosed in a metal tubing designed for that.

Perhaps I wasn’t clear, but this a home install, so there will be no running of conduit. Additionally, the idea of running LC connectors down through a wall and having the fiber come intact seems highly unlikely to me.

As for the Ethernet cables, you should reread the specs. 10G Ethernet over shielded Cat6A is rated for distances of up to 100m, and I only need to cover 1/5th of that distance. Additionally, I can pull the cable across the attic, down through the wall, aggressively if need be, and then attach the grounded RJ-45 connectors. No conduit needed.

At this point, the most compelling argument for using fiber is to learn something new, but I’ll wait for an opportunity where I’m not crawling through a low-height attic to do it.

-MB

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Maybe I should post pics of my fiber setup in my house, I ran 2 sfp+ 10g cables from upstairs to server rack in garage, and 2 cat6 cables. Plus I have the 1gig sm cable for my fiber modem.

Fiber is cheap, the hole you drill for the cat6 is just about same size 1/2 - 3/4. Pre-made cables are stuoid cheap like 22$ for a 50’.

Imo fiber for long runs is future proof, and a no Brainer.

Imo.

I’d be up for pictures.

How cleanly did you run it? Right now, my existing cat5e terminates in keystone RJ-45s in the wall plates. Is there even room to do that in a standard junction box with fiber? My recollection is that fiber doesn’t do well with sudden 90 degree turns.

Of course, this whole discussion may be moot as I currently can’t find a compact ( <12" wide) reliable switch that has SFP+ ports.

-MB

Compact switch is easy, Look at the Aruba Aio stuff, I ditched all my Unifi stuff and went Aruba. They make a small switch, ( no 10g uplinks though just sfp POE & 1gig)

Do you need 10g in a small switch ?

My main switch is the 24 port POE with 4 x 10gig SFP ports, love this stuff.

Wall plates have keystones in them with fiber ports too…

Google Fiber Keystone, they are about 3$ each.

Pick of my messy rack as i’m moving some stuff around, and its all just sitting in it.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/pw/ACtC-3fayg8St5p74zAJrLmgktQyUTAej5-yLlKp1Mjjmy8nKCweVCs0B0F0uIZ_UXPpu149tHtKvc_lyRX26EmbLUrI5VnU8zAZK86Veo4w9kv261OIEqLjAX03PzRkbLlJie5yvkTSRWl6ZvhH-PahXcoj6Q=w703-h937-no?authuser=0

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A friend of mine who works in IT and has a homelab as a hobby told me exactly the same when I told him about RJ45.

When one is looking for parts for 10G RJ45, the cost is rising rapidly while second hand fiber material (transceiver, addon cards…) is really cheap on ebay.

So he told me to get a long run of fiber and fish gently. If I ever brake the termination, I can have a professionnal just redo the termination and in the end, the whole thing will have been cheaper.

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Thanks for the tip on the Aruba stuff. The size is right, but it only comes with SFP ports, which is 1G max. Unfortunately, I really want 10G, which means SFP+ and the broken unicorn that is MikroTik CSS610. At $99, maybe I’ll get one just to see how bad it really is…

Ah, the luxury of a 19" cabinet. Here is mine network “cabinet,” with max dimensions for equipment of 12"W and 2"D and a single duplex AC outlet to power it all. When I previously had Comcast Business, there was a cable modem in there, but my AT&T Fiber terminates in the attic, where the gigantic AT&T Motorola modem sits as well.

That’s the rub. I don’t want to be a position where I need someone else to come in the resolve any issues. If I had the equipment and training, I’d be far more willing to consider fiber.

Why not get the CRS305-1G-4S+IN for the 10g stuff, and then have the uplink 1g switch to your network ?

it’s tiny has 4 x 10gig sfp+ ports connect all the 10g stuff,

IMO fiber stuff is really durable, just don’t use it as a skipping rope.

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