Array Setup and Networking

New SMB Setup - Switches

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New SMB Setup - Switches

Good Morning fellow Nimble users!

We have purchased a fantastic Nimble CS235 and look forward to using this in our production envrionment.

We have a question about switches so we get the most out of them ...

We are currently connecting our hosts and Nimble to a NetGear ProSafe GS724AT and all of our other network devices into a Cisco SG300-52P

Basically we are wanting to know if the NetGear will make then cut to get the most out of the Nimble on our network. We have 4 x 1Gbe iSCSI ports per controller

I understand the host will also play a important factor in the performance, but we have the BEST storage device so next step to ensure we have a switch with will make the most of the Nimble.

Your thoughts would be greatly appreicated.


Honored Contributor

Re: New SMB Setup - Switches

Hi Michael, welcome to Nimble!

From a quick glance it looks like these switches will most likely cause problems - it has a low buffer memory of 3MB for the whole switch, so it's highly likely that performance will be hindered not just for the array, but for everything connecting through the switch (as it's a shared memory), and a few calls to support.

Of course it's all relative to how much I/O you are going to be putting through the switches in the first place... but in my view it would be sad to invest in something as high performance & low latency as Nimble and run it through a pair of low end switches like this

We do have a list of known good switches for both 1GbE and 10GbE so feel free to ask your local Nimble SE what would be a good fit - in general, we do recommend staying away from Netgear/DLink/Linksys and the like. Even some of the low end Dell and HP switches will not yield good, consistent performance.

Nick Dyer
twitter: @nick_dyer_
Valued Contributor

Re: New SMB Setup - Switches

Hi Michael,

I think Nick already answered a lot of your concerns, but during Nimble NTSP training 2001-I we discuss this in more detail. Here you can find a slide on the recommendations we do in regards to iSCSI switches :


The last line is very important and often the problem with low-end priced solutions.

Not applicable

Re: New SMB Setup - Switches

Thanks Walter,
I do remember this slide, I was just after a few ideas to start our research from, see what other SMBs are using and are happy with


Valued Contributor

Re: New SMB Setup - Switches


I think Nick nailed it.  Just to add some of our specific experience, we've had really good performance running Nimble through both Cisco and HP switches.  Even the mid-level HP 2900 series switches performed very well for us.  We've also had good success with the HP 5400 series chassis switches.  Since you're using Netgears I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you might have some pressure on you to not spend much on this stuff.  If that's the case, I recommend taking a hard look at the aftermarket (read: ebay) HP 5400zl series chassis switches (the smallest one is something like 4 or 5U).  They're very inexpensive because the aftermarket demand for them is really low (the aftermarket for non-cisco aftermarket chassis switches has always  seemed very weak), IMHO their feature-set rivals the cisco stuff (unless you have some incredibly complex requirements), and they're documentation makes them easy to implement for just about anyone with basic network skills.  In another life I was forced to go down the aftermarket path with HP switches and found they still honored their lifetime warranty and I was able to add an onsite support contract on top of it.



Re: New SMB Setup - Switches

I've had real good results with the Brocade ICX 6450.  24 ports can be had for ~$2000 brand new. They have small 10GbE units as well that help if you want to future prep.