/ networking

Upgrading the Network

Hopes and Dreams

Everything is great, everything is fine...

Well, unless you've got a Belkin/Netgear/Cisco* combination network and you're looking at standing up a new SAN.

The first thing that happened was buying a Dell R710 and throwing a copy of FreeNAS on it. The plan was to throw an HP quad-port GigE NIC and do some iSCSI stuff. Portals, round-robin configuration, hook everything up to the other server (ESXi) and get some awesomeness going.

The other part was to get some LACP action going, and have that server out all of the NFS, CIFS, and Time Capsule stuff on a separate set of GigE links.

This is where things started falling apart.

Reality

So, I replaced the five port Netgear switch with a slightly beefier switch. Decided to dip my toes into the Cisco pool with a Cisco SG300-28. All of the stuff I needed without the insane cost of actually owning big-boy Cisco stuff.

This was a partial success. The iSCSI portal worked perfectly, even the separate VLANs for each link was good. The LACP trunk from the SAN to the switch was far, far less successful.

Reality, Part Deux

So, the SG300-28 took the place of the 24-port Netgear (PoE is awesome), and I ordered a Cisco Catalyst 4948 to take the SG300-28's place.

After several days of updating ROMMON, then updating iOS, then figuring out all of the esoteric stuff about networking that I know absolutely nothing about, everything started falling into place.

Performance

Everything basically screams. I'm maxing out transfer speeds anywhere on the network, and the noise is minimal (unless you're in the spare bedroom which...well, don't go into the spare bedroom).

Hopefully, the Lack Rack will get in here soon so I can get everything moved over into it. Also, there will be sound dampening panels...