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Upgrading to 10Gb

We currently have (5) Dell 2724 switches in the top of our racks connected to a single Dell 6024 that agin farms out to 2748 switches for our user connections.  We want to upgrade this setup to provide 10Gb links between the rack top switches and a main switch and I'm looking for suggestions.  We only need 1Gb connections within the rack between the switch and the servers and want 10Gb links back to the main switch.

I've looked a using at Dell 6224 to replace the rack top switches going back to a Dell 8024F switch but I'm a newbe when it comes to optical and am not sure that what I want to do can be done with this equipment.  The 6224 does 10Gb using XFP modules and an XFP Transceiver (SR) but I don't know if it will talk with the SFP+ optical tranceivers that fit into the 8024F.  Should this work?  Are there any other options?

Also could I use TwinAX and CX-4 cabling between these units?

And will SFP+ talk to SFP Standard between the 8024F and our 2748 switches?


Jim Squire
WSU Energy Program

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Re: Upgrading to 10Gb


A few thoughts on the above:

  • I would recommend staying away from XFP and using SFP+ or Twinax as you mentioned.  XFP is an older, more expensive technology, and SFP+ is cheaper, works with twinax, and will be around for a while. 
  • Twinax only goes up to around 7 meters from most manufacturers, so be sure the 10Gb links are that distance are less, or you will need optical connections.
  • The design you have should work well, using the 8024F to talk to 6224s via 10Gb, with 1Gb back to the hosts/clients.  
  • The 8024F is a 10Gb only switch, so anything you plug into it will need to be capable of 10Gb speeds (other than the 4x 10GBASE-T ports).  Dell showed off their upcoming 8024 at Interop last week that supports all 10GBASE-T, which will work at 10Gb or 1Gb in case you need both, releasing this summer.  If you are uncomfortable with optical, 10GBASE-T may be the best way to go as it uses RJ-45 up to 100Meters over Cat6a cable, so it's pretty familiar territory for most folks.

I hope this helps.

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RE: Upgrading to 10Gb


I'm the network engineer, configuring a Dell PowerConnect 6224 with 10GBase-T (X901C) module installed on bay 2. There is no link activity when I plug a Cat7 cable from the Cisco 4000 series switch. Would like to know is there any command on PowerConnect to show the installed/active module slot into the bay at the rear panel? Is there any step to activate the 10GBase-T module?

Appreciate for advise..

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