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I'm shopping for a new 10G ethernet switch for home, for copper ports.

The majority have SFP ports and lack RJ45 ports for copper. I understand this provides flexibility but I only need UTP/Copper to hosts in the same location; I don't need optical.

Is there any reason that one couldn't fill a SFP switch with copper SFP modules? I've heard that power requirements are higher for copper compared to fibre SFPs, which may also be related to cooling requirements of the SFPs.

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  • Background - I already have 10Gbit switching in the homelab but it's loud and power hungry. Primarily used for iscsi between a storage host and a pair of xcpng VM servers, so downgrading to 1G is not a good solution.
    – Criggie
    Jan 4 at 0:46
  • Price comes into it too, with 8x SFPs totalling double the cost of a 8 port 10G switch, but that's probably OT for SE.
    – Criggie
    Jan 4 at 0:47

2 Answers 2

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Technically, yes. As you already know, there are power and heat constraints. You'd have to consult the vendor documentation to see what it can support. (i.e. even if it will even be happy with 10G-T modules.) That said, most enterprise gear is designed for loading.

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Especially when using 10GBASE-T modules in SFP+ slots, power is a restriction. Since 10GBASE-T requires considerable power, SFP+ devices either don't support it at all or only with a limited reach of 30 m. When there's no need for fiber you might want to look for fixed -T ports - however, "loud and power hungry" usually comes with -T ports. For a 24/7 service you might want to compare overall power consumption.

Further restrictions may come from the vendor when they limit the accepted transceivers to 'original' ones that they sell or support.

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