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US-16-XG from @Ubiquiti , SFP / SFP+ Modules and More!


hey everybody it’s lon seidman and we’ve got an update today on my home network because i made a few more changes to it to accommodate the fast internet connection that we had now if you missed it i did a whole series on getting hooked up with the comcast gigabit pro service this is a fiber to the home product that they offer that is super fast in fact it does typically about two gigabits per second in both directions and that’s just on one leg of the service they actually have two legs one is a two gigabit connection which we’re testing here and there’s also a second one gigabit leg as well and you can use both at the same time definitely check out my video for more information about that but this is the upload speed that we’re getting right now i went from 12 megabits per second upload to this which has been awesome but one of the challenges that you run into when your internet connection is running at faster than gigabit speeds is that most consumer networking gear only runs at a gigabit so i was not going to be able to make use of this connection that i was getting unless i made some upgrades around the house to get things going and i’ll show you my setup in a few minutes but basically what i was doing prior to this past week was running all of my multi-gigabit stuff through this netgear 10 gig switch that i bought a while ago and i was connecting this sfp plus connector to the router and then i had these four ports available for multi-gigabit connections but that’s all i had available for multi-gigabit connections so i went out and was about to buy a new switch for my rack in there and a friend of mine called me up and said hey i’ve got an extra one of those things that you’re looking to buy would you like to buy mine so i bought his used 16 xg this is a unifi aggregation switch and what this has is about looks like 16 10 gigabit ports you’ve got four rj45s for plugging in network patch cables and you’ve got a bunch of sfp plus ports here for using all sorts of different types of connectors which i’ll show you in a minute so i’ve added that to my rack and i wanted to show you what the rack is looking like in this video and if you are offended by poor cable management you’re going to really not want to watch any further but if you want to take pity on me and give me some

tips as to how i can fix the problem that you’re about to see in a minute please let me know down in the comments section and we’re going to do an update uh with that change hopefully in the near future but right now it’s a little rough in there just to forewarn you now i do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure that some of the things we’re going to be looking at today came in free of charge from the manufacturer and a lot of the other stuff that you’re about to see today i bought with my own funds and i’ll point out which things came from where as we’re working our way through the tour here all the opinions though you’re about to hear are my own no one is paying for this review nor has anyone reviewed or approved what you’re about to see before it was uploaded so let’s get into it now and see what kinds of changes i made to my network now prior to getting into this multi-gigabit stuff my experience with networking had largely just involved the rj45 connectors that you see here on this gigabit switch and all i would do is just plug ethernet cables in and interconnect stuff and all was good but now that we’re moving on to some more complicated stuff we’ve got to learn about sfp and sfp plus connectors so if you take a look at the switch that i just installed you can see that 12 of the ports on it require some kind of module to be installed first before things can get interconnected it only has four of the standard rj45 ethernet connectors on there and i have two examples of an sfp plus connector here on the desk and i’ve got a few more that are installed in my equipment room that we can check out in a few minutes this one is called the sfp 10g t it’s made by a

company called we tech and i bought this on amazon the other day and the reason why i went with this is because it adds a another rj45 connector to my switch and that can be really helpful and the reason why i picked this particular module is that it supports additional speeds that many other modules i’ve looked at do not so if you look here on their product specifications it supports 802.3 bz which is the 5 gig and 2.5 gig standard for ethernet and i’ve got a few 2.5 gig devices around the house here i’ve got my imac on the desk i’ve got a two and a half gig switch out by my kitchen and so this will be helpful for interconnecting those but i also have the option to later plug in a 10 gig connection if i want as well and again i could not find many modules that work with all of those different speeds interestingly the four connectors on that unify switch that i just put in only support one gig or 10 gig connections not 2.5 so this module will be pretty useful for that and i’ll show you how i’m getting everything interconnected in a moment when we jump into the room and this one is a passive direct attached copper cable couldn’t be simpler you’ve got a copper cable with two sfp plus modules molded on at the factory and you just use this to interconnect two different devices by plugging into their respective sfp plus ports pretty simple to use what’s good about these is that they don’t consume all that much power and one thing that i learned when i was researching how this new switch that i bought worked is that there is a power budget to how many of these modules you can connect at one time so if we take a look at the spec sheet for the unify switch that we got in the closet there you can see that it supports a maximum of four of the rj45 modules like this one i’m not sure if this one consumes less power than the one that unify makes themselves but as you can see here you can only get

four of those attached versus 12 of their fiber optic modules so you do have to be careful about how much power each of these modules is consuming if i went beyond the four the switch might shut down or act erratically in order to preserve its power budget so just bear that in mind as you’re planning out your network so now what i want to do is take you into my disastrous equipment room and show you how all of this stuff is interconnected and we’ve also got a couple of fiber optic modules in there too so let’s have a look now before we jump into the network configuration here in the equipment room i did want to show you the sfp modules that are on my comcast router here this is the juniper switch that they installed when they first got us going and the module on the right here with the yellow cable is a long range fiber optic module that is transmitting data about six miles from here it’s pretty crazy it just uses lasers and is basically beaming light through this cable out to the street and then all the way over to the comcast head end and we’re receiving uh data over that cable as well and that’s how we’re able to maintain the connection on the internet just from a direct fiber connection coming right out of that module and there are modules

that can go 40 kilometers or more it’s pretty crazy how much range you can get out of these things and that is what’s plugged into the comcast equipment there on the right on the left with an orange cable is the internet connection that gets onto the local network here so that orange cable connects up to the unifi udm pro router that in full disclosure unify sent to the channel free of charge and that is how we get the internet into my local network here over that orange cable with a short range fiber optic sfp plus module now part of the reason why this is such a mess is because i never get rid of things that are working so basically my network was pretty much just this top switch up until about a few months ago so this is a 48 port unmanaged tp link switch that i’ve had for a number of years it’s rock solid it never needs to be rebooted everything on the network was working up until we had to speed things up so it’s still here and i’ve got all these crazy different sized patch cables just connected to it to all the different ethernet connections we have around the house so that was here from the beginning but now what we’ve done here is we’ve centralized the entire network through the new xg16 switch here again this is the one that i bought from my friend with all the sfp ports on it and the reason i’m using this switch is the backbone is that it has the most capacity it’s got 16 10 gigabit ports and it can transit 10 gigabits of data across each of those simultaneously so everything on this rack is basically going into the master switch here which allows for us to really maximize the internet connection and why is that well let’s say i’ve got a computer that’s pulling a gigabit off the internet on this switch and then i’ve got another computer pulling another gigabit off the

internet on this one if they were all kind of connected to each other we would be essentially splitting that gigabit between the two connections but because everything is running through the master switch now this switch can get a gigabit and this one can get a gigabit and i’m able to maximize the connection all the time which is why you want to have a robust switch kind of being the backbone or back plane of your network which is what this one does so that’s why we set things up like that now the netgear switch the one i was using before is still here again because it works so i’ve got this one connected to the master switch with this sfp plus copper cable i’ve got the tp link here connected to another sfp port here over an rj45 module i did that because this is only one gigabit and i wanted to keep these 10 gigabit ports clear for other devices that i might add down here in the future so those are staying put and then below the master switch i have a power over ethernet switch here now in full disclosure this came in free of charge from unifi as well and eight out of the 16 ports on here can power devices that are plugged in so the camera that is currently shooting this image is being powered over this cable and this cable is also how the image is getting out onto my network over ndi and i’m going to be basically connecting one wall uh or each wall of my studio to one of the eight ports here so i can plug these cameras in anywhere i’ve got a lot of poe powered devices now now the two sfp ports on this unifi switch are not sfp plus they’re regular sfp which does a gigabit max and my copper cables didn’t work on these ports so i had to go out and find something else and i got a

short range fiber optic connector along with a short range or regular range patch cable here to connect the poe switch to the master switch and it’s working fine again a gigabit between here and there but that’s fine for my cameras and everything else so i’m going to be doing more with this switch in the future and what’s nice is that because this is a unified product i can centrally manage everything so this switch and this switch are unmanaged uh these here are manage switches and i can go into the control panel and configure individual ports i’ll show you that in a second there and then below that we’ve got the router the router does have its own ethernet ports as well i’m not using them all that much because i might make use of some of the security camera things that unify has available in the future so i want to kind of keep that clear for now but i do have uh one thing connected to it right now and i can’t remember what it is but it was something that i just wanted to have hooked up directly to the router for a project i was working on so that’s pretty much how it’s working now this switch is the master of all of it and now i’ve got a lot of capacity for high-speed devices that i may want to add later i’ve got two more ports on the old netgear switch the

netgear of course supports 10 5 and 2.5 gigabit connections and then i’ve got all these extra ports here that you can see on the master that are still available to me as well and yes i really need help managing these cables now all of the stuff on that rack plus a wd nas that works as my media server consumes about 150 watts of electricity and i think a large portion of that is attributable to that juniper switch that came in from comcast that thing does consume a lot of power but you can see though that this network is turning into quite a beast both with equipment wires and energy consumption now all of the unify equipment is managed via the router the udm pro they recently added some cool real-time features to it so you can see what your internet traffic is looking like in real time both here on the web based control panel and on their mobile app if i click on the devices section here you can see all of the unify equipment that i currently have on my network that includes the router here the udm pro it also includes our new switch here the 16 xg this is that poe switch that i’ve got the camera connected to and then i’ve got my three wi-fi

access points here as well now if we click on the new switch that is the backbone of our network now you can see that all of the ports here are represented and you get a lot of data as to what’s going on those ports too so if we click on the port here with the fiber optic connector over to the poe switch you get a sense as to how much data you’re transiting you also get an idea as to the power levels of that particular module as well and again that’s important for making sure you don’t overload things now i did though have to go into the config section here and enable flow control because some of my two and a half gig equipment uh was not downloading all that fast after i got that new switch installed so i was getting about 700 megabits or so downstream and then i was getting the full two gigs upstream and when i turned on that flow control option here everything started working on the two and a half gig stuff so if you’re noticing some issues there definitely make sure that flow control is enabled and as you can see here i kind of just feel my way around when i’m trying to figure out how to get stuff to work and i’m doing this video partly to see if there’s some knowledge that you can all give to me to make sure that i’ve got everything connected up here properly a few other things i like about the unifi interface here is that you can get a real-time look as to who’s consuming the most data on your network at the moment uh so for a little while i was doing some ndi video from the desktop machine here which was transmitting video at a high rate over the network to a different device but this will give you an idea as to what’s going on if you’ve got something that is transmitting or receiving more than it should you can go down and chase down the perpetrator to figure out exactly what the issues are now one last thing i want to show you here is the map which might help to better

visualize how we’ve got everything configured and what i’m going to do is just zoom in a bit here to get a little bit closer to everything and as you can see here we’ve got the router kind of at the top of the heap and then we’ve got my new switch which has just about everything else branching off from it with the exception of my macbook here that’s on the desk that is that mystery device that was directly connected to the router so as you can see here i’ve got a lot of devices here that are branching off what you’re not going to see though are the unmanaged switches here on the list it’s just going to show us the clients that the main switch here is picking up but you can though see the unify access points we’ve got a bunch of stuff connected wirelessly over the sitting room wi-fi you can see what’s connected here to the basement and right now just my car is plugged into the living room one but it gives you a good idea as to where everything is located and if i didn’t have such a mess in there they’ve got a really cool augmented reality app where you can take your phone out and point it at the switches and it’ll show you visually what’s connected to each port so you can walk into your equipment room and not have to look for numbers you can actually see exactly which device is plugged into where and that is part of the motivation for me to clean up the wires in there so i can start messing around with that feature because i’m always moving stuff around and that is partly why we’ve got a big mess in there uh now i got one last thing to kind of tease you with and we’re going to do a video on this probably in the near future which is that my friend also sold me an extra security gateway that he had now i don’t need this from my main network

but the comcast connection that we have includes a second one gig leg so we’ve got the two gig leg that i’m using for the network here for the house but i’ve got another gigabit that i’m not doing anything with a gigabit symmetrical so i thought what i would do is start messing around with a synology nas that i can have available to send files to friends because right now i’m putting them on aws i got to manage the deletion of the files when i’m done so i’m not charged for storing them up there for too long and every once in a while i’ll do a collab with somebody and i gotta send them a five or six gigabyte file and i just don’t have room in any of my cloud storage services to really store a file easily so my plan is to put a synology nas over there set up a reverse proxy and have this router kind of manage that network for that device so that when i’ve got a file to send to a friend i can just have them connect to that synology nas device and download it so that’s going to be an upcoming video here and we’ll take a look at setting up the security gateway for that now one thing though we have to bring into the mix with the security gateway is a controller unify has their cloud key which is a hardware controller device but you can also just install the controller software on something that is on the network with this thing and i was thinking that the synology nas would probably be the best thing to install the controller on because that’s going to be the only thing on the security gateways network and i’d love to hear some feedback as to how to best execute that i’m thinking maybe a docker controller but i don’t know if i’ve got some security concerns if i’m also exposing part of the synology nas to the internet so give me some thoughts down in the comment stream and we’ll figure out how to best get this device up and running with the least amount of complexity possible and even though this is going to be in the same physical location as my other networking gear it’s actually on a

separate circuit from comcast so it’s completely in its own network and it won’t have access to anything that is running on the network that i’m currently using so that’s why we’ve got to have a whole separate controller set up for this device so a lot of fun stuff here to work on in the future including that cable management getting this thing set up i have to say the network has been working really really well i’ve got my full speed everywhere i’ve got a lot more high speed ports now for adding new things in the future and i’m really excited to have such a great connection here finally after many years of struggling with a poor one so more to come on this networking project and again leave me your thoughts down in the comment stream and that’s going to do it for now until next time this is lon simon thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by the london tv supporters including gold level supporters brian parker jim peter tom albrecht frank lewandowski mark bollinger and chris allegretta if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month head over to lawn dot tv support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe

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