Cisco 2960 Users - what SFPs and settings are you using?

Posted by: User471 on 01 January 2019

Happy New Year to all


I've recently invested in a refurbished 2960-8TC at least partly due to recommendations on this forum

May I ask what SFP modules people are using? MM/SM? Wavelength? The price range of compatible modules seems vast!!


Also any recommendations for switch config settings (I'm thinking QoS and the like)?

Or is it just fine as an unmanaged switch? The Roon core will be connected to the switch with copper, as will TV, NAS etc although if music is playing (fibre to Roon endpoint via FMC, copper direct to Core) no other ports will be simultaneously required


Many thanks

Posted on: 01 January 2019 by Simon-in-Suffolk

For general purpose LAN use  then a good match is OM1 Multimode Duplex Fibre. This will give you 1Gbps (1000Base-SX) to 275 metres. This is the least specified fibre, is dirt cheap and blows ethernet twisted pair out of the water,

As far as QoS or more specifically DSCP, then as you are unlikely to have contention over your switch connectivity then its will be of no real benefit - further UPnP uses TCP media transfers so frame jitter and timing become almost entirely irrelevant. Almost certain that Naim and most consumer NASs don't support DSCP.

The best enabling settings you can do on your switch is enable the Naim Streamer port to be Portfast - this turns off loop detection but activates a lot quicker on streamer power up or power cycle. Also assuming you don't have a Multicast router then running an IGMP querier on the switch speeds up discovery activity - similar performance improvement to enabling the 'always connected' option in the Naim app - but still allowing the full benefit of power saving and dynamic addressing.  


Posted on: 01 January 2019 by User471

Cheers Simon I'll go that route and see how it goes

Many thanks

Posted on: 01 January 2019 by User471

Oh, I forgot 

Does it matter what SFP module I use providing it is compatible with the fibre you suggest?

Posted on: 01 January 2019 by ChrisSU

I ran fibre instead of copper Ethernet around the house about a year ago, pretty much as per Simonís suggestion above, using OM1 cable (higher spec. such as OM3 seems much more common, and Iím sure would also be fine) with LC connectors. The spec for a suitable SFP is GLC-SX-MM. Genuine Cisco SFPs are much more expensive than other brands, but like the switches, can often be bought very cheaply on ebay. I mention this as using other brands of SFP may require you to log into the switch and enable it, whereas the genuine ones are Ďplug and playí with a switch at factory default settings. 

The switch will work fine on itís default settings, but Iíll leave it to Simon to explain the benefit of QoS or other settings. Basic stuff for a networking pro, but it seems a bit daunting to log into a switch and confugure it if, like me, your IT skills are somewhat limited!

What FMC are you intending to use at the other end(s) of any fibre runs? Obviously this needs to be compatible, and the simple solution to my mind is just to use another 2960 at the other end. 

Posted on: 01 January 2019 by Simon-in-Suffolk

As Chris says, simply match the SFP to the fibre transmission type.

Posted on: 01 January 2019 by User471

I think in the short term I'll just one of those cheapy TP-Link or similar FMCs you can find on Amazon or eBay with a view to 'upgrading' to a better piece of kit once I'm all up and running

At the audio end of the chain I'm wary about reintroducing noise, so my final choice of FMC will be quite important

Although I don't doubt the quality of the 2960 as a switch I'm paranoid about things like power supply noise and the like, so I might be in the market for one of the more boutique FMCs upcoming from Sonore/Uptone 

Posted on: 01 January 2019 by ChrisSU

Any sound quality advantage of the 2960 is gained when it is connected directly to the streamer, so the benefit would more than likely be lost if you put an FMC between them. The Catalyst switches also have very good power supplies built in, so I donít think you need to worry about it introducing noise. 

Posted on: 01 January 2019 by User471

Ok so if I have a 2960 and a cheapo FMC, I could try putting the 2960 either at the streamer end or the Core end and see if it makes any discernible difference

I'm thinking any electrical noise introduced by the cheapo FMC SMPS etc will not make it down the fibre anyway (correct??), so the 2960 becomes the rate limiting step as it were at the audio end

If that's indeed the case I have an upgrade path (hurrah!) that moves the 2960 to the Core end and puts some as-yet-unavailable "audiophile' FMC at the audio end, complete with low noise LPS, special caps etc etc etc

It's then 'just' a matter of hiding all the 2960's blinking lights from the significant other !!!

i love my hobby