Suggestions for *quiet* Infiniband switch?

Does anyone have suggestions for a quiet Infiniband switch, suitable for home use?

Preferably 8+ CX4 ports (can be 16, 24, 30+, etc), DDR and is fairly quiet. Fanless - or close to - would be awesome.

Asking because a few years ago I bought a Topspin/Cisco SFS 7000 on eBay. Similar to the one here now (no, I’m not the vendor and I don’t know the guy):

But the thing was SO incredibly noisy it was nearly useless. Couldn’t leave it turned on in the same house at all. Extremely audible several rooms away, through multiple walls + closed doors, etc.

Not wanting to repeat the same mistake again, as I set up a new home testing lab.

I just bought the 9024D the fan that it comes with has a normal and turbo mode. Normal is 50% and turbo is full. This switch is also designed to run fanless so I removed the fan module and it runs very nice and quiet. I bought the unmanaged version from this seller. Highly recommend.


HP 409367 B21 Mellanox ISR 9024D M 20 Gbps 24 Port Infiniband Switch 2 x PSU H S 0882780331402 | eBay

Either there’s different F-X430046 floating around or you have a odd definition of silent.

The one I got here runs constant 100% fan even at 18C ambient. Quite audible over a stock Norco 4224 from one room over.

The switch is more or less silent. Alongside my DAS with quiet fans in it I cannot hear it apart from when first turned on.

The only caveat I have is that I am not running any traffic through it at the moment and that may heat it up although it is sitting in a cabinet reporting around 37Deg C at the top.

The fun of a home setup on the Equator.

Thanks, good to know.

Note - wish it was possible to mark more than one answer as correct. Several correct answers in here now.

Or maybe you have a faulty switch, or one with older firmware, or the fans are clogged with dust.

Mine is almost silent. It is quiet enough to provide just a low level hum.

Will it run without the fan module ?. I have not tried and considering the ambient temps here I think it would not be so wise to do so.

True…my next suggestion was to look into the Silverstorm switches

Yep you can definitely run 4x DDR fanless, that is what I have with 6

devices plugged in. $300 is a good price. CentOS and yum install opensm

worked great.

Tell me if you find the latest firmware please!

How much is the SX6012? I thought that it wasn’t coming out until July.

I purchased a 9024 SDR two weeks ago for $400, and it has the Ethernet port and is manageable (yet it doesn’t have a Subnet Manager).

Having seen the blazing fast 10Gbps SDR links, I want something that can take the full potential of my HCA (DDR Dual Ports). So I’m peeking at the 9024D on ebay, but it’s without Ethernet and not manageable.

How do you use yours ?

Try looking at the Silverstorm switches. They were going for around $200. I bought a DDR 9024 a while back and it was pretty quiet - but then it’s all relative. The Voltaire 4036 in the lab now can be heard from several rooms away. If I had enough CX4 to QSFP cables I would put the Silverstorm back in while I am doing my research because the Voltaire can be annoying. .

Hi Mike,

This isn’t an area of things I know about any more, so I can’t help you directly.

On the other hand, as a general thought though you’ll probably have better luck if you ask on the ServeTheHome forums:

Networking | ServeTheHome and ServeThe.Biz Forums

They’re very active, and have lots of helpful members right into stuff like this.

Actually, do a search through their forums first, just in case, as there’s likely a tonne of info around this on there already.


Looking on eBay for IS5022 and SX6012… nothing in the “home/hobby project” type of budget (at the moment).

There are Flextronic 1U CX4 switches around though, fairly lost cost (in comparison). rimblock mentioned in another thread they’re suitable for home usage. Any thoughts on those Brian?

Closest “modern” thing I could find that is under US$1k is a Grid Director 4036:

For that price, it’s very good bang for buck… but still out of budget range.

I got some pricing from my local Mellanox rep on the 6005 and 6012 a few weeks ago.

MSRP SX6005: $6652

MSRP SX6012: $9022

Online Street price is normally 60% of that.

Personally, I haven’t used the 9024D switches, so can’t say for sure.

Many of the docs around though seem to suggest it should be possible. eg. Being able to update firmware and similar through the IB fabric itself.

Have you been able to locate the manuals (pdf, etc) for your exact switch model?

Hopefully that would have the right info.

chuckleb - Useful info here, including the latest firmware for the Voltaire ISR9024D-M:

Re: Docs for older Voltaire gear?

Found another useful link here, with ISR9024 pdf’s:

The experts around this community site typically knowledgeable about Mellanox products. this is a Flextronix product (not made by Mellanox).

googled this switch model found the following: /Docs/Flex%2024%20Port%20Users%20Manual.pdf

From my experience, things like this happen when: the cable pin-out is not correct, the serial connection rate is not correct or things around this area. checkout the user-guide for the connection details…

good luck.

Hi! Maybe this should become its own thread, so maybe the best thing will just be to spawn a new thread and then post its URL here. However this thread is almost what I wanted:

What is Mellanox’, or any other manufactrurer’s, smallest (so it fits in office or home), most silent four-to-twelve port 40gbps ethernet switch?

I guess it will have QSFP+ connectors but anything Intel XL710:s can be connected to would be fine.

Any thoughts on this topic would be much appreciated, thanks!

Since you’re shopping for deprecated gear and warranty isn’t an issue, you can try swapping the fans out for quieter ones. My Topspin 90 uses standard fans with a custom connector which can be taken apart easily enough. You just need to figure out what each wire does.

Just make sure you don’t leave it in a stuffy closet that will cook your switch.

I’m also find ibswitch site and some links.

Good luck fr you…:)