Setting up network for home lab- What would you do?


Feb 7, 2012
I should have a 48port gigabit and 8 port fiber switch when I get home. As cheap as they were, I couldn't pass up getting them both. I'm a noob to a lot of this and especially when it comes to fiber. I'm just starting to learn it at work.

1. Cisco Catalyst 2948G-GE-TX
2. brocade 3250 (only supports upto 2GB SFP)

1. HP DL360 G6- 2xE5520 64GB RAM- ESXI (No HDDs)
2. HP DL360 G6- 2xE5520 64GB RAM- ESXI (No HDDs)
3. S5500BC- 2xE5504 28GB RAM- ESXI (1x500GB)

Server 3 is used as my management host for FreeNAS and the vCenter Server. FreeNAS is setup in iSCSI for the two G6s

My questions.
-Can I used the brocade as a dedicated storage network? I do need to buy the SFP cards for the hosts but read vmware can be finicky with SFP hardware.
- If above is possible, Is it just having to assign the NIC to the VM?
- I know the brocade only supports upto 2GB, is it worth messing with? I bought it because it was really cheap and I assumed I could still use it to learn.
- Would it be preferred to just use multiple ports from the 48port? I have enough NIC cards (4x1GB) that I could use to provide 2GB or 4GB connectivity to each host or direct from host to host if possible.

Ideally I want to wire the house to the 48port but I won't need all of them.
I am currently cleaning up some HDDs I have to grow out FeeNAS. I'd like to have FreeNAS supply storage to the cluster and have a generic media filesystem. I assume this would just be another VM for FreeNAS or something like Win Home Server or just a generic windows box with file sharing. I'm not sure which would be optimal.

And sorry, I wasn't sure if this should be posted in Virtualized or Networking. I chose here since my primary questions were on networking. Also, sorry if this post is a bit messy.

Any and all input is greatly appreciated. If I wasn't clear on something please let me know.