Sun 501-6522-07



  • I currently have three Sun 501-6522-07's in a Dell Poweredge 2850 and each of the 12 interfaces are recognized by Pfsense but as soon as I connect a switch to any interface, there is no traffic going out and ping is unsuccessful. The interfaces are enabled and configured with "allow any" firewall rules in place. Both of the Poweredge 2850's on-board NICs work with the switch so I could only see it being the Sun 501-6522-07 cards that are the issue. Does anyone have any ideas as to why this is?



  • Do you see the NIC from SUN there as supported?
    FreeBSD 10.3 supported hardware



  • The NIC is listed under the cas(4) driver.

    "The following add-on cards are known to work with the cas(4) driver at this time:

    Sun Quad GigaSwift Ethernet UTP (QGE) (part no. 501-6522) "



  • For the $23 or so on eBay, I'd ditch that Sun QGE card.  The X4444A was a dog when it was new.  That was one of Sun's first gigabit cards (based on their Cassini chip) and they were not great performers a dozen years ago when I was first installing them.  Never cared much for them.

    Something Intel-based like this would be a lot better…



  • The problem is that my options for Quad port PCI-X are limited. One would think that with so much time (a dozen years as you said), they would have the driver for the Cassini down without issues, no? Just seems like there should be some way to make it work.



  • @willrc627:

    The problem is that my options for Quad port PCI-X are limited. One would think that with so much time (a dozen years as you said), they would have the driver for the Cassini down without issues, no? Just seems like there should be some way to make it work.

    PCI-X is a small wrinkle but easily overcome – see here:

    http://m.ebay.com/itm/Intel-PCI-X-PRO-1000-GT-Quad-Port-Gigabit-Lan-Server-Adapter-Card-PWLA8494GT-/322127032091?nav=SEARCH

    But given that the CE-based cards were primarily in SPARC servers, and primarily ran Solaris...  There likely hasn't been a ton of work on the BSD or Linux variants of the driver. Indeed, I believe RHEL 7 dropped support for the CE cards altogether.

    I'd still go Intel ....  Or, stand up Solaris 11.3 and rock that. :-)



  • Not to sound cheap but that's still $60 to replace the three cards that I have which are listed as "known to work with the cas(4) driver." I would like to be absolutely certain that the problem lies with the cards before replacing them. Seeing how they're recognized and assignable by Pfsense, I wouldn't be able to distinguish a hardware issue from a software or a driver issue that might be fixable.



  • @willrc627:

    Not to sound cheap but that's still $60 to replace the three cards that I have which are listed as "known to work with the cas(4) driver." I would like to be absolutely certain that the problem lies with the cards before replacing them. Seeing how they're recognized and assignable by Pfsense, I wouldn't be able to distinguish a hardware issue from a software or a driver issue that might be fixable.

    Completely understood - and hey, $60 is $60!  I just know that the Intel cards are known-good and I'm not sure the QGE cards are….

    Maybe you can reassign a known-good, known-working interface from the onboard to one of the QGE's.  Unfortunately there's so few of these 'in the wild'.......

    Or, maybe you can try a straight up FreeBSD-10.1 install and see if the card works there so we can narrow it to the pfSense stack rather than the driver per se?



  • Very nice idea! Under FreeBSD 10.1 there is the same issue of the interfaces being listed with all the correct settings but there is no communication out or in. With a static IP the ping doesn't work and running dhclient on the interface resulted in no DHCPOFFERS being received. It would seem that the interface simply does not transmit or receive any packets despite being completely recognized and configurable by FreeBSD.



  • New development… Ran under FREEBSD 9.0 and only 3 of the 12 "cas" interfaces were recognized (which seem to be the last two of the second card and the second one on the first card ) but when an interface is configured, there is connectivity. Ping and everything. The only listed interfaces are cas5, cas10, and cas11. Not sure what any of this means but it does make it seem like there is some way in which the hardware could be made to work.



  • Another update, FreeBSD 9.2 recognizes all 12 interfaces and each one is capable of IP assignment and ping/connectivity. Is there a version of Pfsense that runs FreeBSD 9.2 because that seems like the next step in this process. Either that or somehow trying 9.2 drivers on 10.3.



  • Agree with others here. Those cards were never well-supported. Or all that great of hardware in general.

    I'd suggest giving up now and dropping the ~$60 (and can probably find some cheaper since PCI-X) on Intel replacements. You're likely to spend a ton of time getting those Sun cards to work in any fashion, and they're not likely to be reliable regardless. Unless you value your time and a stable network at $0, you'll save in the end just not messing with those Sun cards.



  • Just checked /boot/kernel and if_cas.ko wasn't even there. FreeBSD has the newest version of that file on their FTP site under 10.3 so why wouldn't it be included in my install? Curious stuff indeed. How would one go about loading such a kernel?



  • A used MT quad Port Intel MT NIC is able to get for something around ~24,99 € here in Germany
    and I am pretty sure that this will be also able to get the hands on in the USA, for a small budget.
    Intel PRO/1000 MT Quad PCI-X Netzwerkkarte C32199-004

    Just checked /boot/kernel and if_cas.ko wasn't even there.

    Your server from Dell is 10 years old and I don´t really know how much older the
    NICs are, but if they are also 10 years old its not a wonder why they are not loaded
    by default in the newest kernel, I would assume. Or what do you think about that.



  • @willrc627:

    Another update, FreeBSD 9.2 recognizes all 12 interfaces and each one is capable of IP assignment and ping/connectivity. Is there a version of Pfsense that runs FreeBSD 9.2 because that seems like the next step in this process. Either that or somehow trying 9.2 drivers on 10.3.

    So, that would take you to a very old version of pfSense.. not something you'd want to do.

    My guess (and just a guess) is that nobody is actually real-world testing the cas driver between releases.  If it compiles, it probably ships, because nobody has the hardware or inclination to test the driver much anymore.

    As cmb said, the hardware really wasn't that good anyway.  I was never impressed with the Cassini cards - the Intel cards will run rings around them.  (Get it?  A lame attempt at an astronomy joke.  Probably sounded funnier in my head.)

    Any who…  I really wouldn't waste too much time on the Sun cards, to be honest.  So in the interest of saving you a few bucks, let me ask this... why do you need 12x interfaces for pfSense?  Could you do something with a single quad-port Intel card for $20 instead of having 3 separate cards?  There's usually more than one way to skin a cat...


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