Riverbed Steelhead EXA-00560-B010

  • Has anyone here used one of these and/or updated the BIOS to make it convert it to a Dell R210 ii? I picked one up very cheap and I want to use it for pfsense. I've seen a couple threads on another forum, but wanted to see if anyone has done it here. It comes with a 4 port Broadcom nic. Is it work getting an Intel 4 port NIC to replace it?

    Let me know your experiences and how it went.

  • Netgate Administrator

    Is it restricted in some way that requires some converting?

    I would expect the Broadcom NIC to be fine. There are a lot if people running Dell hardware with those.


  • I'm not sure as the unit isn't in hand yet. The price was too good to beat and had a 14 day return policy. So I figured what the heck. I've seen people talk about guides on how to flash them. I've also seen people say it's difficult and that it's easy! I haven't been able to find those guides though. Was hoping someone with first hand experience would know.
    As far as I know, it's not restricted other than the management tool (ethernet based) can he hard to get the correct version, but that's not a worry for me and I don't care about remote management.

    Thanks for the reply!

  • I got the unit and it's mostly up and running. Everything was password protected so I had to clear the bios and setup passwords. I then updated the BIOS from 1.1.3 to the Dell 2.9. Now it functions as a Dell. Unfortunately, the Broadcom NIC has all lights showing up as "Bypass" and there doesn't appear to be a way to change it to Normal through the BIOS or any config shortcut during boot.

    In other words, I can't get pfsense to see the 4 lan ports because they are in bypass mode. So does anyone know how to change this? Does the card need to be flashed? Are there any jumpers? I haven't removed the card, but it does light up and appear to be working, but it's just disabled. Frustrating! lol

    Any help would be appreciated.

  • Netgate Administrator

    There are usually either jumpers or some controls in the BIOS. I assume the original bios didn't have anything?

    If the bypass relays are on the NIC and there are no jumpers you will probably need the appropriate drivers to switch them. Or some hardware mod. 😕


  • Thanks for the reply. On the top of the card, there are no jumpers that I could find. I need to completely pull the card to view the bottom. I've just been ultra busy and haven't had time.

    I tried to talk to Riverbed to see if they had a utility or drivers, but they want me to sign up for a very expensive maintenance plan. They wouldn't even answer any questions, period. Not even tell me if there were updated drivers or anything. I called up Dell to ask about the unit (the warranty expired 2 years ago in 2016) and they were more than happy to help! Eventually I got the model number of cards that were supported by the unit. I should have a 4 port Intel Pro PCIe card when I get home.

    And No, the stock BIOS didn't have anything related to the PCIe card. It only had config options for the two onboard Broadcast (motherboard) ports.

    Either way, everything else functions just fine and the Intel card should solve the problem. I paid $100 for the unit with 16GB Ram, Xeon 1220 CPU, 80GB Intel SSD, 1TB 7200 Hitachi SATA and it's like brand new with rail kit. So I'm not complaining too much.

  • Netgate Administrator

    Mmm, probably would require special drivers then. It wouldn't suprise me if that was a Silicom card. They made a number of cards with by-pass function though I'm not sure they ever used Broadcom. Most were Intel based.
    Probably some clue on the card itself.

    Replacing it is the easier path and guaranteed to get you more ports.


  • I can't find any identifying marks that let me know if it's intel or Broadcom. I think I only thought it was Broadcom from another thread about this unit, but maybe I'm wrong? I did pull the card and there are jumpers on the unit at all. So you're probably right, it's driver related and Riverbed is of absolutely no help. I'll look into the Silicom (not familiar with the company) card to see if they have drivers, just for giggles. But the Intel card is here and I know it'll work as intended.

  • Netgate Administrator

    You could probably find out from pciconf -lv if the card is not seen by any existing driver. Or by the driver name if it is.

    Failing that does the NIC not have any identifying numbers?

    There were at one time Silicom drivers available. You had to compile them IIRC so it had to be against the correct FreeBSD version etc.


  • According to the documentation, the EX560 doesn't support "data interface" mode for the bypass cards. I wouldn't waste any time on trying to get that to work.

  • Netgate Administrator

    Hmm, not sure where you're seeing that. Seems very unlikely that any card would not be capable if data use. Though I'm not really sure what 'data interface mode' implies.

    According that doc the only NIC compatible with the EX560 is the 410-00044-01/ NIC-002-4TX.

    An image search for that shows this:

    One of the labels on that has this part number, PE2G4BPI80, which is a Silicom card.

    It's Intel based but requires their driver.


  • Netgate Administrator

    Drivers are available and they are not too old either. However only for the bypass part of the card. The release notes show that standard Intel driver should recognise that card.

    Are you seeing interfaces in pfSense but just unable to connect to them?


  • 410-00044-01 is the part number on the card. You are correct about that, it looks just like what you posted. But it's a Riverbed P/N and I couldn't find out much about it and Riverbed stonewalled me. There is a way to get it to Data/Normal interface mode, I've seen documentation. The issue is that it involves getting into the CIL to do this. First thing I did when I got the unit was blow away the Riverbed OS drive and install the Dell BIOS. It never dawned on me that the cards could/would be configured to function as something other than just normal ethernet ports. I installed pfsense and it only detects the two onboard ports, but nothing from the card.

    So maybe I'll try to install Silicom drivers and see what happens. Is that the drivers you mentioned that aren't too old? Did you find them on the Silicom site, or somewhere else?

  • Netgate Administrator

    On the Silicom site, yes. See: https://forum.netgate.com/topic/72769/silcom-peg4i-82571eb-based

    Do you not see the PEG part number on a label?

    But as I said they list only a driver for the bypass relays not NICs and those should always be connected.

    What does the output of pciconf -lv at the command line show?


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