What can I do with the extra ports of a quad port NIC for home usage



  • Currently, my pfSense is running as a VM on an ESXi host. Recently I upgraded the single port NIC to a quad port NIC. My original idea was to use the extra ports as a switch, but after read some of the posts here, I realize it may not be a good idea.
    How can I take advantage of the extra ports? I know there are some good usage for servers and enterprises, but they don’t interest me. Such as:

    1. Network redundancy/balance - I only have one Internet ISP.
    2. Network teaming – All my home devices are on gigabit network, and I am happy with that so far.
    3. Multiple vlan and subnets – All my home network is on one subnet and I would like to keep it simple.

    Are there any good ideas that I can take advantage of the extra ports? Or should I just ignore them and pretend it’s a single port NIC?



  • @shawn8888

    I'd say ignore them.


  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    You could break out your vm kern connection to specific interface, and your vm(s) to different interface.

    vm kern sharing with other port groups on on the same physical nic has had some performance issues in the past.

    As to the teaming comment, if your running windows and any of these machines have more than 1 nic you could get smb3 multichannel support working, this will double your smb bandwidth.. Not sure what your running on esxi host - so might not make any difference.



  • @JKnott

    I'd say ignore them.

    That sounds easy. ;-)

    @johnpoz

    You could break out your vm kern connection to specific interface, and your vm(s) to different interface.

    I am not sure what you mean. Do you mean different VMs use different ports of the NIC? I don't have many VMs running, so why should I do that?

    As to the teaming comment, if your running windows and any of these machines have more than 1 nic you could get smb3 multichannel support working, this will double your smb bandwidth.. Not sure what your running on esxi host - so might not make any difference.

    currently I have only one quad port NIC on the ESXi box. That's why Network teaming seem no use for me.


  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    No there is a VM Kern port group, and it normally shares the the connection to physical nic with with another port group on the same vswitch for your vms..

    This in the past has introduced some performance issues.

    Since you have multiple nics to work with, then you create a new vswitch and put this vswitch on its own nic connected to the same L2 since you only want simple flat network..

    As to teaming no point.. How many clients on you physical network do you have talking to these vms.. If you create team on esxi to your switch.. Then physical client A can can talk to vm A at full gig, while client B can talk to vm B at full gig, vs having to share the single physical connection your esxi host has.


  • LAYER 8

    tag them as "reserved" for future use :)



  • DMZ? WiFi AP for a Guest Network? ISCSI to a XigmaNAS? :)


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