Supermicro 5018D-FN8T - force 10Gb SFP to 1Gb speed on PFSense?



  • I recently purchased a Supermicro 5018D-FN8T with a D-1518 processor and dual embedded Intel x557 10Gb SFP+ ports to serve as a PFSense firewall for a 1GBE symmetrical ISP connection.

    This connection is presented to me as a bare fiber connector--no vendor equipment onsite--just mine, so I need to connect via an SFP or SFP+ with a 1000Base-LX fiber transceiver. I have latest BIOS installed and latest PFSense (2.4.5-RELEASE-p1).

    My issue is that I need to use one of the SFP+ interfaces in 1Gb mode. I have tried installing a 1Gb SFP fiber module in the SFP+ slot and connecting it to a matching SFP transceiver in a 1G HP-1920-24G switch, but the link shows "no carrier".

    I then purchased, from fs.com an SFP+ transceiver that is configured to act as an Avago AFCT-701SDZ-IN1. I selected this because the Intel readme file for the Freebsd Intel ix driver lists this as one of the supported transceivers, and claims it supports dual rate 1G/10G. I think Avago makes the ones Intel sells.

    Avago DUAL RATE 1G/10G SFP+ LR (No Bail) AFCT-701SDZ-IN1
    

    However, when I configure this interface in the PFSense GUI, it does not show an option for 1Gb. It only shows 10Gb and autoselect. Leaving it at autoselect, the link fails to come up.

    Does anyone know how I can make this work, with either an SFP transceiver or by forcing a 10Gb transciever to 1Gb?

    Thanks!


  • Netgate Administrator

    I would test this by connecting the two SFP ports together directly. If you can see a link there then it's possible.

    Try running ifconfig -vvvm ix0 to see if it 'sees' the module corrcetly and what speeds it thinks it can use.

    Steve



  • Thanks for that suggestion.

    I also posted this question on the Servethehome forum, and learned a couple of useful things:

    1. This post from the Netgate list has a table of transceivers someone has actually tested running at 1Gb on an XG7100 (which uses a similar Intel processor with 10Gb SFP+). From that list, I plan to purchase this transceiver.

    2. Someone also pointed out the following command shows detailed info about the module, including which speeds are supported (use ix0 or ix1 depending on which SFP+ slot you are using):

    ifconfig -m ix0
    

    I'll update this thread once I am able to purchase and test a good transciever.



  • Buy a converter from SFP to RJ45 and be done with it...

    The box has two RJ45's as well.

    https://shop.fiber24.net/index.php/en/RJ45-to-SFP-1G-Ethernet-Media-Converter-Mini/c-ACTIVECONV/a-FOCS-F2-1MRE-1SFP-AC00?sslCall=true



  • I definitely could go the route of a standalone fiber-copper converter.

    In fact, my current fallback strategy is to insert a 1GB switch that has an SFP port between the ISP's fiber and the firewall and use that to convert to copper. I have a spare HP-1920-24G switch available I could use for this.

    But my preference is to not have extra equipment in the circuit if possible. Plus I may upgrade this fiber link beyond 1GB at some point, so getting things working directly through the firewall's SFP+ port seems worth some effort.



  • @hefferbub said in Supermicro 5018D-FN8T - force 10Gb SFP to 1Gb speed on PFSense?:

    I definitely could go the route of a standalone fiber-copper converter.

    In fact, my current fallback strategy is to insert a 1GB switch that has an SFP port between the ISP's fiber and the firewall and use that to convert to copper. I have a spare HP-1920-24G switch available I could use for this.

    But my preference is to not have extra equipment in the circuit if possible. Plus I may upgrade this fiber link beyond 1GB at some point, so getting things working directly through the firewall's SFP+ port seems worth some effort.

    Agreed but if you get this

    https://www.amazon.com/Gigabit-Fiber-Copper-Ethernet-Converter/dp/B07CNBSG5D

    You could have 10gbe as well...


  • Netgate Administrator

    Hmm. That's way more expensive that just getting an 1G SFP expansion card....

    But you shouldn't need it anyway, the on-board NICs should be able to link there.

    Steve



  • @hefferbub said in Supermicro 5018D-FN8T - force 10Gb SFP to 1Gb speed on PFSense?:

    Does anyone know how I can make this work, with either an SFP transceiver or by forcing a 10Gb transciever to 1Gb?

    Hi,

    We use this Supermicro MOBO.
    We are affiliated with FS.com in Germany.

    Said dual rate SFP (+) module with Intel code modified by FS com eng. (for X557), we can use it well.

    We asked for this through our designated contact person, but I think it is also possible at the technical customer service.

    It’s important, because you say you get a bare fiber, you need to know how far the other end of the connection is from you, the module you are using is 10 Km.

    Try to install the module in a switch and read the DDM / DOM info from the link.

    You can then experiment further in the Supermicro unit.

    btw:
    @Cool_Corona

    if we are already talking about a media converter, we prefer CTC Union or Allied Telesis 😉
    https://www.ctcu.com/en/fiber-series/simple-media-converter.html
    https://www.alliedtelesis.com/en/products/media-converters

    +++edit:
    Avago - Agilent Semic. - HP

    Hewlett-Packard is known for providing good protection for its products and configurations, therefore one should always do tricks with these.

    Avago manufactures super LED and Laser diode stuff and adds LVDS drives, this is how they enter the optical transmission market.

    Intel also works together them, but Intel PHYs work properly with Intel codes.


Log in to reply