9 10/100 Port Hardware Suggestions?



  • Does anyone have any hardware suggestions that would handle 100+Mbit/s aggregate bandwidth (Multiple PPPOE Session running MPD).

    Requirements:
    x86 ? (Supported in FreeBSD/Linux)
    1RU (Desktop Models Okay as well)
    9 10/100 NIC's (For MPD/MLPPP Bonding)

    Cost is a factor, but overriding that is availability.  I need to be able to source a large amount of these devices, for an extended period of time.  Any idea's?



  • If you have a 100mbit datalink, you will need gigabit interfaces.

    Intel nics are really good



  • @marcelloc:

    If you have a 100mbit datalink, you will need gigabit interfaces.

    Intel nics are really good

    Most are going to be in the range of aggregate 50-80Mbit/s max.  It would be nice as you said to have two options.  One with 10/100 nics (probably cheaper), then one with 100/1000.

    Or the best situation would be to have something like 8 or 6 10/100, then the remaining 1 or 3 as 100/1000.



  • Multiport NICs tend to be quite expensive for larger port numbers.

    A more cost effective option is probably to use VLANs over a small number of gigabit ethernet interfaces and a VLAN capable switch to act as a port multiplier. If you search the forums for VLAN port multiplier you will probably turn up a number of posts describing this option.

    The multiport cards from http://www.soekris.com (lan16x1 and lan17x1) have 10/100 NICs that are in the FreeBSD supported list so should work on pfSense. I have no experience with these cards.



  • @wallabybob:

    Multiport NICs tend to be quite expensive for larger port numbers.

    A more cost effective option is probably to use VLANs over a small number of gigabit ethernet interfaces and a VLAN capable switch to act as a port multiplier. If you search the forums for VLAN port multiplier you will probably turn up a number of posts describing this option.

    The multiport cards from http://www.soekris.com (lan16x1 and lan17x1) have 10/100 NICs that are in the FreeBSD supported list so should work on pfSense. I have no experience with these cards.

    The VLAN solution is something I thought about.  But was curious if anyone had successfully established multiple PPPOE sessions over multiple VLAN's?

    Also in that situation I would only need a couple of 100/1000 Ports w/ 802.1q support and enough horsepower to push 8 PPPOE sessions to 100+mbit/s.  Any suggestions if taking that route on the device capable of doing that?  I don't think any of the routerboard/soekris type boards will handle it?  Maybe some of the newer Soekris 1+Ghz, but at that point I think an x85/Intel Atom/i3 might be a better solution if I can find a small footprint full solution.


  • Netgate Administrator

    Just to be clear about this, are you going to have multiple PPPoE connections with a combined bandwidth of >100Mbps?

    The newer dual core Atoms will push >450Mbps (or do >200Mbps duplex). A separate switch and VLANs is almost certainly the way to go.

    Steve



  • @stephenw10:

    Just to be clear about this, are you going to have multiple PPPoE connections with a combined bandwidth of >100Mbps?

    I found the initial description and subsequent discussion ambiguous. It started as if the COMBINED bandwidth of the WAN ports was to be around 100Mbps (e.g. 8 ports of 12Mbps each) and that seemed to have morphed into a requirement for around 8 ports of 100Mbps EACH (combined bandwidth of around 800Mbps).



  • @wallabybob:

    @stephenw10:

    Just to be clear about this, are you going to have multiple PPPoE connections with a combined bandwidth of >100Mbps?

    I found the initial description and subsequent discussion ambiguous. It started as if the COMBINED bandwidth of the WAN ports was to be around 100Mbps (e.g. 8 ports of 12Mbps each) and that seemed to have morphed into a requirement for around 8 ports of 100Mbps EACH (combined bandwidth of around 800Mbps).

    Sorry if I was not clear.

    It would be for example 8 x 15Mbit/s connections (PPPOE) for a combined 120Mbit/s.  Sometimes it would only be 8 x 6Mbit/s for a combined 48Mbit/s.

    So I would need the 8 10/100 ports, then at least 1 100/1000 port.


  • Netgate Administrator

    Do you have an ISP that supports link aggregation? Otherwise you will only get the full bandwidth with 8 separate downloads or something with multiple connections like bit torrent.

    Steve



  • @stephenw10:

    Do you have an ISP that supports link aggregation? Otherwise you will only get the full bandwidth with 8 separate downloads or something with multiple connections like bit torrent.

    Steve

    We are the ISP.  We are looking for CPE's to support higher line count.  We are doing this right now with 2-4 lines.



  • Something with 9 NICs is going to be pricey, only options I'm aware of aside from throwing quad port NICs into something you build yourself, would be one of the high end platforms from Lanner or Nexcom. You'll likely have to get 12 NICs to have 9, and they'll all be gigabit most likely. Looking $2-3K+ USD minimum.

    May be a better option to do multi-WAN on a stick with a VLAN switch on WAN. Then you have tons of hardware options at around $500-600 USD or less.



  • @cmb:

    May be a better option to do multi-WAN on a stick with a VLAN switch on WAN. Then you have tons of hardware options at around $500-600 USD or less.

    That may be the best option.  In that case I really only need 2 - 4 gig-E ports on the firewall/machine itself then a switch that supports 802.1q and trunk it to there for the WAN's.

    Any suggestions for compact solutions on the firewall side, 2 - 4 Ports, fast enough to handle the remaining WAN on a stick 8 PPPOE sessions.

    Also, not sure of the switches that would be cheap.  I know of the Microtik but that's only 5 port, not sure of a low cost 8-16 port switch.  Any suggestions?



  • @doofoo:

    Also, not sure of the switches that would be cheap.  I know of the Microtik but that's only 5 port, not sure of a low cost 8-16 port switch.  Any suggestions?

    A few readers of the forums have suggested Netgear GS-108 but I think there are variants of that switch that don't support VLANS. Maybe its the GS-108T that has been suggested. I use a HP/Procurve 1700-8 (J9079A) which has one gigabit port and 7 10/100 ports. The Procurve works well for me: VLANs to my ADSL modem and local DMZ network.



  • A GS108T is 8 gigabit ports and will work well with vlans and pfsense. The regular GS108 is a dumb version of the GS108T. They are configured by web only, as such setting up the vlans will take a while. I have several, if you get one make sure its a V2. The V1 units have about half the features of the V2 units. Netgear has the gs110tp (less then $300 USD) which is 8 gigabit ports plus two sfp ports. You could get the gs110tp with an sfp to gigabit adapter then use that to connect to pfsense through a gigabit nic.



  • You could look into the D-link DGS-1210-16 smart switch.  It comes with 16 GBe ports + 4GBe SFP ports and supports VLANs as well as LACP.
    Alternatively, the SRW-224G4 from Linksys has 24 10/100 ports and 4 GBe ports is priced similarly.

    In this case, you only need 1 GBe NIC on the pfsense rig that supports VLANs.


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