Dell T110 server as PFSense firewall - NIC choice

  • Hi,

    I'm considering using a Dell T110 for my PFSense build, but first I'd like to be sure that the NIC will be compatible with PFSense 2.0.2.

    The choice is between a Broadcom NetXtreme II 5709 Dual Port 1GbE NIC or a Intel Gigabit ET Dual Port Server Adapter. (Actually I would need two of these + one single NIC).

    Free BSD Supported Devices lists Broadcom NetXtreme II BCM5709 1000Base-SX and Broadcom NetXtreme II BCM5709 1000Base-T as compatible, so I guess the Broadcom choice should be OK, but it would be nice to have confirmation from someone who has actually used them.
    I've read on old threads that there was some issues with the Intel Gigabit Dual, and the Free BSD list does not mention the 82576 controller (it stops at 82574) - so is this NIC OK or not?

    Thank you very much for your help - this is my first attempt with PFSense

  • 82576 is listed under driver igb on the freebsd 8.1 HCL.

  • I have a Dell T110 + Broadcom 5709 Dual Port x 2 as my firewall.  I was having not enough Mbuf issue (network card stop responsing) when first installed, but adding kern.ipc.nmbclusters = 51200 via GUI (System->Advance->System Tunables)  It is very stable afterward.

  • I can confirm the 5709's, I'm using them implemented in the nc382t.

  • I'm using an Intel PWLA8492MT and an Intel EXPI9402PTBLK in a Dell Insipron 570 pfSense box now.  Both work fine.  pfSense also noticed the onboard Broadcomm too, but I don't have that spec # handy.

    I have a T110 on order right now to replace the Inspiron…got the T110 II on sale for $299 :)  The Inspiron has 500 gig HD, 4 gig ram, dual-core Athlon...a lot of wasted horsepower for a pfSense box IMHO.  The T110 comes with a 1 TB drive, so I'll probably swap it for the 500 gigger in the Inspiron and use the Inspiron for something else; probably a full-blown FreeBSD install to play with or some type of media server.

    I LOVE technology :)

  • Is the Dell T110 a good "off the shelf" box for running pfsense?

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