10G Dual port NIC - Please recommend



  • Hi

    Could someone please recommend a 10g dual port fiber card - Low-profile PCI Express x8 ?

    I know I can check the compatibility list and find some supported cards, but I am asking for a tested and working one in production.

    Running pfsense 2.1.

    I was looking at X520 but it seems like there is alot of issues with this card (according to quick search on forum)

    Thanks in advance!



  • Once the driver issue with 2.1-RELEASE gets fixed, the X520's are really good choices.

    I've been using one with 2.1 since -BETA0 and when having a correct driver, it's a really good NIC.
    It just needs some tuning which is documented in the Wiki - but that's also needed on a plain FreeBSD install.



  • alright, i will go for the x520.
    is there any temporary solutions for those driver issues?



  • Do NOT buy any hardware with missing or flakey drivers because talk about fixed drivers arrives alot sooner than actual fixed drivers.


  • Banned

    I am running the X520-T2 on my systems with no issues with 2.0.3.

    I havent upgraded to 2.1 until its stable.



  • @lowprofile:

    alright, i will go for the x520.
    is there any temporary solutions for those driver issues?

    Build the latest drivers and you are good to go.



  • You might want to follow the thread about ECC errors with the latest driver in 2.1.

    I remember to have used the stock ixgbe 2.4.5 from FreeBSD 8.3 on the box at work back when it was the version used in pfSense 2.1-BETA and it was solid although later changes optimized its performance - at least this driver worked reliably. - But it won't likely recognize all features or chipsets of the very latest driver revisions.



  • I am ordering the X520-DA2 in few days, and will return with some serious feedback :)

    The X520-T2 is based on ethernet, and probably another chip controller, hence it can't be compared totally as DA2.



  • I hope its nothing like the feedback I've been seeing the last couple days.  Good luck.

    http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,66573.msg365956.html#msg365956



  • i use both cards.



  • Whats the deal with that other thread?  Not a problem with the card?



  • firewall crash down every 8 hours



  • Because of the NICs?



  • yep. we all waiting to fix of drivers



  • Sooooooo…  You can see where this gives me pause when I see someone about to order them?



  • @lowprofile:

    I am ordering the X520-DA2 in few days, and will return with some serious feedback :)

    The X520-T2 is based on ethernet, and probably another chip controller, hence it can't be compared totally as DA2.

    Under FreeBSD Chelsio is a very solid choice and solid driver support.  The question as to how well they work in pfSense is the only open issue.

    For example EMC Isilon clustered NAS storage which is based on FreeBSD uses Chelsio 10 gig nics.



  • @jwelter99:

    @lowprofile:

    I am ordering the X520-DA2 in few days, and will return with some serious feedback :)

    The X520-T2 is based on ethernet, and probably another chip controller, hence it can't be compared totally as DA2.

    Under FreeBSD Chelsio is a very solid choice and solid driver support.  The question as to how well they work in pfSense is the only open issue.

    For example EMC Isilon clustered NAS storage which is based on FreeBSD uses Chelsio 10 gig nics.

    I try to stick with intel cards, but if someone can confirm chelsio with 2.1, i may consider it.
    I think i will wait ordering x520 so far…  :)



  • If you follow the thread about the Intel ixgbe issues you'll see that Renato is working on it (thanks again).

    But yes, cxgbe (Chelsio T4), cxgb (Chelsio T3) are also part of FreeBSD 8.3.
    Additionnaly sfxge (Solarflare 10GE) has been backported to pfSense 2.1 since quite some time back into the beta.
    I believe it's about in the state of what is in FreeBSD 9.1.

    I think the general consensus with production hardware is that the NIC should not be something to save money on and to get a server grade product.
    Allas, I haven't seen any enduser 10G products by now, they all are server-grade. ;-)



  • @MatSim:

    If you follow the thread about the Intel ixgbe issues you'll see that Renato is working on it (thanks again).

    But yes, cxgbe (Chelsio T4), cxgb (Chelsio T3) are also part of FreeBSD 8.3.
    Additionnaly sfxge (Solarflare 10GE) has been backported to pfSense 2.1 since quite some time back into the beta.
    I believe it's about in the state of what is in FreeBSD 9.1.

    I think the general consensus with production hardware is that the NIC should not be something to save money on and to get a server grade product.
    Allas, I haven't seen any enduser 10G products by now, they all are server-grade. ;-)

    Correct, and the Chelsio's are pricey - about 2x that of an Intel 520 dual port for DAC models - and have been rock solid where we use them.  But our preference is also the Intel 520's for Linux and Windows boxes as on those drivers are not an issue at all.

    I've not used Solarflare personally but have heard good things about them.


  • Banned

    What if you run Pfsense in a Vm on 10 gbit hardware? Would it have a driver issue with FreeBSD?



  • VMware is the safest because the few hardware components that are listed as compatible with ESXi are rock solid.


  • Banned

    Exactly my point. I run the X520's here and they work fine. I bet the DA2's would do that as well



  • @Supermule:

    Exactly my point. I run the X520's here and they work fine. I bet the DA2's would do that as well

    Yes, DA2's are solid under VMWare out of the box.



  • (I didn't know Chelsio was so much more expensive, thanks for the heads-up)
    Yes, it also seems Solarflare is quite OSS-friendly, since the not only support Linux, but offered drivers for the lesser known OS like not only FreeBSD but illumos too.

    In terms of the 520's: the sole difference between -DA2 and -SR / -LR models that I know is that the later models get delivered with Intel-branded optics.



  • hi,

    i posted guide how i created pfsense cluster with Intel 10Gb NICs. take a look http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,66573.msg369650.html#msg369650


  • Banned

    But the cards didnt have issues when virtualized in VmWare? Why not install ESXi and run it that way?



  • this is exactly what i did. esxi and pfsense as VM with VNXNET3 NICs


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