[WBEL-users] Anyone Using Gigibit Ethernet with White Box?
Kirby C. Bohling
Sat, 18 Sep 2004 18:59:30 -0500
On Sat, Sep 18, 2004 at 02:07:53PM -0700, George Salt wrote:
> Thanks for the input. Initially, I was primarily
> concerned with driver support for the gigabit cards;
> however, that's a good point about the bandwidth
> limitations in the PCI bus.
> Basically, I'm putting together a small Beowulf
> cluster with some older P3 machines. This is a home
> hobbyist/grad school project, not a serious production
> system. A marginal improvement in speed may not
> justify the extra cost of gigabit cards.
Just a heads up, they say you can't take full advantage of a
Gigabit card with anything slower then about 800Mhz. I use Intel
e1000's on a fairly regular basis. Those appear to work okay.
I've got a couple of the low end $45 at CompUSA NetGear cards, I
can't even tell you the model (I believe they only have 1 gigabit
model). They appear to work just fine.
This is the output of the dmesg for the network card that is
built into all of the IBM servers we use in production. They are
very, very fast, and have been very stable for us.
tg3.c:v1.2e4 (Feb 20, 2003)
eth0: Tigon3 [partno(BCM95703A30) rev 1002 PHY(5703)] (PCIX:100MHz:64-bit) 10/100/1000BaseT Ethernet
No idea if you can buy them as a separate card at all.
The place where you really get bit on the networking end, is
that a cheap switch can really affect your network. So you might be
leary of the lowend switches until you see some decent benchmarks
out of them. We had that problem with a cheap switch we picked up,
it was a "store and forward" style. So, while it was 1Gbit switch,
it had a bit of latency, which lead to problems running NFS over it
(NFS is fairly latency sensitive, you can have all the bandwidth in
the world, but if it has a 100ms latency, it will suck performance
wise). We bought a better switch, and we saw serious performance
improvements (Dell PowerConnect 5224, which is really an OEM'ed
Cisco switch, but I don't know the Cisco model number).
That's something you might also want to contemplate with it.
> Best regards,
> --- Pete Stevens <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > On Fri, 17 Sep 2004, George Salt wrote:
> > > Greetings,
> > >
> > > Can anyone recommend a gigabit ethernet pci card
> > that
> > > works well with WBEL? Any driver issues I should
> > be
> > > aware of?
> > >
> > > I know it's no longer an issue with 10/100
> > ethernet,
> > > but I want to check before I purchase some gigabit
> > > cards (and hub), and most vendors (Netgear, for
> > > example) don't say anything about linux support.
> > > Thanks in advance for any advice.
> > I've two machines working fine with onboard Realtek
> > cards,
> > RTL-8139/8139C/8139C+, they're plugged into a CISCO
> > 100Mbit switch.
> > An onboard Intel Corp. 82545EM Gigabit Ethernet
> > Controller, works fine on a
> > machine that's been hand patched up from Redhat 6.0
> > to a 2.6.5 kernel, I've
> > also used PCI Intel Pro Gbit desktop adapters which
> > have all worked very well
> > [although they're on Debian stable].
> > Personally I'd recommend the Intel PCI cards, they
> > cost around 30GBP [$50 US]
> > and just work.
> > The only thing I'd watch out for is if it's an old
> > machine [e.g. a BP6 dual
> > celeron] you can get stung because the PCI card spec
> > changed to add an extra
> > voltage - we can't put a Gbit card in our dual
> > celeron which is a shame, we'll
> > have to retire it instead.
> > Hope that helps.
> > Pete Stevens
> > --
> > Pete Stevens
> > email@example.com
> > Virtual WBEL servers
> > http://www.mythic-beasts.com/vds.html
> > A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and
> > won't change the subject.
> > -- Winston Churchill
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