SUMMARY: FDDi interface cards for SBus systems

Date: Sat Nov 06 1993 - 06:36:56 CST

I still own the list a summary about the survey I did concerning FDDI network
interface for SBus cards. It took me a while to get all the information I needed
and .... (no excuses but the last bits and pieces I got last week!, so it ended
in a much longer decision period than expected. And I apologies that I didn't
give a intermediate summary right after sending the request)

Anyway here is the request I started sometimes ago:

>> Hello,

>> did anybody made a comparison between various FDDI network adapters for
>> Suns and share that information? I'm actually interested in the performance
>> differences, especially for SBus and VME BUS cards for Suns and for Solborne
>> systems.

>> Even pointers to companies providing these interface boards are welcome
>> (I definately have forgotten a few of them in my list) and maybe a short
>> comment how satisfied you are with it.

1) all information I got clearly says that VME bus cards are not supported under
   SunOS 5.x. We have a few stations with VME bus, but they will either not get
   a FDDI board, will be not upgraded to SunOS5.0 or there Vxworks board will
   get one (That's where we actually need it)
2) Solborne have a FDDI network adapter for there Servers, but the only offer
   we got (here in Germany) was an offer for the VME bus and it was 8x more
   expensive than the cheapest offer for SBUS, so we will skip that.
3) SBUS cards
To my knowledge 4 vendors ofer Sun SBUS cards:
3.1 Sun FDDI
3.2 Network Peripherals FDDI
3.3 Crescendo FDDI
3.4 Interphase Sunbird FDDI
(Comment: I'm not shure how many offer CDDI (over STP, UTP, ...) because this
is not what I'm interested in)
The performance data I got are done by Scott Bradner (at Harvard) for the IETF
All credits for him, he did a very good job. He provides data for all sorts
of stuff and in this case he tested the Sun,Network Peripherals and Crescendo
card, no data was available for the Interphase Sunbird). This data can be
obtained by anonymous ftp in in pub/ndtl.

The interpretation of the raw data is my own and if there are any errors than
these are my personal errors not Scotts one! Don't blame him, blame me.
The following performonce number (last column) were counted by taking the
relevant number of the Sun card as a bases (=1). The test numbers for the 64,
1512 Byte packets are weighted by two, because 60% of our network traffic
consist of 64 Bytes packets and 25% of the traffic are big packets (1024-1518).
The numbers for 2048 Bytes packets were not considered, because this packet size
exceeds currently used Ethernet maximum packet size:

This is the data:
Manufacturer & 64 & 128 & 256 & 512 & 1024 & 1518 & 2048 & perf. mult
Crescendo & 9 & 15 & 28 & 47 & 65 & 67 & 69 & 1.8
Sun & 3 & ? & 11 & 19 & 43 & 51 & 56 & 1
Network Peripherals & 6 & 10 & 16 & 27 & 42 & 51 & 58 & 1.3

So I will take the Crescendo one because their price/performance ratio (prices
are specific to Germany so I recommend you get your own) is the best.
And I verified that the have drivers for Solaris 2.x i.e. for SparcServer1000
(SparcServer2000, Sun690 under 4.1.3 and Solaris 2.x, ...). Another feature
is that the have a snmp agent for the card (I don't know what it all provides
(FDDI MIB?) but I take it, why not).

The only problem I might see is the following: Now they are actually CISCO
(CISCO bought Crescondo very recently) products, so I hope that the support will
continue at least for 2-3 years (Then I might use ATM or whatever is the
appropriate technology)

Thats it,

Thanks to all who resonded very fast i.e: (Mike Steadman)
cres!PC_NET!FRANCINI@uunet.UU.NET (Francini, Mike)
Mike Raffety <> (Sister Wuster)
Christian Lawrence <> (Martin McFadden)


Michael Fendt Hackito ergo sum
Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2 Anonymous
85748 Garching

Tel: +49 89 32006 441
Fax: +49 89 32023 62


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