SUMMARY: Sparc, Intel Solaris 8 GigE NIC recommendations (Sun, 3rd party..)

From: Tim Chipman <>
Date: Thu Nov 15 2001 - 10:09:35 EST
Not many replies to this, so here is a summary of sorts. 

Many thanks to David Foster for his comments on Sun's GigabitEthernet
NIC, used in conjunction with GigabitEthernet 3.0 software.  Apparently
installation is painless, functionality is good, yielding "real world"
transfers between gig-E sun boxes connected by Cisco switches of

Looks like I'll end up getting some nice Sun GigE NICs for our sparc
hardware, and consider my options for solaris-X86 (Intel has a promo on
right now, practically giving away a pair of gigE nics so possibly worth
the effort, assuming it is on the HCL list for SolarisX86.)

--Tim Chipman

> Hi all,
> I'm curious to get a bit of feedback on Gigabit Ether NICs [either Sun
> or 3rd party / solaris compatible) which function in:
> (a) Sparc-Solaris8 boxes [either PCI or SBUS{?}, suitable for some/any
> of 250, 450, blade1000, e3500 systems], and also, 
> (b) X86-Solaris8 Boxes [presumably PCI based]. 
> In both cases, I'm looking at {Cat5/copper 1000Tx} format rather than
> the other physical formats for the GigE fabric.
> I'm curious in particular about,
> -performance [integrated ASIC to decrease hit on host CPUs ?
> Effectiveness?]
> -ease of integration into OS, functionality of driver (ie, painless?
> nightmare? stable / flakey?)
> -cost and value of unit. [since clearly paying a bit extra for a really
> good ASIC based unit to spare CPU cycles on an "expensive" host CPU is a
> good deal :-) ]
> I'm also curious if there is a clear trend, ie, pay more and get way
> better unit ... or not.... ? (ie, there appear to be a number of
> offerings from Sun which cost $1500, $2000 USD ; stuff from Intel ;
> Syskonnect ; and others ...)
> Alas, I've dug through the archives and all I've really been able to
> find on Gig-Ether WRT solaris is discussions of performance tuning.
> Finally: If anyone has strong opinions about any 8-12 port GigE (on all
> ports) switches, I'll be happy to hear those as well :-)
> As always, a summary will follow ...
Received on Thu Nov 15 15:09:35 2001

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