Intermittent network issues with Freebsd 6.2
vinny at tellurian.com
Thu Mar 1 05:17:41 UTC 2007
Greg Barniskis wrote:
> Vivek Khera wrote:
>> On our PE800, I had to disable the bge on BIOS and plug in an em-based
>> NIC card. Made a world of difference in system stability and
>> performance -- it is actually usable now :-)
> On our Dell PE2950 units, we had to do the same thing (disable and
> replace the Broadcom interfaces), and that was running Windows Server
> 2k3. The problem really seems to be flakiness of the chips or firmware,
> not necessarily flakiness in the drivers for FreeBSD. Maybe it's both, I
> don't know.
> My point is that Broadcom cards have had some serious problems on other
> platforms too, and not just recently. Other NIC brands have never given
> us nearly as much trouble.
Interestingly, there was a recent Broadcom driver update from Dell within the past couple of months that is marked critical. It claims the previous version can result in system instability and corrupt data.
This package is an update to a newer driver that fixes some issues that could result in system halts or posible corrupt data. It is strongly suggested that you update to this new driver if you are using the Broadcom NetXtreme II network interfaces and the 2.6 family of drivers (2.6.14 would be the driver version shown by Windows.)
Of course this is for Windows, but...
I wonder if perhaps the bge driver suffers from the same problem and if this driver update is just a workaround for a hardware bug.
Oddly enough, we have probably somewhere around 100+ PE 2950 servers and have never had a problem with the Broadcom NICs in them. Same with the other PE models using Broadcom NICs, although we primarily run Windows Server 2003 on them. I do have a couple of 2650's with FreeBSD and the bge driver which both seem ok so maybe it is a combination of the bge driver and specific chipset.
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