Intel PRO/10GbE CX4? General 10Gb tips?

Alan Amesbury amesbury at
Tue Jun 5 21:43:31 UTC 2007

Kip Macy wrote:

>> Sounds like the Intel hardware is the way to go, then.  Performance is
> I'm not sure how you extrapolate that from the conversation to this
> point. The ix cards are not currently available so nothing is yet
> known about how they perform under FreeBSD and they may well come at a
> premium for being dual-ported.

Er, probably from the conversation I was having in my head and failed to 
get into writing.  :-\  There are some other things which are important, 
e.g., having the drivers in 6.2-RELEASE, which I don't think I mentioned.

>> absolutely key (else why spend the money for 10Gb hardware, right?), so
>> a performance hit of more than 1-2% isn't going to be acceptable.  I'd
>> be willing to consider vendors who provided native FreeBSD blobs but,
>> where possible and feasible, I tend to give preference to those who
>> release specs and driver source openly.
> I'm sure ix will be open. mxge(4) and cxgb(4) are open.

Andrew Gallatin was most helpful in providing some additional 
information off-list about the Myricom cards.  We don't run 6-STABLE, so 
the driver he backported to 6-STABLE hasn't shown up on our systems.  I 
rarely look at -CURRENT because--well, we don't use that in production. 
  To look at 6.2-RELEASE and earlier, Intel is the only 10Gb hardware 
that works with FreeBSD.  I'm glad to learn otherwise.  :-)

> I answered this question previously. The only 2 vendors with both good
> cards and good drivers for FreeBSD at this time are Myricom and
> Chelsio. Maybe we can poke Jack to post some numbers for ix(4) soon.

You did, and thanks!  I'm still looking for alternatives, but am already 
focusing on Myricom and Chelsio products.  For our purposes, the Myricom 
hardware is looking more attractive than ixgb(4), as PCIe and support in 
6-STABLE are extremely compelling.

Thanks again for the help!

Alan Amesbury
OIT Security and Assurance
University of Minnesota

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