10GbE speeds

Aristedes Maniatis ari at ish.com.au
Fri Apr 11 23:36:05 UTC 2008

I have a project with 3 workstations all needing high speed access to  
about 6Tb of storage. In the past I've installed technology such as  
fibre channel connected SAN storage (using Apple's xsan) for up to a  
dozen workstations, but with only three workstations for this project  
I'm thinking about 10GbE. The workstations will be OSX and the server  
FreeBSD 7 with a bunch of disks in a RAID 5 or RAID 10 configuration.

Are 10GbE NICs and drivers significantly mature enough under FreeBSD  
to accomplish this? I'd need to achieve about 60MB/s transfer rate  
which is theoretically quite doable, as long as the drive array can  
keep up with three streams of that speed. I'd use netatalk, samba or  
nfs to share files depending on which I can eek the best speeds out of.

Alternatively I could populate the server with 1GbE NICs, one per  
workstation and use cross over cable. That way there is absolutely no  
contention on the network.

Any thoughts about the viability of this? Is 10GbE in production use  
with FreeBSD and does it scale well?

Ari Maniatis

Level 1, 30 Wilson Street Newtown 2042 Australia
phone +61 2 9550 5001   fax +61 2 9550 4001
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