[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: OT: Maximum number of fast ethernet cards

On Fri, 2006-06-16 at 21:41 +0100, Pete Clarke wrote:
> Hi there,
> This is slightly offtopic, but does anyone know the maximum number of fast 
> ethernet cards a typical PC can handle..?
> I want to use a cheap (ish) Debian box as a firewall/router to suppliment my 
> Netgear, and provide more services to the internal network than currently 
> available.
> With this in mind, I was intending on slapping a load of dual portal network 
> cards into a redundant PC.
> I remember reading a while back that the ultimate limit will be the PCI bus 
> bandwidth - with this in mind, what would be the maximum number of NIC's I 
> could realistically install into a PC?

Why not use Quad-Port or 6-Port NICs?

Intel makes some very good 4-port NICs, but alas I've only had the
privilege of using 2 in a single machine. They work just fine. In very
new machines with 4 or 6 PCI-X slots you may be able to get 4 or 6 of
these in the machine. The only thing is, I've heard of a limitation
using the "Intel" Single Driver Kernel Module for these, being "2"
physical NICs. Bummer. But I could be wrong and/or quoting old specs.



All I can say is what I have heard. Wow. These babies are the shizzle
for anyone's Izzle. The are capable 4 port NICs. TCP Offload (makes your
CPU utilization near Zilch) and 64,000 TCP connection off load. Plus I
understand they only support linux. Plus the drivers are in the main
2.4/.2.6 kernels branches, 2.4.25+ and 2.6.12+. I do know they have or
have been working on making it possible to have "unlimited" numbers of
these NICs in a single machine. Unlimited only limited by physical


Adaptec used to sell 2 and 4 port NICs. Dunno about why they quit, but I
have used quite a few of them, since about '96.

No URL, but support is still there from adaptec. So if you can get 'em
you might well be able to use them. But I have zero info on multiples in
a machine.

Only dual port NICs. Stable support in Linux, amazingly works very well.
Higher CPU utilization than Chelsio and Intel, but good throughput for
that CPU utilization.



There are PCI-X backplanes coming into the picture, with various CPU
options and upto 20 PCI-X slots. But I have not seen any definite
release indications at all.

Good luck.
greg, greg@gregfolkert.net

The technology that is
Stronger, better, faster:  Linux

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: This is a digitally signed message part

Reply to: