EricTrentMiller
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Enthusiast

NIC recommendation?

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I'm upgrading several Dell PowerEdge 2950's to serve as ESXi hosts. My ISCSI SAN and associated ISCSI network are all gigabit w/jumbo frames.

In order for jumbo frames to work, the hardware has to support it end-to-end.

Any recommendations for an affordable NIC that supports jumbo frames and TCP/IP offload?

Thanks.

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golddiggie
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"Affordable" is highly subjective...

Go with Intel server class Gb NIC's (listed on the VMware HCL)... I'm using the cards that show up in the Network Adapters list as Intel 82546EB (dual port) and 82546GB (quad port)... I don't recall what the package name was for the NIC's, since they were installed over two years ago now... I would say to start on the VMware HCL using the "pro/1000" keyword search (under the IO Devices tab) then use "Intel" for the partner name and manufacturer to help narrow it down some more... Adding the "Network" for the type, and make it for ESX/ESXi 4.1, trims the results down to just 32...

Looking at the list, I believe I'm using the Intel Pro/1000 GT Quad Port Server Adapter and either the MT or MB dual port server adapter from that list...

I would ALWAYS use a "server adapter" for an ESX/ESXi host box...

BTW, I can confirm that the cards I'm using support both jumbo frames as well as offload (for iSCSI especially, same as what Dell calls TOE when you get the server built)... You can also use the Pro/1000 PT adapters (I believe) and get the same features (used those in some new servers not that long ago)...

Price will really be determined by how many ports per card you go for, and where you purchase them... I would use a vendor that will confirm that the card you order WILL do what you need. If they cannot confirm it, make sure they'll take them back without any restocking type fee (and even pay the return shipping costs)... Otherwise, use a different vendor/source.

VMware VCP4

Consider awarding points for "helpful" and/or "correct" answers.

Hosted Systems Engineer IV (VMware environment)
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mittim12
Immortal
Immortal

We have used the Broadcom NetXtreme II nics with jumbo frames without any issues. I think the biggest thing would be to make sure it's on the HCL.

http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/






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golddiggie
Champion
Champion

"Affordable" is highly subjective...

Go with Intel server class Gb NIC's (listed on the VMware HCL)... I'm using the cards that show up in the Network Adapters list as Intel 82546EB (dual port) and 82546GB (quad port)... I don't recall what the package name was for the NIC's, since they were installed over two years ago now... I would say to start on the VMware HCL using the "pro/1000" keyword search (under the IO Devices tab) then use "Intel" for the partner name and manufacturer to help narrow it down some more... Adding the "Network" for the type, and make it for ESX/ESXi 4.1, trims the results down to just 32...

Looking at the list, I believe I'm using the Intel Pro/1000 GT Quad Port Server Adapter and either the MT or MB dual port server adapter from that list...

I would ALWAYS use a "server adapter" for an ESX/ESXi host box...

BTW, I can confirm that the cards I'm using support both jumbo frames as well as offload (for iSCSI especially, same as what Dell calls TOE when you get the server built)... You can also use the Pro/1000 PT adapters (I believe) and get the same features (used those in some new servers not that long ago)...

Price will really be determined by how many ports per card you go for, and where you purchase them... I would use a vendor that will confirm that the card you order WILL do what you need. If they cannot confirm it, make sure they'll take them back without any restocking type fee (and even pay the return shipping costs)... Otherwise, use a different vendor/source.

VMware VCP4

Consider awarding points for "helpful" and/or "correct" answers.

Hosted Systems Engineer IV (VMware environment)
Brewing beer again!
mittim12
Immortal
Immortal

Also check out this KB article, http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1006143.






If you found this or any other post helpful please consider the use of the Helpful/Correct buttons to award points

Twitter: http://twitter.com/mittim12