Best 1Gbe NIC

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Best 1Gbe NIC

Andy Lemin-2
Hi list,

I know this is a rather classic question, but I have searched a lot on this again recently, and I just cannot find any conclusive up to date information?

I am looking to buy the best 1Gbe NIC possible for OpenBSD and the only official comments I can find relate to 3COM for ISA, or community consensus towards Chelsio for 10Gbe.

I know Intel works ok and I’ve used the i350’s before, but my understanding is that Intel still doesn’t provide the documentation for their NICs and so the emX driver is reverse engineered.

And if I remember correctly some offload features were also disabled in the emX driver a while back as some functions where found to be insecure on die and so it was deemed safer to bring the logic back on CPU.

So I’m looking for the best 1Gbe NIC that supports the most offloading/best driver support/performance etc.

Thanks, Andy.

PS; could we update the official supported hardware lists? ;)
All the best.


Sent from a teeny tiny keyboard, so please excuse typos

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Re: Best 1Gbe NIC

Jonathan Gray-11
On Fri, Aug 02, 2019 at 09:19:09AM +0100, Andy Lemin wrote:
> Hi list,
>
> I know this is a rather classic question, but I have searched a lot on this again recently, and I just cannot find any conclusive up to date information?
>
> I am looking to buy the best 1Gbe NIC possible for OpenBSD and the only official comments I can find relate to 3COM for ISA, or community consensus towards Chelsio for 10Gbe.
>
> I know Intel works ok and I???ve used the i350???s before, but my understanding is that Intel still doesn???t provide the documentation for their NICs and so the emX driver is reverse engineered.

This is incorrect.  Intel provides datasheets for Ethernet parts.
em(4) is derived from Intel authored code for FreeBSD supplied under a
permissive license.

>
> And if I remember correctly some offload features were also disabled in the emX driver a while back as some functions where found to be insecure on die and so it was deemed safer to bring the logic back on CPU.
>
> So I???m looking for the best 1Gbe NIC that supports the most offloading/best driver support/performance etc.
>
> Thanks, Andy.
>
> PS; could we update the official supported hardware lists? ;)
> All the best.
>
>
> Sent from a teeny tiny keyboard, so please excuse typos
>

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Re: Best 1Gbe NIC

Andy Lemin-2
Ahhh, thank you!

I didn’t realise this had changed and now the drivers are written with full knowledge of the interface.

So that would make Intel Server NICs (i350 for example) some of the best 1Gbe cards nowadays then?

Thanks :)
Andy


Sent from a teeny tiny keyboard, so please excuse typos

> On 2 Aug 2019, at 09:52, Jonathan Gray <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> On Fri, Aug 02, 2019 at 09:19:09AM +0100, Andy Lemin wrote:
>> Hi list,
>>
>> I know this is a rather classic question, but I have searched a lot on this again recently, and I just cannot find any conclusive up to date information?
>>
>> I am looking to buy the best 1Gbe NIC possible for OpenBSD and the only official comments I can find relate to 3COM for ISA, or community consensus towards Chelsio for 10Gbe.
>>
>> I know Intel works ok and I???ve used the i350???s before, but my understanding is that Intel still doesn???t provide the documentation for their NICs and so the emX driver is reverse engineered.
>
> This is incorrect.  Intel provides datasheets for Ethernet parts.
> em(4) is derived from Intel authored code for FreeBSD supplied under a
> permissive license.
>
>>
>> And if I remember correctly some offload features were also disabled in the emX driver a while back as some functions where found to be insecure on die and so it was deemed safer to bring the logic back on CPU.
>>
>> So I???m looking for the best 1Gbe NIC that supports the most offloading/best driver support/performance etc.
>>
>> Thanks, Andy.
>>
>> PS; could we update the official supported hardware lists? ;)
>> All the best.
>>
>>
>> Sent from a teeny tiny keyboard, so please excuse typos
>>

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Re: Best 1Gbe NIC

Claudio Jeker
On Fri, Aug 02, 2019 at 12:28:58PM +0100, Andy Lemin wrote:
> Ahhh, thank you!
>
> I didn’t realise this had changed and now the drivers are written with
> full knowledge of the interface.

That is an overstatement but we know for sure a lot more about these cards
then many other less open ones.

> So that would make Intel Server NICs (i350 for example) some of the best
> 1Gbe cards nowadays then?

They are well supported by OpenBSD as are many other server nics like bge
and bnx. I would not call them best, when it comes to network cards it
seems to be a race to the bottom. All chips have stuff in them that is
just not great. em(4) for example needs a major workaround because the
buffersize is specified by a bitfield.

My view is more pessimistic, all network cards are shit there are just
some that are less shitty. Also I prefer to use em(4) over most other
gigabit cards.

--
:wq Claudio

>
> Sent from a teeny tiny keyboard, so please excuse typos
>
> > On 2 Aug 2019, at 09:52, Jonathan Gray <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> >> On Fri, Aug 02, 2019 at 09:19:09AM +0100, Andy Lemin wrote:
> >> Hi list,
> >>
> >> I know this is a rather classic question, but I have searched a lot on this again recently, and I just cannot find any conclusive up to date information?
> >>
> >> I am looking to buy the best 1Gbe NIC possible for OpenBSD and the only official comments I can find relate to 3COM for ISA, or community consensus towards Chelsio for 10Gbe.
> >>
> >> I know Intel works ok and I???ve used the i350???s before, but my understanding is that Intel still doesn???t provide the documentation for their NICs and so the emX driver is reverse engineered.
> >
> > This is incorrect.  Intel provides datasheets for Ethernet parts.
> > em(4) is derived from Intel authored code for FreeBSD supplied under a
> > permissive license.
> >
> >>
> >> And if I remember correctly some offload features were also disabled in the emX driver a while back as some functions where found to be insecure on die and so it was deemed safer to bring the logic back on CPU.
> >>
> >> So I???m looking for the best 1Gbe NIC that supports the most offloading/best driver support/performance etc.
> >>
> >> Thanks, Andy.
> >>
> >> PS; could we update the official supported hardware lists? ;)
> >> All the best.
> >>
> >>
> >> Sent from a teeny tiny keyboard, so please excuse typos
> >>
>

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Re: Best 1Gbe NIC

Brian Brombacher
I find cheap PCI-Express and PCI-X em(4) cards suffice for my needs.  990-992 Mbps with tcpbench.


> On Aug 2, 2019, at 11:26 AM, Claudio Jeker <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> On Fri, Aug 02, 2019 at 12:28:58PM +0100, Andy Lemin wrote:
>> Ahhh, thank you!
>>
>> I didn’t realise this had changed and now the drivers are written with
>> full knowledge of the interface.
>
> That is an overstatement but we know for sure a lot more about these cards
> then many other less open ones.
>
>> So that would make Intel Server NICs (i350 for example) some of the best
>> 1Gbe cards nowadays then?
>
> They are well supported by OpenBSD as are many other server nics like bge
> and bnx. I would not call them best, when it comes to network cards it
> seems to be a race to the bottom. All chips have stuff in them that is
> just not great. em(4) for example needs a major workaround because the
> buffersize is specified by a bitfield.
>
> My view is more pessimistic, all network cards are shit there are just
> some that are less shitty. Also I prefer to use em(4) over most other
> gigabit cards.
>
> --
> :wq Claudio
>
>>
>> Sent from a teeny tiny keyboard, so please excuse typos
>>
>>>> On 2 Aug 2019, at 09:52, Jonathan Gray <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> On Fri, Aug 02, 2019 at 09:19:09AM +0100, Andy Lemin wrote:
>>>> Hi list,
>>>>
>>>> I know this is a rather classic question, but I have searched a lot on this again recently, and I just cannot find any conclusive up to date information?
>>>>
>>>> I am looking to buy the best 1Gbe NIC possible for OpenBSD and the only official comments I can find relate to 3COM for ISA, or community consensus towards Chelsio for 10Gbe.
>>>>
>>>> I know Intel works ok and I???ve used the i350???s before, but my understanding is that Intel still doesn???t provide the documentation for their NICs and so the emX driver is reverse engineered.
>>>
>>> This is incorrect.  Intel provides datasheets for Ethernet parts.
>>> em(4) is derived from Intel authored code for FreeBSD supplied under a
>>> permissive license.
>>>
>>>>
>>>> And if I remember correctly some offload features were also disabled in the emX driver a while back as some functions where found to be insecure on die and so it was deemed safer to bring the logic back on CPU.
>>>>
>>>> So I???m looking for the best 1Gbe NIC that supports the most offloading/best driver support/performance etc.
>>>>
>>>> Thanks, Andy.
>>>>
>>>> PS; could we update the official supported hardware lists? ;)
>>>> All the best.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Sent from a teeny tiny keyboard, so please excuse typos
>>>>
>>
>

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Re: Best 1Gbe NIC

Andy Lemin-2
Thanks for your comments guys.

I’ve ordered some Intel NICs :)

I just wanted to make sure I was getting the best offload capability, but I agree with you Claudio ;)

Cheers, Andy.



Sent from a teeny tiny keyboard, so please excuse typos

> On 2 Aug 2019, at 19:09, Brian Brombacher <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I find cheap PCI-Express and PCI-X em(4) cards suffice for my needs.  990-992 Mbps with tcpbench.
>
>
>>> On Aug 2, 2019, at 11:26 AM, Claudio Jeker <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>
>>> On Fri, Aug 02, 2019 at 12:28:58PM +0100, Andy Lemin wrote:
>>> Ahhh, thank you!
>>>
>>> I didn’t realise this had changed and now the drivers are written with
>>> full knowledge of the interface.
>>
>> That is an overstatement but we know for sure a lot more about these cards
>> then many other less open ones.
>>
>>> So that would make Intel Server NICs (i350 for example) some of the best
>>> 1Gbe cards nowadays then?
>>
>> They are well supported by OpenBSD as are many other server nics like bge
>> and bnx. I would not call them best, when it comes to network cards it
>> seems to be a race to the bottom. All chips have stuff in them that is
>> just not great. em(4) for example needs a major workaround because the
>> buffersize is specified by a bitfield.
>>
>> My view is more pessimistic, all network cards are shit there are just
>> some that are less shitty. Also I prefer to use em(4) over most other
>> gigabit cards.
>>
>> --
>> :wq Claudio
>>
>>>
>>> Sent from a teeny tiny keyboard, so please excuse typos
>>>
>>>>> On 2 Aug 2019, at 09:52, Jonathan Gray <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>> On Fri, Aug 02, 2019 at 09:19:09AM +0100, Andy Lemin wrote:
>>>>> Hi list,
>>>>>
>>>>> I know this is a rather classic question, but I have searched a lot on this again recently, and I just cannot find any conclusive up to date information?
>>>>>
>>>>> I am looking to buy the best 1Gbe NIC possible for OpenBSD and the only official comments I can find relate to 3COM for ISA, or community consensus towards Chelsio for 10Gbe.
>>>>>
>>>>> I know Intel works ok and I???ve used the i350???s before, but my understanding is that Intel still doesn???t provide the documentation for their NICs and so the emX driver is reverse engineered.
>>>>
>>>> This is incorrect.  Intel provides datasheets for Ethernet parts.
>>>> em(4) is derived from Intel authored code for FreeBSD supplied under a
>>>> permissive license.
>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> And if I remember correctly some offload features were also disabled in the emX driver a while back as some functions where found to be insecure on die and so it was deemed safer to bring the logic back on CPU.
>>>>>
>>>>> So I???m looking for the best 1Gbe NIC that supports the most offloading/best driver support/performance etc.
>>>>>
>>>>> Thanks, Andy.
>>>>>
>>>>> PS; could we update the official supported hardware lists? ;)
>>>>> All the best.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Sent from a teeny tiny keyboard, so please excuse typos
>>>>>
>>>
>>
>

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Re: Best 1Gbe NIC

b2s2d
In reply to this post by Claudio Jeker
On 2019-08-02 08:26, Claudio Jeker wrote:

> On Fri, Aug 02, 2019 at 12:28:58PM +0100, Andy Lemin wrote:
>> Ahhh, thank you!
>>
>> I didn’t realise this had changed and now the drivers are written with
>> full knowledge of the interface.
>
> That is an overstatement but we know for sure a lot more about these
> cards
> then many other less open ones.
>
>> So that would make Intel Server NICs (i350 for example) some of the
>> best
>> 1Gbe cards nowadays then?
>
> They are well supported by OpenBSD as are many other server nics like
> bge
> and bnx. I would not call them best, when it comes to network cards it
> seems to be a race to the bottom. All chips have stuff in them that is
> just not great. em(4) for example needs a major workaround because the
> buffersize is specified by a bitfield.
>
> My view is more pessimistic, all network cards are shit there are just
> some that are less shitty. Also I prefer to use em(4) over most other
> gigabit cards.
>
> --
> :wq Claudio

Amen to that!! Especially Intel EIG44ET2 4-port GbE Nic.

Zann

>
>>
>> Sent from a teeny tiny keyboard, so please excuse typos
>>
>> > On 2 Aug 2019, at 09:52, Jonathan Gray <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> >
>> >> On Fri, Aug 02, 2019 at 09:19:09AM +0100, Andy Lemin wrote:
>> >> Hi list,
>> >>
>> >> I know this is a rather classic question, but I have searched a lot on this again recently, and I just cannot find any conclusive up to date information?
>> >>
>> >> I am looking to buy the best 1Gbe NIC possible for OpenBSD and the only official comments I can find relate to 3COM for ISA, or community consensus towards Chelsio for 10Gbe.
>> >>
>> >> I know Intel works ok and I???ve used the i350???s before, but my understanding is that Intel still doesn???t provide the documentation for their NICs and so the emX driver is reverse engineered.
>> >
>> > This is incorrect.  Intel provides datasheets for Ethernet parts.
>> > em(4) is derived from Intel authored code for FreeBSD supplied under a
>> > permissive license.
>> >
>> >>
>> >> And if I remember correctly some offload features were also disabled in the emX driver a while back as some functions where found to be insecure on die and so it was deemed safer to bring the logic back on CPU.
>> >>
>> >> So I???m looking for the best 1Gbe NIC that supports the most offloading/best driver support/performance etc.
>> >>
>> >> Thanks, Andy.
>> >>
>> >> PS; could we update the official supported hardware lists? ;)
>> >> All the best.
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> Sent from a teeny tiny keyboard, so please excuse typos
>> >>
>>