[Server-devel] CentOS hardware support doubts

Peter Robinson pbrobinson at gmail.com
Fri Feb 3 10:04:08 EST 2012

On Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 2:38 PM, Samuel Greenfeld <greenfeld at laptop.org> wrote:
> On Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 9:07 AM, Daniel Drake <dsd at laptop.org> wrote:
>> I've now seen 3 failure cases - the AR8152 mentioned above, and
>> another case which I only had time to do a quick boot check of
>> F9/C6/F16 (F16 was the only one that recognised the onboard NIC of the
>> asrock motherboard).
>> Yesterday we received 10 servers based on an Intel motherboard (and 12
>> more will be coming next week). F9 doesn't recognise the onboard NIC.
>> C6 recognises the onboard NIC but isn't able to send/receive packets.
>> F16 works fine (using e1000e driver). As these boards only have 1 PCI
>> socket it is not possible to have 2 NICs (unless we resort to USB...)
>> unless we move beyond C6.

What's the exact version of the centos kernel? There always seems to
be lots of new revisions of the e1000 cards that need slightly newer
drivers. Have you checked out the Centos Continuous release repo to
see if a newer kernel is available?


> It's worth noting that if you have to, there are NIC cards available with
> more than one port per PCI slot.  They just tend to be rarer and as
> "server-grade" hardware, more expensive.

No so much now. I think our cost price for 2 port cards is around
£30-40 for standard cards. Depending on the switch it's being attached
to you could also use vlan trunking.

> Coming from a networking/ODM background, I have worked with plenty of 2-8
> port e1000 NIC cards, and even 8-port tulip adapters.  Just make sure that
> the PCI-E/X/etc. slot you are using has enough lanes to fit the NIC card in
> the slot, and for the load a schoolserver generates you should be fine.

PCI-e 1.0 is 1Gb per lane. PCI-e 2 is double. On newer boxes it should
be the later so a single lane is generally enough for a 2x 1Gb card.

> Historically I have seen e1000's and Broadcom Gigabit adapters in
> server-grade hardware.  But given I have been out of the industry for a few
> years, I don't know what companies are using nowadays.

Nothing has changed there what so ever at the 1Gb level :-)


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