Crazy 100GbE adapter for $100

Jeggs101

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Dec 29, 2010
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This is $109 but best offer accepted at $100.


It's an absolutely crazy adapter. Dual 100GbE ports but it's a multi-host adapter so you can put the cable into another system?

I think if you had two of the breakout cards, maybe just buying two of these cards from the listing is cheapest, you could find a way to cable three systems into a single dual port NIC?

Here's the specs on this thing Silicom Ltd. | 40/100 Gigabit Card for Multi-Host Platform Connectivity

Have a look down the page for other stats here. I got 2 since I figure for $200 bucks its worth playing with.

Beware, this is a 28-30W NIC.

I'm hoping there's easy Intel drivers for this since the "download drivers" button goes to contact support.
 

i386

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Mar 18, 2016
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Mellanox has something similar called socket direct:


With pcie lanes it's possible to do a lot of cool (or strange) things. It's possible to build a 100GBE nic that comes with 4 cards where each card uses x4 pcie lanes :D

Edit: the cable looks similar to that in the op, it's probably the same connector
 

cesmith9999

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Mar 26, 2013
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in multi-processor machines. do you need to plug them into PCIe lanes in the came CPU or can you plug the cards into different PCIe slots on different CPU?

I ask this because, a few years ago I had servers doing storage (dual Mellanox cards - different slots. and if I tweaked the RSS right I could limit the bandwidth over the QPI bus between CPU's.

if you could plug these in different CPU's you could remedy a bottleneck in multi-processor systems.

Chris
 
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whbeers

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Jul 11, 2020
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The cable looks to be a SlimSAS 8i / SFF-8654 - a generic cabled pcie connection. It's sometimes used for nvme drives (e.g. on the Tyan S8030 motherboards), but also for backplanes and other cabled pcie use cases.

My take is that the second card is explicitly for connecting to distinct CPUs in multiprocessor systems via dedicated pcie slots.
 
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nasi

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Feb 25, 2020
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PCIe 3.0 has 8 GT/s per lane, so you get 128GBit/s with a PCIe x16. So my guess is you need the second card for full bandwidth of 2x 100Gbit/s. Or am I wrong?
 

Prof_G

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Jan 16, 2020
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I just grabbed a SILICOM PE310G4BPI40-T-SD Quad Ports 10Gb for 120..... :rolleyes: feels like I'm getting cheated on bandwidth and power rating is the same. Atleast I can connect to standard copper Cat line.



Yeah that card looks sweet at that price. I don't even thing I got hard drives that will take data off that quick enough.
 
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whbeers

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Jul 11, 2020
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PCIe 3.0 has 8 GT/s per lane, so you get 128GBit/s with a PCIe x16. So my guess is you need the second card for full bandwidth of 2x 100Gbit/s. Or am I wrong?
I think you're right - from the silicom page:
"""
- Support PCI Express Base Specification Revision 3.0, 8GT/s, 5GT/s or 2.5GT/s
- Up to 200Gbps in multi-host connections of 4x 50Gbps 8-lane PCIe interfaces
"""

That said, applications making use of the bypass functionality (e.g. a tap) wouldn't require all 100/200Gb to make it across pcie.
 
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MiniKnight

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Mar 30, 2012
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Multi-host adapters are also used to connect multiple nodes using a single NIC. I'm sure STH has covered Mellanox adapters with facebook yosemite.
 
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neobenedict

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Oct 2, 2020
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Beware, you need a motherboard that can split your x16 slot into two x8 slots to use both ports, iirc. DL380 G9 can do it I think. I ordered two to play with.

If this ends up being very usable the price will probably go up on these cards more in-line with what a 100G NIC and ASIC router should actually cost. They have over 100 in stock atm.
 

Fireworm

New Member
Sep 18, 2019
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What cables do I now need?

Couldn't resist big numbers like this, so I'm in for 2 plus whatever else I need for point to point networking...
 

ske4za

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Feb 4, 2019
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I can't seem to find in the spec: could I run a 2m DAC / copper? Or is it fiber only?
100GBase-CR4 is what you're looking for, on the technical specifications tab. Not sure what the approved part numbers for the actual DAC cables are, but you'll find a bunch of Amazon and eBay.
 
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neobenedict

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Last edited:
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MiniKnight

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I just hope they're using Intel drivers, not some custom Silicom ones. I've had Silicom before and they're usually just Intel but this seems to be more exotic