Looking for working combination of pfsense + 10Gb NIC + 2.5GbE SFP+

mcfly9

New Member
Mar 7, 2022
2
0
1
I am looking for a NIC for my new Dell server. I currently have a 2Gb fiber connection delivered on a 2.5GbE link, but in the mid-future will be getting a 10 gig connection and would like to keep my options open with the NIC. Planning to run pfSense over Proxmox.

For pfsense's sake, I was preferring to stick with an Intel NIC, but could not find any that are handled well from driver perspective, support SR-IOV and can link at 2.5GbE with a proper SFP+ adapter. Any recommendations for this combination?
Any experience with pfsense in combination with Chelsio NIC's in a similar setting (10Gb NIC + 2.5GbE SFP+)? Offload issues? Driver stability?
Or should I just not care about SR-IOV, get an I225 for the time being and use a virtualized NIC in pfsense instead of pass-through?

Any experience with TNSR in this setting?
 

prdtabim

Active Member
Jan 29, 2022
140
39
28
I am looking for a NIC for my new Dell server. I currently have a 2Gb fiber connection delivered on a 2.5GbE link, but in the mid-future will be getting a 10 gig connection and would like to keep my options open with the NIC. Planning to run pfSense over Proxmox.

For pfsense's sake, I was preferring to stick with an Intel NIC, but could not find any that are handled well from driver perspective, support SR-IOV and can link at 2.5GbE with a proper SFP+ adapter. Any recommendations for this combination?
Any experience with pfsense in combination with Chelsio NIC's in a similar setting (10Gb NIC + 2.5GbE SFP+)? Offload issues? Driver stability?
Or should I just not care about SR-IOV, get an I225 for the time being and use a virtualized NIC in pfsense instead of pass-through?

Any experience with TNSR in this setting?
Well to meet your requirements I believe that the simple solution is a good Intel supported SFP+ card and a 10GBase-T tranceiver module with 802.4bz ( 2.5 and 5 Gb/s ).
Ex. X520-DA1
There are an article in STH about the tranceivers models and capabilities.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mcfly9

Dave Corder

Active Member
Dec 21, 2015
199
107
43
40
I have an older Chelsio T320 NIC in my pfSense server (Dell R210ii), using a 10Gbps DAC to my core switch (an ICX6610), and a SuperMicro/Aquantia 10GbaseT SFP+ module (AOM-AQS-107-B0C2-CX) with a 2.5 Gbps link to my Comcast XB7 in bridge mode. Working great.

The Aquantia was pricey, but I went with it because there have been reports here of the other Marvell-based 10Gbase-T SFP+ modules not playing well with switch ports that are only 1/10Gbps, whereas the Aquantia has done just fine in that scenario. It's not entirely clear to me if that also applies to NICs that are only 1Gbps/10Gbps natively, but I wanted to avoid that potential issue. The only "issue" is that pfSense doesn't show the true link speed in the UI, but I can live with that for now.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mcfly9

mcfly9

New Member
Mar 7, 2022
2
0
1
Thanks. I went through this article previously, but now re-reading this paragraph though made me doubt whether I understood the topic correctly.

One of the undocumented features that we found on many of these modules is the ability to run Nbase-T speeds of 2.5GbE and 5GbE. The modules themselves will usually say 1Gbps and 10Gbps capability but rarely mention these newer standards.
Does this mean that even if the NIC doesn't explicitly list support for 2.5GbE/5GbE, it will just work? I am assuming the transceiver doing some magic, negotiating the physical link at 2.5GbE/5GbE and reporting 10Gb towards the NIC?
 

Dave Corder

Active Member
Dec 21, 2015
199
107
43
40
Does this mean that even if the NIC doesn't explicitly list support for 2.5GbE/5GbE, it will just work? I am assuming the transceiver doing some magic, negotiating the physical link at 2.5GbE/5GbE and reporting 10Gb towards the NIC?

I can confirm that's what my combo of gear is doing on the NIC side.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mcfly9

prdtabim

Active Member
Jan 29, 2022
140
39
28
Thanks. I went through this article previously, but now re-reading this paragraph though made me doubt whether I understood the topic correctly.



Does this mean that even if the NIC doesn't explicitly list support for 2.5GbE/5GbE, it will just work? I am assuming the transceiver doing some magic, negotiating the physical link at 2.5GbE/5GbE and reporting 10Gb towards the NIC?
I have 2 tranceiver SFP+ to 10Gbase-t. It links at 10Gb/s to the NIC but transfer at 2.5Gb/s to the switch ( TPlink TL-SH1008 ).