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Steve
I know your IP address
Consultant
join:2001-03-10
Foothill Ranch, CA
kudos:5

Looking for non-Broadcom server network card

A customer with a Dell Power 2900 has been having chronic problems with the NIC dropping offline, requiring a reboot. We've changed to the second NIC and are using a different cable and a different switchport, and even upgraded the OS from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 up to CentOS 6.4, and the problem recurs.

The issue is documented here: CentOS bug 6249

I have dozens of customers with Dell server gear without this problem, but this is the only one with the tower form factor so perhaps the hardware is a bit different.

It's possible that the onboard hardware is bad, but because Dell won't support CentOS, we've hit the end of the support line with them.

This has been very, very painful to the customer.

My proposed solution is to get a server-class network card and plug it in to a spare PCI Express slot, disabling the onboard NICs, but I want to avoid the troublesome bnx2 driver, so that mostly rules out a Broadcom card.

The card must work out of the box with CentOS 6 - I'm positively unwilling to compile a custom kernel - and prefer reliable over cheap. We just need a single GigE network port.

There are hints that the e1000 driver has the same issue, so that kind of card would be a second choice, but I'll go there if I need to.

What are you folks getting for server-class NICs?

Steve
--
Stephen J. Friedl | Unix Wizard | Security Consultant | Orange County, California USA | my web site


graysonf
Premium,MVM
join:1999-07-16
Fort Lauderdale, FL
kudos:2
Intel.

But some of their older nearing EOL GB cards do use the e1000 driver.

Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1
reply to Steve
it likely is a hardware failure, if the computer is still under warranty dell likely can swap the board.

Intel is your best bet though. Never had an issue with Intel and Linux.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports


AnonLuser

@pnap.net
reply to Steve
Steve, you tried forcing IO-APIC instead of MSI; I hate bnx2 and had similar issues; resolved it by forcing IO-APIC


Steve
I know your IP address
Consultant
join:2001-03-10
Foothill Ranch, CA
kudos:5
reply to Kearnstd
said by Kearnstd:

it likely is a hardware failure, if the computer is still under warranty dell likely can swap the board.

I agree that it's probably hardware, but Dell says it's not a supported OS and that was the end of that conversation. It's still under warranty.


Steve
I know your IP address
Consultant
join:2001-03-10
Foothill Ranch, CA
kudos:5
reply to AnonLuser
said by AnonLuser :

have you tried forcing IO-APIC instead of MSI; I hate bnx2 and had similar issues; resolved it by forcing IO-APIC

I read some indirect notes about this on the net, but it didn't feel promising enough to me, so I went to the local Micro Center and picked up an Intel card. Installed straightforwardly enough, CentOS knew it right out of the box, and we'll see if it's a driver thing or not soon enough.

Thanks for the guidance, all.


Paulg
Displaced Yooper
Premium
join:2004-03-15
Neenah, WI
kudos:1
reply to Steve
Can you do any sort of troubleshooting with them via OMSA liveCD?


Steve
I know your IP address
Consultant
join:2001-03-10
Foothill Ranch, CA
kudos:5
said by Paulg:

Can you do any sort of troubleshooting with them via OMSA liveCD?

At this point, no.

It's in a production server where I don't routinely have physical access, and there's just no way that the customer would pay me to show up after hours to research this when a $40 NIC more or less solves the problem (we hope).

I'm old enough that I can live without getting to the bottom of this


Paulg
Displaced Yooper
Premium
join:2004-03-15
Neenah, WI
kudos:1
Fair enough. As a fellow consultant, I am quite familiar with that situation.

pablo
MVM
join:2003-06-23
kudos:1
reply to Steve
said by Steve:

I'm old enough that I can live without getting to the bottom of this

+1


Brano
I hate Vogons
Premium,MVM
join:2002-06-25
Burlington, ON
kudos:11
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
·Bell Fibe
said by pablo:

said by Steve:

I'm old enough that I can live without getting to the bottom of this

+1

+1


Steve
I know your IP address
Consultant
join:2001-03-10
Foothill Ranch, CA
kudos:5
said by Brano:

said by pablo:

said by Steve:

I'm old enough that I can live without getting to the bottom of this

+1

+1

+1