10GbE copper or fiber NICs? Intel or Chelsio?

  • Looking for 10 gigabit network cards for some servers.
    There are some options to consider.

    What's your take on 10 gigabit over RJ45 copper versus SFP fiber?
    Intel or Chelsio hardware? Or something else?

    What kind of throughput can I expect over 10GbE, say running iperf between two machines?

  • I think it may be more common to find equipment supporting 10Gb through fiber (at least that what I've seen).

    I have 2 clients as well as my lab that run 10Gb and in each case over fiber. In terms of performance, actual file transfers between VMs and workstations runs 850MBps to 925MBps. Pretty happy to have that in place especially for large file server backups/restores or very large file transfers.

  • Cavium over Chelsio any day if considering iWARP RDMA. Intel would be a distant second to Cavium.

    The RJ45/SFP+ really depends on needs. If there are enough fibre runs to complete the setup then SFP+ would be the direction for top of rack (TOR) and/or aggregation.

    For non-RDMA enabled networks we use RJ45 based setups for the NICs (Intel X540/X557 10GbE). For RDMA we use RoCE 10GbE/25GbE/40GbE/50GbE/100GbE via Mellanox NICs and switches which are SFPx based.

    Intel 7xx series NICs utilize iWARP and SFPx and may be an option depending on server vendors and switch setup.

    Performance wise, depending on network type and whether RDMA is present or not 10GbE should be around the numbers mentioned by @NashBrydges.

Log in to reply