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27 March 2006 @ 12:00 am
update, gigabit router?  
I worked a few night shifts. Tomorrow I need to be at work an hour earlier than usual, but I slept 7.5 hours today after a night shift, and I'm not tired yet. Bleh.

Geeky stuff follows.

I had a neat idea, cobbled together from a few other ideas. I could build the old anysize.org computer (the PC, not the Sun) into a gigabit intelligent router/file server for home.

The main problem I see with that is that I have 3 or possibly 4 PCI slots I could use for network cards. I remembered those come in 4-ports-per-card versions, but in Gigabit those are still $5k! Fortunately, I found dual Gigabit cards, refurbished, for $95 each. That would give me 6 or 8 ports, plenty.

Alternately, I could output to a gigabit switch and get away with just two standard Gigabit cards.

An intelligent router could do nifty things with our home network, and a fast one would allow very nice speeds for filesharing large files.

Any thoughts?
Current Mood: awake
Current Music: Susie's Neighbor: You're the Only One (MTX cover)
cranfatuation on March 27th, 2006 12:50 am (UTC)
Sowee if I'm stating the obvious, but this isn't 32/33 PCI, right?
ashi: arrrr!ashi on March 27th, 2006 01:36 am (UTC)
Not obvious to me, heh. I don't even know much about PCI speed, but I dug this up:

There are a number of FSB speeds that can be setup on the AZ-11. The following listing shows both the FSB speeds settings available followed by the resultant PCI speed: 100/33, 102/34, 104/34, 106/35, 107/36, 108/36, 109/36, 110/37, 111/37, 112/37 and 133/33.
cranfatuation on March 27th, 2006 10:29 am (UTC)
The reason I asked is that a 32-bit, 33mhz PC can't even handle *one* gigabit card at full speed. The entire bus maxes out at 1066Mbit or so (I don't feel like doing the math), and no single device can actually suck down all of that. Depending on the card and the system, I've heard of people getting between 300-600Mbit.
cranfatuation on March 27th, 2006 11:59 am (UTC)
Er, sowee if that comment sounded irate. I'm in a meeting. Meetings piss me off :-p
Blessed Holocaust of Tolerance7leaguebootdisk on March 27th, 2006 05:53 pm (UTC)
I expect that is a card/driver issue, a friend who was working with things like uncompressed HD video found that you could get over 100MBPS over a PCs PCI bus, theory is 133MBPS, so it _should_ be able to handle one card. If it is Linux, make sure the card does hardware tcp checksuming and you are using zero copy networking (probably default in the 2.6 kernel, I've not kept up). The problem is more drivers, tcp, and frame size (9K is suppored by at least some hardware) (larger is better, I've always wondered why gigabit did not go to a 2^16 byte frame size, the maximum ip packet size).

Frankly, with all the issues, how often would 100mbs ethernet be the limit?
cranfatuation on March 27th, 2006 10:43 pm (UTC)
Theory and reality often don't make good roommates. Keep in mind however much bandwidth the harddrive controller is going to be using to send/receive that file, any other disk accesses, etc. You're going to hit an equilibrium somewhere.

That being said, I have seen people tune some gigabit cards pretty efficiently, but it's always very card/mobo/driver specific.

Blessed Holocaust of Tolerance7leaguebootdisk on March 27th, 2006 10:54 pm (UTC)
That is a good point, unless your disks hang off a different bus, they will have to share the pci bandwidth, thus keeping you in that 40-60MBPS range.
Hein: displayfub on March 27th, 2006 02:07 am (UTC)
If you can use that computer for anything else (fileserver, bittorrenting machine, whatever), I'd say: just buy a gigabit router and be done with it. Less hardware/software troubles, and you free up a computer to do other stuff with.
Mandelbearmdlbear on March 27th, 2006 07:12 am (UTC)
I'd be inclined to use single-port cards ($10-$15 at Fry's) with switches where needed -- a good switch can sustain several point-to-point full-duplex connections simultaneously, and a router probably can't.

My current setup includes a Linux (Mini-ITX) router with three gigabit ports, and a 5-port gigabit switch just for the machines in the office: the router, the fileserver, and my main workstation, with one port going to the 100MB switch and one spare.

I figure that by the time I need more bandwidth it'll be cheaper.
Dr3Am3ndergesellschaftoi on March 27th, 2006 10:30 am (UTC)
Fritz, at one point, mentioned he'd equipment he was considdering dispensing with. He was running web hosting and other services from a closet at his last place.. I'm not sure what he all has, or was gong to part with.. but it may be worth an email to find out. :) Personaly I did away with most of my equipment and systems.. at present I use one laptop and one station. My storage is handled by USB2.0 enclosures with decent sized drives. I've just about a Tb of storage.
Mikhaila: Blondesoquili_gitli on March 28th, 2006 03:27 pm (UTC)
Way over my head, but you can never have enough speed.