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  • What are your preferred network card vendors and why?

    Hello all,

    I'm researching a new network card for a server and the thought occurred to me that this could be an interesting topic to bring up here. I'd like to know what your favorite NIC vendor for servers is. Here are some other points of interest that could spur the discussion on further:
    • What are some of the extra goodies that you get from the vendor?
    • Does it have especially good management software?
    • Does the OS change what vendor's products you buy? E.g. is one vendor better for Linux boxes vs. Windows vs. Sun vs. OS/2 Warp (kidding...)
    • Have any vendors been good in the past but are taking a turn for the worse... or vice versa?
    • Do you use different NICs for different uses? E.g. certain NICs for your web server vs. a different vendor for your database servers, etc.


    I think that should do it. Personally, I like the seemingly ubiquitous Intel Pro NICs. I've heard that 3COM NICs can be buggy (or rather, their drivers). I look forward to your feedback.
    Wesley David
    LinkedIn | Careers 2.0
    -------------------------------
    Microsoft Certifications: MCSE 2003 | MCSA:Messaging 2003 | MCITP:EA, SA, EST | MCTS: a'plenty | MCDST
    Vendor Neutral Certifications: CWNA
    Blog: www.TheNubbyAdmin.com || Twitter: @Nonapeptide || GTalk, Reader and Google+: [email protected] || Skype: Wesley.Nonapeptide
    Goofy kitten avatar photo from Troy Snow: flickr.com/photos/troysnow/

  • #2
    Re: What are your preferred network card vendors and why?

    For the highly privileged users who I allow to use an OS/2 licence (hard to come by these days), I reserve only the finest thinwire cards. Not overly bothered who they're made by

    Broadcom (in general) have a very good reputation, but they've shot themselves in the foot in recent years with some of their server offerings causing a variety of quirks with Windows Server. These days, I'm an Intel man.
    Gareth Howells

    BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

    Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

    Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

    "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

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    • #3
      Re: What are your preferred network card vendors and why?

      Originally posted by gforceindustries View Post
      For the highly privileged users who I allow to use an OS/2 licence (hard to come by these days), I reserve only the finest thinwire cards. Not overly bothered who they're made by
      I prefer tin cans and string... better reception. =P


      Originally posted by gforceindustries View Post
      These days, I'm an Intel man.
      Any particular reason why?


      I think I've also heard good things about HP NICs...
      Last edited by Nonapeptide; 9th December 2008, 22:27.
      Wesley David
      LinkedIn | Careers 2.0
      -------------------------------
      Microsoft Certifications: MCSE 2003 | MCSA:Messaging 2003 | MCITP:EA, SA, EST | MCTS: a'plenty | MCDST
      Vendor Neutral Certifications: CWNA
      Blog: www.TheNubbyAdmin.com || Twitter: @Nonapeptide || GTalk, Reader and Google+: [email protected] || Skype: Wesley.Nonapeptide
      Goofy kitten avatar photo from Troy Snow: flickr.com/photos/troysnow/

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: What are your preferred network card vendors and why?

        Intel have a great reputation for producing top quality hardware. They also have a strong financial footing, so they're very unlikely to go anywhere soon - and they've demonstrated that the warranties on their hardware, when required, are worth the paper they're printed on if not more. Lesser companies (by my standards) have let me and associates down in the past, particularly with regards to the support they offer.

        I buy Intel because I know that if I run into difficulties, chances are they'll be offering something to get me out of them.
        Gareth Howells

        BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

        Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

        Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

        "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

        "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: What are your preferred network card vendors and why?

          I don't care about the goodies so I go for intel.
          However I believe Intel also has drivers to create a VLAN trunking when using Windows
          Also the E100 or E1000 are compatible with most os's. I never had problems with Intel on whatever OS
          Marcel
          Technical Consultant
          Netherlands
          http://www.phetios.com
          http://blog.nessus.nl

          MCITP(EA, SA), MCSA/E 2003:Security, CCNA, SNAF, DCUCI, CCSA/E/E+ (R60), VCP4/5, NCDA, NCIE - SAN, NCIE - BR, EMCPE
          "No matter how secure, there is always the human factor."

          "Enjoy life today, tomorrow may never come."
          "If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill"

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: What are your preferred network card vendors and why?

            Originally posted by Dumber View Post
            I don't care about the goodies so I go for intel.
            However I believe Intel also has drivers to create a VLAN trunking when using Windows
            Also the E100 or E1000 are compatible with most os's. I never had problems with Intel on whatever OS
            So you can make a server be like an extended port on your switch to manage VLAN traffic?

            That's two votes for Intel and a half vote for Broadcom. I should have made a poll...
            Wesley David
            LinkedIn | Careers 2.0
            -------------------------------
            Microsoft Certifications: MCSE 2003 | MCSA:Messaging 2003 | MCITP:EA, SA, EST | MCTS: a'plenty | MCDST
            Vendor Neutral Certifications: CWNA
            Blog: www.TheNubbyAdmin.com || Twitter: @Nonapeptide || GTalk, Reader and Google+: [email protected] || Skype: Wesley.Nonapeptide
            Goofy kitten avatar photo from Troy Snow: flickr.com/photos/troysnow/

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: What are your preferred network card vendors and why?

              Well read the article carefully and search the internet for more about trunking.
              Don't forget to include the Intel Proset

              But a nice quote from EE:
              http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/M..._23758767.html
              Originally posted by dkarpekin:
              Main purpose of VLAN's is to prevent diffrent VLAN1 ,VLAN2 and os on see each other, even been on same subnet.usially done by the port configurationon switch, and trunk will aloow all VLAN's traffic pass through.
              For example, you have groups of clients in VLAN1 /2 /3 and they are not seening each other, becouse the ports to which they attach is diffrent VLAN, but they will able access shared resources, as "server", becouse "server" connected to the port configured as "trunk".
              Therefore you do separate portions of the network , without resticting them use same intrnet access, servers,and so on.
              In your scenario you can choose option most suitable for your, and assign VLAN's accordently.
              Marcel
              Technical Consultant
              Netherlands
              http://www.phetios.com
              http://blog.nessus.nl

              MCITP(EA, SA), MCSA/E 2003:Security, CCNA, SNAF, DCUCI, CCSA/E/E+ (R60), VCP4/5, NCDA, NCIE - SAN, NCIE - BR, EMCPE
              "No matter how secure, there is always the human factor."

              "Enjoy life today, tomorrow may never come."
              "If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill"

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: What are your preferred network card vendors and why?

                Broadcom (in general) have a very good reputation, but they've shot themselves in the foot in recent years with some of their server offerings causing a variety of quirks with Windows Server.
                I agree 100%. All the TCP/IP offloading and scalable networking stuff that Broadcom use (not just them, but certainly them more than others) just seems to cause problems. I've seen issues with Exchange, ISA and Server 2003 all caused by "clever" network cards.

                The Broadcom cards do work well with all the crap turned off though. I'd probably go for Intel given the choice, but most of our customers are Dell shops so come with Broadcoms on board.
                BSc, MCSA: Server 2008, MCSE, MCSA: Messaging, MCTS
                sigpic
                Cruachan's Blog

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                • #9
                  Re: What are your preferred network card vendors and why?

                  Yeah. The Broadcom *chips* are great. It's the software that lets them down. So you could argue it's worth getting Broadcom, turning all the glitter off and at least then you can reenable it whenif they bring out some proper software for it.
                  Gareth Howells

                  BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

                  Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

                  Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

                  "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

                  "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: What are your preferred network card vendors and why?

                    I'm an Intel man myself. Not one of my servers has anything else. IMO you can't beat them for reliability and support.
                    If the information you receive helps please let us know and leave reputation points where appropriate.

                    The good news about computers is that they do what you tell them to do. The bad news is that they do what you tell them to do. - Ted Nelson

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                    • #11
                      Re: What are your preferred network card vendors and why?

                      Vendor = TP-Link
                      Why = I am a cheap bastard and they give me a better markup.
                      1 1 was a racehorse.
                      2 2 was 1 2.
                      1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
                      2 2 1 1 2

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