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-   -   Looking for PCIe networking cards w/ hardware ipv6 support (

KickMeElmo 05-11-2012 07:34 PM

Looking for PCIe networking cards w/ hardware ipv6 support
See the subject line. I've got a router box I built on Ubuntu Server that works pretty damn well, but I've only recently been hearing about how much harware ipv6 support makes a difference under heavy load. Unfortunately, I don't see much of anyone who advertises that up front, and I'm looking for both wireless and ethernet cards, preferably PCIe 1x. Now, I admit, I've only recently gotten into the nuts and bolts of network design and management. I've got some Cisco switches (2x Catalyst 2900 XL, 2x Catalyst 2950, 10/100 only, no hardware ipv6 unfortunately) at present that handle most of my needs beyond the router. So far as I can see, all I need hardware support for that isn't standard is ipv6. If I'm wrong, correct me. This is a learning experience as much as a redesign. Does anyone have any ideas for where to look, what could work, and what else I'm not considering that I need to watch for?

At present, preferences as follows:
Wireless: 802.11 b/g/n or a/b/g/n dual band
Ethernet: gigabit preferred but not necessary
Both: hardware ipv6, PCIe 1x or 2x, and linux support

Ser Olmy 05-11-2012 08:15 PM

The Good News: Several vendors have NICs with various offload engines (TOE/LSO/LRO). For instance, Broadcom has NICs with IPv6 TCP Offload Engine support, like the BM5707.

The Bad News: Linux support is limited to non-existent (sometimes for good reasons).

KickMeElmo 05-11-2012 08:20 PM

Interesting. Thank you for that. Admittedly, it makes me rethink my desire to replace the cards I have. Primarily the bit I saw about interference with QoS functionality. Just for the sake of knowing, is there any easy way to check if the hardware already installed supports any of this?

Ser Olmy 05-11-2012 08:38 PM

Short of reading data sheets and kernel source code, I don't know of a way to check what any given NIC chip supports. For these features to be useful, they have to both exist in the chip itself and be supported by the Linux driver.

Actually, some of the genuinely clever features, like interrupt mitigation (NAPI) and occasionally MMIO, can be turned on or off at compile time, so a simple make menuconfig and browsing to the driver in question will tell you if it is supported or not.

KickMeElmo 05-12-2012 01:08 AM

Good thought. Still, it's a shame these things aren't more easily detectable. But then, I suppose that's part of the reason they're still mostly unsupported. Either way, I appreciate the advice. It's certainly more than I came in with. I'm both a hardware and software guy, but the nitty gritty of networking is a whole new bag of snakes for me. I never expected to get my arse bitten as often as I have.

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