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#1 2016-02-09 01:05:42

bbraun
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Registered: 2014-05-29
Posts: 1,064
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Gigabit SBus Ethernet cards?

It looks like some of the gigabit ethernet sbus cards are getting cheap on ebay and was wondering if anyone messed with them.  It seems like they all have SC optics connectors on them, and my switch has an SFP port, so with the proper module and an SC to LC cable, it seems like it should work out ok.  But I'm mainly wondering about SBus throughput and drivers and whatnot.  Looks like Solaris 2.5.1 11/97 should have the driver.  Does it saturate the CPU with interrupts?  I'd assume there's no boot prom support, so nothing like netbooting off it, which is kind of a shame.

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#2 2016-02-09 01:54:42

Eudimorphodon
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Registered: 2014-09-02
Posts: 525

Re: Gigabit SBus Ethernet cards?

Wow, they actually made such a thing? I can't imagine that being useful in anything less than an Ultra class machine but... I dunno, maybe? My Sparcstation 5 has a multi-port Fast Ethernet card in it, suppose that's halfway there.


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#3 2016-02-09 02:03:00

ClassicHasClass
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From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,105
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Re: Gigabit SBus Ethernet cards?

I was about to say, I'm sure the bus can cope, but I don't know about the CPU ...

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#4 2016-02-13 18:07:58

bbraun
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Registered: 2014-05-29
Posts: 1,064
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Re: Gigabit SBus Ethernet cards?

I picked up a card just for kicks.  I had read they were supported under 2.5.1 11/97 and later.  Unfortunately, now that I have it and have that installed, I've discovered it needs a separate driver package and 2.5.1 11/97 and later is just what the driver requires.  It looks like the driver packages are SUNWged and SUNWgedu (presumably pre-ultra and ultra?).  If anyone knows where to get those, I'd sure appreciate it.
I think the driver started being bundled with Solaris 8, but I'm not totally sure.  I might try throwing that on an Ultra 1 and seeing how it goes.

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#5 2016-02-14 02:14:18

Eudimorphodon
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Registered: 2014-09-02
Posts: 525

Re: Gigabit SBus Ethernet cards?

According to Sun the card is only supported on the Ultra 2 and various Ultra Enterprise boxes.

http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E19113-01/gig … index.html

Might be interesting to see if it works in an Ultra 1 anyway.


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#6 2016-02-14 05:38:50

bbraun
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Registered: 2014-05-29
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Re: Gigabit SBus Ethernet cards?

Cool, thanks, that's good information.  From those docs, it looks like this is the 2.0 revision, which yeah, ultra2 and higher.  I installed Solaris 8, and although the driver isn't bundled with the OS, it is included in the Supplemental CD, so I installed that.  With the driver installed, it configures, negotiates, and comes up just fine!
If anyone stumbles across the drivers for anything under solaris 8, I'd be interested.  I'm kind of curious what the limitation is, if any, for hardware support.  Since it was ultra2 and higher, I thought it might be a 64 bit requirement, but Solaris 8's driver is both 32bit and 64bit.

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#7 2016-02-15 17:39:07

Eudimorphodon
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Registered: 2014-09-02
Posts: 525

Re: Gigabit SBus Ethernet cards?

bbraun wrote:

Since it was ultra2 and higher, I thought it might be a 64 bit requirement, but Solaris 8's driver is both 32bit and 64bit.

It's probably worth noting that a lot of early Sun Ultra hardware runs a 32 bit kernel by default because there's an obscure bug in UltraSparc I CPUs that allow non-privileged code to freeze the CPU.  (I used an Ultra 1 for a workstation for a few months and it warned me about this problem when out of curiosity I investigated why it was running in 32 bit mode.)

It certainly would be... interesting, to cram the card into a Sparcstation 10 or something and see if it could run, at least by the definition of "the module loads and link comes up". Have you actually played with it enough to get an idea of how well it performs on the Ultra 1? I suppose you'd have to test it by streaming straight from bitbucket to bitbucket because in theory at least that card should outrun the built-in SCSI pretty handily.


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#8 2016-02-15 19:55:22

bbraun
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Registered: 2014-05-29
Posts: 1,064
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Re: Gigabit SBus Ethernet cards?

I built iperf and was messing around with it.  The Ultra 1 is the slow 143MHz, and it's running the 64 bit kernel.  I was doing Solaris admin at around the time the Ultra 1 came out, and remember the 64bit bugs and the tradein program for the Ultra 2's and all that.  I'm not too worried about hitting the 64bit bug, so have the 64bit kernel going.

I've included some other values for comparison.  The server here is a 12core windows server:

This is a 10gbps link to a 2009 xserve:
[ ID] Interval       Transfer     Bandwidth
[272]  0.0-10.0 sec  6.64 GBytes  5.70 Gbits/sec
[312] local 172.31.254.23 port 5001 connected with 172.31.254.50 port 32806
This is 10mps to an SS20:
[312]  0.0-1164.9 sec   937 MBytes  6.74 Mbits/sec
These are the 1gbps Ultra 1 with window sizes of 16k, 64k, 256k, and 1m:
[324] local 172.31.254.23 port 5001 connected with 172.31.254.49 port 32873
[324]  0.0-258.2 sec  4.10 GBytes   136 Mbits/sec
[344] local 172.31.254.23 port 5001 connected with 172.31.254.49 port 32874
[344]  0.0- 4.0 sec  65.4 MBytes   137 Mbits/sec
[380] local 172.31.254.23 port 5001 connected with 172.31.254.49 port 32875
[380]  0.0-140.0 sec  2.32 GBytes   142 Mbits/sec
[416] local 172.31.254.23 port 5001 connected with 172.31.254.49 port 32876
[416]  0.0-29.2 sec   495 MBytes   142 Mbits/sec

The Ultra 1's CPU was maxed the whole time.  So I'm guessing the Ultra 2 requirement is really just for the CPU speed.
The install notes do say OF3.x is required, which might actually matter.  The card doesn't do anything, even link, without the driver installed.  I can throw it in an ss2/5/20 but no 8 on those at the moment, and 8 is the only one I've got a driver for.
I've come across some references saying patch 106745-09 for 2.5.1 includes the Sun Gigabit Ethernet 2.0 driver.

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#9 2016-02-15 20:39:05

Eudimorphodon
Member
Registered: 2014-09-02
Posts: 525

Re: Gigabit SBus Ethernet cards?

Woot. 142Mbit/sec is indeed a little on the anemic side, but I guess it's a bit better than half again better than you'd realistically get out of a 100mb card.

The most ludicrously slow system I've ever put a 1g ethernet card in was a 200mhz "classic" (non-MMX) Pentium system. The reason for doing so wasn't for speed (oh, heavens no), it was because the early 1997-ish vintage box had incredibly poor CD-ROM support in its BIOS, bad enough that I decided the easiest way to install Linux on it would be to slap a PXEboot-capable network card in it. Amusingly enough,the PXE BIOS on the Intel EtherPro10/100 card I tried first *also* had a problem with the crufty old system BIOS while the PRO/1000 I tried next worked perfectly.

I'm now kicking myself for never running Netperf or anything on the resulting setup once I finally had Debian installed on it. (My ultimate goal, eventually achieved, was to run it wireless via a ridiculous setup involving an old Lucent Wavelan card in an ISA/PMCIA bus bride. Even had WPA Personal working via a soft-loaded firmware hack. Because of course everyone needed a laptop that looks like this in 2011.)


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