I'm looking to build a pair of firewall boxes. I've found one motherboard that looks promising. It's based off the Intel® E7230 server + ICH6R chipsets.
On board it has one Intel GbE NIC but the other is Marvell 1000BASE-T NIC. I'm curious if anyone has experience with Marvell NICs and can shed any light onto their quality? I don't suspect I'll need >100Mbps horribly soon, but I would like a box that can scale and take load as needed without causing issues. I don't have a problem buying a dual Intel GbE PCI-X nic if that would be the best solution.
We have 1 server that has Marvell NIC on it, but it is not very friendly for Linux due to its driver compatibility. Under Windows 2003 Server, it works great! I hope this only happened to us, but we couldn't get it to work with CentOS.
Windows or Linux, I found the performance to be poor. With one test, the Broadcom managed 55MB/s (MB not Mbit) without Jumbo frames (Driver wouldn't let me) and the Marvell managed ~30MB/s with Jumbo frames from memory.
For a firewall, I can't imagine that the total throughput (i.e. measured in MB/sec) would be anywhere near as important as the amount of buffer space in the NIC (1MB, 2MB, etc.), which will probably determine whether you want to use interrupts or polling. PPS is everything in a firewall and the buffer/interrupt/polling thing is at the root of it. I wouldn't be concerned with how many megabytes per second I can transfer files, but rather how many packets I can switch per unit time. Good luck getting anyone on these forums to give up that kind of information; most who know won't say anything. Maybe Ameen will chime in; he's knowledgeable in this area.
Now selling BigVPS's! Jacksonville Colocation and dedicated servers by colo4jax
We are *not* a reseller. We own our servers, switches, routers and racks.