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i217LM & Intel i210AT - different drivers?

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DJABE

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Hello community,
I have an integrated 1x i217LM & 1x Intel® i210AT onboard, but they both use different drivers, I expected both to be loaded by igb driver, but the reality is that only i217 is using igb, whilst i210 is loaded with em driver?
Since I captured some odd behaviour on i210 NIC using em driver, and as I've found some bad experiences as well on the Internet, is there a way to force igb driver instead of em for specific NIC?
 

Ericloewe

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What motherboard are you using? X10SLL-F/X10SLM-F?

It wouldn't be the first time one of the GbE controllers on those was acting weird.
 

jgreco

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Are you seeing reports of problems with the i217 or the i210 @Ericloewe ? I've always been very happy with the em-based cards but the igb stuff is sometimes too new for good driver support. I don't like them mixing and matching on a single board (yeccchhh).
 

Ericloewe

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Are you seeing reports of problems with the i217 or the i210 @Ericloewe ? I've always been very happy with the em-based cards but the igb stuff is sometimes too new for good driver support. I don't like them mixing and matching on a single board (yeccchhh).
I haven't personally seen anything, but back in November or so, there were two or three cases, in quick succession, of one of the two controllers acting up. I think one case seemed to be with the i210 and another one with the i217.

Oddly enough, nobody's ever complained of problems with two i210s. The i217V (consumer version of the i217LM) doesn't seem to work reliably at all under FreeBSD
(and isn't supported by Intel on anything but Linux and Windows).
Even the i350 seems to work nicely with pfSense 2.2 (Which I assume has the latest igb driver version, since it's FreeBSD 10.1).

Of course, given the low number of complaints, there's the very real possibility of a hardware defect in the controller.

I wholeheartedly agree with you on the mixing and matching. It makes things unnecessarily confusing.

Now that I think about it, my new desktop has an i210 and an i217LM. I'll do a little experiment one of these days to see if I run into any issues with FreeNAS and the i217LM...
 

fmiz

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Jan 13, 2015
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Guys I think I missed something. I'm about to buy an x10sll-f, which if I got it right is the cheapest recommended x10 board. The FreeBSD mailing list says Intel i210AT Ethernet adapter MSI-X problems (igb driver), the PCBSD is related to i217lm. So... is the i217lm not working?
The motherboard is still recommended, does this mean that I should use only the I210AT? Will the i217lm be supported in future FreeNAS releases? I mean... In FreeBSD 10.1 is it supported?
 
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jgreco

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It's been supported for some time, but my recollection is that it supports more features like multiple queues. This makes for potentially better performance but also adds to the complexity and potential failure modes.

The em based stuff is decade-old mature technology, maybe not quite as nice, but very stable and rarely problematic.
 

Ericloewe

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Don't worry about it too much. If one of them doesn't work properly, switch to the other one and tell us which one didn't work.
 

DJABE

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The em based stuff is decade-old mature technology, maybe not quite as nice, but very stable and rarely problematic.

Well, not in every case. I had issues with em, which I hope are solved as I completely removed that NIC (217LM) from the LAN management settings. Now I only got i210 with igb driver, and re0 (RTL8111/8168B PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet controller).
I believe migration to latest 9.3 BSD series will improve driver support too.
 

Ericloewe

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Wait, FreeNAS sees the Realtek? That shouldn't be, it's dedicated to IPMI.
 

Ericloewe

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Code:
[root@freenas] ~# ifconfig
igb0: flags=8843<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,SIMPLEX,MULTICAST> metric 0 mtu 1500
        options=403bb<RXCSUM,TXCSUM,VLAN_MTU,VLAN_HWTAGGING,JUMBO_MTU,VLAN_HWCSUM,TSO4,TSO6,VLAN_HWTSO>
        ether 0c:c4:7a:07:3e:e2
        nd6 options=9<PERFORMNUD,IFDISABLED>
        media: Ethernet autoselect
        status: no carrier
igb1: flags=8943<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,PROMISC,SIMPLEX,MULTICAST> metric 0 mtu 1500
        options=400b8<VLAN_MTU,VLAN_HWTAGGING,JUMBO_MTU,VLAN_HWCSUM,VLAN_HWTSO>
        ether 0c:c4:7a:07:3e:e3
        inet 192.168.1.16 netmask 0xffffff00 broadcast 192.168.1.255
        nd6 options=9<PERFORMNUD,IFDISABLED>
        media: Ethernet autoselect (1000baseT <full-duplex>)
        status: active
ipfw0: flags=8801<UP,SIMPLEX,MULTICAST> metric 0 mtu 65536
        nd6 options=9<PERFORMNUD,IFDISABLED>
lo0: flags=8049<UP,LOOPBACK,RUNNING,MULTICAST> metric 0 mtu 16384
        options=600003<RXCSUM,TXCSUM,RXCSUM_IPV6,TXCSUM_IPV6>
        inet6 ::1 prefixlen 128
        inet6 fe80::1%lo0 prefixlen 64 scopeid 0x6
        inet 127.0.0.1 netmask 0xff000000
        nd6 options=21<PERFORMNUD,AUTO_LINKLOCAL>
bridge0: flags=8843<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,SIMPLEX,MULTICAST> metric 0 mtu 1500
        ether 02:9c:5f:27:21:00
        nd6 options=1<PERFORMNUD>
        id 00:00:00:00:00:00 priority 32768 hellotime 2 fwddelay 15
        maxage 20 holdcnt 6 proto rstp maxaddr 2000 timeout 1200
        root id 00:00:00:00:00:00 priority 32768 ifcost 0 port 0
        member: epair0a flags=143<LEARNING,DISCOVER,AUTOEDGE,AUTOPTP>
                ifmaxaddr 0 port 8 priority 128 path cost 2000
        member: igb1 flags=143<LEARNING,DISCOVER,AUTOEDGE,AUTOPTP>
                ifmaxaddr 0 port 3 priority 128 path cost 20000
epair0a: flags=8943<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,PROMISC,SIMPLEX,MULTICAST> metric 0 mtu 1500
        options=8<VLAN_MTU>
        ether 02:93:90:00:08:0a
        nd6 options=1<PERFORMNUD>
        media: Ethernet 10Gbase-T (10Gbase-T <full-duplex>)
        status: active


Output from my X10SLM+-F. Two i210s using the igb driver and no other physical interfaces.
 

DJABE

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No no Eric, the re0 interface on my NAS/Supermicro comes from an add-on PCIe TP-Link card I put on as an extra NIC for ISCSI MPIO purposes :)
Sidenote: that little thing works just fine, I pushed 1 TB of data through it the other day and not a single packet was lost nor CPU usage was above 20%. So Realteks as add-on cards work flawlessly from my experience on both Linuxes and BSD's. Even on ESXi it works without issue. It's just an integrated Realteks (i.e. RTL8111 series) causing issues and strange behaviour. 8168/8169 chips are much better for some reason.
The only thing causing issues for my setup is integrated em0 (i217LM). :eek:
P.S. Dedicated Realtek IPMI LAN chip found on my SM X10SLM-F died after just two months after the purchase, during my test phase :/ Luckily I'm able to access IPMI via LAN1 (i210AT card).
 
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Ericloewe

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No no Eric, the re0 interface on my NAS/Supermicro comes from an add-on PCIe TP-Link card I put on as an extra NIC for ISCSI MPIO purposes :)
Sidenote: that little thing works just fine, I pushed 1 TB of data through it the other day and not a single packet was lost nor CPU usage was above 20%. So Realteks as add-on cards work flawlessly from my experience on both Linuxes and BSD's. Even on ESXi it works without issue. It's just an integrated Realteks (i.e. RTL8111 series) causing issues and strange behaviour. 8168/8169 chips are much better for some reason.
The only thing causing issues for my setup is integrated em0 (i217LM). :eek:
P.S. Dedicated Realtek IPMI LAN chip found on my SM X10SLM-F died after just two months after the purchase, during my test phase :/ Luckily I'm able to access IPMI via LAN1 (i210AT card).

Ah, that makes much more sense.

If the IPMI NIC died, have your motherboard replaced under warranty. It's not something I'd just shrug off.
 

DJABE

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To tell you the truth, I didn't have the nerve to go through the process of RMA since I purshased the product from an abroad online shop, it would take forever to ship and service the board, and probably I'd get the same board with the Realtek chip replaced.. It works just fine with shared LAN, and everything else for now is working fine (except that i217 chip and em driver).
Bad luck I guess for the first 'enterprise grade' MoBo...

Back to the topic - gonna give it a try with latest BSD/FreeNAS distro to check out new driver support for i217 chip...
In GNU/Linux it's working fine, so it's the driver thing...
 

gabs247

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Mar 27, 2016
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Any update on this, noticed that the Supermicro X11SLL-F has these NICs? I'm looking at getting this board and wanted to confirm that the dual Intel NICs will work...

EDIT: Nope, I had the wrong link, it actually has dual i210AT NIC's.
 

kroko

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Mar 9, 2015
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Hi,

This is not directly FreeNAS related, more FreeBSD (however it is about pfsense box in network where FreeNAS is located, so it counts :))

Question to OP @DJABE :
I am looking at some new Mini ITX boards, that would have two onboard Intel NICS, the OS would be FreeBSD 10.3 (current FreeNAS 9.10 stable train is based on FreeBSD 10.3 as per RL). The search is still not ended, but one of the contestants is

Asrock MB-180
NIC1: Intel I210
NIC2: Intel I217LM

In FreeBSD supported devices list I210 is listed, I217LM is not. Maybe it just due to not up to date docs. Is I217LM is still not working as in OP (that is, not loaded via igb driver), or everything is ok now (@jgreco "At this point it's all fine." seems to be too generic comment :))? Obviously for the intended usage (pfsense) I need those 1GbE to perform as good as they can.

Thanks!
 
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Dunuin

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Mar 7, 2013
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Does someone know if the X10SSL-F with these 2 NICs is able to use link aggregation or is FreeNAS with this board limited to 1Gbit/s?
I want to connect my NAS to two subnets. Network shares in a LAN subnet and jails in a DMZ subnet. But 2Gbit/s with LAGG to the LAN + 1Gbit/s to the DMZ would be nice too. Now I'm confused if I need to buy another Mono or Dual-NIC.
 
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