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HP sfp+ NIC on a normal(None server) PC

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Hessam
Visitor

HP sfp+ NIC on a normal(None server) PC

HI

I've been searching web for a while and still I am not able to find something that makes me sure

in our company we want to use HP NC560 sfp+ in a normal pc ( asus maximus viii mobo ), but before we buy that and try, does HP Nic's work outside HP servers and on a normal PC,

which operating systems they will work on?( other than those provided in site, because it is a 82599 intel chipset and that covers more OSes)

we gonna use it in a 4x pcie gen 3 slot?

Regards,

Hessam

5 REPLIES
parnassus
Honored Contributor

Re: HP sfp+ NIC on a normal(None server) PC

Hard to say...Isn't the list of supported OS long enough?

Using it (665249-B21) on a normal PC hardware...it can be a risky business...and - for sure - isn't the best way to deploy it (any Hardware/Software/Firmware related to that NIC was engineered/developed in order to let that NIC to work best on Server class hardware -> see supported HPE Servers on its latest HPE QuickSpecs).

If I were you I would consider a little HPE ProLiant server like HPE ProLiant ML30 Gen9 (Tower), ML110 Gen9 (Tower), DL20 Gen9 (Rack) or DL60 Gen9 (Rack)...just to name a few (less expensive).

Beyond that YMMV...really...if it works on a RHEL7 OS based host it can work also on CentOS 7 OS based host (and a Scientific Linux 7 too)...not to speak about all available variants...permitted that you install the customized HP drivers that HP provides (if the OS doesn't provide correct drivers)...but, basically, any *nix OS (also illumos based or BSD based OSes) that provides support for igb, ixgbe, i40e kernel modules can theoretically use that hardware NIC...provided that hosting motherboard has a x4/x8 PCIe V2.0 bus connector.

Hessam
Visitor

Re: HP sfp+ NIC on a normal(None server) PC

So many thanks, @parnassus

Unfortunately, we can not go and buy hp servers as our PCs must satisfy other conditions and is out of my decision, anyway I want to know if this solution can work ( this is an R&D project and we only need a sfp+ adapter that can talk to another device at 10gb rate, and to be honest even 8gbps would be enough, so robustness and reliability are not my concerns now, I just want to know if the NIC comes up and work )

So, what comes to mind( just to clarify the issue, as there is almost no source on the net )


parnassus wrote:

Using it (665249-B21) on a normal PC hardware...it can be a risky business...and - for sure - isn't the best way to deploy it


What does the risky business mean?

Does it mean the NIC will not work? or it will work and it not as robust as using it in a  hp server? or maybe not providing the same bandwidth? please elaborate this phrase a bit more.

Regards,

Hessam

 

parnassus
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: HP sfp+ NIC on a normal(None server) PC

Hello,

Short answer: I don't know if it will/will not work...and I'm quite sure nobody knows that.

The "risky business" term I used means (to me) that you risk to purchase [*] an Hardware (that NIC plus at least SFP+ Transceiver) and then that Hardware may (or may not) work at all / like you expect (=performances) / without issues (Hardware/Software related issues) when deployed into the Asus "gaming" motherboard you're forced to use for your specific project.

Listen...supported doesn't directly means that that NIC doesn't work when installed in different platforms, it means only that HPE will not support those deployments because it certified and supported its deployments. This also means that HPE ensure a continuous development to avoid issues when its NICs are deployed on its Servers. That's natural.

The only sure thing we can say about that NIC is that it was engineered to be supported on HPE Server Hardware.

It might work on different Hardware...it may not...but nobody can guarantee to you what you want to know.

There are too many factors involved (non HPE Hardware, unknown OS, etc.).

Probably it could work...but this is only a personal opinion since, as you, I've only read that that NIC is Intel 82559 based (with an HPE Firmware) and HPE developed and provided various Software Drivers (and Tools) for it to work on a large number of (again, supported) different Operating Systems.

If you have so many doubts...why don't you look for (it's time consuming, I know) another 10Gb SFP+ NIC non HP branded (Intel, as example, has a plenty of them)...doing so you will not be bound to specific Hardware/Drivers/Firmware and so on...and the only thing you should worry about is (a) to have a proprer motherboard for the NIC you're purchasing/testing and (b) to use a proper OS supporting that NIC more or less natively with rock solid updated drivers (like happens in Linux/BSD/illumos with igb and ixgbe...).

[*] it's very less risky if that NIC is yet on your own hand...in that case you just need to find some time to test it with your configuration.

Hessam
Visitor

Re: HP sfp+ NIC on a normal(None server) PC

@parnassus , thanks for your fast, informative and well written responses,

Ok, know I got what Supported means, and I got your point that no one will know this exactly( unless they did the same before )

What I do not understand ( just thinking out load and I am much more of a software guy than a hardware guy )  is that a pcie form factor is a standard form factor, so you go and by a graphic card and never ask about compatibility( provided that enough power and good driver are delivered ) so this also must work the same way, unless HP had done something into their firmware that does not let the nic to do so, dont know,( END OF THINKING :D )

Unfortunately, here in country we do not have access to other brands NICs that support 10gb that are as cheap as HP NICs( compared to QLogic NICs they are half the price here ), no intel NIC around

So maybe we should take the risk or choose the other way and buy  a more expensive one.

Just another little question that jumps out of your answer


parnassus wrote:

The "risky business" term I used means (to me) that you risk to purchase an Hardware (that NIC plus at least SFP+ Transceiver)


Why I need sfp+ tranceiver? HP NICs does not support other brands tranceiver?( kind of like locked-in SFPs) or that is just again the supported part that is guaranteed to work where as others are not?

Thanks for your time,

Regards,

Hessam

parnassus
Honored Contributor

Re: HP sfp+ NIC on a normal(None server) PC

Hello Hessam,

I agree with you about electronic Standards (a PCIe bus is a PCIe bus, no more...no less)...but you have to consider that the card using that bus is then equipped with its Hardware (which shall adhere to that Standard, so all it's OK here) and its embedded Firmware...and the Firmware (more than the Hardware) can be problematic sometimes (I don't know if HPE does blacklist non HPE Hardware in order to block/reduce NIC functionalities/performances...I don't think HPE does that for Server NICs...but keep in mind that only recently - and this happened speaking about Aruba Switches, formerly known as ProCurve Switches - starting from a particular recent Firmware branch and version, that Firmware version finally permitted to use 3rd Party Transceivers, aka it permitted to use non-HPE genuine Transceivers if "compatible"...so - sometime - Firmware can act as evil...another example is represented by SATA/SAS/SSD Disks for ProLiant Servers, they must be HPE genuine on latest HPE ProLiant generation to benefit from what HPE Smart Array controllers can do with them).

Said so I don't want to distribute FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) around this thread...probably any 3rd Party Optical Transceiver designed to work with 10Gb should work as you expect...but you need to be careful (QuickSpecs, as example, doesn't say nothing about any restrictions on Transceivers or about any recommandation about them...it says only that "Transceivers" or DACs [*] need to be purchased separately...because they're not included into the NIC, implying that you would purchase them from HPE too :-) )....then you - again - need to pay attention to the other end's of the cables (same Transceivers? which Switch? and so on...).

[*] DACs are a moulded cable with fixed length and Transceivers on both ends <-- and DACs are advised on the QuickSpecs.

Also read this on Reddit (at bottom the 560SFP+ is cited...) about DACs and Transceivers on 560SPF+.