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  • How is this kind of card used ?
  • Is it used to make a computer used as a real switch ?
  • Or does it just bring 4 NICs ?

I want to use a server as router (need 4 NICs) can I use this card ? Are the performances good ?


Edit :

Sorry for being imprecise ! I'm talking about the type of card ! No that particular card ! By the way, I found the answer :

As a PCI-Express option card, it can be used to add scalable switched networking capabilities to any embedded system design with either "x8" or "x16" PCI-Express slots

alt text

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What is the model of the card ? – radius Jul 10 '09 at 7:25
How about providing some details so the rest of us have something to go by? – John Gardeniers Jul 10 '09 at 8:19
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I cant tell what that part is by looking at it but answering the question on the router... The cheapest way is to buy four realtek-based NICs and put those in a box and gain very acceptable performance. A more costly and recommended option is to buy intel-based NICs. Desktop NICs do a very good job but server NICs may have some features that windows-users might have use for. The most expensive option is to buy one four-port server NIC.

Then there is another option, that is absolutely most flexible. One NIC, VLAN capable operating system and a VLAN capable ethernet switch. VLANs make my life so much easier and by using linux as router OS, I can do anything. I could, if I wanted, make every switch-port in my office show up as individual ethernet-devices, in their own isolated virtual LANs, in my router.

There are many options but the pricetag usually determines which option is suitable. I'd go for the one NIC and VLAN capable ethernet-switch, which can cost as much as one intel server NIC.

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That looks to me like a card designed to plug into a router or firewall rather than a PC.


Re using a server as a router: yes you can do it and there's lots of software around to do it. A friend of mine has used Zebra ( and is very pleased with it. However bearing in mind that Cisco 2600s can be bought on eBay for not very much money wouldn't it be better to just buy a second hand Cisco?

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Right. It's not clear if he ask for this card or for card in general. – radius Jul 10 '09 at 7:51
I don't think 2600s will do gigabit without a 2-port Gigabit ethernet module, which bumps the price up beyond what a basic PC and a couple of gigabit cards would cost. – RainyRat Jul 10 '09 at 10:13
@RainyRat: true, but it seems odd to use GHz cards in a router. How many WAN links have you seen that are even 100MHz let alone a Gig? You could be using routing on a LAN I suppose, though that seems an odd thing to do. If at all possible you'd use a switch. – John Rennie Jul 10 '09 at 10:27
It makes sense in a multi-site LAN (i.e, several buildings, all on the same street but not next door to each other), where you want to segment bits of the network and don't use VLANs. – RainyRat Jul 10 '09 at 14:36

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