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Good nic for Gen8?


psykix
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What's a recommended low profile NIC for the Gen8? Needs to be supported by ESXi.

 

I'm thinking of moving over to ESXi so I can have a play around with some stuff - in particular pfSense and I'd run my Server 2012 Essentials as a VM instead of the main OS on the Gen8.

 

I currently have the two onboard NICs teamed, so I guess I'd need another 2 port NIC at least? (WAN/LAN)

 

Was thinking of a 4 port to give me some flexibility but I think they may be prohibitively expension for just having a play around!

 

I'm running a 1265LV2 and 16Gb RAM so should be a nice box for playing around with some VMs.

 

Cheers :-)

 

 

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You can't go wrong with a recent Intel NIC like a I340-T4. All of the Intel NICs I've used have been rock solid and been reliable unlike other brands.

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I googled that but I'm not sure which are based on that NIC.

 

I found a fair few HP NC364T cards for under £20, and they appear to run Intel processors.

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I googled that but I'm not sure which are based on that NIC.

I340-T4 is the Intel SKU for an entire NIC. The HP branded version is the NC365T and newer than your NC364T.

 

I found a fair few HP NC364T cards for under £20, and they appear to run Intel processors.

That card should be fine and if they're < £20 then cheap. It is basically a HP branded version of the Intel card. VMware has it listed on the ESXi HCL so it should work fine. I'd be wary with anything older than the 82571 Ethernet controller though as VMware have deprecated a lot of older controllers and they won't work without patches on ESXi.

 

As it is unlikely you'd be hitting the limits of gigabit Ethernet, you could just do multiple VLANs on your existing network interfaces and just split it out on your switch.

Edited by GotNoTime
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Thanks for the comprehensive reply!

 

The NC365T can be had for less than £50 so may go with one of those.

 

I just need to have a think before I jump though, my Server 2012 is running quite nicely at the moment!

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do you have access to a spare machine where you could install ESXi temporarily?

 

VMWare physical to virtual converter works well - you could migrate your Win server to a spare ESXi host, install ESXi on the Gen8 and copy the VM off the temp host back onto the gen8 as a VM...

Edited by snapper
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do you have access to a spare machine where you could install ESXi temporarily?

 

VMWare physical to virtual converter works well - you could migrate your Win server to a spare ESXi host, install ESXi on the Gen8 and copy the VM off the temp host back onto the gen8 as a VM...

 

Well I have a spare laptop which I could use. (I'm using my main gaming PC to type this but don't think I'll mess with this one!) Never tried the converter, so thanks for the heads up!

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Out of curiosity why do you need more physical NICs if you are going for ESXi and VMs? You can have dozens of vNICs regardless how many pNICs the host have. I would use VLANs to segregate WAN and LAN traffic if it's for a lab and tests, you can pass all the VLANs to the hosts but only specific ones to individual vNICs and achieve the same goal

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Well I want to ditch my wifi router and go with pfSense and a Ubiquiti UAP-AC access point in the centre of the house, so vNICs wouldn't work.

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