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NIC with multiple interfaces for ForeFront GW server

Posted on 2010-08-17
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I'm going to setup a ForeFront GW Server (Windows 2008) and I need 8 network interfaces on this box. Do you have any idea how could I do this? Any compatible NIC with multiple interfaces maybe?

Thanks in advance!
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Question by:TRS TRS
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by:Xenix
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Generally I'd choose an Intel Gbit NIC, they have up to four port NICs, I'd put two of these in the machine. But I can come up with a more qualified recommendation if you supply me with more info:

How much data are you expecting on each of the ports and what kind (office use, file transfers, backup).
What is the server hardware (model/make) and what expansion slots are available?
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by:TRS TRS
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Well actually I was thinking of using 2 Intel® PRO/1000 GT Quad Port Server Adapters . Are you sure that both would be recognized by the OS? Could I use them for routing etc without a problem?
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by:Xenix
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http://www.intel.com/support/network/sb/CS-030614.htm

Intel says the 2008 R2 server does not support that NIC natively, but they are shipped with the proper drivers.

I've cursorily skimmed the MicroSoft ForeFront site and as I understand it, it is a kind of security gateway, I imagine that most (if not all) of the routing it will be doing will take place in software (as it will do routing based on configuration parameters of the software) and as such you won't need to worry about any advanced features of the NIC, just high throughput and a server that can handle that kind of traffic (a lot of it will pass through the CPU).
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by:Xenix
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I take it that the server you are using does not have PCI-express interfaces?

My experience is that while fairly well supported, PCI and PCI-x expansion cards are lagging behind in features and support.

And it seems I have misinterpreted the table I linked to, it seems that "In Box" means that the drivers are indeed included in the windows 2008 server OS.
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by:TRS TRS
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It seems that compatibility wouldn't be a problem at the end.
The server has PCI and PCI-x slots. Do you have any other recommendations for NICs with more features/support/etc?
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Xenix earned 250 total points
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No, we've run a 10Gbit project at work here and we tried 3-4 differet make of NICs, and Intel came out on top, I'd definately recommend an Intel NIC, I think Intel® PRO/1000 GT Quad Port Server Adapter is a fine choice.

I just did a comparison between the GT and MT series and my initial judgement is that the GT is the more professional choice, it has two onboard controllers, which I think you'll find lessens the chance of the NIC being the bottleneck, I have no idea about pricing though, but the GT would be my choice.

(For some reason I can't find the quad port version of the MT on all of Intels pages, might be a newer product or Intel might just have their product description pages messed up).

MT: http://www.intel.com/products/server/adapters/pro1000mt-dualport/pro1000mt-dualport-overview.htm
GT: http://www.intel.com/products/server/adapters/pro1000gt-quadport/pro1000gt-quadport-overview.htm
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Thanks Xenix!
Actually I completely agree with you!  Intel® PRO/1000 GT Quad Port Server Adapter is a really good option.

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