Gig-E equipment suggestions

Jim Diehl diehl at
Tue Mar 13 10:31:35 PST 2001


I am a student with the University of Minnesota Fibre Channel research
group.  We are currently comparing FC SANs to Ethernet-based storage
methods using Linux.  In order to have a fair (gigabit speed) comparison
we need to purchase some Gig-E equipment.

We are looking for one 7 or 8 port Gig-E switch and 5 or 6 GNICs.  These
GNICs must have Linux drivers, of course.

I have compiled a list and would greatly appreaciate any comments or
suggestions (on this list or elsewhere) regarding what equipment to

GigE NICs (all with some kind of on-board TCP/IP offloading)
    Netgear GA620[T] (same linux driver as 3com)  $325
    D-Link DGE-500[sx/t] (linux support??)  $265 (or $120 for copper)
    3Com 3C985B-sx (same driver as netgear)  $640
    Intel PRO/1000 F (on sale 2 for 1)  $550 (for 2)

And some copper and optical switches: Switches:
    Netgear GS504 (optical)  4-port $1400-1500
    Netgear GS504T (copper)  4-port $900-1000
    D-Link DGS-3204 4-port $1300-1400
    D-Link DGS-3208F 8-port $2700
    3Com 4900sx Superstack 12-port $4600
    Intel OpenBox something 7-port  $6500

I know the Netgear and 3Com cards have drivers available at
but I'm not sure about the D-Link card.

Do you recommend copper (cat5) or optical versions?  Is there such a thing
as an 8-port copper GigE switch (I can't find them on the various vendor's

Thank you for your time and I look forward to any of your input.

Jim Diehl
University of Minnesota Fibre Channel Group

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