[rescue] Fast Ethernet with a Sparc Classic

Lionel Peterson lionel4287 at gmail.com
Sat Jun 1 09:13:12 CDT 2013

I would think an Ultra 5 or Ultra 10 would be a much better upgrade
considering size, power consumption, processor speed, and SPARC processor -
but it uses PCI expansion cards.

I'd suggest an Ultra 2, but I fear the power consumption would be a
deal-breaker - but it would allow you to use SBUS cards...

If you go the PC/x86 route, older servers have 64-bit PCI-X slots which can
support cheap multi-port gigabit cards, but again, power consumption is likely
a deal-breaker...

One of those Sun ATX motherboards with an Ultra CPU and some cheap NICs would
be fun, but hard to find. You could couple it with a smaller PS to save on
electricity costs,,,

Good luck!


On Jun 1, 2013, at 9:06 AM, Jonathan Sturges <jonathansturges at yahoo.com>

>> Sadly, after many years I have to retire my SS2 for my personal home
>> firewall and ipsec gateway, since my cable provider is pumping out 20+
>> and and the Sun4c just cant handle that kind of bandwidth. I am
>> contemplating putting a quad fast ethernet card in my Sparc Classic since
>> its a Sun4M and quiet and compact enough - not as much of a power hog as
>> SS5/SS10/SS20 too. My questions are, 1) can an SS Classic even take a quad
>> fast ethernet sbus card? 2) If so, would anyone be able to predict what
>> kind
> of performance I could get with this if its even possible? I'll be
>> running
> OpenBSD as I have happily been doing for years with my old Sparcs.
>> My other
> option is to do overkill and use a Sunfire V100 that's just
>> sitting around
> doing nothing... Its too noisy though for running 24/7, so I
>> want to avoid
> that....Looking forward to the bandwidth though!
> I used a SPARC Classic as
> my home firewall for over 10 years.  Worked quite well!  And yes, the
> interface is 'le'.
> I never had a qfe in mine, but did have a 'qe' card (4
> 10Mbps ports).  This worked great in the Classic, though I think Solaris
> dropped support for it after Solaris 7.  I think you could still use the
> driver from Sol. 7 however, which is how I was able to run Sol. 8 on my
> firewall.
> I think there's a chance a qfe would work in the Classic.  Though
> it would be so slow there's likely no point.  I remember Sun giving sizing
> advice in '95 or so, when the UltraSPARCs were new, that you should have
> 100Mhz of CPU per 100Mbps port.  So clearly that math doesn't work on the
> Classic.
> A good, cheap (but non-Sun) firewall would be a small PC with 2
> available PCI slots.  Drop in a couple of old Intel PRO/1000 dual-port GigE
> cards (can be had on eBay for under $20 IIRC).  They won't run full speed
> either, but you will be able to do 100Mbps+.  Then run pfSense on the box,
> of a USB stick or small ATA flash module of some sort.  Should be very
> good luck,
> Jonathan
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