[rescue] Fast Ethernet with a Sparc Classic

Earl Baugh earl at baugh.org
Sat Jun 1 15:35:09 CDT 2013

FYI, I've got a U10 sitting around here gathering dust... so if you decide
to go that route.
Given I run a SS10 (and Sun Blade 100) as my two 'running-most-often' Sun's
I don't need it.
(and it doesn't fit in the rack, so if I do want to fire up the
heat-noise-generators, I have the 420R and 220R for that :-) )


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!
> Lionel
> On Jun 1, 2013, at 9:06 AM, Jonathan Sturges <jonathansturges at yahoo.com>
> wrote:
> >> 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+ Mb/s
> >> 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 an
> >> 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 on-board
> > 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 'qe'
> > 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,off
> > of a USB stick or small ATA flash module of some sort.  Should be
> verynice.
> > good luck,
> > Jonathan

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