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nic hardware confusion

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I aquired a dell poweredge r510 12bay with no caddies. It also had to additional NIC's where one is a 10gb sfp+ and a second that is a 1gb sfp with dual trans attached to the card. My brain cells must not be firing very well as its a Intel® PRO/1000 PF Dual Port Server Adapter and where you make the connections it just says "act/linka and the other act/linkb" 

Since this was a pull from a company server I cannot grasp why they would have two cards, 1 10gb card and a 1gb card since this already has dual 1gb rj45 connectors on the main board.


My thought is that the 10gb sfp+ card is for moving files between arrays. The 1gb sfp card is to connect to another 1gb switch that would have a sfp connection since alot of lower end switch's are only sfp. The other thought would be that they wanted to use fiber for a lower power usage. Again I am not sure as I didnt ask alot of questions.

 My other issue is I cannot grasp whats the difference between a server adapter or a 1gb sfp card.

In my talks I was also able to aquire 2 dell force 10 s4810 switch's in which I am learning the command line and setup :)

they are bigger than I will ever use but it will be a learning experience :)


thank you for any information. 

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There are a lot of different possibilities as to why this is which would have made asking them a really good idea. There's too many unknown variables here to give a conclusive answer. Maybe they needed three 1gig networks. Maybe the 1gig NIC had a particular feature the onboard lacked, maybe it was for redundancy/fault tolerance, did you say it was sfp? Maybe they needed to make runs longer than 328ft and did want to have to use Ethernet repeaters. Maybe it was part of a Link-Aggregation group.


There's a lot of possibilities.


To my knowledge there's no series differences between server adapters and NICs of either spec (Ethernet or SFP) besides access to features.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Without saying who I picked them up from I could say that their network didnt have any long runs and that most was setup to work off the 2 10gb sfp+ switches. Also I found out that none of the transceivers where rj45. Since the 1gb card was sfp it could work with the sfp+ switch and then the second port used to connect to a 1gig switch that could have a sfp link. I am sure the same could be done with the onboard network as I will never know :/

I can agree, we can speculate a ton of reasons that did this as now I know a few more that could of been done. As someone that has not done this level of networking yet I was excited to get the hardware and didnt ask to many questions, I grabbed and left before anyone could change their mind :/

The thing that kinda got me was that besides the dual 10gb sfp+ card there was a 1gb sfp card and its "dual port server adapter" in which it didnt really say it worked like a nic and with the bracket showing just "act/link a and act/link b" I didnt know if it was a special support card or what. Even the 10g card had more info on the bracket.

when researching "dual port server adapter" I couldnt really get any good information about the card or if there is something beyond just being a dual 1gb sfp card.

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