Maximum number of NICs under SCO OSR 5.0.x

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Edward Hooper

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May 25, 2001, 6:05:03 PM5/25/01
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In the near future, I will have a need to install 3 or 4 NICs on
machines currently running OSR 5.0.2 and 5.0.4. I need to know if
this is possible, or beyond the limits of these versions. Another
possibility is using (SCO supported) multi-port NICs, but I don't want
to suggest that to the bean counters unless it's absolutely necessary.

One thing I can't do is use a more recent version of Open Server
because there is proprietary software running on the boxes and the
vendor has not tested past 5.0.4... (They also waited until now to
start testing their network replacements of a proprietary ISA card.
Baka!)

TIA

Edward Hooper
SCO lunatic
Princess Cruises
(Yes, the Love Boat...)

Bill Vermillion

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May 25, 2001, 7:11:23 PM5/25/01
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In article <27ltgtgbgmtbsg96s...@4ax.com>,
Edward Hooper <eho...@princesscruises.com> wrote:

>One thing I can't do is use a more recent version of Open Server
>because there is proprietary software running on the boxes and the
>vendor has not tested past 5.0.4... (They also waited until now to
>start testing their network replacements of a proprietary ISA card.
>Baka!)

Gack. Just when more and more board/systems don't have a single
ISA slot in them!!


--
Bill Vermillion - bv @ wjv . com

hipe

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Jun 5, 2001, 8:47:22 AM6/5/01
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Edward Hooper wrote:

I have 4 NICs in my server (5.0.2) for years now. The only limit seems to
be number of slots in PC.

Ronald J Marchand

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Jun 5, 2001, 9:27:46 AM6/5/01
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hipe <hi...@netscape.net> wrote in message
news:3B1CD4DA...@netscape.net...

And there are expansion cabinets that add more slots :-)

Ron

Bill Vermillion

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Jun 5, 2001, 12:18:40 PM6/5/01
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In article <m75T6.58370$qs3.26...@news2.rdc2.tx.home.com>,

Ronald J Marchand <rjm...@home.com> wrote:
>hipe <hi...@netscape.net> wrote in message
>news:3B1CD4DA...@netscape.net...
>> Edward Hooper wrote:

>> > In the near future, I will have a need to install 3 or 4 NICs on
>> > machines currently running OSR 5.0.2 and 5.0.4. I need to know if
>> > this is possible, or beyond the limits of these versions. Another
>> > possibility is using (SCO supported) multi-port NICs, but I don't want
>> > to suggest that to the bean counters unless it's absolutely necessary.
>> >
>> > One thing I can't do is use a more recent version of Open Server
>> > because there is proprietary software running on the boxes and the
>> > vendor has not tested past 5.0.4... (They also waited until now to
>> > start testing their network replacements of a proprietary ISA card.
>> > Baka!)

>> I have 4 NICs in my server (5.0.2) for years now. The only limit


>> seems to be number of slots in PC.

>And there are expansion cabinets that add more slots :-)

That gets into problems of it's own.

But let me ask this: Are any of the 4-port ethernet cards
supported under OSR5.

Bela Lubkin

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Jun 5, 2001, 4:30:57 PM6/5/01
to sco...@xenitec.on.ca
Edward Hooper wrote:

> In the near future, I will have a need to install 3 or 4 NICs on
> machines currently running OSR 5.0.2 and 5.0.4. I need to know if
> this is possible, or beyond the limits of these versions. Another
> possibility is using (SCO supported) multi-port NICs, but I don't want
> to suggest that to the bean counters unless it's absolutely necessary.

NIC drivers which are shipped with SCO OpenServer undergo a complex
testing regimen, one part of which is testing with four identical NICs
in a single machine. From reading the AOF files I see that there are a
few exceptions to this rule: some of the IBM Token Ring adapters are
limited to two boards, the Racal InterLan NI6510 EtherBlaster ISA is
limited to 1, and three board families support up to 8 NICs: DEC
FDDIcontroller/EISA (DEFEA), DEC FDDIcontroller/PCI (DEFPA), and the
Intel Pro100B family.

Drivers provided directly from a third party vendor are supposed to have
been tested in the same manner, but obviously SCO/Caldera do not control
the actions of the vendor and cannot guarantee anything in that regard.

One problem you should anticipate is fun with IRQs. You may get into a
struggle with the NICs, their drivers, and the PCI implementation on
your machine's motherboard & BIOS. The fact that the driver passed the
test means that there exists at least one machine somewhere which can be
coaxed into configuring the IRQs in a suitable manner -- not that it
will automatically work smoothly on every machine! Note that most NIC
drivers do _not_ require every NIC to have a different IRQ; but some
may. There's no easy way to tell [in fact, in many cases an experienced
NIC driver engineer would not necessarily be able to tell even by
looking at the driver source :-(]

The amount of IRQ "fun" may be further enhanced if the machine is
running SMP.

Several multi-port NICs are supported; not sure whether they are
actually any help with the IRQ situation, or whether they are basically
seen as multiple separately configured NICs which happen to share a
physical slot. It probably varies from one driver/hardware combo to the
next.

I was able to find the following NICs mentioned as dual-port adapters.
This is from various driver files; I have no idea what sort of adapters
the SMCs are, nor whether any of these are currently on the market:

SMC EtherPower2 Dual Channel PCI Ethernet Adapter SMC8434BT, SMC8434T
Intel PRO/100 Dual Port Server Adapter (no part #)
Intel PRO/100+ Dual Port Adapter (no part #)
Intel PRO/100+ Dual Port Server Adapter PILA8472, PILA8472B
Intel PRO/100 S Dual Port Server Adapter PILA8472C1

My guess is that the indication of 8-board support in the Pro100B AOF
file really means that 4 simultaneous dual-port NICs have been tested.

>Bela<

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