Can you link two MPs over 10GbE directly?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by JesterJJZ, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020


    Jul 21, 2004
    Can you link two MPs over 10GbE directly, meaning without a switch?

    I heard from someone that it is possible if both towers have the right card and proper cables. Anyone have any knowledge on this?
  2. chris.k macrumors member

    May 22, 2013
    Yes. It'll work fine. Modern NIC cards auto sense the Tx/Rx pairs. No switch needed if its just two hosts.

    Each host will assign itself a 169.254.x.x address. They will then be able to see each other via mDNS. (This is the same thing that happens with IP-over-FireWire). The two systems form a 2 host point to point LAN connection between them.

    .....This is all assuming you can find a 10Gbps NIC card that works in a MacPro.

    - CK.
  3. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
  4. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    Not really. It is a bit high because can actually hook up 3 Mac nodes with that (since two ports, but would be at around 10Gb/s total around this "network". ).

    But same stuff in different packaging. In TB box.

    As cards

    [ The high prices here are primarily being driving by the 10Gb/s "card" not particularly by TB. Intel still hasn't really cracked the 10GbE at affordable prices problem yet. Probably needs another process shrink and cost reduction for core controller. ]
  5. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    Either way, I am disappointed that it is taking 10 GbE so long to become mainstream.
  6. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    It is the networking equipment market holding onto the profit margins while 40GbE/100GbE have relatively slow uptake. if go back to the small-tree TB products the 4 port 1GbE box is about as much as the 10GbE one. ( that's still driven by the cards. )

    Historically roll out of the new generation drives down networking prices of the previous one. 1GbE (and bonded/aggregated 1GbE) drove down 100MbE really cheap. 10GbE pushed 1GbE (and low number bonded variants) out of the core backbone deployments.

    Intel's controllers are still mainly in the > $100 range

    by the time add the rest of the required physical support and passed all the RF requirements it is still expensive. If the controller cost half as much and the power/RF gets manageable then their will be expensive cards. The catch-22 is that volume drives those out by making it easier to jump onto leading edge processes sooner.

    More affordable fiber would help too. Both in pushing out 40GbE/100GbE faster and in deeper 10GbE rollouts.
  7. tomvos macrumors 6502


    Jul 7, 2005
    In the Nexus.
    Another reason is that most computers have difficulties to saturate a 10 Gb ethernet port. Because 10 Gb/s = 10,000 Mb/s = 1,250 MB/s. It's kinda hard to read and/or write sustained 1.25 GB/s with a disk based storage system unless your storage is in the big-$ range. So for many systems a 10 Gbit ethernet chip was simple unused capacity.

    Until the new Mac Pro arrives, I have not heard of any system in the workstation price range which delivers such an IO from its storage system in its default configuration. Though I have to admit, 1 Gb ethernet is really a bottleneck today because with the widespread use of SSDs the paltry 125 MB/s of Gbit ethernet looks quite dated.

    And it should still be noted that there is Fibre Channel which has a solid standing in the world of high speed storage connection, i.e. SAN. If you have a fast FC network, there is no reason to switch to 10 Gb Ethernet because FC can reach the same or even higher speeds.
  8. jasonvp macrumors 6502a


    Jun 29, 2007
    Northern VA
    Yeah but...

    FC is good for storage, but it's not usable for 2 (or more) machines to communicate with one another via a network protocol of some sort. Comparing the two isn't really valid unless you're purely speaking about storage (SAN vs NAS).

    deconstruct60 is correct when it comes to pricing (I'm a network architect by trade). Networking hardware is still ridiculously priced when it comes to 10GigE. The dumb L2 switch prices are coming down slowly, but the routed (L3) ports aren't. And they don't really have to, either, because there are only a few providers of said. They can basically name their prices and continue to get it. The ol' "charge what the market will bear" trick.

    Server 10GigE ports are coming way down in price. Most new servers these days actually have 10GigE included or readily available for nearly no extra money. Unfortunately the same can't be said for the upstream network gear.

    Not yet, anyway.

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