Dell’s 10gbase-t network cards on Intel’s x540 chips

we’re upgrading few servers at work to have 10gbit/s connectivity. to keep things familiar i’ve decided to stick with [power hungry and latency-inducing] cat7 copper cabling and 10gbase-t. there are few dell poweredge r620 and r630 to be upgraded. currently those have proprietary broadcom-based daughter-cards with 4x 1000base-t ports. i preferred to replace them with another daughter card and not use regular pcie slots. i’ve spent a while googling and asking dell’s resellers about the right part number. 540-bbhi seemed to be the right device. it looked right:

540-BBHIr1

but the description saying it’s ‘The Intel Ethernet Server Adapter X540 DP 10GBASE-T showcases Intel’s 10BASE-T adapter in a low-profile PCI form factor‘ was confusing. to make it worst dell’s reseller told me this card will look like this:

540-bbhi-reseller

oh well – i thought that in the worst case i’ll get regular pci-e cards, so i gambled. it turned out that the re-seller had an incorrect picture. 540-bbhi really is a daughter-card installed in dell’s proprietary port on the motherboard:

540-bbhi-real

we’ve paired the cards with Dlink’s DXS-1210-12TC switch. we use the latest firmware – 1.10.015 – and are pretty unimpressed with stability of the web interface. after few days of up-time switch no longer allows login [although it does serve the login page], power off+on is the only solution.

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