[SOLVED] Which add on PCIe NIC card to get for low power switch

DISCLAIMER. I am in no way involved with the zimba project. I am just an interested prospect user.

For the zimbaboard that I intend to purchase.

And also have it work as a switch!
should I focus on getting a
PCIe to 4-Port 2.5G Ethernet Adapter Intel I225 Chipset

or a

PCIe to 4-Port 2.5G Ethernet Adapter Realtek RTL8125B Chipset

Also. Is there anyway to create the switch menu in luci, even though OpenWrt is running as a VM? having the NIC's passed through?

I assume 2.5GbE ports are a must, otherwise a regular switch would be 3x cheaper ?

3 x cheaper yes, but also 30 x more crap as OpenWrt is not running on it.

So, in the context of OpenWrt, would you opt for Intel I225 or Realtek RTL8125B?

Also is it possible to enable the switch LUCI menu item even though it was not there to begin with?
(because the system is virtualized)

All I found on this forum is that both are supported. But nothing in depth that helps me choose between the 2 now while I have the chance.

If it's running inside a hypervisor, does the hypervisor not present switching capability to the guests, obviating any need for the guest itself to do any switching? I know VirtualBox, VMware Workstation and VMware vSphere do. I don't - yet - know about Proxmox's capabilities.

Which hypervisor are you using?

I run proxmox, that depends on a OpenWrt VM for networking


why this attitude ?
i am using in everyday job tp-link jetstream (rack mount) switches, for years
and no, no crap, everything is working as expected, snmp,lldp,ddm,sfp,vlans ...
or Eltex 23xx series, they are working for years with zillion bytes of multicast traffic. And no, nothing fancy, very minimalistic WEB, and all options what good L2+ need to have

so it was very blunt statement

no, really there is no switch menu
there are trunk ports & bridge vlan filtering in new OWRT releases
so, simply add ethernet ports to Proxmox bridge, and attach OWRT to this same bridge, then use vlan filtering to get "switch" feeling

So OpenWrt is essentially the first router

If OpenWrt has direct access to the card it is always going to look like four CPU ports because that is what it is. A multi-port card has no "data plane" hardware path for data to flow directly between the ports like an actual switch has. A switch would be simulated by building kernel bridges between the port drivers. This is still quite fast.

I feel that anything network related should run OWRT.

My TP-link switch scares me so behind seems the software on it.

So yeah my proud, not bold, statements that I prefer OWRT on all my devices are valid for me

As you wish :slight_smile:

I would recommend against such a configuration. A hypervisor shouldn't be dependent on a guest for networking; doing so could lead to some rather interesting "chicken and egg" scenarios. Rather, the guest should be dependent on the hypervisor.

What you propose can be achieved, with care, but it's not an optimal approach.

For me it is wofking well. It allows me to have. multiple public ip4 addresses on a single consumer connection.

the host remains accessible at all times via IPMI.

So intel or realtek in this scenario?

Whichever is better-supported by the hypervisor and is within your desired budget.

Personally, given the difference in attitudes towards open-source displayed by the two companies in question, I would veer towards Intel. Other people may have alternate views.

1 Like

Fudge! This is my current setup.

This zimbaboard does not have ipmi.


Yeah no, I can work my way around that

Hook it up to an IP KVM?

1 Like

Could be an option . I will know once I have said board in hand.
for now I go withh intel yes?

time for a wake up call ...

1 Like