Mini-Review: SolarFlare SFN7501

Yet another SFP+ dual port 10GbE NIC.


  • Works fine. Much less disastrous than the last review.
  • Supports manipulating link state for VFs (e.g. so you can have VMs talk to each other even if the external link is down)
  • Supports multiple PFs per physical port
  • Lots of settings governing the internal switching and such
  • If you don’t need SR-IOV, it has an “ultra low latency” mode


  • Requires standalone program to do configuration. alien worked fine, but be aware that there is no official version for Debian-based systems. However, once you apply a configuration you want to the card, it will persist. Once you get it close enough, you can use sysfs and ip to do the rest (e.g. configuring number of VFs and VF properties).
  • Some setting changes require hard reboots.
  • Doesn’t appear to support trusted VFs. This unfortunately would make it inappropriate for certain tasks, like the router build.
  • Poor support for modern Windows versions. The driver and utilities package installed, but would BSOD consistently.


  • Not a terrible choice if you just need a good 10GbE NIC for Linux
  • Don’t buy for Windows or if you need special SR-IOV features

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