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    If you want the absolute simplest plug-and-play 10gbe LAN for your homelab, pay the extra for Mellanox.

    Or pay a little more extra (still cheap!) for the Intel 82599 (X520 etc). Possibly the most well documented NIC ever? Famously easy to write drivers for. And it supports SR-IOV!

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      On the other hand, never ever buy a Broadcom CNA! You just have to check the integration guide documents for any enterprise SAN manufacturer, and you’ll find the page that describes all the hoops you’ll need to jump through if you have machines using Broadcom adapters.

      Emulex or QLogic if you need true CNA capabilities, or Intel if you don’t. The difference in price isn’t worth the hours spent debugging why this specific card won’t complete FLOGI on one port and changing the driver version makes the other port stop working.

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      I say this respectfully but this is really bad advice unless you just want a toy or want to dig into improving the device drivers. There are only a few 10g NIC classes that are actively supported by network driver devs: ixgbe, cxgbe, mlx5en. Unless you have hundreds of systems it makes sense to at least get the intel card which has broad driver support on all OSes. If you intend to run FreeBSD, cxgbe or mlx5en are really the ones to choose, these are what the Netflix CDN use and are both vendor supported. A large feature suite of these cards is generally available and well integrated, and you can get on with whatever you are really trying to do.