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#24455 - 12/18/12 04:46 PM thunderbolt networking?
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
I was expecting to be able to create a thunderbolt network port, seeing as it's a p2p interface like ethernet, firewire, and serial. but when I click to add a port, it doesn't list thunderbolt as an option.

Is there a different way to do this, maybe requires an installation, or just not happening? Currently using thunderbolt target mode to drag and drop quickly between computers, but requires a machine to be rebooted. Would like to do it directly via networking if possible, to avoid the restart.

(for those about to say "but thunderbolt is for storage, not networking, please note that this works perfectly fine with firewire)
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#24456 - 12/18/12 06:13 PM Re: thunderbolt networking? [Re: Virtual1]
alternaut Offline

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Registered: 08/04/09
Despite your attempt to analogize yourself into Thunderbolt networking, it doesn't look that that's possible. Neither TB nor the PCIe underlying it has a protocol like FW or ethernet (yet). FWIW, I found some discussions on the topic that seem to agree on this:
- Connect 2 Macs via Thunderbolt
- Thunderbolt Network?
- Will Thunderbolt speeds carry over a network?
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#24461 - 12/18/12 06:36 PM Re: thunderbolt networking? [Re: alternaut]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
Thanks for those links. One states

Quote:
It will all get bottlenecked by the 1g ethernet link

The only way to get 10g would be to make a 10g network between your two macs, (and macpro would be the only one that could pull that off, assuming there are 10g nics/hbas that have drivers in lion).


They're overlooking going the other direction, instead of bridging with a slower protocol of gigabit, (and am I the only one that feels strange referring to gigabit as "slow"?) if you used say, a thunderbolt to fiber channel on each end, and used fiber channel (or some other better-than-gigabit network) then you could take advantage of thunderbolt's higher throughput.

So what are there for adapters?

And really, if it's already possible to make a thunderbolt-to-gigabit adapter, it means that the necessary support is present in the OS and in the hardware to make p2p networking work. It should just be a matter of developing a driver to install on both ends, and use a tb cable?

someone with more time and expertise on their hands needs to do this, I'd buy it.
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#24462 - 12/18/12 06:45 PM Re: thunderbolt networking? [Re: Virtual1]
alternaut Offline

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Registered: 08/04/09
As long as any daisychained TB component isn't slowing things down (assuming that is even an issue in your network), and the OS will allow for it, the main stumble block seems to be a driver, as you already mentioned. But that's my rather superficial view of things at the moment. But then again, there aren't any 10G adapters yet anyway, so for now this remains theoretical.
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#24463 - 12/18/12 06:57 PM Re: thunderbolt networking? [Re: alternaut]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
I don't know much about fiber channel. isn't that a fiber optic connection between computers, for 10gbps networking to fast NAS arrays? can you set up networking over fiber channel?

then a TB to FC could be used for 10gbps networking between computers?
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#24464 - 12/18/12 07:04 PM Re: thunderbolt networking? [Re: Virtual1]
alternaut Offline

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Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: Virtual1
can you set up networking over fiber channel?

Sure, but that would require the same things, driver(s), OS and hardware support. So, for now, that's a (fiber)pipe dream. smirk
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#24465 - 12/18/12 07:28 PM Re: thunderbolt networking? [Re: alternaut]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
right, I'm just presenting a case against "that's impossible". I'm fairly certain it's possible, but one way or another will require drivers.

someone needs to make them.
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Moderator:  alternaut, dianne, MacManiac