Last week I caught this tweet from Blake Garner who is an active VMware Community member that I follow and I came to learn that Sonnet just launched their first Multi-Gigabit (1GbE, 2.5GbE & 5GbE) USB Network Adapter called the Solo5G.
Nice! 5Gbit adapter for under $100! https://t.co/Rt7e6EUeOI
— Blake Garner (@trodemaster) March 4, 2020
This of course piqued my interest for VMware Homelabs as last year we had just enabled the first Multi-Gigabit USB Network Adapter from QNAP supporting ESXi using the popular USB Native Driver Fling for ESXi. The QNAP device uses an Aquantia chipset and I had a funny suspicion that the Sonnet device might be using either the exact same or simliar chipset.
To confirm my theory, I reached out to the folks over at Sonnet and they were kind enough to send me a unit for validation which just arrived earlier this week. I had an Intel NUC 10 (Frost Canyon) already running and I just plugged it in and to my surprise it worked immediately since it already had the USB Native Driver Fling installed.
So there you have it, same chipset as the QNAP and best of all this device is only $79.99 USD which be purchased directly from Sonnet here. As of writing this blog post, the Solo5G is much cheaper than the QNAP. In fact, it seems the price of the QNAP has significantly increased since I had first blogged about it. I think multi-gig NICs both USB-based but also PCIe and respective switches is starting to become more mainstream, at least in the consumer markets and this is certainly an easy way to add additional bandwidth without breaking the bank. Big thanks to the folks at Sonnet and Blake for sharing the news!