I want to showcase some more stuff I've been using so other people can benefit from the research and work I've put into my homelab.
I've been using these cheap 10 gigabit NICs that were made by Cisco for their UCS line.They're $13 a pop at the time of writing, and you can get them in low profile and full height brackets.
ESXi 7 (my hypervisor of choice) has native drivers built in for these, and so does linux. Windows drivers can be installed from Cisco's UCS B-series server driver ISO, which I'll link down below (and also rehost since you need a Cisco account to access the drivers)
I will mention that these have worked really well for me except with one minor issue - a couple of the cards I bought a while back didn't support VLANs exactly like they should've under ESXi.
Other than that, they've been an awesome way to get into 10g networking for really cheap and I've learned a ton. Plus my vMotions and NFS storage are much faster now :)
Cisco's driver ISO can be found here:
I rehosted just the windows iso here:
You'll want this directory within the ISO.
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