Solved Quad port NIC server how to load balance

July 10, 2012 at 17:07:08
Specs: Server 2008 RC2 SP1
We have a quad port NIC on our Dell server. I want to take all 4 ports and plug it into our switch and have it all go to the same IP of the server and just have to share the data load in/out. Do I need to configure anything to do this?

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#1
July 10, 2012 at 23:42:39
I left out some vital info:

Server: Dell T620
Switch: Cisco SG200-50P
NIC: Intel I350 Quad port copper


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#2
July 11, 2012 at 02:31:35
✔ Best Answer
Yes. You need to configure teaming, so that the NICs will behave like one adapter. http://www.intel.com/support/networ...

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#3
July 11, 2012 at 07:13:32
I'm not sure if Cisco uses the same terminology as the switches we're using here at my work, but in this case, on the switch side, I would create a LAG for the four server connections on our switch(es).

LAG = Link Aggregation Group

The definition of the acronym is pretty self explanatory. This allows you to aggregate your 4 connections so they behave as one on the switch side.

I will point out that, if you have a single switch, you still have a single point of failure. With all 4 members of the LAG plugged into a single switch, if the switch fails, so does communication to the server. For true redundancy, you should have multiple switches and have the LAG spread across them.

My "Server" stack is a 5 switch stack connected across the backplane using cascade cables. This allows all 5 switches to behave as a single unit. In this case, I would put one member of the LAG on a separate switch....say unit's 1, 2, 3, 4. This way, should any one switch fail, the other 3 continue running. (It's worth noting I have dual uplink's in the stack on units 1 and 4 so should any switch in the stack fail, the rest of the stack is still able to communicate with the rest of the network)

Alternatively, if you have two switches, even if they're not stacked, you could create a 2 port LAG on each switch and connect two of the links to each.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#4
July 11, 2012 at 08:32:46
Curt, Right now we have the server going to a patch panel then the patch panenl to our 48 port switch. All our computers and devices connect in the same fashion. How would we install a second switch and have all computers be connected to it as well?

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#5
July 11, 2012 at 08:53:03
given you only have one switch then that is all you need. what CurtR is suggesting is failover at the switch level. that is great if you have already addressed server hard drive failover [raid] and server failover [more than 1 DC].

Answers are only as good as the information you provide.
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#6
July 11, 2012 at 09:04:22
Wiithout knowing more about the physical setup at your location there's not a lot I can tell you except to tell you how we do it.

In my data center I have multiple 48 port patch panels (around 20) that run across overhead cable trays to patch panels in the server racks. There are also about a half dozen patch panels that feed the areas of the building surrounding the data center. These actually run under the raised floor in the data center.

Connections from the servers run to the patch panel in their rack and from there to the front end of the room where the racks with patch panels and switches are located. From there we jumper from the patch panel to the corresponding switch stack.

If your servers are in the same room as your switch, it should be no problem to pull enough cables (ie: 24, 48) between rack and switch to accomodate future growth.

If your server and switch aren't in the same room, can you pull more cables between the locations of the two?

Adding a second switch is no more difficult than screwing one into the existing switch rack above or below the one in production now.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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