Network Load Balancing Question

June 24, 2011 at 08:11:52
Specs: Windows Server 2003
We just got a new server that has 4 NICs and this server will act as our file server. I've been researching NLB and it seems to me that it is primarily used for balancing between other servers. We just have 1 file server and my question is can we configure those 4 NICs to be used to help increase throughput on the server? So we would have 4 GB of throughput on the server? Is that possible? If so how would I configure that? We are using Server 2003

Thanks in advance for any help.

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June 24, 2011 at 09:14:52
I doubt Windows has the native ability to do this. That doesn't make it impossible, it just means if Windows itself can't do it, you'll have to find a 3'd party software solution to handle it.

Whether Windows can do this or not, you would definitely need a switch capabl of doing it too.

The switch-side technology required is LACP (Link Aggregation Control Protocol). You would have to make a LAG (Link Aggregation Group) of the 4 interfaces invovled and enable LACP on the LAG.

We've used LAG's in several instances here where I work. Most notibly on VMWare servers which are using a virtual switch (inside VMWare) to create "trunk" ports capable of dealing with LACP.

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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