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Combining Bandwidth of 2 x 10mbit LAN cards ?

Posted on 2001-08-09
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I have 2 data access points on a 10 mbit LAN, however, the bandwidth available is much greater than this (90 mbit).

Is it possible, if I have 2 10 mbit LAN cards, by connecting them to their own access point, to somehow combine the bandwidth of the 2?

Regards,
DARK LiGHT

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Question by:darklight
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by:SysExpert
ID: 6370776
Use a dual or quad port NIC, 3com, adaptec, Intel have them, some with load balancing.
This should work OK on NT server and win2k.

There were reviews recently on www.nwc.com - bandwidth aggregation and multiple NIC and balancing.

I hope this helps !
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by:darklight
ID: 6371279
Is this possible with 2 seperate NIC's though ? Does it require any setup on the server side ?
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by:afurman
ID: 6371684
First of all, it's require special driver. Some vendors offers it. 3Com, for example, provide Dynamic Access software with each server NIC and you can combine up to 8 NICs in single trunk.
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by:butlerchuck
ID: 6372459
afurman
What about using link agriagtion at the hub or switch to a 100 meg nic would that work?  It might save a little money?
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by:afurman
ID: 6372568
butlerchuck,

One question: how you can do it (link aggregation) without special software? By the way, two NICs x $100 (or one 2-port NIC x $180) - is it too much? Moreover, a server NIC have additional features and usually more efficient in comparison with desktop NIC.
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by:butlerchuck
ID: 6372954
First thank you for responding back to my question. You bring up a good point about the price.  I hope that my response will help clear the light.

I have a Intel 510 hub switch that cam with link aggregation installed on it.  We use the remote manage software to set it up.  Since he mentions "if I have 2 10 mbit LAN cards", He could see if he can do Link Aggregation in the switch to the server and buy one nic.  Aggregation on the switch would make one port have more bandwidth than the rest.  That would mean one cable and one nic.  If he aggregated the port 50/50 between the 2 existing ports.  He would get 100 out of the one port and then would just need to buy the one 100meg-nic card.  Non the less this is only if the equipment that he is using has this feature.  As for, "how you can do it (link aggregation) without special software?", from the switch, If the switch does not have link aggregation and the correct MIBS in place from the manufacturer or is able to accept MIB's then you can't do it.  Also As wite this and read the original question I wonder why if he is running at 90 meg why don?t you just buy a new nic at 100meg?  You would increase the bandwidth that way.  Or is he trying to do something else?  Thank's agian
Chuck
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by:butlerchuck
ID: 6372959
Sory about the last sentence got to get going.
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by:afurman
ID: 6373599
butlerchuck,

Thanks for your answer.

1. About Link Aggregation in a switch. As I know, this feature can be implemented by two ways:
a) with proprietary manufacturer protocol. In this case other side of trunk mast be configured same way;
b) with IEEE 802.1ad protocol. In this case other side device (devices) must be IEEE 802.1ad enabled too.
In both cases you must have suitable protocol server side, i.e. special software support (as I told earlier).

But if you tries to implement link aggregation on server side, it does not matter what device you have on other side: hub or switch and it is managed or unmanaged (it's 100% right for 3Com server NICs and partialy for other vendors). Also it have corellation with used L3 prorocol. Moreover, if you have two (for example) NICs and two switches, you can connect first NIC to first switch and second NIC to second switch. Then connect first and second switches. This type of Link Aggregation do load sharing and introduce resilience. All of above for only $180-$200...

2. "why if he is running at 90 meg why don't you just buy a new nic at 100meg". I think his switch have not 100Mb ports.

Alexander.
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Author Comment

by:darklight
ID: 6375229
butterchuck,
ok .. this is the setup:

I have 2 x 10/100 NIC's, but the network Im on is only 10 mbit, but we have a 90mb backbone to the internet.

Now .. I have 2 access points to which I can connect to the network (at 10mb)

What I want to do is possibly connect each access point to a seperate NIC and somehow "combine" the bandwidth .. something similar to combining the bandwidth of 2 dialup modem connections.

I hope this clears things up

Regards,
DARK LiGHT
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Author Comment

by:darklight
ID: 6375244
butterchuck,
ok .. this is the setup:

I have 2 x 10/100 NIC's, but the network Im on is only 10 mbit, but we have a 90mb backbone to the internet.

Now .. I have 2 access points to which I can connect to the network (at 10mb)

What I want to do is possibly connect each access point to a seperate NIC and somehow "combine" the bandwidth .. something similar to combining the bandwidth of 2 dialup modem connections.

I hope this clears things up

Regards,
DARK LiGHT
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by:afurman
ID: 6375311
darklight,

If your access points on same switch or router or on different but interconnected devices, you can implement 3Com Link Aggregation (see my previous answer to butlerchuck). If you can yse additional access points (up to 8) your aggregated bundwidth will be approximately 8 x 10 = 80Mbit/s.
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by:SysExpert
ID: 6375611
If you can not use afurman suggestion at the seitch, then you will probably need to be running NT server or win2K to get theis to work, and need the special drivers for your NIC.

Please provide the following info.

1) What OS is this ?

2) What NIC are you using ?

3) Can use change to INTEL or 3com special NIC if required ?

I hope this helps !
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by:jjeff1
ID: 6376291
How are these access points setup? Is each a separate pipe. Does each connection have it's own ip and subnet? What is the IP addressing here on the 2 connections?

Also, I don't quite understand something here.

You have a 90 MB internet connection ( 2 T-3s ). Yet you are connecting your network to that via 2 10 MB connections? So are you wasting 70 MB or what?

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by:butlerchuck
ID: 6377305
afurman


Wow,  very cool!  Thank you for that info.  Do you have any web sites that can give more info or that have a list of cards besides 3 com that can do it from the server side?


Dark light,
sysexpert asked some good questions.  Also I think that afurman has a little more info about the nic side than I do.  As for the way I would set it up it you would need to multihome a nt box with 3 nics.  I don't think that that is a very good Idea if there is one nic that can do it all.

afurman,
Thank you for your response and if you can get any more inf please let me know.  I want to try this at work.
cbutler@tsionline.com


thank you agin,
chuck
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by:afurman
ID: 6377818
butlerchuck,

As I know, 3Com have most complete and powerful solution now. You can familiarize oneself with it reading document "The Intelligent Server NIC"
http://www.3com.com/other/pdfs/infra/corpinfo/en_US/50304101.pdf
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SysExpert earned 200 total points
ID: 6377996
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Author Comment

by:darklight
ID: 6380260
SysExpert:

OS = Windows 2000 Professional
NIC's = 1 x D-Link DFE-530TX+ and 1 x Realtek RTL8139(A) - Both are 10/100.

I would prefer if I did not have to go and buy another network card (if possible ? =))

jjeff1:
I am not the only person on the network.

afurman:
The access points are on the same switch, but I gather from what your saying, I cant only implement what I want to do with 3com's hardware ?


Regards,
DARK LiGHT
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by:SysExpert
ID: 6380311
Actually - It depends on the switch. Some models support aggregation and others do not.

See the review I posted.  I think there was a software solution also.

I hope this helps !
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Expert Comment

by:afurman
ID: 6380813
darklight,

3Com's solution isn't only one.

If you look at document which I suggest for butlerchuck, you can see what you can obtain implementing this solution (I have in mind other features, not only link aggregation).
So, I think 3Com have highest bid if you purchase their NICs.

If you look at document suggested by SysExpert, you
1. Once more make sure of my suggestion.
2. Learn about software solution of what you want, and
3. To your greate suprise, you can see that 2-port 3Com NIC with DynamicAccess costs less then software only implementation. But if you don't prefer to bue new harware, this solution for you.

You can try to implement some sort of multipath routing but it isn't clear solution.
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Expert Comment

by:afurman
ID: 6380829
darklight,

3Com's solution isn't only one.

If you look at document which I suggest for butlerchuck, you can see what you can obtain implementing this solution (I have in mind other features, not only link aggregation).
So, I think 3Com have highest bid if you purchase their NICs.

If you look at document suggested by SysExpert, you
1. Once more make sure of my suggestion.
2. Learn about software solution of what you want, and
3. To your greate suprise, you can see that 2-port 3Com NIC with DynamicAccess costs less then software only implementation. But if you don't prefer to bue new harware, this solution for you.

You can try to implement some sort of multipath routing but it isn't clear solution.
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