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Multiple NIC Cards

Posted on 2003-02-19
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-08-14
Hello, I have a Dell Pro Edge 2400 Raid 5 Server. This came with Novell Netware 5. Which is a system I'm not very familiar with so I waxed the Novell and Installed Mandrake Linux 9.0 . The Server comes with an integrated NIC card eth0 and two additional cards eth1 & eth2.

Question: what do I need to configure to optimize this server to use all three NIC cards. This is a file server connected to a 25(workstation)computer network it gets a lot of use during a normal business day. It seems to bog down after 6 or 7 people try to save to it at one time and also it seems to loose connection to the workstations I'm forever remapping drives to this server. All the work stations are running Win98, ME or 2000 Pro. I will give a lot of points for helping with this project.
Question by:cmmonline

Expert Comment

ID: 7985243
look in /etc/modules.conf
make sure there is a reference to load each nic's driver
alias eth0 8139
alias eth1 tulip
alias eth2 3c950

in /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ look for ifcfg-eth0, ifcfg-eth1 etc
check the contents of each for..<modify as nec>


from the prompt
#/etc/rc.d/init.d/network restart

post any error


Expert Comment

ID: 7985251
<sorry, got this mixed with another quesiton, disregard previous>

How much memory, swap? what is the load? how many services?
what nic's? hub/switch? speed?

Expert Comment

ID: 7986112
Are you attempting to do 'teaming' between network interfaces to increase bandwidth?

If so, look at the Intel Advanced Network Services - http://www.intel.com/support/network/adapter/1000/linux/ans.htm

I think your switch has to support this too.
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Author Comment

ID: 7988994
What is swap??
What is Load??

Services? are you refering to applications being run from the sever or files being stored on server or what other things does this server do besides being a file server.This is just being used as a file server nothing else. I just want to keep the server from hanging up when more than 5 people are on it at one time. It seems to drag if more than 5 people are on it. below is a list of files and file types being accessed and stored on the server.They are as follows:

(.dwg) AutoCAD 2000 2d and 3d Parametric Modeling
(.xls,.ppt,.pps.,.doc) MS Office Files
(.cdr, .cpt, psd) Corel Draw11, Corel Paint11 and Adobe Photoshop7)
(.QBI) Quickbooks 2000
(.GCD) DOS Based G-Code Programming Files for Amada Punch Press
(.GMT) DOS Based G-Code Programming Files for Amada Punch Press
(Some mp3,and multimedia files)
(Dreamweaver 4)
and lots of pdf files.

I hope this is of some help.

there is 512 MB RAM that came with the server.

Thanks for the response.....

Author Comment

ID: 7989193
using (2) hubs:

Also the building was just wired about 2 Yrs ago with Cat5e They said it was rated at 1Gig

Hub 1-> CentreCom Model# FH724SW - 10BaseT/100BaseTX Dual Speed

Hub 2-> CentreCom Model# FH712SW - 10BaseT/100BaseTX Dual Speed

I was told that I could speed up my network by using more than 1 NIC in the server.

Expert Comment

ID: 7990171
You can merge the 3 ethernet cards to one to speed up things.

That's called "Bonding".If you wish to be able to 'bond' multiple Ethernet Channels together. This is called 'Etherchannel' by Cisco, 'Trunking' by Sun, and 'Bonding' in Linux.                                                                                                                                                              

If you have two Ethernet connections to some other computer, you can make them behave like one double speed connection using this driver.                                                                                                                                    

Naturally, this has to be supported at the other end as well, either with a similar Bonding Linux driver, a Cisco 5500 switch or a SunTrunking SunSoft driver.                                                                                                                                                                            

Check this file for full informations about this :



Accepted Solution

gletiecq earned 1000 total points
ID: 8031182
Well, whoever told you that multiple NIC's was the answer probably has never used multiple NIC's to do this.

The first order is to figure out what the bottleneck is.  Don't assume it's the NIC, since a 100MB channel should be plenty sufficient for what you're trying to do.  It could be the RAID controller, it could be that 512MB RAM isn't enough (my guess), it could be poor performance on the disks, it could be some sort of configuration error.

Since RAM is so cheap, I'd throw another 512 at the problem and seems what happens.  The cost of the RAM is probably less than the value of your time you'll waste chasing your tail on this.  If things don't improve with that, it's good insurance anyways.

Check the websites for your hardware vendors (not Dell, the guys who actually made the components) and see if they have any utilities that will benchmark performance for their products.  It's probably a good idea to see if there's some benchmark/performance monitoring tools on your distro or on sourceforge.

When you're tuning, don't change a bunch of things at once.  Measure, change one thing, remeasure, and evaluate.  It's somewhat plodding, but it's the only guaranteed way to nail down a solution.

Hope this helps.


Author Comment

ID: 8034760
I added an additional 512MB Ram it solved the problem...You rock dude thanks alot..

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