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Gigabit backbone between 2 servers

Posted on 2004-08-25
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Hello, we are setting up a web server with a db backend.  The web server will be running Windows 2003 Enterprise and the DB/File Server is running Windows 2000 Advanced server. Right now the local network is 10/100, but we want to add extra cards to the servers for maximum transmission speed between them, thus we're looking at gigabit cards.

Questions:

1. What brands/models are recommended for low-medium load servers?  (I've seen some Intels for $50 and other Intels for $100, but I don't know what the difference is.  Please don't think I'm limiting myself to Intels, though.).

2. How do I configure the servers to use the Gigabit adapters when communicating with each other and the 10/100 to deal with the clients?

Thank you.
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Question by:fuze44
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clicker666 earned 350 total points
ID: 11894984
Hmmm.... does the rest of the network need to see the DB server, or just the front end.  If just the front end I imagine a crossover cable between the two servers, and change the IP's on the new network cards to something out of the remaining network's subnet.  As far as brand goes, I think the IBM is probably a good idea.  I've got a 3Com in the office here that I cannot get to work at a gigabit, no matter what.  My three Intel cards, one of them on a server mainboard, work perfectly.

If you need the two servers to be able to communicate not only with each other but the rest of the network you could try some routing.  You might be able to setup your routes on the two machines for something like this....

Server 1 - IP 192.168.0.1
Server 2 - IP 192.168.0.2

Add a route to each machine detailing the network card interface that you want traffic to a specific IP address (ie - the other machine) to.  *Should* work, although I haven't tested.  In my network I have 3 10/100 switches supporting the workstations, each one linked with the 1000 switch.  Each server is plugged directly into the 1000 switch.  Given this configuration the servers have no choice but to travel through the gigabit, and all workstations access the servers through the 10/100, via one last hop to the gigabit switch.  
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by:fuze44
ID: 11895253
That was some excellent information. Thank you.

I should specify: The clients will be communicating with both servers through the existing 10/100 network.  The 2 servers will be crossedover directly to each other.
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by:Sembee
Sembee earned 75 total points
ID: 11895712
I have just converted a client from a direct cable to cable connection to a switch and seen a big performance increase.

What I did was remove or disable the existing network card and put a gb card in instead. These cards are connected to a cheap gb switch. This switch is then connected to the switch that the clients are on.

If the budget will allow, find a replacement switch for the clients with GB uplink. This will provide the maximum performance for the clients as they can use more of the 100 to connect to the servers - rather than share the single 100 uplink they are sharing a 1000 uplink.

Simon.
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by:PennGwyn
PennGwyn earned 75 total points
ID: 11896455
> 2. How do I configure the servers to use the Gigabit adapters when communicating with each other and the 10/100 to deal
> with the clients?

Connect the Gig links with a crossover cable, and assign the Gig NICs private IP addresses in a range not used elsewhere in your network.  The web server will use the current 10/100 network to reach the DB server for anything for which it has the current server address, but the gig for any use configured with the new private address.

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