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IP Address Limitation?

Posted on 2004-10-08
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
How many IP addresses can you safely put onto a single Windows 2003 server and still maintain a usuable system?  I attempted to put 16 Class C blocks (4096 IPs) on a single NIC and the system was acting very loopy and we had to remove them through the registry as we could not even access the NIC card through GUI anymore among other strange things.  

I have successfully bound 8 Class C Blocks (2048 IPs) divided between two NIC cards.  I have no idea if dividing the IPs between NIC cards had anything do with it, and I would like to know if I am running into a hardware or OS limitation?  I.E. Could I use 4 NIC cards to get 16 Class C's bound? Or does the OS just not like more than XX# of IPs?

The system we are testing is a 2U Rackmounted Dual Xeon 3Ghz with 2GB Ram.  I do understand that technically there is no limit from the docs I have read, but we have found that there probably "should be" as windows does not like what we attempted to do.

Secondary optional question, where does Linux stand on this same issue?
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Question by:akaSurreal
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Expert Comment

by:rhandels
ID: 12257748
Hi,

Why on earth do you need 4000 + ip addresses on one machine??? I know microsoft says it doesn't have a limitation, but i would say that putting in 4000 ip addresses to 1 NIC will make the NIC go crazy.. Hell, i couldn't even figure out what to do then...

I don't really know how Linux stands on these things. Normally i would Linux doesn't have any constrains on these things. Still, i would try and ask it in the linux section as well...
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Expert Comment

by:georgecooldude
ID: 12288623
Wouldn't it be better to use a Private Class A address and subnet it? but from what your saying im not sure you are trying to hand them out but actually have 4000 IPs on 1 single machine. I would think thats pretty impossible, but I'm "newer" to networking than many others who might be able to provide you were a possible way.
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Author Comment

by:akaSurreal
ID: 12292104
Please, I just want to know what the limitations of Windows are, not if I "should" do it.
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rhandels earned 750 total points
ID: 12292166
Paperwise, there aren't any. They say it is unlimited..
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Author Comment

by:akaSurreal
ID: 12292211
Yes, I know that there isn't a technically a limitation stated in the documentation, but as I have said, the system does seem to have some kind of limitation and I would like to know what are the contributing factors, if I can add/change hardware to accomodate more IPs.

Thanks.
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Assisted Solution

by:Chris Dent
Chris Dent earned 750 total points
ID: 12292610

Problem is there's unlikely to be much of a base of people who have tried or even concieved an idea like this due to the very very obscure nature of the request.

That leaves all experimentation down to you, strip out components etc. I think you'll find that the network card drivers  (or whatever else) just aren't made or tested with that number of IPs in mind.
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Author Comment

by:akaSurreal
ID: 12294045
I figured someone might know the inner workings of Windows and how it handles IPs on an OS Level possibly.  

Maybe someone from MS in here? =)

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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:rhandels
ID: 12295021
I agree with Chris, i don't beleive anybody would have done a thing lik that...

>>Maybe someone from MS in here? =)<<

Wouldn't that be nice ;) Still, i guess they would say that out of experience you could go all the way ;) as if...
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Expert Comment

by:adam2112
ID: 21412598
From what I understand, this is a requirement for the HP Loadrunner software. I had a client call me that was trying to load 2500 ip addresses on the card so that he could load test using HP Loadrunner.
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