Network load balancing question

Posted on 2004-11-09
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
i have a dual nic question...We bought a Dell  powerege 2850 that comes with 2 on-board nic's. we have 2 hot lan connections for them on a switch.

this machine is going to have a lot of network activity accessed by many users and i want to make it so that both lines are in use--like load balancing, but everything i've read about the network load balancing in 2003 server seems to imply it's for using 2 or more machines.

do you know what i'd need to do to make use of both connections in my situation (1 machine, dual-nic's)? just seems like a shame to have both hot, and tons of traffic going through one and not much happening on the other.
Question by:frieked
    LVL 16

    Expert Comment

    Hi frieked,

    For you to have NLB working correctly you need several things.
    1. Network cards supporting adapter/link aggregation or etherchannel (cisco) or 802.3ad.
    2. Switches supporting link aggregation or etherchannel (cisco) or 802.3ad.

    Once you have both of these, you can start looking at the setup.
    When you configure the cards, usually done via the card's manufaturers software, the cards should appear to the OS as one card and thus one interface.
    Then you need to configure the switch to enable this feature.

    The steps to configure this can be fairly long.

    What make of LAN chips do you have on the server and what make of switches do you have?

    Good Luck
    LVL 3

    Author Comment

    Server: dell poweredge 2850 running win2003 standard edition
    Dual network cards are onboard Intel(R) PRO/1000  (e1000325.sys driver) (server documentation says they support network load balancing and failover but does not go into configuration of either)
    Switches are catalyst 2950's

    Let me know if you need anythign else.
    LVL 16

    Accepted Solution

    Ok, you will be able to do this.
    Firstly, you will need to install Intel ProSet for the nics on the servers and set them to be used as one connection.
    For an overview see and

    Next you will need to configure your catalyst to support this.
    For instructions see
    LVL 16

    Expert Comment


    FYI, the PROset help file should have info on setting up LACP/802.3ad
    LVL 25

    Expert Comment

    ok,, what you want is not network load balancing but rather nic teaming.... nic teaming is where the NIC drivers "fool" the OS into thinking it only has one nic but you actually have more than one (2,3,4 or whatever) .  This way all 4 nics can have the same ip address (or can have different ones). Below is an article that discribes it in a little more detail:

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