NIC Teaming to double throughput

Posted on 2005-04-04
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-02-01
I am getting ready to upgrade to gigabit ethernet for my servers. This is mostly because of a need to upgrade my backup solution due to an increased volume of data. What I am wanting to do is this. I have 4 servers each with dual nics. Currently they are setup with Intel ProSet to Adaptive Load Balance. I want to team the nics to double the throughput not just load balance each other. I think that 802.3ad (link aggregation) is what I need, Could someone please confirm this or point me in the right direciton. Do I need to have a managed switch to accomplish this? Port Trunks?


Question by:rkelley534
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Accepted Solution

Genexen earned 250 total points
ID: 13702005
Well, are you sure that when you are done teaming that your throughput increase will be worth the work?  Link aggregation is a GREAT idea for backbone networks where you have a lot of traffic flow.  But for a segment between a switch & a server, you //may// be wasting time.  I would first baseline your servers usage to determine where your bottlenecks are.  If you are not maxing out 100MBps or 1GBps, going to 2+ is like installing a spoiler on a Hyundai...looks nice but doesn't really accomplish anything in the way of performance.

However, if you inisist/have a need for doing LB or trunking you will definitely need a managed switch, with support for trunking/Etherchannel.  IE Cisco/HP Procurve.

Author Comment

ID: 13709726
What is the best way to baseline my servers usage? And to test real world throughput?

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Expert Comment

ID: 13710529
you can baseline your server by using performance monitor (its built in).  You would want to track network, cpu, mem and hardrive usage at minimum.  
LVL 25

Expert Comment

ID: 13710793
Genexan,,, that won't tell you anything about actual file transfer speeds though,,, it will only tell you how fast something left your server or how fast it came in.  you need 2 computers for a true speed test.

Expert Comment

ID: 13710857
mike, if you scale a network server based on two computers....:P

I am talking about baselining, not speed testing.  And you baseline in a production environment to measure future improvements/degradations against.
LVL 25

Expert Comment

ID: 13710906
taking a speed test today and comparing it to a  speed test a week from now is a baseline by definition. Only a "real" speed test between 2 computers would be a valid and true test.

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