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Can NIC teaming working Spanning tree protocol?

Posted on 2008-09-29
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Last Modified: 2011-10-19
I have servers that have fault tolerance NIC teaming. I have several switches and would like to use spanning tree protocol. If enable spanning tree protocol on the ports that servers are connecting to, will the NIC teaming cause any issue?
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Question by:atlasdev
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by:Quori
ID: 22601762
STP is to prevent network loops, you need to use LACP to enable teaming support on the switch.
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by:billwharton
ID: 22601810
atlasdev
when you do NIC teeming using LACP or another protocol, the switch is configured to combine two ports into a single port-channel. Then, spanning tree is applied to the port channel and the two ports are treated as one. You should be fine..
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by:Pugglewuggle
ID: 22602849
STP does work with multiple NICs when teamed into one channel using something like Cisco etherchannel or LACP. The link counts as one logical link and STP doesn't see it as a loop.
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by:Pugglewuggle
ID: 22602854
If you have Intel PRO NICs I know they for sure support LACP and Cisco Etherchannel because we've got some servers on the SAN setup that way and connected straight to the switch with a 4Gbps connection. Very snappy. :-)
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by:atlasdev
ID: 22607534
Please see my newly attached picture for the configuration I would like to have.
Basically, I hope switch can achieve a kind of failover by spanning tree protocol like Cisco router's HSRP. And I also hope that a server can connect to 2 switch at one time. If say switch 1 failed, server 192.168.6.88 can still use switch 2 to gain network access.
Is what I want realistic?
SwitchFailover.gif
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by:billwharton
ID: 22607918
Exactly. 6.88 can connect to the two switches at L2 using LACP and it would send traffic over both links. If one link goes down the other link would be used. So your design would fine
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by:Pugglewuggle
ID: 22607933
Oh, like that - not two NICs connected to one switch. What you do then is make sure that a router (L3 switch preferably) is upstream and that the NICs have different IP addresses on the same network and with the same default gateway (usually on that router). This will work fine. STP has no problem with it at all. While they are "teamed" for redundancy, STP sees it as two separate links.
Let me know if you need more info!
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by:Pugglewuggle
ID: 22607938
OR as stated you can use LACP - it is really up to you. Sometimes issues can arise when using LACP on two physical switches - it's usually done so that the LACP channel goes to only one switch.
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by:atlasdev
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Sounds like I will have 2 IP addresses for one server. The switch will direct the traffic to the server by the IP address instead of the MAC address, right? This way when one switch fails, the server somehow by LACP will know to use the other switch for network access, right?
The problem is that I have NAT configured on the firewall to direct the web traffic to the servers. Does that mean have to configure 2 NAT statements on my firewall?
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Pugglewuggle earned 250 total points
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That is right!
There can be up to a 60 second lag in the updating of info in the switches to only send data to one of the NICs. This teaming mode is called Switch Fault Tolerance (SFT) - provides failover between two adapters connected to separate switches. Switch Fault Tolerance supports two adapters per team. Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) must be enabled on the switch when you create a SFT team.  When SFT teams are created, the Activation Delay is automatically set to 60 seconds.  This teaming type works with any switch or hub. All team members must be connected to the same subnet.
I attached a document from Intel detailing this kind of teaming.
As far as the firewall goes, just create an object group and add those two IPs for the server into the object group for ACLs and then for NAT have two seperate statics for two separate public P addresses. Usually LACP is used in a LAN environment, but as I just explained, this can be done with a web server or other multi-homed device.
Just tell your web server app not to bind a site to any one IP address but to use all available addresses.

teaming.pdf
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