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Using both network cards on Windows Server 2003 64 bit

Posted on 2008-10-07
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How can I configure both the network connections so that both network cards will work together and give me 2 Gbps throughput instead of 1 Gbps?  Or will it work without any configuration?

The network cards installed on the server are "Broadcom BCM5708C NetXtreme II. The server is connected to a D-Link DGS-1216T switch.

Will I need to configure the switch with trunking on the two ports used if I manage to connect both the network cards on the server?
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Question by:mintraas
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by:sstone55423
ID: 22658494
What kind of server?  Proliant?  Dell?
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by:mintraas
ID: 22658524
Dell PE2900 Xeon 5110 1.6 GHz
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by:JimsZ
ID: 22658539
I have had issues with using 2 network adapters & setting them as "teamed" adapters

Most of my issues with it have resulted from either Virtual Server & setting up my TeraStation NAS drive as a local drive & NTFS shares.   Definately issues I don't get with other servers that aren't teamed.
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by:KCTS
ID: 22658545
Even if you team the network cards you will not get double the throughput
Teaming is essentially for fault tollerance, and while you might get a very modest increase in performance its going to be nowhere near double - more like 5-10%, essentiall its limited by many factors - not the least being that on an ethernet network only one card can transmit at any one time.
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simeonf earned 250 total points
ID: 22658554
Hi Mintraas,

Windows does not support this natively, the only way is if the NIC driver vendor has implemented it themselves. With Broadcom NICs you should be in luck - have a look at the Windows Management Applications BASP and BACS from this page - http://www.broadcom.com/support/ethernet_nic/netxtremeii.php. BASP is a driver that implements teaming, and BACS is a gui to create/manage the team.

My preference from Broadcom teams is SLB mode (smart load balancing) with auto failback disabled - it's a sort of best of both worlds for link aggregation and auto failure detection.

You don't need to configure the switch to get the team working, but you may be able to to get higher performance by trying out different aggregation implementations that are supported by both the switch and adapters - maybe some LAN/WAN guys can help on specifics there.

Cheers,
Simeon
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by:sstone55423
ID: 22658574
I agree with Simeon, the Dell SLB mode is what you are looking for.
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by:Aaron Street
ID: 22668543
if you want to load balance correctly you need a switch that can run etherchannels or 802.3ad

if your switch can't support this then you will not get fully laod balancing.

the information below is from the hp website, however all venders have there own versions of the loadbalancing solutions below.

only true switch load balancing give incress in throughput in both directions. other solutions such as transmit load balancing allow incress in data out form server but only a singlwe card is used for incomming data. however if one card fails then another card can take over from it.
(transmit load balancing works by one card working as a normal nic, and the other card/cards simple flooding data to the network and tagging the packets with the mac and ip of the master card. if that fails another one takes over.)



The following teaming configurations are available for HP ProLiant Ethernet network adapters:
Automatic - allows a ProLiant server to use the best network team type possible, given current network and server configurations. It enables the server to automatically select the best type of failover team based on team member connections.

For example, when the teamed NICs are attached to a switch, the software creates a Transmit Load Balancing team. If those same NICs are instead connected to a switch that supports dynamic link aggregation (802.3ad), the team forms an aggregated link that supports both transmit and receive load balancing.

Additionally, the Automatic Teaming feature helps the ProLiant network remain adaptive to network and server conditions. As network and server configurations change, the Automatic Teaming type ensures that the customers' servers connect to the network in the most efficient manner possible. Automatic Teaming is a standard feature of HP ProLiant Teaming.


802.3ad Dynamic - provides receive and transmit load balancing on a single switch. In this team type, the team members negotiate with the switch to automatically form a port group, so no additional configuration is required on the switch. The switch must support the IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP). 802.3ad Dynamic Teaming is a standard feature of ProLiant teaming.


Switch-assisted Load Balancing (SLB) - provides receive and transmit load balancing on a single switch and is functionally identical to 802.3ad Dynamic Teaming. SLB requires the switch itself to be configured to form a port group. The switch must support port aggregation, but it does not need to support the IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregation Control Protocol. SLB is a standard feature of ProLiant Teaming.


Transmit Load Balancing (TLB) - balances the transmit traffic among the team members, but does not require any special switch intelligence or switch configuration. In addition, TLB teams can be split across switches as long as all members are in the same layer 2 network. In TLB teams, receive traffic is not load balanced, but is received on a single team member. TLB is a standard feature of ProLiant Teaming.


Network fault tolerance (NFT) - prevents network downtime by transferring the workload from a failed port to a working port. Clients on the network see no disruption of service, and the network can remain in use while the failed component is repaired. NFT teaming functions at any speed, on any media. It is switch-independent and can be split across Layer 2 switches but must be in the same Layer 2 domain. NFT is a standard feature of ProLiant Teaming, and is available in all team configurations.
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