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1 Server with 2 NIC's to 2 Switches

Posted on 2008-10-24
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I have a server running Server 2003 which has 2 Network Cards (Intel Pro 1000 MT). I also have two switches a (16port and an 8 port). Currently I am just using one of the server Network Cards connected to the 16 Port Switch and Daisy Chained to the 8 port switch.

I have been having some slow network issues that I'm struggling to track down. Inreading about Newtork Teaming and wonder if I should change the current structure to use both of the ports on the server either teamed to the 16port switch or creating 2 seperate arms one connecting to the 8 port and one connecting to the 16port.

Anyone with expirence in this got recommendations for me?

Question by:stanbond
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Expert Comment

ID: 22801016
Are both Servers communicating with each other?  Are you replicating from one to the other one?
If you are having two different purposes for each, It will be good to have them with different switches.  If you are having them doing the same thing, put them in the same one.  This will reduce the amount of traffic between the small switches and allow your bandwidth to focus on the requests from your clients.  

Good luck!

Expert Comment

ID: 22801031
I have a server at my work with sql server running.

I create a route so that all copy's of databases copy xxxxxx should go trought the 2nd interface..

that allow me to leave first nic available for sql T.

Author Comment

ID: 22801366
I only have 1 server
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Accepted Solution

MrJemson earned 1000 total points
ID: 22802073
How fast are the switchports?
I imagine you are using 10/100 switches?

I would recommend replacing the 16+8 port switches for 1x 24pt or even 48pt switch Gigabit Switch.
Or if cost is an issue get a 24pt 10/100 with an extra 2pt 10/100/1000 ports (Use one) for uplink to the server.

At the moment you would have a maximum on 22 users on your LAN, NIC Teaming is going to be overkill. Besides that your switch has to support Teaming also.

The users on the 8pt would be suffering the most at present sharing one uplink port to the 16pt switch, then contending for transmission time with the server. Without a doubt, replace the switching environment.

Expert Comment

ID: 22802078
I Should also state that if your two switches are geographically separated, upgrade the 16pt to have al least 2 Gigabit Ports and the 8pt to Gigabit also to make sure your interconnect between the switches is Gigabit, as well as the uplink to the server.
LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 22802733
What type of switches do you have (mfr, model)?
LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 22804967
I propose an experiment.

Turn off the teaming for a few days;  kill one of the interfaces or unplug the cable.
Test that everything still works.
And see if network performance is better or worse.

Then turn it back on, and see if it has any effect on network performance.
I suspect the teaming has nothing to do with the network performance issues.

A 100 mbit fastethernet connection is a ton of bandwidth for most usage.
I suspect either you are running a specialized high-bandwidth application that _needs_ some reorganization of your network and some gigabit connections for better scaling.

Or more likely you have a PC or two running amok on your network.
You know; viruses, malware, trjoans, some employees running bittorrent at
maximum speed, etc.

I don't think you'd be running a website or public service on one server that would get close to taxing fastethernet  (ISP connection would be taxed first).

In fact if you are using some type of active/active teaming; matters may be made worse.

There are some types of teaming that require switch support, and some that do not.
It just depends on your NIC hardware, OS, and teaming software.

True 802.3ad-negotiated link aggregation requires special switch and host support, but some proprietary protocols do not.

If you just have two interfaces on the same network bridged, that's  bad as it creates a loop.

If teaming is properly configured, it's usually a very good idea for servers that need high availability, or servers that benefit from additional link capacity,  as  switches do sometimes fail, just like it's good to have redundant power supplies and redundant UPSes (Side A and Side B power) because PSUs and UPSes sometimes fail, and it's good to have a backup plan.

Of course if you don't need maximum availability of the server, the additional costs aren't worthwhile.

It's best if you can have GIG uplinks on your switches also, as this will improve performance.

LVL 23

Assisted Solution

Mysidia earned 1000 total points
ID: 22804982
Err..  try a network teaming setup,   but  I suspect you notice no difference.
Most teaming setups are active/backup.

And there are issues with teaming even when 802.3ad is used that prevent you from realizing much in terms of "true" performance improvements.

Normally each connection will go over 1 link,  it is ordinary to determine which link of an active/active pair is used based on source/destination MAC address.

Balancing traffic related to one connection over two links is likely to result in out-of-order transmissions which hurts performance of the connection.

Connecting the switches with a gig port and connecting the server to a gig port, with an installed gigabit ethernet card, will go  MILES farther than link aggregation.

It is best practice to connect switches that pass a lot of inter-switch traffic using GIG ports.

And to connect the server using a GIG port, you need only one gigabit network card for the server (if it doesn't already have one)
and one additional gigabit port on a switch.


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