Ethernet Switch & NIC Teaming

Posted on 2009-02-20
Last Modified: 2012-08-13
We have 8 IBM and Dell servers with dual ethernet NIC and we want to use teaming to gain resilience on the network.  What is the most cost effictive way to setup a pair of 3Com or Cisco switches to work with the teamed NICs?  
Can anybody recommend some switch models that work well (24 port 10/100/1000)?
What is the best way to link these to the current 3Com 4400 stack of switches?
Question by:donalc
    LVL 12

    Expert Comment

    Wow, 3 questions and only 250 points.  The recession really has hit hard
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    What do you mean with  resilience? Double the connection speed or, make redundant connection to every server? What OS is installed on these servers?
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    Well if you are looking for cost effective then Cisco is going to be out of the question as while their catalyst brand will work well, it will also be some of the most expensive.  
      From what 3com recommends you would get the stacking modules for the 4400 so you can of course get more 3com switches to accomplish your goal.  This way the management software can let you control all of the switches from one point and you won't have to worry about something not working well with something else.
      There is a warning though, the regular superstack series can't be stacked with the SE series so don't mix them.

    Author Comment

    The Servers are all W2000 and W2003 Server.  We are looking to add redundant connections for each server as only one Ethernet port is connected at the moment.  Two 3Com 5500G switches using XRN are being suggested.  But I was wondering if the same result could be achevied with lower level switches (4500G) without using the XRN, or even if this XRN technology is widely used?
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    I think it depends on OS not on switches. You set up redundancy on these NICs in OS. Two NICs will apear as one. Users will see only one IP address. If one connection/ network card fails, other will run. Am I right?

    LVL 4

    Accepted Solution

    Switches dont matter. Nothing to configure on them. Make sure you span the vlan across both switches and that the port for each connection belong to the same VLAN. Set up the NIC Teaming on the servers. If they are broadcom NICs, use BACS. It is pretty straight forward.
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    I think that every NIC vendor has a solution for this, so look on NIC vendor web site for NIC teaming. (additional software and setup)
    Dell -
    IBM??? - are there broadcom network adapters?

    Look at this solution on exper-exchange ...
    LVL 3

    Assisted Solution

    add.. so tell us your NIC vendors for better answers.

    Broadcom NIC :  Install BACS - Broadcom Advanced Control Suite.  Broadcom Advanced Control Suite (BACS) can be installed from the Broadcom CD-ROM in Management Programs.

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