NIC MAC Rx. w/ Pause Command

Posted on 2011-05-10
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I was looking in the Control Suite software included with the NIC in our server, and noticed this item listed in the Statistics section for activity on the NIC:
MAC Rx w/ Pause Command and Length = 0
The value listed for this item was about 10% of the total number of frames transmitted. I have not been able to determine if this is normal and desirable, or a problem. Can someone enlighten me as to what this information means?
Question by:westone
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    Is this a very busy server?  Do you have graphs of this port from the switch side?

    Sounds like the server is regularly sending a high rate of traffic, and the switch is trying to throttle by sending pause frames.
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    Oops, hit "submit" too soon, sorry.

    If you see a high rate of traffic from this server, then yes it is normal for flow control to kick in this way.

    If it concerns you, try disabling flow control on the switch upstream and see if those counters decrease.  In some cases, however, this may affect your overall network performance.

    - Dani

    Author Comment

    Yes, it is a busy server running a business database app, plus everything else the business needs. The switch is unmanaged, so there is no configuring anything on it.
    My question was to find whether or not I should be concerned about it. I didn't know what it was.
    LVL 3

    Accepted Solution

    If the switch is unmanaged ;( can you gather graphs from the server NIC itself (SNMP agent on the server)?

    Chances are if you see over 750Mbit/s (75% utilization) on the network graphs, and you have any kind of burst demand, then you're probably maxing out the port and these pause frames are normal.

    If you are otherwise concerned, you should consider investing in a managed switch which can provide additional diagnostic capabilities.

    - Dani

    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks for the advice!

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