Need to Move data faster

Brian Oldham
Brian Oldham used Ask the Experts™
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I have moved all our company data to a DELL POWERVAULT NX3000 NAS we currently have 6-7 terabytes of data, things currently are not bogged down to bad, but my question is this.  There are 4 Network Jacks on the server, will I gain any performance during heavy loads by utilizing more than one of them to the Switches, I have 2x 48 port switches, should I run a cable to each switch?  Do I need to bridge the connections at that point, does each connection need its own IP address?  How do you best configure things to move data the fastest. Currently the server has one IP and 1 Cat5 cable plugged it, but I can tell that at times were maxing it.

I just want to move data as fast as possible without having to dole out for Gigabit gear.  Any help would be most appreciated.
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Buy an Infiniband switch for 40Gbps...

Appart from that kind of solution, you should be able to team NICS from the client of your NAS...but that won't allow to get a single file faster, it will allow to have 2 Gbe streams from your client.
Top Expert 2015

Commented:
Ethernet switch or FC switch? Speed of cables?
Top Expert 2014

Commented:
What type of switches?

Lot's of ifs.

First, does the NAS box support NIC teaming/bonding/link aggregation?

If the NAS support link aggregation and it is connected to a switch that supports link aggregation, then you can combine 2-4 NIC's as a single logical path.

However, depending on what switches you have, all 4 connections may have to go to the same switch.

Even with link aggeration, it may not speed up your tranfsers.  If a single client PC is attempting to transfer a file and that PC has one LAN connection, then you are limited to its speed.  If you have 4 client PC's trying to do transfers, then you should get better tranfer speeds.
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Author

Commented:
OK some clarification, running 2 servers, 1 old dell Poweredge 2600 that houses Active Directory and DNS and a print Server, A Poweredge 4600 that backs up the first server and hosts Exchange, and finally the Nas - DELL POWERVAULT NX3000 NAS running server 2008 with 6x 2TB drives thats servers as our data/file server.  30 local Employees with 2-300 remote Webmail users.

All servers are linked to the network using 2x-Linksys/Cisco EtherFast® 4124 24-Port 10/100 Ethernet Switch's, Both Switches are linked to a Cisco RV082 Router that is being fed by Dual Cable Modems with a total of 100mb Down and 10mb upstream thruput.

Currently I run one Network Cable from each server into one of the switches, at any one time, I might have 10 people pushing or pulling data from the NAS,

So My Questions are:
Would I be better off using any or all  of the other 3 Lan jacks on the NAS???  
If so how would it need to be configured, does each Jack get its own IP???  
Would Bridging the Jacks help?
Should I have a Cat5 running to each switch??? (I can see how a bunch of the data has to flow thru the router to get to the other switch to get to the server)

Any other thoughts or ideas on changes in my configuration?

Thanks in advance
LAN/WAN Systems Administrator
Commented:
Server/NAS -
1. Do not bridge the NICs.  This function is for dual-homed servers only.
2. I assume these are Broadcom NICs as those are Dell's favorite.  If they are grab the management applications from http://www.broadcom.com/support/ethernet_nic/netxtremeii.php (all the way at the bottom) and install them.  Use BACS to create a NIC team using as many NICS as you like.  I usually use 2 in a team for my production network and the other 2 in a team and I configure those to run over a separate backup network (I have a centralized backup).
3. When you create the teams you will see a new NIC listed under Network Connections with the name of the team.  Set the server's IP address on this.  I usually rename the actual NICs that are a member of the team with "DO NOT CONFIGURE" so no one accidentally messes with them.
3. Plug all the NICS of the same team into the same switch

Network -
Your switches should be connected to each other then have the router plugged into one of them.  The data should not have to traverse the router to get from the servers to the clients; this creates a bottleneck.  Unless you have a specific need to, you shouldn't keep the servers and clients on separate subnets with a router between them.  If you need to keep the servers on a different subnet you should be using a layer 3 switch and create VLANs.

I know you said you didn't want to spend money on GbE switches but you might consider it as you will get much faster throughput and the price has come way down to about $10/port
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833150081&nm_mc=OTC-Froogle&cm_mmc=OTC-Froogle-_-Network+-+Switches-_-Cisco+Small+Business-_-33150081

Author

Commented:
Awesome, that's the information I have been searching for, will give this a shot, I knew there had to be a way.  Will let you know how it turns out tomorrow.
Top Expert 2014

Commented:
O.K. From what it looks like your switch is non-managed and does NOT support link aggregation.

What this means is that when you team the NIC's you will increase your OUTBOUND data speed, as the NAS can send data out on each NIC.  However, the data will only come in on ONE of the 4 NIC's.  So inbound will be limited to 100 Mbps.


I agree with, mcsween, get a inexpensive switch that is Gigabit capable.  This would increase not only your outbound transfer rates, but your inbound.

Author

Commented:
Have already noticed a big difference!  Thanks for the assist, never knew about NIC Teams but they are perfect for what I needed.

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