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Windows 2003 and 2008 servers that have 2 or more ethernet ports combining them to one

Posted on 2012-03-16
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Hi everyone,
I have several Windows server (2003/2008) that have ethernet cards in them that have 2 and some 4 ports on them.  I was talking to my Dell server rep and he said there is a way to plug additional ethernet cables in them and then back to my switch like the existing one and then trunk (the term he was using) them together helping network traffic to and from that server imporoved since it's using 2 ports combined to one.

I don't think this is called load balancing and he didn't either.

Right now I have the second ethernet ports enabled and set to dhcp where as all my servers are static.  Of course this morning I came in and a mix of users where have DNS problems.

Can anyone help me with the proper way to take the two ethernet ports that are live and combine to one inside Windows server?  Also my ethernet port 1 which is the original and working fine, has static IP, DNS, etc.  Would the 2nd ethernet (port 2) have it's own new static IP address? Also the gateway and DNS would be the same? I'm just not sure and can't find much on the internet.  Maybe they both have to be exactly the same? IP/GATEWAY/DNS as each other.

If anyone know that would be a HUGE help to me and my users!  

1) Windows configuration in the adapters screen
2) Current IP settings for IPv4 ethernet port 1 and 2...

Port1                                              Port2
------------------                                  ------------------
192.168.1.6 (existing static)         192.168.1.33  (new static)
255.255.255.0 (existing subnet)  255.255.255.0 (subnet)
192.168.1.1 (existing gateway)    192.168.1.1  (gateway)
192.168.1.6 (DNS)                         192.168.1.6 (DNS)
192.168.1.7 (DNS2)                       192.168.1.7 (DNS)

This is also a DNS server (the 192.168.1.6)

Thank you so much for your help!
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Question by:jbishop2446b
6 Comments
 
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Darius Ghassem earned 500 total points
ID: 37730069
You need to Setup a Network Team within the Network card utility.

I believe Dell uses Broadcom Control Suite from here you can create the network team
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Expert Comment

by:brota
ID: 37730078
You do not need to use multiple IP addresses.
Clear the IP addresses and use the Dell/Broadcom software.
If it is not installed already download the latest version from Dell for your server and OS.

Then put the original IP back on
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Expert Comment

by:Rafael
ID: 37730090
I'm curious as to why you would want to do that since the NIC's are both on the IP and subnet range?
I can see having two NIC's available should one fail. Is this the goal?

Also, improving the perfomance is a good thing however, what is the current load of your NI Cards throughput?  I would open up some of your Perf mon tools and monitor throughput traffic and chart it and see if you're evening hitting a saturation point of 70% or higher on a non-stop basis.
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Author Comment

by:jbishop2446b
ID: 37730177
I was talking to our Dell server rep and he suggested it.  I didn't know it was possible.
Just want to know if it's possible and how to do it and if it's even beneficial espcially when I have heavy traffic to and from servers.
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Expert Comment

by:Darius Ghassem
ID: 37730709
Yeah you get benefits if you have a network team. Dell should be able to tell you how to configure a network team with their servers
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Expert Comment

by:Rafael
ID: 37730899
Teaming has two purposes, Fault Tolerance and Load Balancing. Based on what I asked before, the assumption is made that you want your NIC's to be at a High Availability State should one fail to prevent downtime to your clients and increase performanec.

With that said you should also look at where the other end of the cable goes. Simply put, teaming them and leaving them on the same single switch only creates Fault Tolerance at the server level and mildly increases performance. If you want Full Fault tolerance of your NIC's and want to maximize the distributing of traffic from your network (Load Balance), then I would also recommend splitting the cable paths to connect directly from the server to two seperate switches that are still part of the same subnet. Assuming that you have two four port cards, then an example would be such as this below:

Teamed NIC#1 -----> Switch #1 Port XXX
Teamed NIC#1 -----> Switch #2 Port YYY

Teamed NIC#2 -----> Switch #1 Port XXX
Teamed NIC#2 -----> Switch #2 Port YYY

This will give you full redundancy and maximize traffic flow all the way to layer 3 of the OSI model. With this setup you wil avoid link saturation and performance bottlenecks.

Dell mainly uses Broadcom so you must use the Broadcom Advanced Control Suite. If you don't have it drop your service tag into the Web site and then follow the on site instructions to download the software that matches your drivers.

As a side note: Depending on your network topology, you may have to have your network admin configure the switch ports into a channel-groups.
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