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Networking questions.

Posted on 2014-01-13
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
We run poweredge 2950 servers, they have two network ports on the back.  What do I do with both of them?  By default do I plug both of them into the switches.  Is there a speed increase I should see.   Also do the dell 2950 nics support Jumbo Frames.  

We are looking to increase network speeds so do we need to install new server nics that support Jumbo Frames?  The more nics you install can it server data that much faster?
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Question by:fasse
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13 Comments
 
LVL 14

Assisted Solution

by:Don Thomson
Don Thomson earned 332 total points
ID: 39776607
The two ports are common on most servers. If you want to segregate the Wan from the LAN side of your network - one would go to your router and the other to your LAN... If you plug both into your Lan - you will create a loop that will most likely kill your network.

Most networks now only use a single NIC  - let the router/firewall  control access to the WAN.

In this way if for some reason your server goes off line - then your users can still get out on the internet. If you let the Server filter all connections, when you have to take the server off-line for maintenance, then your users are dead in the water as for as getting to the WAN
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LVL 28

Assisted Solution

by:jhyiesla
jhyiesla earned 332 total points
ID: 39776627
It should be possible to team them as well. You bind them together in the Networking console of Windows, or whatever OS you're using, and you can theoretically increase output speeds.  Input speeds will remain the same since there is a single IP that is associated with one of the NICs. We haven't done this recently as we are running a GB LAN and that seems quick enough. We did have this on a couple of servers a few years ago when we were running 100 MB.
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LVL 18

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by:Akinsd
Akinsd earned 668 total points
ID: 39776687
You can team the NICs together and configure Etherchannel on the Switch to use with the server. This lets 2 or more NICs act as 1 link while providing redundancy at the same time. If 1 NIC fails, connection will stay up.

This increases bandwidth which may increase speed but not necessarily. You will only see speed increase if the current throughput is exceeded.
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Author Comment

by:fasse
ID: 39777254
When looking at the bandwidth usage is there a log file that I can look at to see how much of the network is being used?  Only way I know to see this is using the task manager.
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Author Comment

by:fasse
ID: 39777260
We are looking at purchasing a new server with solid state drives in it and I want to make sure we will see an increase in response from our business software and wanted to make sure that our network is not a bottle neck of some sort.  We are running a GB LAN just wondering about if we have two switches does it slow the information down if I have the server plugged into the top one then a cable between the two.  So have the machines access the server on switch one and the other ones have to go into switch 2 then through one cable to get to switch 1 then finally to the server.  Hope that makes sense what I am asking.  Would it be best or increase speed if all the computers are connect to the switch that is directly connect to the server?
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Akinsd
ID: 39777760
Are the NICs gig ports and are the switch ports gig ports also.  

You will benefit greatly if they are.

You can still aggregate gig connections to get even bigger bandwidth.
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LVL 57

Assisted Solution

by:giltjr
giltjr earned 668 total points
ID: 39801574
Have you done any testing/benchmarking to show where the current performance issues are with your application?
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Author Comment

by:fasse
ID: 39801592
I needed to get back to ask a question of what is good software to use to check network load and processor usage.
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LVL 57

Expert Comment

by:giltjr
ID: 39802020
What OS is running on the server?
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Author Comment

by:fasse
ID: 39802146
Server 2003 enterprise edition
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LVL 57

Accepted Solution

by:
giltjr earned 668 total points
ID: 39802874
Unless your server is drastically overloaded, you can run perfmon.

With any application there are 3 basic things you need to watch:

1) CPU utilization
2) Memory utilization
3) I/O utilization

With memory there are two "sub-catatgories", RAM and virtual.
With I/O there is disk I/O and network I/O.

If you find that network I/O is your bottle neck, and your current server is connected using GbE, then getting a new server with more RAM and faster/more CPU's won't do antyhing.

If you find that lack of RAM is your problem (meaning you are doing a lot of paging), then just adding RAM to your current server could solve the problem.

If you find that your CPU utilization is high, say constantly over 75-80%, then if your application is multi-threaded adding an additional CPU to your current server (if it can handle another one) could solve the problem.

You also need to look at the architecture of your application.  If it uses a data base, like MS SQL Server and you are running the data base on the same server as your application, you may need to get another server and move either the database or application to the new server.

Basically, in order to solve the problem, you must first know what the problem really is.
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LVL 18

Assisted Solution

by:Akinsd
Akinsd earned 668 total points
ID: 39815050
Try PTRG, OPManager, The Dude, or Solarwinds.
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Author Comment

by:fasse
ID: 39822100
I will give these a try I probably should close this as it is getting a little long and off topic from the first question.  I appreciate everyone weighing in on this.
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