question about, GIG and Etherchannel

If I were to configure 2 fastethernets as a ether-channel or even let's say 3 fastEthernets as either-channel, would it be as equivalent to a Gig port? Or would it just provide me some kind of traffic balancing system which in that case, it would potentially send as much data as it would on a gig interface since I'm using 3 fa's at the same time.

Thanks
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Shark AttackNetwork adminAsked:
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Ken BooneNetwork ConsultantCommented:
So you would need 10 fastethernets in an ether channel to equal the capacity of 1 gig port.   The number of ports you can actually have in an ether channel is dependent on the platform.  A lot of the switches have a max of 8 ports in an ether channel.

Now have said all that.  If you used 3 fastethernets you would have an aggregate of 300Mb where as a gig is 1000Mb.

But in an ether channel, a single flow will not be able to use more than an individual ports worth of bandwidth.  So any one given connection between two endpoints will not be able to utilize more than a single fastethernet worth of bandwidth.

So it does give you more bandwidth aggregate available than a single port and it does give you some automatic redundancy.
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mikebernhardtCommented:
Depending on the algorithm used, balance happens more or less effectively. But it is based on an algorithm and it's rarely equal paths. You could easily exceed the bandwidth of one of the links while the others have plenty of room. As already stated, it's best used for redundancy, with some gain in bandwidth.
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Jan SpringerCommented:
Some kit, i.e., Cisco, allows you to specify the algorithm for load balancing and it works very well.
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JustInCaseCommented:
Just to add that Cisco recommendation is not to use odd number of links in etherchannel (Algorithm can overuse and underuse some of links).
Article
Distribution of hashes depending on number of links in etherchannel (from article).
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