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BDFL
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Topic # 112427 8-Dec-2012 11:19 Send private message

We currently have an HP DL server with two NICs. Because on Windows Server 2008 Network teaming requires OEM software (which we have but not configured for it) we just have two IPs on physical and two virtual network adapters in each VM we run for Geekzone, monitoring and other servers.

The idea is to load balance, but obviously there's no automatic failover like the one NIC Teaming would provide (not without manually changing DNS, then disabling NIC, etc).

From observation in the last month since we enabled the second NIC it seems performance has been marginally better and traffic seems equally balanced between IP addresses. 

Apart from the obvious automatic failover/resiliency of NIC teaming, is anyone using it and seeing better performance than just two NICs with two IP addresses?






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  Reply # 729010 8-Dec-2012 15:25 Send private message

Sounds like the NIC being used will be getting picked by DNS round robin when accessed by server name so there's ~50/50 chance of NIC 1 being used vs NIC 2.

If this is the case than each individual connection/transfer would probably be limited to the speed of the individual NIC being used.

With could be higher throughput on a single connection/transfer as both NIC's could be used simultaneously, howeve rwould only be noticeable if the other end could handle the higher throughout of course.

NIC teaming is native in Windows Server 2012, time to upgrade!

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  Reply # 729021 8-Dec-2012 16:17 Send private message

This is only native in Windows server environments from 2012?

I remember reading some stuff to do with bonding in Linux years ago. No I'm not a a genuine Liunx geek, but I'm surprised it's only been an option for Windows 'til now.

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  Reply # 729034 8-Dec-2012 17:08 Send private message

There would be a performance benefit you could take advantage of if you're flooding the capacity of a single NIC.

For instance if you have more than 1Gb/s connectivity available and you're utilising 100% of the bandwidth of a single 1Gb/s NIC then utilising a 2nd NIC would give you up to 2Gb/s combined bandwidth.

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  Reply # 729039 8-Dec-2012 17:20 Send private message

paulspain: There would be a performance benefit you could take advantage of if you're flooding the capacity of a single NIC.

For instance if you have more than 1Gb/s connectivity available and you're utilising 100% of the bandwidth of a single 1Gb/s NIC then utilising a 2nd NIC would give you up to 2Gb/s combined bandwidth.


Depends on your definition of 2Gbps, as I understand the port aggregation doesn't make it a single 2Gbps link, but rather 1Gbps for send and another 1Gbps for receive, plus with only 1 upstream 1Gbps connection (presumably), it's unlikely they would notice a significant change.

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  Reply # 729050 8-Dec-2012 17:57 Send private message

There are a few options for bonding, we run 802.3ad between our switches and it works fine. As mentioned it won't benefit a single data stream (ie TCP) but will help multiple connections which you will have. However I can't believe Geekzone has more than 1gbps of traffic?

Usually its set on the driver for the NIC itself e.g. if you have Intel you can setup NIC via the advanced properties page. Best to make sure your iLo is working in case you muck something up! Also remember the switch you are plugging into will also need this configured and would need a 10gbps uplink to provide any benefit.







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  Reply # 729079 8-Dec-2012 19:57 Send private message

kiwirock: This is only native in Windows server environments from 2012?


Correct. Until now if you wanted this feature then both NIC had to be from the same vendor and obviously have OEM drivers and software supporting it.

The problem with some bonding (for example the HP NIC on the DL servers) is that while all NIC will receive traffic, outboind traffic goes only through one (or is it the other way around)?

Anyway, not very efficient, mainly used for network redundancy/automatic failover.

I am curious to see how this works on Windows Server 2012.




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  Reply # 730616 11-Dec-2012 16:32 Send private message

freitasm:
The problem with some bonding (for example the HP NIC on the DL servers) is that while all NIC will receive traffic, outboind traffic goes only through one (or is it the other way around)?

Anyway, not very efficient, mainly used for network redundancy/automatic failover.

I am curious to see how this works on Windows Server 2012.


Not true. It does aggregate traffic, though it will rely heavily on what the supporting switch is going to provision. Some switches are built better than others. I've seen quad NIC's squeeze every last bit of bandwidth out of 4 x 1Gb connections.

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  Reply # 731907 13-Dec-2012 11:20 Send private message

We have HP servers and an HP core switch and with the switch assisted load balancing on the HP servers and trunking on the core switch we can see both NIC's sending and receiving data, but of course it always favours one nic more than the other.



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  Reply # 731910 13-Dec-2012 11:21 Send private message

Well, here we go then. Just got word our Windows Server 2012 software is out of the door, so will start work on a Geekzone migration to Server 2012 as soon as it is here. I will probably opt for OS-based NIC teaming from here.




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  Reply # 731934 13-Dec-2012 11:29 Send private message

As per Paul Spain... if your existing network connections are getting totally satchmoed, then cool, team away till the cows come home.

I suspect that primarily doing what the Geekzone does, that simple redundant NICs would be the best option.

Unless teaming can auto-fallback to a one-NIC deal, should one of the NICs fail. In which case, go for gold my son.

You realise that now this has been raised in public, a NIC will surely fail in the next several weeks...

:-P





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  Reply # 732814 14-Dec-2012 22:37 Send private message



It looks like now I have the tools to start working in our update...





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  Reply # 732832 15-Dec-2012 02:08 Send private message

Nice!

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  Reply # 732935 15-Dec-2012 16:24 Send private message

freitasm: Well, here we go then. Just got word our Windows Server 2012 software is out of the door, so will start work on a Geekzone migration to Server 2012 as soon as it is here. I will probably opt for OS-based NIC teaming from here.


I have no faith in MS to implement any kind of vaguely decent port aggregation capabilities in their OS tbh. Looking at the nasty mess they've made in the past.

You're better off buying a decent set of NICs with decent drivers. 3rd party drivers that do mature LACP are not hard to find.

Keep in mind you need to match it with a decent switch, some switches LACP can be atrocious.

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  Reply # 732984 15-Dec-2012 21:47 Send private message

vulcannz:
freitasm: Well, here we go then. Just got word our Windows Server 2012 software is out of the door, so will start work on a Geekzone migration to Server 2012 as soon as it is here. I will probably opt for OS-based NIC teaming from here.


I have no faith in MS to implement any kind of vaguely decent port aggregation capabilities in their OS tbh. Looking at the nasty mess they've made in the past.

You're better off buying a decent set of NICs with decent drivers. 3rd party drivers that do mature LACP are not hard to find.

Keep in mind you need to match it with a decent switch, some switches LACP can be atrocious.


This is quite important too.. does your hosting provider (datacom?) support bonded nics, either LACP or 802.ad depending on what you're talking to... And then what is the speed of the core switch you're connecting to (hopefully 10GB or something to make the upgrade past 1GB worth it).

I also have to agree that buying the 3rd party nic drivers is normally well worth it... And something I highly recommend (as long as they work :)




I work for Telecom Spark, but as always my views are my own.



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  Reply # 732987 15-Dec-2012 22:04 Send private message

I could have bonded NICs now as the hardware is supplied by HP and have the software for this already in the drivers and configuration tools...





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