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Wireless Networks Thread, 2 NICs in a Server in Technical; I'm thinking of putting an additional NIC (1GB) into a server which will bring the total tally to 2 NICs. ...
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    2 NICs in a Server

    I'm thinking of putting an additional NIC (1GB) into a server which will bring the total tally to 2 NICs. I was wondering if I did this, and connected two ethernet cables, would it load balance the connection or would I need to do something fancy?

    Also, what NIC would you recommend going into a HP ML350 G5 server? Preferably 1GB.

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Only if the two NICs are the same brand and the driver support channel bonding. Also your switch needs to support port trunking with the two ports the NICs are plugged into trunked/bonded.

    I find Intel NICs particuarly good for this. In fact a 2-port NIC is not overly expensive...

    Insight UK - Intel Gigabit ET Dual Port Server Adapter - Netw... - E1G42ETBLK

    The standard you are looking for on your switch/nic/driver is IEEE 802.3ad

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    For load balancing you will need some extra software.
    HP has their own network teaming software free avalible from their driver downloads page but you must be using all hp server grade network cards to enable this. Likewise the intel NIC software will only balance intel NICs.

    You will want a propper server grade NIC anyway that has offloading so I would recommend having a chat to your hp reseller and getting another hp card. They do nice twinport ones to. They are much more expencive than a standard NIC but it is worth it from a speed and offloading prespective.

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    Dell and HP both have their own network card teaming software, it is fairly awesome as our server gets 2GBps uplink from it. Also if one goes down, its still on the network

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    I have to agree, if you wish to implement teaming or load balancing, Intel NICs are probably the best for this. It's also worth saying you need (preferably) a manageable switch to make the best of this technology too

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    If you have installed the hp NCU and added both member cards to the team then you are most of the way there. It looks something like the screenshots here: Utilising 2 network cards In a Server

    Anyhow the team actually only uses one ip address which is setup on the newly created HP Teamed adapter that shows up after you team them. There are several different types of team:
    Network Fault Tolerance
    Transmit Load Balancing with Fault Tolerance
    Switch assisted Load Balancing with Fault Tolerance
    Switch assisted Dual Channel Load Balancing
    Your procurve will be able to support switch assisted configurations which will give you better bandwidth utilisation. This if I remember correctly the latest version of the NCU may even be able to set this up for you automaticly with hp switches.

    http://www.brianmadden.com/blogs/gue...explained.aspx
    http://www.howtonetworking.com/Networking/nicteam1.htm

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    You haven't specified what OS your using, although everyone has presumed Windows (and they are usually right), for completeness here's the Linux answer.

    NIC load balancing (linux calls it bonding) comes as part of the kernel out of the box. So you don't need to go off and find any vendor tools.

    Linux Ethernet Bonding Configuration -- Debian Admin

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