General discussion



By Hi-Temp ·
I have a question. I run a LAN with one server (NT 4.0) and it is a file/print server. All other computers run WIN 98 and have an assigned IP address. Would putting more than one network card in the server affect the speed of data retrieval??? Are there any special configurations I need to know about?

Thank you,
David Dotterer
Computer Guy

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

Depends on what else the box is doing!

by JasonC In reply to HOW MANY NETWORK CARDS ON ...


I'd say that the answer depends on how busy the box is doing what it is currently, and how much extra load you'd put put on it in addition.

I would think that if it's a reasonably well specified server, and just doing File & Print work it would be ok.

To give you some idea, I work with NT 4.0 boxes with three Four-port 100Mb NIC's together with the manufacturers embedded one (Total 13 ports) in as a Firewall; without having any problems, but the box WAS dedicated to do this.
Are you expecting to use DHCP Server on this interface? Bearing in mind that Scope issues or DHCP Relay will be involved in assigning addresses on different subnets out of different NIC's.

The only other potential problem is the WINS issue; if the server registers with WINS, which address(es) will it register? Will other WINS Clients be able to see "both" of the addresses for your multi-homed server.


Collapse -


by Hi-Temp In reply to Depends on what else the ...

We do not use DHCP or WINS and do not plan to. The box will have no extra load put on it as of yet, but if needed, I can solve that issue.
If all is well, do I just need to install the new NIC(s) and be done with it. Or are there other configurations to be dealt with???

Thank you,
David D.

Collapse -

Teaming/Load Balancing?

by McKayTech In reply to SORRY FOR INSUFFICIENT IN ...

In reading the original question and the other postings, it sounds like you want to add an additional NIC to speed up access to the server. Whether this would do any good depends on where the bottleneck(s) is/are and also depends on what the rest of your network infrastructure looks like.

For example, if you currently have a 10meg half-duplex connection to your server, going to a 100meg full-duplex connection would provide 20 times the throughput but would require that you have a FastEthernet switch on the other end of the server's network connection.

Also, adding a second NIC to the same subnet is not going to accomplish load balancing unless you have software on both ends to support that. If you have Compaq servers talking to Cisco switches, for example, you can use "teaming" where both NIC cards are run in parallel, effectively doubling throughput. Without that sort of capability, the only way to load-balance is to divide up the workstations into two segments and have eachsegment correspond to a subnet and a NIC on the server.

But before doing anything, you may want to open Performance Monitor and see if your network is, indeed, the bottleneck. If it's not, the time you spend trying to get a second NIC to behave properly won't be time well spent.



Collapse -

Teaming Network Cards

by JasonC In reply to Teaming/Load Balancing?

Another useful feature to watch out for is with Fast Etherchannel compatible Switches and NIC's.

You can add multiple Intel Pro-100 (or Pro-1000 for that matter), Compaq NC3120, or Adaptec Quad-Port cards, and have multiple links establishing one"virtual" trunk if you're just looking to beef up the bandwidth between the server and the LAN.

In this situation, four 100Mb Full-Duplex links literally equals 400Mb Full-Duplex between Server and LAN.

However - Switches that support Fast Etherchannel (Such as Cisco Catalyst).

Obviously, this will just shift the bottleneck elsewhere.

Collapse -


by Hi-Temp In reply to Teaming Network Cards

So basically it's one NIC w/ FOUR PORTS

but then they are connected to a HUB. But will 4 ports on the HUB entail more data being able to go through?

Collapse -

EtherChannelling with Hubs...

by JasonC In reply to SO BASICALLY


Etherchannel aggregated pipes only work with Switches;

If you connected four independant channels to a hub, you'd probably find that the OS would force you to specify a different IP address for each link, and then you'll be in to the multi-homing problem.

You'll definitely find that installing a Switch will improve performance significantly, as the Switch will carry on multiple independant conversations down each port simultaneously; A busy "Port 1" will not affect "Port 3" or "Port 4" unless the traffic is targetted at a device down that channel. The print requests will then not be passed down EVERY port on the hub, only the relevant ones, as supervised by the switch.

Hope this helps...



Collapse -

Switching to a switch

by Hi-Temp In reply to EtherChannelling with Hub ...

So i need a switch that connects the 4 NICS that are installed into the server and then where do I go from there. I have approx 10 client pc's.

Thanks for all support,

Collapse -

Components Needed

by JasonC In reply to EtherChannelling with Hub ...


I'd suggest that you go for "Intel Pro-100" Nic's or the Adaptec Quattro 4-port card, A small switch like a Cisco Catalyst 2924-XL or 2**2-XL will do the job nicely for the teaming.

You set the NIC's up in one "Virtual Trunk" which needs one IP Address, and on the switch, under each interface, you specify a "Channel Group N", where N is the same for all the four ports in the trunk.

The exact syntax of this varies depending on what switch you've got. On a Catalyst 4000, 5000,or 6000 series you'd use a "set port channel 3/1-4" command to turn ports 3/1, 3/2, 3/3, and 3/4 in to a single EtherChannel.

Be careful what switch you buy; I KNOW this is possible with most Cisco Catalyst switches, don't know about other vendors.

The other Hub(s) you've got can then also be connected to the Switch, possibly with a crossover cable (if the hubs don't have an MDI/MDI-X port) to 'contain' each hub in it's own segment. These will all still be in the same TCP/IP subnet, you're not routing them. The Switch then becomes the high capacity "BackBone" of the network. Any other high utilisation Servers (and even PC's or printers) can be connected to the switch (as though it were a hub) to get the benefits of reducednetwork traffic generally.

Have fun!


Collapse -

dhcp & multiple cards

by sadipara In reply to Depends on what else the ...

we have around 80 machines. our database file size is approx. 180mb. all the users are finding network very slow. server has 1 enet card. we are thinking of putting 2 more ethernet cards in the server. each card will be connected to a switch (so total we will have 3 switches)each card will have diff network addr. in such case how do you configure dhcp? suppose if addr are,, i"ll have to create 3 scopes. now how dhcp will know which ip addr to be given to the card? do i have to do any settings?
pls reply?


Collapse -

No real problem

by ChrisMS In reply to HOW MANY NETWORK CARDS ON ...

I don't believe what you intend to do would be a problem. If all computers have dedicated IP addresses, I'm not sure how you would configure each individual NIC on the server, as I believe that assigning different IP's to each card might cause a problem. If it is just to install more printers, I think that should be OK.

Related Discussions

Related Forums