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NIC Teaming or seperate subnet?

By buschman_007 ·
Okay so I'm trying to do some config changes to reduce network traffic between a few servers that seems to drag my entire LAN down.

the primary focus of this questions about setting up a pair of NICs. For this example, let's say I have Server A, Server B, Primary Gigaswitch and an optional Backbone Gigaswitch.

So a massive data transfer like a backup runs over the network Pulling info from ServerB to ServerA over the Primary Gigaswitch. When this happens all users experience a significant slow down in the LAN. Both Servers are Win 2K3 and have a pair of identical Intel 100Pro GigaNICs. But only one is up and running right now.

My options are these:

- Team the NICs together. Use Network Load Balencing to share the bandwidth between two GigaNICs. Then setup a VLAN in the Primary GigaSwitch and remove unneccessary broadcast traffic. If you feel this is the best method how should the NICs be configured to work together? I can figure out the VLAN, but am not sure on the proper way to configure the NICs for best performance.

- Setup NICs on seperate subnets. Have the secondary NICs go to a Backbone GigaSwitch. Then use some sort of internal routing to ensure only traffic destined for another server on the backbone is routed through the secondary NIC. Or perhaps IP filtering to insure only certain ports go through the backbone, like the ports Veritas uses. Again, if you feel this is the best option how would you configure the NICs in this scenerio?

- Have two NICs both going to the primary Giga Switch and with IPs on the same subnet, but use VLAN to seperate traffic. Again, if this is the option you feel best how would you config the NICs?

None of these options cost me anything extra since I have all the parts inhouse. Just looking for the best option to allow LAN traffic to maintain high performance in the midst of massive data transfer between Servers A & B. And then of course how do I setup the NICs in that option.

Thanks,
Mike

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by hozcanhan In reply to NIC Teaming or seperate s ...

Have you thought about "clustering" , if your hardware allows it ?
I don't recommend the not well defined "teaming" thought .Same goes for the second choice , connection to a common pool , VLAN etc. not the solution .
Rudimentary clusters were like option 3 that you have mentioned . Connect the two idling NICS to each other . If you don't want to spend money , nobody to access the servers throug this subnet use a cross cable like you said. Servers A and B should have to be configured to do their transfer from this new path . This is the simplest , best cost/performance method . I do not think you need a VLAN or any help to do configuration . You have to take care for not forming a ethernet "loop" between the servers A and B . For this you will have to either employ spanning tree protocol or use the new ethernet link with a different "clustering " protocol .

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by hozcanhan In reply to

if possible to add a drawing or a schema on this forum , do so ! can be much better to help you .

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by buschman_007 In reply to

I'm rating this unacceptable just to keep the conversation going before closing the question. But I think you are getting closer to the core of my issue. I have never worked with clustering servers before and would be interested to hear the advantage in a situation like mine. As for option three I didn't realize that's how clusters worked. But my thinking was to route traffic destined from Server B to Server A(and visa versa) through these secondary NICs. To me that seems like the most cost effective way to split the traffic so communication between those servers doesn't interupt the LAN/WAN. The configuration of this setup is actually what i feel i do need help with. Perhpas that seems like too simple a question for this forum. but if this is the route you suggest as the best it would be nice to see a write on how the NICs should be configured. I have found several things on the web and technet, but none of them have generated a config that does what I've described above. maybe there is a better link or maybe someone here knows this stuff like the back of their hand. just looking for some aid in that area.

Thanks again guys! I feel like we're getting close to a solution.

Mike

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by Chris910 In reply to NIC Teaming or seperate s ...

As a follow on to my previous answer.
on the newly added nic you do not need a gateway or DNS configuration at all. The (new) NIC's should be on the same subnet eliminating the need for the Gateway and you should be referenceing the other server by IP address not by domain name which eliminates the need for DNS. If your backup requests the IP address from DNS it will get the main IP address from the DNS Server.

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by buschman_007 In reply to

Thanks again chris.

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by hozcanhan In reply to NIC Teaming or seperate s ...

ok 007 , I mena buschman ! Since you rejected my answer and you seem a liitle bit far from "clustering " I will answer more towards using your 2 idling NICs . But let me emphisize that you are MISSING one detail . And that is only defining a link with a better bandwith doesn't mean the end of the new configuration . This big data transfer must be between some sort of a client server application , or app server - database server sort of configuration . Therefore , for better performance ( to separate other traffic from server-server traffic ) you have to do 2 things :
1. As it seems the best cost/performance option enable the the two NICs and force them to Fullduplex Gigabit through their configuration setup. Use a different subnet ip theme . You don't have to use a switch , cable speed is ok . Use a cross cable . If this cable speed itself is not enough put 2 more NICs and use aggregation to configure it as one link between the servers .
2. You have to tell your servers about this link . That is not difficult . A new tcp ip definition . No gateway use dns/wins whatever you like . But if you define/map the disks of eah other's or from inside the database servers define a new link pointing to the other servers disk this would couple up the performance . Otherwise the servers would try to estimate from which NIC to find the other server and get path confused .

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by buschman_007 In reply to

very hlpful advice. I think we are on the right track.

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by buschman_007 In reply to NIC Teaming or seperate s ...

Okay I went ahead and created a visio of my current config. I hope this helps you all visualize my predicament. User access the network 24 hours a day. So no Veritas reconfig is gonna help. I need to find the most efficent way to reduce lag on the LAN when a backup starts.

Here is a jpg of the layout:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/buschman_007/Network/NICconfig01.jpg

Visio2K3 version:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/buschman_007/Network/NICconfig01.vsd

Visio2K2 version:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/buschman_007/Network/NICconfig01_2k2.jpg

Thanks guys,
Mike

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by wroming In reply to NIC Teaming or seperate s ...

ok this answer will require a VERY LONG detail of an answer I will be glad to offer a very good solution just email me at wroming@harding-group.com and we will converse. There are several ways you can do it and will require some in depth questioning to give a proper answer.

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by buschman_007 In reply to

Thanks for the offer. I plan to get in contact, just some bigger fish have popped up in the meantime.

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