NIC Teaming and LACP/Etherchannel

notgoing2failnotgoing2fail Member Posts: 1,138
Hey guys,

I did some searches on this topic and pretty much have a better understanding now from the old topics I've found.

My only questions are two things:


1) Do both end devices (server and switch) need to be talking in port aggregation mode? Meaning, the switch needs to be configured with port channel and LACP or etherchannel if the switch supports etherchannel.

Obviously this is the intended configuration, but what I'm trying to get at is, what happens if you just simply plug into two ports on the switch and leave it as-is, no config on the switch.

I ask because we have some server guys who NIC teamed some HP servers and just plugged the two cat5 cables into a netgear switch and called it a day. And I was kinda baffled, I would have assumed that the switch should also be configured??



2) I am seeing that best practice is to create port-channel and then assign the two interfaces that are "nic teamed" into the port-channel. But this is for only ONE server.

If you have 20 servers and want to NIC team all of them individually, are you telling me that I have to have 20 port channels!!??


Thanks guys!

Comments

  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    If you want load balancing you need an etherchannel. If you are just looking for failover no etherchannel is needed.

    If you have 20 servers and you want them all load balancing then yes, you need 20 etherchannels.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • notgoing2failnotgoing2fail Member Posts: 1,138
    If you want load balancing you need an etherchannel. If you are just looking for failover no etherchannel is needed.

    If you have 20 servers and you want them all load balancing then yes, you need 20 etherchannels.


    Interesting, so the server would eventually see that there are no LACP packets coming from the switch. Even if the server is set to active/active, I'm wondering if it would really be operating in active/standby mode...
    (with no etherchannel/LACP configured)

    As for the 20 port-channels, thanks, that's what I thought, it makes sense....

  • UndyUndy Member Posts: 37 ■■□□□□□□□□
    1) Yes. The server will need a driver that supports LACP to do Transmit and Receive teaming. Microsoft Windows does not support Link Aggregation with it's own drivers.

    2) Yes, you will need to create a port channel for each team as the switch will need to be aware of the protocol in use.

    You can also do failover and/or Transmit only teaming which does not require any aggregate programming on the switch. HP uses the Network Configuration Utility to set this up.

    Wiki has a pretty good article on it. I am sure you can find more on HP's website.
    Link aggregation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Beware, Cisco uses the term "Trunk" differently than other vendors. For instance, Trunk in HP terms refers to port aggregation rather than tagging vlans.
  • notgoing2failnotgoing2fail Member Posts: 1,138
    Undy wrote: »

    Beware, Cisco uses the term "Trunk" differently than other vendors. For instance, Trunk in HP terms refers to port aggregation rather than tagging vlans.


    Thanks for the heads up. Wish the industry could agree with some terms.

    NIC bonding or port aggregation sounds like the most generic that could be used across the board....not sure why HP has to go out of their way to use the word "trunk"....

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