How To Set Up Switch Link Aggregation
Just a few notes to add to [URL="http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/content/view/30556/53/"]Doug's discussion[/URL] based on a few observations and some research at this end. The fact that the QNAP TS509 supports load balancing on it's dual LAN end had me thinking about Link Aggregation and 803.2ad. We also had several workstations with dual gigabit ports. So a few surprises:
1. The [URL="http://www.dlink.com/products/?sec=0&pid=324"]Dlink 1216T[/URL] "websmart" switch supports trunking, but does not explicitly indicate 803.2ad support. It does indicate support for Link Aggregation. So there looks to be a manual variant of 802.3ad which is referred to as such on some switches. This trunking setup on the 1216T does not work on the TS509 NAS although you can configure the trunk and set the NAS to its load balancing mode. So everything looks right, and you can connect but looking at the port stats..it's not load balancing. Qnap does indicate that the switch must support 802.3ad to work with the TS509 NAS load balancing option.
2. The Asus P5W-DH motherboards (older) have dual gigabit (Marvel Yukon) that don't advertise link aggregation. However you can go to Marvel's site and download their teaming driver tool..and it works. The software has you create a team, then add the two onboard NIC's to it. The driver allows you to choose Basic, Static, or Dynamic modes depending on your switch's capabilities. With the aforementioned 1216T the drive worked in static mode. The Marvell driver information indicates that the "Dynamic" setting will only work on switches with full 802.3ad support.
3. The Nvidia (680i) based Asus P5N32 (older) motherboard supports something they call teaming with is entirely managed at the workstation and did not work with a tunnel on the 1216T. Having the teaming mode enabled made no difference in our tests, but to be fair, we did not perform the multiple client load test. It this works, it would be a very cheap way to get link aggregation working, with even a very cheap switch.
In testing, the Marvel teamed NIC's on the P5W-DH motherboard did indeed work as advertised with multiple loads...the only Link Aggregation that we got working. The trunk was established on the 1216T switch and the driver on the workstation set to "Static" mode. Given the performance of this board with the onboard RAID chips, it would make a good base for an inexpensive server or NAS with some load balancing capabilities. We were able to hit the max tested transfer rates simultaneously to two test workstions (vs single tests) using this setup. In most cases hitting a single ethernet port device cuts it's output in half.
It would appear that the standard is a bit loose and that the terms "Trunking", "Teaming", and Link Aggregation" may represent some, but not necessarily all of the 802.3ad specification on a given device. I would guess that if the hardware does not specify 802.3ad, don't assume it has support for the full feature set of automatic link aggregration.
So the big question. Is there a 16 port gigabit switch out there with [I]full[/I] 802.3ad support for under $800?
All HP Gigabit switches seem to support it. I'm close to pulling the trigger on one myself.
ow! 300 for 16 ports?
HP sells a line of switches, Procurve, that are worth looking at. They're managed and they have a lifetime guarantee.
As long as you own the switch, next business day advanced replacment.
If you're willing to use a web interface rather than out of band management, the 1800G series is very reasonable. 1800-8G is 8 gig ports for $177.66 at Amazon, the 1800-24G is 22 gigE ports plus ports you can play with other media in for $353. No 16 way, but the 8 way is very cost-effective for smaller LANs.
Both of these are fanless.
802.3ad is supported (and honestly, it probably is on the D-link switch as well, if not documented as such.) I haven't needed to return a Procurve yet (in the 3 years I've been using them, and that's probably 60-90 switches across several buildings, dodgy power in some, very warm telco closets, etc.)
I've thrown away a lot of D-link gear in my life.
If you want gig plus out-of-band management, you spend quite a bit more, but if you only need 100M with management, there's a fanless 10/100 x 24 port for just over $200 these days.
You'll want to read this: [url]http://forums.smallnetbuilder.com/showthread.php?t=463[/url]
The 3Com switch does have full 802.3ad support...and it does seem to make a significant performance difference if all of the other factors are accounted for. The Dlink 1216T switch supports "trunking" or static link aggregation but this is only a subset of 803.2ad. Clearly the 3Com at $275 has a better feature set with VOIP VLAN, IP/MAC based ACL and a whole pile of other stuff. I checked the Procurve units out but could not find one with 803.2ad support that Layer 3 managed..and expensive.
Btw, neither of the HP Procurve switches mentioned above support 802.3ad, link aggregation.
[QUOTE=Unregistered;2927]All HP Gigabit switches seem to support it. I'm close to pulling the trigger on one myself.
You seem to be correct about the first one.. sorry about that.
However, the second one supports Link Aggregation:
* Jumbo Packet support: to improve performance of large data transfers
Resiliency and high availability
* IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP): provides link-level redundancy with support for up to 4 trunks on the ProCurve Switch 1800-8G and 12 trunks on the ProCurve Switch 1800-24G, each with up to 8 links (ports) per trunk
I stand corrected. It's a bit more expensive at around $400, but you also have eight more ports. If planning a few workstations connected using LACL, not a bad idea to have extra ports on hand. One thing that is great is the "Designed with no fan" approach. The 3com switch has two fans and is noisy. The Dlink is worse. I'd pay an extra $100 for eight more ports, and .... silence.
Intel NIC's and Windows 7
I own several Intel pro/1000 GT PCI NICS. My idea was to team them together to get 2 x 1Gb/s trunks. I found out, this will not work using the Intel drivers. Intel's Advanved Network Service (ANS) that supports 802.3ad LACP, will only work when a Intel server NIC is installed. When this is the case, a desktop NIC might be able team with it.
So, I have to install one pro/1000 server and pro/1000 GT NIC and team them you would think.
Unfortunatly, Intel is no longer supporting there PCI-X server NIC's for Windows 7.
They are supported by Windows 7 "in the box" drivers who do not have ANS. The only way to get the ANS to work with Windows 7, seems to be by buying Intel PCI-e server NIC's. They will not fit in "older" mainboards however, so you must calculate a new mainboard, cpu and memory to the new NIC aswell. Link Aggregation better be good, because it sure is costing a lot, to get it working.
[quote=Unregistered;12125]I own several Intel pro/1000 GT PCI NICS. My idea was to team them together to get 2 x 1Gb/s trunks. I found out, this will not work using the Intel drivers. Intel's Advanved Network Service (ANS) that supports 802.3ad LACP, will only work when a Intel server NIC is installed. When this is the case, a desktop NIC might be able team with it.[/quote]
I have also found limitations for Intel NIC teaming in Vista.
16port gigE nonblocking managed switch with LACP / 802.3ad
kti networks 1604, picked mine up today, shipped about $415
After closer consideration my question may also be appropratiate here.
In the artice is said:
If two ports are configured as a single LAG between two gigabit switches, there will be two Gbps total bandwidth between the two switches (1 Gbps in each direction). "
Shouldn't this be 2 Gbps in each direction as the link is full duplex?
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