Multiple interfaces - All traffic flows through just one...
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if they're all conecting to a single switch on one vlan, then you'd do a lot better to bond the interfaces, that will then be able to more effectively load share the data out of the server to the switch. check out the docs for the bonding module, very simple stuff really.
does this mean I have to bond the connection on the VLAN side as well? Probably eh? I'm not sure my switch is capable of that. I don't really need load balancing. Just pointing a client to a specific NIC will do. Suggestion?
the vlan side? if you mean the switch, no. there are bonding modes, which do prefer this, e.g. IEEE 802.3ad bonding, which enables sharing in both directions, however if it's primarily just for data leaving the box, then there's no need for the switch to do anything. if i'm wrong in assuming that this is the majority of the data flow, then yeah you would want a more capable switch for bonding.
yeah that does seem odd, but a nicer solution which has that effect is often a better way round. what do your arp tables on a client show about the registered mac addresses? (run arp -n after pinging all 4 ip addresses)
? (192.168.3.200) at 0:4:23:b9:a5:18 on en0 [ethernet]
? (192.168.3.201) at 0:4:23:b9:a5:18 on en0 [ethernet]
? (192.168.3.202) at 0:4:23:b9:a5:18 on en0 [ethernet]
? (192.168.3.203) at 0:4:23:b9:a5:18 on en0 [ethernet]
hmm, yeah what i'd expect i guess. seems very odd though. ultimately it'll be the os replying to the arp, not just the physical nic's, so could be doign something odd within the ip stack... can you show us the full output of ifconfig?
I know it is not the kind of solution I had in mind. The article about the ARP Flux issue didn't solve it either. I also tried to, and this one is realy odd, create a static arp entry in the arp cache on the client machines. This worked on about half the clients. The other half (all two of them ;-) ) picked a random nic on the server to send it's traffic to. I could see traffic from the server > client using a different NIC then vice versa!
The only other option I can think of is to create entrys in both the arp cache's. In that case creating a static route as posted above is easier.
Configuring switches is rather new to me. What kind of support is needed on a switch when I want to bond my 4 NIC's ? I'd like to try.
it depends what kind of bonding you want. only IEEE 802.3ad mandates a bidirectional protocol. this is mode 4 for the linux bonding module. all others are generally indeifferent to the capabilities of a switch, which means it's down to arps and outbound traffic as to how they get used. so great for getting rid of traffic, but not so useful for recieving.