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Old 12-31-2003, 03:29 AM   #1
kleptophobiac
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Would load balancing make sense for this?


I have a Celeron 400 box with a Promise fastrack ata 100 controller added in, with a WD1200JB and some 40gb maxtor drive.

The network throughput of 100mbps is way slower than the HDD can go, and I was thinking it would be cool to have two NIC's in there (two FA311's as it would happen to be) to allow load balancing to occur.

This would be a file server at a LAN party, and would likely get hit up by two or three people at a time doing reasonably large transfers like game patches. Different categories would be on different drives.

I would be using samba to do the serving, but I wanted to know if I would see benefit from using load balancing.

Also, if anybody could post a link to a howto that they found particularly helpful, that would be great. Thanks!
 
Old 12-31-2003, 03:40 AM   #2
chort
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Basically you would have to bind the NICs together, which is fairly tricky. I believe their is a HOW-TO for it, but I don't have the URL off the top of my head. In summary, it's possible but extremely tricky. What you could do is put each NIC on a separate network and hang two switches off of it, then have different machines plug into each switch (load balance the machines between switches) so you would have the benefit of multiple NICs.

You should even be able to host a game server with the above and have all the clients on both switches join in, as long as you turned on proxy-arp.
 
Old 12-31-2003, 04:33 AM   #3
kleptophobiac
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hey, I just found a straight serial cable!! I connected to my switch and it supports trunking!

So would bonding the two NICs together, and then using my switch's trunking thing work better?

Baystack 350T-24HD

This config page is really cool, and after fiddling with cables for the last hour, while not having slept for 30 hours, I feel pumped.
 
Old 12-31-2003, 06:31 AM   #4
ugge
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Trunking is a protocol used to transfer several networks on the same physical wire.
This is more the opposite of what your trying to do. Trunking makes it ables to have several VLAN to communicate through the same media between two buildings for example.
This may also be used to let one server with only one NIC serve several VLAN. Without trunking you would have to setup your server with one NIC per VLAN.
 
Old 12-31-2003, 10:51 AM   #5
kleptophobiac
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I thought I read in the manual that there was the ability to aggregate bandwidth through this trunking thing.

Sorry for my n00bishness here, but I just upgraded from a linksys 16 port switch, and am using it for my home network.
 
Old 12-31-2003, 09:23 PM   #6
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how could I have both the NIC's plugged into the same switch, on the same subnet, and still do load balancing?

Having the two switch idea would prove cumbersome.
 
Old 12-31-2003, 09:34 PM   #7
chort
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Try googling for "linux +nic +bonding"
 
Old 01-01-2004, 01:46 PM   #8
kleptophobiac
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I'm reading the article in the kernel-2.6 documentation on bonding, and it seems to make sense, but I'm a little confused about configuring the card using the boot scripts, and what needs to be done switch side.

it doesn't seem like those snippets would work in the slackware ethernet configuration scheme. Is there any howto for this where somebody has used slackware 9.1? The inet configuration is kinda new, and I'm a newbie.

 
Old 05-02-2004, 07:35 PM   #9
kleptophobiac
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well... I guess I let this thread go to weeds, but I have the bonding driver working, and one bond set up.

Now I'm using arch linux...

Now I just need to verify that this works.
 
Old 05-03-2004, 09:06 AM   #10
leckie
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ok well if anyone has setup a bridge they will find this fairly easy.
Firstly you should do some network analysis to see if the network it's self is not the bottle neck. But if all data is comming from the server then you should be safe. and yes the switch needs to support trunking or channel merging.

so, if all is good time to set it up. Install both network cards and test both. then fire up xconfig for your kernel and see if bonding is enabled. if not recompile with it.

so now create a bond interface. this will take the place of eth0 and you can put it in /etc/ modules.conf so it loads on boot. so append

alias bond0 bonding


ok now give it a mac address, just copy eth0

ifconfig bond0 hw ether bla bla bla

and an ip

ifconfig bond0 ip.addy.bla.bla

next you have to add eth0 and eth1 to the bonded device, just like a bridge

ifenslave bond0 eth0
ifenslave bond0 eth1


ow you may have to install ifenslave but mandrake has is preinstalled for me

now fire up a few workstations and transfer a few gig, then monitor eth0, eth1, bond0 and see what the data is doing. if all goes to plan bon0 will have twice the data as eth0 and eth1.


Also this has a very good advantage, while you are transferring the data, pull one of the network cables and watch your network function with out glitch.

yep have fun, tell us how you go
 
Old 05-05-2004, 03:31 PM   #11
kleptophobiac
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Well... I already had bond0 set up, and ifenslave compiled and everything.

Oh yeah, good luck getting make xconfig to function properly in a CLI only environment.

Everything works by the way, just wanted to let you guys know.
 
Old 05-06-2004, 09:18 PM   #12
kleptophobiac
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well... I don't know about it working properly anymore

bond0 is up and I get network connectivity.... but I don't think throughput is quite up there.

What do I need to configure on my switch? I tried setting S1 (server trunk) to ports 4 and 5, which are the ports used by my file server, and it just killed the connection. Any ideas?
 
Old 05-06-2004, 10:05 PM   #13
leckie
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well being a student and all i have never done this, but i have researched it for my thesis. here is some text of interest from kernel.org

7. Which switches/systems does it work with?

In round-robin mode, it works with systems that support trunking:

* Cisco 5500 series (look for EtherChannel support).
* SunTrunking software.
* Alteon AceDirector switches / WebOS (use Trunks).
* BayStack Switches (trunks must be explicitly configured). Stackable
models (450) can define trunks between ports on different physical
units.
* Linux bonding, of course !

In Active-backup mode, it should work with any Layer-II switches.
 
Old 05-07-2004, 04:38 AM   #14
kleptophobiac
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That text looks awfully familiar. Is that from Documentation/networking/bonding.txt?

Well.... I have gotten server side trunking to work on the switch (work as in, not kill my server's connection)

I'm moving about 11MB/s via FTP, but I'm worried that this computer won't go faster than that because with two clients connected via FTP and transferring, the box's CPU load is 100%.

I guess I'll give this a shot with dual P3's later.
 
  


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