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Any benefit in using two NICs? RRS feed

  • Question

  • My WHS has two gigabit network cards, and my home is wired for gigabit throughout.  Is there any advantage to plugging in both NICs of the WHS machine to my switch?

    Wednesday, April 2, 2008 5:12 AM

Answers

  • Not if you are looking for more speed. It would be difficult to saturate a single gigabit connection in a home.  Also, you would need an expensive managed switch that supports port teaming to even get it working.

     

    There are some other uses like multi VLAN networks that few people use in a home.

     

    Wednesday, April 2, 2008 5:26 AM
  • Also, WHS itself, doesn't have the facility to make use of 2 NIC's, during the beta, experimented a few times with different setups, and it always created problems.

     

    Colin

    Wednesday, April 2, 2008 9:59 AM

All replies

  • Not if you are looking for more speed. It would be difficult to saturate a single gigabit connection in a home.  Also, you would need an expensive managed switch that supports port teaming to even get it working.

     

    There are some other uses like multi VLAN networks that few people use in a home.

     

    Wednesday, April 2, 2008 5:26 AM
  • Also, WHS itself, doesn't have the facility to make use of 2 NIC's, during the beta, experimented a few times with different setups, and it always created problems.

     

    Colin

    Wednesday, April 2, 2008 9:59 AM
  • Could you elaborate on the type of problems you encountered?

    Friday, April 4, 2008 8:57 AM
  • I'm probably being silly here - I just have this new toy and am wondering whether I can put all of it to use in some way.  I have a D-Link DGS-1216T switch that supposedly "supports static link aggregation."

     

    Friday, April 4, 2008 3:23 PM
  • Hi,

    Found that WHS doesn't support either bridging of network connections, or multi-homing of the server.

    If you have server-grade network cards, (ie expensive), you might find that you can either bond, or team, the two cards, but this isn't a sopported scenario. However, under the vast majority of circumstances, if you have a gig NIC, the rest of the system won't be able to saturate it anyway.

     

    Colin

    Friday, April 4, 2008 4:39 PM
  • My WHS was built on an entry-level server motherboard - which is why it has two gigabit NICs.

     

    Friday, April 4, 2008 5:27 PM
  • If your are looking for more speed by linking your ports, it is probably a futile effort with a WHS setup. 

     

    Think of it this way.  The fastest SATA drive I could find on storagereview (Seagate ES.2) has a maximum sustained read of 104 MB/sec, way under your single GB link.  Even with a midrange (~500.00USD) RAID card and a 4 drive RAID 5 array you are looking about a 700 MB/sec burst speed at best.  WHS adds overhead which would presumably drop this number significantly.  You would have to spend a lot of money to reach 1000MB/sec for even short bursts, let alone sustained transfers.

     

    Hopefully that helps reduce your concerns about the GB link choking your server.

     

    Friday, April 4, 2008 7:55 PM
  •  DDuckMan wrote:
    Think of it this way.  The fastest SATA drive I could find on storagereview (Seagate ES.2) has a maximum sustained read of 104 MB/sec, way under your single GB link.  Even with a midrange (~500.00USD) RAID card and a 4 drive RAID 5 array you are looking about a 700 MB/sec burst speed at best.  WHS adds overhead which would presumably drop this number significantly.  You would have to spend a lot of money to reach 1000MB/sec for even short bursts, let alone sustained transfers.


    You're mixing your bits and bytes.  Capital "B" is traditionally Byte, and lowercase "b" is bit.  A fast hard disk these days would be around 110MB/sec, times 8 bits = 880Mb/sec.  Gigabit ethernet is 1000Mb/sec.  You've pretty much saturated a gig link at that point.

    Having said that, unless you're doing a lot of simultaneous copies to multiple PCs on your network, or there are other PCs with teamed NICs, you won't see any speed increase at all.  About the only thing it would give you is link redundancy.  In general, teaming is not worth the hassle at home.  In a business environment where you'll have lots of different PCs reading from the same server it's very useful.

    Cheers,
    Slipshod
    Monday, April 7, 2008 3:57 AM
  • Gigabit ethernet (over copper) never reaches it's optimum speed (1000MB\sec)  I have only seen  400MB/sec from my setup (continuous transfer rate). The first thing to do is to use jumbo frames (can be a PITA if your network equipment is not the same brand). Improvements in bandwidth from gigabit ethernet are substantial in "processed" network traffic where the traffic is not totally dependent on HD,

    My media server is using this currently:
    Note that this is not WHS.
    http://usa.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=9&l2=39&l3=352&l4=0&model=1748&modelmenu=2

    4 gig lan overkill.... except when you are running 4 HD videos files (~2 nics get used). My "team" is distributed so the load "balances" across the nics. Specs 420 oc'd 2.8
    3gb of slow DDR (pc5300)
    4 x 750GB
    1x 160GB (Base drive)
    1x Liteon BD-ROM (shared)
    1x DVD-ROM

    Your speed does not increase only your bandwidth.

    ~Gozmeer

     
    Monday, April 7, 2008 2:26 PM
  • Thanks for catching that.  I hate messing up the bit/Byte thing.

     

    I just did a little test moving 2GB between drives on my PC and got about 33 MB/s (WD Raptors).  So, if a typical maximum write speed on a PC is about 33 MB/s, two simultaneous reads from the server should hardly be affected by the single Gb link to the server.  From what I have read, a single Gb link maxes out at about 50 MB/s with standard frames, maybe 70 MB/s if using jumbo frames.  As often as I am doing more than that at home, I agree it is probably not worth the effort to set it up.

     

    OTOH, is it really that much of a hassle to set up?  My switch GUI makes it look pretty simple.  I have not seen any settings at the motherboard end addressing it (ASUS P5W DH deluxe).  The motherboard I am looking at for the server has Marvell onboard NICs that supports it in other boards, but teaming support is not specifically listed for my future board.

     

     

    Monday, April 7, 2008 7:43 PM
  •  DDuckMan wrote:

    OTOH, is it really that much of a hassle to set up?  My switch GUI makes it look pretty simple.  I have not seen any settings at the motherboard end addressing it (ASUS P5W DH deluxe).  The motherboard I am looking at for the server has Marvell onboard NICs that supports it in other boards, but teaming support is not specifically listed for my future board.

    Which is, I guess, my question too.  It looks like I have the hardware already.  I understand that it would probably be a waste of money to scrap an existing set-up to accomplish this.  But I think I already have what it takes - I just don't have the foggiest notion how to set it up.  If it isn't that much of a hassle to set up, then why not?

    Monday, April 7, 2008 10:01 PM