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I have a group of servers (debian linux boxes) and each gets a public IP off eth0. Lots of data is processed and passed between the servers. I'd like to create a subnet between the servers off each servers eth1 and link them all to a separate switch just for passing data between the servers.

When the servers are networked to the secondary switch on eth1, do I just need to manually assign IPs (from to each server? If so how exactly do I do this from the command line?

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

Possibly you want to edit /etc/network/interfaces and make it look like this:

# dont change eth0 entry
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet manual (or maybe dhcp) 
auto eth1
iface eth1 inet static

Afterwards, either /etc/init.d/networking restart or reboot.

This is from looking at my Ubuntu config and adapting it for your needs. Ubuntu and Debian are supposed to be similar.

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You can use "ifup eth1" to start the eth1 interface. – Convict Feb 8 '10 at 10:27

Yes, you need to assign to all your servers an IP. You also could do Vlans tagging to only have to change your network configuration (without installing a new network card on the servers and plug into a new switch). Then you need to create 2 separated vlans on your switchs and all will works like a charm :-)

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Just for testing purpose:

ifconfig eth1 netmask up

If it ist working, write it down in your /etc/network/interfaces

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