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have a server running Windows Server 2003. There are 2 Gigabit-Network cards on the Motherboard. What would be the best way to plug the network cables, so that the data exchange will be optimised. The server is used mostly for programmers and developers, which means a lot of different files used and users connected at the same time. It is really slow sometimes, if I make a copy of a few documents from the network for example. Thanks for your cleaver advices.

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Having the same problem with one of my servers sometimes. – waszkiewicz Jun 16 '09 at 15:58
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Depending on the NIC drivers, you may be able to bind the two interfaces together in a teaming arrangement so that they essentially act as one interface to the server. If one of them fails, or a cable is unplugged, or a port goes down on the switch, etc. then the remaining active NIC will take over and communication can be maintained. When both are active, some drivers will allow both to be used at once which will increase the overall throughput.

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Your switch will also need to support this feature. The IEEE designation for it is called 802.3AD but some switch vendor also have their own name for it. – 3dinfluence Jun 16 '09 at 16:05
Please don't attempt this if you are not sure what you are doing. It will create a ton of connectivity problems (like client A can connect fine, but client B is getting zero response from the server) – pauska Jun 16 '09 at 16:10
And where do I find those NIC drivers? The motherboard is a TYAN 6360, but the website nor the user's guide mention anything about it. Thanks. – Ron Jun 16 '09 at 16:27
If you have name-brand NICs you can usually get the control software from their web site. Many of our Dell servers have Broadcom NICs and we use the Broadcom Advanced Control Suite to team the NICs. Intel has similar software to control their NIC interfaces but I don't recall the name at the moment. – Justin Scott Jun 16 '09 at 17:44

Have you narrowed down your bottle neck to the network yet?

You don't mention what type of disk system is in this server. But GigE should give you about 100MB/s +/- 10MB. There are other factors involved but this one is a big one. So if your disk sub-system just a 2 disk RAID1 (mirror) then the disk sub-system is not going to be able to saturate a GigE link in the first place.

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No. I'm just using one card actually. The disks are in Sata RAID 1. – Ron Jun 16 '09 at 16:26
I would say that if your data is in a RAID1 with SATA drives then that's likely your bottleneck. Unless you're doing something to help speed it up like RAID10. You need to get a faster disk sub-system in place before you need to worry about making your network faster. – 3dinfluence Jun 16 '09 at 16:42

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