Take the 2-minute tour ×
Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I want to achieve the best performance with my two servers (SAN and ESX). I have good RAID (LSI, SASes), that is showing 1GB/s result, so the bottleneck now is network part since I have only two NICs on each port (Intels). I have also 4 Broadcoms.

If I`ll team 2 Intels with 2 Broadcoms on each server, will I achieve 4 Gbps performance?

I know that 10Gb NICs would suit my needs better but I do not have this option right now.

share|improve this question
    
What protocol are you using to connect to the "SAN"? iSCSI? –  HampusLi Dec 16 '11 at 15:21
    
Yes, I`m using iSCSI based SAN –  James Dec 16 '11 at 16:02

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Yes, this works fine in ESX/ESXi - we do it on all our servers.

Just make sure that you realize the implications - you'll loose any features that isn't supported on both the NIC's (like certain type of offloading).

share|improve this answer

Using bonding in linux this should work flawlessly. And since ESX is pretty much linux-based, i expect it to work as well. Not sure about windows though.

share|improve this answer
    
Appreciate your answer. Yes, but my SAN server is Windows based. –  James Dec 16 '11 at 15:14
    
Both of them should use IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP) –  Mircea Vutcovici Dec 16 '11 at 15:31
3  
ESX is not Linux based. Only the console is based on RHEL or on busybox so that as, mortals, can manage it in a familiar way. –  Mircea Vutcovici Dec 16 '11 at 15:39
1  
vmware ESX is Linux-based. Please ignore the nonsense comment above. –  adaptr Dec 16 '11 at 15:40
1  
@adaptr please read en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VMware_ESX#Linux_dependencies If ESX was based on Linux they would be forced to release the source code under GPL v2. –  Mircea Vutcovici Dec 16 '11 at 15:52

The problem with that is that teaming or bonding does not increase bandwidth between two stations.

Teaming can increase the overall bandwidth available to a host and - if LACP or the like is supported - on a switch as well, but the consumers of that bandwidth must be multiple stations/hosts/IPs.

The only way to increase bandwidth between host A and host B using multiple network connections is to... use multiple network connections.

You would have to assign each NIC on each end a separate (virtual) IP and route traffic appropriately.

PS. vmware bonding primarily offers physical NIC failover, and connectivity for multiple virtual port groups to the outside in a flexible manner.

Increasing point-to-point bandwidth is not what it does either.

EDITed just in case this wasn't clear: no, connecting 2 systems with multiple NICs in each does NOT increase the bandwidth between them.

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks. Nut ther main question was if the fact that NICs are from different vendors should affect total performance? –  James Dec 16 '11 at 15:48
    
Since all of that is handled by the ESX (Linux) kernel, there is no reason that it should. –  adaptr Dec 16 '11 at 15:49
1  
This isn't entirely correct.. I use 4 NIC's for iSCSI and use round-robin MPIO to balance the load across the nic's. You're right in the way that you can't get a single datastream faster than a single path, but remember that you usually run more than 1 VM on a ESX host. You should edit your answer to reflect this. –  pauska Dec 16 '11 at 15:57
    
pauska: presumably the VM's do not access the storage directly. However using iscsi multipathing (on separate subnets) is a great suggestion. –  HampusLi Dec 16 '11 at 16:05
    
May I wonder why "separate subnets" are necessary? –  James Dec 16 '11 at 16:19

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.