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I want to maximize the throughput of a data transfer between two servers. The copy will be made at the application layer using Robocopy.

To clear things up, please check my Visio schema of the network:

FS1---------(SW1)===========(SW2)--------- FS2
  • SW1 to SW2 is connected through 10 gigabit Fiber Channel ethernet
  • FS1 to SW1 is connected through 1 gigabit ethernet
  • FS2 to SW2 is connected through 1 gigabit ethernet

I first idea I've come up with is to use LACP, so I could use two Gigabit Ethernet between each server and the switch. A collegue told me that LACP is for availability and not performance, so he reckon this solution will not work. Is he right? Do I have other options?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

He is partially right: Using LACP can increase availability due to it's automatic nature e.g. regarding dead links, but basically it's a protocol to control the bonding, regardless if it's used for performance enhancement or better resilience. So, your idea should work if all participating devices support it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Link_Aggregation_Control_Protocol#Link_Aggregation_Control_Protocol

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1.) The speed a given flow still cannot exceed 1gbps.

2.) Ethernet bonding uses some kind of hashing algorithm to assign flows to members of the bundle. Unless the algorithm in use can look a L4 info it will tend to put all of the flows between your two hosts into only one of the links.

If you can't make Robocopy run multiple flows in parallel then you aren't going to get a performance increase.

As to your friend's question - bonding links can provide both fault tolerance and improved performance if appropriately designed and configured, and is used for both purposes quite commonly.

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