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Is it possible to boost my server's LAN bandwidth with two Ethernet ports? I have two Ethernet ports on my Dell PowerEdge SC1435 and I routed both eth0 and eth1 to my router, but for some reason I'm only seeing one of the ports (eth0) getting an IP from my router. I wanted to know if its possible to "boost" the speed of my LAN connection to my server by having both Ethernet ports connected? If not, what is the purpose of having two Ethernet ports? Thanks.

Some specifications:

Router: WRT45GL with Tomato firmware

Server: Dell PowerEdge SC1435 Link

ip a:

# ip a
1: lo: <LOOPBACK,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 16436 qdisc noqueue state UNKNOWN
    link/loopback 00:00:00:00:00:00 brd 00:00:00:00:00:00
    inet 127.0.0.1/8 scope host lo
    inet6 ::1/128 scope host
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
2: eth0: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc mq state UP qlen 1000
    link/ether 00:1e:c9:30:7b:cd brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff
    inet 192.168.1.100/24 brd 192.168.1.255 scope global eth0
    inet6 fe80::21e:c9ff:fe30:7bcd/64 scope link
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
3: eth1: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc mq state UP qlen 1000
    link/ether 00:1e:c9:30:7b:ce brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff
    inet6 fe80::21e:c9ff:fe30:7bce/64 scope link
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever

If any other info is needed (commands to run, etc.) let me know and I'll gladly provide it.

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You aren't using that WRT45GL as your switch are you? I ask because that is a 100MB/s but the PESC1435 has 1GB/s interfaces by default. –  Zoredache Jul 25 '12 at 21:02
    
Nah, it's the main router. –  zzg Jul 25 '12 at 21:03
    
    
After running dhcpcd, both interfaces now have their own IP addresses... –  zzg Jul 25 '12 at 21:21

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Yes it is possible, but it the performance improvement depends on your traffic patterns and configuration.

Bonding will certainly work, how well it works will depend on how it is configured and if your switch also supports some form of bonding and how you configured the switch if it does.

Another common usage of multiple interfaces is redundancy. This is where bonding works great. Both interfaces will be configured to appear as a single interface. If either link dies then your network is still up.

But there are tons of other reasons to have multiple interfaces. You might use it for some kind of heartbeat for failover setup. You might use it build a router?

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I wanted to know if its possible to "boost" the speed of my LAN connection to my server by having both Ethernet ports connected?

Set up teaming for the ethernet ports server side and compatible teaming on the switch you use - if you have a switch that supports that. Otherwise: no ;)

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