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I wanted to know are multi-port NICs common in server systems? E.g in clustering are they used always?

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closed as not constructive by Ward, DerfK, HopelessN00b, voretaq7 Dec 7 '12 at 16:35

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"common" is a relative question - multi-port NICs are available, and used when the application warrants them. Determining what applications warrant them is left as an exercise for the local admin. – voretaq7 Dec 7 '12 at 16:35

Q: Are they common? A: Yes.

Q: Are they used in clustering? A: Usually, but that depends on the specific implementation.

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Are they common?I mean are they cheap? – Jim Dec 7 '12 at 15:12
Common and cheap are two different things. Are they common? Yes, they are common. Are they cheap? That depends on your definition of cheap and in relation to what. – joeqwerty Dec 7 '12 at 15:16

2: quite yes

1: no. See, decent Server Motherboards have multiple ports, but I would not necessarily Count that as Multi port nic. This is really to decide. It really depends. Define common, define Server System - small web Hosts? Large VM Clusters (running 10g or better infiniband?)

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The OP defined "common" as "cheap" in a comment to joeqwerty's answer. – Michael Kjörling Dec 7 '12 at 15:16
So someone has to explicitely order it? Is it expensive? – Jim Dec 7 '12 at 15:16
Depends. Define expensive. Decent servers cost a LOT and have 64+gb memory - anything smaller these days will get virtualized.The cost of a 400 USD 10g dual port SPF+ card will not add a lot to that. – TomTom Dec 7 '12 at 15:18

Servers are meant to serve data to many clients and/or to other servers. For this reason it makes sense that even when not in a clustering configuration most servers come with multiple gigabit NIC's. When configured in a cluster configuration it's very common that servers use a NIC for the management network, one for the storage network and depending on your configuration possibly another for the public network.

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