Can I team two ports from the same controller?

My scenario is that I have two switches on the same network for redundancy. I want to connect each NIC Port of a dual-port server to a separate switch in case a switch dies. I want it to failover gracefully.

I believe that Switch Fault Tolerance (SFT) mode is what I should configure because it's not a bandwidth intensive application. I don't need load balancing or aggregation. I'm not too worried about the controller or server dying since we have a 'cluster' of these application servers (our application load balances itself).

I've found many articles describing teaming across separate controllers, some that imply that you can do it on the same controller. I wanted to make sure.

  • Ok, thanks Chris. Now another question: according to this: intel.com/support/network/sb/cs-009747.htm you disable spanning tree on the switch ports connected to the server NIC ports, so how does it work? Is it just by nature of the link-state (up/down)? – user713849 Jul 6 '11 at 3:02

Yes you can.

It's worth reiterating that you will have introduced a single point of failure, if the NIC chip dies, the whole team dies. Because of this it's recommended to always have at least two separate NIC chips, though not a requirement. Clustering definitely helps, but NICs are cheap, and will failover considerably faster than clustering.

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  • Sorry to be pedantic but strictly not true. By introducing another ethernet controller you are adding in redundancy. The server as supplied is a single point of failure, including the controller. – user713849 Jul 6 '11 at 3:09
  • Apparently you haven't had a redundant component of a server fail without the "server as supplied" completely failing. You should reconsider your server's design if you can not separate a certain common component failures from a complete server or service failure. – Chris S Jul 6 '11 at 4:08

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