I have 3 switches, one NEATGEAR GS748T and two JGS524. Initially I wanted to connect them in a triangle loop, but later suspect that the JG524 does not have spanning tree support.

Now I have a Dell R710 with 2 NIC at the back. If I connect the server in between the two JGS524, which both in turn connect to the GS748T, will that consitute a loop?

According to my limited understanding, with 2 NICs there will be 2 IPs for the server. Will the file server even work or not? Theoretically speaking, will this configuration increase the access speeds for clients?

  • What is the problem you are trying to solve here? Even when the switches can cope with it, this kind of config potentially let's you in for a lot of extra work and erratic behaviour configuring windows itself. – Rob Moir Jun 30 '11 at 6:40
  • @robert actually, i don't have a problem except for not knowing if it will work. just trying to explore other network options. – Jake Jun 30 '11 at 6:49
  • I understand that, Jake, but knowing what you are hoping to achieve with various "network options" would improve the quality of the answers you get. This is why I asked. If you're trying to improve network throughput and reliability then I would suggest Pauska's answer is the one most likely to achieve good results. – Rob Moir Jun 30 '11 at 7:21

With the configuration you are talking about you have 2 separate interfaces which have 2 separate IPs. Unless you setup bridging between them then there is no loop. Server should still work but only via one IP unless you do a little more than just connecting them up.

Edit: It will not increase the speed your clients connect unless you do something else. The current configuration I am assuming you are talking about is you have Port Address Translation (NAT Overload, Port Forwarding, whatever you want to call it) on your interface with a Public IP. Doing this would only forward your traffic to a single IP for clients opening a connection to your public IP. This would in turn get translated and go to a single IP (from the sound of your configuration that is what it sounds like) on your server through the same interface every time. This would not increase any bandwidth for clients connecting to your server from outside your private network. There are other ways... but your bottleneck is probably your outside connection rather than your internal network. If your clients are on the internal network... then there may be other options but I guess a better question is what is the bottleneck in the current system you have.

Edit: This is probably something along the lines of what you are looking to do: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Link_aggregation

  • Thanks for mentioning bridging. But I prefer to give a tick to a registered user. – Jake Jun 30 '11 at 6:52
  • Uh, @Jake if you click on his user name you'll see it says in big letters, 'Registered User.' Creative username-chooser, maybe not, but registered user, yes. – nedm Jun 30 '11 at 20:09
  • @nedm sorry to user86181... i apologize. I assumed he is a guest user because of the low rep (1) and creative username. – Jake Jul 1 '11 at 1:21

There is no way of doing this safe unless you use different IP's for each NIC, and have clients who understands this.

If you are looking for redundancy then you should look at stacking two switches (Cisco Catalyst 3750 are quite popular for this), use bonding on your NIC's and connect each of them to a different stack member.

More information about Cross-stack etherchannels can be found here: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/switches/lan/catalyst3750/software/release/12.2_35_se/configuration/guide/swethchl.html


If you indeed have two IP's for your server, this setup shouldn't create a loop.

About the access speed: If you can configure your clients to use both IP addresses, this could increase the speed if the network is currently the bottle neck, but wouldn't help a bit if i.e. your disks aren't fast enough.

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