I like to team NICs on my servers. Since most workstations are giga-bit anymore I want to provide my servers a bit more bandwidth. I've read various things that say I am/am not supposed to bond the ports on the switch. I see benefit in doing it as I'm not sure how the switch ARP table handles the same MAC address on multiple ports. Suggestions on the "ideal" way to do it?

If it matters, I have mix (various locations) of Dell and HP, web managed, Layer 2 switches. Servers are mostly Dell with Broadcom NICs.

  • NIC Teaming, port bonding (link aggregation) and port spanning are three different things. Which one(s) are you specifically interested in?
    – joeqwerty
    Dec 13, 2012 at 16:15
  • 1
    Do you really have a need for more bandwidth to your servers?
    – ewwhite
    Dec 13, 2012 at 16:17
  • @ewwhite - Agreed. Doing something without supporting evidence/data that it actually needs to be done is never the right thing to do.
    – joeqwerty
    Dec 13, 2012 at 16:21
  • I can't say that I know one giga-bit link is being saturated, I've done it because the capability is there and I want the server to have faster access.
    – KTech
    Dec 13, 2012 at 16:22
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    99.9999% of the time you bond NIC's at servers to provide redundancy (as having two different arms). Remember that bonding two 1gbps NIC's will NOT give you 2gbps bandwith, it will give you 2x1gbps..
    – pauska
    Dec 13, 2012 at 16:28

1 Answer 1


What is the server serving? I rarely bond connections on servers unless I know that bandwidth is a concern or I need to connect to multiple (stacked) switches for redundancy.

You probably don't have the need, but you should be able to create LACP bonds on your switch and configure the server side appropriately... What is the OS of the server?

  • Mix of OS's, mostly Server 2003 and Server 2008. Some are SBS boxes, two SQL boxes, one doing LOB Electronic Medical Records, the other hosting Great Plains.
    – KTech
    Dec 13, 2012 at 16:32
  • Ok, so for the servers that are teamed, I want to configure switches accordingly then. Thanks.
    – KTech
    Dec 13, 2012 at 16:34

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