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 Post subject: combine two LAN connections for speed?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:49 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 12:17 pm
Posts: 1522
OK, I took a few networking classes back in college ( a few years ago) but need some clarification and help (since this wasn't really covered in our class too much)...

I'm building a home network of about 5 computers and one "server" (which is running Win Server 2008 Standard--for both work and "play"). Anyway, I have an 8-port gigabit switch which connects all computers and the server together, and that is connected to the router and cable modem. Now, my question is how can I "trunk" multiple LAN ports for the server on the switch (say have 3 NIC cards in the server and connect to three of the LAN switch ports)? (Not sure if its called trunking for between a server and a switch, but at least that's what its referred to going from switch to switch).

I'm trying to find the best way to allow for the maximum bandwidth from the server to the switch so that when multiple computers request various things from the server (ie. someone is watching a video through the wired NIC, and another PC is copying files to the server, they don't bottleneck the switch throughput).

A bit of background info:
All of my devices are at gigabit capable, with the exception of wifi, which I'm not worried about here. All computers are running some version of Windows 7 (Home Premium or Pro) and the server is running Server 2008 Standard. The server is not running as a domain controller, no AD services, just as a member server for storage (I may also change back to WHS 2011 at some point, but I Don't think that will affect the wiring I'm trying to do, and what I"m trying to accomplish here as far as trunking connections).

 Post subject: Re: combine two LAN connections for speed?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:36 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 11:56 am
Posts: 14
Long and short is, you can't. Link aggregation needs both the switch and the device (in this case, your server) to support it. For switches, that means you need to have a fully managed switch that can be configured to aggregate the chosen ports. A cheap basic switch can't do it. Windows Server 2008 does not support aggregation (Server 2012 does), so your best shot there would be seeing if the NIC drivers can do it independent of Windows.

Realistically though, I doubt you'd bottleneck anything with just a single gig link to the server. Hard drive speed would actually be the bottleneck, so unless you have SSD's in that server I doubt it would impact it much. I work for a MSP, and one of the companies I dealt with has about 40 users on a single fileserver with a 2 gigabit link, working with Photoshop and related applications and they never complain of slowness, even during an ongoing backup (which also uses the same 2 gig link). Due to the speed of the hard drives (4 of them in RAID), it can sustain about 200 MB/sec, which is about 1.6 gigabit.

My 2c.

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