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ALB only using 1 NIC

Occasional Contributor

ALB only using 1 NIC

I have 2 P4500 connected to a windows 2008 R2 server.
2 P4500
2 2910 Switches
2 Nic's in the server

I have everything connected as in the manual for ALB configuration
P 4500 connected to both switches.
Trunk between the 2 switches
Server connected to both switches.

When I start copying data from or to the P4500 only one nic transfer the data.
When I disconnect the nic that is transfering the data the other nic is picking up the data stream.

We use the software version 8.5
I found a thread that version 8.5 is not doing load balancing yet?

Is this right?
Fred Blum
Regular Advisor

Re: ALB only using 1 NIC

I assume you are refering to the Advanced Load Balancing setting on the NICs. The name is misleading as it indeed only receives on one NIC but sends on both. In the HP controller software the name has been changed to Transmit load balancing and fail-over. to have 2GB up and down you have to go with link aggregation. But I have read in the HP docs that that only works with one switch so no switch redundancy. The experts please correct me with an example config for the 2910al switch.

Did you test your rig? What results are you seeing? See my post on SQLIO results and test settings with a P4300 which has 2x8 disks so less Iops as your P4500 (2x12).

I assume you've set ALB, jumbo and flow control as the Networking Best Practices Guide.
Did you enable RSTP on the 2910?

My config as I recall:
spanning-tree config-name MYSAN
spanning-tree config-revision 1
spanning-tree force-version rstp-operation
spanning-tree instance 1 vlan 1
spanning-tree instance 1 priority 2
(different for second switch)

Matthew D
Frequent Advisor

Re: ALB only using 1 NIC

Did you install the Lefthand Windows Solution Pack? The MPIO DSM should allow you to better utilize all available ports.
Frequent Advisor

Re: ALB only using 1 NIC

Ah but the LH MPIO DSM (at least for 8.5) is not active active so only uses one NIC at a time. There is a new v9 DSM out via Windows update just in the last couple of days, but I'm not sure I want to try it without some more information about it. I was told from LH support that V9 would support it.

I found that the MS MPIO DSM used more than one NIC but only talked to one node at a time so iOPS were lower even if max throughput was higher with 2 NICs being used simultaneously. The LH DSM opened multiple connections to each node and so was better spreading i/o across nodes.