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Need Gigabit NIC supporting Aggregation/Teaming

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Just got an ASUS RT-AC88U router. the router supports teaming (aggregation) the 1st and 2nd LAN ports for speed upto 2Gb/s.

My server has an Intel I217V NIC (onboard, single port) and is running Server 2012 R2 Essentials.

I have submitted a tech support request to Asus but in the meantime I figured id ask here.

So first question, do I need a dual port NIC that supports teaming?

or

Do I just need a second NIC and if so can it be a different chipset?

If I need a dual port NIC, I would prefer Intel unless there is another reliable (and compatible) brand that is much more affordable. I am also hoping to spend as little as possible but am not interested in used (lets say $100-150 tops). I am in the US and prefer to buy from Amazon.

Also if I need a dual port NIC, do they make them in mini PCIe? I have the mini pcie that my motherboard would use for wifi free, ive seen single port for this, but didnt find dual port. My mb is a Asrock Z87E-ITX so I do have a x16 PCIe slot but id like to avoid using it if I can.

Thanks for the input.
post #2 of 8
In order for teaming to be worthwhile, you have to have something else on your network running at that speed as well. So if your desktop is running at 2Gbit/s but everything else is at 1Gbit/s, then the 2Gbit/s connection speed isn't going to do any good for you.
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Heisenberg
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Replaced with 42 W/hr aux battery Mint 17.3 1280x800 Dell 65w Dell Adapter 
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post #3 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by coachmark2 View Post

In order for teaming to be worthwhile, you have to have something else on your network running at that speed as well. So if your desktop is running at 2Gbit/s but everything else is at 1Gbit/s, then the 2Gbit/s connection speed isn't going to do any good for you.

That's not entirely accurate.

You could have more bandwidth available for multiple clients.

If you are only serving a single client then yes. If your clients are all behind a switch that has a 1 Gbit uplink to the router then also pointless.

If he has multiple downstream 1Gbit switches or 1Gbit clients connected to his router then there is a potential purpose.

Depends on the architecture of his network.
Edited by PappaSmurfsHarem - 1/11/17 at 8:50am
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post #4 of 8
Lets not forget link aggregation is used for fault tolerance as well. Probably not exactly what he has in mind for this but its one of the things i never thought about until I had it and now I'm glad i have that fail over for my personal server. First use case I'd think is for multiple 1Gbit clients though.

Edit: This is what have in my ebay cart right now waiting to double check compatibility with my Aurora rig. Looks like it should be good but can be OS dependent. Windows 7 was more of an issue in the past for me; esxi, win server 2008/2012 worked pretty much out of the box.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/201774093053
Edited by thymedtd - 1/11/17 at 8:57am
post #5 of 8
@OP

http://www.windowsnetworking.com/articles-tutorials/windows-server-2012/NIC-Teaming-Windows-Server-2012.html
Quote:
Technically speaking, NIC teaming isn’t an entirely new feature. Previous versions of Windows Server supported NIC teaming, but only with some very significant restrictions. The main restriction was that the NIC team had to be implemented at the hardware level, not the software level. This meant that you had to purchase server hardware and NICs that natively supported NIC teaming. Furthermore, the server and the NICs had to be provided by the same vendor. Needless to say, this approach to NIC teaming was expensive to say the least.

These limitations are gone in Windows Server 2012. Now NIC teaming can be implemented at the software level, so there is no need to purchase specialized server hardware. Furthermore, the NIC team does not need to be vendor consistent. You can create a NIC team consisting of NICs from multiple vendors.
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post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by PappaSmurfsHarem View Post

That's not entirely accurate.

You could have more bandwidth available for multiple clients.

If you are only serving a single client then yes. If your clients are all behind a switch that has a 1 Gbit uplink to the router then also pointless.

If he has multiple downstream 1Gbit switches or 1Gbit clients connected to his router then there is a potential purpose.

Depends on the architecture of his network.

This is absolutely true. I was assuming a fairly normal home network redface.gif
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Replaced with 42 W/hr aux battery Mint 17.3 1280x800 Dell 65w Dell Adapter 
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Heisenberg
(10 items)
 
Redemption
(18 items)
 
 
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Intel Core 2 Extreme @ 2.8GHz (upgrade) Intel GMA 950 2 x 2 DDR2 667MHz (upgrade) 120GB Mushkin ECO2 
Optical DriveOSMonitorPower
Replaced with 42 W/hr aux battery Mint 17.3 1280x800 Dell 65w Dell Adapter 
CaseOther
Latitude D630 Chassis Intel 7260-802.11ac 2x2 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Not telling AsRock something Pixel Pusher 2 x 8 GB AMD Radeon RAM @ 1600mhz (All the VM's) 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Crucial M4 128GB (8 second boot) Western Digital RE4 1TB Western Digital RE4 2TB Pioneer Blu-Ray Reader/Writer 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo Windows 8.1 Pro x64 Dell U2713HM IBM Model M (CLICKY!!) 
PowerCaseMouseAudio
Antec HCG-900 NZXT Source 210 (it was cheap) Logitech G502 Schiit Modi 
AudioAudio
Sennheiser HD 598 M-Audio AV40's 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-4200U Microsoft BGA1168 Intel HD 4400 8 GB LPDDR3 Dual Channel @ 1600mhz 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
SK Hynix 256GB SSD Windows 8.1 Professional 1920 x 1080p IPS Display Microsoft Touch Cover 2 
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post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by coachmark2 View Post

This is absolutely true. I was assuming a fairly normal home network redface.gif

Thanks for the input from everyone. Not sure I would consider my network "normal" or all that special. I have a Win 2012 R2 Essentials server running plex. I have a desktop gaming rig, nuc style work computer, Surface Pro3, 2x fire TV sticks, 2x phones, 2x tablets. Id say on average 2-3 devices actively used at any one time.

My thinking was this. If my router can support 1 device at 2Gb/s wired, others at 1Gb/s each wired, and wireless upto 2167Mb/s then having my server be able to pipe out 2Gb/s instead of 1Gb/s could be useful. Also this frees the onboard NIC to maybe be used for a VM?

In any case I got this on Amazon, https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N9HNXBB/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I am installing it as we speak. Its sees it and MS drivers auto installed, trying to update them now, then ill setup teaming and give it a shot. If it works awesome, if not I send it back and try something else.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
So far so good. $30 dual port mini pcie NIC (from amazon: IO Crest Mini PCI-Express 2-Port Gigabit Ethernet Card SI-MPE24046). While the details said its half size mini, i believe it to be full sized mini or I misunderstood the terms as my wifi/bluetooth card in the slot was half this ones size. I was just barely able to slot the new card, but the hole for the screw doesnt line up. It seems snug enough and its a server so it doesnt move around so it should be fine.

MS drivers were dated (2013), so i downloaded the latest from realtek and installed. Went into server mgmt and NIC's and teamed the 2 ports. Set aggregation/teaming on the router , connected the 2 cables and set my static IP. After all is said and done its connected at 2Gbps, jumbo frames 9k set on server and desktop, tested and working. Havent had time yet due to unrelated issues but I have a feeling that due to jumbo frames il get a bit of a better xfer rate (was getting steady 112MB/s from desktop to server for large files). Minaly though the teaming will just help in streaming to multiple devices I hope.

In my research it looked like I might need an Intel I350T2V2 which was about $130+. It would have also taken up the pcie 16 slot. Instead I got it done for $30 in the mini pcie slot and the drivers are actually compatible (my current I217V is not, and only works by having modified the inf file for it). Ill keep an eye on it in the next couple days but I feel like its probably money well spent.

Thanks all
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