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Dual Ethernet without Link Aggregation

corfe83

Newbie
Joined
Feb 27, 2015
Messages
11
I have just ordered my first FreeNAS box, and can't wait to tweak it. The system has dual gigabit NICs, however, none of my switches support 802.3ad (link aggregation), so I believe I cannot enable link aggregation (apart from failover, which does not increase bandwidth). Correct me if I am wrong. I also don't have the budget to upgrade my switches right now, but I'm hoping to configure my NAS such that, when under the heaviest load from many clients, it will be able to serve up more than the single gigabit link theoretical limit.

Given my situation, I would like to just use the two ethernet ports as two independent network interfaces with two different IPs, both of which share the exact same ZFS datasets over SMB/CIFS and NFS. I would then manually configure some client PCs to connect to IP 1, and others to IP 2, and then in specific situations, I could theoretically get up to double the bandwidth.

Is this sort of configuration possible? Is it easy to configure? Any pitfalls with my plan?
 

tstorm

FreeNAS Aware
Joined
Jan 5, 2015
Messages
69
Similar situation here. I have a switch capable of LACP, but it enabling it caused my plugins not to load. There were some updates since then, but haven't had the time to dive in and mess with it. Right now my nics have 1 static IP and one getting it's IP from DHCP. Was also thinking that using the different IPs might achieve a similar effect as link agg.
 

Peter Brille

FreeNAS Experienced
Joined
Mar 6, 2015
Messages
182
Similar situation here. I have a switch capable of LACP, but it enabling it caused my plugins not to load. There were some updates since then, but haven't had the time to dive in and mess with it. Right now my nics have 1 static IP and one getting it's IP from DHCP. Was also thinking that using the different IPs might achieve a similar effect as link agg.
I'm also using LACP and I cannot load my plugins either. Where did you get the idea that this might be because of LACP?
https://forums.freenas.org/index.php?threads/no-plugin-enableable-no-plugin-configuration-menu.28249/
 

tstorm

FreeNAS Aware
Joined
Jan 5, 2015
Messages
69
I got the idea that it's because LACP because all of my plugins work, but as soon as I enable LACP, poof, I have issues.
 

Rilo Ravestein

FreeNAS Experienced
Joined
Mar 6, 2014
Messages
685
I have used LACP for a few months, just to try out some stuff, but never had any problems with plugins. I don't use LACP anymore, because it just really does not do what you hope it does. (this is discussed several times on this forum.)
 

tstorm

FreeNAS Aware
Joined
Jan 5, 2015
Messages
69
Are your jails DHCP? VIMAGE Checked? Nat checked? I'm really just curious about it, just learning more about networks, trying stuff out.
 

Rilo Ravestein

FreeNAS Experienced
Joined
Mar 6, 2014
Messages
685
I never use DHCP for anything NAS-related. VIMAGE checked, NAT unchecked, so just the defaults.
 

Black Ninja

FreeNAS Guru
Joined
Nov 11, 2014
Messages
1,174

Rilo Ravestein

FreeNAS Experienced
Joined
Mar 6, 2014
Messages
685
I don't want my NAS and jails IPs to change... ever. All connections to the NAS should be stable (meaning no change in network address configuration). Especially if you use IP-based connections, port-forwarding, etc.
 

jgreco

Resident Grinch
Moderator
Joined
May 29, 2011
Messages
12,153
I have just ordered my first FreeNAS box, and can't wait to tweak it. The system has dual gigabit NICs, however, none of my switches support 802.3ad (link aggregation), so I believe I cannot enable link aggregation (apart from failover, which does not increase bandwidth). Correct me if I am wrong. I also don't have the budget to upgrade my switches right now, but I'm hoping to configure my NAS such that, when under the heaviest load from many clients, it will be able to serve up more than the single gigabit link theoretical limit.

Given my situation, I would like to just use the two ethernet ports as two independent network interfaces with two different IPs, both of which share the exact same ZFS datasets over SMB/CIFS and NFS. I would then manually configure some client PCs to connect to IP 1, and others to IP 2, and then in specific situations, I could theoretically get up to double the bandwidth.

Is this sort of configuration possible? Is it easy to configure? Any pitfalls with my plan?
No, this is not possible. You're in the wrong forum. This belongs in Networking, where there is a sticky that addresses it.

https://forums.freenas.org/index.php?threads/multiple-network-interfaces-on-a-single-subnet.20204/

You can create two different subnets and then hook half your clients up to one and half to the other, and assuming you have sufficient clients you'll be able to take advantage of both connections. Multiple interfaces on a single subnet is an invalid configuration in IP networking.

I just wonder why so much against DHCP ?
DHCP is best used for clients, and usually transient clients at that. A server is generally a critical, key network resource and should not be randomly wandering around, changing addresses, become unavailable if DHCP breaks, or not come up if the DHCP server is unavailable when the fileserver boots.

Try powering off your entire network, then power on everything except the DHCP server, wait ten minutes, then power on the DHCP server (modeling, for example, the case where the DHCP server required a manual fsck). It is a very instructive exercise when your network is randomly broken because you "insisted" on using DHCP for everything and everything is now isolated because half the gear picked a link-local address, other bits decided to soldier on with the previously leased address, and nothing works right.

<moderator hat on>Please move the link aggregation discussion to Networking. Thank you.</>
 

Black Ninja

FreeNAS Guru
Joined
Nov 11, 2014
Messages
1,174
I don't want my NAS and jails IPs to change... ever. All connections to the NAS should be stable (meaning no change in network address configuration). Especially if you use IP-based connections, port-forwarding, etc.
That's why I use DHCP, you can tell DHCP what IP to assign to any mac , you can manage all IP for all machine in one place and they will never change, no matter what os you install on that machine. In your current situation , every time you reinstall or change os you have to pull one IP , then go and change it again with static on the machine end.
 

jgreco

Resident Grinch
Moderator
Joined
May 29, 2011
Messages
12,153
That's why I use DHCP, you can tell DHCP what IP to assign to any mac , you can manage all IP for all machine in one place and they will never change, no matter what os you install on that machine. In your current situation , every time you reinstall or change os you have to pull one IP , then go and change it again with static on the machine end.
And the inverse is true, when you change out the chassis you are using, the MAC address changes, and the network loses a service at a nailed-down address. Bleh.
 

Rilo Ravestein

FreeNAS Experienced
Joined
Mar 6, 2014
Messages
685
1) Usually you don't reinstall a NAS "every time*
2) You don't need dhcp for a new install, you configure the network directly from the console. Preferably via ipmi (that has a fixed IP, even if the dhcp is down)
3) what jgreco says
4) the dhcp service hands out DNS and gateway also, which I don't want for a NAS
4) since the dhcp often is on the isp router, it probably has te be reset often. Meaning configuring the fixed dhcp lease for the NAS again, while you usually don't reinstall a NAS (often)
5) probably more good arguments I missed
 

Black Ninja

FreeNAS Guru
Joined
Nov 11, 2014
Messages
1,174
And the inverse is true, when you change out the chassis you are using, the MAC address changes, and the network loses a service at a nailed-down address. Bleh.
I don't see why MAC will change when switching chassis ?! The way I am implementing it is: my DHCP server assign IP I desire base on the MAC of the nic and if this nic is separate from the MB , this IP address will go go wherever this nic goes.
 

jgreco

Resident Grinch
Moderator
Joined
May 29, 2011
Messages
12,153
Most network interfaces these days are built in to the mainboard.
 

Black Ninja

FreeNAS Guru
Joined
Nov 11, 2014
Messages
1,174
1) Usually you don't reinstall a NAS "every time*
2) You don't need dhcp for a new install, you configure the network directly from the console. Preferably via ipmi (that has a fixed IP, even if the dhcp is down)
3) what jgreco says
4) the dhcp service hands out DNS and gateway also, which I don't want for a NAS
4) since the dhcp often is on the isp router, it probably has te be reset often. Meaning configuring the fixed dhcp lease for the NAS again, while you usually don't reinstall a NAS (often)
5) probably more good arguments I missed
You have valid points: I do have have setup static IPs on all IPMI, DRAC ,SWITCH, PDU,APC Management cards or other management hardware. I am using DHCP to assign specific IP only for Computers and IP Cameras, not for management hardware. When dealing with multi devices I find it easy to manage all IP's from one place , without having to remember which IP to belongs to who, or manually assign IP on each machine. Something like active directory when you have many users, but for fewer machines I guess perhaps not necessary.
Whatever works best for your particular situation.

P.S. If you don't want you nas to get a DNS and gateway, then I see your point there,but No updates in that case too. As far as restart goes, good router shouldn't need to be restarted often, at least I don't restart mine.
 

Black Ninja

FreeNAS Guru
Joined
Nov 11, 2014
Messages
1,174
Most network interfaces these days are built in to the mainboard.
Right, and most are 1 port Realtek ,that's why we need to add Quad Intel or 10GB ports on separate nic.;)
But even if you switch MB's with build in NICs to different chassis , I don't see how switching chassis will change IP since the mac won't change so IP won't either. Perhaps I misunderstood what you meant with "change out the chassis" ?!
 

Rilo Ravestein

FreeNAS Experienced
Joined
Mar 6, 2014
Messages
685
I think he meant the chassis including mobo, since the main reason for changing the chassis would be another mobo form factor. Or more space for HDD's of course.
 

Bidule0hm

Server Electronics Sorcerer
Joined
Aug 5, 2013
Messages
3,710
Just my 2 cents:

I use static IPs on all my devices but I use "virtual" subnets to make the IP/device pair easier to remember. Explanation: for example I use IPs from 192.168.0.1 to 192.168.0.9 for the servers, from 192.168.0.11 to 192.168.0.19 for the desktops PC, 192.168.0.21 to 192.168.0.29 for the VMs, ... I also have the DHCP attribued IPs on one of these ranges, 192.168.0.101 to 192.168.0.109 for example ;)
 

Black Ninja

FreeNAS Guru
Joined
Nov 11, 2014
Messages
1,174
I think he meant the chassis including mobo, since the main reason for changing the chassis would be another mobo form factor. Or more space for HDD's of course.
Well if you change MB , it's different computer , it don't matter what chassis is in. My point was that the MAC should be the same for the MB's build in NIC no matter where is going to go.
 
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