Server having 2 NICs or 1 NIC – Which is better and what are the pros and cons?

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Hardware
Networking
NIC
Servers
Hi, I wanted to get your idea on this. Which is better and what are the pros and cons to install 2 NICs on the server or only 1 NIC? 2NIC Configuration: - NIC1 is connected to the Office LAN/Switch using subnet aaa.aaa.aaa.aaa, while NIC2 is connected to a separate physical LAN/switch exclusive for servers (including proxy server) and firewall(to internet) using subnet bbb.bbb.bbb.bbb. - Workstation default router is the proxy server while the server default router is the Firewall port. ***************************************************** 1NIC Configuration: - All server, workstation and firewall are in thesame physical network. - All servers and workstation default router is pointed to the Firewall port. - Server, Workstation and firewall using subnet bbb.bbb.bbb.bbb

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1 nic per server if at all possible!!

A – multihomed servers are for systems limited by resources. The server has to be the gateway & firewall & web server & so forth. NOT an optimum choice.

B – even with virtualization multiple servers/applications are quite happy to share the NIC. 1 Gigabit nic always beats 2 100mb cards.

C – Multihomed server develope strange problems as Windows, being helpful, adapts routing.

Good luck.

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  • Amigus
    My rule is that you should only use a dual-NIC configuration if the machine's primary role is a firewall/gateway/router.
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  • Petroleumman
    Hello, I would agree with the others that your best bet is to use a single NIC scenario. Dual NIC's configured as your doing will most often result in conflict down the road. However, since you have two NIC's installed on your server, here are a couple options to put the second card to work. Configure your NIC's for either redundancy or load balancing. Redundancy will give you that fuzzy feeling that should one card go bad the second will pick up the work, or configure for load balancing will help improve performance by splitting the traffic between the two cards. Just a thought. Good luck!
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  • Greif1
    What about a file server on a 100mb network? Would 2 NIC's allowed a greater bandwidth to access files for multiple users at the same time? gr
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  • Paul144hart
    Your network should be designed to allow 1 NIC card to function as a server behind your firewall. It sounds as if you are using the dual NIC to bridge the DMZ and secure zone, which is bad. Dual NICs are useful to physically separate traffic, and is common when servers are sharing a private storage resource or private service. (Storage is also done with dedicated adapters). For large network designs, the other NIC is also used for management purposes where it is desired to have out of band managed servers. (IE telecom).
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  • JayCuizon
    Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. I am considering the option for a single server NIC.
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