Teaming NICs across Multiple Switches

The powers that be have decided they want to try to team our server NICs across multiple 4506 switches. Is this possible? For example, a server has 4 NICs, and they want 2 NICs to be connected to a 4506, and have the other 2 NICs connected to another 4506 to create redundancy and load-balancing. ** They also want to try and use IP address to do this.** I suggested just running all 4 lines into a single 4506 and then etherchanneling those 4 ports into another 4506....but I wasn't sure if that would work for redundancy. If the first 4506 (the one all 4 lines ran into) went down, wouldn't the Port-Channel interface go down and disable the server NICs from communicating with the 2nd 4506? What's the best way to do this. I know we need to bridge the 4 NICs in Network Connections on the server, but what's the best way to set this up from the connection and switch standpoint? Thanks in advance.

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If your NIC’s are Intel Pro’s, they have a team type of Switch Fault Tollerance. This allows the NIC ports to be placed in multiple switches, however only one port is active, and the other NIC ports are on standby.

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  • Petroleumman
    Hello, JEAKINS suggestion is your best bet. Running all 4 NIC's into one switch creates a single point of failure which defeats the purpose of fault tolerance. If one piece of hardware fails you want your traffic to be automatically routed to the second, or redundant hardware device which would only be accomplished by having a separate physical connection to that device. You would use a separate IP addressing scheme in the case of creating a VLAN to route some sort of traffic off of your primary network, such as in the case of a SAN. Good luck!
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  • Larrythethird
    Depending on the configuration of your network, you may want to think about putting each NIC on a separate subnet with each owning an IP address. In my opinion, the best solution would be to load balance the server over four different switches, if the switches and the server support it. That way, you get four times the throughput under normal circumstancess, and slightly less than that if there are issues.
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