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Load balancing VS Jumbo packets

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Old 02-25-12, 11:39 PM Thread Starter   #1
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Load balancing VS Jumbo packets


Hey guys was just curious which would technically be faster I have the ability with my Dual Intel gigabit LAN to team the 2 NIC's up or i can enable jumbo packets unfortunately cant do both.

and yes I do have a switch that can support the jumbo packets.

Thanks in advance!

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Old 02-26-12, 05:58 PM   #2
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My vote goes to NIC teaming for overall peformance.

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Old 02-26-12, 07:12 PM Thread Starter   #3
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I would question if there would be any extra latency or processing time by using load balancing over jumbo packets.

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Old 02-26-12, 08:26 PM   #4
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I agree agree nic teaming. However what do you have that will chew up even a single gigabit adapter?

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Old 02-26-12, 08:37 PM Thread Starter   #5
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I just want good backups I back up everything to a NAS and will be streaming media as well which wont really matter if i go with load balancing cause the NAS i have will not support it. but when uploading data from my machine to this one im looking for the quickest way to do it is all and i have the option of both.

So mostly looking for pros cons in this kind of setup. ATM I'm getting about 50 Mbps while writing to the NAS and reading I'm getting 65-70 and thats using jumbo packets.

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Old 02-26-12, 08:47 PM   #6
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Well the way load balancing works is a stream will pick one nic or the other and use it. It's not going to go one packet to this nic and the next to the other nic. So load balancing is only truly helpful if you have a lot of streams going. Jumbo frames aren't going to help much because your system needs to know about that all the way up at the application layer and in fact could slow your network down a bit via having variable sizes frames on the network and even cause interoperability problems with other equipment on your network. BTW the purpose of jumbo frames is to reduce processor load and not increase available bandwidth. Your bottleneck to your NAS is not the network but the drive itself. The NAS (assuming SATA) is only capable of around 100Mbps or so.

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Last edited by FX4; 02-26-12 at 09:02 PM.
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Old 02-26-12, 08:59 PM Thread Starter   #7
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I do understand how it works just thinking which will actually be faster with given that my NAS doesn't have the same ability Im betting jumbo packets might be the best because its still a matter of writing the data to the HDD but still don't now if theres a real down side to doing one or the other.

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Old 02-26-12, 09:09 PM   #8
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The problem I see with jumbo frames in this application is the stack needs to be tuned for jumbo frames. Is your backup software tuned for it? If it's not then you are just wasting bandwidth with partially filled frames and other devices not using jumbo frames in your network may run into issues on the switch side of your router because you have unequal size frames going into the switch. Do an apples to apples large transfer with standard frames vs jumbo frames will doing something else network intense (the same thing both times) and compare your throughput results. Jumbo frames are not recognized as an IETF standard because it is known they cause problems with standard frames.

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Old 02-26-12, 09:18 PM Thread Starter   #9
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and yes the backup software does work with the jumbos packets so im good on that end of things as well as all the hardware.

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Old 02-26-12, 09:24 PM   #10
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Wicki has a good read on jumbo frames. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumbo_frame

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Old 03-01-12, 04:20 PM   #11
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Tl;dr version: My vote is for the jumbo frames as you will be able to send larger chunks of data to your NAS more efficiently.

One thing to note with most NIC Teaming you have the ability to perform simple Link Aggregation Groups (LAGs), which allows you to fail over to a backup NIC in the event the primary NIC fails. This means that you will not have a full 2 gigabit link, but rather 1 gigabit with a hot spare.

More intelligent LAG Groups using Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP) will allow you to use aggregate bandwidth between multiple links (so 1Gb + 1Gb = 2Gb), but there is still a limitation that you can only use 1 link per individual flow of traffic. So in the case of a backup you will only use Link 1 until the full backup is complete. Other flows of data will use the other link in the meantime.

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Old 03-01-12, 06:31 PM Thread Starter   #12
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thats a good point. From the sound of that it would make more since to just use the jumbo packets especially since the NAS only has 1x 10/100/1000 port.

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Old 03-05-12, 09:35 AM   #13
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Be sure to test your throughput and watch for other nodes on your network misbehaving. Sometimes more isn't more. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying don't use jumbo frames, just make sure you are accomplishing your end goal of better throughput. Also watch for other devices on your network suddenly slowing down or having issues.

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Old 03-05-12, 01:18 PM Thread Starter   #14
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already tested everything a couple of days ago and through put is good on all my devices though I am thinking about upgrading my router soon so something with gigabit and jumbo packets as well to match my switch but we will see.

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