Network Interface Teaming


The Docuarchive server is configured with multiple NICs to maximize potential network throughput. There are 3 NICs installed, two built-in and one PCI add-in. The two built-in NICs are configured as a Team (Team 1) and work in tandem as a single NIC with a single IP ( as of this writing.) The third NIC (coincidentally the same brand and chipset) is setup with the server's primary IP, This third NIC could be added to Team 1 if desired but is not likely necessary. The plan is to swap IP addesses, giving the primary IP better bandwith and potentially improving backup performance.

Create a 'Team NIC' on the server

In our case the software for teaming NICs was bundled with the drivers for the NICs. The software is called “Broadcom Advanced Control Suite” (Start menu » All Programs » Broadcom » BACSS3). The team was configured using the built in wizard and is very straight forward. The only special choice needed was to pick the “Team Type”. For creating a simple paired team (to improve throughput) the choice is “FEC/GEC Generic Trunking”. This information was found with some online searching which also indicated that to best take advantage of teamed NICs LACP should be enabled on the switch, this makes the switch aware that two ports are being used together as a trunk. This is covered below.

Enable LACP on an HP Procurve switch

First off, make sure your switch supports LACP. Not all of them do. If yours doesn't, or at least doesn't out of the box, check to see if there are any firmware updates on HP's site that enable LACP support, which you can find at You also want to make sure that the device you're connecting to the switch supports LACP too, but hopefully you've already done that since you're looking how to set it up.

Ok, to enable LACP (link aggregation control protocol) is pretty easy. You have to have admin access to your switch, and also access to the CLI (command line interface) which you can get through with a simple telnet session to your switch's IP address. There is dynamic LACP, which is more of an automated configuration, but it limits your LACP link to running in the default VLAN only. I believe you can just plug the Ethernet cables into your switch and it will automatically recognize LACP is setup, as long as it is already configured on the device you are connecting. If you have multiple VLANs and need LACP to run in a VLAN other than the default, the only option is to manually set up static LACP, which is what this post is going to cover.

  1. Login to the CLI on your switch, which you can do by opening a telnet session to the switch's IP address
  2. Enter the username and password when prompted
  3. Use the command “config t” to get into the configuration terminal. You'll know this worked when you see (config) appended to the end of your device name.
  4. Use the following command to create your LACP trunk of ports: “trunk 9-10 trk1 lacp” then press Enter. This will create a new LACP trunk using ports 9 and 10, and name it trk1 (Ports 9 and 10 were used because they were two adjacent ports available on the switch). For trk1, you can use anything from trk1-trkX, where X is the last port number on your switch. You can substitute whichever ports you want to use to create your LACP trunk. If you just want to use trunking rather than LACP, simply replace LACP at the end with the word trunk
  5. Use the command “show lacp” to check the settings. You should see columns for “LACP enabled”, “LACP Partner”, and “LACP status”. Assuming you already have the device configured for LACP and plugged into your new LACP ports, those three columns should read “Active”, “Yes”, and “Success” respectively. If the first column says “Passive”, go to step 5b. Otherwise skip right to step 6.
  6. Enable Active LACP mode on your trunk ports. To do this, make sure you're in config mode and then use the command “interface 1-4 lacp active”, substituting the port numbers you used in your trunk in the command. The command above changes ports 1, 2, 3, and 4 to active LACP mode
  7. Now you have to put your new LACP trunk into the correct VLAN. Let's say I want this trunk to be in VLAN 2. To do that, I'll use the command “vlan 2 untag trk1”. Substitute the VLAN number and trunk number of the actual trunks you are going to be using
  8. That's it. You should now have yourself a static LACP trunk on your HP Procurve switch, and it should be in the correct VLAN for you to start using.

If you want to remove a port from your trunk at some point, you can use “no trunk 1” which would remove port 1 from the trunk. You can use port ranges too, so “no trunk 1-4” would completely remove the trunk that was setup in the example.

For more information, check out the pdf instructions from HP here. To see the original post that pointed me in the correct direction, click here.

After doing the above show lacp returned this on our HP2824 core switch:

 PORT   LACP      TRUNK     PORT      LACP      LACP
 ----   -------   -------   -------   -------   -------
 1      Passive   1         Down      No        Success
 2      Passive   2         Down      No        Success
 3      Passive   3         Up        No        Success
 4      Passive   4         Up        No        Success
 5      Passive   5         Up        No        Success
 6      Passive   6         Up        No        Success
 7      Passive   7         Up        No        Success
 8      Passive   8         Up        No        Success
 9      Active    Trk1      Up        No        Success
 10     Active    Trk1      Up        No        Success
 11     Passive   11        Down      No        Success
 12     Passive   12        Down      No        Success
 13     Passive   13        Up        No        Success
 14     Passive   14        Up        No        Success
 15     Passive   15        Down      No        Success
 16     Passive   16        Up        No        Success
 17     Passive   17        Up        No        Success
 18     Passive   18        Up        No        Success
 19     Passive   19        Up        No        Success
 20     Passive   20        Up        No        Success
 21     Passive   21        Up        No        Success
 22     Passive   22        Up        No        Success
 23     Passive   23        Up        No        Success
 24     Passive   24        Up        No        Success
Last modified:: 2016/03/19 16:03