Re: Linux NIC bonding

  • From: Dan Norris <dannorris@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: Oracle L <oracle-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2007 06:07:28 -0800 (PST)

It was my understanding that active-active required trunking capability on the 
switches so that the switches know that both of the network ports are going to 
the same host. I don't know if that capability is available on these switches. 
That's why I chose active-passive. 

As for Oracle support, I know that Oracle's biggest issue is supporting kernels 
that are not tainted. I was thinking of the 3rd party intel or broadcom 
software that the customer is considering putting on these nodes--not sure if 
or what Oracle would say about that. If anyone has experience with NIC teaming 
software from Intel or Broadcom on Linux, please let me know your experiences 
with it.

Thanks for all the replies. Please let me know if I'm wrong about my assumption 
above that special switch trunking configuration is needed to enable 
active-active. I believe it is required per the bonding.txt file in the kernel 
source that says this in the sections about active-active: "This mode requires 
the switch to have the appropriate ports configured for "etherchannel" or 
"trunking."" We're trying to do all this stuff without doing any real 
configuration on the switches.


----- Original Message ----
From: goran bogdanovic <goran00@xxxxxxxxx>
To: Oracle L <oracle-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, December 12, 2007 5:47:51 AM
Subject: Re: Linux NIC bonding

I have to correct myself...
I have recalled my memories for Linux bonding and 'active-backup' is possible 
(I haven't used it myself)...when you set mode parameter when defining bonding 
drivers here are the possibilities:

mode 0 = active-active (round-robin rule when transmitting packets)
mode 1 = active-passive
mode 2 = indicates either of them can be used

On Dec 12, 2007 10:28 AM, goran bogdanovic <
goran00@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Hi Dan,

I am not sure if 'active-passive' bonding under Linux is possible but why would 
you use 'active-passive' configuration? With 'active-active' you get 
load-balancing plus failover capability.

>It's questionable how Oracle would view that from a support perspective (if 
>they care at all).

As long as bonding driver does not taint the kernel, Oracle will support it.


On Dec 12, 2007 6:22 AM, Dan Norris <dannorris@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

I'm building a cluster using Oracle Clusterware and have configured redundant 
pairs of NICs on the Linux servers using the Linux bonding module 
(active-passive). I know how to configure the Linux end of things and that's 
working fine. However, the switches used by this customer (they're Dell 
branded--not sure who really makes the guts) have been getting "confused" by 
bonding and our simple ping tests lose about 50% of the packets when we plug 
the redundant pairs into the two separate (trunked) switches. 

This is only peripherally related to Oracle--it's really a networking and 
server config issue, but I'm hoping that someone with more networking 
background than I have can explain what switch configuration will enable this 
to work properly. The customer has stated that this will never work (though I
 have done it before at other sites and it worked fine). The customer has 
stated that the Linux configuration must be two active NICs
 with a virtual IP and virtual MAC. I imagine that will work, but I'm not 
familiar with that configuration and I don't think Linux has native support for 
it, so it'd probably be a Broadcom or Intel software package. It's questionable 
how Oracle would view that from a support perspective (if they care at all). 

So, the question: Is there some "magical" switch setting that would possibly be 
missing in a fairly "default" configuration that might enable this to work 
properly? I figure it's a long shot asking a networking question on the Oracle 
list, but thanks for any pointers.


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