Archive for January 7th, 2017
📅 January 7, 2017
Do you have a few spare network interface cards?
Want to increase your local network throughput and handle more traffic?
Link aggregation, or bonding, is a technique that combines two or more network interface cards (NICs) into a single virtual network interface for greater throughput.
For example, two gigabit NICs result in 2 Gbps throughput. Three gigabit NICs allow 3 Gbps throughput. Four allow 4 Gbps, and so on. While these are theoretical maximum values and other factors affect network transfer rates, the point is that multiple network cards acting as a single “card” can transfer more data at a time. As an example, more users can access the same server simultaneously without seeing any noticeable drop in transfer speeds.
Linux supports link aggregation out of the box with only a few modifications. Regular, inexpensive network cards and switches can be used, so there is no need to purchase expensive, specialized hardware. This allows you to reuse existing hardware that you might already have on hand. And yes, it works well.
While link aggregation has worked in the past, newer Linux distributions tend to change a few things, so older setup techniques need revision. This is the case with Linux Mint 18.1. For details regarding the benefits of link aggregation, please have a look at the article describing link aggregation in Linux Mint 17 and Xubuntu 14.04 (July 12, 2014). The information is still relevant.
Link aggregation works well in Linux Mint 18.1, but a few changes are needed in order to make it work. However, it is easier than expected!