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STLTHX
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PowerConnect 5324 and NLB

I've been perusing the forums here and I am still not sure what the consensus is regarding NLB (Network Load Balancing) and the Dell PowerConnect 5324 switch.

My question is this: I want to place two Dell PowerEdge servers in a NLB array using Microsoft's Network Load Balancing.

The functionality that I am looking for is for the two 5324 ports to send the same data to the virtual IP's MAC address so that the NLB algorithm can process the request.

In addition, what is the procedure(s) to get two ports to forward the same frame to both ports participating in the NLB array?

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speedcolo
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Re: PowerConnect 5324 and NLB

In my experience, if you don't do anything, then the NLB traffic addressed to the virtual IP's MAC, will be flooded to all ports in the VLAN.  If you run MRTG, you'd see the graph for every port in the VLAN look about the same.  Every server in the cluster sees a copy of every request, and only one server does something with it.  If all you need is redundancy, this can work.

I believe that you can enable IGMP Snooping on the 5324, so that the packets are not flooded to all ports in the VLAN.  I have not tried this, but I imagine that all servers in the NLB cluster would still get a copy.  So if the NLB servers are in a VLAN all by themselves, then IGMP Snooping may have no effect: you still may get all requests forwarded to all ports in the vlan.

IGMP snooping would be helpful if the NLB servers share a VLAN with non-NLB servers.

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