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SMB Multichannel


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I recently installed windows 8.1 on one of the desktop's in the house

the Microserver's already running windows 8.1


anyway earlier tonight i noticed when i copy from one to the other on the microserver the load is split across both nic's

the desktop also has two nic's but the second was disabled in the bios


anyway i just enabled it

im copying from my fastest mechanical drive in the machine (200 max sustained)


was well supprised by this knew nothing about it being added to SMB 3.0





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Interesting information. I knew Server 2012 had really made NIC teaming easy, but I did not know that carried down into Windows 8.1.

Thanks for the post!

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Its not even teaming you can do that also but i havnt


by default smb 3 is multi path so every ip you have active is passed on to smb 3 + clients for use

it works very very well i just wish it was back ported to win7


i wonder how long it will take for samba to implement it



this is an interesting read btw




I need to look into adding secondary links too switches around the house now for the future

luckily every room as atleast 2 cables


though im not sure how it will work with uplinked switches with multiple uplinks


it certainly works stuplidly well with the pc im using atm though thats directly wired to the 24 port switch that the microserver's wired into

Edited by Shonk
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If both NICs are being used transmit and receive data, isn't that kinda NIC teaming by definition?

They are different and can be combined.

Section 3 in the link Shonk provided above gives a good tutorial.

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The way i have it setup at the moment

smb is smart enough to realise i have two ip's and makes use of it


any other protocol wont see any gains ofc


where as if i setup teaming it may in the right situation


I mainly use smb so its just fine for me

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I read the article. The whole idea of Loop Bonding/Link Aggregation/MultiChannel Ethernet/NIC Teaming is that more than one NIC can be used to increase performance over a network. SMB MultiChannel does this, so, in that sense it meets the criteria.


That said, I can certainly see a use for differentiating between SMB MultiChannel and NIC Teaming. For example, SMB MultiChannel does its multichanneling by using multiple CPU cores, while NIC Teaming does it by aggregating the transceivers in the NICs themselves. This is why SMB MultiChannel and NIC Teaming can be combined - they're using different techniques. In some ways, it's reminiscent of the OSI 7 layer model. I can think of SMB MultiChannel as working at the Session layer and NIC Teaming at the Link or Network layer, or maybe NIC Teaming at the Link Layer and SMB MultiChannel at the Network Layer. I'm not trying to make a hard and fast analogy here, only that the techniques work in different ways.


I can envision a situation where someone might want to enable NIC Teaming but disable SMB MultiChannel because they don't want CPU performance hindered by having cores taken up for network I/O.


This raises another question. How many NICs do their Teaming by using multiple CPU cores: none? some? most?  Do higher end NICs do it onboard and cheaper NICs use the CPU (like RAID cards)?


As shonk says, SMB MultiChanneling can only work when it's enabled (which it is by default on Server 2012 and Windows 8+), whereas NIC Teaming should work with almost any network messaging protocol. That might make it more suitable for some OS'.


Maybe, in the end, we can group all these network performance boosting techniques under the umbrella of Ethernet MultiChanneling and use NIC Teaming and SMB MultiChanneling to drill down to specific performance boosting techniques.



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