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Broadcom Gigabit Ethernet Teaming Services

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Broadcom Gigabit Ethernet Teaming Services: Broadcom NetXtreme® 57XX User Guide

Executive Summary

Teaming Mechanisms

Teaming and Other Advanced Networking Features

General Network Considerations

Application Considerations

Troubleshooting Teaming Problems

Frequently Asked Questions

Appendix A: Event Log Messages


Executive Summary

Glossary

Teaming Concepts

Software Components

Hardware Requirements

Supported Teaming by Operating System

Utilities for Configuring Teaming by Operating System

Supported Features by Team Type

Selecting a Team Type

This white paper describes the technology and implementation considerations when working with the network teaming services offered by the Broadcom software shipped with Dell�s servers and storage products. The goal of Broadcom teaming services is to provide fault tolerance and link aggregation across a team of two or more adapters. The information in this document is provided to assist IT professionals during the deployment and troubleshooting of server applications that require network fault tolerance and load balancing.

Glossary

Table 1: Glossary

Item Definition
BACS Broadcom Advanced Control Suite
BASP Broadcom Advanced Server Program (intermediate driver)
Smart Load Balancing™ and Failover Switch-independent failover type of team in which the primary team member handles all incoming and outgoing traffic while the standby team member is idle until a failover event (for example, loss of link occurs). The intermediate driver (BASP) manages incoming/outgoing traffic.
Smart Load Balancing (SLB) Switch-independent load balancing and failover type of team, in which the intermediate driver manages outgoing/incoming traffic.
LACP Link Aggregation Control Protocol
Generic Trunking (FEC/GEC)/802.3ad-Draft Static Switch-dependent load balancing and failover type of team in which the intermediate driver manages outgoing traffic and the switch manages incoming traffic.
Link Aggregation (802.3ad) Switch-dependent load balancing and failover type of team with LACP in which the intermediate driver manages outgoing traffic and the switch manages incoming traffic.
NDIS Network Driver Interface Specification
PXE Preboot Execution Environment
ARP Address Resolution Protocol
RAID redundant array of inexpensive disks
MAC media access control
DNS domain name service
WINS Windows name service
TCP Transmission Control Protocol
UDP User Datagram Protocol
IP Internet Protocol
ICMP Internet Control Message Protocol
IGMP Internet Group Management Protocol
G-ARP Gratuitous Address Resolution Protocol
HSRP Hot Standby Router Protocol
LOM LAN on Motherboard
NLB Network Load Balancing (Microsoft)
WLBS Windows Load Balancing Service

Teaming Concepts

Network Addressing

Teaming and Network Addresses

Description of Teaming Types

The concept of grouping multiple physical devices to provide fault tolerance and load balancing is not new. It has been around for years. Storage devices use RAID technology to group individual hard drives. Switch ports can be grouped together using technologies such as Cisco Gigabit EtherChannel, IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregation, Bay Network Multilink Trunking, and Extreme Network Load Sharing. Network interfaces on Dell servers can be grouped together into a team of physical ports called a virtual adapter.

Network Addressing

To understand how teaming works, it is important to understand how node communications work in an Ethernet network. This document is based on the assumption that the reader is familiar with the basics of IP and Ethernet network communications. The following information provides a high-level overview of the concepts of network addressing used in an Ethernet network.

Every Ethernet network interface in a host platform such as a server requires a globally unique Layer 2 address and at least one globally unique Layer 3 address. Layer 2 is the Data Link Layer, and Layer 3 is the Network layer as defined in the OSI model. The Layer 2 address is assigned to the hardware and is often referred to as the MAC address or physical address. This address is pre-programmed at the factory and stored in NVRAM on a network interface card or on the system motherboard for an embedded LAN interface. The layer 3 addresses are referred to as the protocol or logical address assigned to the software stack. IP and IPX are examples of Layer 3 protocols. In addition, Layer 4 (Transport Layer) uses port numbers for each network upper level protocol such as Telnet or FTP. These port numbers are used to differentiate traffic flows across applications. Layer 4 protocols such as TCP or UDP are most commonly used in today�s networks. The combination of the IP address and the TCP port number is called a socket.

Ethernet devices communicate with other Ethernet devices using the MAC address, not the IP address. However, most applications work with a host name that is translated to an IP address by a Naming Service such as WINS and DNS. Therefore, a method of identifying the MAC address assigned to the IP address is required. The Address Resolution Protocol for an IP network provides this mechanism. For IPX, the MAC address is part of the network address and ARP is not required. ARP is implemented using an ARP Request and ARP Reply frame. ARP Requests are typically sent to a broadcast address while the ARP Reply is typically sent as unicast traffic. A unicast address corresponds to a single MAC address or a single IP address. A broadcast address is sent to all devices on a network.

Teaming and Network Addresses

A team of adapters function as a single virtual network interface and does not appear any different to other network devices than a non-teamed adapter. A virtual network adapter advertises a single layer 2 and one or more layer 3 addresses. When the teaming driver initializes, it selects one MAC address from one of the physical adapters that make up the team to be the Team MAC address. This address is typically taken from the first adapter that gets initialized by the driver. When the server hosting the team receives an ARP Request, it will select one MAC address from among the physical adapters in the team to use as the source MAC address in the ARP Reply.In Windows operating systems, the IPCONFIG /all command shows the IP and MAC address of the virtual adapter and not the individual physical adapters. The protocol IP address is assigned to the virtual network interface and not to the individual physical adapters.

For switch independent teaming modes, all physical adapters that make up a virtual adapter must use the unique MAC address assigned to them when transmitting data. That is, the frames that are sent by each of the physical adapters in the team must use a unique MAC address to be IEEE compliant.It is important to note that ARP cache entries are not learned from received frames, but only from ARP Requests and ARP Replies.

Description of Teaming Types

Smart Load Balancing (SLB)

Generic Trunking

Link Aggregation (IEEE 802.3ad LACP)

There are three methods for classifying the supported teaming types: one is based on whether the switch port configuration must also match the adapter teaming type; the second is based on the functionality of the team, whether it supports load balancing and failover or just failover; and the third is based on whether the Link Aggregation Control Protocol is used or not. The following table shows a summary of the teaming types and their classification.

Table 2: Available Teaming Types
Teaming Type

Switch-Dependent

(Switch must support specific type of team)

Link Aggregation Control Protocol Support Required on the Switch Load Balancing Failover
Smart Load Balancing and Failover (SLB) (with 2 to 8 load balance team members)    
SLB (Auto-Fallback Disable)      
Link Aggregation (802.3ad)
Generic Trunking (FEC/GEC)/802.3ad-Draft Static  

Smart Load Balancing (SLB)

Smart Load Balancing™ provides both load balancing and failover when configured for Load Balancing, and only failover when configured for fault tolerance. It works with any Ethernet switch and requires no trunking configuration on the switch. The team advertises multiple MAC addresses and one or more IP addresses (when using secondary IP addresses). The team MAC address is selected from the list of load balancing members. When the server receives an ARP Request, the software-networking stack will always send an ARP Reply with the team MAC address. To begin the load balancing process, the teaming driver will modify this ARP Reply by changing the source MAC address to match one of the physical adapters.

Smart Load Balancing enables both transmit and receive load balancing based on the Layer 3/Layer 4 IP address and TCP/UDP port number. In other words, the load balancing is not done at a byte or frame level but on a TCP/UDP session basis. This methodology is required to maintain in-order delivery of frames that belong to the same socket conversation. Load balancing is supported on 2-8 ports. These ports can include any combination of add-in adapters and LAN-on-Motherboard (LOM) devices. Transmit load balancing is achieved by creating a hashing table using the source and destination IP addresses and TCP/UDP port numbers.The same combination of source and destination IP addresses and TCP/UDP port numbers will generally yield the same hash index and therefore point to the same port in the team. When a port is selected to carry all the frames of a given socket, the unique MAC address of the physical adapter is included in the frame, and not the team MAC address. This is required to comply with the IEEE 802.3 standard. If two adapters transmit using the same MAC address, then a duplicate MAC address situation would occur that the switch could not handle.

Receive Load Balancing is achieved through an intermediate driver by sending Gratuitous ARPs on a client by client basis using the unicast address of each client as the destination address of the ARP Request (also known as a Directed ARP). This is considered client load balancing and not traffic load balancing. When the intermediate driver detects a significant load imbalance between the physical adapters in an SLB team, it will generate G-ARPs in an effort to redistribute incoming frames. The intermediate driver (BASP) does not answer ARP Requests; only the software protocol stack provides the required ARP Reply. It is important to understand that receive load balancing is a function of the number of clients that are connecting to the server via the team interface.

SLB Receive Load Balancing attempts to load balance incoming traffic for client machines across physical ports in the team. It uses a modified Gratuitous ARP to advertise a different MAC address for the team IP Address in the sender physical and protocol address. This G-ARP is unicast with the MAC and IP Address of a client machine in the target physical and protocol address respectively. This causes the target client to update its ARP cache with a new MAC address map to the team IP address. G-ARPs are not broadcast because this would cause all clients to send their traffic to the same port. As a result, the benefits achieved through client load balancing would be eliminated, and could cause out of order frame delivery. This receive load balancing scheme works as long as all clients and the teamed server are on the same subnet or broadcast domain.

When the clients and the server are on different subnets, and incoming traffic has to traverse a router, the received traffic destined for the server is not load balanced. The physical adapter that the intermediate driver has selected to carry the IP flow will carry all of the traffic. When the router needs to send a frame to the team IP address, it will broadcast an ARP Request (if not in the ARP cache). The server software stack will generate an ARP Reply with the team MAC address, but the intermediate driver will modify the ARP Reply and send it over a particular physical adapter, establishing the flow for that session.

The reason is that ARP is not a routable protocol. It does not have an IP header and therefore is not sent to the router or default gateway. ARP is only a local subnet protocol. In addition, since the G-ARP is not a broadcast packet, the router will not process it and will not update its own ARP cache.

The only way that the router would process an ARP that is intended for another network device is if it has Proxy ARP enabled and the host has no default gateway. This is very rare and not recommended for most applications.

Transmit traffic through a router will be load balanced as transmit load balancing is based on the source and destination IP address and TCP/UDP port number. Since routers do not alter the source and destination IP address, the load balancing algorithm works as intended.

Configuring routers for Hot Standby Routing Protocol (HSRP) does not allow for receive load balancing to occur in the adapter team. In general, HSRP allows for two routers to act as one router, advertising a virtual IP and virtual MAC address. One physical router is the active interface while the other is standby. Although HSRP can also load share nodes (using different default gateways on the host nodes) across multiple routers in HSRP groups, it always points to the primary MAC address of the team.

Generic Trunking

Generic Trunking is a switch-assisted teaming mode and requires configuring ports at both ends of the link: server interfaces and switch ports. This is often referred to as Cisco Fast EtherChannel or Gigabit EtherChannel. In addition, generic trunking supports similar implementations by other switch OEMs such as Extreme Networks Load Sharing and Bay Networks or IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregation static mode. In this mode, the team advertises one MAC Address and one IP Address when the protocol stack responds to ARP Requests. In addition, each physical adapter in the team uses the same team MAC address when transmitting frames. This is possible since the switch at the other end of the link is aware of the teaming mode and will handle the use of a single MAC address by every port in the team. The forwarding table in the switch will reflect the trunk as a single virtual port.

In this teaming mode, the intermediate driver controls load balancing and failover for outgoing traffic only, while incoming traffic is controlled by the switch firmware and hardware. As is the case for Smart Load Balancing, the BASP intermediate driver uses the IP/TCP/UDP source and destination addresses to load balance the transmit traffic from the server. Most switches implement an XOR hashing of the source and destination MAC address.

Link Aggregation (IEEE 802.3ad LACP)

Link Aggregation is similar to Generic Trunking except that it uses the Link Aggregation Control Protocol to negotiate the ports that will make up the team. LACP must be enabled at both ends of the link for the team to be operational. If LACP is not available at both ends of the link, 802.3ad provides a manual aggregation that only requires both ends of the link to be in a link up state. Because manual aggregation provides for the activation of a member link without performing the LACP message exchanges, it should not be considered as reliable and robust as an LACP negotiated link. LACP automatically determines which member links can be aggregated and then aggregates them. It provides for the controlled addition and removal of physical links for the link aggregation so that no frames are lost or duplicated. The removal of aggregate link members is provided by the marker protocol that can be optionally enabled for Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP) enabled aggregate links.

The Link Aggregation group advertises a single MAC address for all the ports in the trunk. The MAC address of the Aggregator can be the MAC addresses of one of the MACs that make up the group. LACP and marker protocols use a multicast destination address.

The Link Aggregation control function determines which links may be aggregated and then binds the ports to an Aggregator function in the system and monitors conditions to determine if a change in the aggregation group is required. Link aggregation combines the individual capacity of multiple links to form a high performance virtual link. The failure or replacement of a link in an LACP trunk will not cause loss of connectivity. The traffic will simply be failed over to the remaining links in the trunk.

Software Components

Teaming is implemented via an NDIS intermediate driver in the Windows Operating System environment. This software component works with the miniport driver, the NDIS layer, and the protocol stack to enable the teaming architecture (see Figure 3 ). The miniport driver controls the host LAN controller directly to enable functions such as sends, receives, and interrupt processing. The intermediate driver fits between the miniport driver and the protocol layer multiplexing several miniport driver instances, and creating a virtual adapter that looks like a single adapter to the NDIS layer. NDIS provides a set of library functions to enable the communications between either miniport drivers or intermediate drivers and the protocol stack. The protocol stack implements IP, IPX and ARP. A protocol address such as an IP address is assigned to each miniport device instance, but when an Intermediate driver is installed, the protocol address is assigned to the virtual team adapter and not to the individual miniport devices that make up the team.

The Broadcom supplied teaming support is provided by three individual software components that work together and are supported as a package.When one component is upgraded, all the other components must be upgraded to the supported versions.The following table describes the three software components and their associated files for supported operating systems.

Table 3: Broadcom Teaming Software Component

Software Component Broadcom Name Windows Linux NetWare
Miniport Driver Broadcom Base Driver

B57xp32.sys
B57w2k.sys

Bcm5700 B57.lan
Intermediate Driver Broadcom Advanced Server Program (BASP) Baspxp32.sys
Baspw2k.sys
BASP Basp.lan
Configuration User Interface Broadcom Advanced Control Suite 2 (BACS2) BACS2 N/A N/A

Hardware Requirements

Repeater Hub

Switching Hub

Router

The various teaming modes described in this document place certain restrictions on the networking equipment used to connect clients to teamed servers. Each type of network interconnect technology has an effect on teaming as described below.

Repeater Hub

A Repeater Hub allows a network administrator to extend an Ethernet network beyond the limits of an individual segment. The repeater regenerates the input signal received on one port onto all other connected ports, forming a single collision domain. This means that when a station attached to a repeater sends an Ethernet frame to another station, every station within the same collision domain will also receive that message. If two stations begin transmitting at the same time, a collision will occur, and each transmitting station will need to retransmit its data after waiting a random amount of time.

The use of a repeater requires that each station participating within the collision domain operate in half-duplex mode. Though half-duplex mode is supported for Gigabit Ethernet devices in the IEEE 802.3 specification, it is not supported by the majority of Gigabit Ethernet controller manufacturers and will not be considered here.

Teaming across hubs is supported for troubleshooting purposes (such as connecting a network analyzer) for SLB teams only.

Switching Hub

Unlike a repeater hub, a switching hub (or more simply a switch) allows an Ethernet network to be broken into multiple collision domains. The switch is responsible for forwarding Ethernet packets between hosts based solely on Ethernet MAC addresses. A physical network adapter that is attached to a switch may operate in half-duplex or full-duplex mode.

To support Generic Trunking and 802.3ad Link Aggregation, a switch must specifically support such functionality. If the switch does not support these protocols, it may still be used for Smart Load Balancing.

Router

A router is designed to route network traffic based on Layer 3 or higher protocols, although it will often also work as a Layer 2 device with switching capabilities. Teaming ports connected directly to a router is not supported.

Supported Teaming by Operating System

All teaming modes are supported for the IA-32 server operating systems as shown in Table 4.

Table 4: Teaming Support by Operating System

Teaming Mode Windows Linux NetWare
Smart Load Balancing and Failover

Generic Trunking

Link Aggregation

Utilities for Configuring Teaming by Operating System

Table 5 lists the tools used to configure teaming in the supported operating system environments.

Table 5: Operating System Configuration Tools

Operating System Configuration Utility
Windows 2000 BACS2
Windows Server 2003 BACS2
NetWare Autoexec.ncf and Basp.lan
Linux Baspcfg

The Broadcom Advanced Control Suite (BACS) (see Figure 1) is designed to run in one of the following 32-bit Windows operating systems: Microsoft� Windows� 2000 and Windows Server 2003. BACS is used to configure load balancing and fault tolerance teaming, and VLANs. In addition, it displays the MAC address, driver version, and status information. The BACS also includes a number of diagnostics tools such as hardware diagnostics, cable testing, and a network topology test.

Figure 1: Broadcom Advanced Control Suite 2

When an adapter configuration is saved in NetWare, the NetWare install program adds load and bind statements to the Autoexec.ncf file. By accessing this file, you can verify the parameters configured for each adapter, add or delete parameters, or modify parameters.

BASP Configuration (baspcfg) is a command line tool for Linux to configure the BASP teams, add/remove adapters, and add/remove virtual devices. This tool can be used in custom initialization scripts. Refer to your distribution-specific documentation for more information on your distributor's startup procedures.

Supported Features by Team Type

Table 6 provides a feature comparison across the teaming types supported by Dell. Use this table to determine the best type of team for your application. The teaming software supports up to 8 ports in a single team and up to 4 teams in a single system. The 4 teams can be any combination of the supported teaming types, but each team must be on a separate network or subnet.

Table 6: Comparison of Teaming Modes

Type of Team Fault Tolerance Load Balancing Switch-Dependent Static Trunking Switch-Independent
Dynamic Link Aggregation
(IEEE 802.3ad)
Function SLB with Standbya SLB Generic Trunking Link Aggregation
Number of ports per team (same broadcast domain) 2–8 2–8 2–8 2–8
Number of teams 4 4 4 4
Adapter fault tolerance Yes Yes Yes Yes
Switch link fault tolerance (same broadcast domain) Yes Yes Switch-dependent Switch-dependent
TX load balancing No Yes Yes Yes
RX load balancing No Yes Yes (performed by the switch) Yes (performed by the switch)
Requires compatible switch No No Yes Yes
Heartbeats to check connectivity No No No No
Mixed media (adapters with different media) Yes Yes Yes (switch-dependent)  
Mixed speeds (adapters that do not support a common speed(s), but can operate at different speeds) Yes Yes No No
Mixed speeds (adapters that support a common speed(s), but can operate at different speeds) Yes Yes No (must be the same speed) Yes
Load balances TCP/IP No Yes Yes Yes
Mixed vendor teaming Yesb Yesb Yesb Yesb
Load balances non-IP No Yes (IPX outbound traffic only) Yes Yes
Same MAC address for all team members No No Yes No
Same IP address for all team members Yes Yes Yes Yes
Load balancing by IP address No Yes Yes Yes
Load balancing by MAC address No Yes (used for no-IP/IPX) Yes Yes

a SLB with one primary and one standby member.
b Requires at least one Broadcom adapter in the team.

Selecting a Team Type

The following flow chart provides the decision flow when planning for teaming. The primary rationale for teaming is the need for additional network bandwidth and fault tolerance. Teaming offers link aggregation and fault tolerance to meet both of these requirements. Preference teaming should be selected in the following order: IEEE 802.3ad as the first choice, Generic Trunking as the second choice, and SLB teaming as the third choice when using unmanaged switches or switches that do not support the first two options. if switch fault tolerance is a requirement, however, then SLB is the only choice (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: Process for Selecting a Team Type


Teaming Mechanisms

Architecture

Teaming Types

Driver Support by Operating System

Supported Teaming Speeds

This section provides an overview on how the Broadcom BASP intermediate driver is implemented and how it performs load balancing and failover.

Architecture

The Broadcom Advanced Server Program is implemented as an NDIS intermediate driver (see Figure 3). It operates below protocol stacks such as TCP/IP and IPX and appears as a virtual adapter. This virtual adapter inherits the MAC Address of the first port initialized in the team. A Layer 3 address must also be configured for the virtual adapter. The primary function of BASP is to balance inbound (for SLB) and outbound traffic (for all teaming modes) among the physical adapters installed on the system selected for teaming. The inbound and outbound algorithms are independent and orthogonal to each other. The outbound traffic for a particular session can be assigned to a given port while its corresponding inbound traffic can be assigned to a different port.

Figure 3: Intermediate Driver

Outbound Traffic Flow

The Broadcom Intermediate Driver manages the outbound traffic flow for all teaming modes. For outbound traffic, every packet is first classified into a flow, and then distributed to the selected physical adapter for transmission. The flow classification involves an efficient hash computation over known protocol fields. The resulting hash value is used to index into an Outbound Flow Hash Table.The selected Outbound Flow Hash Entry contains the index of the selected physical adapter responsible for transmitting this flow. The source MAC address of the packets will then be modified to the MAC address of the selected physical adapter. The modified packet is then passed to the selected physical adapter for transmission.

The outbound TCP and UDP packets are classified using Layer 3 and Layer 4 header information. This scheme improves the load distributions for popular Internet protocol services using well-known ports such as HTTP and FTP. Therefore, BASP performs load balancing on a TCP session basis and not on a packet-by-packet basis.

In the Outbound Flow Hash Entries, statistics counters are also updated after classification. The load-balancing engine uses these counters to periodically distribute the flows across teamed ports. The outbound code path has been designed to achieve best possible concurrency where multiple concurrent accesses to the Outbound Flow Hash Table are allowed.

For protocols other than TCP/IP, the first physical adapter will always be selected for outbound packets. The exception is Address Resolution Protocol (ARP), which is handled differently to achieve inbound load balancing.

Inbound Traffic Flow (SLB Only)

The Broadcom Intermediate Driver manages the inbound traffic flow for the SLB teaming mode. Unlike outbound load balancing, inbound load balancing can only be applied to IP addresses that are located in the same subnet as the load-balancing server. Inbound load balancing exploits a unique characteristic of Address Resolution Protocol (RFC0826), in which each IP host uses its own ARP cache to encapsulate the IP Datagram into an Ethernet frame. BASP carefully manipulates the ARP response to direct each IP host to send the inbound IP packet to the desired physical adapter. Therefore, inbound load balancing is a plan-ahead scheme based on statistical history of the inbound flows. New connections from a client to the server will always occur over the primary physical adapter (because the ARP Reply generated by the operating system protocol stack will always associate the logical IP address with the MAC address of the primary physical adapter).

Like the outbound case, there is an Inbound Flow Head Hash Table. Each entry inside this table has a singly linked list and each link (Inbound Flow Entries) represents an IP host located in the same subnet.

When an inbound IP Datagram arrives, the appropriate Inbound Flow Head Entry is located by hashing the source IP address of the IP Datagram. Two statistics counters stored in the selected entry are also updated. These counters are used in the same fashion as the outbound counters by the load-balancing engine periodically to reassign the flows to the physical adapter.

On the inbound code path, the Inbound Flow Head Hash Table is also designed to allow concurrent access. The link lists of Inbound Flow Entries are only referenced in the event of processing ARP packets and the periodic load balancing. There is no per packet reference to the Inbound Flow Entries. Even though the link lists are not bounded; the overhead in processing each non-ARP packet is always a constant. The processing of ARP packets, both inbound and outbound, however, depends on the number of links inside the corresponding link list.

On the inbound processing path, filtering is also employed to prevent broadcast packets from looping back through the system from other physical adapters.

Protocol support

ARP and IP/TCP/UDP flows are load balanced. If the packet is an IP protocol only, such as ICMP or IGMP, then all data flowing to a particular IP address will go out through the same physical adapter. If the packet uses TCP or UDP for the L4 protocol, then the port number is added to the hashing algorithm, so two separate L4 flows can go out through two separate physical adapters to the same IP address.

For example, assume the client has an IP address of 10.0.0.1.All IGMP and ICMP traffic will go out the same physical adapter because only the IP address is used for the hash. The flow would look something like this:

IGMP ------> PhysAdapter1 ------> 10.0.0.1

ICMP ------> PhysAdapter1 ------> 10.0.0.1

If the server also sends an TCP and UDP flow to the same 10.0.0.1 address, they can be on the same physical adapter as IGMP and ICMP, or on completely different physical adapters from ICMP and IGMP. The stream may look like this:

IGMP ------> PhysAdapter1 ------> 10.0.0.1

ICMP ------> PhysAdapter1 ------> 10.0.0.1

TCP------> PhysAdapter1 ------> 10.0.0.1

UDP------> PhysAdatper1 ------> 10.0.0.1

Or the streams may look like this:

IGMP ------> PhysAdapter1 ------> 10.0.0.1

ICMP ------> PhysAdapter1 ------> 10.0.0.1

TCP------> PhysAdapter2 ------> 10.0.0.1

UDP------> PhysAdatper3 ------> 10.0.0.1

The actual assignment between adapters may change over time, but any protocol that is not TCP/UDP based goes over the same physical adapter because only the IP address is used in the hash.

Performance

Modern network interface cards provide many hardware features that reduce CPU utilization by offloading certain CPU intensive operations (see Teaming and Other Advanced Networking Features). In contrast, the BASP intermediate driver is a purely software function that must examine every packet received from the protocol stacks and react to its contents before sending it out through a particular physical interface. Though the BASP driver can process each outgoing packet in near constant time, some applications that may already be CPU bound may suffer if operated over a teamed interface.Such an application may be better suited to take advantage of the failover capabilities of the intermediate driver rather than the load balancing features, or it may operate more efficiently over a single physical adapter that provides a particular hardware feature such as Large Send Offload.

Performance Benchmarks

Table 7 provides an example of the performance benefit that teaming offers by listing the throughput and CPU metrics for an LACP team as a function of the number of member ports. Chariot Benchmark throughput scales with the number of ports in the team with a modest increase in CPU utilization. The benchmark configuration consisted of 16 Windows 2000 clients with a TCP Window Size of 64 KB used to generate traffic. The test server was running Windows Server 2003 with Large Send Offload.

Table 7: LACP Teaming Performance

Mode Number of Ports Receive Only Transmit Only Bidirectional
CPU Utilization(%) Throughput (Mbps) CPU Utilization(%) Throughput (Mbps) CPU Utilization(%) Throughput (Mbps)
No Team 1 22 936 21 949 29 1800
LACP Team 2 34 1419 30 1885 35 2297
3 36 1428 38 2834 37 2375
4 31 1681 43 3770 44 3066
NOTE: This is not a guarantee of performance. Performance will vary based on number of configuration factors and type of benchmark. It does indicate that link aggregation does provide a positive performance improvement as the number of ports in a team is increased.

Large Send Offload enables an almost linear scalability of transmit throughput as a function of the number of team members as shown in Graph 1.

Graph 1: Teaming Performance Scalability

Teaming Types

Switch-Independent

The Broadcom Smart Load Balancing type of team allows 2 to 8 physical adapters to operate as a single virtual adapter. The greatest benefit of the SLB type of team is that it operates on any IEEE compliant switch and requires no special configuration.

Smart Load Balancing and Failover

SLB provides for switch-independent, bidirectional, fault-tolerant teaming and load balancing. Switch independence implies that there is no specific support for this function required in the switch, allowing SLB to be compatible with all switches. Under SLB, all adapters in the team have separate MAC addresses. The load-balancing algorithm operates on Layer 3 addresses of the source and destination nodes, which enables SLB to load balance both incoming and outgoing traffic.

The BASP intermediate driver continually monitors the physical ports in a team for link loss. In the event of link loss on any port, traffic is automatically diverted to other ports in the team. The SLB teaming mode supports switch fault tolerance by allowing teaming across different switches- provided the switches are on the same physical network or broadcast domain.

Network Communications

The following are the key attributes of SLB:

  • Failover mechanism – Link loss detection.
  • Load Balancing Algorithm – Inbound and outbound traffic are balanced through a Broadcom proprietary mechanism based on L4 flows.

  • Outbound Load Balancing using MAC Address - No.

  • Outbound Load Balancing using IP Address - Yes

    .
  • Multi-vendor Teaming – Supported (must include at least 1 Broadcom Ethernet controller as a team member).
Applications

The SLB algorithm is most appropriate in home and small business environments where cost is a concern or with commodity switching equipment. SLB teaming works with unmanaged Layer 2 switches and is a cost-effective way of getting redundancy and link aggregation at the server. Smart Load Balancing also supports teaming physical adapters with differing link capabilities. In addition, SLB is recommended when switch fault tolerance with teaming is required.

Configuration Recommendations

SLB supports connecting the teamed ports to hubs and switches if they are on the same broadcast domain. It does not support connecting to a router or layer 3 switches because the ports must be on the same subnet.

Switch-Dependent

Generic Static Trunking

This mode supports a variety of environments where the adapter link partners are statically configured to support a proprietary trunking mechanism. This mode could be used to support Lucent’s Open Trunk, Cisco’s Fast EtherChannel (FEC), and Cisco’s Gigabit EtherChannel (GEC). In the static mode, as in generic link aggregation, the switch administrator needs to assign the ports to the team, and this assignment cannot be altered by the BASP, as there is no exchange of the Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP) frame.

With this mode, all adapters in the team are configured to receive packets for the same MAC address. Trunking operates on Layer 2 addresses and supports load balancing and failover for both inbound and outbound traffic. The BASP driver determines the load-balancing scheme for outbound packets, using layer 4 protocols previously discussed, whereas the team link partner determines the load-balancing scheme for inbound packets.

The attached switch must support the appropriate trunking scheme for this mode of operation. Both the BASP and the switch continually monitor their ports for link loss. In the event of link loss on any port, traffic is automatically diverted to other ports in the team.

Network Communications

The following are the key attributes of Generic Static Trunking:

  • Failover mechanism – Link loss detection

  • Load Balancing Algorithm – Outbound traffic is balanced through Broadcom proprietary mechanism based L4 flows. Inbound traffic is balanced according to a switch specific mechanism.

  • Outbound Load Balancing using MAC Address – No

  • Outbound Load Balancing using IP Address - Yes

  • Multi-vendor teaming – Supported (Must include at least 1 Broadcom Ethernet controller as a team member)

Applications

Generic trunking works with switches that support Cisco Fast EtherChannel, Cisco Gigabit EtherChannel, Extreme Networks Load Sharing and Bay Networks or IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregation static mode. Since load balancing is implemented on Layer 2 addresses, all higher protocols such as IP, IPX, and NetBEUI are supported. Therefore, this is the recommended teaming mode when the switch supports generic trunking modes over SLB.

Configuration Recommendations

Static trunking supports connecting the teamed ports to switches if they are on the same broadcast domain and support generic trunking. It does not support connecting to a router or layer 3 switches since the ports must be on the same subnet.

Dynamic Trunking (IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregation)

This mode supports link aggregation through static and dynamic configuration via the Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP). With this mode, all adapters in the team are configured to receive packets for the same MAC address. The MAC address of the first adapter in the team is used and cannot be substituted for a different MAC address. The BASP driver determines the load-balancing scheme for outbound packets, using layer 4 protocols previously discussed, whereas the team’s link partner determines the load-balancing scheme for inbound packets. Because the load balancing is implemented on Layer 2, all higher protocols such as IP, IPX, and NetBEUI are supported. The attached switch must support the 802.3ad Link Aggregation standard for this mode of operation. The switch manages the inbound traffic to the adapter while the BASP manages the outbound traffic. Both the BASP and the switch continually monitor their ports for link loss. In the event of link loss on any port, traffic is automatically diverted to other ports in the team.

Network Communications

The following are the key attributes of Dynamic Trunking:

  • Failover mechanism – Link loss detection

  • Load Balancing Algorithm – Outbound traffic is balanced through a Broadcom proprietary mechanism based on L4 flows. Inbound traffic is balanced according to a switch specific mechanism.

  • Outbound Load Balancing using MAC Address - No
  • Outbound Load Balancing using IP Address - Yes

  • Multi-vendor teaming – Supported (Must include at least 1 Broadcom Ethernet controller as a team member)

Applications

Dynamic trunking works with switches that support IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregation dynamic mode using LACP. Inbound load balancing is switch dependent. In general, the switch traffic is load balanced based on L2 addresses. In this case, all network protocols such as IP, IPX, and NetBEUI are load balanced. Therefore, this is the recommended teaming mode when the switch supports LACP, except when switch fault tolerance is required. SLB is the only teaming mode that supports switch fault tolerance.

Configuration Recommendations

Dynamic trunking supports connecting the teamed ports to switches as long as they are on the same broadcast domain and supports IEEE 802.3ad LACP trunking. It does not support connecting to a router or layer 3 switches since the ports must be on the same subnet.

Driver Support by Operating System

As previously noted, the BASP is supported in the Windows 2000 Server, Windows Server 2003, Netware, and Linux operating system environments. In a Netware environment, NESL support is required because BASP relies on the adapter drivers to generate NESL events during link changes and other failure events. For Linux environments, Broadcom’s Network Interface Card Extension (NICE) support is required. NICE is an extension provided by Broadcom to standard Linux drivers, and supports monitoring of Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) requests, link detection, and VLANs.

The following table summarizes the various teaming mode features for each operating system.

Table 8: Teaming Attributes by Operating System

Features Windows NetWare Red Hat Linux
Smart Load Balancing™
User interface BACS2a Command line Command line
Number of teams 4 4 4
Number of adapters per team 8 8 8
Hot replace Yes Yes No
Hot add Yes Yes No
Hot remove Yes Yes No
Link speed support Different speeds Different speeds Different speeds
Frame protocol IP IP/IPX IP
Incoming packet management BASP BASP BASP
Outgoing packet management BASP BASP BASP
Failover event Loss of link Loss of link Loss of link
Failover time <500 ms <500 ms <500 ms
Fallback time 1.5 sb (approximate) 1.5 sb (approximate) 1.5 sb (approximate)
MAC address Different Different Different
Multivendor teaming Yes Yes No
Generic Trunking
User interface BACS2 Command line Command line
Number of teams 4 4 4
Number of adapters per team 8 8 8
Hot replace Yes Yes No
Hot add Yes Yes No
Hot remove Yes Yes No
Link speed support Different speeds Different speeds Different speeds
Frame protocol All All All
Incoming packet management Switch Switch Switch
Outgoing packet management BASP BASP BASP
Failover event Loss of link only Loss of link only Loss of link only
Failover time <500 ms <500 ms <500 ms
Fallback time 1.5 sb (approximate) 1.5 sb (approximate) 1.5 sb (approximate)
MAC address Same for all adapters Same for all adapters Same for all adapters
Multivendor teaming Yes Yes No
Dynamic Trunking
User interface BACS2 Command line Command line
Number of teams 4 4 4
Number of adapters per team 8 8 8
Hot replace Yes Yes No
Hot add Yes Yes No
Hot remove Yes Yes No
Link speed support Different speeds Different speeds Different speeds
Frame protocol All All All
Incoming packet management Switch Switch Switch
Outgoing packet management BASP BASP BASP
Failover event Loss of link only Loss of link only Loss of link only
Failover time <500 ms <500 ms <500 ms
Fallback time 1.5 sb (approximate) 1.5 sb (approximate) 1.5 sb (approximate)
MAC address Same for all adapters Same for all adapters Same for all adapters
Multivendor teaming Yes Yes No

a Broadcom Advanced Control Suite 2
b Make sure that Port Fast or Edge Port is enabled

Supported Teaming Speeds

Table 9 summarizes the various link speeds supported by each teaming mode. Mixed speed refers to the capability of teaming adapters that are running at different link speeds.

Table 9: Link Speeds in Teaming

Mode Link Speed Traffic Direction Speed Support
SLB 10/100/1000 Incoming/outgoing Mixed speed
FEC 100 Incoming/outgoing Same speed
GEC 1000 Incoming/outgoing Same speed
IEEE 802.3ad 10/100/1000 Incoming/outgoing Mixed speed

Teaming and Other Advanced Networking Features

Checksum Offload

IEEE 802.1p QoS Tagging

Large Send Offload

Jumbo Frames

IEEE 802.1Q VLANs

Wake on LAN

Preboot Execution Environment (PXE)

Before creating a team, adding or removing team members, or changing advanced settings of a team member, make sure each team member has been configured similarly. Settings to check include VLANs and QoS Packet Tagging, Jumbo Frames, and the various offloads. Table 10 lists advanced adapter properties and teaming.

Table 10: Advanced Adapter Properties and Teaming


Adapter Properties
Supported by Teaming Virtual Adapter
Checksum Offload No
IEEE 802.1p QoS Tagging No
Large Send Offload No
Jumbo Frames Yes
IEEE 802.1Q VLANs Yes
Wake on LAN No
Preboot Execution environment (PXE) Yes (as a PXE sever only, not as a client)

A team does not necessarily inherit adapter properties; rather various properties depend on the specific capability. For instance, teams will not support LSO even if the underlying adapter can support LSO. Another example would be flow control, which is a physical adapter property and has nothing to do with BASP, and will be enabled on a particular adapter if the miniport driver for that adapter has flow control enabled.

Checksum Offload

Checksum offload is a property of the Broadcom network adapters that allows the TCP/IP/UDP checksums for send and receive traffic to be calculated by the adapter hardware rather than by the host CPU. In high-traffic situations, this can allow a system to handle more connections more efficiently than if the host CPU were forced to calculate the checksums. This property is inherently a hardware property and would not benefit from a software-only implementation. An adapter that supports Checksum Offload advertises this capability to the operating system so that the checksum does not need to be calculated in the protocol stack; because the intermediate driver is located directly between the protocol layer and the miniport driver, the protocol layer is not able to offload any checksums; therefore, that hardware capability is unused on a physical adapter that is part of a team.

IEEE 802.1p QoS Tagging

The IEEE 802.1p standard includes a 3-bit field (supporting a maximum of 8 priority levels), which allows for traffic prioritization.The BASP intermediate driver does not support IEEE 802.1p QoS tagging.

Large Send Offload

Large Send Offload is a feature provided by Broadcom network adapters that prevents an upper level protocol such as TCP from breaking a large data packet into a series of smaller packets with headers appended to them. The protocol stack need only generate a single header for a data packet as large as 64 KB, and the adapter hardware breaks the data buffer into appropriately-sized Ethernet frames with the correctly sequenced header (based on the single header originally provided). Like the Checksum Offload feature listed above, this is a hardware feature that is not implemented by the intermediate driver. As a result, the protocol stack will not be able to take advantage of this feature when a physical adapter is part of a team.

Jumbo Frames

The use of Jumbo Frames was originally proposed by Alteon Networks, Inc. in 1998 and increased the maximum size of an Ethernet frame to a maximum size of 9000 bytes. Though never formally adopted by the IEEE 802.3 Working Group, support for Jumbo Frames has been implemented in the server Broadcom adapters. The BASP intermediate driver supports Jumbo Frames, provided that all of the physical adapters in the team also support Jumbo frames.

IEEE 802.1Q VLANs

In 1998, the IEEE approved the 802.3ac standard, which defines frame format extensions to support Virtual Bridged Local Area Network tagging on Ethernet networks as specified in the IEEE 802.1Q specification. The VLAN protocol permits insertion of a tag into an Ethernet frame to identify the VLAN to which a frame belongs. If present, the 4-byte VLAN tag is inserted into the Ethernet frame between the source MAC address and the length/type field. The first 2-bytes of the VLAN tag consist of the IEEE 802.1Q tag type, whereas the second 2 bytes include a user priority field and the VLAN identifier (VID). Virtual LANs (VLANs) allow the user to split the physical LAN into logical subparts. Each defined VLAN behaves as its own separate network, with its traffic and broadcasts isolated from the others, thus increasing bandwidth efficiency within each logical group. VLANs also enable the administrator to enforce appropriate security and quality of service (QoS) policies. The BASP supports the creation of 64 VLANs per team or adapter. The operating system and system resources, however, limit the actual number of VLANs. VLAN support is provided according to IEEE 802.1q and is supported in a teaming environment as well as on a single adapter. Note that VLANs are supported only with homogeneous teaming and not in a multivendor teaming environment. The BASP intermediate driver supports VLAN tagging. One or more VLANs may be bound to a single instance of the intermediate driver.

Wake On LAN

Wake on LAN is a feature that allows a system to be awakened from a sleep state by the arrival of a specific packet over the Ethernet interface. Because a Virtual Adapter is implemented as a software only device, it lacks the hardware features to implement Wake on LAN and cannot be enabled to wake the system from a sleeping state via the Virtual Adapter. The physical adapters, however, support this property, even when the adapter is part of a team.

Preboot Execution Environment (PXE)

The Preboot Execution Environment (PXE) allows a system to boot from an operating system image over the network. By definition, PXE is invoked before an operating system is loaded, so there is no opportunity for the BASP intermediate driver to load and enable a team. As a result, teaming is not supported as a PXE client, though a physical adapter that participates in a team when the operating system is loaded may be used as a PXE client. Whereas a teamed adapter cannot be used as a PXE client, it can be used for a PXE server, which provides operating system images to PXE clients using a combination of Dynamic Host Control Protocol (DHCP) and the Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP). Both of these protocols operate over IP and are supported by all teaming modes.


General Network Considerations

Teaming Across Switches

Spanning Tree Algorithm

Layer 3 Routing/Switching

Teaming with Hubs (for Troubleshooting Purposes Only)

Teaming with Microsoft NLB/WLBS

Teaming across switches

SLB teaming can be configured across switches. The switches, however, must be interconnected. Generic Trunking and Link Aggregation do not work across switches because each of these implementations requires that all physical adapters in a team share the same Ethernet MAC address. It is important to note that SLB can only detect the loss of link between the ports in the team and their immediate link partner. SLB has no way of reacting to other hardware failures in the switches and cannot detect loss of link on other ports.

Switch-Link Fault Tolerance

The diagrams below describe the operation of an SLB team in a switch fault tolerant configuration. We show the mapping of the ping request and ping replies in an SLB team with two active members. All servers (Blue, Gray and Red) have a continuous ping to each other. Figure 4 is a setup without the interconnect cable in place between the two switches. Figure 5 has the interconnect cable in place, and Figure 6 is an example of a failover event with the Interconnect cable in place. These scenarios describe the behavior of teaming across the two switches and the importance of the interconnect link.

The diagrams show the secondary team member sending the ICMP echo requests (yellow arrows) while the primary team member receives the respective ICMP echo replies (blue arrows). This illustrates a key characteristic of the teaming software. The load balancing algorithms do not synchronize how frames are load balanced when sent or received. In other words, frames for a given conversation can go out and be received on different interfaces in the team. This is true for all types of teaming supported by Broadcom. Therefore, an interconnect link must be provided between the switches that connect to ports in the same team.

In the configuration without the interconnect, an ICMP Request from Blue to Gray goes out port 82:83 destined for Gray port 5E:CA, but the Top Switch has no way to send it there because it cannot go along the 5E:C9 port on Gray. A similar scenario occurs when Gray attempts to ping Blue. An ICMP Request goes out on 5E:C9 destined for Blue 82:82, but cannot get there. Top Switch does not have an entry for 82:82 in its CAM table because there is no interconnect between the two switches. Pings, however, flow between Red and Blue and between Red and Gray.

Furthermore, a failover event would cause additional loss of connectivity. Consider a cable disconnect on the Top Switch port 4. In this case, Gray would send the ICMP Request to Red 49:C9, but because the Bottom switch has no entry for 49:C9 in its CAM Table, the frame is flooded to all its ports but cannot find a way to get to 49:C9.

Figure 4: Teaming Across Switches Without an Interswitch Link

The addition of a link between the switches allows traffic from/to Blue and Gray to reach each other without any problems. Note the additional entries in the CAM table for both switches. The link interconnect is critical for the proper operation of the team. As a result, it is highly advisable to have a link aggregation trunk to interconnect the two switches to ensure high availability for the connection.

Figure 5: Teaming Across Switches With Interconnect

Figure 6 represents a failover event in which the cable is unplugged on the Top Switch port 4. This is a successful failover with all stations pinging each other without loss of connectivity.

Figure 6: Failover Event

Spanning Tree Algorithm

Topology Change Notice

Port Fast/Edge Port

In Ethernet networks, only one active path may exist between any two bridges or switches. Multiple active paths between switches can cause loops in the network. When loops occur, some switches recognize stations on both sides of the switch. This situation causes the forwarding algorithm to malfunction allowing duplicate frames to be forwarded. Spanning tree algorithms provide path redundancy by defining a tree that spans all of the switches in an extended network and then forces certain redundant data paths into a standby (blocked) state. At regular intervals, the switches in the network send and receive spanning tree packets that they use to identify the path. If one network segment becomes unreachable, or if spanning tree costs change, the spanning tree algorithm reconfigures the spanning tree topology and re-establishes the link by activating the standby path. Spanning tree operation is transparent to end stations, which do not detect whether they are connected to a single LAN segment or a switched LAN of multiple segments.

Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) is a Layer 2 protocol designed to run on bridges and switches. The specification for STP is defined in IEEE 802.1d. The main purpose of STP is to ensure that you do not run into a loop situation when you have redundant paths in your network. STP detects/disables network loops and provides backup links between switches or bridges. It allows the device to interact with other STP compliant devices in your network to ensure that only one path exists between any two stations on the network.

After a stable network topology has been established, all bridges listen for hello BPDUs (Bridge Protocol Data Units) transmitted from the root bridge. If a bridge does not get a hello BPDU after a predefined interval (Max Age), the bridge assumes that the link to the root bridge is down. This bridge then initiates negotiations with other bridges to reconfigure the network to re-establish a valid network topology. The process to create a new topology can take up to 50 seconds. During this time, end-to-end communications are interrupted.

The use of Spanning Tree is not recommended for ports that are connected to end stations, because by definition, an end station does not create a loop within an Ethernet segment. Additionally, when a teamed adapter is connected to a port with Spanning Tree enabled, users may experience unexpected connectivity problems. For example, consider a teamed adapter that has a lost link on one of its physical adapters. If the physical adapter were to be reconnected (also known as fallback), the intermediate driver would detect that the link has been reestablished and would begin to pass traffic through the port. Traffic would be lost if the port was temporarily blocked by the Spanning Tree Protocol.

Topology Change Notice

A bridge/switch creates a forwarding table of MAC addresses and port numbers by learning the source MAC address that received on a particular port. The table is used to forward frames to a specific port rather than flooding the frame to all ports. The typical maximum aging time of entries in the table is 5 minutes. Only when a host has been silent for 5 minutes would its entry be removed from the table. It is sometimes beneficial to reduce the aging time. One example is when a forwarding link goes to blocking and a different link goes from blocking to forwarding. This change could take up to 50 seconds. At the end of the STP re-calculation a new path would be available for communications between end stations. However, because the forwarding table would still have entries based on the old topology, communications may not be reestablished until after 5 minutes when the affected ports entries are removed from the table. Traffic would then be flooded to all ports and re-learned. In this case it is beneficial to reduce the aging time. This is the purpose of a TCN BPDU. The TCN is sent from the affected bridge/switch to the root bridge/switch. As soon as a bridge/switch detects a topology change (a link going down or a port going to forwarding) it sends a TCN to the root bridge via its root port. The root bridge then advertises a BPDU with a Topology Change to the entire network.This causes every bridge to reduce the MAC table aging time to 15 seconds for a specified amount of time. This allows the switch to re-learn the MAC addresses as soon as STP re-converges.

Topology Change Notice BPDUs are sent when a port that was forwarding changes to blocking or transitions to forwarding. A TCN BPDU does not initiate an STP recalculation. It only affects the aging time of the forwarding table entries in the switch.It will not change the topology of the network or create loops. End nodes such as servers or clients trigger a topology change when they power off and then power back on.

Port Fast/Edge Port

To reduce the effect of TCNs on the network (for example, increasing flooding on switch ports), end nodes that are powered on/off often should use the Port Fast or Edge Port setting on the switch port they are attached to. Port Fast or Edge Port is a command that is applied to specific ports and has the following effects:

  • Ports coming from link down to link up will be put in the forwarding STP mode instead of going from listening to learning and then to forwarding. STP is still running on these ports

    .
  • The switch does not generate a Topology Change Notice when the port is going up or down.

Layer 3 Routing/Switching

The switch that the teamed ports are connected to must not be a Layer 3 switch or router. The ports in the team must be in the same network.

Teaming with Hubs (for troubleshooting purposes only)

Hub Usage in Teaming Network Configurations

SLB Teams

SLB Team Connected to a Single Hub

Generic and Dynamic Trunking (FEC/GEC/IEEE 802.3ad)

SLB teaming can be used with 10/100 hubs, but it is only recommended for troubleshooting purposes, such as connecting a network analyzer in the event that switch port mirroring is not an option.

Hub Usage in Teaming Network Configurations

Although the use of hubs in network topologies is functional in some situations, it is important to consider the throughput ramifications when doing so. Network hubs have a maximum of 100 Mbps half-duplex link speed, which severely degrades performance in either a Gigabit or 100 Mbps switched-network configuration. Hub bandwidth is shared among all connected devices; as a result, when more devices are connected to the hub, the bandwidth available to any single device connected to the hub is reduced in direct proportion to the number of devices connected to the hub.

It is not recommended to connect team members to hubs; only switches should be used to connect to teamed ports. An SLB team, however, can be connected directly to a hub for troubleshooting purposes. Other team types can result in a loss of connectivity if specific failures occur and should not be used with hubs.

SLB Teams

SLB teams are the only teaming type not dependant on switch configuration. The server intermediate driver handles the load balancing and fault tolerance mechanisms with no assistance from the switch. These elements of SLB make it the only team type that maintains failover and fallback characteristics when team ports are connected directly to a hub.

SLB Team Connected to a Single Hub

SLB teams configured as shown in Figure 7 maintain their fault tolerance properties. Either server connection could potentially fail, and network functionality is maintained. Clients could be connected directly to the hub, and fault tolerance would still be maintained; server performance, however, would be degraded.

Figure 7: Team Connected to a Single Hub

Generic and Dynamic Trunking (FEC/GEC/IEEE 802.3ad)

FEC/GEC and IEEE 802.3ad teams cannot be connected to any hub configuration. These team types must be connected to a switch that has also been configured for this team type.

Teaming with Microsoft NLB/WLBS

It is known that the SLB mode of teaming does not work in an NLB unicast environment. It is not known, however, why the SLB mode should not work in a NLB multicast environment. The SLB teaming algorithm is mutually exclusive with the NLB unicast mechanism.


Application Considerations

Teaming and Clustering

Teaming and Network Backup

Teaming and Clustering

Microsoft Cluster Software

High Performance Computing Cluster

Microsoft Cluster Software

Dell PowerEdge cluster solutions integrate Microsoft Cluster Services (MSCS) with PowerVault SCSI or Dell/EMC Fibre-Channel based storage, PowerEdge servers, storage adapters, storage switches and network adapter to provide high-availability (HA) solutions. HA clustering supports all adapters qualified on a supported PowerEdge server.

MSCS clusters support up to 2 nodes if you are using Windows 2000 Advanced Server. If you are using Windows Server 2003, that support extends to 8 nodes. In each cluster node, it is strongly recommended that customers install at least 2 network adapters (on-board adapters are acceptable). These interfaces serve 2 purposes. One adapter is used exclusively for intra-cluster heartbeat communications. This is referred to as the private adapter and usually resides on a separate private subnetwork. The other adapter is used for client communications and is referred to as the public adapter.

Multiple adapters may be used for each of these purposes: private, intracluster communications and public, external client communications. All Broadcom teaming modes are supported with Microsoft Cluster Software for the public adapter only. Private network adapter teaming is not supported. Microsoft indicates that the use of teaming on the private interconnect of a server cluster is not supported because of delays that could possibly occur in the transmission and receipt of heartbeat packets between the nodes. For best results, when you want redundancy for the private interconnect, disable teaming and use the available ports to form a second private interconnect. This achieves the same end result and provides dual, robust communication paths for the nodes to communicate over.

For teaming in a clustered environment, customers are recommended to use the same brand of adapters.

Figure 8 shows a 2-node Fibre-Channel cluster with 3 network interfaces per cluster node: 1 private and 2 public. On each node, the 2 public adapters are teamed, and the private adapter is not. Teaming is supported across the same switch or across 2 switches. Figure 9 shows the same 2-node Fibre-Channel cluster in this configuration.

Figure 8: Clustering With Teaming Across One Switch

NOTE: Microsoft Network Load Balancing is not supported with Microsoft Cluster Software

High-Performance Computing Cluster

Gigabit Ethernet is typically used for the following three purposes in high-performance computing cluster (HPCC) applications:

  1. Inter-Process Communications (IPC): For applications that don't require low-latency high-bandwidth interconnects (such as Myrinet, InfiniBand), Gigabit Ethernet can be used for communication between the compute nodes.
  2. I/O: Ethernet can be used for file sharing and serving the data to the compute nodes. This can be done simply using an NFS server or using parallel file systems such as PVFS.
  3. Management & Administration: Ethernet is used for out-of-band (ERA) and in-band (OMSA) management of the nodes in the cluster. It can also be used for job scheduling and monitoring.

In our current HPC offerings, only one of the on-board adapters is used. If Myrinet or IB is present, this adapter serves I/O and administration purposes; otherwise, it is also responsible for IPC. In case of an adapter failure, the administrator can use the Felix package to easily configure adapter 2. Adapter teaming on the host side is neither tested nor supported in HPCC.

Advanced Features

PXE is used extensively for the deployment of the cluster (installation and recovery of compute nodes). Teaming is typically not used on the host side and it is not a part of our standard offering. Link aggregation is commonly used between switches, especially for large configurations. Jumbo Frames, although not a part of our standard offering, may provide performance improvement for some applications due to reduced CPU overhead.

Oracle

In our Oracle Solution Stacks, we support adapter teaming in both the private network (interconnect between RAC nodes) and public network with clients or the Application layer above the Database layer.

Figure 9: Clustering With Teaming Across Two Switches

Teaming and Network Backup

Load Balancing and Failover

Fault Tolerance

When you perform network backups in a nonteamed environment, overall throughput on a backup server adapter can be easily impacted due to excessive traffic and adapter overloading. Depending on the number of backup servers, data streams, and tape drive speed, backup traffic can easily consume a high percentage of the network link bandwidth, thus impacting production data and tape backup performance. Network backups usually consist of a dedicated backup server running with tape backup software such as NetBackup, Galaxy or Backup Exec. Attached to the backup server is either a direct SCSI tape backup unit or a tape library connected through a fiber channel storage area network (SAN). Systems that are backed up over the network are typically called clients or remote servers and usually have a tape backup software agent installed. Figure 10 shows a typical 1 Gbps nonteamed network environment with tape backup implementation.

Figure 10: Network Backup without teaming

Because there are 4 client servers, the backup server can simultaneously stream 4 backup jobs (one per client) to a multidrive autoloader. Because of the single link between the switch and the backup server, however, a 4-stream backup will easily saturate the adapter and link. If the adapter on the backup server operates at 1 Gbps (125 MB/s), and each client is able to stream data at 20 MB/s during tape backup, then the throughput between the backup server and switch will be at 80 MB/s (20 MB/s x 4), which is equivalent to 64% of the network bandwidth. Although this is well within the network bandwidth range, the 64% constitutes a high percentage, especially if other applications share the same link.

Using the non-teamed topology in Figure 10, 4 separate tests were run to calculate the remote backup performance. In test 1 One Stream, the backup server streamed data from a single client (Client-Server Red). In test 2 Two Streams, the backup server simultaneously streamed data from two separate clients (Red and Blue). In test 3 Three Streams, the backup server simultaneously streamed data from three separate clients. In test 4 Four Streams, the backup server simultaneously streamed data from 4 separate clients. Performance throughput for each backup data stream is shown in Graph 2.

Graph 2: Backup Performance with No Adapter Teaming

NOTE: Performance results will vary depending on tape drive technology as well as data set compression.

Load Balancing and Failover

The performance results show that as the number of backup streams increases, the overall throughput increases. However, each data stream may not be able to maintain the same performance as a single backup stream of 25 MB/s. In other words, even though a backup server can stream data from a single client at 25 MB/s, it is not expected that four simultaneous running backup jobs will stream at 100 MB/s (25 MB/s x 4 streams). Although overall throughput increases as the number of backup streams increases, each backup stream can be impacted by tape software or network stack limitations.

For a tape backup server to reliably use adapter performance and network bandwidth when backing up clients, a network infrastructure must implement teaming such as load balancing and fault tolerance. �Data centers will incorporate redundant switches, link aggregation, and trunking as part of their fault tolerant solution. Although teaming device drivers will manipulate the way data flows through teamed interfaces and failover paths, this is transparent to tape backup applications and does not interrupt any tape backup process when backing up remote systems over the network. shows a network topology that demonstrates tape backup in a Broadcom teamed environment and how smart load balancing can load balance tape backup data across teamed adapters.

There are four paths that the client-server can use to send data to the backup server, but only one of these paths will be designated during data transfer. One possible path that Client-Server Red can use to send data to the backup server is:

Example Path: Client-Server Red sends data through Adapter A, Switch 1, Backup Server Adapter A.

The designated path is determined by two factors:

  1. Client-Server ARP cache; which points to the backup server MAC address. This is determined by the Broadcom intermediate driver inbound load balancing algorithm.
  2. The physical adapter interface on Client-Server Red will be used to transmit the data. The Broadcom intermediate driver outbound load balancing algorithm determines this (see Outbound Traffic Flow and Inbound Traffic Flow (SLB only).

The teamed interface on the backup server transmits a gratuitous address resolution protocol (G-ARP) to Client-Server Red, which in turn, causes the client server ARP cache to get updated with the Backup Server MAC address. The load balancing mechanism within the teamed interface determines the MAC address embedded in the G-ARP. The selected MAC address is essentially the destination for data transfer from the client server.On Client-Server Red, the SLB teaming algorithm will determine which of the 2 adapter interfaces will be used to transmit data. In this example, data from Client Server Red is received on the backup server Adapter A interface. To demonstrate the SLB mechanisms when additional load is placed on the teamed interface, consider the scenario when the backup server initiates a second backup operation: one to Client-Server Red, and one to Client-Server Blue. The route that Client-Server Blue uses to send data to the backup server is dependant on its ARP cache, which points to the backup server MAC address. Because Adapter A of the backup server is already under load from its backup operation with Client-Sever Red, the Backup Server invokes its SLB algorithm to inform Client-Server Blue (thru an G-ARP) to update its ARP cache to reflect the backup server Adapter B MAC address. When Client-Server Blue needs to transmit data, it uses either one of its adapter interfaces, which is determined by its own SLB algorithm. What is important is that data from Client-Server Blue is received by the Backup Server Adapter B interface, and not by its Adapter A interface. This is important because with both backup streams running simultaneously, the backup server must load balance data streams from different clients. With both backup streams running, each adapter interface on the backup server is processing an equal load, thus load-balancing data cross both adapter interfaces.

The same algorithm applies if a third and fourth backup operation is initiated from the backup server. The teamed interface on the backup server transmits a unicast G-ARP to backup clients to inform them to update their ARP cache. Each client then transmits backup data along a route to the target MAC address on the backup server.

Based on the network topology diagram in Figure 11, backup performance was measured on the teamed backup server when performing one or more backup streams. Graph 3 shows the tape backup performance that can be expected on the backup server when conducting network backups.

Graph 3: Backup Performance.

The backup performance results are nearly the same as the performance measured in the nonteamed environment. Because the network was not the bottleneck in the nonteamed case, teaming was not expected to improve performance. In this case, however, teaming is recommended to improve fault tolerance and availability. In the example in which a backup server has 1 adapter, all data streams can only go through that one adapter, and as shown in the charts, performance was 80 MB/s. In the teamed environment, although the same performance of 80 MB/s was measured, data from the clients was received across both adapter interfaces on the backup server. With 4 backup streams, the teamed interface equally received backup streams across both adapters in a load balanced manner. Two backup streams were received on Adapter A and 2 streams were received on Adapter B for a performance total of 20 MB/s x 4 backup streams = 80 MB/s.

Fault Tolerance

If a network link fails during tape backup operations, all traffic between the backup server and client stops and backup jobs fail. If, however, the network topology was configured for both Broadcom SLB and switch fault tolerance, then this would allow tape backup operations to continue without interruption during the link failure. All failover processes within the network are transparent to tape backup software applications. To understand how backup data streams are directed during network failover process, consider the topology in Figure 11. Client-Server Red is transmitting data to the backup server through Path 1, but a link failure occurs between the backup server and the switch. Because the data can no longer be sent from Switch #1 to the Adapter A interface on the backup server, the data is redirected from Switch #1 through Switch #2, to the Adapter B interface on the backup server. This occurs without the knowledge of the backup application because all fault tolerant operations are handled by the adapter team interface and trunk settings on the switches. From the client server perspective, it still operates as if it is transmitting data through the original path.

Figure 11: Network Backup With SLB Teaming Across Two Switches

Troubleshooting Teaming Problems

Teaming Configuration Tips

Troubleshooting Guidelines

When running a protocol analyzer over a virtual adapter teamed interface the MAC address shown in the transmitted frames may not be correct. The analyzer does not show the frames as constructed by BASP and shows the MAC address of the team and not the MAC address of the interface transmitting the frame. It is suggested to use the following process to monitor a team:

  1. Mirror all uplink ports from the team at the switch.
  2. If the team spans 2 switches, mirror the interlink trunk as well.
  3. Sample all mirror ports independently.
  4. On the analyzer, use an adapter and driver that does not filter QoS and VLAN information.

Teaming Configuration Tips

When troubleshooting network connectivity or teaming functionality issues, ensure that the following information is true for your configuration.

  1. Although Dell supports mixed speed SLB teaming it is recommended that all adapters in a team be the same speed (either all Gigabit or all Fast Ethernet).
  2. If LiveLink is not enabled, disable Spanning Tree Protocol or enable an STP mode that bypasses the initial phases (for example, Port Fast, Edge Port) for the switch ports connected to a team.
  3. All switches that the team is directly connected to must have the same hardware revision, firmware revision, and software revision to be supported.
  4. To be teamed, adapters should be members of the same VLAN. In the event that multiple teams are configured, each team should be on a separate network.
  5. Do not enter a multicast or broadcast address in the Locally Administered Address field.
  6. Do not use the Locally Administered Address on any physical adapter that is a member of a team.
  7. Verify that power management is disabled on all physical members of any team.
  8. Remove any static IP address from the individual physical team members before the team is built.
  9. A team that requires maximum throughput should use LACP or GEC\FEC. In these cases, the intermediate driver is only responsible for the outbound load balancing while the switch performs the inbound load balancing.
  10. Aggregated teams (802.3ad \ LACP and GEC\FEC) must be connected to only a single switch that supports IEEE 802.3a, LACP or GEC/FEC.
  11. It is not recommended to connect any team to a hub, as a hub only support half duplex. Hubs should be connected to a team for troubleshooting purposes only.
  12. Verify the base (Miniport) and team (intermediate) drivers are from the same release package. Dell does not test or support mixing base and teaming drivers from different CD releases.
  13. Test the connectivity to each physical adapter prior to teaming.
  14. Test the failover and fallback behavior of the team before placing into a production environment.
  15. When moving from a nonproduction network to a production network, it is strongly recommended to test again for failover and fallback.
  16. Test the performance behavior of the team before placing into a production environment.
  17. When moving from a nonproduction network to a production network, it is strongly recommended to test performance again
  18. .

Troubleshooting Guidelines

Before you call Dell support, make sure you have completed the following steps for troubleshooting network connectivity problems when the server is using adapter teaming.

    1. Make sure the Link Light is ON for every adapter and all the cables are attached.
    2. Check that the matching base and intermediate drivers belong to the same Dell release and are loaded correctly.
    3. Check for a valid IP Address using MS ipconfig, or Linux ifconfig or NetWare CONFIG commands.
    4. Check that STP is disabled or Edge Port/Port Fast is enabled on the switch ports connected to the team.
    5. Check that the adapters and the switch are configured identically for Link Speed and Duplex.
    6. If possible, break the team and check for connectivity to each adapter independently to confirm that the problem is directly associated with teaming.
    7. Check that all switch ports connected to the team are on the same VLAN.
    8. Check that the switch ports are configured properly for Generic Trunking (FEC/GEC)/802.3ad-Draft Static type of teaming and that it matches the adapter teaming type. If the switch port is configured for an SLB type of team, make sure the corresponding switch ports are not configured for Generic Trunking (FEC/GEC/IEEE802.3ad) types of teams.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Under what circumstances is traffic not load balanced? Why is all traffic not load balanced evenly across the team members?
Answer:The bulk of traffic does not use IP/TCP/UDP or the bulk of the clients are in a different network. The receive load balancing is not a function of traffic load, but a function of the number of clients that are connected to the server.

Question: What network protocols are load balanced when in a team?
Answer: Broadcom’s teaming software only supports IP/TCP/UDP traffic. All other traffic is forwarded to the primary adapter.

Question: Which protocols are load balanced with SLB and which ones are not?
Answer: Only IP/TCP/UDP protocols are load balanced in both directions: send and receive.�� IPX is load balanced on the transmit traffic only.

Question: Can I team a port running at 100 Mbps with a port running at 1000 Mbps?
Answer: Mixing link speeds within a team is only supported for Smart Load Balancing™ teams.

Question: Can I team a fiber adapter with a copper Gigabit Ethernet adapter?
Answer: Yes.

Question: What is the difference between adapter load balancing and Microsoft’s Network Load Balancing (NLB)?
Answer: Adapter load balancing is done at a network session level, whereas NLB is done at the server application level.

Question: Can I connect the teamed adapters to a hub?
Answer: Yes. Teamed ports can be connected to a hub for troubleshooting purposes only. However, this is not recommended for normal operation, because the performance improvement expected would be degraded due to hub limitations. Connect the teamed ports to a switch instead.

Question: Can I connect the teamed adapters to ports in a router?
Answer: No. All ports in a team must be on the same network; in a router, however, each port is a separate network by definition. All teaming modes require that the link partner be a Layer 2 switch.

Question: Can I use teaming with Microsoft Cluster Services?
Answer: Yes. Teaming is supported on the public network only, but not on the private network used for the heartbeat link.

Question: Can PXE work over a virtual adapter (team)?
Answer: A PXE client operates in an environment before the operating system is loaded; as a result, virtual adapters have not been enabled yet. If the physical adapter supports PXE, then it can be used as a PXE client, whether or not it is part of a virtual adapter when the operating system loads. PXE servers may operate over a virtual adapter.

Question: Can WOL work over a virtual adapter (team)?
Answer: Wake-on-LAN functionality is not supported on virtual adapters; it is only supported on physical adapters.

Question: What is the maximum number of ports that can be teamed together?
Answer: Up to 8 ports can be assigned to a team.

Question: What is the maximum number of teams that can be configured on the same server?
Answer: Up to 4 teams can be configured on the same server.

Question: Why does my team loose connectivity for the first 30 to 50 seconds after the Primary adapter is restored (fallback)?
Answer: Because Spanning Tree Protocol is bringing the port from blocking to forwarding. You must enable Port Fast or Edge Port on the switch ports connected to the team.

Question: Can I connect a team across multiple switches?
Answer: Smart Load Balancing can be used with multiple switches because each physical adapter in the system uses a unique Ethernet MAC address. Link Aggregation and Generic Trunking cannot operate across switches because they require all physical adapters to share the same Ethernet MAC address.

Question: How do I upgrade the intermediate driver (BASP)?
Answer: The intermediate driver cannot be upgraded through the Local Area Connection Properties. It must be upgraded using the Setup installer. Current versions of the installer require you to first uninstall the intermediate driver.

Question: How can I determine the performance statistics on a virtual adapter (team)?
Answer: Currently, there are no statistics at the team level, but only at the physical adapter level.

Question: Can I configure NLB and teaming concurrently?
Answer: Yes, but only when running NLB in a multicast mode (NLB is not supported with MS Cluster Services).

Question: Should both the backup server and client servers that are backed up be teamed?
Answer: Because the backup server is under the most data load, it should always be teamed for link aggregation and failover. A fully redundant network, however, requires that both the switches and the backup clients be teamed for fault tolerance and link aggregation.

Question: During backup operations, does the adapter teaming algorithm load balance data at a byte-level or a session-level?
Answer:When using adapter teaming, data is only load balanced at a session level and not a byte level to prevent out-of-order frames. Adapter teaming load balancing does not work the same way as other storage load balancing mechanisms such as EMC PowerPath.

Question: Is there any special configuration required in the tape backup software or hardware to work with adapter teaming?
Answer: No special configuration is required in the tape software to work with teaming. Teaming is transparent to tape backup applications.

Question: How do I know what driver I am currently using?
Answer: In all operating systems, the most accurate method for checking the driver revision is to physically locate the driver file and check the properties.

Question: Can the SLB detect a switch failure in a Switch Fault Tolerance configuration?
Answer: No. SLB can only detect the loss of link between the teamed port and its immediate link partner. SLB cannot detect link failures on other ports.

Question: Where can I get the latest supported drivers?
Answer: Go to Dell support at www.support.dell.com for driver package updates or support documents.

Question: Why does my team lose connectivity for the first 30 to 50 seconds after the Primary Adapter is restored (fall-back after a failover)?
Answer:During a fall-back event, link is restored causing Spanning Tree Protocol to configure the port for blocking until it determines that it can move to the forwarding state. You must enable Port Fast or Edge Port on the switch ports connected to the team to prevent the loss of communications caused by STP.

Question: Where do I monitor real time statistics for an adapter team in a Windows server?
Answer: Use the Broadcom Advanced Control Suite 2 (BACS2) to monitor general, IEEE 802.3 and custom counters.


Appendix A: Event Log Messages

Windows System Event Log Messages

Base Driver (Physical Adapter/Miniport)

Intermediate Driver (Virtual Adapter/Team)

Windows System Event Log messages

The known base and intermediate Windows System Event Log status messages for the Broadcom NetXtreme 57XX Gigabit Ethernet controllers as of December 2004 are listed. As a Broadcom adapter driver loads, Windows places a status code in the system event viewer. There may be up to two classes of entries for these event codes depending on whether both drivers are loaded (one set for the base or miniport driver and one set for the intermediate or teaming driver).

Base Driver (Physical Adapter/Miniport)

The base driver is identified by the driver name as shown in the following example:

Example:

Windows 2000: B57W2k.sys

Windows 2003: B57WXP.sys

Table 11 lists the event log messages supported by the base driver, explains the cause for the message, and provides the recommended action.

Table 11: Base Driver Event Log Messages

Message Number Message Cause Corrective Action

1

Failed to allocate memory for the device block. Check system memory resource usage. The driver cannot allocate memory from the operating system. Close running applications to free memory.

2

Failed to allocate map registers. The driver cannot allocate map registers from the operating system. Unload other drivers that may allocate map registers.

3

Failed to access configuration information. Reinstall the network driver. The driver cannot access PCI configuration space registers on the adapter. For add-in adapters: reseat the adapter in the slot, move the adapter to another PCI slot, or replace the adapter.

4

The network link is down. Check to make sure the network cable is properly connected. The adapter has lost its connection with its link partner. Check that the network cable is connected, verify that the network cable is the right type, and verify that the link partner (for example, switch or hub) is working correctly.

5

The network link is up. The adapter has established a link. Informational message only. No action is required.

6

Network controller configured for 10Mb half-duplex link. The adapter has been manually configured for the selected line speed and duplex settings. Informational message only. No action is required.

7

Network controller configured for 10Mb full-duplex link. The adapter has been manually configured for the selected line speed and duplex settings. Informational message only. No action is required.

8

Network controller configured for 100Mb half-duplex link. The adapter has been manually configured for the selected line speed and duplex settings. Informational message only. No action is required.

9

Network controller configured for 100Mb full-duplex link. The adapter has been manually configured for the selected line speed and duplex settings. Informational message only. No action is required.

10

Network controller configured for 1Gb half-duplex link. The adapter has been manually configured for the selected line speed and duplex settings. Informational message only. No action is required.

11

Network controller configured for 1Gb full-duplex link. The adapter has been manually configured for the selected line speed and duplex settings. Informational message only. No action is required.

12

Medium not supported. The operating system does not support the IEEE 802.3 medium. Reboot the operating system, run a virus check, run a disk check (chkdsk), and reinstall the operating system.

13

Unable to register the interrupt service routine.

The device driver cannot install the interrupt handler. Reboot the operating system; remove other device drivers that may be sharing the same IRQ.

14

Unable to map IO space. The device driver cannot allocate memory-mapped I/O to access driver registers. Remove other adapters from the system, reduce the amount of physical memory installed, and replace the adapter.

15

Driver initialized successfully. The driver has successfully loaded. Informational message only. No action is required.

16

NDIS is resetting the miniport driver. The NDIS layer has detected a problem sending/receiving packets and is resetting the driver to resolve the problem. Run Broadcom Advanced Control Suite 2 diagnostics; check that the network cable is good.

17

Unknown PHY detected. Using a default PHY initialization routine. The driver could not read the PHY ID. Replace the adapter.

18

This driver does not support this device. Upgrade to the latest driver. The driver does not recognize the installed adapter. Upgrade to a driver version that supports this adapter.

19

Driver initialization failed. Unspecified failure during driver initialization. Reinstall the driver, update to a newer driver, run Broadcom Advanced Control Suite 2 diagnostics, or replace the adapter.

Table 11: Base Driver Event Log Messages

Intermediate Driver (Virtual Adapter/Team)

The intermediate driver is identified by BLFM regardless of the base driver revision. The driver names are shown below.

Example:

Windows 2000: baspw2k.sys

Windows 2003: baspxp32.sys

Table 12 lists the event log messages supported by the intermediate driver, explains the cause for the message, and provides the recommended action.

Table 12: Intermediate Driver Event Log Messages

System Event
Message Number

Message Cause Corrective Action
1 Unable to register with NDIS. The driver cannot register with the NDIS interface. Unload other NDIS drivers.
2 Unable to instantiate the management interface. The driver cannot create a device instance. Reboot the operating system.
3 Unable to create symbolic link for the management interface. Another driver has created a conflicting device name. Unload the conflicting device driver that uses the name Blf.
4 Broadcom Advanced Server Program Driver has started. The driver has started. Informational message only. No action is required.
5 Broadcom Advanced Server Program Driver has stopped. The driver has stopped. Informational message only. No action is required.
6 Could not allocate memory for internal data structures. The driver cannot allocate memory from the operating system. Close running applications to free memory.
7 Could not bind to adapter %2. The driver could not open one of the team physical adapters. Unload and reload the physical adapter driver, install an updated physical adapter driver, or replace the physical adapter.
8 Successfully bind to adapter %2. The driver successfully opened the physical adapter. Informational message only. No action is required.
9 Network adapter %2 is disconnected. The physical adapter is not connected to the network (it has not established link). Check that the network cable is connected, verify that the network cable is the right type, and verify that the link partner (switch or hub) is working correctly.
10 Network adapter %2 is connected. The physical adapter is connected to the network (it has established link). Informational message only. No action is required.
11 Broadcom Advanced Program Features Driver is not designed to run on this version of Operating System. The driver does not support the operating system on which it is installed. Consult the driver release notes and install the driver on a supported operating system or update the driver.
12 Hot-standby adapter %2 is selected as the primary adapter for a team without a load balancing adapter. A standby adapter has been activated. Replace the failed physical adapter.
13 Network adapter %2 does not support Advanced Failover. The physical adapter does not support the Broadcom NIC Extension (NICE). Replace the adapter with one that does support NICE.
14 Network adapter %2 is enabled via management interface. The driver has successfully enabled a physical adapter through the management interface. Informational message only. No action is required.
15 Network adapter %2 is disabled via management interface. The driver has successfully disabled a physical adapter through the management interface. Informational message only. No action is required.
16 Network adapter %2 is activated and is participating in network traffic. A physical adapter has been added to or activated in a team. Informational message only. No action is required.
17 Network adapter %2 is de-activated and is no longer participating in network traffic. The driver does not recognize the installed adapter. Informational message only. No action is required.

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