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Windows 7: New Cisco SG200-08 Switch/Gigabyte EP45-UD3P/Realtek 81xx NIC TEAMING

10 Jun 2011   #1
Darryl Licht

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit Steve Ballmer Signature Edition
NIC TEAMING Cisco SG200-08 Switch/Gigabyte EP45-UD3P/Realtek 81xx

I just received my new Cisco SG200-08 GB Managed Switch yesterday! Requirements were future proofing my network with IPv6, POE, VOIP, VPN,... Actually this thing has too many features... for now! Awesome switch @ $117!!! - Cisco Small Business SLM2008T-NA 10/100/1000Mbps SG200-08 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch 8 x RJ45

After setting up the switch and rewiring both Realtek 81xx gigabit nics to the new switch with cat6, I set out for all the info on TEAMING the 2 NICs on my Gigabyte EP45 UD3P Mobo. KEY ISSUE HERE: DO YOUR HOMEWORK ON YOUR NICS, MOBO, & "TEAMING UTILITY". This worked for me because I run a mobo with dual nics that support this "teaming" feature. I have a Gigabyte EP45-UD3P utilizing dual Realtek 81xx NICs, which do support "Bundling" the NICs. Any similar mobo with dual 81xx realteks should work the same... read on!

First off, to anybody who thinks this is going to be a magic cure... it isnt! Your 2.0 Gbps possible bandwidth on a pair of teamed NICs isnt going to make the Internet any faster... most "high" speed Internet connections here in USA top out at 50-60 mbps. This teaming, or more correctly link aggregation, can help if you run a media, file, or game server ON A LOCAL NETWORK. It might also help if you are a LAN party fanatic ! ...BYOS (Bring Your Own Switch)!

Link aggregation is often abbreviated LAG. Other terms include: trunking, link bundling, Ethernet/network/NIC bonding, NIC teaming, port channel, EtherChannel, Multi-Link Trunking, and IEEE 802.3ad.

Another thing... This will only work if your switch, or switch/router supports Link Aggregation or one of the other names for it above. Luckily, this was a prerequisite for my network switch upgrade and the Cisco SG200-08 does support it and more!

Next... off to visit the Gigabyte support site and download the drivers for your correct MOBO, OS, and NIC. This should be available for any mobos that have dual Realtek 81xx NICs and possibly others. I run Win7 Ultimate, and chose the most recent driver (dated 02/2011)... also make sure you get the Realtek Ethernet Diagnostic Utility

Upgrade the drivers first, then install the Realtek Ethernet Diagnostic Utility (REDU). Once installed, I chose Teaming right in the middle of the app, then chose each of my nics, named the "team", and a new 3rd virtual nic was creted showing 2.0 Gbps!
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Finally, I configured the new switch to link the two ports into which the "teamed" nics were plugged. My Cisco switch supports up to 4 LAGs, with 8 ports per LAG. If you own the same switch you will find the settings under Port Management > Link Aggregation > LAG Management.

My PC functions as a media server, and it does seem like this has helped improve my local network speeds.

Now, I need to run some tests... any ideas on how or what I can use to test this?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jun 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64/Windows 8 Consumer Preview x64/Ubuntu 11.04

Unfortunately I don't have any ideas. I've never tested my network speeds before and therefore have no experience in these matters.

First off, to anybody who thinks this is going to be a magic cure... it isnt! Your 2gbps possible bandwidth on a pair of teamed NICs isnt going to make the Internet any faster... most "high" speed Internet connections here in USA top out at 50-60 mbps. This teaming, or more correctly link aggregation, can help if you run a media, file, or game server. It might also help if you are a lan party type... BYOS (Bring Your Own Switch)!
50-60mbps?! We're lucky to get 3mbps here in Australia!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jun 2011   #3
Darryl Licht

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit Steve Ballmer Signature Edition

Average speed here is probably the same... I'm talking about the high speed end of broadband here; Fiber, cable, etc...
My System SpecsSystem Spec

16 Aug 2011   #4

Win 7 Premium x64

Intel® NAS Performance Toolkit

i used this tool kit to Benchmark my NAS over a gigabit connection.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Aug 2011   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Hi Darryl this is a long shot question but I noticed VPN in your first post. Have you every tried the Windows setup of VPN and if so have you every got it to work? I have tried countless times only to fail with error 807 and others with all ports open and clearly having the thing setup correctly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Oct 2013   #6

Windows 7 Professional SP1, x64

Darryl: I would REALLY appreciate your help with a question that I have about Dual NIC Teaming on a Gigabyte GA-45P-UD3P Board (rev 1.6). I have read your Post and it has been VERY HELPFUL! I have created the 2.0 GB virtual LAN and I have the Cisco SG-200-08 Switch up and running, but I’m not too sure that I have correctly set-up the LAG parameters. This is where I need your advice.

I have one NIC cable going into port 1 and the other into port 2. Ports 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 are cabled with runs to 5 unmanaged 1 GB Switches throughout the house. Port 8 goes to the Router. Both the appropriate Comcast IPv4 and IPv6 addresses are showing up in the Switch and in the Windows Local Area Network Properties. Everything seems to be running fine on the network. But the Help Section for the SG-200 Switch is a little thin on how exactly you configure the LAG. Going into the Switch’s firmware, at the LAG Management Table, I placed the first NIC cable into ch1 (named it TEAMING A), set it as Static and made g1 as the only member. I repeated this for ch2 (TEAMING B), set it also as Static, and only made g2 the member. Both channels 1 and 2 show their Link State as “Up.” I have left all the original default settings for the LACP Interface Table, with all 8 of the LACP Modes as Enabled.

So, is this the right way to do all of this? If not, could you tell me how you set your Switch up? It would be GREATLY APPRECIATED, trust me on that!

Crazy Jumpin Jack
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 New Cisco SG200-08 Switch/Gigabyte EP45-UD3P/Realtek 81xx NIC TEAMING

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