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Network card failover
« on: November 07, 2007, 10:33:40 AM »

I have 6 NIC in one my  two  node cluster. I wanted to  configure en2 for service IP alias and failover to en4.same way need to  club en3 to en5 as primary  and standby resp. and en0 and en1 as HB primary/standby. Can anyone tell me how do I configure this network  card failover to another card in  the same server...?

Thanks in advance.


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Re: Network card failover
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2007, 08:49:50 AM »
Well, depending on the rest of your setup, the switch adapter routines should be fairly automatic. If each of the pairs you mention are in a seperate LAN or VLAN HACMP will do the exchange for you automatically.

If you have these pairs are all in one segment/LAN/VLAN I would appreciate some extra information regarding your setup before continuing.


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Re: Network card failover
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2007, 05:53:52 AM »
Hi Michael,
My setup is

en0 en1 are onboard network  interfaces.
en2 and en3 are in a duel NIC conencted in 2nd slot
en4 and en5 are in a duel NIC connected in 4th slot
My plan is to  have en0 and en1 to  be set for primay  and standby.
en2 and en5 to  be clubbed together to use for application data traffic as failover mode.
en3 and en5 to  be clubbed together to use for Dataprotector backup integration as failover mode.

How do  I define this specific format of failover,.? If this is automatic how does it identifies as interfaces lying in  different slots..(then it can club even en0 and en5 also  without our knowledge..)? But we can define the failover group in MC Servicegurad.


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Re: Network card failover
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2007, 06:16:03 PM »
What I would do in your situation is use ethernet aggregation to to create a new interface that sets up the paried relation you want. This will create two new entX interfaces (ent6 and ent7).

Then you configure these interfaces (i.e. en6 and en7) as your pairs. As an NIB (network interface backup) you can even add ent0 and ent1 as fallback interfaces in case an interface pair (ent2/ent5) or (ent3/ent4) fail.

If you are still scratching your head - let me know, and I'll try to find time to write a HOWTO on setting up etherchannel and NIB with AIX.

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Re: Network card failover - Configuring Ether Channel
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2007, 12:47:30 PM »
Oooh, I'll do that...   It's really simple but perhaps not immediately obvious.

Configuring Ether Channel As A Link Aggregation In Backup Mode

"Etherchannel" has been around for some time, there is a "smit etherchannel" in AIX 4.3.3 for example.  It's a proprietary Cisco implementation which requires a capable switch and for all involved connections to be to that switch with "link polling" activate.  By linking NIC ports as an "Etherchannel" it is possible to achieve greater combined throughput or load balancing - that would be using the "standard" or "round robin" modes. 

Link Aggregation, as in "802.3ad", is an Open standard for essentially the same thing.  In AIX there are some added control features.  Importantly, as shown here it does not require a single special switch to provide resilient fail-over between NIC ports in "backup" mode.  The backup adapter is not normally in use, it is a hot standby and will fail-back automatically after a fail-over - much like an HACMP controlled pair of adapters.  The 802.3ad features came in with AIX V5.1, and have been modified a bit in AIX 5.2 and 5.3. The screens here reflect AIX 5.3

802.3ad ether channel link aggregation in backup adapter mode provides a resilient twin-path connection for a single service IP address by creating a new virtual interface for TCP.IP configuration to use.  Only identical adapter types are supported in such a pairing, although mixed types of ports on different cards may well work.  The MAC address of the primary adapter in the pairing (ent0 say) will be used as the MAC address for the combined interface (of say ent0 and ent1 to create a new ent2).

Before you start, work out which logical enX interface is associated with which physical NIC port,
so that you know which ports you want to conjoin.  And of course what IP addresses etc you will use.

The pairing must be done before any configuration of IP addresses, but after making the underlying interface tuning. 
So use "smitty chgenet", "smitty chif" and "chdev -l enX ?a tcp_nodelay=1" first.  Set "jumbo frames" on each adapter if also required in the later aggregation, make sure link polling is activated. 

Once established as an aggregation, the individual component interfaces cannot be tuned. 
A pairing cannot be made if the individual interfaces have IP addresses assigned.

So let's consider en0 and en1 to be paired...

?smit etherchannel? - select the "Add An EtherChannel / Link Aggregation" option, and then "en0" say as the primary of the pair:

                  EtherChannel / IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregation                 
Move cursor to desired item and press Enter.                                   
  List All EtherChannels / Link Aggregations                                   
  Add An EtherChannel / Link Aggregation                                       
  Change / Show Characteristics of an EtherChannel / Link Aggregation         
  Remove An EtherChannel / Link Aggregation                                   
  Force A Failover In An EtherChannel / Link Aggregation                       
  |                       Available Network Interfaces                       |
  |                                                                          |
  | Move cursor to desired item and press F7.                                |
  |     ONE OR MORE items can be selected.                                   |
  | Press Enter AFTER making all selections.                                 |
  |                                                                          |
  |   ent0                                                                   |
  |   ent1                                                                   |
  |   ent2                                                                   |
  |                                                                          |
  | F1=Help                 F2=Refresh              F3=Cancel                |
  | F7=Select               F8=Image                F10=Exit                 |
F1| Enter=Do                /=Find                  n=Find Next              |

Only selecting one adapter there, as when more than one adapter is selected there it requires the Etherchannel proprietary switch configuration. 

In the next screen, tab-toggle ?802.3ad? mode and select ?ent1? as the ?backup? adapter to ?en0? from an ?F4? list:

                     Add An EtherChannel / Link Aggregation                     
Type or select values in entry fields.                                         
Press Enter AFTER making all desired changes.                                   
                                                        [Entry Fields]         
  EtherChannel / Link Aggregation Adapters            ent0                   + 
  Enable Alternate Address                            no                     + 
  Alternate Address                                  []                      + 
  Enable Gigabit Ethernet Jumbo Frames                no                     + 
  Mode                                                8023ad                 + 
  Hash Mode                                           default                + 
  Backup Adapter                                      ent1                   + 
       Automatically Recover to Main Channel          yes                    + 
  Internet Address to Ping                           []                         
  Number of Retries                                  []                      +#
  Retry Timeout (sec)                                []                      +#
F1=Help             F2=Refresh          F3=Cancel           F4=List             
Esc+5=Reset         F6=Command          F7=Edit             F8=Image           
F9=Shell            F10=Exit            Enter=Do                               

The ?802.3ad? mode requires no special switch configuration to link ports in this manner.  The AIX implementation of this standard allows the administrator to choose which adapters are linked at the pSeries end ? with other implementations it is usually negotiated.  The backup adapter will not be used until the live one fails-over to it, fail-back is then automatic when the original connection is restored.

The final options relating to an IP address to ping, enable the connection to be constantly doing a heartbeat check from the higher protocol layers, although that is not absolutely necessary for the fail-over to work because of the underlying link polling.

Finally configure TCP/IP as usual with the new ?en2? (the next available number) interface that has been configured here.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2008, 09:21:37 AM by John Peck »