Browse Prior Art Database

Intelligence load-balancing scheme for Etherchannel Disclosure Number: IPCOM000020988D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Dec-16
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Dec-16
Document File: 2 page(s) / 28K

Publishing Venue



Disclosed is an Intelligence load-balancing scheme for Etherchannel to balance Etherchannel adapter load by monitoring outstanding number of bytes in an adapter, and skip queuing until adapter load drops to an acceptable level.

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Intelligence load-balancing scheme for Etherchannel

It is expected that multimedia data such as video and audio will
soon dominate the data transmission on the Internet. Since such
multimedia data is much more demanding on server bandwidth than
conventional textual data, new-generation servers will need to be
equipped with high communication capability. EtherChannel
technology address these business needs by grouping multiple
network adapters together to form a larger pipe. For instance,
four 1-Gigabit ethernet adapters can be combined in a server to
realize a single 4-Gigabit network interface using one IP
address. To balance the transmission workload among these
different adapters, today's Etherchannel port aggregation
software evenly allocates the data packets among these adapters
in a round-robin fashion. Although this scheme performs very
well under a homogeneous environment, it suffers under more
realistic situations as follows:

1) Since each adapter is assigned the same number of packets for
transmission, their workload can be severely imbalanced if the
packets vary greatly in size.

2) Even if the packets are equal in size, less capable adapters
will take longer to transmit the same amount of data.

In practice, the transmission capability of a network adapter can
be affected by four factors: the slot size (32 bits vs. 64 bits),
slot speed (33 MHz, 66 MHz, or 133 MHz), degree of bus contention
(how many adapters are sharing the I/O bus), and the data rate
from the network. A good load-balancing scheme should take into
consideration all these factors and the sizes of the data
packets; otherwise, data can queue up at some of the EtherChannel
adapters causing undesirable transmission delay.

The aforementioned problems can be addressed by monitoring the
outstanding number of bytes in each adapter, and skipping queuing...