Adapter failover with broadcom + intel cards

Bret Giuliani bret at
Mon Mar 25 10:39:00 CST 2002


I have a bunch of 2550s, and was in a similar situation a couple months 
ago (aggregation was important to me).  After hunting around for a 
solution, I came across a software product called NIC Express.  It will 
do load balancing, failover, or both.  In the course of my testing, I 
had it running with up to four different adapters.  Failover and 
aggregation have been very solid to date.

One potential downside:  NIC Express is closed-source.  However, their 
software development team has been extremely responsive to questions, 
problems, and enhancement suggestions.

It will run on 2.2.18, 2.2.19, and 2.4.0 - 2.4.16 kernel versions, 
including a couple of the RedHat builds (2.4.7-10 included).  Note that 
you may need to recompile your kernel, as NIC Express requires the 
bridging hooks code to be enabled.  Give them a look.  They have a 30 
day trial version available at:


Matthew Parslow wrote:

> I have 7 or so 2550s with the onboard e100s and bcm5700s.
> I want to get failover working with these two cards (aggregation is not
> important, they're on separate switches anyway)
> I installed the intel adapter teaming software (iANS 1.4.32) and
> configured
> it and everything seemed to be fine, however this error kept coming up
> in
> dmesg:
> baseGetMIIStatusInfo: eth1: Failed to get phy address
> And the failover part of the software didn't work! (it loads fine, and
> gives
> no errors, but when you disconnect the intel card, it doesn't work) in
> fact
> it never shows the broadcom card as up at all.
> My first test was with the same software on a 2500 with two e100s, which
> worked perfectly.
> After the intel failover didn't work, I tried the broadcom BASP software
> (2.0.5), but the SLB functionality requires the drivers to have NICE
> support, and I couldn't find any intel drivers that had NICE support.
> If anyone can shed some light on this, or suggest an alternative
> solution,
> as we really don't want to buy extra NICs for these machines.
> I'm using RH7.2 with 2.4.7 and the broadcom(2.0.34)+intel(1.6.14)
> drivers
> off the dell site (I also tried the BASP stuff with the eepro100 driver)
> Matthew Parslow
> Unix administrator
> Lonely Planet Publications (Australia)
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