Dell PE R515 Ethernet bonding in CentOS 6 problem

Howard Powell hbp4c at
Wed Jul 20 09:41:36 CDT 2011

I have three Dell PowerEdge R515 systems which I have configured alike with CentOS 6 x86_64.  Each system has the two built-in Broadcom NetXtreme II adapter and an additional two port Broadcom NetXtreme II network card, for a total of four gigabit network ports per machine.  The NICs are up to date with the latest firmware, and I've updated the OS to it's most recent kernel.

I am unable to bond the network interfaces together in CentOS 6 like I was able to do in CentOS 5.  

In C6, I have created a bonding.conf file in /etc/modprobe.d and in it is the line:
alias netdev-bond0 bonding
(note that the bond0 issues a depricated warning as of the latest 2.6.32-71.29.1.el6.x86_64 kernel - so use the recommended "netdev-bond0" instead).

I have created the file /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-bond0 with the following:
DNS1="<my DNS>"
DNS2="<my DNS>"
DNS3="<my DNS>"
GATEWAY="<my gateway>"
IPADDR="<my aggregated IP address>"
BONDING_OPTS="miimon=100 mode=6"

I have modified the /etc/sysconfig/network-script/ifcfg-eth? files to each include the following:
DEVICE="eth<the ethernet interface>"
HWADDR="<the unique hardware address of each NIC>"

If I then issue a "service network restart" command, the bond0 interface will come up but no eth? interfaces will start.  I have tested this on other systems (a Dell precision T3500) and the eth? interfaces start correctly, as expected.  Bonding these NICs worked in CentOS 5.6 with no problems.

I am able to "ifenslave bond0 eth?" each of the ethernet interfaces, and the connection works.  However, upon reboot, the system is does not start the slave interfaces and therefore is not available on the network until someone manually enslaves each interface.

It seems that the init scripts see the SLAVE="yes" comment of the eth devices and ignores the interface.  As I noted though, bonding works on other systems but the problem I have described here is repeatable on each of my PE R515s.

I'm open to ideas.  Thanks!

Howard Powell
hbp4c at

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