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Configuring network bonding

Publication Date: 05/24/2022

1 Environment

This document applies to the following products and product versions:

  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 SP3, 15 SP2, 15 SP1, 15 GA, 12 SP5, 12 SP4, 12 SP3

  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications 15 SP3, 15 SP2, 15 SP1, 15 GA, 12 SP5, 12 SP4, 12 SP3

  • SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension 15 SP3, 15 SP2, 15 SP1, 15 GA, 12 SP5, 12 SP4, 12 SP3

  • SUSE Linux Enterprise High Performance Computing 15 SP3, 15 SP2, 15 SP1, 15 GA

  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 15 SP3, 15 SP2, 15 SP1, 15 GA, 12 SP5, 12 SP4, 12 SP3

  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Real Time 15 SP3, 15 SP2, 15 SP1, 15 GA, 12 SP5, 12 SP4, 12 SP3

2 Introduction

Network bonding combines two or more network cards into a single bonding device to increase bandwidth or provide redundancy. The behavior of the bonding device is configured using bonding modes. The following bonding modes are available:

0 (balance-rr)

Packets are transmitted in round-robin fashion from the first to the last available interface. Provides fault tolerance and load balancing.

1 (active-backup)

Only one network interface is active. If it fails, a different interface becomes active. This is the default mode. Provides fault tolerance.

2 (balance-xor)

Traffic is split between all available interfaces based on the following policy: [(source MAC address XOR'd with destination MAC address XOR packet type ID) modulo slave count]. Requires support from the switch. Provides fault tolerance and load balancing.

3 (broadcast)

All traffic is broadcast on all interfaces. Requires support from the switch. Provides fault tolerance.

4 (802.3ad)

Aggregates interfaces into groups that share the same speed and duplex settings. Requires ethtool support in the interface drivers, and a switch that supports and is configured for IEEE 802.3ad Dynamic link aggregation. Provides fault tolerance and load balancing.

5 (balance-tlb)

Adaptive transmit load balancing. Requires ethtool support in the interface drivers but not switch support. Provides fault tolerance and load balancing.

6 (balance-alb)

Adaptive load balancing. Requires ethtool support in the interface drivers but not switch support. Provides fault tolerance and load balancing.

For a more detailed description of the modes, see https://www.kernel.org/doc/Documentation/networking/bonding.txt.

Tip
Tip: Bonding and Xen

Bonding devices are made up of multiple real network cards. In most configurations, this means that you should only set up bonding in Dom0. To set up bonding in a VM Guest, you must have multiple network cards assigned to the VM Guest system.

Note
Note: IBM POWER: Bonding modes 5 and 6 (balance-tlb and balance-alb) unsupported by ibmveth

The bonding drivers in tlb mode and alb mode send Ethernet Loopback packets with both the source and destination MAC addresses listed as the Virtual Ethernet MAC address. These packets are not supported by Power firmware. Therefore, bonding modes 5 and 6 are unsupported by ibmveth.

3 Requirements

  • Network connection

  • Existing network cards to include in the bonding device

  • Basic understanding of networking and IP addresses

4 Configuring network bonding

  1. Start the graphical version of YaST, or run the command yast2 to start YaST in text mode.

  2. Select System / Network Settings.

  3. Select Add and change the Device Type to Bonding, then select Next to open the Network Card Setup menu.

  4. In the Address tab, select how to assign an IP address to the bonding device:

    • Dynamic Address: Automatically assign a dynamic IP address. The default setup is to use DHCP with both IPv4 and IPv6. You can change these settings if required.

    • Statically Assigned IP Address: Manually assign an IP Address, Subnet Mask, and Hostname.

    • Do not use No Link and IP Setup. This option is only used for individual network cards that will be added to a bonding device.

  5. In the Bond Slaves tab, select the network cards to include in the bonding device by activating the check boxes.

  6. From the Bond Driver Options drop-down box, choose a bonding mode. The default mode is active-backup.

    Important

    Do not remove miimon=100. Without this parameter, data integrity is not checked regularly.

  7. Select Next, then select OK to create the bonding device.

  8. Select Quit or press F9 to close YaST.

5 Next steps

  • Hotplugging NICs into an existing network bond