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SMB CIFS EIGRP load balancing

I've got a data center which uplinks to an old facility over redundant fiber links where servers are stored. 4 equal cost links configured with EIGRP terminating a pair of 4500's running VSS and two 6500 SUP720's on the other end. With the default per destination load balancing CIFS and SMB suffer greatly. I'm familiar with block protocols and their limitations, but am having a hard time finding any field notes or guides that might assist with performance tuning. I'm only looking for performance tuning for the switching method and protocol load balancing.

Has anyone run into this in the past and could point me in the right direction for good documentation? Currently we're using prefered links with EIGRP instead of load balancing equal cost links. Benchmarks for the file transfers improved ten fold. Thanks!

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Hall of Fame Super Silver

SMB CIFS EIGRP load balancing

There are several things in your explanation that I do not understand. But what I think I do understand is that you had 4 equal cost links and you were doing load sharing over these links. Performance was not good (at least for some applications) and you stopped doing load sharing (I think perhaps using a single link) and performance improved.

If that understanding is correct then my first question is whether the equal cost links were really equal capacity and equal performance links. The kind of symptoms that you describe are frequently associated with out of order packets. And out of order packets can sometimes be caused by using links that are of unequal capacity or when some links have much higher packet loss than other links.

I offer this suggestion as something that you might consider. You could continue to use a preferred path for most traffic. Then you could configure Policy Based Routing and send traffic for selected applications over one of the other links. In this way each application would be using a single link and have the advantage of a single link but each of your links could be used for certain types of traffic.

HTH

Rick

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