Multiple NIC support for increased bandwidth

jkbuckethead
Posts: 69
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2015 5:35 pm

Multiple NIC support for increased bandwidth

Postby jkbuckethead » Mon Jun 25, 2018 6:48 pm

I use my HDA as a media server so I am often transferring large HD and 4K video files. I am sure that this a very common use case for many Amahi users. I've noticed that my file transfers often saturate my 1 Gb/s connection. This makes sense since any decent modern hard drive is capable of exceeding 1 Gb/s transfer speeds. In fact most mechanical hard drives can just about double the throughput of 1 gig ethernet, and that's not even accounting for SSDs or simultaneous file requests from multiple users that access multiple drives. Clearly any file server these days can benefit from increased bandwidth. In order to remain relevant, Amahi should support one or more methods for increasing bandwidth.

Of course there are multiple methods to consider, so cost and compatibility should also be considered. For example, assuming the hardware is supported, 10 gigabit ethernet would be great, but the required NICs, switches, and cabling would be expensive upgrades for most users.

Something with lower hardware requirements like IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregation (LAG) would be a much better option for most users. LAG capable switches are reasonably affordable and they would allow users to get a 2-4X speed boost with equally affordable multi-port NICs. To my knowledge link aggregation is not explicitly supported by Amahi. There is no wiki entry, and the topic is not even discussed much on the forum. I found only two related posts from 4 and 5 years ago. One of those posts indicated that link aggregation was possible, but that it required the user to create and edit multiple configuration files. A GUI front end to enable LAG and generate the required config files would make the feature accessible to far more users.

There are also seem to be methods that do not even require LAG capable switches. I am no networking expert, but I recently enabled adaptive load balancing on my synology NAS, and I couldn't be more pleased. The whole process took 4 or 5 clicks, and only a minute or two. When it was complete the upload speed of the NAS had doubled. This does not help me when accessing from a single client with 1 gig ethernet, but it does help when making multiple simultaneous file requests. I also believe that the NAS download speed is still 1 Gb/s, but doubling the upload speed is still a huge benefit for a file server that sees more read requests than writes.

I am currently investigating ways to similarly increase my PC connection bandwidth. Do I really need the extra speed? Probably not, but cutting file transfer times in half or more would be great. I've read that it can be finicky, but I'll soon have a multi-port nic in hand to see if SMB multichannel works with my PC. I've read that SMB multichannel is supported in newer versions of linux so that could be a welcome addition to Amahi.

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bigfoot65
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Joined: Mon May 25, 2009 4:31 pm

Re: Multiple NIC support for increased bandwidth

Postby bigfoot65 » Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:20 am

If you are making a suggestion, please submit a feature request.

Does no good posting in the forums as the developers do not frequent them. We prefer to keep all suggestions for Amahi in the Bug Tracker.
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