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How to Enable Load Balancing - TID2909238 (last modified 17JUN1998)
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Load balancing is a process by which one can increase efficiency of bandwidth by binding two network cards to the same IPX network address, and do a "round robin" effect of packets to the network from the server. This process will only work for the IPX protocol. Load balancing will not work for Appletalk, TCP/IP, or any other server protocol besides IPX.
Also, keep in mind that load balancing does the "round robin" effect for outgoing packets only. Packets coming in to the server from the network will be random depending upon which card is available to take the incoming packets.

NOTE: Load Balancing does NOT provide redundancy for nic's on the Netware server. Load balancing is to increase efficiency between cards on the network with the "round robin" effect. However, if one of the load balancing nic's goes bad, the load balancing will have to be turned off, the bad nic removed and unbound from the ipx protocol before the workstations can attach to the other card in the server. Otherwise, half the outgoing packets will be lost. The only way to get true redundance in a Netware server is with SFTIII.

I. Enabling Load Balancing On 4.x Server.

On a file server running NetWare 4.x, INETCFG is used to enable load balancing. In INETCFG enable NLSP routing, and define the maximum number of path splits. Then, turn on Load Balancing with a set command at the server console prompt. The steps to complete these tasks are as follows:

At the server console:
       (Be sure you are using the current version of IPXRTR. As of mid-1998, this is the common version found in IPX65G.exe. NOTE: The version of IPXRTR that ships with NetWare 4.10 does not support load balancing. )

    2. LOAD INETCFG Select the following:
    Advanced IPX --- Enabled
                    Routing Protocol --- NLSP with Rip/Sap Compatibility
                    Expert Configuration Options
                        Maximum Number of Path Splits -- set to the number of cards that will be used in load balancing
        Exit INETCFG and save changes

        (To force changes made in INETCFG take effect immediately)

         (Be sure to add this command in AUTOEXEC.NCF after IPXRTR loads)

II. Enabling Load Balancing On 3.x Server.

On a file server running NetWare 3.x, INETCFG is not available without MPR. Load Balancing can still be enabled by modifying the NLSP configuration file, and adding two SET commands in AUTOEXEC.NCF. The steps to complete these tasks are as follows:

   1. Log in as Supervisor at a workstation and use any text editor to modify the file NLSP.CFG. This file is found in the SYS:ETC directory. Edit NLSP.CFG to add the following section:

    {GLOBAL MaxPaths =n}

      where n is the number of path splits to be set -- i.e. the number of cards to be used in load balancing.

   2. At the server console LOAD INSTALL, and add the following in AUTOEXEC.NCF:


        (Be sure you are using the current version of IPXRTR; found in IPXRT4.EXE As of Oct 96)

   3. Down and restart the server.

For more information, see (x)BALANCE.TXT in IPXRTR(x).EXE.

Document Title: How to Enable Load Balancing
Document ID: 2909238
Creation Date: 20JUN1996
Modified Date: 17JUN1998
Document Revision: 11
Novell Product Class: Connectivity Products
Novell BorderManager Services
Novell Product and Version: NetWare MultiProtocol Router
NetWare 3.11
NetWare 3.12
NetWare 4.1
NetWare 4.11
NetWare 5
intraNetWare 4.11
BorderManager Enterprise Edition 3


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