The best part of my job is that I get to talk with customers about their technical and business needs. Every so often a customer brings me a requirement that forces me to do a little research. Such was the case when Nicole, an analyst and client, had asked me to explain how the appliance could fulfill the network link aggregation requirement put in place by her datacenter team.

If you are not aware, link aggregation is fairly standard way of combining two (or more) network ports into a single, logical link. These are often used to provide additional throughput to a host, or to provide network resilience.

The appliance itself is already pretty resilient. It features redundant power supplies, RAID protected hard disks, and multiple network interfaces. In addition, the appliance supports the use of Splunk® Indexer Clustering and Search Head Clusters.

But let’s get back to the network bonding requirement. The Gemini SBOX appliance has been designed to support several types of integration:

  • round-robin
  • active-backup
  • XOR
  • broadcast
  • 802.3ad dynamic
  • adaptive transmit load balancing
  • adaptive load balancing

When deciding between modes, you’ll want to consider your existing network infrastructure. If your goal is failover with increased throughput and your network switches do not support 802.3ad, consider implementing adaptive load balancing. In any case, it’s probably a great idea to check with your networking team to see what types of bonding they require/support. Much of this switch is dependent and needs configuration on the infrastructure side.

Configuring Network Bonding within the Gemini SBOX administrative GUI is pretty simple. We call this GUI the Gemini Enterprise Manager. You will first have to define a virtual Interface. Start with Node -> Network -> Bonding and you will be prompted to create a virtual NIC.

Once that is created, the Virtual NIC (usually bond0) will appear in the Bonding tab. Here, you can modify the specific details of the new bonded interface.

A word of warning from the Gemini Support team. If you are considering creating a bonded interface, it is suggested that you utilize one of the existing ports as a single interface ‘backup.’ This will allow you to connect back to the appliance should any of the bonding settings not match the settings on the switch.

As always, additional information about the Gemini SBOX appliance and all of its features (including network bonding) can be obtained from your Gemini sales and support team. If you are not sure where to reach out, please do so at contact@geminidata.com and we will get right back to you.