Link Aggregation Switches
With link aggregation switches, administrators combine multiple links into one larger connection. The links are joined in parallel to increase backbone capacity and prevent data disruptions in the event that one link fails. Aggregated links can be established using switches, servers and other equipment. The link aggregation method is often employed in a high-speed pipeline to support the efficient transmission of bulk data. The technique may also be referred to as port trunking, link bundling, or Ethernet bonding. It can involve connecting:
- Two or more links from separate switches into one larger switch
- Two or more links from server ports into a switch port
The creation of groups of aggregated links results in higher capacity. Aggregating Ethernet links is a cost-effective method of boosting total bandwidth without upgrading hardware.
Dynamic Link Aggregation Solutions
The Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP) creates one logical connection from bundled physical ports. The multiple ports act as a single major port. This channel can be managed and monitored dynamically. The protocol is often referred to as dynamic link aggregation when a number of ports are connected to make a single high-bandwidth network. Dynamic link aggregation provides greater control over connections than static link aggregation.
Networking Redundancy and Throughput Enhancement
With the configuration of a Link Aggregation Group (LAG), two to four connections can be combined. This results in networking redundancy and throughput enhancement. With network redundancy, if one segment of the LAG fails, the connection is still maintained. The establishment of a LAG also expands total bandwidth. Though the data flow of individual devices on the network remains stable, overall aggregate throughput increases.