Having a fast-as-blazes Power Mac or Xserve operating as your file server is one part of the equation, but what happens when your server’s network interface is a performance bottleneck? Adding a multiport card is a solution, and to help make that as simple as possible for applications and other computers to work with, Small Tree Communications has released its IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregation networking software. Small Tree’s software bonds or trunks multiple Ethernet ports into a single “virtual” interface.
The software works with the built-in ports on Xserves or multiport ethernet cards, including Small Tree’s own Multiport Gigabit Ethernet Card, introduced in January at Macworld Expo in San Francisco, Calif. The software — which, as the name implies, complies with the IEEE 802.3ad standard, balances network traffic across the ports, which appear as a single IP address. Also supported is automatic failover, so if one of the ports fails, network traffic will be re-routed to a remaining port.
Small Tree said its software is useful for Web service, digital video, file service and other media server environments — it increases available bandwidth and reliability, allowing for larger client loads.
Compatible with G4 and G5 systems running Mac OS X v10.2 “Jaguar” or later, the 802.3ad Link Aggregation software’s price ranges from US$299 to $699 depending on how many ports and groups are supported. Small Tree also offers the software bundled with dual- and quad-port Copper Gigabit Ethernet cards — please visit the Web site for details.