Linux Test Project

Ether Channel Hardening


March 18, 2002

Introduction

This document summarizes the Ether Channel Hardening test effort of the IBM Linux Technology Center Test Team. It will further describe the test approach, unresolved issues, environment, test cases, and observations IBM Austin TX. It will also identify areas where additional testing is needed.

Test approach

The test was be conducted in different phases. First phase of testing was done with the systems connected back to back using twisted pair cables. In the second phase the systems were connected and the tests were executed for a longer duration. The Intel gigabit Ethernet driver can handle up to 8 cards. This capability of the driver was also stressed. All the stress tests under LTP was run along with the ether-channel hardening tests. The log files in /var/log directory was examined to see if any error or warning messages were logged either by the fiber optic card driver or the kernel.

Exit criteria

Unresolved issues

I was unable to bond the NIC's due to driver problems. Defects were raised in bugzilla the links are as below.

1. http://bugzilla.Linux.ibm.com/show_bug.cgi?id=630
e1000.o modules has to implement routine to set mac address.
2. http://bugzilla.Linux.ibm.com/show_bug.cgi?id=631
2.4.18.pre9 does not allow parameter to be passed to bonding.o

Areas for further testing

The Ethernet cards can be bonded together in various modes, they can be bonded to in active backup mode, XOR mode etc depending on the desired intend. This test will require additional hardware - Giga bit fiber optic switch.

Test environment

This section details the distributions, and kernel versions, and defines the hardware configurations used during testing.

Distributions

Initial test efforts focused on commercially available distributions. The LTC is continually evaluating its' test environment and may add additional distributions in the future. The distributions and releases for the test effort were as follows:

Kernels

The official Linus Kernels were used, available at www.kernel.org.

Hardware configurations

Test requires 12 Gigabit fiber optic Ethernet cards, fiber optic cables, 2 enterprise level machines.

Name Processor Memory Storage Other
SMP I Intel Pentium III (8-way) 12GB 18GB
SMP II Intel Pentium III (8-way) 12GB 18GB
SMP III Intel Pentium III (8-way) 12GB 18GB

Test cases and observations

The tests were all executed successfully per the test plan.


SMP I
Location: Manual test.
Description: Six fiber optic Gigabit cards are connected back to back to six other fiber optic Gigabit cards, NetPipe is executed on each one of them for 24 hours with different buffer sizes.
Target Test Duration:24 hours
Average Test Duration:24 hours
Hardware:cobra.ltc.Austin.ibm.com and ozzy.ltc.Austin.ibm.com
Kernel:2.4.x
Distributions:SuSE 7.2
Observations:Test executed for 24 hours, no messages or warnings were recorded.

SMP II
Location:Manual test.
Description:Six fiber optic Gigabit cards are connected back to back to six other fiber optic Gigabit cards, NetPipe is executed on each one of them for 96 hours with different buffer sizes.
Target Test Duration:96 hours
Average Test Duration:96 hours
Hardware:cobra.ltc.Austin.ibm.com and ozzy.ltc.Austin.ibm.com
Kernel:2.4.x
Distributions:SuSE 7.2
Observations:Test executed for 96 hours, no messages or warnings were recorded.

SMP III
Location:Manual test.
Description:Six fiber optic Gigabit cards are connected back to back to six other fiber optic Gigabit cards, NetPipe is executed on each one of them for 96 hours with different buffer sizes. The system was operating under heavy stress, the LTP test-suite including the networking tests were executed along with the NetPipe tests.
Target Test Duration:96 hours
Average Test Duration:96 hours
Hardware:cobra.ltc.Austin.ibm.com and ozzy.ltc.Austin.ibm.com
Kernel:2.4.x
Distributions:SuSE 7.3
Observations:Test executed for 96 hours, no messages or warnings were recorded.

Test team:
manjo@austin.ibm.com

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