Intel and Compaq this week introduced jointly developed technology they say can bond together Fast Ethernet server connections into any standards-based switch.
The vendors each introduced a dual-port server adapter that supports the Adaptive Load Balancing capability and can link a server to two different network segments at different speeds.
Compaq and Intel's technology allows users to link as many as four 10/100Mbps connections, to receive data on one port and send on all four. With just two network interface cards (NICs), enterprises can get as much as 400Mbps of throughput, officials said. The technology also provides automatic fail-over capability.
Cisco last year introduced Fast EtherChannel technology, which can merge four server-to-switch or switch-to-switch links into one, providing as much as 800Mbps of full-duplex throughput. But Cisco's technology requires special intelligence added to the switch.
The Compaq and Intel adapters also support Fast EtherChannel.
The adapters' dual ports can also link a server to two separate network segments, either at the same speed or with one port operating at 100Mbps and one at 10Mbps. They also support the PCI Hotplug technology co-developed by Compaq and Intel, which lets users swap out an NIC without shutting down the server.