9.4. Channel Bonding Made Easy

Contributed by Evan Hisey

Channel bonding is actually horrible easy. This may explain the lack of documentation on this subject A bonded network appears as a normal network to the applications. All machines on a subnet must be bonded the same way. Bonded and non-bonded machine really don't talk well to each other.

Channel bonding needs at least two physical sub-nets but can have more(Currently I have a tri-bonded cluster). To enable bonding you need to either compile in to the kernel or as a module (bonding.o) the Channel Bonding kernel code, as of 2.4.x is it a standard option of the kernel. The NIC's are setup as normal with except that you only us 'ifconfig' to initialize the first card of the bond. 'ifenslave' is used to initialize the remaining cards in the bonded connection. 'ifenslave' can be locate in the linux/Documentation/network/ directory. It will need to be compiled as it is a .c file. The basic format for use is

ifenslave <master> <slave1> <slave2> ...
Channel bonded networks can connect to standard networks via a router or bridge that supports channel bonding( I just use an extra NIC and port-forwarding in the head node).