I've been over at the "Killer Networking" site put out by a company called Rivet Networks << Killer Networking - Home >> The reason I came across them was setting up one of the grand-kids new gaming laptops with Win10... This laptop is pretty gutsy, and has a dual Killer NIC hardware set-up. A 1Gb ethernet NIC controller and a 801ac Wi-Fi controller... Apparently Killer Networking is doing something people have been trying to do for awhile, make appropriate use of multiple NIC's at the same time. I've tinkered with this in the past, and always run into the same caveats:
1) Your gonna be limitted by whatever size pipe you have as your gateway (In my house, that means ATT's U-Verse DSL at 25Mps down and around 2Mps up).
2) Windows only likes ONE default gateway.
However, I'm told that if you are running the proper server software, you CAN set up a machine to do load balancing between multiple NIC's and also make use of automatic fail-over whereby if your primary NIC fails, the OS can switch to another installed NIC as a backup.
Neither of those ideas really seem compelling, because you simply can't get past the two windows caveats listed above. You won't see any speed increase with multiple NIC's, on account your pipe is only so big (25mps in my case) and you can get that through any 801b,g,n device (ethernet or wi-fi). And heck, if your NIC fails, how much trouble is it to open the desk drawer and pull out an old wi-fi dongle, snap it into a USB port and be up and running, pretty much plug and play, in a minute or two.
Still, the Killer stuff seems to work on the grand-kid's laptop, and by golly it seems pretty snappy on my current ATT U-Verse set-up. We plugged a cat5 cable from the ethernet port to the ATT box, and ATT's DHCP gave it a private address. We clicked on the ATT SSID for wi-fi and entered the passcode and the laptop got another private DHCP address for the Wi-Fi adapter. We launch the Killer Networking suite and sure enough, it appears to be doing load balancing which we can configure.
So this fancy new laptop has done something I have been unable to do with all my other fancy stuff. It has gotten two DHCP addresses from the ATT box on one device, and appears to be doing load balancing between the two NICs on one device.
Pretty dern slick. Don't know if there is any speed increase, but there certainly "appears" to be an increase in total bandwidth. The laptop has two private addresses into the gateway, does this help?
I'm not savy enough to know how the actual router does it's own load balancing. I can only guess that it must be similar to the old TSO (time sharing operation - yes I am that old). Say you have a dozen devices connected to your gateway via a router, besides doing the important job of "routing" all the incoming and outgoing packets to the right address/device, the router itself must also divide time between the dozen or so devices, more or less equally, I would assume... It probably does this in measurement units in the millisecond range, meaning it is "devoting" it's attention to any one single device for a very short time, then switching to the next, and so on, like a thousand times a second... That's the way TSO used to work about 100 years ago when I actually had the chops to comprehend all this!
My point? It would seem, that having two address slots for one device in the address pool might help a bit on the total bandwidth side. The speed is still gonna be limited, and there is only one gateway, so the help may be limited - even unnoticable, but still a pretty slick implementation/idea.
Killer knows all this. They make no false claims. Thier software set-up (and website) clearly states the caveats, and says this will only really make a difference if you have multiple pipes/gateways to choose from, for example; if you could run cat5 to your U-verse box and then use w-fi on another network all-together, like your neighbor's... Did I just say that out loud? Ha!
SO the grand-kid has a cool machine. I want to know how Killer is doing this in Win10.
Here's what I would like to do:
I would like to have my beefy desktop connected to the world with my cat5 ethernet connection. Easy enough. Already done. I would now like to set my Hyper-V virtual machine to use my wi-fi dongle, and get it's own DHCP address from the ATT box. I mean, it IS a virtual machine, right? It should be able to have it's own NIC and negotiate it's own DHCP address just as if it were a seperate box sitting next to my desktop. My thinking would be thus:
I use the VM to load and run all the insider previews of Win10. I keep the current RTM version as my primary OS. Right now, I share my ethernet connection with the VM. Since I prefer to download and install either ESD or ISO files for each preview on the VM, this means there is considerable time spent with the VM on sites like Megasync, downloading the latest 4Gb preview. I'd like my VM to have it's own DHCP address, using my wi-fi dongle to do this task, while I keep working on my primary with my ethernet and it's own private address.
Just seems neater to me. Yes, there will be no speed gain. We are all still on the same pipe using the same gateway address... But, like the Killer Laptop arrangement, there may be a slight gain in overall bandwidth using seperate DHCP addresses.
I reckon this is sorta like me doing my own rudimentary load balancing. Let the VM start a 2hr download via wi-fi and it's own DHCP address, while I work and surf via my ethernet and it's own DHCP address.
Am I just spinning wheels, pressing buttons and seeing dials move for nothing? Or is there any benefit to multiple NIC's connected to the same pipe/gateway?
Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.