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I want to create a small 10Gbps network where a Netgear XS708E switch connects a Synology DS3612xs NAS to multiple Macs with SANLink2 10GBase-T thunderbolt/ethernet adaptors.

I've read that the switch provides Link Aggregation, but I've never worked with this technology before. All I know is I can create 2 x 10Gbps = 20Gbps connections with it. So it seems interesting!

What I'd like to know before digging in to this is what the possibilities are for doing this. Can I just combine any two ports I like for LA? And, because the switch only provides 8 ports, can I just add another switch and go on with LA on the other switch, so that I will have (for example) 8 LA connections over 16 ports? And is it possible to create one VLAN with multiple switches?

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You can create a Lagg interface with up to eight ports (says the standard. your switch allows only four ports). It's good because it also provides some level of fault tolerance in your network, if one of the ports become unavailable, the others carry on without the need to reconfigure anything.

According to here, you can only configure 4 Laggs with 2 or 4 ports in it.

Can I just combine any two ports I like for LA? Yes!

Can I just add another switch and go on with LA on the other switch: Yes, but you'll need to connect both switches, and since they're not stackable, you'll need to use some ports and Lagg to connect them.

Is it possible to create one VLAN with multiple switches? Yes, but remember the switches must be connected.

But practically speaking, why would you wanna do that? I'm running a network with over 400k customers that span over a whole city and have 6 stations spread around, interconnected in a 40gbps ring that won't go near 20gbps most of the time. Also, do you have two 10G interfaces on each of your desktops/laptops?

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  • Thanks for your clear answer Pedro, I'm glad so much is possible! We are a creative company and do a lot of video-projects. We want to be able to work on projects that are stored on the NAS. Because video is quickly growing towards 4K, we want to be able to work on projects with 4K video-source files right from the server with our MacPro's. The thunderbolt adaptors provide 2x 10GbE. So technically we should be able to transfer at 20Gbps, right? Also we want to be able to transfer our source to the server fast after we did a production. – Tim Baas Jul 29 '14 at 14:46
  • Nice, Tim. I think it's then justified. You're gonna make it very good use. I'm on my phone right now, but if you have the time, look the switch data sheet up and try to look up the backplane. The backplane is the switching capacity that the processor has. Most equipment is not made to work at full loads at all times, so if your switch backplane is less than 80Gbps you might have a few (or a lot) of packet drops during high usage periods. – Pedro Brito Jul 29 '14 at 14:52
  • Great! I can't really find anything on the backplate of the switch, but I did find an interesting review with lots of information: storagereview.com/… But I do not have enough experience to tell if the backplane is big enough. – Tim Baas Jul 29 '14 at 16:11
  • Yeah, there's no information about the backplane, but I read at NetGuard Store, which is an Authorized Reseller, that it has "non-blocking 10G interfaces", which mean that the backplane is big enough to handle all interfaces at full load :) – Pedro Brito Jul 29 '14 at 16:22
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    Just a heads up, your transfers will still be capped at 10Gbps each. LAGG will join the 10Gbps connections, but no single transfer will exceed a single 10Gbps connection. You could have 2 transfers, each running 10Gbps but not 1 at 20Gbps. Also, 10Gbps = 1.25GB/s (assuming no overhead). Chances of you hitting that with your Macs are slim without multi SSD RAID on the Mac and many HDD raid on the Synology. Unless you need redundancy, this is not likely to give you what you seek. – some_guy_long_gone Jul 30 '14 at 12:25

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