Synology LACP and Cisco SG300

By on 02/28/2014.

One of the biggest requests I’ve received since my recent Synology review was how the networking was configured, and especially how to take advantage of link aggregation (LAGG) and Link Aggregation Control Protocol ( LACP ).

Let’s start by talking about LAGG/LACP, and what it brings to the table.  I’ve been installing and configuring this type of redundant failover networking for years as part of my job, so it’s just second-nature to me.  But with a whole new wave of products like the Synology and other various Home NAS appliances, as well as a whole new wave of prosumer enthusiasts using these devices, the technology has made it’s way from what used to be exclusive to enterprise deployments and extreme homelabs, to the everyman home user to centrally manage media and other various forms of storage.

For the purpose of this post, we’re going to keep things focused on the HomeLab prosumer, and keep it short and sweet.

In reality, without getting into IEEE standards and differing variations, Link Aggregation brings two major things to the table for you:

  1. Fault Tolerant interface failover – if one interface fails, your device doesn’t go down, it simply continues sending traffic out of the remaining active interfaces.  This provides high availability to your network connectivity, and eliminates a common single point of failure in your design.
  2. The ability to send traffic to multiple devices over multiple paths, effectively multiplying the amount of available bandwidth (to an extent).  Again, without going into extreme detail, in essence, this sums it up and for the purpose of configuring it on a Synology NAS for home use, it’s enough.

There are plenty of posts out there that go deep into the weeds of what Link Aggregation and LACP (i.e.  “IEEE 802.3ad”) is and is not.  Throw that into Google, and you’ll have enough reading material for the next year. If you’re interested, start here on Wikipedia.

 

Network Design

So let’s break down my home design.  First things first, let’s inventory.

Drawing1

Above is a Visio sketch using recognizable product photos of my home setup.

 

Parts List

Disclosure: These links are Amazon Affiliate links!  If you decide to go down the same route and leverage any of the gear listed above, please use these links to purchase, as all of the proceeds go towards the continued maintenance and support of DatacenterDude.com!

Apple MacBook Pro 15″ (2011)
Apple Mac Mini
Apple TV 3
Apple Thunderbolt Displays (2)
Western Digital My Book Velociraptor Duo 2TB
Apple Airport Extreme
Synology DiskStation 1813+ (also a 5-bay version, 1513+) (1TB | 2TB | 3TB | 4TB drives)
Seagate USB 3.0 4TB external drive
Cisco SG300W 10-port managed gigE switch
Sony Playstation 3
LG 60″ Plasma 600Mhz

 

LACP Configuration

Now we get into the meat.  And instead of me typing and screenshotting everything, here’s a quick 5- minute video walking you through it.

 

So I hope that shows everyone just how easy it is to do LAGG and LACP with the Synology and a Cisco SG300.

As always, any questions, leave them in the comments below!

-Nick

 

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16 Comments

  • Great job man.. I’ll be coming back here when I can find a way to sneak a Synology into the house. :)

  • Tulio Lazarini

    My only frustration with this kind of setup is the impossibility to use wake on lan. It’s just not working since I configured my 1813 with LACP. Pity…

    • @tuliolazarini:disqus,

      Can you give me a scenario where you would want your Synology to go to sleep to be able to leverage WakeOnLAN? I always want mine up and running…

      • Tulio Lazarini

        Hello,
        I have a Ubuntu server that keeps up the production environment from monday to saturday. Every saturday night, I have an automated backup task to my Syno 1813.
        The first version of my backup script sent a magic packet from Ubuntu server, to wake up Syno, if it’s powered off. So, after 5 minutes (boot and prep time), rsync shoud start backing data up. At the end, the Syno gracefully should be powered off again.
        Since I installed a Cisco SG200 to enable Link Aggregation, wake on LAN din’t work anymore. So I changed my backup script to run on a determined time, and configured Syno to power on 5 minutes before that time. Once a year, I have some trouble synchonizing due to daylight savings time, but that’s what I have at this time.
        I Googled all around looking for a way to get magic packets and WOL working on LAG configurations, but it just didn’t work, maybe because LAG protocol have incompatibility with magic packets.
        Do you have any ideas on how to get LAG and WOL working together?

          • Tulio Lazarini

            Jesus, Mary and Joseph! IT WORKED! At last! I’m so happy! :)))
            Thank you VEEEERY MUCH for your help!

          • Love the JMaJ! It worked? I’m trying to get it working on my DS1512+ with an HP switch. HP have set up LAG in a lab on a switch like mine and say it works albeit not on synology devices so they are saying it’s the DS rather than their switch that’s not doing what it should. Based on what you are saying, the DS1813 is doing what it should. Is that right or am I reading too much between the lines?

  • Dennis Farm

    Hi – this is fantastic and I only wish I had found it sooner (just spend three hours trying to get this setup working) but anyhow it’s great for reference! Question though – I recall in an earlier article that you spent some time setting up QoS on your home network – can you please elaborate on that as I’m struggling to set up QoS on my SG300… I’m trying to achieve better video throughput from my Synology to the two TVs in the house and also better Netflix speeds… Thanks.

  • Glyn

    Looks great, and very similar to what I’m looking from my next Synology upgrade (I’ve owned Synology NAS’s for 8 years), I’ve just purchased the same Cisco switch in readiness (before I found your site). Thanks for sharing how to set up.

    I have a question though, have you tried aggregating two NIC’s on your mac too? I was thinking of purchasing a thunderbolt -> gigabit connection to go into the back of a thunderbolt display to achieve this and wondered if you’d tried this to speed up the mac – switch connection?

    Thanks.

    • Glyn, I just [finally] upgraded to a retina MBP that has a second tbolt port. Each tbolt display has a gigE and the rMBP can run tbolt-to-gigE adapter, so it’s certainly something I’m considering, but the logistics of sequential vs random reads/writes also comes into play. Not too sure how AFP handles that sort of thing, but something definitely on my list to try out.

  • nelson

    how is the read and write speed improvement , i can do the review on it.
    i plan to get Cisco SG300.

  • PeteMan

    Hello – Sorry to reserect this post but I have this set up exactly as you show and all of the traffic is going through a single port even when accessing it from multiple systems. What could cause this and how can I fix it? I am only using two ports and I have LACP checked, I’ve removed / recreated them a few times and still have the same issue.

  • ScottZ

    I have LACP between SG300 and 1512+. I also have a LACP between SG300 and EdgeRouterLite. The SG300 seems to send all traffic over 1 link while the other devices will L3+L4 hash. Any idea where to configure the hash options on the SG300 ?

    • ScottZ

      Nevermind, it is on the SG300 under
      Port Management ->
      Link Aggregation ->
      Load Balance Algorithm (top of screen)
      IP/MAC Address [x]

      You might want to add this to your instructions, for me this results more balanced load between connections in the LACP bundle.

  • Jack Haris

    Great job Dude,
    Had to watch this and extrapolate a little as things on DSM 6.1-15047 Update 1 are bit different. I got the LACP connected though. Have to do the SG300 First then do Bonding on the Synology.

    • Thanks Jack, that’s good to know! I’ll look into the update changes and perhaps make an updated video!