Network "Interface role" info and quirks

I mostly have questions about the purpose of some of the options when you go to “System>Network Interfaces> configure network interfaces (pencil icon)”.

Warning: I screwed up my first install of Rockstor by messing around in here so perhaps use VM’s and snapshots before attempting changing anything on a physical box. I believe the “unassigned” option will disable your NIC…making reconnecting near impossible. Suggestion: have a HUGE warning pop-up when selecting this option!

The “Interfaces Role” section has 4 options: io, unassigned, management, and replication. The “io” option is default install option. The quirk here is there is no description for it in the info popup when hovering over it. The main quirk is if you select “unassigned” or “management” or “replication” and save/submit changes. You cannot reselect an “io” option setting it back to an unmolested state. You now only have 3 options from now on.

Second, What is the use cases for the three( or four if you include “io”). I assume most are used when you have multiple NICs.

Here is what I am assuming:
Replication= would be dedicated direct link between units to not interfere with bandwidth to primary LAN link, is how I interpret it’s use. But could it be used for other things like direct link to the hypervisor (IE: Proxmox).
unassigned= as stated…not used basically??? ie: quad NIC could only use one/two NICs(management and replication) since NIC teaming/ bonding isn’t supported for use at the moment? that leaves 2 NICs unused/unassinged?
management= seems like the default “general purpose” role…similar to default “io” option, but just doesn’t state that in the info popup. I love wrapping my head around these things and learning. Thanks!

@parker1c These are good points, it looks like you have it about right, however my rather sparse understanding to date on these is that the management and replication roles are dedicated so from the point of view of management (Web-UI access) it would look the same as io but is in fact dedicated to just that. So in other words I’d put io as general purpose and the others as specific purpose.

I’ve opened an issue to update the docs on this so thanks for bringing it up. The speed of development makes it tricky to keep all docs updated but better this way than stale development, especially in this area I say.

Also looks like the selection mechanism may have a bug from what you describe.
I’ve opened a bug on this one too. Haven’t had a look myself just yet though.

Thanks for reporting these issue, this is how it all gets better (hopefully).

Ya your team seems quite responsive to the bugs!!! Congrats! So much so I have a full subscription for Rockstor and I have been using “testing” versions in (my home) production (thanks to testing in my VM first). My background of (Windows) software packaging/scripting/engineering, OS building (Win 7 w/MDT and SCCM) testing and deployment nfor two biggest corporations in my small city. I pick up on lots of these doc flaws, and software bugs/flaws as that was my job day in and day out. If you need any assistance I can definitely help. However, I am still green on the linux side but my years of Windows and scripting background is making Linux work quite painless.

A note on the missing “io” option, it did that in your older 3.8-10 iso image and still does it on latest 3.8-11.05 (I re-replicated it in my testing VM while writing the post last night).

Either way, good work!

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@parker1c Sorry forgot to add the missing io popup option to the second issue but luckily @roweryan stepped up and created one so to ease tracking this one as well I’ll link to that issue “io” type for network interface has no tooltip. I have linked back from that issue also to this thread so hopefully this thread will be updated accordingly.

Thanks for your insights @parker1c and @phillxnet, I’ve always thought that the original design was backwards. In my network connection re-factor in 3.8-13 and 14 updates I’ve changed the design so services themselves can pick which network connection(one or all) to run on as part of their configuration under system -> services. This, I believe is more intuitive.

Please do give it a try and post your thoughts here.