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Matt McSpirit on Virtualisation, Management and Core Infrastructure

Hyper-V and NIC Teaming

Hyper-V and NIC Teaming

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Patrick (of Microsoft Virtualisation User Group fame!) pinged me an email referencing a blog post he’d written over at the MVUG blog, covering his experiences (so far) with Broadcom NIC Teaming and Hyper-V.  I didn’t even know Patrick was writing a blog, and skimming over his most recent posts, it’s definitely one that I’d recommend.

The post in question, around the NIC Teaming, is definitely an interesting one.  NIC Teaming is one of those grey areas with Hyper-V.  Partners and Customers with VMware experience ask if the feature is included with Hyper-V, and are sometimes surprised to learn that it’s never been supported by Microsoft on Windows Server.  It’s always been the ballpark of the NIC vendor, hence Broadcom, Intel et al, are now starting to produce solutions for NIC Teaming, on Windows Server 2008 (and thus Hyper-V).  Patrick details, in his post, his experiences with NIC Teaming and Hyper-V.

Before you read his post, if you’re not familiar with what NIC Teaming is, is basically another word for Link Aggregation, so having multiple physical NICs, teamed together, to provide additional redundancy, but at the same time, improving link speed in many cases.  Wikipedia has a good explanation.

So, it’s over to Patrick’s post to get all the info – if you can’t wait, I’ve summarised below:

  • Broadcom Supports the following with Hyper-V:
    • Smart Load Balancing and Failover (configured only for one primary and one standby adapter)
    • Link Aggregation (802.3AD)
    • Generic Trunking (FEC/GEC)/802.3AD-Draft Static
    • Patrick has more details on each of these in the post
  • Installation order should be as follows:
    • 1. Add the Hyper-V role
    • 2. Install the NIC Teaming software
    • 3. Configure the team
    • 4. Configure virtual networking within Hyper-V

Good luck!

Comments
  • Just hours after I posted about Patrick’s work with the Broadcom NIC Teaming solution for Windows Server

  • Does Windows 2008 (R2) Server Core support NIC teaming?  I'm having trouble finding information about this and am running up against some issues.  I know it's up to the NIC vendor about NIC teaming, but does Server Core even support it?

  • Hi Greg,

    Both Server Core, and Hyper-V Server work with NIC Teaming solutions, however, as you've rightly highlighted, it's the responsibility of the NIC Vendor to provide the solution.  Intel, HP and Broadcom are all working on new and improved solutions for R2 - remember, Core/HVS in R2 both have .NET framework capability, so this may in fact make it easier for the NIC Vendor to produce a NIC Teaming solution in a gui-less environment.

    I think as we get closer to launch, things will improve - we need a centralised place for drivers/teaming solutions!

    Matt

  • Yes , you are right

    I have this problem and it sloved when I did the below

    •Installation order should be as follows:

    ◦1. Add the Hyper-V role

    ◦2. Install the NIC Teaming software

    ◦3. Configure the team

    ◦4. Configure virtual networking within Hyper-V

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