NIC teaming on Windows Server 2012

Teaming NIC’s has been in the industry for quite some time now. Until now, NIC teaming was done using drivers or software obtained from the NIC vendors itself. With the release of Windows Server 2012, Microsoft has included Operating System level teaming support. It even lets you team NIC’s of different vendors.

A scenario is discussed in this post which was recently performed on a Dell PowerEdge R720 that has a quad port NIC. The OS installed in the host was Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter Edition. The host was a member of an Active Directory domain and had couple of VMs installed. My job was to team the 2 NICs and assign it for the VMs.

Log in to the Windows Server. As shown below I had 4 NIC’s, 2 of them enabled and 2 disabled.

Team1

Here, NIC 1 was already assigned with an IP.

Launch Server Manager -> Local Server. From Properties, click on the Disabled option adjacent to NIC Teaming.

Team2

Now you will get a console similar to the one shown below:

Team

The available NICs are displayed on right hand side and the Team section on the left hand side. Select the Tasks drop down menu and click on New Team.

team1

Select the NICs that needs to be teamed. Here, we will team NIC1 and NIC2 as planned before.

 

cap2

 

As you can see there are different Teaming and Load Balancing modes available, which will be discussed later in this post.

Once teaming is done, you can see the NIC’s arranged under the Team as shown below:

3-1

 

Also, if you view the Network Connections wizard you will notice a new adapter along with the NIC’s. This can be seen below:

7

The IP address for this network will have to be specified in this adapter next. If you check the properties of NIC1 and NIC2, you will notice that IPV4 settings will be disabled. Now, when you create a Hyper-V switch, you will find another adapter known as the Hyper-V virtual network adapter as well. The IP address settings will then be moved to this new adapter.

Note:

If you select the teaming mode as LACP, which is a switch dependent type and in case the configurations are not performed at the network switch end, you may receive errors. One such example is shown below:

6

 

 

 Teaming Mode:

The teaming mode can be Switch Dependent or Switch Independent. As the name says, Switch Independent means teaming is not required on the network switches, Switch Dependent requires teaming to be configured on the network switches.

  • Switch Independent mode works better with a Failover scenario [where you have both Active and Standby adapters] rather than Load Balancing. However, if you are planning to use Switch Independent mode for Load Balancing, you will have three Load Balancing modes:
    • Address Hash
    • Hyper-V Port
    • Dynamic

switch

 

  • If you are using Switch Dependent mode, you will have to configure the network switches as well. The available teaming mode types are
    • LACP
    • Static

1

 

The load balancing mode types will be the same as mentioned before. Depending on the Teaming mode selected, you will have option to assign a NIC as a Standby Adapter.

 

To get a better picture of this topic check out the link : 

http://blogs.technet.com/b/keithmayer/archive/2012/10/16/nic-teaming-in-windows-server-2012-do-i-need-to-configure-my-switch.aspx

 

 

 

 

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