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Virtual Server 2005

I have a server with 4 NICS and want to install VS2005.

I will use 2 of the NICS in a failover team on the host server leaving me with 2 spare NICS.

What i want to know is how many virtual servers i am able to have? am i limited to 2 as i have to have 1 NIC per virtual server or can i have x amount of servers all using the same NIC? e.g. can i build say 8 virtual servers and use 4 per NIC or will this cause TCP transmission problems?
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Avatar261
Asked:
Avatar261
1 Solution
 
KCTSCommented:
You don't actually need a real NIC for each virtual machine, you can have multiple virtual NICs on each virtula machine which can share a single real NIC if they have to.
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LauraEHunterMVPCommented:
Caveat: if you are deploying virtuals to support production systems, keep in mind that sharing a single NIC as KCTS describes can become a performance bottleneck.  You will "tie" each virtual to a specific physical NIC card, and should plan this carefully to create a load-balanced environment so that one NIC does not become overloaded by multiple bandwidth-hungry applications.
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Avatar261Author Commented:
i have scene cases of 2 virtual machines that use the same NIC and one server just loses it's connection and you cannot ping anything until it is rebooted, then the same problem happens on the other virtual server.

Have you seen anything like this?
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LauraEHunterMVPCommented:
Haven't seen that, no.  Be sure that each virtual instance is configured with a unique IP configuration to avoid addressing conflicts.
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Avatar261Author Commented:
Does running the host system in a teamed environment cause any problems?

Are you saying then that if i configure each VS with a static unique address and they all use the same physical NIC which itself has a unique address that there will be no problems?
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LauraEHunterMVPCommented:
To your first point: as long as your teamed NICs are presented to the OS as a single "logical" NIC, NIC teaming shouldn't present an issue to Virtual Server.  YMMV on that, though, depending on the actual NIC teaming software/configuration that you've deployed.

To your second point: you are correct.  The host NIC requires a unique IP, as does each virtual NIC configured within each virtual guest OS.
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Avatar261Author Commented:
I generally use smart load balancing/failover for the teamed NIC on the host.  Do you use any teaming?

Are there any switching considerations that need to be taken into consideration?
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LauraEHunterMVPCommented:
The switching considerations for virtuals are roughly the same as for deploying physical boxen - ensure that port speeds and duplexing are configured appropriately to match your network infrastructure.
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jfolcikCommented:
Microsoft virtual server does not support using a hardware vendor team configuration.  We contacted microsoft with this problem and had to remove all our Broadcom and Intel failover and GEC (load balanced) 802.11 teams.  With teams we would have problems where it would work and then not and we coudln't ever get it to be stable.
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LauraEHunterMVPCommented:
Interesting, I hadn't encountered that and I've got teamed NICs coming out of my ears.  Good to know.
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Avatar261Author Commented:
That must be the problem i am having then. I have Dell servers configured as teams using Broadcom teaming software and i get the loss of connection.

Is the only answer then to just not team the NICS?
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