NIC Teaming

Posted on 2008-11-18
Last Modified: 2013-11-09
I'm currently managing a infrastructure with DELL PowerEdge servers. I do alot of virtualization using virtual server 2005 and hyper V. Some of these servers have Broadcom and some have Intel NICs. I'd like to implement teaming, mainly for failover/fault tolerance.

I've been reading  upon the different teaming modes but I am not completely sure which one I want to implement.

Adapter fault tolerance seems the simplest. My understanding is that 2 nics, one is active other is standby. the IP address is assigned to the active and if it fails it gets passed to the standby.

Then there is switch fault tolerance, which seems to do the same thing. But, what's the difference amongst the 2?

And the main question is, why not do adaptive load balancing to increase traffic throughput on 2 nics, but if one fails everything will still function?

I am going to use 2 Procurve 2810 switches connected to a Cisco ASA5505. Do I need to configure anything special on any of the devices?

Question by:shankshank
    LVL 22

    Expert Comment

    If using server as a VM Host I would remove virtual networking from one nic so the host has a dedicated nic.
    The remaining nic set with just virtual networking and all other clients and service unchecked.
    Add nics and configure the same as the second nic and load balance as a trunk over the virtual switch.
    LVL 5

    Author Comment

    Yeah right now on my dual port one nic is for host only and the other nic has all tcp ip properties removed so it's dedicated to the virtual network.
    in the past if i didn't do this i noticed sometimes i lose connectivity to the host.

    "Add nics and configure the same as the second nic and load balance as a trunk over the virtual switch."
    i'm not understanding what you mean here..
    LVL 22

    Expert Comment

    The current configuration should not be teamed.
    If network cards are added then teaming or trunking or  load balancing the VM traffic could be considered.
    Were you wanting team the host nic?
    LVL 5

    Author Comment

    I don't need trunking since all servers on the physical server are part of the same VLAN.

    I do have 4 ports, dual broadcom and dual intel.

    I was thinking dual broadcom set up as a team for the virtual servers.
    LVL 22

    Accepted Solution

    The attached doc has a good explanation of teaming by Dell (Brodacom), if network traffic is high enough to require load balancing then I guess it would be required, have only used the NFT as it never gave as any issues, ether channel and like load balancing did not work well in our environment, al receive traffic ended coming in on one nic.

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