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Unreliable network bridge - Windows Server 2008 R2 Web Edition

Posted on 2011-03-11
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I have a server running Windows Server 2008 Web. The machine has two NICs, and I had them bridged. The bridge seems to more or less work fine, until I reboot the machine. After coming up from a reboot, the network bridge shows the machine with a 169 IP address on an unknown network. Attempting to renew the IP address fails with an unknown error. If I delete the bridge and recreate it, the new bridge will work fine once again until a reboot.

I deleted the bridge and rebooted the machine, and the individual NICs work fine.

Windows Firewall is disabled on the machine. It's currently just running inside my LAN. It's set to DHCP, with a DHCP reservation set with for the bridge's MAC address. Any ideas as to what causes this or how I can fix it?
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Question by:elorc
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giltjr earned 500 total points
ID: 35116922
First, are you sure you want to bridge these interface?  Bridging is used to connect two seperate networks together.

Typically people do not use a Windows box to bridge networks.  

They may team them so that to Windows it looks like there is 1 network interface with 1 IP address.  This allows for redundent connections to the network and provide extra bandwidth.

Which interface is connected to the network that has the DHCP server?

If you really want a bridge, normally you would configured it with a static IP address.

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by:elorc
ID: 35148514
I ended up just removing the bridge. It was being too weird and I decided it's not worth pursuing anymore. My understanding was that by bridging the NICs through Windows it would share the bandwidth. We've done this with a number of our Windows Server 2003 machines and never had an issue like this, so it is very strange.
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by:giltjr
ID: 35149863
Bridging will not allow you to share bandwidth, NIC bonding/teaming will allow that computer to use both NIC"s at the same time, which will increase the amount of bandwidth to/from that single computer.

If you understand a little bit about IP routing, a bridge is the same thing as a router, except a bridge works at layer 2 (Ethernet) instead of layer 3 (IP).

You can think of a bridge literally  like a real bridge.  That is you have two roads (networks in this case) that end on each side of a river and a bridge joins them together.  

NIC bonding/teaming is more like adding additional lanes to and existing road so it can carry more traffic.
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