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Multiple NICs network card in Windows Small Business Server 2011 ?

Posted on 2012-03-29
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I've got a brand new Dell server with four network interface cards built in and its running Windows Small Business Server 2011.   Its a small office with 10 desktop computer, basic configuration, one subnet and a single 192.168.10.1 - 192.168.10.254 IP address range. If I connect all four NICs to the network switch will it provide automatic redundancy for the network connection?  Is there anything that I need to configure in order for it to work or is simply plugging them in enough?  Is this even intended use of multiple nics?


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Question by:djadambomb
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Joseph Daly earned 250 total points
ID: 37781772
If you just connect all four of the nics you will end up with a server that has four seperate IP addresses. What you will want to do is team the network cards. I believe there should be a dell utility that will allow you to do this on the server. This way all four network cards share the same IP address and will have a bandwidth of 4gb.

I work with HP servers this is a standard tool that comes installed so I am sure dell has something similar.
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by:newmath
ID: 37782053
As noted above you can do that at the driver level with NIC teaming. However, I would strongly advise setting up a LAG at the switch level instead, assuming your switch supports them. NIC teaming can be a nightmare to troubleshoot. I've had few servers that had network-level issues related to NIC teaming, such as faulty DNS registrations. Most often it's poorly written drivers, so with that being said -- check with your network admin about your switch hardware and link aggregation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Link_aggregation

If you do implement teaming, make sure that you get the most current drivers available for the NIC's.
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by:Joseph Daly
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Good point newmath,  We have also done that in the past on our cisco switches using LACP.
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by:charlestasse
charlestasse earned 250 total points
ID: 37783305
As per this Microsoft article
Network teaming is not supported on SBS 2001

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg491249.aspx

More info that also applies to 2011

Networking in SBS 2008 has been simplified down to one supported network topology. Today’s post will discuss this topology.

SBS 2008 is designed to be installed with a single network adapter. If SBS setup detects multiple NICs all but one will be disabled. The NIC must use a private IP address with a 255.255.255.0 subnet mask. The following IP ranges are supported:

10.0.0.0 - 10.255.255.255
172.16.0.0 - 172.31.255.255
192.168.0.0 - 192.168.255.255
SBS 2008 will not install with a public IP. If you must use a public IP you must change your IP after setup manually.


http://blogs.technet.com/b/sbs/archive/2008/09/16/sbs-2008-supported-networking-topology.aspx

http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Server/SBS_Small_Business_Server/Q_27291827.html
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by:TimotiSt
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The Windows server may not support it, but if the (possibly Broadcom) driver supports it, then it'll work.
Broadcom chips have a GUI utility to manage teaming/failover.

Tamas
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by:charlestasse
ID: 37788074
Creating a team outside of the SBS Wizard has been known to break networking, this is why it is NOT supported
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