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Windows server bridge network and hyper-v

Posted on 2013-12-30
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Last Modified: 2014-11-12
Hi, if i have 3 servers like this

1. Windows 2012R2 with Hyper-V and 3 2008R2 guest OS where one is DHCP. There is 2x1Gb card and 1x10Gb card in this server.

2. Windows 2012R2 with Hyper-V and 1 2008R2 guest OS. there is 2x1Gb card and 1x10Gb card in this server.

3. Windows 2012R2 with Hyper-V and 1 2008R2 guest OS. there is 2x1Gb card and 4x10Gb card in this server.

I can use SPF+ cable (10Gb) between the servers and that work, but i dont have any 10Gb switch. Could i on server 3 bridge 4x10Gb cards and 1 of the 1Gb cards in to one bridge? and use that as switch? If that is possible, should i use one of the 10Gb cards or the new network bridge in the Hyper-V switch settings?
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Question by:per-w
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11 Comments
 
LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Mahesh
ID: 39745895
while it's technically possible to team network cards of different speeds into a single NIC team, it's not a good idea for several reasons.
1.It's not supported by Microsoft most probably.
2.The native NIC teaming solution algorithms don't take the speed of the NIC into consideration when balancing traffic and instead just balance traffic evenly between adapters. This means if a single team had a 1 Gbps adapter and a 10 Gbps adapter, each adapter would get half of the traffic, which isn't optimal.
3.On a similar point to number 2, should adapters of a higher bandwidth fail, then performance would drop as the lower bandwidth adapters are used, affecting user experience.

Please check below article for recommended, supported scenarios for Hyper-V networking
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/6044fd73-54f4-40d4-b0b9-04d8eb9c1985/how-to-use-4-nics-for-making-high-available-2-node-hyperv-2012-cluster

Mahesh
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Author Comment

by:per-w
ID: 39746309
I dont want to team network cards, i want to use server number 3 as a switch. on server 1 and 2 i only want to use the 10Gb cards, but since i dont have a 10Gb switch i want to use server 3 as a switch, but i still need to use the 1Gb card in server 3 since other things on network dont have 10Gb cards/ports. Would server 3 function as a switch if i bridge the network cards on them? In the Hyper-V on server 3 i can setup a network switch, there i can select on of the cards or the new bridge. Today i have a SPF+ Direct Attach Cable from server 1 to server 2 and a second network/ip setup on this and i use the 1Gb card to get connection from this servers to server 3 and rest of the network, but i want all 3 servers to have connection with 10Gb speed.
Another solution is to have a 4-8 port 10Gb switch that support SPF+ DAC, but i cant find any and i dont want to use >5000$ on a 10Gb switch and converters.
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Expert Comment

by:Mahesh
ID: 39746415
Thanks for clearing miss understanding
You simply can't do what you are trying to do
You cannot use network card on one server (server 3) as a switch for other hyper-v hosts
Practically \ technically its not possible
You can do bridging \ teaming of Network cards on physical server 3 and it will \ can act as a switch for that server only

Its true that 10 GBPs physical network cards won't work as expected with 1 GBPs physical switch.

At this stage maximum you can create extensible switch through SCVMM 2012 SP1, but this is different from your requirement

Mahesh
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Author Comment

by:per-w
ID: 39746801
"You cannot use network card on one server (server 3) as a switch for other hyper-v hosts
Practically \ technically its not possible"

Why not? The other Hyper-V server is using its own 10Gb card and that is connected to one of the bridged card on server 3 with SPF+ direct attach cable. If then the guests os on first server use the 10Gb card on server 1 as there switch, shouldnt that work? But on the server with the bridged cards, should i use one of the 10Gb cards as hyper-v switch or the new MAC Bridge Miniport in the hyper-v switch setting? I will setup a test and see how it works.
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Mahesh
ID: 39746921
So what do you mean, you will connect two servers with SFP+ DAC to server 3 (just like fibre channel) and only server 3 will be remain connected to physical switch ?
The data can flow across 3 servers with 10GBPs due to SFP+ DAC and rest of the two servers can communicate to external network through server 3 (switch) ?

I have not worked on this connectivity yet, but conceptually its looking sound, please test it.

You can use windows native teaming with network adapters on server 3 (server with bridged cards) instead of MAC bridge since you are running windows 2012 R2
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsserver/en-US/03a8b468-52fa-4ba3-9952-027956118864/windows-server-2012-network-bridge-could-not-be-used-for-hyperv-network-switch-worked-in-2008r2?forum=winserver8gen
http://blogs.technet.com/b/keithmayer/archive/2012/10/16/nic-teaming-in-windows-server-2012-do-i-need-to-configure-my-switch.aspx#.UsHeP5Dra1s

Mahesh
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Author Comment

by:per-w
ID: 39747123
"So what do you mean, you will connect two servers with SFP+ DAC to server 3 (just like fibre channel) and only server 3 will be remain connected to physical switch ?"

Yes. But i now see that in 2012 R2 the bridge or bridged networkscard dont show up in the hyper-v virtual switch manager as they do in 2008 R2
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LVL 37

Accepted Solution

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Mahesh earned 500 total points
ID: 39747597
Its just like storage zoning concept where you can make LUNs \ Backup library visible to multiple hosts same time in case of fibre channel switch but not seems to be worked in case of Hyper-V 2008 R2 \ 2012 \ 2012 R2 and SFP+ DAC
The same is reflected in above TechNet blog link.
You may confirm with Microsoft please.

If its not working, you need to buy 10 GBPs physical switch to deliver 10 GBPs traffic

Mahesh
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Author Comment

by:per-w
ID: 39747748
I did make a internal hyper-v switch and then bridge that internal network card with the physical ports and that did works :-) Will take a closer look at it later this week to test speed.
About 10Gb switch, is there some switch where i can use this passive cables that dont cost 3000$? All switch i can find have normal RJ45 and only 2 ports where i maybe could use SFP+ direct attach cable.
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Mahesh
ID: 39748558
Yes, Internal network, that is workaround mentioned in TechNet blog above as well but not sure how the speed and performance affect?

You are right, SFT+ DAC is probably wise option instead of 10 GBPs switch

May be some network expert can help you in this scenario as I feel now that issue is more from network end rather than Hyper-V end

Mahesh
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Author Comment

by:per-w
ID: 39753144
Well, it do works. The speed isnt x10, but with 1Gb cards the speed between Hyper-V guest servers was 250-450Mbps, with the 10Gb cards it 700-990Mbps. Thats with LAN Speed Test (write and read file).

This is a cheap solution to start with, ASUS 10Gbs cards with passive SFP+ Direct Attach Cables dont cost much. The next step will be a 10Gb switch to see how fast that is.

BTW. what is the best free speed test program to use to test speed over LAN but not write/read a file.
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Author Comment

by:per-w
ID: 39820410
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 250 points for MaheshPM's comment #a39747597
Assisted answer: 0 points for per-w's comment #a39753144

for the following reason:

i did get it to work with some help from the abow link
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