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NIC Teaming with Exchange 2010

Posted on 2014-01-16
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Last Modified: 2014-01-21
I'm looking to setup nic teaming but I've never used it and have some questions.

Most of my servers are running in small offices and they don't cause enough traffic to really need to use nic teaming. The fault tolerance was not an issue as I've never had a nic go dead in an HP server and if a switch dies its a pretty quick fix.

I am thinking about setting up nic teaming on my HP servers that run Exchange 2010. It appears pretty straight forward using the HP Network utility but I'm wondering about it's effect on an already installed and running Exchange server.

Will I need to assign IP addresses to both nics? Will each nic need to be plugged into a different switch and will the switch's need any config?

If I setup the nic teaming will it affect Exchange or will exchange just use the new adapter? I plan on giving the team the same IP address Exchange has had all along.

Any gotchas I should be aware of?

Thanks for any help.
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Question by:AJNS
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by:Infamus
ID: 39785853
When you do NIC teaming, you can assign single IP which is a virtual IP for the both NICs.
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EEhotline earned 500 total points
ID: 39787096
You should have done the NIC teaming before installing exchange. But if you want to do it now, the best way I can think of:

1. Stopping all exchange services first on CAS/HUB/MBX.
2. Do the NIC teaming and assign it the same IP that Exchange has.
3. Start all exchange services and make sure you can send/receive emails inside/outside.
4. Keep an eye on the Event log if there is any error log etc....

You don't need to assign IP to both NICs, give the IP to the teamed NIC.

Hope it helps,
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Author Comment

by:AJNS
ID: 39787317
Thank you EEhotline

Should both nics be plugged into the same switch or different switches? Or does it matter? I know it would add redundancy if a switch failed but am I required to do one or the other?

Thanks
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by:EEhotline
ID: 39787323
It doesn't matter but I would suggest to connect to different switches, just in case there is something wrong with 1 switch. I've done that for my servers too.
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 39791111
There's more than one type of teaming, which you use depends on whether there are multiple switches, whether they are stacking switches that support Etherchannel etc.
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Author Comment

by:AJNS
ID: 39793116
I haven't had a chance to test this yet but will soon.

Andyalder,

I looked into nic teaming with server 2012 and it mentioned the two different types of teaming and some switch configuration but I couldn't find any documentation with the HP solution that discussed one switch or two. I'm guessing the hp software takes care of it but I don't really know.
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by:andyalder
ID: 39794471
Well, unless they're stacking switches or have some other method of combining a Link Aggregation Group you can't use Etherchannel/LACP.
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Author Comment

by:AJNS
ID: 39797254
I can't get permission to do this on a live server just to test it obviously. If I had a pressing need on a server right now I would but luckily I don't.

By far the best advice here is to set this up first before installing OS and Exchange. I am going to make that a requirement on any future builds. Looking back it seems pretty obvious and I'm not sure why I wasn't especially since the HP's all have at least dual nics in them anyway.

I did setup a test box with exchange and setup the nic software. My exchange connectors were set to use any IP address. Once I restarted it seems to work fine so I would assume that in a production environment it would also work so that is why I accepted the solution.

Thank you
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