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How many physical NICs are needed to create Hyper-V VM's on Windows 2012

Posted on 2014-02-24
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Last Modified: 2014-11-12
I'm considering upgrading to Windows 2012 from 2008 R2 and I've read some articles but not really clear on the requirements of physical NICs needed to add Hyper V VM's

I believe 2012 has a virtual "switch"

Could someone explain.
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Question by:J.R. Sitman
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Expert Comment

by:Joseph Moody
ID: 39882608
Just one physical NIC is required.
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by:Philip Elder
Philip Elder earned 400 total points
ID: 39882622
Our preference is for a minimum of 2 NICs and four ports.

We create two teams:
 + Team 0 (Port 0 on each NIC for Management)
 + Team 1 (Port 1 on each NIC for vSwitch)

This gives us some redundancy.

If Server 2012 R2 and working with second generation VMs we would look at creating a vSwitch on Port 1 of each NIC (2 vSwitches) and then teaming within the VMs (must be 2012 RTM/R2+).

Philip
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by:KCTS
ID: 39882669
Minimum = 1
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by:Trenton Knew
Trenton Knew earned 400 total points
ID: 39882679
Virtual switching means that you have both a physical network and a virtual network with regard to virtual machines.  The VM can connect to the host machine in four ways.

1. the VM's network adapter is "bridged" to a physical interface, and therefor is accessible from the physical network
2. the VM's network adapter is connected through the host machine via NAT.
3. the VM is connected to a virtualized network that allows communication to other VM's connected to the same virtual network, but do not have a connection to the host machine's physical network
4. Communication is ONLY allowed between the host and the virtual machine.

Example.  If you had two virtual machines, one a web server, and the other a SQL server.  You might place two virtual NIC cards on the web server, one bridged to the outside world, and the other connected to VNet01.  Then you would connect the SQL server to VNet01 only.  This would create a virtualized network connection between the web server and the SQL server connected to VNet01, but not give the SQL box access to the outside world.
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by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 400 total points
ID: 39882744
Hyper-V always has a virtual switch and has since its debut with Server 2008. It acts just like a physical switch would. You add a virtual NIC (or NICs) to a VM and tell each NIC which switch it is connected to. You create virtual switches separately. They are not associated to a particular VM. And when you define the switch, you can optionally make it external and associate it with a NIC. The NIC will act as an upstream port for the virtual switch, just like a physical switch would.
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Mahesh earned 400 total points
ID: 39882749
It depends on your requirements

Minimum required physical network card is one to start with (LAB Environment)

But for production, depending upon workload and sizing and traffic you may need multiple network cards

For Ex:
you may use seperate nic for management network
one for live migration
multiple sets of one or two with teaming for production VMs
one for storage
one for heart beat in case of fail over cluster

Mahesh
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Author Closing Comment

by:J.R. Sitman
ID: 39883425
Thanks to all of you.  Very helpful.
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Expert Comment

by:Brad Bouchard
ID: 39901927
Read this first:
http://blogs.technet.com/b/keithmayer/archive/2012/11/26/configuring-hyper-v-virtual-networking-in-windows-server-2012-quot-early-experts-quot-challenge-exam-70-410-and-70-417.aspx

I say the more the merrier (to a point) depending on what you need.  If this is a high profile enterprise environment that needs an iSCSI SAN or teaming of NICs for better throughput then go with more, but if this is a just a run-of-the-mill regular server then 1 should be fine.
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Expert Comment

by:KCTS
ID: 39901942
Teaming of NICs generally does little to improve throughput since no matter how many you have only one can transmit at any one time, Ok there is a little improvement, but its generally not as significant as you may hope for.
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Author Comment

by:J.R. Sitman
ID: 39901997
thanks for the additional posts.
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