NIC Teaming for Windows 2012 Hyper-V

Posted on 2014-04-14
Last Modified: 2014-11-12
Dear All,

I have two servers which i'm going to install a cluster Windows 2012 R2 hyper-V environment, i have 4 NIC's in each server which i can use for teaming (i have another NIC for heartbeat, live migration and storage connectivity), so i need a recommendation from you on how i should use these 4 NIC's? and what's the best way?

Question by:Rhala
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LVL 120

Accepted Solution

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 167 total points
ID: 40000496
Microsoft recommend you team in the OS using Microsoft drivers.

You can team all four if you need that much bandwidth.
LVL 40

Assisted Solution

by:Adam Brown
Adam Brown earned 167 total points
ID: 40000507
It depends heavily on what you are going to be hosting on the servers. You may be better off running a passthrough NIC for some of your VMs if they require high network throughput. If you team your NICs and then configure a Virtual Network for Hyper-V using the team, the network throughput will be shared between VMs more or less evenly. You can do some resource throttling to improve throughput on demanding VMs, but you would really want to get a good handle on what kind of traffic is going to be going through the NICs.

If you are going to be virtualizing a SQL Server, for instance, you would probably want to make sure that particular VM has a dedicated link to your Storage Network, rather than sharing the physical NIC you've set aside for that purpose with the other VMs. Ultimately, the answer to your question is highly situational.
LVL 37

Assisted Solution

bbao earned 166 total points
ID: 40003096
it really depends.

say if you have multiple productiin VMs running on each Hyper-V host, each VM is for an individual application or services, and each VM has average the same amount of incoming traffic, then one NIC each VM might be the best approach from a point of view of performance.

if network bandwidth is the biggest bottleneck for one ore more critical VMs, then teaming NICs might be the right approach to address the performance issue.

moreover, from a security perspective, teaming all NICs as a single adapter, hide all VMs behind NAT and port forwarding only required ports to the VMs could be safer for the services though compatibility might be an issue.

so in a few words, it depends on your upper VMs including their applications and services, client traffic data, and security constraints etc.
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Author Comment

ID: 40003394
thanks All for your answers, i would like to suggest the following:

1- Configure one dedicated NIC for Exchange
2-  Configure one dedicated NIC for SQL
3- Configure Teaming for other 2 NIC's which will assign to all other VM's

How about this configuration?
LVL 120
ID: 40003447
If those nics fail you have dedicated to the VMs, your service will be down.

Author Comment

ID: 40003455
so what's the best configuration in my case?
LVL 120
ID: 40003512
I would ensure that all nics present are at least teamed.

Four NICs teamed, or two pairs of nics teamed.

Author Comment

ID: 40003577
for 2 NIC teaming, do i have to configure IP for each NIC and another IP for the team configuration? which mean 3 IP's?
LVL 120
ID: 40003581
When you team two nics, it removes the IP Addresses and the individual nics, and creates a new virtual team nic.

So you only need one IP Address per nic team.

Author Comment

ID: 40003789
so, i will use one IP, for 4 NIC's .... team together.

which type of teaming is preferred (load balancing or failover)??
LVL 120
ID: 40003808
Correct, a single IP Address for the 4 nic team.

Do you want resilience or performance?

If you want performance, select Load Balance, if you want resilience select Failover.

Author Comment

ID: 40004091
what different between bother? Performance and load balance should also cover somehow the resilience in case one of NIC's goes down, right?
LVL 120
ID: 40004103
Yes, that's correct, because you've got four.

Author Comment

ID: 40008465
now i team the NIC's, for the advanced configuration, what should i select to have load balance NIC's and use them for Hyper-V?

LVL 120
ID: 40008624
That default configuration should suffice.

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