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Soliciting recommendations for optimizing Network Performance using multiple NIC's in Server 2012 R2

Posted on 2014-09-21
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Last Modified: 2014-10-09
Setting up a new Server 2012 R2 Box.

4 Dual Port nic's

Windows Server 2012 R2 as Hyper-V Host

1st Hyper-V Image as Domain Controller & File Server for 30 users

2nd Hyper-V image runs SQL Server 2014 for 7 users

3rd Hyper-V image runs CAD Server for 3-5 users


I originally wanted each VM to have 2 mapped Nic's available to it, but I am now wondering if there is a better way to do that. The Domain Controller will use the most bandwidth, then SQL, then the CAD Server.

Am I better to team 4 ports for the Domain Controller/File Server? Or am I better to link 7-8 ports together?

Thankyou for reading!
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Question by:MJCS
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Author Comment

by:MJCS
ID: 40335296
After some more reading, I'm leaning towards:

1 port for the Hyper-V Host

4 Ports for the Domain Controller/File Server

1 Port for SQL Server

2 Ports for CAD Server

Anybody have thoughts?
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by:MJCS
ID: 40335297
To clarify, not looking for redundancy as much as higher bandwidth.
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by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 72 total points
ID: 40335299
This really depends on environment and hardware. A SQL server with light demand but that requires low latency may benefit more from no team at all, but SR-IOV. Whether you turn on VMQ. Or if the switch supports LACP. Is the file server a bunch of small files written to often? Or large files from the CAD server? So many factors it is really not possible to give a credible answer here.
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by:Nagendra Pratap Singh
Nagendra Pratap Singh earned 72 total points
ID: 40335304
Why does your DC using high bandwidth? Is it same as a file server?
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Author Comment

by:MJCS
ID: 40335314
Files are a mixture of sizes. Office Documents, photos, PDF's of CAD drawings etc.

I was going to put the files on the DC VM as well, however I could put them with the CAD Server VM as well i guess
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 142 total points
ID: 40335342
I would team at least 4 ports from each physical nic, in a LACP trunk for Virtual Machines.

and have at least 2 ports from 2 physical nics for the host.
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by:MJCS
ID: 40335344
Why does the host need 2, won't there be very low traffic over it's ports if the VM's have their own group of nic's?
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Author Comment

by:MJCS
ID: 40335349
If I understand correctly, you are saying that out of 4 dualport Nic's, I'd be better off to say use port A on each NIC bundled into a virtual switch then using ports A&B on 2 Nic's.
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by:Greg Hejl
Greg Hejl earned 214 total points
ID: 40335354
Andrew has the right Idea.

do the VM's reside on the same network?

if so, Team as many nics as you can into the virtual switch.

I would also startup a separate VM for the File Server - attach VHDx's for shares.

It's best to run AD as a standalone service - you should also have a DC that lives outside of your hyperV environment.
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by:MJCS
ID: 40335357
VM's on same network

So build the biggest switch that I can and conenct all VM's to it?

You recommend create a 4th VM for File Server? And attaching each share (4-6) as a separate Virtual drive?

Do you recommend running secondary DC on the host?
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 142 total points
ID: 40335375
I would not bundle more than 4 physical ports together in a trunk to a single physical switch, unless your are "LAGGING" or "TRUNKING" across different switches in a stacked configuration.

I would then "monitor" your network performance, and check if your network bundle of 4 ports is being saturated!

I would also build the TEAM at the OS Layer which is now available in Windows 2012.
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by:Greg Hejl
Greg Hejl earned 214 total points
ID: 40335500
one vhd for fileshares,  this will allow you to move the vhd or grow it as needed.

this should also be done on the sql server, run the OS on a separate vhd, run the DB on its own vhd and sql log files on a separate vhd.  this will allow you to scale.
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Author Comment

by:MJCS
ID: 40344520
Is it too much to do a separate VHD for each major share?

We've got a few legacy shares that will be obsolete in a year or two and then some other shares that will be for small groups of a half-dozen users or so.
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Accepted Solution

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Greg Hejl earned 214 total points
ID: 40348877
absolutely not, VHD's are awesome that way!  create as many as you want,  expand and contract them as needed, etc.

here is some reading on File Server services:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831487.aspx

Don't forget to run the BPA for file services
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Author Comment

by:MJCS
ID: 40371515
This ended up being a bit of a wandering thread. I think I will tag all comments that I felt were beneficial.
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Author Closing Comment

by:MJCS
ID: 40371519
I believe that a bunch of helpful advice and even helpful questions were asked. Probably not enough for a definitive resource on this topic. More for a pointing in the right direction.
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