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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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by:MJCS
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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
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To clarify, not looking for redundancy as much as higher bandwidth.
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by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 72 total points
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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
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Why does your DC using high bandwidth? Is it same as a file server?
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by:MJCS
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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
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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
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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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by:MJCS
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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by:MJCS
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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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Greg Hejl earned 214 total points
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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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by:MJCS
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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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by:MJCS
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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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