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I'm running several Dell R710's, each of which is outfitted with 4 x Broadcom BCM5709C nics.

Two of these R710's are running Hyper-V and a third is running SQL Server 2008, each running Windows Server 2008 R2. The fourth is running Windows Storage Server 2008.

I've set up teamed nics on the Storage Server and so far it's running flawlessly.

I've tried setting it up on the servers running Hyper-V to test but it's difficult once you have Hyper-V up and running as once interfaces are assigned to Hyper-V they're not available for teaming. I've yet to figure this one out.

My question is what would be the best use of these nics? This is a single domain network. As far as I can see teaming would be ideal for fault tollerance (hardware level) and performance sake. I've read other viewpoints that suggest teaming is not all it's cracked up to be. Also, Microsoft apparently does not officially support teaming and Hyper-V has it's own issues with it as well, although disabling LSO seems to be an option in the event of performance issues.

Anybody? Best use of nics?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Team them as your network support (you didn't mention your network hardware, and this would be heavily dependent on what you've got and how it's configured). You should create separate teams for the following (as they apply to your situation): VM traffic, Management, iSCSI (iSCSI NICs should not be teamed, MPIO is for that, but those ports should not be part of a team) . At your option you can vLan the management functions and lump them in with the VM traffic (only if the VMs are also vLaned, to prevent vLan hopping).

Make sure you have the latest firmware, drivers, and management software for the NICs or you will have problems (drivers before Dec 2010 have serious known issues).

Microsoft does not provide the teaming software and thus does not support it. MS does support running Hyper-V Virtual Networks connected to teams however. Depending on your network, Teaming is absolutely all it's cracked up to be (or not, again depends on your network).

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