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I'm fairly new to NIC Teaming.. So I apologize if I’m not making any sense while describing this. I’ve, of course, set up plenty of simple Active/Active NIC teams for our servers without any issues since it’s pretty straight forward.

It looks like we are trying to save money, but cutting back on switches/cables/ports while still providing redundancy. What sort of complicates things is we have a HUGE variety of Linux/Windows deployments from Server 2003, Red Hat, to Server 2008 (all flavors of all OS's). And every sever is multi-homed. Mostly HP servers DL3xx, DL5xx, but very old G3’s, to very new G7's .. etc. I'm talking well over 8,000 of these running in our data center. The upper management wants to configure the following (and I hope that I'm describing it correctly):

x2 - Catalyst 5000 Switches x1 NIC (Back-End network) using a single CAT5 cable. x1 NIC (Front-End network) using a single CAT5 cable. ---Both networks are completely separate

Active/Passive NIC teaming between both NICs (even though they reside on two completely separate subnets)

They plan on trunking multiple VLANs (Front-End and Back-End) to each switch to provide the redundancy. But I can’t wrap my head around how this would work in Windows (?) I can only assign a single IP to each NIC since they reside on different subnets. Network Engineers claim its somewhat possible but at the driver level, and that it won’t work on 2003 and sort-of works on Server 2008. I can’t seem to find any information on the internet on this.

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What's your actual question here? – Chopper3 Aug 29 '12 at 17:22
Also, if you're connecting a server to a switch with one Cat5 cable, you DO NOT have redundancy, period. You have multiple single points of failure. What your management wants is not physically possible. – HopelessN00b Aug 30 '12 at 3:08
Question is at the OS level (Windows 2003 AND UP): Is it possible to team a pair of NICs that have two completely different IP's (multi-homed). This would be using two cables , obviously - since its a team. – Brian Aug 30 '12 at 18:36
also we're connecting to two separate Cisco 5000's switches, and the network engineering team knows how they can pull it off using trunked vlans. But the Windows Server team can think of how its possible to configure two separate IP's on a single TEAM of NICs. – Brian Aug 30 '12 at 18:38
To me it sounds like you're describing two different things. 1 - nic teaming or link aggregation. 2 - link redundancy via different isolated networks. – Matt May 24 '13 at 4:02

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