I have a pair of Dell PowerEdge R710 servers (2x Xeon X5690s, 64GB, 8x BCM5709C NICs) running Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter. They're backed by a Dell PowerVault MD3200 with 3.6TB in RAID 10 (effectively 1.8TB) via HBA (not iSCSI!). These were setup in a Hyper-V Failover Cluster.
I'm rebuilding my cluster because of some issues that occured. As part of the rebuild I've also upgraded all firmware on the servers (not that it matters, but I'm putting it out there).
Since, I'm setting up a "fresh" cluster, I'd like to try and fine tune the network connections a little better this time around. I've spent countless days researching best practices and such for my hardware, but I'm still left with questions.
Before I get to the question(s), the NICs are all running firmware 7.4.8 and driver 126.96.36.199. They are split into three teams: Public, Private and Virtual Machines. The teams are of type Smart Load Balancing and Failover.
- Public Team (2x NICs - used for host network access)
- Private Team (2x NIcs - used for failover cluster, live migration, etc.)
- Virtual Machines Team (3x NICs - used for VM network access)
There is also one physical NIC which is bound as a separate vSwitch in Hyper-V and it's allocated to our web server only because it carries the dedicated connection for it.
All ports are split between two Dell PowerConnect 6224 switches for redundancy. Anyway, on to the question(s):
First, what settings do I need to configure on the VMs Team for best VM network performance? From what I've read, I should disable TOE (TCP Connection Offload for Broadcom?), Wake-on-LAN, Jumbo Frames, Flow Control, RSS and QoS on all NICs that will be a part of the VMs Team. The only thing I should have enabled is LSO and CSO. Is that correct?
EDIT: I've also read that I should preset the link speed rather than leaving it on auto if I know my hardware's capabilities, is that also a good thing to do?
With the new firmware and drivers I have the ability to enable VMQs, which after reading a Dell whitepaper on them I guess they're a good thing to do. However I'm also reading something about registry settings, and I'm confused. I was following a guide on a forum posting on Broadcom's site, but I'm not sure if it's a good idea to do that since it's for a different NIC model. What is the proper way of configuring VMQs to work for my hardware?
Going back to disabling Jumbo Frames from above, I have them enabled right now for all teams. Should I just disabled them entirely? I've read (after I enabled them) that it's only used in iSCSI setups, which I'm not, so I'm not sure...
On the dedicated connection for the web server, do I need to have VMQ enabled on it if it's only available to one server?
Lastly, any other recommendations for any of the connections would be appreciated. Thanks for reading this and thanks in advance for any help!