I have a Windows 2012 R2 Hyper-V cluster with two Broadcom adapters for my LAN connection.

Currently, we have a virtual switch set up with SCVMM, that teams together both NICs using Windows software teaming, and they are set up with Switch Independent configuration / Dynamic distribution. I was told by someone that it is better to use the Broadcom teaming application instead.

Is there a benefit to using one over the other?

  • How is your team configured? LACP, Hyper-V Port, something else? What are you trying to achieve with your team? Fault tolerance, link balancing? – Zoredache Apr 23 '15 at 18:57
  • It's set to use the Switch Dependent configuration / Hyper-V Port distribution. The goal is to have both load balancing and failover if one goes down, and it's performing both functions fine. – Alex McKenzie Apr 23 '15 at 19:06
  • Disable Virtual Machine Queue is my only advice when working with Broadcom adapters, I have no had a good experience with it enabled. This can cause you a lot of network issues such as VMs losing connectivity altogether at a random intervals. – nGX Apr 23 '15 at 20:15
  • I mistyped. I am using Switch Independent configuration / Dynamic distribution. – Alex McKenzie Apr 23 '15 at 21:53

First of all, you mention that you are using the Switch Dependent configuration / Hyper-V Port distribution policy. You might consider trying out the Switch dependent / Dynamic distribution policy, though. According to Microsoft's Windows Server 2012 R2 NIC Teaming (LBFO) Deployment and Management document, the latter is the first recommendation in all scenarios where a switch dependent deployment is desired.

[Switch dependent configuration / Dynamic distribution] mode is best used for teaming in all cases where Switch Dependent configurations are required by policy. Depending on the capabilities of the adjacent switch it may also do very well, and perhaps even best, when supporting teaming of native workloads.


In all cases where [Switch dependent configuration / Hyper-V Port distribution] configuration was recommended in Windows Server 2012, the new configuration, Switch Dependent/Dynamic, described in 3.4.6, will provide better performance.

Anyway, on to answer your actual question, the benefit of using Microsoft's built-in teaming capability is that your NIC teaming issues will now be supported by Microsoft (to a much greater extent than if you were not using Microsoft's NIC teaming.) Whereas if you use Broadcom's NIC teaming software, Microsoft may tell you to go bark up Broadcom's tree in case of a support issue with your NIC team. On the other hand, Broadcom's drivers (and NIC teaming software) may very well provide better performance and/or reliability with your specific hardware... because those drivers were designed for that specific hardware. So that is the major pro vs. con that you'll just have to weigh for yourself.

  • I mistyped. I am using Switch Independent configuration / Dynamic distribution. I actually used the document you refrence to set this up. – Alex McKenzie Apr 23 '15 at 21:53

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