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I have an interesting setup that is moving from a legacy design to a newer design. The legacy design had eight physical, fiber optic media network adapters. The newer design utilizes a 10gb, copper media network adapter attached to a copper-to-fiber optic 8 port switch. Note, I am not seeking a virtual machine solution. This should be done on the actual host itself.

So, the legacy host has:

  • Fiber optic adapter 1
  • Fiber optic adapter 2
  • Fiber optic adapter 3
  • Fiber optic adapter 4
  • Fiber optic adapter 5
  • Fiber optic adapter 6
  • Fiber optic adapter 7
  • Fiber optic adapter 8

The new host has:

  • 10gb copper adapter 1
  • 10gb copper to 8 fiber optic switch

There is a software component to this system that expects there to be eight network adapters on the system. These adapters are supposed to connect to 8 network adapters on another system. Modification of the software component is not an option.

What I have tried:

I have tried assigning multiple IP addresses to the single adapter (which Windows 10 supports). However, the software enumerates the physical adapter, queries for the default IP address, and moves forward with that information. Thus, even though there are multiple IP addresses, the software component ignores the other IP addresses the adapter has bound itself to.

What I am seeking:

Is there a virtual or emulated network driver that allows extending the single physical adapter to multiple adapters routed through that single physical adapter? I have verified that using a virtual network adapter driver (like TAP or VirtualBox's network adapters) is detected by the software component. However, I have been unable to find a configuration that causes them to behave in the manner I am seeking.

  • 1
    Does your server and NIC support SR-IOV? – Chopper3 Sep 22 '16 at 8:52
  • I don't have time right now to write out a full answer, but you can do this with "NIC Teaming" and VLANs. See community.mellanox.com/docs/DOC-1845 for an example. Then the only thing you need to do is assign each of your 8 fiber ports on the switch to one of 8 VLANs on the server. – Moshe Katz Sep 22 '16 at 18:26
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How about a virtual loopback NIC?

  1. Right click on 'My computer' & 'Manage'.
  2. Go to 'Device manager', right click on your computer (the first object on the list) & 'Add legacy hardware'.
  3. Press 'Next'.
  4. Choose second 'Setup manually'.
  5. Then find 'Network Adapter' & 'Next'.
  6. Go to 'Microsoft' and select the 'Loopback' (the full name depends on your OS) adapter & 'Next'.
  7. Configure the new NIC as you like.

Here's a tutorial with pictures:
https://4sysops.com/archives/how-to-install-loopback-adapter-in-windows-8/

I think this should work nicely for you.

  • We prefer answers to contain content not pointers to content. Links can and do go dead Please precis the content into your answer and leave the link for reference. – Iain Sep 22 '16 at 9:00
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    @Iain Fair enough. added a step-by-step. – EliadTech Sep 22 '16 at 9:17
  • This may be heading in the right direction. It's odd to think that the KM-TEST Loopback Adapter would be able to do the trick, but the article seems indicate that it might. However, when I try to add the "Hyper-V Extensible Virtual Switch" (via adapter settings), Windows 10 prompts that "Your current selection will also disable the following features: Hyper-V Extensible Network Switch." I feel like I'm missing a step that was not cited by the OP of the article. – Michael Sep 26 '16 at 17:03
  • @Michael What "Hyper-V Extensible Virtual Switch" have to do with it? Have you tried using the Loopback adapter? – EliadTech Oct 13 '16 at 8:12

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