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Network Teaming or NIC teaming provides us High Availability in networking, and therefore it is one of the most important parts of infrastructure. It allows us to group between 1 to 32 physical Ethernet network adapters into one or more software-based virtual network adapters.
These virtual network adapters provide us fast performance and fault tolerance in any of our network adapter fails. NIC teaming is the term that we use in Windows. On Linux, the same concept is called Network Bonding.
In this post, we will see how to configure NIC teaming in Windows.
All the network adapters that we want to be a part of NIC Team must be installed in the same physical host computer. Below are the steps for configuring NIC teaming in Windows Server.
Configure NIC Teaming
1. Login to the console of the server with local admin account.
2. Record all the IP Addresses with the below command:
ipconfig /all >> c:\temp\server-IP.txt
Enable the second NIC:
1. Rename the current Live NIC to Production Network NIC 1.
2. Rename the New Live NIC to Production Network NIC 2.
3. Make sure that both are LIVE.
Create the NIC Teaming following these steps:
1. Go to Server Manager
2. Click on Local Server
3. NIC Teaming will show disabled
1. Select the NIC’s that will be in the NIC Team
2. Click TASK
3. Add to NIC Team (enter the NIC Teaming Name; choose Name, e.g., Production Network Team, etc.)
4. Choose “Additional Properties”. Go to more options type and click Apply:
5. For Active/Passive, “Switch Independent” must be picked. Otherwise, the Standby Adapter Option will be greyed out.
Show Network Information
Select the “Production Network NIC Team”, Properties and enter the IP addresses. Be aware that the “Gateway” will need to be entered again after clicking OK and exit.
Check RDP access
1. Go back to Server Manager.
2. Select Local Server.
3. Click on NIC Teaming.
4. Right-click on the NIC Team Name and Delete.
5. Go back to the “Show Network Information”.
6. Verify that the NIC1 is enabled and has the correct IP Addresses.
7. Disable the NIC2
8. Check if RDP access is working or not.
Here is a real-world example of active/active NIC teaming in Toptechnotes production environment, skillfully integrating four Network Interface Cards (NIC’s). This deployment exemplifies the seamless operation and efficiency of NIC teaming, highlighting its significance in optimizing network performance and ensuring robust connectivity within an enterprise-grade infrastructure.
In conclusion, Network Interface Card (NIC) teaming, a vital component of modern network infrastructure, plays a pivotal role in ensuring high availability and robust network performance. This technology allows the grouping of multiple physical Ethernet network adapters into one or more software-based virtual network adapters, providing fast performance and fault tolerance in case of hardware failures.
In Windows, NIC teaming is the terminology used, while in the Linux ecosystem, it’s referred to as Network Bonding. This versatile feature is invaluable for organizations seeking to enhance their network reliability and performance.
This post has outlined a comprehensive guide on configuring NIC teaming in Windows Server. It involves several key steps, including enabling and renaming network adapters, creating NIC teams through the Server Manager, and configuring IP addresses for the team. Notably, it’s crucial to ensure the appropriate settings, like ‘Switch Independent,’ for optimal functionality.
By following these steps, administrators can establish active/active NIC teaming, as exemplified in a real-world production environment. The result is a resilient and efficient network infrastructure that reduces downtime and enhances overall network stability.
We hope this guide has been informative and helpful in your pursuit of a more robust and reliable network architecture.
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