Deploying Server Core 2008 R2 for Hyper-V: Network Teaming

In our deployment, we are using servers with Intel network adapters, so the first thing is to install the manufacturer driver package because this enables the ANS (Advanced Network Services) functionality such as Teaming.

The new version of the Intel driver for Server 2008 R2 includes a command line utility for managing networks in Server Core known as ProsetCL, which operates with a syntax not too dissimilar from PowerShell.

The commands from ProsetCL I will be using in this post are:

  • ProSetCL Adapter_Enumerate
  • ProSetCL Team_Create

The full Intel documentation for ProsetCL can be found at http://download.intel.com/support/network/sb/prosetcl1.txt.

With all of the adapters nicely named from the previous post Deploying Server Core 2008 R2 for Hyper-V: Network Naming, this part is actually pretty easy.

The first step is to run an export of the current network adapters to a text file with ipconfig /all > C:Adapters.txt. Once you have this open the file with Notepad.exe C:Adapters.txt.

With the text file open, in the command line window, navigate to the directory C:Program FilesIntelDMIXCL which is where the ProsetCL utility is installed. You could register the directory into the PATH environment environment variable if it makes your life easier, but I didn’t do this personally.

Execute the command ProsetCL Adapter_Enumerate. This will output a list of the network adapters on the server into the command line. Sadly, the Intel utility and Windows order the network adapters differently which is why the text file is needed to marry the two up.

Once you have figured out which adapters need to be teamed together to form your various Client Access, Management, Heartbeat, CSV and Live Migration networks, you are ready to proceed.

You need to know at this point what type of teams you want to create also. The Intel adapters and utility support the following team types:

Team Type Team Function ProsetCL Shorthand
Switch Fault Tolerance Two adapters are connected to independent switches, with only one adapter active at any one time. In the event of a switch failure, the standby link will become active allowing communication to continue. SFT
Static Link Aggregation Two or more adapters are teamed in an always active manner. This mode allows you to achieve a theoretical speed equal to the sum of the speed of all the adapters in the team. To be used when LACP (Link Aggregation Control Protocol) is not available on your switch infrastructure. SLA
LACP (Link Aggregation Control Protocol) Similar to Static Link Aggregation, however the network adapter and the switch to which it is connected negotiate the aggregation using the LACP protocol. 802.3AD
Adapter Load Balancing Two or more adapters are teamed together, whereby the utility forces traffic to be routed out of each port in turn, equally sharing the load across the ports. ALB
Adapter Fault Tolerance Allows two or more ports to be connected in a team whereby the ports may have differing connection speeds (Eg. 1Gbps for the Primary Active adapter and 100Mbps for the Failover adapter). AFT

For full details and a more detailed explanation of each teaming mode, refer to the Intel ANS page at http://www.intel.com/support/network/sb/cs-009747.htm

Now that you know which adapters to be teamed together and which teaming mode you want to use for each, it is time to create the teams.

Enter the command as follows:

ProsetCL Team_Create 1,2 MAN_Team SFT

In this example, a team will be created using ports number one and two (the numbers as referenced by the previous Adapter_Enumerate command) with a team name of MAN_Team for the Management network using the Switch Fault Tolerance mode.

Following the command, you should receive a prompt that the team was successfully created. A new network adapter will now be present if you execute the ipconfig /all command named, sadly, Local Area Connection.

Assuming you named all your adapters from the default name using the previous post, the adapter will always be called Local Area Connection with no trailing numbers. If you run the netsh interface set interface name command after creating each team, it makes it much easier to name the teams as you go rather than doing them in a batch at the end.

In the next post, I will describe configuring the network binding order to ensure the correct cluster communication occurs out of the correct adapter.

richardjgreen

Richard works as a Cloud Consultant for Fordway Solution where his primary focus is to help customers understand, adopt and develop with Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and System Center. Richard Green is an IT Pro with over 15 years' of experience in all things Microsoft including System Center and Office 365. He has previously worked as a System Center consultant and as an internal solutions architect across many verticals. Outside of work, he loves motorbikes and is part of the orange army, marshaling for NGRRC, British Superbikes and MotoGP. He is also an Assistant Cub Scout Leader.