Network Performance and Availability

Applies To: Windows Server 2012

This topic describes how Server Message Block (SMB) Multichannel provides a network performance and availability experience in Server Availability.

Scenario description

In Windows Server 2012, the SMB Multichannel feature provides multiple connections within a single SMB session to enhance the network performance and availability experience for Server Availability. SMB Multichannel provides the following advantages:

  • Failover Uses a different network adapter if a network adapter fails in a computer.

  • Throughput Aggregates bandwidth across multiple network adapters, and uses multiple processors to process network interruptions on network adapters that support Receive Side Scaling.

  • Configuration Automatically detects and uses multiple network paths.

Practical applications

Some practical applications of the network performance and availability experience include:

  • SQL over SMB Install SQL database files on an SMB network share. For more information about SQL over SMB, see Install SQL Server with SMB fileshare as a storage option.

  • Hyper-V over SMB Enable virtual machines to reside on an SMB network shares, giving you the power to design new flexible storage solutions for your virtual or cloud infrastructure.

Features included in this experience

The following table lists the features that are part of this scenario and describes how they support it.

Role/feature

How it supports this scenario

Server Message Block Overview

SMB Multichannel is a new feature in the SMB version 3.0 protocol.

NIC Teaming Overview

Load balancing and failover (also known as network adapter teaming), allows multiple network adapters on a computer to be placed into a team.

Hardware requirements

SMB Multichannel requires at least one of the following configurations:

  • Multiple network adapters

  • Network adapters that support Receive Side Scaling

  • Network adapters that support Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA)

The following are a few sample network configurations that can be used for SMB Multichannel:

  • Dual 1 gigabit Ethernet network adapters Each computer running Windows Server 2012 is configured with a dual 1 gigabit Ethernet network adapter.

  • Dual 1 gigabit Ethernet network adapters configured in a team Each computer is configured with two 1 gigabit Ethernet network adapters that are configured in a load balancing and failover environment, also known as a network adapter team.

  • Single 10 gigabit Ethernet network adapters Each computer running Windows Server 2012 is configured with a 10 gigabit Ethernet network adapter that support Receive Side Scaling.

  • Dual 10 gigabit Ethernet network adapters Each computer is configured with a dual 10 gigabit Ethernet network adapter.

  • Dual Infiniband network adapters Each computer is configured with dual Infiniband network adapters that support RDMA.

Software requirements

SMB Multichannel is enabled by default on computers running Windows Server 2012.