Create a new NIC Team on a host computer or VM

Applies to: Windows Server (Semi-Annual Channel), Windows Server 2016

In this topic, you create a new NIC Team on a host computer or in a Hyper-V virtual machine (VM) running Windows Server 2016.

Network configuration requirements

Before you can create a new NIC Team, you must deploy a Hyper-V host with two network adapters that connect to different physical switches. You must also configure the network adapters with IP addresses that are from the same IP address range.

The physical switch, Hyper-V Virtual Switch, local area network (LAN), and NIC Teaming requirements for creating a NIC Team in a VM are:

  • The computer running Hyper-V must have two or more network adapters.

  • If connecting the network adapters to multiple physical switches, the physical switches must be on the same Layer 2 subnet.

  • You must use Hyper-V Manager or Windows PowerShell to create two external Hyper-V Virtual Switches, each connected to a different physical network adapter.

  • The VM must connect to both external virtual switches you create.

  • NIC Teaming, in Windows Server 2016, supports teams with two members in VMs. You can create larger teams, but there is no support.

  • If you are configuring a NIC Team in a VM, you must select a Teaming mode of Switch Independent and a Load balancing mode of Address Hash.

Step 1. Configure the physical and virtual network

In this procedure, you create two external Hyper-V Virtual Switches, connect a VM to the switches, and then configure the VM connections to the switches.

Prerequisites

You must have membership in Administrators, or equivalent.

Procedure

  1. On the Hyper-V host, open Hyper-V Manager, and under Actions, click Virtual Switch Manager.

    Virtual Switch Manager

  2. In Virtual Switch Manager, make sure External is selected, and then click Create Virtual Switch.

    Create Virtual Switch

  3. In Virtual Switch Properties, type a Name for the virtual switch, and add Notes as needed.

  4. In Connection type, in External network, select the physical network adapter to which you want to attach the virtual switch.

  5. Configure additional switch properties for your deployment, and then click OK.

  6. Create a second external virtual switch by repeating the previous steps. Connect the second external switch to a different network adapter.

  7. In Hyper-V Manager, under Virtual Machines, right-click the VM that you want to configure, and then click Settings.

    The VM Settings dialog box opens.

  8. Ensure that the VM is not started. If it is started, perform a shutdown before configuring the VM.

  9. In Hardware, click Network Adapter.

    Network Adapter

  10. In Network Adapter properties, select one of the virtual switches that you created in previous steps, and then click Apply.

    Select a virtual switch

  11. In Hardware, click to expand the plus sign (+) next to Network Adapter.

  12. Click Advanced Features to enable NIC Teaming by using the graphical user interface.

    Tip

    You can also enable NIC Teaming with a Windows PowerShell command:

    Set-VMNetworkAdapter -VMName <VMname> -AllowTeaming On
    

    a. Select Dynamic for MAC address.

    b. Click to select Protected network.

    c. Click to select Enable this network adapter to be part of a team in the guest operating system.

    d. Click OK.

    Add a network adapter to a team

  13. To add a second network adapter, in Hyper-V Manager, in Virtual Machines, right-click the same VM, and then click Settings.

    The VM Settings dialog box opens.

  14. In Add Hardware, click Network Adapter, and then click Add.

    Add a network adapter

  15. In Network Adapter properties, select the second virtual switch that you created in previous steps, and then click Apply.

    Apply a virtual switch

  16. In Hardware, click to expand the plus sign (+) next to Network Adapter.

  17. Click Advanced Features, scroll down to NIC Teaming, and click to select Enable this network adapter to be part of a team in the guest operating system.

  18. Click OK.

Congratulations! You have configured the physical and virtual network. Now you can proceed to creating a new NIC Team.

Step 2. Create a new NIC Team

When you create a new NIC Team, you must configure the NIC Team properties:

  • Team name

  • Member adapters

  • Teaming mode

  • Load balancing mode

  • Standby adapter

You can also optionally configure the primary team interface and configure a virtual LAN (VLAN) number.

For more details on these settings, see NIC Teaming settings.

Prerequisites

You must have membership in Administrators, or equivalent.

Procedure

  1. In Server Manager, click Local Server.

  2. In the Properties pane, in the first column, locate NIC Teaming, and then click the Disabled link.

    The NIC Teaming dialog box opens.

    NIC Teaming dialog box

  3. In Adapters and Interfaces, select the one or more network adapters that you want to add to a NIC Team.

  4. Click TASKS, and click Add to New Team.

    The New team dialog box opens and displays network adapters and team members.

  5. In Team name, type a name for the new NIC Team, and then click Additional properties.

  6. In Additional properties, select values for:

    • Teaming mode. The options for Teaming mode are Switch Independent and Switch Dependent. The Switch Dependent mode includes Static Teaming and Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP).

      • Switch Independent. With Switch Independent mode, the switch or switches to which the NIC Team members are connected are unaware of the presence of the NIC team and do not determine how to distribute network traffic to NIC Team members - instead, the NIC Team distributes inbound network traffic across the NIC Team members.

      • Switch Dependent. With Switch Dependent modes, the switch to which the NIC Team members are connected determines how to distribute the inbound network traffic among the NIC Team members. The switch has complete independence to determine how to distribute the network traffic across the NIC Team members.

        Static Teaming Requires you to manually configure both the switch and the host to identify which links form the team. Because this is a statically configured solution, there is no additional protocol to assist the switch and the host to identify incorrectly plugged cables or other errors that could cause the team to fail to perform. This mode is typically supported by server-class switches.
        Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP) Unlike Static Teaming, LACP Teaming mode dynamically identifies links that are connected between the host and the switch. This dynamic connection enables the automatic creation of a team and, in theory but rarely in practice, the expansion and reduction of a team simply by the transmission or receipt of LACP packets from the peer entity. All server-class switches support LACP, and all require the network operator to administratively enable LACP on the switch port. When you configure a Teaming mode of LACP, NIC Teaming always operates in LACP's Active mode with a short timer. No option is presently available to modify the timer or change the LACP mode.

    • Load balancing mode. The options for Load Balancing distribution mode are Address Hash, Hyper-V Port, and Dynamic.

      • Address Hash. With Address Hash, this mode creates a hash based on address components of the packet, which then get assigned to one of the available adapters. Usually, this mechanism alone is sufficient to create a reasonable balance across the available adapters.

      • Hyper-V Port. With Hyper-V Port, NIC Teams configured on Hyper-V hosts give VMs independent MAC addresses. The VMs MAC address or the VM ported connected to the Hyper-V switch, can be used to divide network traffic between NIC Team members. You cannot configure NIC Teams that you create within VMs with the Hyper-V Port load balancing mode. Instead, use the Address Hash mode.

      • Dynamic. With Dynamic, outbound loads are distributed based on a hash of the TCP ports and IP addresses. Dynamic mode also rebalances loads in real time so that a given outbound flow may move back and forth between team members. Inbound loads, on the other hand, get distributed the same way as Hyper-V Port. In a nutshell, Dynamic mode utilizes the best aspects of both Address Hash and Hyper-V Port and is the highest performing load balancing mode.

    • Standby adapter. The options for Standby Adapter are None (all adapters Active) or your selection of a specific network adapter in the NIC Team that acts as a Standby adapter.

    Tip

    If you are configuring a NIC Team in a virtual machine (VM), you must select a Teaming mode of Switch Independent and a Load balancing mode of Address Hash.

  7. If you want to configure the primary team interface name or assign a VLAN number to the NIC Team, click the link to the right of Primary team interface.

    The New team interface dialog box opens.

    New team interface

  8. Depending on your requirements, do one of the following:

    • Provide a tNIC interface name.

    • Configure VLAN membership: click Specific VLAN and type the VLAN information. For example, if you want to add this NIC Team to the accounting VLAN number 44, Type Accounting 44 - VLAN.

  9. Click OK.

Congratulations! You've created a new NIC Team on a host computer or VM.

  • NIC Teaming: In this topic, we give you an overview of Network Interface Card (NIC) Teaming in Windows Server 2016. NIC Teaming allows you to group between one and 32 physical Ethernet network adapters into one or more software-based virtual network adapters. These virtual network adapters provide fast performance and fault tolerance in the event of a network adapter failure.

  • NIC Teaming MAC address use and management: When you configure a NIC Team with switch independent mode and either address hash or dynamic load distribution, the team uses the media access control (MAC) address of the primary NIC Team member on outbound traffic. The primary NIC Team member is a network adapter selected by the operating system from the initial set of team members.

  • NIC Teaming settings: In this topic, we give you an overview of the NIC Team properties such as teaming and load balancing modes. We also give you details about the Standby adapter setting and the Primary team interface property. If you have at least two network adapters in a NIC Team, you do not need to designate a Standby adapter for fault tolerance.

  • Troubleshooting NIC Teaming: In this topic, we discuss ways to troubleshoot NIC Teaming, such as hardware, physical switch securities, and disabling or enabling network adapters using Windows PowerShell.