You can use NIC teaming to increase the network bandwidth available in a network path, and to provide the redundancy that supports higher availability.

Benefits and Overview

NIC teaming helps avoid a single point of failure and provides options for load balancing of traffic. To reduce further the risk of a single point of failure, build NIC teams by using ports from multiple NIC and motherboard interfaces.

Create a single virtual switch with teamed NICs across separate physical switches.

NIC Teaming Design Background

For a predictable level of performance, use multiple network adapters in one of the following configurations.

  • An active-passive configuration that uses explicit failover when connected to two separate switches.

  • An active-active configuration in which two or more physical NICs in the server are assigned the active role.

This validated design uses a non-LAG active-active configuration using the route based on physical NIC load algorithm for vSphere Distributed Switch and load balance source algorithm for N-VDS. By using this configuration, network cards remain active instead of remaining idle until a failure occurs.

Table 1. NIC Teaming and Policy

Design Quality

Active-Active

Active-Passive

Comments

Availability

Using teaming regardless of the option increases the availability of the environment.

Manageability

o

o

Neither design option impacts manageability.

Performance

o

An active-active configuration can send traffic across either NIC, thereby increasing the available bandwidth. This configuration provides a benefit if the NICs are being shared among traffic types and Network I/O Control is used.

Recoverability

o

o

Neither design option impacts recoverability.

Security

o

o

Neither design option impacts security.

Legend: ↑ = positive impact on quality; ↓ = negative impact on quality; o = no impact on quality.

Table 2. NIC Teaming Design Decisions

Decision ID

Design Decision

Design Justification

Design Implication

NSXT-VI-NET-002

In the shared edge and compute cluster, use the Load balance source teaming policy on N-VDS.

NSX-T Virtual Distributed Switch(N-VDS) supports Load balance source and Failover teaming policies. When you use the Load balance source policy, both physical NICs can be active and carry traffic.

None.