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How to Team Your Network Cards with Windows Server 2012

Posted February 6, 2013


By Marcus Austin, Firebrand Training

While the cost to purchase a server has risen little over the last twenty years, the cost of running a server has increased substantially. To keep costs down businesses have started to look at server virtualization. And with the processor in a server being active just 30% - 40% of the time on average, why not exploit the "downtime" to run another server?

In order to get the most out of virtualization, though, the processor needs to be working at full capacity, and to do that it needs access to huge quantities of data. But in every server there is a bottleneck, and that's the network interface card (NIC), which controls the flow of data in and out of the server.

Most servers have just one NIC, so the simple answer to the problem would be to add more NICs. After all, most standalone and rack-mounted servers have plenty of slots to add more. But very few IT managers pursue this strategy, because adding another NIC can be a rather painful process.

Fortunately, though, with Windows Server 2012 you can now team together as many NICs as you want with just a few simple mouse clicks. The result is that your processor will spend less time waiting for data and more time number crunching.

Another benefit is that should one NIC go down, the system will automatically switch traffic to the remaining cards. Additionally, with the new team functionality in Windows Server 2012, you can bond together multiple internet connections over several NICs, effectively increasing your internet bandwidth by creating a single, faster, virtual connection.

To help you get the most out of the network teaming features of Server Manager, the Microsoft Windows Server experts at Firebrand Training have put together a simple and handy Infographic that takes you step-by-step through the process of teaming two or more NICs together in Windows Server 2012.

Teaming Network Cards in Windows Server 2012

Marcus Austin works for Firebrand Training as a Technical Author. Marcus has over 25 years’ experience in the technology and business sector. His recent work includes constructing a mobile strategy for the Guardian Media Group, together with writing and editing for magazines and websites including TechRadar, Internet Retailing, IT Perspectives, and Santander Breakthrough.

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