Switch Embedded Teaming to replace the traditional NIC Teaming for Hyper-V

Today I tested a very nice feature available with  Windows Server 2016, called Switch Embeddded Teaming (SET), so I thought to blog this.

set

Before (With Windows Server 2012 R2)

Windows Server 2012 introduced the support for RDMA NICs for higher throughput by utilizing the full capabilities of SMB 3.0 including SMB direct and SMB multichannel and that with reduced CPU usage. But that was only limited for the SMB traffic. So you need to have another NIC teaming for the VM TCP/IP traffic, management, live migration, storage migration and cluster heartbeat. Also you can’t team RDMA NICs because teaming can’t utilize the RDMA capabilities. This added additional complexity by requiring the necessity to have more NICs in your Hyper-V converged infrastructure.

Now (With Windows Server 2016 TP5)

Windows Server 2016 introduced a new way of team where the teaming is managed from within the Hyper-V switch, called Switched Embedded Teaming (SET).

Here we create vNICs in the root partition bound to the Switch Embedded Team, and it supports RDMA, DCB, and VMQ. In this way, we can converge all the traffic into two high throughput NICs (at least 10GB/s) , that is, SMB and TCP/IP traffic altogether. This eliminates the need to have more number of NICs for your setup thereby simplifying manageability.

Switch Embedded Teaming is supported only in Hyper-V host and not in guest virtual machines NIC teaming.

To implement SET, make sure that all network adapters are identical (i.e., same manufacturer, same model, same firmware and driver) and that with recommended RDMA enabled 10Gigs . SET supports between one and eight network adapters in a team. Unlike traditional teams, SET won’t support active-passive NICs. So all the NICs are used in an active-active configuration. It will only support the Switch Independent teaming mode, so you can’t use LCAP.

For more information, please read the below Technet article:

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server-docs/networking/technologies/hyper-v-virtual-switch/rdma-and-switch-embedded-teaming

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