Multi-NIC File Server Dissection

Ned here. Our friend and colleague Jose Barreto from the File Server development team has posted a very interesting article around multiple NIC usage on Win2008/R2 file servers. Here’s the intro:

When you set up a File Server, there are advantages to configuring multiple Network Interface Cards (NICs). However, there are many options to consider depending on how your network and services are laid out. Since networking (along with storage) is one of the most common bottlenecks in a file server deployment, this is a topic worth investigating.

Throughout this blog post, we will look into different configurations for Windows Server 2008 (and 2008 R2) where a file server uses multiple NICs. Next, we’ll describe how the behavior of the SMB client can help distribute the load for a file server with multiple NICs. We will also discuss SMB2 Durability and how it can recover from certain network failure in configuration where multiple network paths between clients and servers are available. Finally, we will look closely into the configuration of a Clustered File Server with multiple client-facing NICs.

I highly recommend giving the whole thing a read if you are interested in increasing file server throughput and reliability on the network in a recommend fashion.

– Ned “I am team Edward” Pyle