Download ANS Teaming Software
Install ANS Teaming Software
Microsoft Windows Server 2012* NIC Teaming
(includes throughput and resource issues)
Download ANS Teaming Software
Download Center contains driver downloads for Intel® Ethernet adapters that include Advanced Network Services (ANS) teaming software. In download center choose your product and download the file that supports your version of Windows. A separate download for teaming software is not required or available.
Install ANS Teaming Software
Advanced Network Services (ANS) are installed by default along with Intel® PROSet for Windows* Device Manager. See the screen shot below.
When you run the installation from the CD included with your software or from downloaded software, the Setup Options gives you the choice to install ANS. Because ANS is checked by default, no special action is required during installation.
If you uncheck the Advanced Network Services during installation then you will need to modify the installation and select Advanced Network Services as an install option.
If your adapter supports teaming, then a Teaming tab will appear in Windows* Device Manager after installing the software. Use the New Team option and follow the wizard to create a new team.
Teaming options are supported on Intel® PRO/100, PRO/1000, PRO/10GbE, Gigabit, and 10 Gigabit server adapters and the Intel® Gigabit CT Desktop Adapter. Teaming options are supported on Intel desktop adapters if there is at least one server adapter installed. Selected LAN adapters and LAN on Motherboard (LOM) connections from other manufacturers are also supported on a best effort basis.
- Adapters that plug into PCI* or PCI-X* slots do not support Advanced Network Services (ANS) teaming in Microsoft Windows 7* or Windows Server 2008 R2*. These adapters can be added to a team if the team is created from a network connection that does support teaming.
- Any adapter that appears in the Intel® PROSet teaming wizard may be included in a team including non-Intel adapters.
- Intel PRO/10GbE Server Adapters support Adaptive Load Balancing (ALB), Adapter Fault Tolerance (AFT), and Switch Fault Tolerance (SFT) teaming types. They may not be teamed with Intel PRO/100 adapters.
- PCI-Express*-based Intel 10 Gigabit server adapters support Static Link Aggregation (SLA) teams with each other. You cannot mix these adapters in a team with Intel PRO/10GbE server adapters.
- Some advanced features, including hardware offloading, are automatically disabled when non-Intel adapters are team members to assure a common feature set.
- TOE (TCP Offload Engine) enabled devices cannot be added to a team and will not appear in the list of available adapters.
- For all team types except SFT, spanning tree protocol (STP) should be disabled on switch ports connected to teamed adapters in order to prevent data loss when the primary adapter is returned to service (failback). Alternatively, an activation delay may be configured on the adapters to prevent data loss when spanning tree is used. Set the Activation Delay on the advanced tab of team properties.
- Not all team types are available on all operating systems.
- Hot Plug operations with non-Intel adapters that are part of a team cause system instability. We recommended that you restart the system or reload the team after performing Hot Plug operations with a team that includes a non-Intel adapter.
- Intel adapters that do not support Intel PROSet may still be included in a team. However, they are restricted in the same way non-Intel adapters are. See Multi-Vendor Teaming for more information.
- You can add Intel® Active Management Technology (Intel® AMT) enabled devices to Adapter Fault Tolerance (AFT), Switch Fault Tolerance (SFT), and Adaptive Load Balancing (ALB) teams. All other team types are not supported. The Intel AMT enabled device must be designated as the primary adapter for the team.
Microsoft Windows Server 2012* NIC Teaming
Microsoft Windows Server 2012 adds support for NIC teaming, also known as Load Balancing and Failover (LBFO). Intel ANS teaming and VLANs are not compatible with Microsoft's LBFO teams. Intel® PROSet will block a member of an LBFO team from being added to an Intel ANS team or VLAN. You should not add a port that is already part of an Intel ANS team or VLAN to an LBFO team, as this may cause system instability.
If you use an ANS team member or VLAN in an LBFO team, perform the following procedure to restore your configuration:
- Reboot the machine
- Remove LBFO team. Even though LBFO team creation failed, after a reboot Server Manager will report that LBFO is Enabled, and the LBFO interface is present in the NIC Teaming GUI.
- Remove the ANS teams and VLANS involved in the LBFO team and recreate them. This is an optional (all bindings are restored when the LBFO team is removed ), but strongly recommended step.
||If you add an Intel AMT enabled port to an LBFO team, do not set the port to Standby in the LBFO team. If you set the port to Standby you may lose AMT functionality.|
Teaming Features include Failover protection, increased bandwidth throughput aggregation, and balancing of traffic among team members. Teaming Modes are AFT, SFT, ALB, Receive Load Balancing (RLB), SLA, and IEEE 802.3ad Dynamic Link Aggregation.
Features available by using Intel's Advanced Networking Software (ANS) include:
- Fault Tolerance
Uses one or more secondary adapters to take over for the primary adapter should the first adapter, its cabling or the link partner fail. Designed to ensure server availability to the network.
- Link Aggregation
The combining of multiple adapters into a single channel to provide greater bandwidth. Bandwidth increase is only available when connecting to multiple destination addresses. ALB mode provides aggregation for transmission only while RLB, SLA, and IEEE 802.3ad dynamic link aggregation modes provide aggregation in both directions. Link aggregation modes requires switch support, while ALB and RLB modes can be used with any switch.
- Load Balancing
The distribution of the transmission and reception load the among aggregated network adapters. An intelligent adaptive agent in the ANS driver repeatedly analyzes the traffic flow from the server and distributes the packets based on destination addresses. (In IEEE 802.3ad modes the switch provides load balancing on incoming packets.)
||Load Balancing in ALB mode can only occur on Layer 3 routed protocols (IP and NCP IPX). Load Balancing in RLB mode can only occur for TCP/IP. Non-routed protocols are transmitted only over the primary adapter. |
Virtual Machine Load Balancing (VMLB)
- Adapter Fault Tolerance (AFT)
Allows mixed models and mixed connection speeds as long as there is at least one Intel® PRO server adapter in the team. A 'failed' Primary adapter will pass its MAC and Layer 3 address to the failover (secondary) adapter. All adapters in the team should be connected to the same hub or switch with Spanning Tree (STP) set to Off.
- Switch Fault Tolerance (SFT)
Uses two adapters connected to two switches to provide a fault tolerant network connection in the event that the first adapter, its cabling or the switch fail. Only two adapters can be assigned to an SFT team.
- Do not put clients on the SFT team link partner switches, because they will not pass traffic to the partner switch at fail.
- Spanning Tree (STP) must be running on the network to ensure that loops are eliminated.
- STP should be turned off on the incoming ports of the switches directly connected to the adapters in the team, or these ports should be configured for PortFast.
- Only 802.3ad DYNAMIC mode allows failover between teams.
Diagram of Switch Fault Tolerance (SFT) Team with Spanning Tree Protocol
- Adaptive Load Balancing (ALB)
Offers increased network bandwidth by allowing transmission over 2-8 ports to multiple destination addresses, and also incorporates Adapter Fault Tolerance. Only the primary receives incoming traffic. Only the primary transmits broadcasts/multicasts and non-routed protocols. The ANS software load balances transmissions, based on Destination Address, and can be used with any switch. Simultaneous transmission only occurs at multiple addresses. This mode can be connected to any switch.
- Receive Load Balancing (RLB)
- Offers increased network bandwidth by allowing reception over 2-8 ports from multiple addresses.
- Can only be used in conjunction with ALB.
- RLB is enabled by default when an ALB team is configured unless you are using Microsoft Hyper-V*.
- Receive Load Balancing mode is not compatible with Microsoft Hyper-V*. Use Virtual Machine Load Balancing mode if you want to balance both transmit and receive traffic.
- Only the adapters connected at the fastest speed will be used to load balance incoming TCP/IP traffic. The primary, regardless of speed, will receive all other RX traffic.
- Can be used with any switch. Any failover will increase network latency until ARPs are re-sent. Simultaneous reception only occurs from multiple clients.
VMLB teaming mode was created specifically for use with Microsoft Hyper-V*. VMLB provides transmit and receive traffic load balancing across Virtual Machines bound to the team interface, as well as fault tolerance in the event of switch port, cable, or adapter failure. This teaming type works with any switch.
The driver analyzes the transmit and receive load on each member adapter and balances the traffic across member ports. In a VMLB team, each Virtual Machine is associated with one team member port for its TX and RX traffic. For example, if you have three virtual machines and two member ports, and if VM1 had twice as much traffic as the combination of VM2 and VM3, then VM1 would be assigned to team member port 1 and VM2 and VM3 would share team member port 2.
If only one virtual NIC is bound to the team, or if Hyper-V is removed, then the VMLB team will act like an AFT team.
- VMLB does not load balance non-routed protocols such as NetBEUI and some IPX* traffic.
- VMLB supports from 2 to 8 ports per team.
- You can create an VMLB team with mixed speed adapters. The load is balanced according to the lowest common denominator of adapter capabilities and the bandwidth of the channel.
- Intel Link Aggregation (LA), Cisco* Fast EtherChannel™ (FEC) and Gigabit EtherChannel™ (GEC)
- Modes replaced by Static Link Aggregation mode
- See IEEE 802.3ad Static Link Aggregation mode below
This standard has been implemented in two ways:
- Static Link Aggregation (SLA):
- Equivalent to EtherChannel or Intel Link Aggregation
- Must be used with an 802.3ad, FEC/GEC/ or Intel Link Aggregation capable switch.
- Requires 802.3ad DYNAMIC capable switches.
- Active aggregators in software determine team membership between the switch and the ANS software (or between switches).
- There is a maximum of 2 aggregators per server and you must choose either maximum bandwidth or maximum adapters.
Both 802.3ad modes include adapter fault tolerance and load balancing capabilities. However in DYNAMIC mode load balancing is within only one team at a time.
IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregation (LAG): what it is, and what it is not* presents more informationHere is a chart of the features and the modes they are available in.
||Dynamic 802.3ad |
|Layer 3 Address Aggregation
|Layer 2 Address Aggregation
|Mixed Speed Adapters*
- You may mix different adapter types for any mode but you must run all the adapters in the team at the same speed in Link Aggregation mode. Mixed Speed connections are possible in AFT, ALB, RLB, SFT, and 802.3ad modes.
- Multi-vendor teaming (MVT) is applicable to all modes in Microsoft Windows.
For AFT, SFT, ALB and RLB modes you may choose a Primary and Secondary Role for selected adapters.
The Secondary adapter will become the Primary (if possible) at failure of the Primary (or its cable or link partner).
- The Primary adapter is the adapter that will carry the most traffic.
- With AFT and SFT it will be the only adapter used until that link fails.
- With ALB and non-routable protocols (anything other than IP or Novell's IPX), it will be the only adapter used. It will also be the only adapter used for broadcast and multicast traffic.
- With RLB, all traffic other than IP traffic will only pass on the primary adapter, regardless of its speed.
- If the primary is set by the user, instead of the software, it will allow failback to the chosen primary (if this preferred primary adapter is active at fail time).
||If removed from a team, the primary should NOT be added back in anywhere on that network until the server it was removed from is rebooted, because its MAC address was given to the team.|
Test Switch Configuration:
There is a utility within Intel Proset for Windows Device Manager on the Advanced Settings Team page that allows the ANS software to query the switch partner for configuration settings. If the switch appears to be configured differently than necessary for the team mode chosen in Intel Proset for Windows Device Manager, a troubleshooting page will appear in Intel Proset for Windows Device Manager listing possible corrective actions. When running this test, the team temporarily loses network connectivity. See Intel Proset for Windows Device Manager Help for limitations.
- Teams appear as "Virtual Adapters." For Microsoft Windows, use Intel Proset for Windows Device Manager to disable or remove virtual adapters. Using Device Manager or Network and Dial-up Connections may cause severe consequences.
- To avoid repeated unnecessary failovers, disable Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) for all modes except SFT.
- Some OS require reboots with any system configuration change.
- Configure team member features similarly or failover and team functionality will be affected with possible severe consequences.
- Virtual Adapters require memory resources beyond those of the actual physical adapters. Additionally the physical adapter buffers or descriptors may need to be increased when set into a team. Please consider tuning both the base adapter and the virtual adapter's settings, if the system is used more heavily, for either RX or TX traffic.
- You may have up to 8 ports in a team although environmental factors (OS, CPUs, RAM, bus, switch capabilities, et al) may limit the benefits of additional adapters and will determine total throughput capability. SFT can only use 2 adapters.
- For Link Aggregation/FEC/GEC/802.3ad, you must match your switch's capabilities for aggregation. 802.3ad DYNAMIC mode should only be used with switches capable of DYNAMIC 3ad active aggregation.
- For AFT and SFT modes, only one adapter will be active at a time. With ALB, only one adapter will receive while all will transmit IP or NetWare1 IPX packets (but never to the same destination address simultaneously.)
- Throughput will always be higher to multiple addresses than to a single address regardless of the number of adapters.
- Server adapters may be used in any team type across the applicable operating systems. (See Teaming Modes above on the OS list.) Currently produced Intel® PRO/100 and PRO/1000 desktop adapters may be added to a team in most operating systems. (Please see the User Guide).
The Intel® PRO/100 Intelligent Server Adapter should only be teamed with other Intelligent Server adapters. Use only software designated for that adapter (Version 3.x).
- In Windows NT 4.0, there is a timer for each adapter to prevent a non-working teamed adapter from holding up the boot to desktop. If you are using mixed speed adapters (the PRO/100 with PRO/1000) and using Teaming and/or a large number of VLANs, you may encounter a load time longer than the timer's limit. If this is encountered, disable the timer (for each adapter in the team) in the registry under the DWORD BindTimerTimeout:
<e100XbN>\parameters\iansprotocol\BindTimerTimeoutSteps must be repeated whenever Intel Proset for Windows Device Manager changes.
set value to 0
where N = the card instance
Linux Ethernet Bonding (also known as channel bonding or teaming) in Linux
Channel bonding documentation can be found in the Linux kernel source:
Intel Community discussions on using teams
Advanced Network Services Software Whitepaper
IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregation (LAG): what it is, and what it is not*
Is Adapter Teaming supported on any system which carries iSCSI traffic?
IEEE 802.3AD Dynamic and Static Switch configuration for different team modes
Intel® PROSet for Device Manager tabs are not visible through terminal services
Intel® PROSet configuration tabs are missing
Teaming topic in the User Guide.
Windows Server 2012 NIC Teaming in Microsoft TechNet Library*
1Advanced Networking Support (ANS) features are not available for Novell NetWare beginning with Intel network adapter software release 12.1 and later. Software version 12.0, ANSNWARE.EXE, is available for download and contains the last version of drivers that implement ANS in Novell NetWare.
This applies to: