NIC teaming, also known as Load Balancing/Failover (LBFO), allows multiple network interfaces to be placed into a team for the purposes of:
- bandwidth aggregation, and/or
- traffic failover to prevent connectivity loss in the event of a network component failure.
This feature has long been available from NIC vendors but until now NIC teaming has not been included with Windows Server.
The following sections address:
- NIC teaming architecture
- Bandwidth aggregation (also known as load balancing) mechanisms
- Failover algorithms
- NIC feature support – stateless task offloads and more complex NIC functionality
- A detailed walkthrough how to use the NIC Teaming management tools
NIC teaming is available in Windows Server 8 in all SKUs, both ServerCore and full Server versions. NIC teaming is not available in Windows 8 Client SKUs.