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What is network teaming?

I got a call from a project manager friend asking me about teaming, “I’ve been in this meeting this morning and they kept mentioning network teaming I think I get the concept, can you just clarify it for me?” I pinged a quick reply to his email and thought I’d publish it.

Teaming is a simple concept, there are several types and specifics to it, but in a normal scenario it involves having two physical network ports and therefore two network cables supplying one logical connection. For example we might have our production servers with teamed network connections on the production network:

Connection 1 on port 1 to switch one hosting vlan 289 (production no tibco)

Connection 2 on port 2 to switch two hosting vlan 289 (production no tibco)

These two connections are then configured in an active/passive configuration using the network card drivers and management software, making one network connection the active one, the other passive, so that if the network connection fails, traffic will flow along for example network connection two. There are different configurations available for teaming with different options around what behaviour the teaming will exhibit (here I will reference the Broadcom BASP software, or the Intel/HP equivalents).

Networking teaming or ‘link aggregation’ is supported on a range of operating systems including Linux, ESX and Windows for example.

There are more specific details for HP here. The ability to team your network connection will depend on the hardware and drivers/management software.

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