XenServer automatically manages NICs as needed based on the related network, virtual network interface, server network, and bond configuration. You can view the available NICs, configure NIC bonds, and dedicate NICs to a specific function from the NICs tab.
NIC bonding can improve server resiliency by using two or more physical NICs as if they were one. Two or more NICs may be bonded to create a single, high-performing channel that provides connectivity between VMs and your external network. Three bond modes are supported:
When you bond separate NICs using XenCenter, a new NIC is created: this is the bond master , and the bonded NICs are known as the NIC slaves . The NIC bond can then be connected to a XenServer network to allow virtual machine traffic and server management functions to take place. You can create NIC bonds in XenCenter from the NICs tab or from the server's Networking tab (network type = Bonded Network).
For each available NIC on a server, the following device properties are shown on the NICs tab:
|NIC||Identifies the physical network interface card or internal virtual network.|
|MAC||The MAC (Media Access Control) address of the NIC.|
|Link Status||The connection status of the NIC: Connected or Disconnected.|
|Speed||The data transfer rate of the NIC.|
|Duplex||The duplexing mode of the NIC: full or half.|
|Vendor, Device||The NIC vendor and device names.|
|PCI Bus Path||The PCI bus path for pass-through devices.|
When you add a new physical interface on a XenServer host, for example, a new Ethernet controller, it may not appear in the list on the NICs tab. If this happens, click Rescan on the NICs tab to force XenServer to scan for new cards.
Select Active-passive to configure an active-passive bond, where traffic passes over only one of the bonded NICs. In this mode, the second NIC will only become active if the active NIC fails, for example, if it loses network connectivity.
Select LACP with load balancing based on source MAC address to configure a LACP bond, where the outgoing NIC is selected based on MAC address of the VM from which the traffic originated. Use this option to balance traffic in an environment where you have several VMs on the same host. This option is not suitable if there are fewer virtual interfaces (VIFs) than NICs: as load balancing is not optimal because the traffic cannot be split across NICs.
Select LACP with load balancing based on IP and port of source and destination to configure a LACP bond, where the source IP address, source port number, destination IP address, and destination port number are used to allocate the traffic across the NICs. Use this option to balance traffic from VMs in an environment where the number of NICs exceeds the number of VIFs.
For more information about the support for NIC bonds in XenServer, see the XenServer Administrator's Guide.
XenCenter will automatically move management and secondary interfaces from bond slaves to the bond master when the new bond is created.
Note that a server with its management interface on a bond will not be permitted to join a pool. You will need to reconfigure the server's management interface and move it back on to a physical NIC before it can join a pool.
If reverting a server to a non-bonded configuration, be aware of the following requirements:
Move the management interface to another NIC using the Management interfaces dialog box before you delete the bond, otherwise connections to the server (including XenCenter) will be dropped.
To delete a bond
You can assign IP addresses to NICs to dedicate a NIC to a specific function, such as storage or other types of network traffic. For more information, see Configuring IP Addresses.