Multi-Homing on the Same Segment

by Robert Larson [Published on 18 Feb. 2009 / Last Updated on 29 March 2013]

Connecting your Hyper-V Host to the same segment multiple times does not always get faster connectivity

So you have alot of virtual machines on your Hyper-V host and you want to load balance the traffic across multiple NICs.  Will this help or hurt?

It actually depends on your connectivity from the Hyper-V host to the backbone. If the host is using gigabit NICs and the backbone is gigabit, then you are not gaining any performance improvement. If you use gigabit switches, does the traffic from the Hyper-V host stay within the switch? If so what the backplane performance of the switch? If it is multiple gigabit but the uplink to the backplane is still a single gigabit link, then you will gain advantage between devices that are connected to the swtich, but not across the backbone.

TIP: Map your network speed from the Hyper-V host to the backbone. If there is a single link in the chain that is not faster than the NIC you are installing in the Hyper-V host, then you will not see much if any performance inprovement.

The Author — Robert Larson

Robert Larson is the co-author of the Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 Resource Kit, and the Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V Resource kit, both published by Microsoft Press. Robert has over 20 years experience in the engineering and IT field. Currently an architect with Microsoft Consulting Services, Robert focuses on helping customers design and deploy optimized data center and server infrastructures using physical and virtual approaches. Robert has been working with various virtualization technologies for over 4 years and is a regular speaker at Microsoft TechEd conferences in the US and Europe on the Microsoft virtualization stack. Robert has also written whitepapers and delivered webcasts on virtualization technologies. You can visit Robert's blog

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