The Intel® Advanced Network Services (Intel® ANS) provides teaming and VLAN functionality to Intel® Ethernet network products running under various Microsoft Windows* operating systems.  The same role is done by channel bonding in Linux*.  Unlike Linux, there is no common teaming architecture provided by the O/S.  That might change for the next Windows edition; we will have to wait and see.  Until then it’s an each vendor have at it free-for-all.  But Intel ANS does provide some wiggle room for our partners that have Intel add-in cards and 3rd party LAN on Motherboard (LOM) implementations.  We call it Multi-Vendor Teaming (MVT) mode of ANS.

 

While MVT might sound like a great thing, you need to know upfront that MVT is not as good as an all Intel team.  This is a natural outcome of the unique way each vendor implements and defines their products.  Because of this unevenness in the implementations, we have to enforce lowest common denominator (LCD) rules for the MVT.  Jumbo frames are out, as is anything else that isn’t a Microsoft standard with a standard OID.  Why are jumbo’s out?  Does the size listed as supported include the CRC or not?  The difference means the packet will be rejected by the infrastructure for being bigger than the MTU.  Things like RSS and checksum offloads are typical things that end up being turned off for LCD reasons.

 

We do less testing with MVT than with our own native teams mostly because we are unable to address defects in the third party products.  One day maybe it will move up into the O/S provided realm, like in Linux, but until then, you should know if you add Intel adapters to your non-Intel LOM you can still make a team using Intel ANS.

 

Let me know if you have any MVT questions and thanks for using Intel® Ethernet!