Client-side NIC configurations supported by SMB Multichannel

SMB Multichannel automatically discovers supported hardware configurations on the client that have multiple available network paths.

Each node on the cluster has at least one RSS-capable network interface card (NIC). Your client-side NIC configuration determines how SMB Multichannel establishes simultaneous network connections per SMB session.

Client-side NIC Configuration
Description
Single RSS-capable NIC
SMB Multichannel establishes a maximum of four network connections to the Isilon cluster over the NIC. The connections are more likely to be spread across multiple CPU cores, which reduces the likelihood of performance bottleneck issues and achieves the maximum speed capability of the NIC.
Multiple NICs
If the NICs are RSS-capable, SMB Multichannel establishes a maximum of four network connections to the Isilon cluster over each NIC. If the NICs on the client are not RSS-capable, SMB Multichannel establishes a single network connection to the Isilon cluster over each NIC. Both configurations allow SMB Multichannel to leverage the combined bandwidth of multiple NICs and provides connection fault tolerance if a connection or a NIC fails.
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SMB Multichannel cannot establish more than eight simultaneous network connections per session. In a multiple NIC configuration, this might limit the number connections allowed per NIC. For example, if the configuration contains three RSS-capable NICs, SMB Multichannel might establish three connections over the first NIC, three connections over the second NIC and two connections over the third NIC.

Aggregated NICs
SMB Multichannel establishes multiple network connections to the Isilon cluster over aggregated NICs, which results in balanced connections across CPU cores, effective consumption of combined bandwidth, and connection fault tolerance.
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The aggregated NIC configuration inherently provides NIC fault tolerance that is not dependent upon SMB.