IP Multipathing (IPMP)
A possible alternative to using LACP on the Solaris servers is also a process called IPMP (IP Multi-pathing). It should be able to provide the same network redunancy without the necessity of renaming all of the network interfaces in the global and non-global zones. IPMP would be a lighter weight alternative to LACP that could be put on our existing servers without requiring a reboot. For details, see an excellent writeup of Solaris IPMP. IPMP is especially useful for Solaris systems that have multiple zones (VMs) running within them for the following reasons (taking UTDirect as an example):
Implementing LACP on solaris creates a new interface device name for each connection. For example, we currently use bge0,1,2 for our 3 VLANs that we talk to on each machine, each zone also has a logical interface on each of those real interfaces; bge0:1,bge1:1,bge2:1 and so on for each zone. When you add the connections for LACP, say bge4,5,6, and then combine bge0 and bge4 using the dladm tool you create an aggregate interface called aggr1. The same goes for bge1+bge5 = aggr2, bge2+bge6 = aggr3. You then reconfigure the machine to use these new interfaces, which implies that every logical interface defined in a zone must also be reconfigured. We use between 2 to 7 zones on each machine we run. Counting the global, we then have between 9 to 24 interface name changes per machine, and will require a reboot.
If we use IPMP, all we need to do is plumb the new interface, put it in standby mode and group it with its sister interface. Eg. Ifconfig bge0 group ipmp_grp1, ifconfig bge4 plumb group ipmp_grp1 standby, that’s it. Now, if bge0 loses link, the mpathd daemon (which starts as soon as a group interface is defined) moves the IP's assocatiate with bge0 to bge4, including all the logical interfaces defined on bge0. This means no reconfigurations (only additions) for existing machines is needed and no reboots.
Network Teaming on Windows
Windows Operating Systems do not provide a network teaming feature. This is handled by advanced features of the drivers instead. The process for Teaming NICs varies by vendor (Broadcom/Intel). Broadcom has developed BACS (Broadcom Advanced Control Suite) to configure Teams. Intel adds a Teaming tab to the NIC properties in Device Manager. Note that Broadcom and Intel teaming software can work with NICs from other vendors, as long as one of thier own NICs is a member of the team (for example, BACS can be used to team a two Broadcom NIcs, or a Broadcom and an Intel NIC, but not two Intel NICs.)