Community
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Highlighted
Community Manager
1,233 Views

Issue with the way Windows Server 2008 R2 enumerates the adapter ports

We have an issue with the way Windows enumerates the adapter ports!

 

With a Windows Server 2008 R2 OS, for one of our server type, we find the following adapters:

Intel(R) 82576 Gigabit Dual Port Network Connection

 

Intel(R) 82576 Gigabit Dual Port Network Connection # 2

 

Intel(R) 82576 Gigabit Dual Port Network Connection # 3

 

Intel(R) 82576 Gigabit Dual Port Network Connection # 4

 

Intel(R) Gigabit ET Quad Port Server Adapter

 

Intel(R) Gigabit ET Quad Port Server Adapter # 2

 

Intel(R) Gigabit ET Quad Port Server Adapter # 3

 

Intel(R) Gigabit ET Quad Port Server Adapter # 4

 

What we most often see is below:

 

1st Onboard NIC port = "Intel(R) 82576 Gigabit Dual Port Network Connection"

 

2nd Onboard NIC port = "Intel(R) 82576 Gigabit Dual Port Network Connection # 4"

 

3rd Onboard NIC port = "Intel(R) 82576 Gigabit Dual Port Network Connection # 2"

 

4th Onboard NIC port = "Intel(R) 82576 Gigabit Dual Port Network Connection # 3"

 

1st PCIe NIC Port = "Gigabit ET Quad Port Server Adapter # 4"

 

2nd PCIe NIC Port = "Gigabit ET Quad Port Server Adapter"

 

3rd PCIe NIC port = "Gigabit ET Quad Port Server Adapter # 3"

 

4th PCIe NIC port = "Gigabit ET Quad Port Server Adapter # 2"

 

However, between different servers of exactly the same model and spec, we sometimes see the last two PCIe ports switched, as follows:

 

1st Onboard NIC port = "Intel(R) 82576 Gigabit Dual Port Network Connection"

 

2nd Onboard NIC port = "Intel(R) 82576 Gigabit Dual Port Network Connection # 4"

 

3rd Onboard NIC port = "Intel(R) 82576 Gigabit Dual Port Network Connection # 2"

 

4th Onboard NIC port = "Intel(R) 82576 Gigabit Dual Port Network Connection # 3"

 

1st PCIe NIC Port = "Gigabit ET Quad Port Server Adapter # 4"

 

2nd PCIe NIC Port = "Gigabit ET Quad Port Server Adapter"

 

3rd PCIe NIC port = "Gigabit ET Quad Port Server Adapter # 2" <--<p> 4th PCIe NIC port = "Gigabit ET Quad Port Server Adapter # 3" <--

 

On other server models, we've found the same thing happening, but usually a different pair is affected. These servers show the same BIOS versions and are cabled in exactly the same way as each other. The server WIM image is applied via a deployment tool and there is no other interaction involved in the deployment process.

Our question; is there a way to address this permanently so that all servers will always enumerate the same physical NIC port with the same index number in windows, even if the system is reimaged? Alternatively, is there a known index (returned via WMI would be fine) that will enumerate an index reliably? The reason this is important to us is that we wish to automate the teaming process and have struggled to find a consistent index that would allow this to work. Note that simply teaming the active NICs together will not work as the servers are actually multihomed, with a dedicated pair teamed in AFT mode per VLAN / Network.

Cheers!

2 Replies
Highlighted
Employee
2 Views

I don't think there's anything you can do on the hardware side, to influence how Windows enumerates.

Have you checked on the Windows support side of things?

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Community Manager
2 Views

We've spoken to Microsoft support who haven't come forward with any answers on this one yet. The curious part of this problem is that the enumeration is quite consistent when reimaging a server and between most of the servers, but different in only a small number of cases. It's possible that these servers are different in some way, either physically or at the microcode level, but we haven't found any distinctions yet.

I suppose we were hoping that someone might know how Intel NICs interact with the Microsoft environment, as that would give us an idea of where to look.

0 Kudos