There are network adapters and accompanying drivers available from some hardware manufacturers to provide fault tolerance. This technology allows you to group network adapter ports for a connection to a single physical segment. If connectivity through one port is not working, another port is activated automatically. This operation is transparent to the operating system and other devices on the network.
Support for the fault-tolerant technology (the hardware and the drivers) is provided by the hardware manufacturer.
Windows 2000 Server, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2)
The use of teaming on the private interconnect of a server cluster is not supported because of delays that could possibly occur in the transmission and receipt of heartbeat packets between the nodes. For best results when you want redundancy for the private interconnect, disable teaming and use the available ports to form a second private interconnect. This achieves the same end result and provides dual, robust communication paths for the nodes to communicate over.
Using teaming on the public or client networks is acceptable. However, if problems or issues seem to be related to teaming, Microsoft Product Support Services will require that teaming be disabled. If this resolves the problem or issue, you must seek assistance from the hardware manufacturer.
For more information, see the online documentation about hardware compatibility tests on the Microsoft Web site.
Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2
In Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2, there are no restrictions that are associated with NIC Teaming and the Failover Clustering feature. In Windows Server 2008, the new Microsoft Failover Cluster Virtual Adapter is compatible with NIC Teaming and allows it to be used on any network interface in a Failover Cluster.