Network card teaming or NIC teaming are networking terms describing methods of combining multiple parallel network connections . The main purposes are 1) increasing throughput beyond a single connection and 2) redundancy.
The three main teaming configurations
Network Fault Tolerance (NFT)
1) Two – Eight Physical NICS are teamed together into one virtual network adapter.
2) Only one port (Primary) is used for transmit and receive. The remainder adapters are deemed secondary Ports. They are used in the event of a Primary Port failure.
3) Heartbeats can be received and transmitted by all ports
Transmit Load Balancing with Fault Tolerance
1) All NFT features plus Transmit Load Balancing (TLB)
2) Two – Eight Physical NICS are teamed together into one virtual network adapter
3) TLB allows allows load balancing on IP traffic tramsmitted from server
4) Incoming traffic is not load balanced i.e Primary Adapter manages all incoming traffic
Switch Assisted Load Balancing (SLB) with Fault Tolerance
1) All NFT and TLB features plus load balancing incoming traffic
2) Load balancing incoming and transmit traffic
3) SLB load balances all traffic regardless of protocol