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SMB Multichannel Capabilities on Windows Client SKU's


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As a cheapskate amateur I sometimes look to see what goodies exist in Windows Server that might be, how can I put it ... 'made available' … in Windows client.

There is a splendid MSDN article on SMB multichannel, central to Microsoft's hyperscale architecture at:


Crucially the new SMB (version 3.0) block transfer includes multichannel as a core component and is installed by default on both client Windows and Server products. Long story short:

- Even with only 1 NIC the client CPU load is shared out among its processors by dividing a transfer into 4 streams

- The streams are standard TCPIP connections: no fancy NIC’s or switches, no compatibility problems, no vendor lock-in

- With 2 or more NIC’s the traffic is automatically distributed to improve bandwidth (no special NIC teaming set up – which you can have instead if you prefer)

- Failover too is automatic: you lose a switch or NIC, you carry on at reduced bandwidth


That’s more like it Microsoft: why has it taken you so long to do the right thing? This is the original RAID idea for networked file systems! You want security? Have 2 copies. You want bandwidth? Have 2 paths, or 3 or 4, … or scale out.


Well that’s the theory. Just waiting to be tested BETWEEN TWO WINDOWS CLIENT DEVICES . (Cheapskate means no Server OS’s allowed.) I’ve run the system preparedness powershell commandlets in the post … and Enabled = True for Windows 8.1 Professional both as a client and as a server. Fingers crossed: the sort of thing Microsoft usually do is limit certain parameters ito reduce the capability of the client OS.


Anyone else know where to look, been experimenting, have some insights on this topic?

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Thanks ... looks like it's working client to client then ... great!


I'll see if I can find

- official Microsoft documentation on limits (I think its 20 connections from a single device and 8 between any pair)

- whether RSS is widely available on consumer NIC's and onboard chipsets

- what the throughput is with 3 or 4 NIC 's.


Could take me a while to get the test gear together though :-(

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