The ability to specify a Network Interface Card (NIC) in the TOP Server configuration and change the settings on the run has a number of advantages including support of redundant networks.
With the addition of Ethernet Encapsulation, virtually all of the drivers currently available support some form of Ethernet communications. Whether a natively Ethernet based driver or a serial driver configured for Ethernet Encapsulation is being used, some form of a network interface will be used.
By selecting a specific NIC interface, users will be able to force the driver to send all Ethernet communication through the specified NIC. When a NIC is selected, the normal operating system binding order is completely by-passed. This ensures that users have control over how the network operates and thus eliminates any guesswork.
The selections shown in the Network Adapter drop-down menu depend on three things:
- The network configuration settings,
- The number of unique NICs installed in the PC and
- The number of unique IPs assigned to the NICs.
To allow the operating system to choose the NIC, select "Default' as the network adapter. This allows the driver to use the operating system's normal binding order to choose the NIC that will be used.
You can also write to the tag _System._NetworkAdapter to change the NIC Card on the fly to support Redundant Networks. The _NetworkAdapter tag is a string tag, the name of the newly desired NIC adapter must be written to this tag in string format. The string written must match the exact description of the desired NIC in order for the change to take effect. NIC names can be obtained from the _System._AvailableNetworkAdapters tag. For a serial driver, this tag will only be used if Ethernet Encapsulation is selected.
Note: When changing the NIC selection the driver will be forced to break all current device connections and reconnect. See System Tag for more information on the available built-in Server tags.
Important: Always select the Default condition if unsure of which NIC to use.