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Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
User Guide for Windows Instances

Enabling Enhanced Networking with the Intel 82599 VF Interface on Windows Instances in a VPC

Amazon EC2 provides enhanced networking capabilities to C3, C4, D2, I2, R3, and M4 (excluding m4.16xlarge) instances with the Intel 82599 VF interface, which uses the Intel ixgbevf driver.

To prepare for enhanced networking with the Intel 82599 VF interface, set up your instance as follows:

  • Launch the instance from a 64-bit HVM AMI. You can't enable enhanced networking on Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2003. Enhanced networking is already enabled for Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2016 AMIs. Windows Server 2012 R2 includes Intel driver 1.0.15.3 and we recommend that you upgrade that driver to the latest version using the Pnputil.exe utility.

  • Launch the instance in a VPC. (You can't enable enhanced networking if the instance is in EC2-Classic.)

  • Install and configure the AWS CLI or the AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell on any computer you choose, preferably your local desktop or laptop. For more information, see Accessing Amazon EC2. Enhanced networking cannot be managed from the Amazon EC2 console.

  • If you have important data on the instance that you want to preserve, you should back that data up now by creating an AMI from your instance. Updating kernels and kernel modules, as well as enabling the sriovNetSupport attribute, may render incompatible instances or operating systems unreachable; if you have a recent backup, your data will still be retained if this happens.

Testing Whether Enhanced Networking with the Intel 82599 VF Interface is Enabled

Enhanced networking with the Intel 82599 VF interface is enabled if the driver is installed on your instance and the sriovNetSupport attribute is set.

Driver

To verify that the driver is installed, connect to your instance and open Device Manager. You should see "Intel(R) 82599 Virtual Function" listed under Network adapters.

Instance Attribute (sriovNetSupport)

To check whether an instance has the enhanced networking sriovNetSupport attribute set, use one of the following commands:

  • describe-instance-attribute (AWS CLI)

    aws ec2 describe-instance-attribute --instance-id instance_id --attribute sriovNetSupport
  • Get-EC2InstanceAttribute (AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell)

    Get-EC2InstanceAttribute -InstanceId instance-id -Attribute sriovNetSupport

If the attribute isn't set, SriovNetSupport is empty; otherwise, it is set as follows:

"SriovNetSupport": { "Value": "simple" },

Image Attribute (sriovNetSupport)

To check whether an AMI already has the enhanced networking sriovNetSupport attribute set, use one of the following commands:

  • describe-image-attribute (AWS CLI)

    aws ec2 describe-image-attribute --image-id ami_id --attribute sriovNetSupport

    Note that this command only works for images that you own. You receive an AuthFailure error for images that do not belong to your account.

  • Get-EC2ImageAttribute (AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell)

    Get-EC2ImageAttribute -ImageId ami-id -Attribute sriovNetSupport

If the attribute isn't set, SriovNetSupport is empty; otherwise, it is set as follows:

"SriovNetSupport": { "Value": "simple" },

Enabling Enhanced Networking with the Intel 82599 VF Interface on Windows

If you launched your instance and it does not have enhanced networking enabled already, you must download and install the required network adapter driver on your instance, and then set the sriovNetSupport instance attribute to activate enhanced networking. You can only enable this attribute on supported instance types. For more information, see Enhanced Networking Types.

Important

Windows Server enhanced networking is already enabled for Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2016 AMIs. However, Windows Server 2012 R2 includes Intel driver 1.0.15.3 and we recommend that you upgrade that driver to the latest version using the Pnputil.exe utility as described here.

Warning

There is no way to disable the enhanced networking attribute after you've enabled it.

To enable enhanced networking

  1. Connect to your instance and log in as the local administrator.

  2. [Windows Server 2016] Run the following EC2Launch PowerShell script to configure the instance after the driver is installed.

    PS C:\> C:\ProgramData\Amazon\EC2-Windows\Launch\Scripts\InitializeInstance.ps1 -Schedule
  3. From the instance, install the driver as follows:

    1. Download the Intel network adapter driver for your operating system:

    2. In the Download folder, locate the PROWinx64.exe file. Rename this file PROWinx64.zip.

    3. Open a context (right-click) menu on PROWinx64.zip and choose Extract All. Specify a destination path and choose Extract.

    4. Open a command prompt window, go to the folder with the extracted files, and use the pnputil utility to add and install the INF file in the driver store.

      Windows Server 2016

      pnputil -i -a PROXGB\Winx64\NDIS65\vxn65x64.inf

      Windows Server 2012 R2

      pnputil -i -a PROXGB\Winx64\NDIS64\vxn64x64.inf

      Windows Server 2012

      pnputil -i -a PROXGB\Winx64\NDIS63\vxn63x64.inf

      Windows Server 2008 R2

      pnputil -a PROXGB\Winx64\NDIS62\vxn62x64.inf
  4. From your local computer, stop the instance using the Amazon EC2 console or one of the following commands: stop-instances (AWS CLI), Stop-EC2Instance (AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell). If your instance is managed by AWS OpsWorks, you should stop the instance in the AWS OpsWorks console so that the instance state remains in sync.

  5. From your local computer, enable the enhanced networking attribute using one of the following commands:

    • modify-instance-attribute (AWS CLI)

      aws ec2 modify-instance-attribute --instance-id instance_id --sriov-net-support simple
    • Edit-EC2InstanceAttribute (AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell)

      Edit-EC2InstanceAttribute -InstanceId instance_id -SriovNetSupport "simple"
  6. (Optional) Create an AMI from the instance, as described in Creating an Amazon EBS-Backed Windows AMI. The AMI inherits the enhanced networking attribute from the instance. Therefore, you can use this AMI to launch another instance with enhanced networking enabled by default.

  7. From your local computer, start the instance using the Amazon EC2 console or one of the following commands: start-instances (AWS CLI), Start-EC2Instance (AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell). If your instance is managed by AWS OpsWorks, you should start the instance in the AWS OpsWorks console so that the instance state remains in sync.