Deploy host networking with Network ATC

Applies to: Azure Stack HCI, versions 22H2 and 21H2

This article guides you through the requirements, best practices, and deployment of Network ATC. Network ATC simplifies the deployment and network configuration management for Azure Stack HCI clusters. This provides an intent-based approach to host network deployment. By specifying one or more intents (management, compute, or storage) for a network adapter, you can automate the deployment of the intended configuration. For more information on Network ATC, including an overview and definitions, see Network ATC overview.

If you have feedback or encounter any issues, review the Requirements and best practices section, check the Network ATC event log, and work with your Microsoft support team.

Requirements and best practices

The following are requirements and best practices for using Network ATC in Azure Stack HCI:

  • Supported on Azure Stack HCI, version 22H2.

  • All servers in the cluster must be running Azure Stack HCI, version 22H2.

  • Must use physical hosts that are Azure Stack HCI certified.

  • A maximum of 16 nodes supported per cluster.

  • Adapters in the same Network ATC intent must be symmetric (of the same make, model, speed, and configuration) and available on each cluster node. Network ATC, after version 22H2, will confirm symmetric properties for adapters on the node, and across the cluster before deploying an intent. Asymmetric adapters will lead to a failure in deploying any intent. For more information on adapter symmetry, see Switch Embedded Teaming (SET)

  • Each physical adapter specified in an intent, must use the same name on all nodes in the cluster.

  • Ensure each network adapter has an "Up" status, as verified by the PowerShell Get-NetAdapter cmdlet.

  • Each node must have the following Azure Stack HCI features installed:

    • Network ATC
    • Data Center Bridging (DCB)
    • Failover Clustering
    • Hyper-V Here's an example of installing the required features via PowerShell:
    Install-WindowsFeature -Name NetworkATC, Data-Center-Bridging, Hyper-V, Failover-Clustering -IncludeManagementTools
  • Best practice: Insert each adapter in the same PCI slot(s) in each host. This leads to ease in automated naming conventions by imaging systems.

  • Best practice: Configure the physical network (switches) prior to Network ATC including VLANs, MTU, and DCB configuration. See Physical Network Requirements for more information.


Updated: Deploying Network ATC in virtual machines may be used for test and validation purposes only. VM-based deployment requires an override to the default adapter settings to disable the NetworkDirect property. For more information on submission of an override, please see: Override default network settings.

Deploying Network ATC in standalone mode may be used for test and validation purposes only.

Common Network ATC commands

There are several new PowerShell commands included with Network ATC. Run theGet-Command -ModuleName NetworkATC cmdlet to identify them. Ensure PowerShell is run as an administrator.

The Remove-NetIntent cmdlet removes an intent from the local node or cluster. This does not destroy the invoked configuration.

Example intents

Network ATC modifies how you deploy host networking, not what you deploy. Multiple scenarios may be implemented so long as each scenario is supported by Microsoft. Here are some examples of common deployment options, and the PowerShell commands needed. These are not the only combinations available but they should give you an idea of the possibilities.

For simplicity we only demonstrate two physical adapters per SET team, however it is possible to add more. Refer to Plan Host Networking for more information.

Fully converged intent

For this intent, compute, storage, and management networks are deployed and managed across all cluster nodes.

Fully converged intent

Add-NetIntent -Name ConvergedIntent -Management -Compute -Storage -AdapterName pNIC01, pNIC02

Converged compute and storage intent; separate management intent

Two intents are managed across cluster nodes. Management uses pNIC01, and pNIC02; Compute and storage are on different adapters.

Storage and compute converged intent

Add-NetIntent -Name Mgmt -Management -AdapterName pNIC01, pNIC02
Add-NetIntent -Name Compute_Storage -Compute -Storage -AdapterName pNIC03, pNIC04

Fully disaggregated intent

For this intent, compute, storage, and management networks are all managed on different adapters across all cluster nodes.

Fully disaggregated intent

Add-NetIntent -Name Mgmt -Management -AdapterName pNIC01, pNIC02
Add-NetIntent -Name Compute -Compute -AdapterName pNIC03, pNIC04
Add-NetIntent -Name Storage -Storage -AdapterName pNIC05, pNIC06

Storage-only intent

For this intent, only storage is managed. Management and compute adapters are not be managed by Network ATC.

Storage only intent

Add-NetIntent -Name Storage -Storage -AdapterName pNIC05, pNIC06

Compute and management intent

For this intent, compute and management networks are managed, but not storage.

Management and compute intent

Add-NetIntent -Name Management_Compute -Management -Compute -AdapterName pNIC01, pNIC02

Multiple compute (switch) intent

For this intent, multiple compute switches are managed.

Multiple switches intent

Add-NetIntent -Name Compute1 -Compute -AdapterName pNIC03, pNIC04
Add-NetIntent -Name Compute2 -Compute -AdapterName pNIC05, pNIC06

Default Network ATC values

This section lists some of the key default values used by Network ATC.

22H2 default values

This section covers additional default values that Network ATC will be setting in versions 22H2 and later.

Automatic storage IP addressing

If you choose the -Storage intent type, Network ATC after version 22H2, will configure your IP Addresses, Subnets and VLANs for you. Network ATC does this in a consistent and uniform manner across all nodes in your cluster.

The default IP Address for each adapter on each node in the storage intent will be set up as follows:

Adapter IP Address and Subnet VLAN
pNIC1 10.71.1.X 711
pNIC2 10.71.2.X 712
pNIC3 10.71.3.X 713

The IP Addresses and subnets are consistent with the VLANs assigned to the adapters.

To override Automatic Storage IP Addressing, create a storage override and pass the override when creating an intent:

$storageOverride = new-NetIntentStorageOverrides
$storageOverride.EnableAutomaticIPGeneration = $false
Add-NetIntent -Name Storage_Compute -Storage -Compute -AdapterName 'pNIC01', 'pNIC02' -StorageOverrides $storageoverride

Cluster network settings

Version 22H2 and later, Network ATC configures a set of Cluster Network Features by default. The defaults are listed below:

Property Default
EnableNetworkNaming $true
EnableLiveMigrationNetworkSelection $true
EnableVirtualMachineMigrationPerformance $true
VirtualMachineMigrationPerformanceOption Default will be always calculated: SMB, TCP or Compression
MaximumVirtualMachineMigrations 1
MaximumSMBMigrationBandwidthInGbps Default will be calculated based on set-up

21H2 default values

Default VLANs

The following default VLANs are used. These VLANs must be available on the physical network for proper operation.

Adapter Intent Default Value
Management Configured VLAN for management adapters isn't modified
Storage Adapter 1 711
Storage Adapter 2 712
Storage Adapter 3 713
Storage Adapter 4 714
Storage Adapter 5 715
Storage Adapter 6 716
Storage Adapter 7 717
Storage Adapter 8 718
Future Use 719

Consider the following command:

Add-NetIntent -Name Cluster_ComputeStorage -Storage -AdapterName pNIC01, pNIC02, pNIC03, pNIC04

The physical NIC (or virtual NIC if required) is configured to use VLANs 711, 712, 713, and 714 respectively.


Network ATC allows you to change the VLANs used with the StorageVlans parameter on Add-NetIntent.

Default Data Center Bridging (DCB) configuration

Network ATC establishes the following priorities and bandwidth reservations. This configuration should also be configured on the physical network.

Policy Use Default Priority Default Bandwidth Reservation
Cluster Cluster Heartbeat reservation 7 2% if the adapter(s) are <= 10 Gbps; 1% if the adapter(s) are > 10 Gbps
SMB_Direct RDMA Storage Traffic 3 50%
Default All other traffic types 0 Remainder


Network ATC allows you to override default settings like default bandwidth reservation. For examples, see Update or override network settings.

Next steps