How to configure these hosts for vmotion traffic with new SAN

Posted on 2013-01-31
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-02-01
We are in the process of implementing a SAN, so our three ESXi hosts won't be using local storage anymore.  
Running ESXi 5.0 on all hosts, and vcenter server 5.1.

Until now, since we've never had shared storage, we've never used vmotion or any of the other features of vcenter.

Our ESXi hosts have 4 onboard NICs and a pcie card with an additional 2, so 6 total network ports per host.

Now we're setting up the SAN, which uses ATA over Ethernet (similar to ISCSI apparently), and it has its own PCIe NICs that it uses - 4 per host - that connect to the SAN fabric.

My question, is how do we configure the hosts for vmotion?  Would the vmotion traffic go over the SAN fabric network?  Or over the IP network (over one of the 6 NICs?)

We probably only need ~2-3 of the 6 NICs on the host for the IP network (for the virtual machines running on the hosts), so the remaining NICs - should we take 2 per host and use them for vmotion?  Then what' sthe best way to configure them?  Should we connect those 2 ports per host to a separate VLAN on a separate switch?

If so, what about vcenter server - it resides on the other side of the network, and connects to the esxi hosts via the management interface (the front facing IP network).

Just want some ideas what the best way to do this would be

Thanks in advance
Question by:Mystical_Ice
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LVL 20

Assisted Solution

agonza07 earned 800 total points
ID: 38842498
This is my setup.

1 NIC - Management traffic, used for vCenter
1 NIC - vMotion, and secondary management

2 NICs - VM traffic
4 NICs - iScsi traffic

So for your vMotion traffic use one of the NICs on each host and make sure to identify on the networking properties that this is the interface to use for vMotion traffic.
LVL 126

Accepted Solution

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 1200 total points
ID: 38842795
vCenter Server does connect to the Management Network.

Ensure that you double up on all your nics, to provide resilience.

vMotion traffic will go over a nic you specify, you can have more than a single nic to handle vMotion traffic, and it's recommended to use a dedicated NIC and LAN for vMotion traffic, if you have it available.

Most use their storage network for vMotion traffic or a seperate VLAN.

see this example of nics

10 NIC design

Author Comment

ID: 38843413
Oh ok, so vcenter server connects to teh hosts over the management network, but when you initiate a vmotion request, it checks to make sure the hosts can see each other on the vmotion interfaces they have configured, and then uses those interfaces (whether they're on the storage network, the front IP network, or a seperate VLAN completely) right?
LVL 126
ID: 38843473
that is correct, hosts will check they can communicate via the vMotion network before they attempt any vMotions.

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