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small vmware w/ san infrastructure - need recommendations on vswitch & kernel config

Posted on 2013-12-26
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Last Modified: 2013-12-30
I'm looking to see if someone can provide me with recommendations or examples of real world best practices for configuring a smaller vmware environment with vmware essentials plus.

How would you recommend configuring the vswitches & kernels? We have 8 NICs per Gen-8. The Nimble will have 1 mgmt and 2 for iSCSI.

On the ESX hosts I plan to go with:
1 vswitch for mgmt/VMs(4 nics),
1 vswitch for vMotion kernel (2 nics) , and
1 vswitch for iSCSI (2 nics).

1. That was my plan, do you recommend something else? If so, why?
2. Is there an Active/Failover setup i should use to make sure MGMT traffic is not stepped on?
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Question by:Metaltree
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
ID: 39740915
What is usually recommended is, at least two nics for all services, e.g. management network, vmotion, virtual machine network, which is common, sense, so you have teaming and resilience in place should a nic fail.

iSCSI Storage Network at least 2 nics, on single vSwitch configured for multipath.

see my EE Article, Step by Step Tutorial Instructions with Screenshots

HOW TO: Add an iSCSI Software Adaptor and Create an iSCSI Multipath Network in VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESXi 5.0

also on the same storage vSwitch configure Jumbo Frames, if SAN Network Ports, and Physical Switch support Jumbo Frames.

HOW TO: Enable Jumbo Frames on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi 5.0) host server using the VMware vSphere Client


If you read the Best Practices, VMware would like you to create a network pair for

1. Management Network
2. vMotion
3. iSCSI
4. VMs

the above may be impractile, so some use the iSCSI network for vMotion, keep all the storage together.

The number of nics, you require for VMs, depends on how many VMs, and how busy they will get.
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by:Metaltree
ID: 39740968
I read/heard that since I use a Nimble SAN, Jumbo Frames should not be used. Have you heard this?
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LVL 118
ID: 39740969
I've not specifically heard this, I would check with the vendor.
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