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Best practices for VMware vSphere 5.5 vDS using two 10Gb CNA's

Posted on 2014-04-30
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Last Modified: 2014-05-09
I am getting ready to purchase some single port CNA's (10Gb) to replace our HBA's and NIC's currently in a few of my hosts, and also use FCoE for out storage. I've been doing some research on what is best practice when setting up this environment leveraging vDS. We have about 10 port groups with 200 Vm's spread across them in a 12 node cluster. Outside of MGMT/VMotion traffic, we don't use FT or iSCSI (We use SAN Storage).

I have a few questions that I wanted to throw out there given this basic scenario.

1)Is Hash based on NIC Load the best Load balancing choice in most situations, since it is the only one that looks at NIC utilization? I can see IP hash still being useful since it's an algorithm that spreads the load per conversation (different vmnic for every client). So if you have a single VM that handles a ton of traffic from various IP's, this could still be the best choice. What are your thoughts?

2)Do I gain any benefits adding an additional vDS to my environment? With my vSwitches, I placed my vMotion/MGMT traffic on one vswitch, and all of my VM traffic on another. Is there a reason to continue to do this?

3)What is best practice for setting up vMotion? I read that vMotion tends to saturate your uplinks, even a 10Gb uplink, so NIOC is recommended to kind of tame this. I also seen designs where dual port groups were used for vMotion, with dvuplinks swapped for each port group in active/standby. The VM port groups will obviously be in Active/Active. This question is what I'm most interested in getting an answer for. I can probably figure out the rest.
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Question by:kj_syence
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Avinash21 earned 500 total points
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Hi,

Will try to answer them in the same order,

1)Is Hash based on NIC Load the best Load balancing choice in most situations, since it is the only one that looks at NIC utilization? I can see IP hash still being useful since it's an algorithm that spreads the load per conversation (different vmnic for every client). So if you have a single VM that handles a ton of traffic from various IP's, this could still be the best choice. What are your thoughts?

Yes I agree, and would consider the hash based to the best load balancing for VMware, But we need to consider that Beacon probing is not supported with IP Hash. Only link status can be used as a failure detection method. If a link fails without the link state going down, there is no way to avoid network communication issues on the vSwitch.
Only Static mode EtherChannel is supported with Standard vSwitches. LACP is supported only with vSphere Distributed Switches in vSphere 5.1 or with the Cisco Nexus 1000V.

2)Do I gain any benefits adding an additional vDS to my environment? With my vSwitches, I placed my vMotion/MGMT traffic on one vswitch, and all of my VM traffic on another. Is there a reason to continue to do this?

I would recommend to have the MGMT traffic to be on a standard switch, since the DVS completely depends on vCenter server and if it goes down troubleshooting can be a hassle

3)What is best practice for setting up vMotion? I read that vMotion tends to saturate your uplinks, even a 10Gb uplink, so NIOC is recommended to kind of tame this. I also seen designs where dual port groups were used for vMotion, with dvuplinks swapped for each port group in active/standby. The VM port groups will obviously be in Active/Active. This question is what I'm most interested in getting an answer for. I can probably figure out the rest.

I would recommend to have the vMotion on the same DVS and have the NIOC, since you will using etherchannel or trunk. your performance should be good.
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