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VMKernel Role

Posted on 2015-01-04
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Last Modified: 2015-01-09
***on the 1st snapshot below, I see standard Virtual switch, and Vmnic connected to it on the right, on the left I see VM machine port group and below it Vmkernel port groups.
I would like to know if VM machines (VM Network)traffic goes through Vmkernel then through Vmnic to reach end users and back ?

I see one link goes from Vmnic to VM Machines port group and another link goes from Vmnic to Vmkernel. That's a bit confusing to understand which traffic goes from Vmnic to Vmkernel to VM machines and which traffic goes from Vmnic directly to VM machines.

traffic
***on the second snapshot , It says vmkernel handles traffic for Vmotion, ISCSI, NFS , FCoE, Fault Tolearnce,Virual SAN, Host Management.
I would like to know if all the above mentioned traffic comes in through Vmnic then goes to  Vmkernel which in turn routes to VM machines , then back ?
Or There is some traffic that does not go out of vmnic and back ? just between VM Machines port group and VM kernel ?

Any help will be very much appreciated.

 ker
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Question by:jskfan
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8 Comments
 
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Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 300 total points
ID: 40530087
The VMKernel Portgroup is in the "hypervisor", so network traffic is communicating with the Hypervisor, e.g. the ESXi OS.

A VMKernel Portgroup has IP Addresses, so traffic knows where to go.

A Virtual Machine Portgroup has no IP Address, but the Virtual Machines have IP Addresses, to where traffic is relayed.

e.g. VMKernel IP Address - 10.10.1.1

Virtual Machine IP Address - 172.16.254.2

Network traffic can only got to one of the addresses.
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Author Comment

by:jskfan
ID: 40530090
On the first diagram above, which route the traffic takes from VM machine to get out of vmnic and back to VM machines ?
you can notice there is a yellow link that goes from vmnic to VMNetwork(Vmmachine), and a gray link that goes from Vmnic to VmKernel.
I am sure there is traffic going between vmkernel and vmnetwork, but there is no link shown in the diagram above.
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LVL 121

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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 300 total points
ID: 40530116
if you have an IP Address of   10.10.1.1 [VMKernel ] and an IP Address of 172.16.254.2 [VM]

How can traffic reach the VM, destined for the VMKernel and vice versa ?

(the hypervisor can communicate with the VM directly!)

http://pubs.vmware.com/vmci-sdk/
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LVL 62

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by:gheist
gheist earned 100 total points
ID: 40530131
vmware virtual switch is a software defined virtual switch. If virtual machine is in same host connected to same switch traffic will never exit on wire.
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by:phil435
phil435 earned 100 total points
ID: 40530143
The guest OS's will not use vmkernel ports for their network traffic. You create a vswitch, portgrouos,associate it to vlans, and then physical adapters. The guest use will be assigned to one of the portgroups that you created.

Vmkernel ports are used to assign an IP address to the host and for special purposes such as vmotion, ft, managmemt traffic iSCSI. See this link:
http://www.pearsonitcertification.com/articles/article.aspx?p=2190191&seqNum=10
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Author Comment

by:jskfan
ID: 40530695
OK... Let me make sure I  understand what you are saying.

***VM Machines do not communicate with Vmkernel, their traffic goes straight through Vmnic(physical adapter)

***VMkernel does not communicate with VM Machines. its traffic goes straight through Vmnic(Physical Adapter).

Correct ?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 300 total points
ID: 40530702
That is correct!.

they all have different IP Addresses!

(yes, it's switched via the Virtual Switch - vSwitch!).
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Author Closing Comment

by:jskfan
ID: 40541581
Thank you Guys!
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