How to determine if Nic Teamingis enabled on an ESXi host?

Hello:

I am preparing to work with HP support regarding an installation of a Service Pack on our HP ProLiant Gen8 ESXi host.  We have Vmware 5.5 Update 2 installed on this host.  We also have local storage on this host with Virtual Servers being accessed from the local storage.

I was asked to make sure that no nic teaming is enabled/configured on the ESXi host.  I am pretty sure it is not; but, I want to be positive.

screen1
If you click on the properties of the Virtual Switch on the "Production" network, then select the 'Nic Teaming' tab, as shown below:

screen2
I do not think any nic teaming is setup for this ESXi host.  Even the other virtual switch only has 1 nic card on there anyway; hence, for sure there is no teaming going on there.  Can anyone else confirm or perhaps explain how I may tell another way?
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PkafkasNetwork EngineerAsked:
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PkafkasNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
I also found this website, providing a demonstration how Nic Teaming is setup.

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1004088
Wayne88Commented:
vSwitch0 is not teamed.

vSwitch1 is teamed.  VMNIC1 to 7 are teamed for the 6 VMs on the left hand side.

If you see multiple VMNIC on the right hand side of the VSwitch then it's teamed.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
vSwitch0, only has a single network interface, so it cannot be teamed!

vSwitch1, looks excessive with all those network interfaces.

Maybe you have not realised, that ESXi network policy options control outbound traffic only.

Inbound traffic is controlled by the configuration on the physical switch the network interfaces are connected to!

So, I'm not sure how @Wayne88, can see you physical switch configuration, you've not uploaded it, or mentioned it!

So my answer for vSwitch1 is unknown!

and what are you trying to team for ?

throughput or resilience ?

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Wayne88Commented:
"vSwitch0, only has a single network interface, so it cannot be teamed!"

Nobody said it's teamed.

"Inbound traffic is controlled by the configuration on the physical switch the network interfaces are connected to! So, I'm not sure how @Wayne88, can see you physical switch configuration"

It's still teamed for outbound then NO?  The user specifically said "I was asked to make sure that no nic teaming is enabled/configured on the ESXi host".  What would you do in this case to separate it regardless the physical switch config for inbound?  I would put each VM on a separate vSwitch like vSwitch0.  So let's not go off on a different topic and stick to the question and provide solution to this specific question.
PkafkasNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
Hello Gentlemen:

Lets take a step back for a second.  I was not the one that setup this ESXi host; but, I can tell you for a fact that the ethernet connections for the production network vswitch1 is not connected to any trunked or teamed ports on the physical switch.

Could it be that the Vswitch1 has 7 ethernet connections just plugged into a ethernet switch?  Since there is no configurations made in the "NIC Teaming" tab properties?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Why do HP, want to know no teaming is enabled ?

What Summary of work are they completing for you?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
if there is no physical switch configuration, and they are just connected.......

clearly your configuration is just plain ESXi defaults!
Wayne88Commented:
"Could it be that the Vswitch1 has 7 ethernet connections just plugged into a ethernet switch?  Since there is no configurations made in the "NIC Teaming" tab properties?"

Yes, it is possible.

The server VMWare host server probably has 8 network ports and 1 is mapped to vSwitch0 and the other 7 mapped to vSwitch1.  However, it doesn't mean that all ports on vSwitch1 are physically connected.  Maybe only a few instead of all are used if teamed.  You can check the back of the server to verify this. and see how many are connected.

However, to answer your original question of ensuring that none of the VMNic is teamed then you should click the property of each VM and go to network to ensure that each one is assigned it's own VMNic instead of a team.  If they are and all servers are active then each port the VMNic represent should also be accompanied with a physical connection.
PkafkasNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
1.  I counted that there is 9 separate ethernet connections from the HP ESXi host.
          a.  8 ethernet connections pointing to our network switches in that closet.
          b.  1 Ethernet connection used for HP -  ILO, that is connected to our firewall; but, using a port on the same VLAN.

2.  All of the Virtual Servers (5) on that ESXi host only have 1 Virtual NIC card, that is on the Production network.
          a.  All of the settings loom like the following:

screen1
screen2
screen3
PkafkasNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
It appears that there is not NIC teaming involved, does everyone concur?
Wayne88Commented:
Go to vSwitch1 network properties, hit the EDIT button then go to network teaming tab.  If you see multiple active adapters under this tab then vSwitch1 is teaming all the specified network adapters.
PkafkasNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
I have a picture of that in my question above.  But nothing is selected, it is all greyed out.

http://filedb.experts-exchange.com/incoming/2015/07_w31/925795/Nicteaming-question.PNG
Wayne88Commented:
That's the picture of "production" properties.  Can you go to the one above it "vSwitch"? Regardless, according to that tab VMNic 1-6 or more are showing as being teamed.
PkafkasNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
Here you are.  

screen4
Do I have nic teaming on this ESXi server?
Wayne88Commented:
Yes you do, the VM "production" is using multiple NICs (teamed) as well as vSwitch1
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
if you use esxtop, you can actually see which VM is using which physical nic.
Wayne88Commented:
If you don't want any VMNic teamed then you will need to take them off the teaming and set it up as the configuration you have for vSwitch0 for example.  However, you need to be sure that this won't affect the production VM because network teaming is usually used to either increase the network performance (it being the bottleneck) or for fail-over or both.

Just make sure you don't break anything in the process and there is always a recourse if you need to revert back to original settings that "work".
PkafkasNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
Wait a minute,

Just to compare, I did setup 1 new ESXi host (an HP Gen9).  I know for a fact that I did not configure any NIC teaming on the Gen9 becasue I simply did now know how to team them up.  I just recently found the video to show me how.

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1004088

In this video one must select the port group (like Production) and then click edit to select the "NIC Teaming" tab.  One does not select the 'vswitch' option and then click the 'edit' button.  The settings for the port group 'Nic Teaming' tab are all greyed out.  Nothing is selected.

http://filedb.experts-exchange.com/incoming/2015/07_w31/925795/Nicteaming-question.PNG

If you can see the pictures of the Gen9 below, they look very similar to the Gen8 config.  But like I said I have no nic teaming setup on the Gen 9.

screen1
screen2
Wayne88Commented:
The VMNics that are shown as active are "active in a team" and that's why it's shown under the NIC teaming tab.  If they are on that list as active then they are teamed.

The only difference between the G8 and G9 is that one has the teaming "policy exceptions" selected for load balancing and the other one doesn't.  The one that doesn't simply uses default settings.
PkafkasNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
So simply adding an active nic to a brand new ESXi host,automatically teams it to the other  NICS on the same switch?  This I did not know.  

What is the point of having a port group then?  Like the video shows.

Also see:  http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/Q_28203380.html

I am going to research some more.  I would think that a virtual switch(vswitch), will automatically use its nic ports for itself.
Wayne88Commented:
"So simply adding an active nic to a brand new ESXi host,automatically teams it to the other  NICS on the same switch?"

Yes it does and use the default VMWare port configuration.

Here is a good explanation for port groups:

"The final topic to touch on is VM port groups, which can be a bit of a struggle to understand at first. Let’s imagine that you have a huge, unconfigured virtual switch with hundreds of ports on it. Chances are, you don’t want all of the ports to be configured the same way—some of them will be used by your production VMs, others by your developers’ VMs, and even more might be for the engineering VMs.

VM port groups are a way that we can create logical rules around the virtual ports that are made available to VMs. It’s common to create a port group for each VLAN and network subnet that you want to present to your VMs. VM port groups do not provide vSphere services or require IP addresses—they are just ways to configure policy for a group of virtual ports on your vSwitch."


http://www.pearsonitcertification.com/articles/article.aspx?p=2190191&seqNum=11
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Again, you need to ask HP WHY they need to know, if you are teamed or not teamed?

and this is only outbound traffic, not inbound traffic, if you have no config, on the physical switch¬!
PkafkasNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
I think I will ask HP Support, they should know as well.  The original case is with the HP OS level.  I will ask teh HP hardware team.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
What is your case ?
PkafkasNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
The original case, with HP, is to install a new Service Pack on the HP ProLiant DL380 Gen8.  HP stated that I should make sure if NIC Teaming is or is not configured on this ESXi server.  Hence this question to experts.

If NIC teaming is configured then the teaming will be erased after the Service Pack installation.  On this question I am getting 2 different answers and I am trying to verify which is correct for our situation.  I called HO and they asked me to contact VMware instead.  So I am going to contact VMware support now.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I think that Service Pack information is specific to a Windows OS installation!

I've not heard that term used in a VMware ESXi 5.5 environment, and all ESXi updates generally do not change the configuration of ESXi.

The teaming software in the Service Pack, can change the teaming in Windows OS.

Did you check with them, if they meant Windows OS ?

Do you know which software update they are referring to?

do you have a download......

You do not have any nic teaming to be erased!!!!
PkafkasNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
The service pack that I want to install is specific to the HP ESXi Server.  It is to download all of the latest hardware drivers.  I should be prepared to recreate the VNic setup just in case I need to.

It appears to me that this is a very simple setup.  I remember that another tech set this up originally and then he update the ESXi host to VMware 5.1.  The all of the vnic configurations got erased.  So he needed to add them again.  He added them in a very simple way.

http://filedb.experts-exchange.com/incoming/2015/07_w31/925795/Nicteaming-question.PNG

I should prepare to recreate the configuration in case the service pack erases anything.  I still do not think it has any teaming on there; but, I will check with VMware support to double check.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Take Screenshots of the config, and backup the configuration. (and this is good IT practice before any change to production server!)

I've never seen an update cause an issue with an ESXi server, depending on how it was applied.

These are called Updates/Upgrades normally, not really service packs.

However, if you install it wrongly you will erase you server and all it's VMs!

Why not backup the configuration of the ESXi server ? you can then just apply the configuration to a blank server aterwards.

Configuration of the ESXi server is ALL and NOTHING, if the "service pack" goes wrong ALL your configuration will be lost, not just teaming!

If you apply the update using offline bundle, it's safer, and will maintain the configuration!

Sometimes,. what can happen is the physical network interfaces all get renamed!!!

e.g. vmnic0 can become vmnic4 etc

to document this, you will need to know, which MAC Address of each physical interface, goes to which switch socket!
PkafkasNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
I will create screen shots of everything just in case.  I plan to apply the update with HP Support and HP is referring to the update as a service pack.  It is only supposed to include updated drivers and so forth.  

I have not heard back from VMware yet and I hope to hear back from them on On Monday, Aug 3rd; but we will see.  Getting screen shots of everything including the VM MAC addresses is a good idea.  I will update this ticket after I speak to VMware support.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Highly unlikely the configuration will change. (unless the vmnic change!)

if in doubt backup the configuration of ESXi.

see here

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2042141
PkafkasNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
Vmware confirmed that I do not have any nic teaming on that ESXi host.  The Nic teaming on the Vswitch1 is by default.

Equally important Vmware suppoer helped me export a copy of the configuration file of teh ESX host to a datastore on the ESXi host.  I then downloaded the .tgz file to my PC.  The instructions on how to download the configuratin file is found in:  http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2042141

One will need to use the command line and temporarily enable SSh on that ESXi host.  If you need to re-import the config file then enter the command:  vim-cmd hostsvc/firmware/restore_config /tmp/configBundle.tgz
PkafkasNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
So, there is no nic teaming and VMware stated that usually updating the firmware does not erase any configurations unless something is done incorrectly.  

VMware support went on to say that they would not update the firmware unless you had a problem or a very good reason to update the firmware.
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