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VMWare vSphere vSwitch Configuration

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ONTAP Select vSwitch configuration and load-balancing policies for two-NIC and four-NIC configurations.

ONTAP Select supports the use of both standard and distributed vSwitch configurations. This section describes the vSwitch configuration and load-balancing policies that should be used in both two-NIC and four-NIC configurations.

Standard vSwitch

All vSwitch configurations require a minimum of two physical network adapters bundled into a single NIC team. ONTAP Select supports a single 10Gb link for two-node clusters. However, it is a NetApp best practice to make sure of hardware redundancy through NIC aggregation.

On a vSphere server, NIC teams are the aggregation construct used to bundle multiple physical network adapters into a single logical channel, allowing the network load to be shared across all member ports. It’s important to remember that NIC teams can be created without support from the physical switch. Load-balancing and failover policies can be applied directly to a NIC team, which is unaware of the upstream switch configuration. In this case, policies are only applied to outbound traffic.

Static port channels are not supported with ONTAP Select. LACP-enabled channels are supported with distributed vSwitches but using LACP LAGs may result in un-even load distribution across the LAG members.

For single node clusters, ONTAP Deploy configures the ONTAP Select VM to use a port group for the external network and either the same port group or, optionally, a different port group for the cluster and node management traffic. For single node clusters, the desired number of physical ports can be added to the external port group as active adapters.

For multinode clusters, ONTAP Deploy configures each ONTAP Select VM to use one or two port groups for the internal network and separately, one or two port groups for the external network. The cluster and node management traffic can either use the same port group as the external traffic, or optionally a separate port group. The cluster and node management traffic cannot share the same port group with internal traffic.

Standard or distributed vSwitch and four physical ports per Node

Four port groups can be assigned to each node in a multinode cluster. Each port group has a single active physical port and three standby physical ports as in the following figure.

vSwitch with four physical ports per node

vSwitch with four physical ports per node

The order of the ports in the standby list is important. The following table provides an example of the physical port distribution across the four port groups.

Network minimum and recommended configurations

Port Group External 1 External 2 Internal 1 Internal 2

Active

vmnic0

vmnic1

vmnic2

vmnic3

Standby 1

vmnic1

vmnic0

vmnic3

vmnic2

Standby 2

vmnic2

vmnic3

vmnic0

vmnic1

Standby 3

vmnic3

vmnic2

vmnic1

vmnic0

The following figures show the configurations of the external network port groups from the vCenter GUI (ONTAP-External and ONTAP-External2). Note that the active adapters are from different network cards. In this setup, vmnic 4 and vmnic 5 are dual ports on the same physical NIC, while vmnic 6 and vminc 7 are similarly dual ports on a separate NIC (vnmics 0 through 3 are not used in this example). The order of the standby adapters provides a hierarchical fail over with the ports from the internal network being last. The order of internal ports in the standby list is similarly swapped between the two external port groups.

Part 1: ONTAP Select external port group configurations

Part 1: ONTAP Select external port group configurations

Part 2: ONTAP Select external port group configurations

Part 2: ONTAP Select external port group configurations

For readability, the assignments are as follows:

ONTAP-External ONTAP-External2

Active adapters: vmnic5
Standby adapters: vmnic7, vmnic4, vmnic6

Active adapters: vmnic7
Standby adapters: vmnic5, vmnic6, vmnic4

The following figures show the configurations of the internal network port groups (ONTAP-Internal and ONTAP-Internal2). Note that the active adapters are from different network cards. In this setup, vmnic 4 and vmnic 5 are dual ports on the same physical ASIC, whereas vmnic 6 and vmnic 7 are similarly dual ports on a separate ASIC. The order of the standby adapters provides a hierarchical fail over with the ports from the external network being last. The order of external ports in the standby list is similarly swapped between the two internal port groups.

Part 1: ONTAP Select internal port group configurations

Part 1: ONTAP Select internal port group configurations

Part 2: ONTAP Select internal port groups

Part 2: ONTAP Select internal port groups

For readability, the assignments are as follows:

ONTAP-Internal ONTAP-Internal2

Active adapters: vmnic4
Standby adapters: vmnic6, vmnic5, vmnic7

Active adapters: vmnic6
Standby adapters: vmnic4, vmnic7, vmnic5

Standard or distributed vSwitch and two physical ports per node

When using two physical ports, each port group should have an active adapter and a standby adapter configured opposite to each other. The internal network is only present for multinode ONTAP Select clusters. For single-node clusters, both adapters can be configured as active in the external port group.

The following example shows the configuration of a vSwitch and the two port groups responsible for handling internal and external communication services for a multinode ONTAP Select cluster. The external network can use the internal network VMNIC in the event of a network outage because the internal network VMNICs are part of this port group and configured in standby mode. The opposite is the case for the external network. Alternating the active and standby VMNICs between the two port groups is critical for the proper failover of the ONTAP Select VMs during network outages.

vSwitch with two physical ports per node

vSwitch with two physical ports per node

Distributed vSwitch with LACP

When using distributed vSwitches in your configuration, LACP can be used (though it is not a best practice) in order to simplify the network configuration. The only supported LACP configuration requires that all the VMNICs are in a single LAG. The uplink physical switch must support an MTU size between 7,500 to 9,000 on all the ports in the channel. The internal and external ONTAP Select networks should be isolated at the port group level. The internal network should use a nonroutable (isolated) VLAN. The external network can use either VST, EST, or VGT.

The following examples show the distributed vSwitch configuration using LACP.

LAG properties when using LACP

LAG properties when using LACP

External port group configurations using a distributed vSwitch with LACP enabled

External port group configurations using a distributed vSwitch with LACP enabled

Internal port group configurations using a distributed vSwitch with LACP enabled

Internal port group configurations using a distributed vSwitch with LACP enabled

LACP requires that you configure the upstream switch ports as a port channel. Prior to enabling this on the distributed vSwitch, make sure that an LACP-enabled port channel is properly configured.