Objective 2.1 – Configure vNetwork Standard Switches

For this objective I used the following documents:

Objective 2.1 – Configure vNetwork Standard Switches

Knowledge

**ITEMS IN BOLD ARE TOPICS PULLED FROM THE BLUEPRINT**

  • Identify vNetwork Standard Switch (vSS) capabilities
    • A lot of the capabilities you find in a virtual switch are the same as a physical switch
      • Routes traffic internally between virtual machines and links to external networks
      • Allows for multiple port groups configured with different policies
        • Allows for VLANs
        • Create network labels for virtual machine virtual adapters to attach to (is unique within the current datacenter)
      • Balance communication across multiple network adapters
      • Configurable to handle physical NIC failure by failing over to another physical NIC
      • Maximum of 4096 total ports per host (vSS and vDS)
      • Maximum of 1016 total active ports per host (vSS and vDS)
      • Maximum of 4088 virtual network switch create ports
      • Maximum of 256 port groups
  • Create/Delete a vNetwork Standard Switch
    • You can create/delete a vNetwork Standard Switch from the VI Client either connected directly to the host or through vCenter.  The steps should be the same regardless of the management point.
        1. From within the VI Client select a host on the left
        2. Select the Configuration tab on the right
        3. Select Networking in the left column of the center pane
        4. Click Add Networking on the top right
        5. Choose Virtual Machine or VMkernel as connection type > click next
        6. Choose Create a vSphere standard switch and select any physical adapters you want to use > click next
        7. Fill in a Network Label and VLAN  ID (optional) > click next
        8. Click Finish
    • Deleting a vNetwork Standard Switch
        1. From within the VI Client select a host on the left
        2. Select the Configuration tab on the right
        3. Select Networking in the left column of the center pane
        4. Find the vNetwork Standard Switch you want to delete
        5. Choose Remove next to its name
        6. Click Yes to confirm you want to remove it

 

  • Add/Configure/Remove vmnics on a vNetwork Standard Switch
    • You can Add/Configure/Remove vmnics from the VI Client either connected directly to the host or through vCenter.  The steps should be the same regardless of the management point
        1. From within the VI Client select a host on the left
        2. Select the Configuration tab on the right
        3. Select Networking in the left column of the center pane
        4. Find the vNetwork Standard Switch on the right > click Properties
        5. Select the Network Adapters Tab
        6. Click Add to add a vmnic
          1. Select the adapter you want from the list below > click next
          2. Select the NIC order that you want > click next
          3. Click Finish
          4. To configure a vmnic select the adapter and click Edit (the only things you can configure are configured speed and duplex)
            1. Select your speed and duplex and click Ok
          5. To remove a vmnic select the adapter and click Remove

 

  • Configure vmkernel ports for network services
    • You can configure a vmkernel port on an existing vNetwork Standard Switch or a new vNetwork Standard Switch.  The three network services you can select are vMotion, Fault Tolerance logging and management traffic.  It is best practice to segregate each of these traffic types over different physical adapters, unless you are using converged networking (FCoE) or a lab environment
        1. From within the VI Client select a host on the left
        2. Select the Configuration tab on the right
        3. Select Networking in the left column of the center pane
        4. Click Add Networking on the top right
        5. Select VMkernel > click Next
        6. Create a new vSphere standard switch or select an existing vSwitch > click next
        7. Enter in a Network Label (such as vMotion)
        8. Enter in an optional VLAN ID
        9. Select which network services you want this vmkernel to provide, in this case we will check Use this port group for vMotion > click Next
        10. Choose obtain IP settings automatically (not recommended unless you are using DHCP reservations) or choose Use the following IP settings
        11. Enter in an IP address and Subnet Mask
        12. You can choose to change your VMkernel Default Gateway by clicking the Edit button or you can leave it at the default, usually the default is good > click Next
        13. Click Finish
    • The new vmkernel port (it’s really a port group) will now show up with a under your vNetwork Standard Switch.  You will notice is has a vmk number which is in numeric order with any other vmkernels you have already created.  You will also see the IP address you set next to the vmkernel port number.

 

  • Add/Edit/Remove port groups on a vNetwork Standard Switch
    • Adding port groups on a vNetwork Standard Switch is straight forward and follows the same relative procedures and the previous tasks
        1. From within the VI Client select a host on the left
        2. Select the Configuration tab on the right
        3. Select Networking in the left column of the center pane
        4. Click Add Networking on the top right
        5. Select Virtual Machine or VMkernel > click Next
        6. Choose an existing vSwitch > click Next
        7. Enter in the Network Label and VLAN ID (optional) – if you chose the vmkernel option choose one of the three network services > click Next
        8. Click Finish
    • Creating a Virtual Machine Port Group without a physical adapter will allow virtual machines connected to the same port group to communicate with each other, but they will not be able to access any external networks
    • Edit a port group on a vNetwork Standard Switch
        1. From within the VI Client select a host on the left
        2. Select the Configuration tab on the right
        3. Select Networking in the left column of the center pane
        4. Find the vSwitch that houses the port group(s) you want to edit and click Properties
        5. By default you are on the Ports tab, find the port group you want to edit within the list, select it and click Edit
        6. From here there are four different tabs you can configure options from; General, Security, Traffic Shaping, NIC Teaming.  We will go over all of these in future objectives (all detailed on pages 43-60 of the vSphere Networking guide)
    • Remove a port group on a vNetwork Standard Switch
        1. From within the VI Client select a host on the left
        2. Select the Configuration tab on the right
        3. Select Networking in the left column of the center pane
        4. Find the vSwitch that houses the port group(s) you want to remove and click Properties
        5. By default you are on the Ports tab, find the port group you want to remove within the list, select it and click Remove
        6. Click Yes to confirm you want to remove that selected port group
        7. Close the vSwitch Properties dialog box when complete

 

  • Determine use case for a vNetwork Standard Switch
    • There are a few use cases for using a vNetwork Standard Switch in your environemnt
      • The biggest one has to be licensing.  To utilize a vNetwork Distributed Switch (vDS) you must be an Enterprise Plus customer or you have to use the vSS.
      • Regardless of licensing it’s good to place a redundant management network for each host on their own vNetwork Standard Switch.  This will ensure your management network is available in case you have a physical NIC failure
      • If you only have one host that needs access to a separate network that can’t be provided through an existing vNetwork Distributed Switch then you would use a vNetwork Standard Switch

Tools

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