Objective 2.2 – Configure vNetwork Distributed Switches

For this objective I used the following documents:

Objective 2.2 – Configure vNetwork Distributed Switches

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

Knowledge

  • Identify vNetwork Distributed Switch (vDS) capabilities
    • A vNetwork Distributed Switch has the same capabilities as a vNetwork Standard Switch and much more.  Keep in mind you must have an enterprise plus license to use this feature
      • Functions as a single switch across all hosts
        • Allows virtual machines to maintain consistent networking configuration regardless of the host they reside on
      • Can forward traffic to other virtual machines or link to an external network
      • Allows you to do NetFlow, Port Mirroring and Private VLANs
      • Allows you to have one or more distributed port groups
        • Allows for VLANs
        • Create network labels for virtual machine virtual adapters to attach to (is unique within the current datacenter)
      • Network resource pools
        • You can manage traffic by the type of network traffic
      • 4096 Maximum network switch ports per host (vDS and vSS)
      • 1016 Maximum active ports per host (vDS and vSS)
      • 30000 Maximum distributed virtual network switch ports per vCenter
      • 350 Maximum hosts per vDS
      • 32 Maximum distributed switches per vCenter

 

  • Create/Delete a vNetwork Distributed Switch
    • Creating and deleting a vNetwork Distributed Switch is a bit different than a vNetwork Standard Switch.  It is done from a different area from within the VI Client and can only be done using vCenter
        1. Log in to vCenter using the VI Client
        2. Go to the Networking view by clicking the View menu > Inventory > Networking (or Ctrl+Shift+N)
        3. Right-click on the Datacenter where you want to create the vDS and click New vSphere Distributed Switch
        4. Select the version of the vDS you want to create (4.0, 4.1.0 or 5.0.0) > click Next
        5. Give it a descriptive name and specify the number of uplink ports > click Next
        6. You can choose to add hosts now or later.  If you choose to Add now select the host(s) and the associated physical adapters you want to use as uplinks > click Next
        7. Determine whether you want the wizard to create a default port group or not.  If you plan on having multiple port groups, I advise NOT creating a default port group.  Leave the Automatically create a default port group option checked, or uncheck it depending on your situation
        8. Click Finish

 

  • Add/Remove ESXi hosts from a vNetwork Distributed Switch
    • Once you have created a vNetwork Distributed Switch you can go back and add new hosts or remove them from said switch.
    • Adding a host
        1. Log in to vCenter using the VI Client
        2. Go to the Networking view by clicking the View menu > Inventory > Networking (or Ctrl+Shift+N)
        3. Right-click on the vNetwork Distributed Switch you want to add and select Add Host
        4. Select the host(s) you want to add and their corresponding physical adapter(s) you want to use > click Next
        5. At this point you can assign any existing vmkernel ports (virtual adapters) from the vNetwork Standard Switch port groups to an existing port group on the vNetwork Distributed Switch.  You can do this by selecting the virtual adapter and clicking Assign port group… button and selecting a port group, or, use the drop down to select the new port group which is located in the Destination port group column > click Next
        6. During this step you can elect to migrate virtual machine networking of an existing VMs from the vNetwork Standard Switch to the vNetwork Distributed Switch.  Make the proper selection(s) > click Next
        7. Click Finish
    • Removing a host
        1. Log in to vCenter using the VI Client
        2. Go to the Networking view by clicking the View menu > Inventory > Networking (or Ctrl+Shift+N)
        3. Click on the Hosts tab in the right pane
        4. Right-click the host you want to remove and click Remove from vSphere Distributed Switch… > click Yes to confirm

 

  • Add/Configure/Remove dvPort groups
    • At some point you may need to Add/Configure/Remove dvPort groups from your vNetwork Distributed Switches
    • Adding a dvPort group
        1. Log in to vCenter using the VI Client
        2. Go to the Networking view by clicking the View menu > Inventory > Networking (or Ctrl+Shift+N)
        3. Right-click on the vNetwork Distributed Switch you want to add the dvPort group to and click  and click New Port Group
        4. Specify the Name, Number of Ports and VLAN type (VLAN, VLAN Trunking or Private) > click Next
        5. Click Finish
    • Configure a dvPort group
        1. Log in to vCenter using the VI Client
        2. Go to the Networking view by clicking the View menu > Inventory > Networking (or Ctrl+Shift+N)
        3. Right-click on dvPort group you want to configure and select Edit Settings
        4. From here you can configure three different settings; General, Policies, and Advanced.  There are 7 different options under Policies which we will dive into in Objective 2.3
        5. Make any changes needed in any of the three settings (and their child settings)
        6. Click OK or Cancel
    • Removing a dvPort group
        1. Log in to vCenter using the VI Client
        2. Go to the Networking view by clicking the View menu > Inventory > Networking (or Ctrl+Shift+N)
        3. Right-click on dvPort group you want to configure and select Delete
        4. Click Yes to confirm the deletion

 

  • Add/Remove uplink adapters to dvUplink groups
        1. Log in to vCenter using the VI Client
        2. Select the Configuration tab on the right
        3. Select Networking in the left column of the center pane
        4. Click on the vSphere Distributed Switch button at the top
        5. Click the Manage Physical Adapters hyperlink
        6. From the left side of the window is where you can Add/Remove physical adapters.  If all your uplinks are taken up with physical adapters, and you need to add more physical adapters, add more uplink ports to your vNetwork Distributed Switch
        7. Click OK or Cancel when finished

 

  • Create/Configure/Remove virtual adapters
    • Creating a virtual adapter
        1. Log in to vCenter using the VI Client
        2. Select the Configuration tab on the right
        3. Select Networking in the left column of the center pane
        4. Click on the vSphere Distributed Switch button at the top
        5. Click the Manage Virtual Adapters hyperlink
        6. Click the Add hyperlink at the top
        7. Select New virtual adapter > click Next
        8. Select VMkernel > click Next
        9. Select the appropriate port group from the drop down or select an individual port
        10. If you want this virtual adapter to run any network services (vMotion, FT logging or management) select the appropriate checkbox(s) > click Next
        11. Select Obtain IP settings automatically or Use the following IP settings
          1. If you select Use the following IP settings, input the IP Address and Subnet Mask and the VMkernel Default Gateway (typically you leave this at the default)
          2. Click Next
          3. Click Finish
    • Configuring an existing virtual adapter
        1. Log in to vCenter using the VI Client
        2. Select the Configuration tab on the right
        3. Select Networking in the left column of the center pane
        4. Click on the vSphere Distributed Switch button at the top
        5. Click the Manage Virtual Adapters hyperlink
        6. Select the name of the virtual adapter you want to configure and click the Edit hyperlink
        7. From here there are two tabs; General and IP Settings.  From the General tab you can change the port group or port settings, the network services settings (vMotion, FT logging, management) and you can also set the MTU size for the virtual adapter.  The IP settings are self-explanatory.
        8. Click OK or Cancel when complete
    • Removing a virtual adapter
        1. Log in to vCenter using the VI Client
        2. Select the Configuration tab on the right
        3. Select Networking in the left column of the center pane
        4. Click on the vSphere Distributed Switch button at the top
        5. Click the Manage Virtual Adapters hyperlink
        6. Select the virtual adapter you want to delete and click the Remove hyperlink
        7. Click Yes to confirm the deletion
        8. Click Close when finished
  • Migrate virtual adapters to/from a vNetwork Standard Switch
    • Migrate To a vNetwork Distributed Switch
        1. Log in to vCenter using the VI Client
        2. Select the Configuration tab on the right
        3. Select Networking in the left column of the center pane
        4. Click on the vSphere Distributed Switch button at the top
        5. Click the Manage Virtual Adapters hyperlink
        6. Click the Add hyperlink at the top
        7. Select Migrate existing virtual adapters > click Next
        8. Select the virtual adapter(s) you want to migrate > select a port group from the drop down under the Port Group column > click Next
        9. Click Finish
    • Migrate From a vNetwork Distributed Switch to a vNetwork Standard Switch
        1. Log in to vCenter using the VI Client
        2. Select the Configuration tab on the right
        3. Select Networking in the left column of the center pane
        4. Click on the vSphere Distributed Switch button at the top
        5. Click the Manage Virtual Adapters hyperlink
        6. Select the virtual adapter you want to migrate and click the Migrate hyperlink
        7. Select the vSphere Standard Switch > click Next
        8. Enter in a Network Label and an Optional VLAN ID > click Next
        9. Click Finish

 

  • Migrate virtual machines to/from a vNetwork Distributed Switch
    • Migrate virtual machines To/From a vNetwork Distributed Switch
        1. Log in to vCenter using the VI Client
        2. Go to the Networking view by clicking the View menu > Inventory > Networking (or Ctrl+Shift+N)
        3. Right-click on the vNetwork Distributed Switch you want to migrate to and select Migrate Virtual Machine Networking…
        4.  For the Source Network you can choose to Include all virtual machine network adapters that are connected to the following network: (pick that network from the drop down) or you can Include all virtual machine network adapters not connected to any network.  Also select a Destination Network from the drop down > click Next
        5. Select the virtual machine(s) you want to migrate; you can also select all or only certain network adapters if needed > click Next
        6. Click Finish

 

  • Determine use case for a vNetwork Distributed Switch
    • The first thing I want to mention is that you must have an Enterprise Plus license if you want to use the vNetwork Distributed Switch (even if you choose to forego the vSphere vDS and use the Cisco Nexus 1000v). 
    • If you have many hosts it’s simpler and makes more sense to implement a vNetwork Distributed Switch for management and virtual machine flexibility.  Without it, you have to ensure all port groups and policies match for each hosts’ vNetwork Standard switch—a management nightmare!
    • If you need to perform NetFlow functions, Port Mirroring or have Private VLANs, you need a vNetwork Distributed Switch
    • If you want to utilize the Route based on physical NIC load Load Balancing policy (allows a single TCP flow, or more, over multiple NICs if utilization is high)
    • If you have a need to control network traffic; vSphere 5 has improved Network I/O Control (NOIC) and has introduced Network Resource Pools, both features require a vNetwork Distributed Switch

Tools

Comments 4

  1. Pingback: VCP5 Study Notes - The world of Marc O'Polo - Blog | The world of Marc O'Polo – Blog

  2. how many hosts can be connected per uplink? what is the VNIC of the host? is it possible to have VNIC for physical host? how can i create VDS inside cluster?

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