chrisaug
Contributor
Contributor

Looking for Best dvSwitch Solution with 8 pNICs per host

We recently implemented vSphere4 on NFS with a NetApp FAS-2050. Currently, our vNetworking is setup with a single dvSwitch with 5 port-groups as follows.

The numbers correspond with the pNICs while the colors represent the port groups (dvUplinks)... does this make sense so far?

1

Service Console

2

Service Console

3

vKernel (storage traffic)

4

vKernel (storage traffic)

5

VM Uplink

6

VM Uplink

7

vMotion

8

Promiscuous Uplink

My main question is, is this an acceptable setup? I've been trying to find out what would be better, one dvSwitch with 5 port groups, 5 dvSwitches each with one port group, or something in the middle. Does anyone have any feedback or recomendations?

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6 Replies
athlon_crazy
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

My opinion, your setup with single dvSwitch is good when you have to share limited number of vmnics between port groups because vmnics can't be shared between vswitch once it's already been assigned to another vswitch. Multiple vswitch is preferred when we really want to isolate the network physically to different pswitch for different purposes such as to reduce vswitch load & etc for example, by isolating your dvSwitch for SC from NFS vmkernel & vMotion.

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chrisaug
Contributor
Contributor

So with my current configuration, it would provide better isolation to essentially break the port groups up into their own dvSwitches?

I think my confusion is that each portgroup on the single dvSwitch has it's own uplinks (pNICs) assigned to it. My question now is, how much isolation do you get between port groups and is isolating traffic between port groups as good as seperating traffic between vSwitches? Because physically, the traffic should be seperate based on the uplinks (pNICs)??? Right?

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athlon_crazy
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

I believed there must be some overhead on dvSwitch to handle the incoming/outgoing traffic for multiple dvPortGroup though we already separated it by physical uplink. dvSwitch(vNDS) or vSwitch(vNSS) can be considered as physical Layer 2 switch and dvPortGroup as combination of multiple hub. How best you isolate the network for specific uplink (pNIC) to specific hub, at the end all this network will still need to reach your pSwitch. It's make more sense if you read this article How traffic route between VM and ESX hosts

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chrisaug
Contributor
Contributor

That link came up with a "service unavailable" error

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athlon_crazy
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

i think, it's ok now.

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chrisaug
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks. I did some more reading and decided to migrate from a single dvSwitch with multiple port groups to multiple dvSwitches with a single port group. Rather than breaking up the port groups and assigning uplinks based on use and traffic I seperated it by dvSwitch.

Thanks for your help.

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