lakend11
Contributor
Contributor

Networking for LAN Backup

Hello,

Can I dedicate pNIC or VMware Network for Backups only?

I have two 10Gb uplinks that are currently Active for Virtual Machine Network. I want to use the faster 10Gb connection also for backups. Is my only option to configure Virtual Machine Network and Management Network (VMware Management and Backup) to use the same 10Gb pNIC's pair?

As I understand it, there are two Network Connection Types: Virtual Machine and VMKernel. VMKernel can be used for Management and/or vMotion. And backup traffic always goes through the Management Network.

In ideal situation I would like to have dedicated pNIC (with fail over pNIC) for each of these: Management, VMotion, Backup, VM's and DMZ VM's.

In reality, I only have 6 pNIC's in our HP Blade System (FlexFabric 10GB/24). Two of witch are 10Gb and rest 1Gb. As mentioned, the two 10Gb pNIC's are set as Active for the Virtual Machine Network.

I'm using Veeam to backup my VM's. Veeam is connected to vCenter and backups are taken using LAN.

Best Regards

lakend

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MKguy
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

You can keep your current management interface and just create an additional vmkernel interface (without default route!) on your 10Gbps links, and then work with static routes for your backup server IPs to always route traffic through this vmkernel adapter.

If you've added the hosts to vCenter by DNS name then also edit the backup server's local hosts file, so it will resolve the ESXi hosts DNS names with these IP instead of the real "public" management IP.

This should make sure that backup traffic only goes through your desired links while staying independent from your existing management network.

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lakend11
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks for you input MKguy!

I will give it a try. Do you happen to know if this is officially supported way of configuring VMware?

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MKguy
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

I don't see why it wouldn't be supported. This is absolutely basic layer 3 IP and routing configuration and doesn't have any impact on the application side. Static routes at least are also explicitly and fully supported:

VMware KB: Configuring static routes for vmkernel ports on an ESXi host

Not every possible case that can be configured in some way needs to have an epxlicit special vendor seal of approval. And seriously, if support refutes this without offering a proper explanation and source that states a config like this is not supported, then it's just ridiculous.

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