vDCA550-Objective 2.3-1-Understand the NIC Teaming failover types and related physical network settings

I have already explained this topic in Objective2.1-3-Configure advanced vSS settings”. Let’s discuss here again.

NIC team policies allow you to determine how network traffic is distributed between adapters and how to reroute traffic in the event of an adapter failure. NIC teaming policies include load-balancing and failover settings. Default NIC teaming policies are set for the entire Virtual switch. You can override these default settings at the port group level.

There are five type of load balancing policies which exists in VMware virtual Switches.

  1. Routed Based on the Originating Virtual Port.
  2. Route Based on IP Hash
  3. Route Based on Source MAC
  4. Use explicit Failover Oder.
  5. Route based on physical NIC load

NOTE: Policy No 1-4 are part of both Virtual Switch (vSS & vDS). But Policy No 5 “Route based on physical NIC load” are only available in the vDS.

Let’s discuss one by one and see how these policy works.

  1. Routed Based on the Originating Virtual Port.

How it Works?

This policy is simple and default for VMware in vSS. There is no additional setting required on the Physical switch. This policy is work like a round robin fashion. Suppose if you have multiple uplink as in active state attached to a Portgroup and this portgroup have multiple VMs. Then these VM are load balance over the physical NIC. Mean VM1 goes to vmnic1 and VM2 goes to vmnic2 and so on. It is bad some time because what if two high intensive VMs are ending up using the same virtual NIC.

  1. Route Based on IP Hash

How it Works?

This policy required physical switch configuration and used for ether channel configuration. It checks source and destination IPs. If source is connecting to multiple different destination IP. Than it will utilized all the available physical NIC.

  1. Route Based on Source MAC

How it Works?

This policy require no physical switch configuration. It work like the IP has policy means it checks source and destination MAC Address. If source is connecting to multiple different destination MACs. Than it will utilized all the available physical NIC. This is useful for LAB in nested environment.

  1. Use explicit Failover Oder.

How it Works?

It does not do any kind of load balancing. If this is used it the first Active NIC on the list is used. If that one fails, the next Active NIC on the list is used, and so on, until you reach the Standby NICs. Keep in mind that if you select the Explicit Failover option and you have a vSwitch with many uplinks only one of them will be actively used at any given time. Use this policy only in circumstances where using only one link rather than load balancing over all links is desired or required.

  1. Route based on physical NIC load

This is only one policy which existing in vDS.it is only load balancing option that factors in the load on the physical NIC when determining traffic placement. It also does not require special settings on the physical switch.

How it Works?

Initially, outbound traffic from each virtual adapter is placed on a specific path. Activity is monitored across each path in the team, and when the I/O through a specific vmnic adapter reaches a consistent 75% capacity of utilization at 30 Sec, then one or more virtual adapters is automatically remapped to other paths. If you are running the originating virtual port ID policy on a distributed switch you should change to physical NIC load right away.

How to change the policy in vSS?

From GUI:

From Webclient Home- > Host & Cluster -> Select the ESXi Host-> Manage-> Networking-> Virtual Switches-> Choose/Select the vSS-> Click on “Pencil Sign” to Edit the vSS Settings

vDCA550-Obj-2-3-NicTeamingFalioverPolicy-01

In vSS Settings -> Teaming and Failover -> Change you desired settings -> Click “OK”

vDCA550-Obj-2-3-NicTeamingFalioverPolicy-02

From CLI:

Example:

Change the load balancing policy of “vSwitch0” into “IP based Hashing”

#esxcli network vswitch standard policy failover set -v vSwitch0 -l iphash

Where “-l|–load-balancing=<str> (portid, iphash, mac, explicit)” and “-v|–vswitch-name=<str>”

How to change the policy in vDS?

From GUI:

From Webclient Home- > Networking -> Select you vDS-> Right Click on any PortGroup ->Click “Edit Settings”

vDCA550-Obj-2-3-NicTeamingFalioverPolicy-03

In vDS Portgroup Settings -> Team and Failober -> Load baalacing -> Choose your Load balancing policy -> Click “OK”

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