Tuesday, 18 September 2012

vSphere 5.1 – New Features and Enhancements in Networking

vSphere 5.1 – New Features and Enhancements in Networking

vSphere 5.1 – Distributed Switch Enhancements

VMware vSphere 5.1 brings enhancements to the vDS. There are quite a few. The new version of vDS is version 5.1.  Network health check can verify your physical network before deploying vSphere, to see, if the setup of the physical network will assure the deployment of VMs.


vSphere 5.1 supports more dvPortgroups, more dvports per vDS and also number of host per vDS has been increased. 

The number of vDS in vCenter grew as well:
  • Static dvPortgroups goes up from 5 K to 10 K
  • Number of dvports goes up from 20 K to 60 K
  • Number of Hosts per vDS goes up from 350 to 500
  • Number of vDS supported on a vCenter goes up from 32 to 128

Network Health Check

Check and detects miss-configurations across virtual and physical networking. Assures proper physical and virtual operation by providing health monitoring for physical network setups including VLAN, MTU or Teaming. Today, vSphere administrators have no tools to verify whether the physical setup is capable of deploying virtual machines correctly. Even simple physical setups can be frustrating to debug end to end. Network health check eases these issues by giving you a window into the operation of your physical and virtual network.

The network health check in vSphere 5.1 can detect mismatched VLAN trunks between virtual switch and physical switch. Wrong MTU (Maximum Transmit Unit) settings between vNIC, virtual switch, physical adapter and physical switch ports. Also wrong teaming configurations can be detected by this new feature.

Configuration Backup and Restore

Configuration Back Up and Restore – Provides you with a way to create backups for network settings at the vDS level or at the DV PG level. This feature lets you recreate network configuration seamlessly, giving you a means of restoring full functionality in instances of network settings failures or vCenter Server database corruption.

The backup/restore is managed through vCenter. Previously, In case of database corruption or database loss events, it was not possible  to recover network configurations. The virtual networking configuration had to be rebuilt from scratch.

With this feature, it will be easy to replicate the virtual network configuration in another environment or go back to the last working configuration after any accidental changes to virtual networking settings. You can even think of creating a configuration backup before making some significant changes, so then there is an easy way to go back.

Supported Operations

  • Backup VDS/dvPortgroup configuration on disk (Export)
  • Restore VDS/dvPortgroup from a backup (Restore)
  • Create new entity from backup (Import)
  • Revert to the previous dvPortgroup configuration after changes are made

Automatic Rollback and Recovery for management network on a vDS

Many clients use to have the management network configured on separated network vSwitch. Not on vDS. Just because of the possible miss-configuration ”thread”. They were running those “hybrid” configurations.

Automatic Rollback and recovery monitors the state of management network connectivity from vCenter Server to vDS and rolls back to the previous state automatically if connectivity is lost during a configuration change. By default this feature is set to enabled.

NOTE: There is an override for that function by changing a value in vCenter server (not recommended):

config.vpxd.network.rollback = “false”

VMware vSphere Distributed Switch – Jason Nash Technical Deep Dive

This is a video from VMworld 2012 in San Francisco presented by Jason Nash from Varrow. He works as a datacenter practice director at Varrow, Carolina. Warrow is regional datacenter partner.

The free video which you’ll be able to watch, is the deep dive into vSphere Distributed switch (VDS). You’ll see the complexity, features, cost, deployment considerations and management.

To read the complete blog, visit vladan.fr

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