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C7000 Bladesystem, Virtual Connect and VMware

Trusted Contributor

C7000 Bladesystem, Virtual Connect and VMware

Nick asked:




It would be interesting to know how people are designing their ESX / Virtual Connect environments.


In my team we’ve been going for active/active with 2 SUS and an active/active NICs in the vSwitch. This maximises throughput (no idle paths), but does potentially increase the amount of traffic that may have to go via the upstream switch for traffic between ESX hosts.




Vincent replied:




You are correct Nick. If the active NICs in the 2 servers are connected to the same vNet (and that vNet is not marked Private), the traffic will be switched internally in Virtual Connect. Otherwise it will go out of the enclosure. This is true whether you’re using dedicated vNets, VLANs on a SUS, active/passive, active/active, even tunneled networks. There are indeed more chances to have the 2 NICs connected to different vNets in an active/active design, but that depends on the vswitch config.




Richard also replied:




Keep in mind that in an active/standby VC network just because one bay’s uplink is in standby does not mean that the nics connected to that bay are not usable. With TLB teaming (both nics active on a vswitch) the nics on the module in standby will use the cross connect and work just fine. The difference is that all traffic will be using one uplink not 2 as it would in active/active.




Other comments or suggestions?

Occasional Visitor

Re: C7000 Bladesystem, Virtual Connect and VMware



I just want to make sure I understand this correctly.


I have a two chassis VC domain with two different ESX 4.1 clusters. One 5 node cluster and one 3 node cluster. For VM server traffic I have two networks setup using VLAN Tunneling. All ESX servers have a NIC configured for each of the networks. 


Is it true that communication from one VMware guest on one ESX server to another VMware guest on another ESX server will stay within the VC domain and not go out the uplink ports? Both VMs are connected to the same networks that are using VLAN tunneling. 


Thanks for your help,