Create vDS 6 and configure for vMotion traffic

Hey there! In this post, let’s take a look at how to create a Distributed Virtual Switch on vSphere 6. Before getting into action, lets know how it makes a admin’s life easy.

Unlike a Standard Switch, a vDS spans multiple hosts in a cluster or datacenter. By this, you don’t have to visit each and every host to configure Port groups, vSwitches and stuff. In vDS you can just configure once and boom, you just have to add or remove hosts to make use of it.

  • vDS is an Enterprise Plus license feature and you need a vCenter Server for vDS to be managed, meaning you cannot create or modify the existing configs on vDS without vCenter but vDS is still functional in case of  a vCenter outages.
  • From 5.1, vDS Health Check was introduced enabling administrators to identify the VLAN mismatches, conflicts in NIC teaming policies; Health checks are disabled by default.
  • Another interesting feature with the vDS is the Network Rollback which when detects a loss in connectivity to management network or any other network faults due to a configuration change, it immediately rolls back the changes to restore connectivity. Rollback is enabled by default and we need to tweak the vCenter configuration file to disable it.
  • PVLAN’s are possible only with the vDS; they help in created isolated networks
  • LACP support is available only when using vDS. Link Aggregation Groups needs to be created with set of NIC that participate in LACP. Although using Route Based on IP Hash enables link aggregation in Standard Switches, it does not use LACP.

Now that we have some basic understanding of what vDS can do, let’s get started with the vDS creation.

Navigate to the Networking section from Home in the web client and right-click on the Datacenter and select New Distributed Virtual Switch.1.JPG

Enter the name you want to give to the DV Switch. Hit Next.

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Select the minimum version of vDS in your environment to enable every other version to be compatible with the new switch. It is always easy to upgrade the vDS version and this in non disruptive. Different versions of vDS are equipped with set of features and staying on the lower version bars you from using the new features. Once selecting the desired version, hit Next.

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Select the number of uplinks you will be associating with this vSwitch, Enable or disable the NIOC based on your network setup. Here you can either create a default distributed port group or just create the switch and create the port group at a later point of time. Hit Next.

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Review the configuration and click Finish. Observe that, our next actions suggested here are either create more port groups or add hosts to the existing port group. Since we already have created a port group for vMotion, lets just add hosts to the switch.

From the web client, while stil having the vDS selected, click on the manage tab and then on the Topology section, you should now be able to add hosts by selecting the Hosts icon on top. You can also rename the Uplinks and Uplink group name; it’s completely up to you.

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Click on the Add hosts icon which opens up a new wizard as below. The wizard has different option to select on what you want to do with the vDS, hit Next once you select your action item.

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 Click on the Green  + to add hosts to the switch, once you select hosts from the list, if you have identical hosts (most of the time, they are) with similar settings, you can configure on one and push the settings to other by checking the little check box at the bottom. click Ok and Next.

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On the Next screen you will be asked to select the template host. Select the host and click Next.

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Next screen enables you to manage the physical NIC of hosts that will be part of hte vDS and also manage the VMKernel interfaces that will be connected to the physical adapters. You can also migrate the existing networking to new vDS here.

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Now, assign the physical nics to the uplinks, in my case i have assigned nics 4 and 5 to the uplinks and once done you should screen as below. Now, to push the settings to all other hosts, just click on the Apply to all on the bottom section. Hit Next.

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On the Next screen, you can either select the existing VMkernel adapters or create New Adapter by selecting the green + on top.

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Now select the existing  network and Browse for the vMotion port group we created earlier. Select the port group and hit Ok.

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Now enable the check box for vMotion traffic.

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Enter the IP settings on the next screen, click Next. Review the settings and hit Finish.

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Observe the new VMkernel interface we created, it should be associated with the port group and switch as below. Click on the Apply to all to push the settings to other hosts as well. Click Next.

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You will now be asked to enter the IP details for the remaining hosts. Enter the IP details separated by comma. Click Ok.1

vDS wizard is intelligent enough to analyze the impact of the vDS switch creation and migration on the existing network. Click Next. Review the settings and hit Finish.

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Refresh the Network configuration on the web client to view the vDS Topology.

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That’s it. We now have vDS ready to be used.

Hope this was informative. Thanks!

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