Dell network switches support SmartFabric Services. SmartFabric Services enable the configuration and operation of the switches to be controlled outside of the standard management console through a REST API interface. Certain Dell switch models support initializing the switches with a SmartFabric personality profile, which forms a unified network fabric. The SmartFabric personality profile enables VxRail to become the source for the automated configuration and administration of the Dell switches.
In this profile setting, VxRail uses the SmartFabric feature to:
For ongoing VxRail cluster network management after initial deployment, the Dell Open Manage Network Interface (OMNI) vCenter plug-in is provided free of charge. The Dell OMNI plug-in enables the integration and orchestration of the physical and virtual networking components in the VxRail-SmartFabric HCI stack. It provides deep visibility from the vClient for ease of overall management and troubleshooting. The Dell OMNI plug-in serves as the centralized point of administration for SmartFabric-enabled networks in the data center. Its user interface eliminates the requirement to manage the switches individually at the console level.
Orchestrating SmartFabric Services with the VxRail cluster synchronizes state changes to the virtual network settings on the vCenter instance with the switch fabric using its REST API. You do not have to manually reconfigure the switches that are connected to the VxRail nodes when updates are made using the vClient. For example, a new VLAN, port group, or virtual switch.
The SmartFabric-enabled networking infrastructure can start as small as a pair of Dell Ethernet switches. It can expand to support a leaf-spine topology across multiple racks. A VXLAN-based tunnel is automatically configured across the leaf and spine switches. This tunnel enables the VxRail nodes to be discovered and absorbed into a VxRail cluster from any rack within the switch fabric.
Planning for VxRail with the Dell SmartFabric networking feature must be done in coordination with Dell Technologies representatives to ensure a successful deployment. The planned infrastructure must be a supported configuration as outlined in the .
Using the Dell SmartFabric feature with VxRail requires an understanding of several key points:
For more information about how to plan and prepare for a deployment of VxRail clusters on a SmartFabric-enabled network, see the . For more information about the deployment process of a VxRail cluster on a SmartFabric-enabled network, see .