VxRail enforces a predefined network profile during initial implementation depending on the number of ports selected for VxRail networking, and the type of network ports. Starting with version 7.0.130, you can choose between a predefined network profile or choose to customize the network topology.
These diagrams show different options for physical wiring between VxRail nodes and the adjacent, top-of-rack switches, depending on your port selections. They are provided as illustrative examples to help with the planning and design process. All VxRail nodes are manufactured with Ethernet ports built into the NDC. Optional PCIe adapter cards can be installed in the VxRail nodes to provide additional Ethernet ports for redundancy and increased bandwidth.
If additional Ethernet connectivity is required to support other use cases outside of VxRail networking, additional slots on the VxRail nodes must be reserved for PCIe adapter cards. If this is a current requirement or potential future requirement, be sure to select a VxRail node model with sufficient PCIe slots to accommodate the additional adapter cards.
VxRail selects the two ports on the NDC to support VxRail networking. If the NDC on the VxRail nodes is shipped with four Ethernet ports, the two leftmost ports are selected. If you choose to use only two Ethernet ports, the remaining ports can be used for other use cases. This connectivity option is the simplest to deploy. It is suitable for smaller, less demanding workloads that can tolerate the NDC as a potential single point of failure.
VxRail selects all four ports on the NDC to support VxRail networking. If you are deploying VxRail with 1gb Ethernet ports, you must connect four Ethernet ports to support VxRail networking.
In this option, two NDC ports and two ports on the PCIe card in the first slot are selected for VxRail networking. The network profile splits the VxRail networking workload between the NDC ports and the two switches, and splits the workload on the PCIe-based ports between the two switches. This option ensures against the loss of service with a failure at the switch level, but also with a failure in either the NDC or PCIe adapter card.
In this option, two NDC ports and two ports on the PCIe card in the first slot are selected for VxRail networking. This option offers the same benefits as the 2x10gb NDC and 2x10gb PCIe deployment option, except for additional bandwidth available to support the workload on the VxRail cluster.
Note: The cabling for the 25gb option with NDC ports and PCIe ports differs from the 10gb option. The second port on the PCIe adapter cards is paired with the first port on the NDC on the first switch, and the first port on the PCIe adapter is paired with the second port on the NDC on the second switch. This is to ensure balancing of the VxRail networks between the switches in the event of a failure at the network port layer.
This is an example of an optional cabling setup for 2 NDC ports and 2 PCIe ports. Any NDC port and any PCIe port can be selected so long as the ports are of the same type and are running at the same speed.
With the custom option, there is no restriction that the ports selected for VxRail networking reside on the PCIe adapter card in the first slot.
In this outlier use case where there is a specific business or operational requirement, VxRail can be deployed using only the ports on PCIe adapter cards, so long as the ports are of the same type and are running at the same speed.
This option supports spreading the VxRail networking across ports on more than one PCIe adapter card.
VxRail is most commonly deployed with 2 or 4 ports. For more network-intense workload requirements, VxRail can be deployed with 6 or even 8 network ports. This option supports spreading the VxRail networking between NDC ports and PCIe ports, and between ports on two different PCIe adapter cards.
In this topology, resource-intense workloads such as vSAN and vMotion can each have a dedicated Ethernet port instead of shared Ethernet ports. This prevents the possibility of saturation of shared Ethernet port resources.
For workload use cases with extreme availability, scalability, and performance requirements, four TOR switches can be positioned to support VxRail networking. In this example, each Ethernet port is connected to a single TOR switch. Each pair of top-of-rack switches is logically connected using inter-switch links.
This topology also addresses the use case of physical network separation to meet specific security policies or governance requirements. For instance, the networks required for VxRail management and operations can be isolated on one pair of switches, while network traffic for guest user and application access can be targeted on the other pair of switches.