Link aggregation for specific VxRail networks is supported starting with VxRail version 7.0.130. NIC teaming in VxRail is the foundation for supporting link aggregation, which is the bundling of two physical network links to form a single logical channel. Link aggregation allows ports on a VxRail node to peer with a matching pair of ports on the top-of-rack switches to support load-balancing and optimize network traffic distribution across the physical ports. VxRail networks with heavy resource requirements, such as vSAN and potentially vMotion, benefit most from network traffic optimization.
Figure 35. Overview of LAG peering relationship between VxRail and the adjacent switches
Each VxRail network is assigned two uplinks by default during the initial implementation operation. One uplink is designated as ‘active’, and the other uplink as ‘standby’. Under this model, resource-intensive networks are limited to the bandwidth of a single uplink. Enabling link aggregation allows the VxRail network to use the bandwidth of both uplinks, with the traffic flow coordinated based on the load-balancing hash algorithm.
The following guidelines must be followed when using NIC teaming and link aggregation with VxRail:
- The VxRail cluster must be running version 7.0.130 to enable NIC teaming and support link aggregation.
- Link aggregation is not supported on the VxRail management networks. These networks have low-bandwidth requirements, and load-balancing would offer minimal benefit.
- The virtual distributed switch that is integrated into the VxRail cluster supports LACP.
- If the switches that support the VxRail cluster support LACP, dynamic link aggregation can be configured on the VxRail networks.
- If LACP is not supported on the switches, static link aggregation can be configured on the VxRail networks.
- LACP is more favorable because it offers support for more load-balancing hashing algorithms and better management capabilities.
- To enable NIC teaming and link aggregation during the VxRail initial build process:
- You must supply a compatible vCenter instance to serve as the target for the VxRail cluster.
- You must supply a compatible and preconfigured virtual distributed switch to support the VxRail networking requirements.
- Link aggregation and load-balancing are preconfigured on the virtual distributed switch.
- NIC teaming and link aggregation can be configured on the VxRail-supplied virtual distributed switch after the VxRail cluster build is complete.
- If the target version for your VxRail cluster being delivered is earlier than 7.0.130, the cluster can be upgraded after the build operation is complete.
- See Enabling link aggregation for load-balancing for details on configuring link aggregation after VxRail initial implementation.
- Four Ethernet ports per node must be reserved for VxRail networking.
- Can be a mixture of NDC and PCIe Ethernet ports
- All NDC-based or all PCIe-based Ethernet ports are also supported.
- Two ports are reserved for the VxRail management networks. NIC teaming is not supported on this port pair.
- Two ports are reserved for the VxRail non-management networks (vSAN/vMotion). NIC teaming is supported on this port pair.
- All ports configured for link aggregation must be running at the same speed.