- The Ethernet ports selected during the VxRail initialization process to support VxRail cluster networking are reserved exclusively for VxRail usage and cannot be migrated or used for other purposes.
- The Ethernet ports on the optional PCIe adapter cards can be reserved for VxRail cluster usage if running version 7.0.010 or later.
- If the VxRail cluster is deployed against a customer-supplied virtual distributed switch, PCIe-based ports can be configured to support VxRail network traffic during the initial build operation.
- If the VxRail cluster is not deployed against a customer-supplied virtual distributed switch, configuring PCIe-based ports to support VxRail network traffic is performed after the initial build process is completed.
- Any unused Ethernet ports on the nodes that are not reserved by the VxRail cluster can be used for other purposes, such as guest networks, NFS, etc.
- For VxRail nodes supplied with 10 GbE ports, the VxRail cluster can be configured with either two ports or four ports to support VxRail network traffic.
- For VxRail nodes supplied with 1 GbE ports, all four ports must be reserved for VxRail network traffic.
- All-flash VxRail models must use either 10 GbE or 25 GbE NICs. 1 GbE is not supported for all-flash.
- The network hardware configuration in a VxRail cluster must have the same Ethernet port types across all VxRail nodes.
- VxRail nodes with RJ45 and SFP+ ports cannot be mixed in the same VxRail cluster.
- The port speed for each VxRail node (25 GbE, 10 GbE, 1 GbE) must be the same in the VxRail cluster.
- One additional port on the switch or one logical path on the VxRail external management VLAN is required for a workstation or laptop to access the VxRail user interface for the cluster.
Various network topologies for switch(es) and VLANs are possible with VxRail Appliances. Complex production environments will have multiple core switches and VLANs. A site diagram showing the proposed network components and connectivity is highly recommended before cabling and powering on VxRail Appliances.
Be sure to follow your switch vendor’s best practices for performance and availability. For example, packet buffer banks may provide a way to optimize your network with your wiring layout.
Decide if you plan to use one or two switches for VxRail. One switch is acceptable and is often seen in test and development environments. To support high availability and failover in production environments, two or more switches are required. The VxRail appliance is a software-defined data center which is totally dependent on the physical top-of-rack switch for network communications. A lack of network redundancy places you at risk of losing availability to all of the virtual machines operating on the appliance.
The following figure shows the recommended physical network setup using a management switch (for iDRAC) and two ToR switches. Other network setup examples can be found in Appendix F: Physical Network Switch Examples.
Figure 8. Network topology of a 4-node VxRail cluster in a single rack connected to two 10 GbE switches using 2x10GbE connections per node, and a separate switch for out-of-band management.
Note: For 13th generation PowerEdge servers in the E, P, S, and V series VxRail Appliances using 1 GbE with two switches, the switches must be interconnected.