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Port Channel and IBM Blade Centers

Level 1
Level 1

Hi all,

I am looking to deploy the Nexus 1000v to our ESX hosts, but I have a question about port channels in our environment.

Our configuration:

vSphere 4.1

IBM Blade Center H

HS22 Blades (1 GB connection to each CISCO module)

CISCO Catalyst Switch Module for IBM BladeCenter - 4 modules per blade center

Up stream CISCO 6513, multiple GB line cards

Each switch module has 4 GB connections to the CISCO 6513 and is configured a LACP port-channel with the ports connected to different line cards in the 6513.  Therefore each Blade Center has 4 port-channels connecting to the 6513.

On the ESX host, I currently have the standard VMWare vSwitch configuration:

vSwitch0 - vmnic0 - vMotion and Management

vSwitch1 - vmnic1/2/3 - VMs (multiple vLANs), FT and redundant Management

vSwitch1 is configured with 3 vLANs and Port Groups

With vSwitch1, I am aggregating the 3 GB connections for bandwidth/redundancy.

Reading the getting started guide for 1000v, Release 4.2(1) SV1(4), I read where:


The server administrator should not assign more than one uplink on the same VLAN without port channels.  Assigning more than one uplink on the same host is not supported for the following:

- A profile without port channels

- Port profiles that share one or more vLANs


With my hardware there is no way to establish a port channel from the ESX host to the CISCO Catalyst Switch Module when I only have the one link to each module.

Does the above entry in the guide mean that I will not be able to aggregate the 3 GB connections to maximize bandwidth and provide redundancy?


8 Replies 8

Robert Burns
Cisco Employee
Cisco Employee


You defiantely can aggregate your traffic with your hardware.  What this is saying, is that if you use multiple uplink port profiles on the 1000v you can't use the same VLAN accross different uplink port profiles.  The 1000v wouldn't know "how" to choose an uplink in this respect, so follow that rule.   Here's how it would look.

1000v Side

Uplink Port Profile 1 - Management Uplink


Vlans Allowed: VMotion & Managment

Channeling Method: Mac Pinning

Uplink Port Profile 2 - VM Uplink


Vlans Allowed: All vlans - excluding VMotion & Managment

Channleing Method: Static PC (mode on) or LACP (mode active)

3120 Chassis Blade Switch Side

vmnics0's - Just configured as trunk with Port Fast enable allowing only VMotion & Management VLANs

vmnics1/2/3's - Each host should have these NICs configured in a static (mode on) or LACP (mode active) channel group with Portfast enabled allowing all vlans - excluding VMotion & Managment.

With Port Channeling its imparrative that you match both sides match (either both static or using LACP).

This would give you the aggregated 3GB connection between the 1000v and 3120 blade switch stack.  As for the 4 uplinks between the 3120 -> 6513, you could also channel your interconnection here also with LACP or static PCs.

Let me know if you have any quesitons.