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Field Notice 70545
Kevin Williamson

VMWare Design Questions

I'm in process of replacing our UCS gear that we bought years ago 6140XPs, B200M2s and we are replacing them with 6248s with C240M4s(View) and B200M3s that were used for View and will be retasked for Servers.  As you can tell, we have been on UCS since 1.4 code about 4 or so years ago and VMWare shop for 10 years.

We are running this under UCS Manager 2.2(7b).  We are currently on ESXi 5.5 and plan on upgrading to ESXi 6.0 running View 6.1 and Vsphere 6.0

My real question is about network design.  I currently have 6 nics currently in the profile.  A&B path for managment and vmotion,  A&B path for inside networks,A&B path for DMZ networks.  We have about 30 VLANs defined in our UCS environment.  This goes northbound to Cisco VSS 6506 a cable from each interconnect to each of the northbound network gear. Our storage is FC channel attached VMAX to the Cisco MDS 9148 switches.

Do you guys think we have too many virtual nics in our design?  We are using standard vswitches in our vmware environment.



I prefer more virtual NICs so I can QOS on the UCS if need be. 

My setup (B200m3 and m4, 6248 FIs with VPC up to a nexus 5548) has multiple disjoint layer 2 networks coming in.  Each esxi host has a management vNIC pair that only carries the VMware management network traffic. Then we have a vMotion pair. Then each disjoint layer 2 network gets a pair. I think right now my ESXi blades have 6 pairs of vNICs on them.  I would personally recommend splitting vMotion traffic onto its own pair of vNICs.  That gives you more flexibility to QOS if you really need to down the road.  I say this with the caveat that I don't use NIOC on the DVS  

Theres no harm in having more vNICs. Make sure when you get to the 13xx VIC you search the forum here for my post on PCI Admin Host Port settings as it will burn you once you get this many vNICs. It's not an issue, just architecture thing you must be aware of. 

Sorry for long delay on response, Didn't get notification that you responded.

In our production one, I was doing disjoint networks when had our hospital networks on there, but that need will be gone our new one, so I won't need disjoint.  The networks I will receive on the new environment will still come down the same trunk.   We are using VMotion and Management on the same VLAN and same vNIC.  We just got Enterprise plus licensing because of VMware is going to do away with Enterprise.  Our network guys don't want to do any QoS.

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