Posted by Alex Samoylenko on December 18, 2018
VMware vSphere 6.7 Network I/O Control – getting under the hood

Generally, Network I/O Control (NIOC), a traffic-specific vSphere Distributed Switch (vDS) mechanism of network bandwidth regulation, is not common knowledge for VMware vSphere administrators. Probably, the reason is that NIOC is a vSphere Enterprise Plus feature. This means that many users, basically, do not have a chance to try it out as this license is quite expensive. Anyway, I believe it is good to know about NIOC. Being introduced in vSphere 4.1, back in 2010, this technology was something like a real breakthrough. NIOC appeared when 10G networking was becoming increasingly prevalent. It became clear that thanks to high network throughput you can go with fewer network adapters in ESXi hosts. On the other hand, having such a broad channel often faced users with another challenge: distributing the massive network bandwidth between various traffic types.

Learn More

Posted by Boris Yurchenko on June 12, 2018
Basic Hyper-V virtual NIC management

Let’s be honest, any system administrator may face the need of hot-adding the network interfaces to the guest VMs in his Microsoft Hyper-V environment one day. And that’s no problem as Windows Server 2016 brought in a whole set of useful features, one of which is the ability to add and remove network adapters on the running VMs. Moreover, you can do that in two ways – GUI, if you’re looking for a straightforward process and PowerShell if you are a fan of automation.

Learn More

Posted by Didier Van Hoye on October 12, 2017
SMB Direct in a Windows Server 2016 Virtual Machine Experiment

Ever since Windows Server 2012 we have SMB Direct capabilities in the OS and Windows Server 2012 R2 added more use cases such as live migration for example. In Windows Server 2016, even more, workloads leverage SMB Direct, such as S2D and Storage Replication. SMB Direct leverages the RDMA capabilities of a NIC which delivers high throughput at low latency combined with CPU offloading to the NIC. The latter save CPU cycles for the other workloads on the hosts such as virtual machines.

Learn More

Posted by Didier Van Hoye on September 27, 2017
The importance of IeeePriorityTag with converged RDMA Switch Embedded Teaming

If you read my blog on Switch Embedded Teaming with RDMA (for SMB Direct) you’ll notice that I set the -IeeePriorityTag to “On” on the vNICs that use DCB for QoS. This requires some explanation. When you configure a Switch Embedded Teaming (SET) vSwitch and define one or more management OS vNICs on which you enable RDMA you will see that the SMB Direct traffic gets it priority tag set correctly. This always happens no matter what you set the -IeeePriorityTag option to. On or Off, it doesn’t make a difference. It works out of the box.

Learn More

Posted by Didier Van Hoye on September 20, 2017
Forcing the affinity of a virtual NIC to a physical NIC with a SET vSwitch via Set-VMNetworkAdapterTeamMapping

Window Server 2016 Hyper-V brought us Switch Embedded teaming (SET). That’s the way forward when it comes to converged networking and Software-Defined Networking with the network controller and network virtualization.  It also allows for the use of RDMA on a management OS virtual NIC (vNIC). One of the capabilities within SET is affinitizing a vNIC to a particular team member, that is a physical NIC (pNIC). This isn’t a hard requirement for SET to work properly but it helps in certain scenarios. With a vNIC we mean either a management OS vNIC or a virtual machine vNIC actually, affinitizing can be done for both. The main use case and focus here and in real life is in the management OS vNICs we use for SMB Direct traffic.

Learn More

Posted by Thorsten Windrath on March 22, 2017
Hyper-V Networking 101. Part 1: NICs and Switches

There are lots of posts regarding Hyper-V networking. But there doesn’t seem to be a single compiled and up to date guide covering fundamentals and some advanced topics alike. This article aims to fill that gap, without a wall of text but a few easy to understand diagrams, tables, and PowerShell snippets. We will take a look at Hyper-V’s basic networking concept, NIC teaming (Network Interface Card) and different approaches to let VMs (Virtual Machines) talk to specific VLANs or even VLAN trunks. The first article in the Hyper-V Networking 101 series will cover everything you need to know about virtual switches and NICs. The last post is planned as a real-world example: A way to implement a secure Wi-Fi (and/or wired) guest network on top of a virtual firewall.

Learn More

Posted by Gary Williams on January 11, 2017
Exploring VMWare’s VPID Technology

I’ve been using VMWare’s VPID (Virtual Port ID) technology for some time now both in work and in the home lab but I was curious to see just how VMWare handled a NIC going down and then coming back up and it turned out to be a lot more powerful and smooth than I first thought.

Learn More

Posted by Charbel Nemnom on August 5, 2016
How to Deploy Switch Embedded Teaming (SET) Using SCVMM 2016?

Windows Server 2016 - Switch Embedded Teaming with RDMA       Windows Server 2016 – Switch Embedded Teaming with RDMA [image credit: Microsoft]

Introduction

With the release of Windows Server 2016, Microsoft is introducing a new type of teaming approach called Switch Embedded Teaming (SET) which is a virtualization aware, how is that different from NIC Teaming (LBFO), the first part it is embedded into the Hyper-V virtual switch, that means a couple of things, the first one you don’t have any team interfaces anymore, you won’t be able to build anything extra on top of it, you can’t set property on the team because it’s part of the virtual switch, you set all the properties directly on the vSwitch. This is targeted to support Software Defined Networking (SDN) switch capabilities, it’s not a general purpose use everywhere teaming solution that NIC Teaming was intended to be. So this is specifically integrated with Packet Direct, Converged RDMA vNIC and SDN-QoS. It’s only supported when using the SDN-Extension.

Learn More