December 27, 2016
ESXi vMotion Network Configuration
Another very important network that needs to be configured when multiple ESXi servers are in a cluster configuration is the ESXi vMotion network (a concept we will discuss in our next post).
The ESXi vMotion Network Configuration enables live migration of running virtual machines from one ESXi host to another ESXi host. This allows for high availability of service for VMs running in the vSphere environment. This allows for moving VMs due to hardware maintenance, updates, or other service interruptions at the physical layer. VMs can simply be moved to another host with no interruption.
We have to have a Port group on a vSwitch that is enabled for vMotion in order to successfully vMotion a VM to another host. That host, of course, would need to have a vMotion network setup as well for the move to be successful.
The steps to configure the vMotion network are similar to configuring iSCSI storage networks, with a few subtle differences. Click on the Add Networking link in the upper right hand corner.
To create the vMotion vSwitch, we select VMkernel as the connection type.
Select the vmnics we want to assign to the vMotion vSwitch.
We name our first vMotion Port group. We will have one port group per vmnic that we are assigning to the vSwitch for vMotion. Also, note we are checking the box next to Use this port group for vMotion.
Next, we assign our IP Address settings.
We finish out our configuration of the first port group in the new vMotion vSwitch.
Add the second port group by viewing the properties of the vSwitch we created and click Add.
We select that we want to use this port group for vMotion. After that, we need to assign an IP address to this VMkernel configuration.
As we finish out, we see both port groups created.
Again, we need to go into the properties of both the vSwitch and the port groups and make the change to jumbo frames.
To enable multi-NIC vMotion so that even vMotioning 1 VM will utilize multiple links, Under the NIC Teaming tab in the properties of both our port groups we need to select Override switch failover order and move the second adapter to Standby Adapters. We do the opposite for our second port group.
As mentioned, the vMotion network is an important network configured on our ESXi host as it will allow multiple ESXi servers configured in a cluster to live migrate VMs between their compute resources. In creating the vMotion network, we utilized the VMkernel ports making sure we enabled jumbo frames, as well as setting our NIC teaming so that multiple network adapters would be utilized during the vMotion process. In the next post, we will take a look at the VM network.