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I am looking for some recommendations on the network design for my ha-ft and all-flash-vsan-enabled vsphere cluster.

I've planed around vsphere a bit, but newbie to vsan and ha/ft. I've Googled and searched here on StackExchange, but I just can't get my head around where to start for my network design.

To all the vsphere experts out there, if you could offer some guidance/starting point, that would be much appreciated.

My all-flash VSAN will be configured for RAID5.

Hosts: 4x identical ESXI hosts each with:

  • 1x Intel E5-2620v4 CPU
  • 64GB RAM (2x 32GB DDR4-2133MHz ECC RAM)
  • 1x 200GB Intel DC S3700 Enterprise SATA SSD for cache
  • 2x 480GB Micron 5100 Pro Enterprise SATA SSDs for capacity
  • Onboard NIC with 4x 1GBe ports
  • Add-on NIC with 4x 10GBe ports (Intel X710 on PCIe 3.0/x8)

Switches:

  • 2x 16ports 10GBe L2 Switches dedicated to vsphere traffic(ubiquiti es-16-xg)
  • 1x 24ports 1GBe L3 Switch for general traffic (Aruba 2540 24G PoE+)
  • 1x 24ports 1GBe L2 Swtich for general traffic (HPE 1820-24G)

What's troubling me is how to design based on my exact environment, specifically:

  • allocation of NICs (virtual and physical) between VSAN, FT-logging, vMotion etc traffic
  • dedicated NIC or shared
  • multi-NIC vMotion? (i read somewhere this is not required as i have 10GBe NICs)
  • should i use teaming (route based teaming)?
  • vss / dvs / dvPortGroup allocation

I know there are official VMware guides, and many many blogs which have recommended configurations. However, I'm hoping to leverage everyone's knowledge on how best to configure the network given I have 4x1GBe+4x10GBe per host.

Any help would be much appreciated, thanks!

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In my mind you should be using 2 x 10GbE per host and Distributed vSwitches with balancing across port groups or LACP (if your switches support virtual stacking or MLAG).

I know vSAN comes with distributed switch licensing, but is this an Enterprise Plus setup? If so, you have the option of Network I/O control (NIOC) to define shares/prioritization of the port group resources.

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  • Thanks @ewwhite! yes, i'm using the enterprise plus setup so will play around with the NIOC you mentioned. All my switches are managed so I can setup LACP, but do you recommend LACP at the hardware switch over the port group config at the vDS? Also, i feel it's a bit of a waste for the remaining unused NIC ports as your recommended 2x 10GBe (meaning i have leftover 2x10GBe and 4x1GBe), what would your recommendation be on utilising all available ports on the physical NICs? – Arthur Feb 1 '18 at 14:29
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    Oh, I guess you could use 4x10Gbe. LACP in vDS requires LACP enabled on the physical switch. – ewwhite Feb 1 '18 at 14:34
  • got it. so if i understand correctly, basically just team 4x10GBe as one link, and then use the vDS to do fine-grained configuration for traffic shares (as opposed to having many vDS each with one 10GBe link and putting each different type of vSphere traffic on each vDS). Is this correct? thanks. – Arthur Feb 1 '18 at 15:36
  • Yeah, that's what I do. – ewwhite Feb 1 '18 at 15:45
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    Seconded. Follow the guide configuring networking. vmware.com/files/pdf/products/vsan/… – Mr. Raspberry Feb 8 '18 at 22:35

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