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understanding virtual nic

We just purchased a FA2040 and I am trying to undertstand the virutal to physical NICs.

This is all new to me so I apologize for any "duh" information.

the until has 16 physical network ports (2 sets of eight).

Can I assign a physical port to be used by a virtual nic?

Do I have to have both the top and bottom network cable in a active switch to have a connection on the virtual nic?

Example.  I want to have 1 virtual nic setup on a 75 subnet for manangement and another virutal nic setup on an 80 subnet for connection to servers.

Thank you

Re: understanding virtual nic

You can think of it like this.

A Physical NIC is just a road, path, highway.

A Virtual NIC will be set to a specific lane on said road, path, highway.  That Lane is a VLAN.

A Virtual NIC uses 2 roads, paths, lanes.  So e0a and e0b are physical ports. vif1 will drive on both e0a and e0b because vif1 is a virtual NIC that always represents a specific VLAN.

Just so happens that you can have many many lanes. e0a is physical e0b is physical  but the virutal NIC vif1 uses both e0a and e0b on lane VLAN 74 (74 just pulled from thin air)

Hope that helps a bit.

Re: understanding virtual nic

Welcome to NetApp Communities !

The 2040 only has only so many ports.

A virtual NIC, or VIF, is 802.3ad link aggregation - also refered to as 'ether channel'.

You'd need to configure switch ports to support this.

There's also the concept of VLANs, or 'trunking' port groups that you can implement on virtual or physical interfaces.

You can read the 'Networking Guide' in your Data ONTAP docs for more information.

See also - the 'vif' command and the 'vlan' command.

Also - the 2040 controlers have the remote management ports available for management traffic ...

You mention top/bottom ports. On the 2040 those are seperate controllers.

There is the Installation Guide for the 2040:

https://now.netapp.com/NOW/knowledge/docs/hardware/filer/210-04471+B0.pdf

I hope this response has been helpful to you.

At your service,


Eugene E. Kashpureff
ekashp@kashpureff.org
Fastlane NetApp Instructor and Independent Consultant
http://www.fastlaneus.com/ http://www.linkedin.com/in/eugenekashpureff

(P.S. I appreciate points for helpful or correct answers.)

Re: understanding virtual nic

Eugene,


Technically it's LACP (802.3ad like you said) and not EtherChannel.  EtherChannel is the Cisco proprietary blend.  NetApp does not support EtherChannel to my knowledge.  Among network engineers when you use the term EtherChannel we hear PAgP not LACP.  If a NetApp administrator asked a network engineer to configure EtherChannel you would probably have a broken segment.

To the original poster:

Can I assign a physical port to be used by a virtual nic? Yes

Do I have to have both the top and bottom network cable in a active switch to have a connection on the virtual nic? No

Example.  I want to have 1 virtual nic setup on a 75 subnet for manangement and another virutal nic setup on an 80 subnet for connection to servers.

To do this requires dedicated NIC's for each interface (for each subnet really).  A virtual NIC is not what you are thinking.  You are thinking of a sub-interface that is not physical (or an SVI which is an IP assigned to a VLAN interface on a switch, which NetApp does not do).  There is a huge difference here.  What the VIF is doing in NetApp is aggregating multiple physical interfaces in to one single larger "virtual" interface.  It adds both redundancy and bandwidth.  This is why you can have 2 NIC's members of a VIF and only 1 plugged in.  VIF is a layer 2 technology.  You can still only apply a single layer 3 address to a VIF.  VIF is not the aggregation of layer 3 links (per se, although it can do load balancing based on IP so it's layer 3 aware).  And when I say load balancing on IP I mean source and destination IP, not the IP assigned to the interface....

There is never a dumb question.  We all learned this stuff at some point.

Good luck,

John