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Load balancing does not work with NIC Teaming on ESX 4.0 update 2

amitgupta12
4,068 Views

Environment :

ESX 4.0 udpate 2

FAS 3140

Nortel Switches

We have teamed 4 NIC as part of a vSwitch on the ESX and configured for "IP Hash" as the Load balancing policy

On the Nortel side these 4 ports have been aggregated together using LACP.

NetApp is also using LACP

During testing, we have found that traffic from the VMware host to the Nortel switch is only using 1 of the 4 configured ports. If we turn that interface off, all the traffic flows through another interface ( but only 1 interface is used).. What should be done to enable Load Balancing between the NICs that have been teamed together.. Any suggestions ?

Thanks

Amit

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

forgette
4,068 Views

Let's say you have 192.168.0.201 configured as the ip for svifa.  It might look something like this:

ifconfig svifa 192.168.0.201 netmask 255.255.255.0 up


You can then add some additional ip addresses like this:

ifconfig svifa alias 192.168.0.202
ifconfig svifa alias 192.168.0.203

ifconfig svifa alias 192.168.0.204

When VSC provisions a new datastores, it will mount them like this:

192.168.0.201:/vol/newDatastoreA

192.168.0.202:/vol/newDatastoreB

192.168.0.203:/vol/newDatastoreC

192.168.0.204:/vol/newDatastoreD

If you start a VM on newDatastoreA and one on newDatastoreB, you should see ESX using 2 different ethernet interfaces.

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9 REPLIES 9

forgette
4,068 Views

Hi Amit,

Please take a look at TR 3749 NetApp and VMware vSphere Storage Best Practices. It deals with the exact issue you are experiencing.

Cheers,

-Eric

amitgupta12
4,068 Views

Thanks Eric.. I did use the recommendations outlined in TR 3749 when designing the environment but appears that something is still missing.

The traffic should be going over multiple NICs ( that are teamed together in the vswitch ) but that is not happening. Only one NIC is being used.

Thanks

forgette
4,068 Views

In order for ESX to take advantage of the “Route based on IP hash” in the Load-balancing policy, you'll need multiple IP address (aliases) on the VIF on the controller.  If you want traffic over all 4 ports, you'll need 4 datastores each mounted using a different ip address (alias on the vif).  If you use RCU or the provisioning plug-in in VSC 2.0 this balancing happens automatically for you (as long as the aliases are on the vif).

4,068 Views

Thanks Again Eric..

The way I have got my Storage Controllers configured is :

(output from /etc/rc )

...

...

vif create single vifa e0a e0b

vif create lacp vifb -b ip e4a e4c

vif create lacp vifc -b ip e4b e4d

vif create single svifa vifb vifc

....

....

The IP is configured for the svifa and I do not have any aliases configured.

I am however using VSC 2.0 for provisioning...

Thanks

forgette
4,069 Views

Let's say you have 192.168.0.201 configured as the ip for svifa.  It might look something like this:

ifconfig svifa 192.168.0.201 netmask 255.255.255.0 up


You can then add some additional ip addresses like this:

ifconfig svifa alias 192.168.0.202
ifconfig svifa alias 192.168.0.203

ifconfig svifa alias 192.168.0.204

When VSC provisions a new datastores, it will mount them like this:

192.168.0.201:/vol/newDatastoreA

192.168.0.202:/vol/newDatastoreB

192.168.0.203:/vol/newDatastoreC

192.168.0.204:/vol/newDatastoreD

If you start a VM on newDatastoreA and one on newDatastoreB, you should see ESX using 2 different ethernet interfaces.

4,068 Views

Did configure an alias for the svifa. Mounted a datastore from this new IP... Still the traffic is going over just one NIC on the Vmware side....

Amit

peterl
4,068 Views

Your rc file says svifa is single-mode.  That's part of the problem - only one NIC will be active at a time on the NetApp side.  That, and your general problem leads me to the next thing:

Are your switches and the ports on the ESX and filer side configured for some stacking technology that allows link aggregation using active ports on both switches?  I believe Nortel calls this SMLT or DMLT depending on the switch family/model.

Peter

amitgupta12
4,068 Views

The svif is made up of vibc and vifb each of which have 2 active interfaces...

But anyhow Eric's solution worked. We just had to remount the NFS datastores using the alias IP

Thanks

Amit

deannamcneil
4,068 Views

I did have a question for Eric: Does the load balancing address assignments get lopsided over time or does it seem to work out? I am worried that the math "starts over" every time I open an instance of vSphere and will get too many address assignments on one single address. Thanks!

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