Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Converged Fabric

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on RedditEmail this to someone

Windows Server 2012 RC Logo

In Windows Server 2008 R2 we had some really simple configurations and best practices for Hyper-V and network configurations. The problem with this was, that this configurations were not really flexible. This had two main reasons, first NIC teaming wasn’t officially supported by Microsoft and secondly there was no possibility to create virtual network interfaces without third party solution.

Here is a example of a Hyper-V 2008 R2 host design which was used in a cluster setup.

Traditional Design

traditional Hyper-V Host

Each dedicated Hyper-V network such as CSV/Cluster communication or the Live Migration network used a own physical network interface. The different network interfaces could also be teamed with third party software from HP, Broadcom or Intel. This design is still a good design in Windows Server 2012 but there are other configurations which are a lot more flexible.

Microsoft MVP Adian Finn and Hans Vredevoort did a already some early work with Windows Server 2012 Converged Fabric and you should definitely read their blog posts.

In Windows Server 2012 you can get much more out of your network configuration. First of all NIC Teaming is now integrated and supported in Windows Server 2012 and another cool feature is the use of virtual network adapters in the Management OS (Host OS or Parent Partition). This allows you to create for example one of the following designs.

Virtual Switch and Dedicated Management Interfaces

Hyper-V Converged Fabric

This scenario has two teamed 10GbE adapter for Cluster and VM traffic.

Virtual Switch and Dedicated Teamed Management Interfaces

Hyper-V Converged Fabric

The same scenario with a teamed management interface.

Dedicated Virtual Switch for Management and VM Traffic

Hyper-V Converged Fabric

One Virtual Switch for Management and Cluster traffic and a dedicated switch for VM traffic.

One Virtual Switch for everything

Hyper-V Converged Fabric

This is may favorite design at the moment. Two 10GbE adapter as one team for Virtual Machine, Cluster traffic and management. It is a very flexible design and allows the two 10GbE adapters to be used very dynamic.

This design solutions will also be very interesting if you us SMB 3.0 as a storage for Hyper-V Virtual Machines.

FileServer and Hyper-V Cluster

 

There are at the moment not a lot of official information which designs will be unsupported and which will be supported. You can find some information about supported designs in the TechEd North America session WSV329 Architecting Private Clouds Using Windows Server 2012 by Yigal Edery and Joshua Adams.

Configuration

Now after you have seen these designs you may want to create such a configuration and want to know how you can do this. Not everything can be done via GUI you have to use your Windows PowerShell skills. In this scenario I use the design with four 10GbE network adapters 2 for iSCSI and to for my network connections.

  • Install the Hyper-V Role
  • Create NIC Teams
  • Create a Hyper-V Virtual Switch
  • Add new Virtual Network Adapters to the Management OS
  • Set VLANs of the Virtual Network Adapters
  • Set QoS Policies of the Virtual Network Adapters
  • Configure IP Addresses of the Virtual Network Adapters

Install Hyper-V Role

Before you can use the features of the Virtual Switch and can start create Virtual Network Adapters on the Management OS (Parent Partition) you have to install the Hyper-V role. You can do this via Server Manager or via Windows PowerShell.

Create NIC Teams

Now most of the time you will create a NIC Teaming for fault tolerance and load balancing. A team can be created over the Server Manager or PowerShell. Of course I prefer the Windows PowerShell. For a Team which will not only be used for Hyper-V Virtual Machines but also for Management OS traffic I use the TransportPorts as load balancing algorithm. If you use this team only for Virtual Machine traffic there is a algorithm called Hyper-V-Port. The Teaming Mode of course depends on your configuration.

NIC Teaming

 

Create the Virtual Switch

After the team is created you have to create a new Virtual Switch. We also define the DefaultFlowMinimumBandwidthWeight to be set to 20.

VM Switch

 

After you have created the Hyper-V Virtual Switch or VM Switch you will find this switch also in the Hyper-V Manager.

Hyper-V Virtual Switch

 Create Virtual Network Adapters for the Management OS

After you have created your Hyper-V Virtual Switch you can now start adding VM Network Adapters to this Virtual Switch. We also configure the VLAN ID and the QoS policy settings.

VMNetworkAdapter ManagementOS

 

Your new configuration will now look like this:

Network Connections

As you can see the name of the new Hyper-V Virtual Ethernet Adapter is vEthernet (NetworkAdapaterName). This will be important for automation tasks or configuring IP addresses via Windows PowerShell.

Set IP Addresses

Some months ago I wrote two blog posts, the first was how to configure you Hyper-V host network adapters like a boss and the second one was how to replace the netsh command with Windows PowerShell. Now using Windows PowerShell to configure IP addresses will save you a lot of time.

 

There is still a lot more about Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Converged Fabric in the future, but I hope this post will give you a quick insight into some new features of Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on RedditEmail this to someone