Tag: Teaming

Hyper-V Converged Fabric with System Center 2012 SP1 – Virtual Machine Manager

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This blog post is a part of a series of blog posts about System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager, I am writing together with Michel Luescher (Consultant from Microsoft Switzerland).

Hyper-V Converged Fabric

Last year I already wrote a blog post about Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Converged Fabric or Converged Networking. Hyper-V Converged Fabric in a simple way allows you to use network adapters for different type of traffic. In Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V we didn’t really had this capabilities because the network teaming relied on 3rd party software and Hyper-V itself didn’t offered a mature QoS solution. In other words, we had to go with what I now would call a traditional Hyper-V host design.

Traditional Design

traditional Hyper-V host

Each dedicated Hyper-V network such as CSV communication or the Live Migration network used an own dedicated physical network interface. These different network interfaces could also be teamed with third party software, example with the 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.

In Windows Server 2012 you can get much more out of your network configuration. First of all NIC Teaming is now integrated and therefor out-of-the-box supported in Windows Server 2012. Another cool feature is the use of virtual network adapters in the Management OS (a.k.a. Parent Partition). This allows you to create a Hyper-V Hosts with all the necessary networks (Management, Live Migration, Cluster,…) by teaming just two or more physical adapters for a virtual switch and then create the additional virtual network adapters (vNICs) for the Hyper-V Management OS.



Basic Hyper-V Networking in System Center 2012 SP1 – Virtual Machine Manager

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This blog post is a part of a series of blog posts about System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager, I am writing together with Michel Luescher (Consultant from Microsoft Switzerland).

In January Microsoft released the Service Pack 1 for System Center 2012. This was more close to a full featured release rather than just a normal maintenance Service Pack with just small changes and bug fixes. The main purpose of System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 is to support Windows Server 2012. But in the special case of Virtual Machine Manager there are also a lot of new features and improvements. One of the biggest investments Microsoft made with SP1 was the Network Management.

Besides the integration of Network Virtualization which came with Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V a new concept call “Logical Switch” has been introduced. These Logical Switches allow you to configure the Virtual Switch and other network components of Hyper-V hosts directly and centralized from Virtual Machine Manager.

Network Definitions

Logical Networks – Logical Networks represents basically the network infrastructure you have already in your environment. For example this can be a subnet for a specific server or even a storage network. In System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager without Service Pack 1 you connected a virtual machine to a Logical Network to connect it to the specific subnet. In Service Pack 1 the concept has been extended with  VM Networks.

Virtual Machine Manager Logical Network Overview

Network sites – Network sites are added to an Logical Network to associate VLANs and subnets to host groups, which are representing the different locations. For example the “CorpNET” network on “Site A” has a different VLAN or subnet than “Site B” uses for the same network. When deploying a new virtual machine to the “CorpNET” network, Virtual Machine Manager automatically detects the right subnet and also adds (if required) the VLAN ID to the specific virtual machines network adapter.

Logical Network

IP Pools – IP Pools are just a pool of IP addresses which can be used to automatically let Virtual Machine Manager to assign static IP addresses from the selected subnet (example CorpNET) to a virtual machine or a physical Hyper-V host. An IP Pool includes also the information about Gateway or DNS Serves which are automatically used for the network adapter configuration.

IP Pool

VM Networks – VM Networks are defined by logical networks and virtual machines are now connected to VM Networks. This is done because of the new Network Virtualization feature in Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V. With this technology multiple VM networks can run on a single logical network.

SCVMM 2012 SP1 Networking 01

As already mentioned the Logical Network is mapped to a VM Network. This mapping is done because with the new Hyper-V Network Virtualization feature you can run multiple VM Networks on a single Logical network.

SCVMM 2012 SP1 Networking

Extended Virtual Switch

Logical Switch – The new Logical Switch is the main part of the new concept Microsoft introduced in System Center 2012 SP1 Virtual Machine Manager. A Logical Switch combines the different configuration objects used to create a new Hyper-V Virtual Switch in your environment, as for example Virtual Switch Extensions, Uplink Port Profiles and Virtual Adapter Port Profiles mapped to Port Classifications.

Native Virtual Adapter Port Profile – The Virtual Adapter Port Profiles define Virtual network adapter definitions like QoS settings, security settings like router or DHCP guard and performance settings like SR-IOV, IPsec task offloading or Virtual Machine Queue (VMQ). The Virtual Adapter Port Profile settings are not just for Virtual Machines they are also used for Virtual Network Adapters (vNIC) attached to the Hyper-V Management OS in a Converged Network setup.

Native Uplink Port Profile – The Uplink Port Profile sets the definition for the physical adapter like which logical networks are available on these physical adapters, the configuration of the LBFO and if Network Virtualization is being used.

Port Classifications – Port Classifications are mapping with Virtual Adapter Port Profiles based on the logical switch the virtual machine runs on. If a Virtual Machine is moved to a Hyper-V hosts with a different logical switch, the port classification links in the background which Virtual Adapter Port Profile has to be used

Port Classification

How this works together

The Logical Switch defines a Virtual Switch with Extensions

SCVMM 2012 SP1 Logical Switch

The Logical Switch has Native Uplink Port Profiles which add information about the Teaming Configuration, which Logical Networks and Network Sites are available on the physical network adapters and if Network Virtualization is allowed.

SCVMM 2012 SP1 Logical Switch2

The Logical Switch has also a Native Virtual Adapter Port Profiles which matches with a Port Classification on the Logical Switch and defines the Virtual Network Adapter settings for Virtual Machines or in a Converged Environment for the Hyper-V Management OS.

SCVMM 2012 SP1 Logical Switch3

I hope this post gives you some basic understanding about the new networking features which are added in Service Pack 1 for System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager.

You can find the German Version of this blog post on Michel Lueschers (Consultant Microsoft Switzerland) blog.



Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Converged Fabric

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.