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vpshere 6 esxi network consideration

  • 8 March 2016
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Is it better to use Active/Active or Active/Passive for ESXi6 host network? Isn't Active/Active gain more bandwidth but why Nutanix Consultant told us Active/Passive is the recommend solution?
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Best answer by Jon 8 March 2016, 23:13

Honestly, I wouldnt worry about it too much. This is something where the KISS Principle is really strong. Active/Passive is just fine. Keep it simple.

I looked up your account, and it looks like you have a 4 node system.

Even with just one single switch, thats 40 gbps of bandwidth, which is much more than enough to meet the needs of even a highly active VDI environment.
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Depends on your network setup.

True "active active" only comes when you're running a bonded configuration, like LACP.

If you dont have LACP/bonded etherchannel, then preferred to run active/passive.

Honestly, bandwidth is rarely, if ever, the issue in a Nutanix cluster (I haven't seen a single cluster be bandwidth constrained on 10gb networks, ever, in the last two years).

This is because each node has a minimum of 2x10g connections, so if you had 10 nodes, you'd have 20x 10g connections. You'd likely be limited on bandwidth at the router, wan, load balancer, or firewall levels. All of these levels would be limited regardless of what your nic teaming setting is.


For these reasons, we're a big fan of the KISS principle here at Nutanix. Active/Passive is simple, and it works great.
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Also, one last comment, if you are running distributed switches, you can use the Load Based teaming policy, which is CLOSE to active/active, but not quite.
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Jon,
Thanks for the valueable info. This is our first Nutanix Deployment for vmware VDI, I just want to fully optimize the Nutanix 10G network capabilities. LACP is not issue for us but my concern is the current Nutanix Block network is configure according to the Nutanix best practice for VDI. We are currently replacing a lot 10G switch in the backbone specific for this project so do you think can ACTIVE/ACTIVE benefit us from the bandwidth perspective?
Thanks!
Userlevel 7
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Honestly, I wouldnt worry about it too much. This is something where the KISS Principle is really strong. Active/Passive is just fine. Keep it simple.

I looked up your account, and it looks like you have a 4 node system.

Even with just one single switch, thats 40 gbps of bandwidth, which is much more than enough to meet the needs of even a highly active VDI environment.
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Thanks a lot for the info.
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Hi Jon,

in the public document at http://go.nutanix.com/vmware-vsphere-networking.html
Nutanix_TechNote-VMware_vSphere_Networking_with_Nutanix.pdf (seems like apretty old revision btw, but everything might still stand I guess)

But, it says in the end of part "Virtual Networking Configuration Examples"
"In both of the following options, Nutanix recommends all vmNICs be set as "Active"on the Portgroup and/or dvPortgroup unless otherwise specified."

Understand now that active-passive is fine by your saying, thats cool.

Do active-active bring anything for a standard vswitch were LBT/LACP isnt possible bcs vsphere licensing.
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not really, its just a round robin upon VM power on, so you get basic load distribution and nothing more.
Using 13 nutanix nodes in single cluster with running ESXi 6.0 U3, we are using vDS with 4 uplinks of 10gig each.

Can we go for LACP with load balancing method "Route based on IP hash"? Somewhere on Nutanix related portal, I read that Route based on IP hash is not recommended on Nutanix?

2 uplinks of Nutanix connected to one network switch and 2 uplinks to other network switch ( I thing this point seems week for LACP) here..

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