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Sep 16

SimpliVity Direct Connect to 10 GbE Switched Migration

In a two node SimpliVity deployment there is no requirement for 10 GbE switching. The SimpliVity nodes are directly connected to provide connectivity for the SimpliVity Data Virtualization Platform (DVP) between nodes. In this type of deployment 1 GbE is typically used for VM network traffic. This is a common deployment option for Small/Medium businesses and also for Enterprise customers using SimpliVity to provide hyperconverged infrastructure resources for a specific application set.
svt-logical2plu1network

As an environment grows adding additional SimpliVity nodes or compute nodes may be required. This requires 10 GbE switching for SimpliVity DVP (Storage and Federation) traffic between SimpliVity nodes within the same datacenter and/or between SimpliVity nodes and compute nodes accessing the SimpliVity DVP.

The process for migrating from direct-connect to 10 GbE switched is pretty simple and can be done while the SimpliVity nodes are in production. I recently assisted a customer with a migration to a 10 GbE switched deployment and this post provides an overview of the process.

Couple of things to check before we start:

  • Validate the SimpliVity Federation is healthy. This can be done using the vSphere Web Client to verify the SimpliVity nodes are ALIVE and there are no issues with connectivity between the nodes.
  • Ensure the physical 10 GbE switches are configured to support Jumbo Frames, the VLANs for Storage and Federation traffic are created, and that the physical Switch ports are configured to trunk the required VLANs.
  • Verify you can connect to an OVC via SSH. You will want to be able to validate connectivity during and after the migration.

Once the environment health and the physical switch configuration is verified, disconnect the directly connected Standby vmnic. This is the Standby vmnic configured on the vSwitch/PortGroups used by SimpliVity Storage and Federation. Connect this Standby vmnic from each host to the configured 10 GbE switch ports.
svt-logical10gbemigrate

Reconfigure the SimpliVity Storage vmKernel, SimpliVity Storage PortGroup, and SimpliVity Federation PortGroup to tag the appropriate VLANs. This can easily be done from the vCenter Web Client or it can be quickly done using PowerCLI. Here is a quick PowerCLI script which updates the VLANs for the SimpliVity Storage vmKernel, SimpliVity Storage PortGroup, and SimpliVity Federation PortGroup across all SimpliVity nodes (defined as $SVTHosts in the script). Using the script speeds things up and reduces the risk of a typo in one of the VLAN configurations.

#######################################
# PowerCLI to update VLANs on SimpliVity Storage and Federation PortGroups
# For migration for SimpliVity Direct Connect to 10 GbE Switched
#
# Must be connected to vCenter using Connect-VIServer
#
# Script: UpdateSVT-VLANS.ps1
#
# History:
# 09/15/2016 - Hersey http://www.vhersey.com/ - Created
#######################################
###############VARIABLES###############
# vCenter Inventory Name of SimpliVity Hosts
$SVTHosts = "svthost1.vhersey.com", "svthost2.vhersey.com"

# SimpliVity Storage vmKernel Name
$SVTStorageVMK = "SVT_StorageVMK"

# SimpliVity Storage PortGroup Name
$SVTStoragePG = "SVT_StoragePG"

# SimpliVity Federation PortGroup Name
$SVTFedPG = "SVT_FederationPG"

# SimpliVity Storage VLAN
$SVTStorageVLAN = "340"

# SimpliVity Federation VLAN
$SVTFedVLAN = "380"

foreach ($SVTHost in $SVTHosts) {
    $vmhost = Get-VMHost -Name $SVTHost 
    Write-Host "Updating SimpliVity Virtual Networks for Host: $SVTHost"
    $vmhost | Get-VirtualPortGroup -Name $SVTStoragePG | Set-VirtualPortGroup -VlanId $SVTStorageVLAN
    $vmhost | Get-VirtualPortGroup -Name $SVTStorageVMK | Set-VirtualPortGroup -VlanId $SVTStorageVLAN
    $vmhost | Get-VirtualPortGroup -Name $SVTFedPG | Set-VirtualPortGroup -VlanId $SVTFedVLAN 
}

Write-Host "Done"

Just set the configuration variables in the script for the inventory names of the SimpliVity Hosts ($SVTHosts), the PortGroup and vmKernel names($SVTStorageVMK, $SVTStoragePG, $SVTFedPG), and the associated VLANs ($SVTStorageVLAN and $SVTFedVLAN). The script will make the changes to each host. The PortGroups will then be configured with the associated VLANs.
svt-logical10gbevlan

When you set the VLANs on the vmKernel and PortGroups you will get vCenter alarms on the OVCs that they are not able to communicate with the required SimpliVity storage ports. This is because you are using the active path which is still directly connected between the nodes and the directly connected NICs are not aware of and are not capable of processing the tagged VLANs. However, the VMs on the hosts will continue to run and hosts will not lose access to the SimpliVity datastores.

Once the VLANs have been configured on the port groups disconnect the, active, directly connected vmnic. Traffic will failover to the configured Standby vmnic which is connected to the 10 GbE Switch. You can validate connectivity by connecting via ssh to one of the OVCs and pinging the storage and federation addresses of the other OVC. If there are issues with connectivity, reconnect the Active vmnic directly between the two hosts and reset the VLAN ID on the vmKernel and PortGroups back to None (0). If all is well, connect the remaining vmnic on each host to the 10 GbE switch infrastructure.
svt-logical10gbenetwork
The paths will failback and you should then again validate connectivity. All vCenter alarms within the environment should clear with in a few seconds.

Depending on the design and utilization the VM Networks can also be migrated to the vSwitch using the 10 GbE uplinks further converging the infrastructure.

Pretty simple process to prepare a small two node direct-connected SimpliVity deployment for expansion by connecting them to 10 GbE switch infrastructure.

About the author

vHersey

Hersey Cartwright is an IT professional with extensive experience designing, implementing, managing, and supporting technologies that improve business processes. Hersey is Solutions Architect for SimpliVity covering Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland. He holds the VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX-DV #128) certification. Hersey actively participates in the VMware community and was awarded the VMware vExpert title in 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012. He enjoys working with, teaching, and writing about virtualization and other data center technologies. Follow Hersey on Twitter @herseyc

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