vSphere 6 Networking Deep Dive

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Everything you ever wanted to know about vSphere networking, from the basic vSwitch functionality to vMotion, security solutions and advanced management topics. This webinar is based on vSphere release 6 and assumes familiarity with the server virtualization concepts, which you can gain through the Data Center 3.0 for Networking Engineers and Introduction to Virtual Networking webinars.

Last modified on 2023-11-30 (release notes)


vSphere 6 Networking Deep Dive

22:28 Free items Introduction

The introduction section of this webinar covers virtual networking connectivity challenges, the role of virtual (hypervisor) switches and VM access to network and storage.

Introduction 2:47 2016-05-12
Virtual Networking Connectivity Challenges 6:37 2016-05-12
Layer-2 Virtual Switches 10:47 2016-05-12
Virtual Networking and Storage 2:17 2016-05-12

24:46 vSphere Virtual Switch

ESXi hypervisor supports two types of virtual switches: standard switch and distributed switch. This section describes their differences and the internal architecture of the distributed switch.

vSphere Virtual Switch 8:44 2016-05-12
vSphere Standard Switch 2:58 2016-05-12
vSphere Distributed Switch 13:04 2016-05-12

One of the most confusing aspects of vSphere environment is the way ESXi handles uplinks and failovers... making the approach familiar to networking engineers (Port channel/LAG) the worst possible option.

Redundant Uplinks and Failovers 13:20 2016-05-12
Uplink Teaming and Load Balancing 14:11 2016-05-12
Uplink Teaming in MLAG Designs 12:29 2016-05-12

15:11 Free items VLAN-based Virtual Networks

vSphere offers basic VLAN-based virtual networking isolation. This section describes how you can use VLANs in ESXi virtual switches and how to configure access or trunk ports connecting virtual machines to the virtual switch.

Network-Side VM Isolation 5:02 2016-05-12
Virtual Switch Tagging 5:04 2016-05-12
Virtual Guest Tagging 5:05 2016-05-12

17:25 VMkernel Adapters

ESXi hypervisor uses internal NICs (VMkernel adapters) to connect to the virtual switch and through it to the outside world. This section describes some of the interesting details, including custom TCP stacks.

VMkernel Adapters 17:25 2016-05-12

53:54 Free items vMotion and Storage vMotion

One of the most appreciated vSphere features is the ability to move a running virtual machine between hypervisors (vMotion) and the ability to move VM disks between storage systems (Storage vMotion). You'll find behind-the-scenes view of how these features work in this section.

vMotion Basics 6:12 2016-05-12
vMotion Behind the Scenes 6:15 2016-05-12
Network Implications of vMotion 4:47 2016-05-12
Storage vMotion 3:34 2016-05-12
Advanced vMotion Topics 5:51 2016-05-12
Integration with ToR Switches 10:43 2016-05-12
Long-Distance vMotion 12:14 2016-05-12
vSphere Fault Tolerance 4:18 2016-05-12

16:41 QoS Features

Recent vSphere/ESXi versions provide rudimentary QoS functionality including classifying, marking, queuing and admission control.

QoS in vSphere Virtual Switches 8:00 2017-12-29
Network IO Control (NIOC) 8:41 2017-12-29

16:27 Network Security Features

ESXi hypervisor includes baseline networking security features, including MAC address checks and simple ACLs. Advanced security features and integration with third-party products is available with VMware NSX.

vSphere Network Security Features 5:16 2017-12-29
Extending vSphere Network Security 11:11 2017-12-29

23:51 Networking Performance Enhancements

If you need very high VM network I/O performance you should consider one or more of the features described in this section: hypervisor bypass, SR-IOV, jumbo frames and TCP offloads.

VMDirectPath (Hypervisor Bypass) 8:10 2016-09-04
Single-Root IO Virtualization (SR-IOV) 4:56 2016-09-04
Jumbo Frames 2:30 2016-09-04
TCP Offloads 8:15 2016-09-04

17:52 Free items Network Management, Monitoring and Troubleshooting

vSphere provides numerous familiar traffic monitoring features, including packet capture, port mirroring and NetFlow.

Configuration Backup, Restore and Rollback 7:37 2016-09-04
Network Topology Discovery 2:53 2016-09-04
Packet Capture and Port Mirroring 7:22 2016-09-04

34:02 Cisco-Specific vSphere Features

Adapter FEX, Cisco Nexus 1000V and DFA are long gone. I left this section in the webinar the poor souls who still have to deal with those products; it might also be interesting for history buffs.

Adapter FEX and VM FEX 11:02 2016-09-04
Cisco Nexus 1000V 19:09 2016-09-04
Cisco Nexus 1000V and DFA 3:51 2016-09-04

3:32 Conclusions and Recommendations

Conclusions and Recommendations 3:32 2016-09-04

Slide Deck

vSphere 6 Networking Deep Dive 4.9M 2015-05-15
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