Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Configuring port aggregation and trunking with a Cisco 2960 and ESXI

There seems to be a fair bit of mis-information out there regarding ESXI's ability to work with link aggregation.

Firstly LACP support is only available with 5.1 and upwards and this must be done via a Distributed Switch (which means your licensing costs will likely sky rocket) or the Cisco Nexus 1000v virtual switch.

So in what I assume the majority of cases (i.e. if you don't have Enterprise Plus licensing) - you will have to use static link - i.e. doesn't use LACP or PAgP - this has many disadvantages though some of the main ones being:

- No protection against misconfiguration e.g. switching loops.
- Failover - if a 'dumb' device is sitting in between e.g. a WAN optimizer or similar - and its uplink dies; a static configuration won't detect this and will keep sending traffic down the line!

In my case (unfortunatly) I am forced to go with the static configuration - so we'll firstly configure the agreggate ports on our switch:

int range gi1/0/15, int gi2/0/15
no shutdown
switchport mode trunk
switchport trunk encapsulation dot1q
switchport trunk native vlan 999
switchport trunk allowed vlan 2,3,4
switchport nonegotiate
spanning-tree portfast edge trunk
channel-group 15 mode on

And then on the vSphere GUI go to:

Configuration >> Networking >> Properties >>

Create a new vSwitch - ensuting that both adapters are added to it.

Proceed by clicking 'Edit' on the new Virtual Switch and click on the 'NIC Teaming' tab.

Set the 'Load Balancing' context to 'Route based on ip hash' and finally ensure that both nic's are under the 'Active Adapters' view.

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