Load Balancing Setup with VMware, Cisco and Synology

Lab Objectives:

Objective 1: Create aggregate links between the Cisco switch, Synology NAS and VMware iSCSI connections. Obtain maximum throughput using the dual physical links on the Synology storage system.
Objective 2: Create 2 active pNIC load balancing policy on a Standard vSwitch in vSphere 5.1. Create corresponding LAG group on a Cisco SG200-26 port switch enabling true load balancing.

Objective 1-
I. Setup LACP on the Synology first
1. Login to the Synology NAS web interface
2. Navigate to the Control Panel
3. Click on Network in the System section
4. Cliclk the Network Interface tab
5. Click the Link Aggregation button
6. Choose IEEE 802.3ad Dynamic Link Aggregation button
7. Click OK. The copnnection will fail, the Synology will indicate this state with red letters. That’s no biggie, it will connect once it is setup on the Cisco switch.

II. Setup a LAG with LACP in the Cisco switch
1. Login to the Cisco switch web interface
2. Choose Port Settings–>Link Aggregation–>LAG Management
3. Edit any LAG you have available
4. Name the LAG
5. Enable LACP by clicking the checkbox (You have to this first, if not, LACP will be greyed out later)
6. Choose the switch ports you want in the LAG. Choose the ports on the left and click the right arrow to move them into the LAG.
7. Click Apply. Save the running config to the startup config.

III. Validate
1. Go back to the Synology Network Interface section in the web interface. The 802.3ad error should be gone. The link has been established via LACP.

Objective 2-
This is being created on the iSCSI port groups connected to the Synology NAS on each VMware host.

Drawbacks: LACP is not supported in a Standard vSwitch. I use standard switches in the lab as much as possible. When a dVS is necessary (vCloud Director testing), LACP can be enabled on the dVS and the Cisco with a couple extra clicks. iSCSi Port Binding will break in this configuration. Remove any existing binding in the Software iSCSI Adapter on each host’s Storage Adapters section and rescan the storage array(s).

The Load Balancing technique is vSwitch based. All port groups added to this switch will use the set technique.

Resources:
http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1001938

Tasks:
I. Edit the existing vSwitch with the iSCSI port group
1. Verify MTU is 9000
2. Add additional pNIC (if necessary)
2. In NIC Teaming section, change load balancing policy to Route Based on IP Hash. Click OK.

II. Edit the Port Group
1. Verify MTU is 9000
2. Verify vMotion is enabled (this is for my lab setup and is not required)
3. NIC Teaming Section- Verify Load Balancing is set to Route Based on IP Hash. Check the box to invoke the technique
4. Verify 2 pNICs are set in the Active State

III. Edit the Cisco Switch
1. Login to the Cisco switch web interface
2. Choose Port Settings–>Link Aggregation–>LAG Management
3. Edit any LAG you have available
4. ONLY ENABLE LACP if the virtual switch is a dVS. For a standard vSwitch, leave it blank. Enable LACP by clicking the checkbox (You have to this first, if not, LACP will be greyed out later)
5. Choose the switch ports you want in the LAG. Choose the ports on the left and click the right arrow to move them into the LAG.
6. Stay in the Link Aggregation Section. Open LAG Settings- Click the new LAG and choose edit.
7. In the Administrative Auto Negotiation Section UNCHECK the Enable box.  Set the Administrative Speed to 1000M. Click Apply. The new LAG link will not appear UP on the switch until this is done. VMware does not support Auto Negotiate in this configuration.
7. Save the running config to the startup config.

IV. Reconfigure each host for HA
After reconfiguring the networking, vCenter may report that each host doesn’t have any heartbeat datastores available. Right click the master host and choose Reconfigure for HA. This will reset the datastore heartbeats for it and all the slaves.

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Categories: The Lab, VMware

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