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miked

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#171801 1-May-2015 16:13
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I'm just provisioning a second-hand server to replace our main server and looking for some advice on Network Adapter configuration.

Current setup:
HP ML330 running Server 2008 and 2 VMs (SBS2008 and SQL 2008)
Physical Network Adapter sockets: Two
Physical Network Configuration: iLO2 and Server sharing the same Network Adapter socket. (ie one socket used, one left unplugged)
Virtual Network Configuration: Hyper-V configured Virtual Network Adapter which gives a Network Bridge in the adapters.

New Setup:
HP ML350 running Server 2012 R2 and 2 or more VMs
Physical Network Adapter sockets: Three (I think they are two for server and one for iLO2)
Physical Network Configuration: iLO2 and Server sharing the same Network Adapter and other two unused.

iLO2 was configured to share by previous owner of the server. The 2nd main Gigabit adapter is not currently configured.

My question is around what is the recommended configuration for such a server?

I clearly have one extra adapter I can play with anyway. Should I configure that as a dedicated card for one or more VMs? Presumably it makes sense to use both sockets to maximise throughput? It is just how I allocate them in Windows.

Also do people recommend running the iLO2 interface on a shared adapter or on its own adapter? Either way It won't be running on a separate network anyway, so it would only be an extra wire to the same place anyway (although I could possibly make it sit in a VLAN via the router if there was any advantage in doing so).

Love to hear others thoughts on optimum setup.

How do you prefer to setup your HP servers?

Thanks

Mike

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Dynamic
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  #1295150 1-May-2015 16:22
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What sort of workload are you expecting to use these adapters?  I would be looking to spread the heaviest loads (virtual servers with the most likely network throughput more than anything else.




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miked

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  #1295157 1-May-2015 16:36
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Yeah, that was how I was imagining it. If I went that route, then how I allocate them would be based upon examining the network usage on the existing VMs and assigning their usage accordingly.

Would I be likely to assign one adapter to the highest throughput VM, and then create a Virtual Adapter to share the other port with the Host and remaining VM? (I haven't looked the Hyper-V 2012 R2 settings yet, so don't know what settings are available to me!)

The only other scenario would be if I configured them hot and cold (one to the router and the other to the internal network) but I don't think that is worth the effort probably.

Mike

engedib
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  #1295362 1-May-2015 22:15
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You can reset iLO from the boot screen, keep it separate. Don't think with the ML350 you can share the iLO port.
With the two gigabit ports, connect both of them to the switch, create a network team (New-NetLbfoTeam powershell command).
Once the network team is configured, create a new virtual switch, attach it to the team and tick the box to share the adapter for management as well.




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Inphinity
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  #1295366 1-May-2015 22:32
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I would have iLO on a dedicated port, and team the remaining NICs.

JWR

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  #1295431 1-May-2015 23:32

Inphinity: I would have iLO on a dedicated port, and team the remaining NICs.


Yes. Same.

Setup the team to use Load Balancing mode = Dynamic or Hyper-V (depending on what you use it for - hyper-v only or a mix of things). Address Hash is no longer recommended.

If your switch supports link aggregation (smart, managed switches only), then use LACP teaming mode as first choice, otherwise static aggregation. You have to setup the switch too.

Otherwise, with a simple switch, you have to use 'switch independent' teaming mode.

e.g. from server manager (2012R2)/Local Server/NIC Teaming



miked

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  #1295831 2-May-2015 18:35
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Thanks everyone. Very helpful.

I'm presuming the idea behind teaming is that instead of the traffic being dedicated to a particular VM, that all the VMs (and the HOST) share the full capacity of the two ports, and therefore make the most of the available bandwidth smartly as they each need. Is that the basic idea?

Initially those two Gigabit ports on the Server will be running off the Gigabit ports on the D-Link router that our ISP provided (just had fibre installed and migrating over to it this coming week), so suspect they'd need the "switch independant" mode to start with. However I'm planning to source a new router... possibly a Mikrotik RB951G-2HnD  or a  RB2011UiAS-2HnD-IN (or something similar if other know of something better?), which presumably would allow me to configure the router port settings to run the smarter teaming directly?

The iLO2 certainly can be set to share one of the gigabit ports as that is how it was how it came to me already setup. So my choice is leaving it configured shared like that, or configuring it back to its own port.

I'm presuming the iLO2 traffic can only run at 10/100Mbs even if it is port shared with one of the Gigabit ports. In which case, if I bought the RB2011UiAS-2HnD-IN I'd probably separate iLO2 back out onto its own port connected to one of the 10/100Mbit ports on the router as it might give me more flexibility in traffic routing. Equally, I could leave it on the shared port and give it a VLAN for management traffic.

Mike

JWR

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  #1295871 2-May-2015 20:25

miked: Thanks everyone. Very helpful.

I'm presuming the idea behind teaming is that instead of the traffic being dedicated to a particular VM, that all the VMs (and the HOST) share the full capacity of the two ports, and therefore make the most of the available bandwidth smartly as they each need. Is that the basic idea?

Initially those two Gigabit ports on the Server will be running off the Gigabit ports on the D-Link router that our ISP provided (just had fibre installed and migrating over to it this coming week), so suspect they'd need the "switch independant" mode to start with. However I'm planning to source a new router... possibly a Mikrotik RB951G-2HnD  or a  RB2011UiAS-2HnD-IN (or something similar if other know of something better?), which presumably would allow me to configure the router port settings to run the smarter teaming directly?

The iLO2 certainly can be set to share one of the gigabit ports as that is how it was how it came to me already setup. So my choice is leaving it configured shared like that, or configuring it back to its own port.

I'm presuming the iLO2 traffic can only run at 10/100Mbs even if it is port shared with one of the Gigabit ports. In which case, if I bought the RB2011UiAS-2HnD-IN I'd probably separate iLO2 back out onto its own port connected to one of the 10/100Mbit ports on the router as it might give me more flexibility in traffic routing. Equally, I could leave it on the shared port and give it a VLAN for management traffic.

Mike


Yep, exactly. It for load balancing (also can have spare card for redundancy too) mainly.

Ideally, you should use settings where Windows Server has as much control over the situation as possible. Windows Server knows best when dealing with changing network traffic.

The standard for link aggregation is IEEE 802.3ad (also called LACP (Link Aggregation Control Protocol)). But, some devices (older, cheaper) will have their own link (static) aggregation systems too. LACP is better, because it is more dynamic in assigning traffic to ports.

Putting the iLO2 (no personal experience with this product) on a management vLan sounds like a good idea.



miked

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  #1295925 2-May-2015 21:55
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Yeah. Looking at the setup options for iLO2, I can have it on a separate VLAN either with a shared physical connector, or on its own dedicated socket.

If I can work the routing, then I'll try to setup a VLAN for the managment of iLO (regardless of whether I use its own socket or shared socket).

The main issue will be that the time that iLO2 is most likely to be useful is accessing the box remotely when the server is down, hence the domain VPN down etc. As long as I can work out some sort of VPN in via just the router, which puts me into the correct VLAN, and therefore gives me access to the iLO interface from the internet, then I'll be a happy man.

Our current setup hasn't been able to work doing this, because the old Cisco RVL200 router's VPN can't talk to the iLO port seamingly even though I can (flakily) connect to the network! Never worked out what the inconsitency was... so ironcially, I can currently only access that interface when the Server is fully running and the VPN comes in via Windows not via the router. Of course, when the serve is running, there is minimal need to use the iLO interface anyway... so hence the frustration!

That will be something that I hope is solved by a new router and new configuration (since that Cisco seemed to cause losts of VPN issues for other too).

Presumably it is easy enough to reconfigure the teaming type in a few weeks. That way I can get up and running on the new router this week with no switch support, and then move to LACP in a few weeks when I switch routers.

Thanks everyone for your input. This has been really helpful. Given me something to aim for. Also given me the idea that the RB2011UiAS-2HnD-IN unit might be better than the RB951G-2HnD for me, since I will have more VLAN-able ports at my disposal (the rest of the switches are completely unmanaged 10/100s at present), so it would enable me to segment a few VoIP lines in future too on one VLAN, along with the management of iLO2 interfaces on another).

Mike

JWR

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  #1295927 2-May-2015 21:58

...

Presumably it is easy enough to reconfigure the teaming type in a few weeks. That way I can get up and running on the new router this week with no switch support, and then move to LACP in a few weeks when I switch routers.

...
Mike



Yep, really easy to change.

miked

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  #1296276 3-May-2015 20:58
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Great!

Looks like I'm heading towards a solution!

Mike

miked

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  #1299499 6-May-2015 21:59
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Well our cruddy cheap 10/100 swicthes didn't like teaming on "switch independant" mode!!! Server thought was OK and setup correctly for teaming... but nothing else could talk to the server until I deleted the teaming again!

That was just a quick test, so I didn't manage to do any trouble-shooting to suss out why.... but it might be a sign it won't work until I upgrade the switches too.

No big deal, as I suspect the teaming won't help until the switches are upgraded anyway... as there isn't much point teaming unless the switch trunk has enough capacity (or its own teaming connection to next layer up) or there is enough traffic coming at the server from multiple ports on the same switch (with enough bandwidth on the switch backbone to cope).

Will play again soon.

Mike

jhsol
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  #1304859 13-May-2015 22:53
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the iLO port is dedicated to iLO. This can be on a different VLAN but it is not necessary.
Dedicate LAN1 to the Host server. Can be on a different VLAN or not. No real benefit unless you have a lot of physical servers.
Dedicate LAN2 to virtual machines (Untick the "allow management operating system to share this network adapter").

Best to keep traffic from host separate from traffic from guests. 
Pros for this method
* copying a heavy file from the host (ie a large VHD or VHDX) will not impact guest traffic
* copying a heavy file from a guest will not impact management of the host
* When you have 2 or more physical host machines, when doing a live migration this traffic will not impact guest traffic
*  Lan01 & iLO are your resiliant paths to the host machine

Jas

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