VM-FEX Nexus 5500

Answered Question
May 13th, 2012

Hello

I have some doubts about VM-FEX, I can only take advantage of this solution with Cisco UCS servers, right? If I have servers from other vendors, the solution is the Cisco Nexus 1000V, right? I need a solution to have more control in a new VMware Cluster.

I take one more question to this community, what alternative have on the netflow cisco nexus 5500?

Thanks to all

I have this problem too.
0 votes
Correct Answer by krun_shah about 1 year 11 months ago

Yes you are right.

There are two ways to do virtual networing.

1. Thru ToR switch

2. Thru Software switch inside hypervisor

Adpter FEX is Single root I/O virtualiation technology that allows you to virtualize you network interface card into multiple vNIC(128 PCIe standards-compliant virtual interfaces). These vNICs are presented to OS (such as vmware ESXi). You can assign these vNIC directly to VMs and manage these vNIC directly from ToR switch(such as Nexus 5500) these technology called VM-FEX Only works with p81E and Nexus 5500 OR UCS fabric interconenct with B series blade server and M81KR and VIC 1280. The Cisco UCS P81E is designed specifically for Cisco UCS  C-Series Rack-Mount Servers and VM-FEX and Adapter FEX only supported  with P81E so I do not think you can use it on any other server.

Other option is to use a software switch inside hypervisor and manage your vNIC thru it. Solution available from Cisco is Nexus 1000v, which only requires hypervisor vendor supported NIC card and does NOT require any specific Cisco server or NIC card such as P81E.

As I said there are other options(802.1Qbg) available to manage you vNIC of VMs thru ToR switch or other software switches from different Vendor.

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Average Rating: 4 (2 ratings)
Jeremy Waldrop Sun, 05/13/2012 - 14:07

Right, adaptor-fex is a similar solution where you have Nexus 5500s and rack mount servers with either the Cisco P81E (UCS C-Series only) or I think there is a supported Qlogic adaptor but I am not sure which model.

VM-FEX is UCS only and formally known as VN-Link in hardware.

DPlagueHT Sun, 05/13/2012 - 15:55

Qlogic or Emulex adapters could probably bring me a converged network (ethernet + FCoE)

But back to the VM-FEX, I could have something like the VM-FEX if i take advantage of the adapter-fex?

Adapter-FEX is independent of the hypervisor, can I treat virtual nics like physical nics ? 

krun_shah Mon, 05/14/2012 - 09:29

You can leverage VM-FEX with nexus 5500 and P81E which implemnets 802.1Qbh or

IEEE 802.1BR Bridge Port Extension.

.

Adapter-Fex and VM-FEX are features of Nexus 5548 that allow virtual nics (vNIcs) on a Cisco P81e Virtual Interface Card to be managed as virtual Ethernet ports on the 5548. If this vNIC directly attached to the VMs using VM-directpath IO (high performance mode) then you can manage VMs directly from 5500.

If you have non Cisco servers you cannot use VM-FEX. There are other solution based on 802.1Qbg (not implemented by Cisco at this time) which I cannot discuss here, look in to below URL which has more detail.

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/switches/ps9441/ps9902/whitepaper_c11-620065_ps10277_Products_White_Paper.html

DPlagueHT Mon, 05/14/2012 - 14:06

Hi Krun

"If you have non Cisco servers you cannot use VM-FEX." I can't use VM-FEX and I can not use Adpter-FEX too, right?

Basically at this moment, without Cisco UCS Server if i want manage VNICS I can only use nexus 1000V, correct?

thanks for the help

Correct Answer
krun_shah Tue, 05/15/2012 - 06:50

Yes you are right.

There are two ways to do virtual networing.

1. Thru ToR switch

2. Thru Software switch inside hypervisor

Adpter FEX is Single root I/O virtualiation technology that allows you to virtualize you network interface card into multiple vNIC(128 PCIe standards-compliant virtual interfaces). These vNICs are presented to OS (such as vmware ESXi). You can assign these vNIC directly to VMs and manage these vNIC directly from ToR switch(such as Nexus 5500) these technology called VM-FEX Only works with p81E and Nexus 5500 OR UCS fabric interconenct with B series blade server and M81KR and VIC 1280. The Cisco UCS P81E is designed specifically for Cisco UCS  C-Series Rack-Mount Servers and VM-FEX and Adapter FEX only supported  with P81E so I do not think you can use it on any other server.

Other option is to use a software switch inside hypervisor and manage your vNIC thru it. Solution available from Cisco is Nexus 1000v, which only requires hypervisor vendor supported NIC card and does NOT require any specific Cisco server or NIC card such as P81E.

As I said there are other options(802.1Qbg) available to manage you vNIC of VMs thru ToR switch or other software switches from different Vendor.

DPlagueHT Wed, 05/16/2012 - 06:16

I will wait for 802.1Qbg support

           

Krun thanks for the explanation

best regards

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