Editing the LACP Configuration
If you have a trained eye, you may notice that there’s a new menu option in the VDS > Manage > Settings area called LACP. In this area live all of your LAGs, as shown below:
If you select one of your LAGs – or in my case, the only LAG available – and then choose Edit (the pencil icon), you can make a few changes to the LAG.
- The name of the LAG
- How many ports the LAG will use
- The LACP mode (I recommend Active)
- Load balancing mode – now with a bazillion new hashes!
Here’s an example of these options for my Spongebob-01 LAG:
Now that a LAG is created, we need to ensure the network adapters are bound correctly and then do something useful with the LAG.
Placing Network Adapters into a LAG
Because I’ve upgraded my VDS with an existing LAG on it, vSphere did all the heavy lifting for me. The wizard automatically assigned my two uplinks (network adapters) to the Spongebob-01 LAG. But what if you wanted to do this yourself? Let’s review the process.
Managing which uplinks are in the LAG is as simple as editing your physical network adapter relationships on the VDS. To begin, select your VDS and navigate to Actions > Add and Manage Hosts. Then choose Manage host networking and select the attached host(s) that you wish to edit. Finally, choose the Manage physical adapters check box and uncheck any other boxes. You should see a wizard screen like what I have below:
The two network adapters I have, vmnic3 and vmnic4, are both bound to the uplink named Spongebob-01. The trailing 0 and 1 denote the port number within the LAG. If this were not so, I could click on vmnic3, select the Assign uplink option, and put it onto a LAG. Then repeat the process for vmnic4. I’ve provided an example below:
Putting Your LAGs to Work
This is where things deviate significantly from what you may be used to with VDS 5.1 and older. Previously, we had to set the load balancing policy of all port groups to “Route based on IP Hash.” Now, the LAG is represented as an uplink and can be selected in the failover order. Additionally, the load balancing policy is rendered useless by the LAG.
Here’s an example with a port group on my VDS where I have included the informative warning on the load balancing policy:
You can also see the LAG ports in use by going to VDS > Manage > Ports. In this case, VMware uses the term port channel to denote the LAG and its members:
Keep in mind that you can only have one single LAG as an Active uplink. If you make other LAGs, they must remain Unused. Otherwise, you’ll see an error like so:
I’ve yet to encounter one of these bad boys in the wild. Perhaps it’s just too soon in the patch cycle for many folks to adopt ESXi 5.5? Either way, the upgrade process is relatively straight forward once you get the hang of it. Additionally, the new LACP management area on the VDS is much better than the old method of hunting for LACP on the dvUplinks group.
If you are looking to enable enhanced LACP support on an existing switch, check out Enhanced LACP Support missing in my Distributed Switch 5.5 by Romain Decker.