Monday, December 9, 2013

Explaining Port Classifications in VMM 2012 R2

When you have installed VMM, you have probably noticed all the different settings and options in fabric, located under Networking.
In order to streamline the configuration on the hosts by using port profiles and logical switches, we also have something called port classifications that you will find useful in your cloud.

A port classification is an abstraction of the virtual port profile, that let both the administrator and the tenants (using VMM console) choose for their virtual machines virtual network interfaces, that is bundled in a logical switch in VMM.

If we take a look the default classifications, we have the following:

And if we take a look at the port profiles (virtual port profiles), we can see that these profiles match the port classification.

To get a better understanding of the classification, we must take a closer look into the virtual port profiles.
These profiles should contain configuration related to virtual network adapters. A virtual network adapter can be a vNIC on the VMs, or a vNIC on the hosts, created on a NIC team (logical switches).

We have offload settings, security settings and bandwidth settings. All of this could be different (and should be different) depending on the workload associated with the virtual network interface.
Taking bandwidth settings for example, we know that storage (iSCSI or SMB) is quite critical in the context of virtualization, and therefore would like to configure the QoS settings here so we can ensure enough bandwidth for this workload.

If we take a look at our cloud in VMM, we also see that we can make port classifications available here, that indeed maps to virtual port profiles (in our logical switch).
That means that we can provide our tenants with port classifications – that are abstracted from the underlying port profile with detailed information, and let them specify the classification.

Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012 introduced us for QoS on the vNIC for the virtual machines. But these settings are not directly expose through VMM. In order to have QoS on our virtual machine, we must instead use port classifications.

This means that we can’t control each vNIC in the same way as in Hyper-V Manager, but instead manage this at scale through port classifications and port profiles.

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