Nexus 1000V?

TeeJayHoward

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An engineer at work wanted me to install the Nexus 1000V onto our development system... I'd heard very little about it, so I went and did some basic research. Download this package, there's a couple of folders... VSM, VEM... Install the .OVA, install the .VIB, configure to run atop a dvSwitch, done. Now what?

Just what the heck is the Nexus1000V, and how does it fit in to a virtual environment? Cisco + Nexus = switch in my mind... But it's not like I have an option to create a Nexus switch instead of a dvSwitch or vSwitch now. No new port group options, the .OVA looks to be just a VM with IOS in it... I'm lost. What did I just install?
 

dasaint

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Nexus 1KV is a Distributed Virtual Switch controlled/managed similarly as 5Ks and 7Ks

basically the control is done from command line instead of the GUI and it acts like a Cisco switch... Personally i have never had great results from them...

Think of the Nexus 1KV as a Pair of VMs that basically have the Cisco Switch Software on them, thats the OVA you deploy as a VM. the VIB is what you install on the hosts so you can install the VEMs (virtual ethernet modules) and the VSM (virtual supervisor module) the vCenter has some control over them but realisitically most all controls are done via the command line within the VMs that it creates (HA pair that are a pair of switches).

Feature comparison between the 1KV and a DVS is very minimal and way more complex to manage and update/upgrade IMO...

The point of the N1KV is to be a replacement for VMware Distributed Virtual Switches. This is ideal for Cisco oriented people that like to manage all of the switches between point to point... I have seen plenty of bugs that created havoc with the 1KV so if you aren't a CISCO expert or have one on staff i would avoid using them.
 
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TeeJayHoward

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The point of the N1KV is to be a replacement for VMware Distributed Virtual Switches.
Does this mean that instead of creating a dvSwitch and DPortGroup, you create a new N1KV switch? If so, how is this done?
 

ND40oz

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The VSMs are listed under the vSphere Distributed Switch tab, once you have the VSM in vSphere, go to networking, go to the VSM, choose the hosts tab, right click and add Host to vSphere Distributed Switch. This will install the VEM on the host as well as let you configure and/or migrate over any of the network to the distributed switch. Make sure you have your uplinks and port groups setup before migrate management over, otherwise you're resetting the host to fix it.
 

geiger

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With the current feature parity, the only use case would be extremely niche features, or insane SOD in relation to network operation. It is a royal pain to manage updates/host upgrades.
 

TeeJayHoward

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The VSMs are listed under the vSphere Distributed Switch tab, once you have the VSM in vSphere, go to networking, go to the VSM, choose the hosts tab, right click and add Host to vSphere Distributed Switch. This will install the VEM on the host as well as let you configure and/or migrate over any of the network to the distributed switch. Make sure you have your uplinks and port groups setup before migrate management over, otherwise you're resetting the host to fix it.
I'm looking at it through the vSphere Web Client. Where do I go in that client?
 

ND40oz

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I'm looking at it through the vSphere Web Client. Where do I go in that client?

vCenter - Networking - expand your datacenter

You probably will have a folder for each VSM pair, although that could just be my setup since they were installed back in the 4.5 era. Under that should be your VSM/Distributed vSwitch. With the VSM selected, you should be able to go to actions and choose Add and Manage Hosts to add a Host to the vSwitch. It's also listed under Basic Tasks on the Getting Started tab.

I'm not sure if that will invoke the VEM install though since it uses Update Manager to install the VEM if it's not already on the host. You may need to use Update Manager to install the VEM prior to adding the Host to the vSwitch in the web client. I build my boxes with the latest VEM integrated at this point, it's just easier when you're using the 1000v's across the board.
 

TeeJayHoward

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vCenter - Networking - expand your datacenter

You probably will have a folder for each VSM pair, although that could just be my setup since they were installed back in the 4.5 era. Under that should be your VSM/Distributed vSwitch. With the VSM selected, you should be able to go to actions and choose Add and Manage Hosts to add a Host to the vSwitch. It's also listed under Basic Tasks on the Getting Started tab.

I'm not sure if that will invoke the VEM install though since it uses Update Manager to install the VEM if it's not already on the host. You may need to use Update Manager to install the VEM prior to adding the Host to the vSwitch in the web client. I build my boxes with the latest VEM integrated at this point, it's just easier when you're using the 1000v's across the board.
vCenter->Networking->Datacenter shows our dvSwitches and vSwitch networks. No folders at all, no VSMs, etc. I installed the VSM using "Deploy OVF Template" on one of the hosts in the cluster, and the VEM using the ESX CLI. Was this the wrong way to install it?
 

ND40oz

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Once you installed and powered on the first VSM, did you go through the setup on it? You're using Enterprise Plus licensing right?
 

TeeJayHoward

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Once you installed and powered on the first VSM, did you go through the setup on it? You're using Enterprise Plus licensing right?
I believe so on the licensing bit. I actually don't recall going through the setup on the VSM. I thought all the OVA setup junk would have taken care of that. Looks like I was missing a step. I'll go try that now.

Thanks.
 

ND40oz

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Yeah, there's a GUI or CLI setup that has to be done on first boot on the VSM. Our networking team handles the post install config of the VSMs/VSGs, so I'm not really sure what it all entails. I probably had to enter some passwords for them and they did the rest, it's been a while.

That's one of the biggest issues with the 1000v, if you're not the networking guy as well, it's a whole bunch of collaboration getting everything setup and working. But once it's all working and you have their permissions all hashed out, it's pretty simple. Just make sure you don't do any upgrades to the hosts without making sure the current VSMs are compatible. After 2 or 3 VEM updates, they stop being backwards compatible and they don't support the same host/vSphere patch levels, so you really need to stay on top of things.
 

dasaint

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Just make sure you don't do any upgrades to the hosts without making sure the current VSMs are compatible. After 2 or 3 VEM updates, they stop being backwards compatible and they don't support the same host/vSphere patch levels, so you really need to stay on top of things.


Seconded there and also add dont upgrade the VEM/VSMs on prod stuff without testing in a secondary/test environment... too many times have i seen where a bug will come in and the prod environment goes down due to the bug that was introduced..
 

TeeJayHoward

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Well, I went in and ran the "setup" command. Asked for some simple stuff - Basically the same info the .OVA template thing asked for. Didn't seem to change anything. Still no new icons in the web client.
 

ND40oz

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Once setup is run I'm pretty sure you still have to register the plugin, that may be the step that adds it to vCenter. I originally did it with the thick client, but it's the same type of thing with the web, manually register a plugin. I thought you had to do something with an xml too, but I'd have to go look back through the install guides.

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/doc...in_Configuration_Guide_2_1_1_chapter_010.html

Edit: Step 8 is how you connect the VSM to vCenter: http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/mi...nguage=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1020893
 
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TeeJayHoward

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Once setup is run I'm pretty sure you still have to register the plugin, that may be the step that adds it to vCenter. I originally did it with the thick client, but it's the same type of thing with the web, manually register a plugin. I thought you had to do something with an xml too, but I'd have to go look back through the install guides.

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/doc...in_Configuration_Guide_2_1_1_chapter_010.html

Edit: Step 8 is how you connect the VSM to vCenter: http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/mi...nguage=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1020893
Damnit, even VMware's own instructions assume you're using the thick client. I've got the .xml file, trying to figure out how to register it as an extension. There's no way to install a plugin in the web client that I can see, can't copy/paste the contents into https://<vcsa IP>/mob, and it doesn't look like the .ps1 script exists anymore... Not that it would do me any good if it did.
 

Eickst

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The only difference between the two that i am aware of anymore is that the Cisco 1000v can have uplinks to multiple networks and the vds must connect uplinks to the same network. Actually I'm not sure if that is even still true....
 
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