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Configuring LACP on an Uplink Port Group using the vSphere Web Client (2034277)

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Purpose

This article provides steps on configuring LACP on an Uplink Port Group using the VMware vSphere Web Client.

Note: For more information, see the About vSphere Networking section in the VMware vSphere 5.1 Networking Guide. This guide contains definitive information. If there is a discrepancy between the guide and the article, assume the guide is correct.

Resolution

Introduction

Beginning with VMware vSphere 5.1, VMware supports Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP) on vSphere Distributed Switch (VDS) only.

Note: Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP) can only be configured through the vSphere Web Client.

LACP is a standards-based method to control the bundling of several physical network links together to form a logical channel for increased bandwidth and redundancy purposes. LACP enables a network device to negotiate an automatic bundling of links by sending LACP packets to the peer.

LACP works by sending frames down all links that have the protocol enabled. If it finds a device on the other end of the link that also has LACP enabled, it also sends frames independently along the same links, enabling the two units to detect multiple links between themselves and then combine them into a single logical link.

This dynamic protocol provides these advantages over the static link aggregation method supported by previous versions of vSphere:
  • Plug and Play – Automatically configures and negotiates between host and access layer physical switch.
  • Dynamic – Detects link failures and cabling mistakes and automatically reconfigures the links.

LACP limitations on a vSphere Distributed Switch

  • LACP does not support Port mirroring.
  • LACP settings do not exist in host profiles.
  • LACP between two nested ESXi hosts is not possible.
These restrictions apply to vSphere 5.1 Distributed switches only:
  • LACP only works with IP Hash load balancing and Link Status Network failover detection.
  • Support for only one LACP group (Uplink Port Group with LACP enabled) per distributed switch and only one LACP group per host.
For more information on the differences in LACP support between vSphere Distributed Switches in vSphere 5.5 and 5.1, see:

Configuring LACP on an Uplink Port Group

Note: All port groups using the Uplink Port Group enabled with LACP must have the load balancing policy set to IP hash load balancing, network failure detection policy set to link status only, and all uplinks set to active.
 

Configuring LACP on an Uplink Port Group in ESXi 5.1

To configure LACP on an ESXi 5.1 host using the vSphere Web Client:
  1. Open the vSphere Web client.
  2. Click the Networking view.
  3. Expand the Datacenter.
  4. Expand the Distributed Switch.
  5. Select an Uplink Port Group.
  6. Click the Manage tab and click Settings.
  7. Click the Edit button.
  8. In the LACP section, use the dropdown to enable or disable LACP.
  9. When you enable LACP, a Mode dropdown menu appears with these options:

    Active – The port is in an active negotiating state, in which the port initiates negotiations with remote ports by sending LACP packets.
    Passive – The port is in a passive negotiating state, in which the port responds to LACP packets it receives but does not initiate LACP negotiation.

    Set this option to passive (disable) or active (enable). The default setting is passive.

    Note: This step is optional.

  10. Click OK.

    Note: This process is also detailed on blogs.vmware.com with screenshots.

Configuring LACP on an Uplink Port Group in ESXi 5.5

General Procedure:
  1. Create and configure a Link Aggregation Group (LAG).
  2. Connect the physical adapters to LAG that just got created.
  3. Configure teaming and failover specifically for LACP.
  4. Activate and Migrate LAG to desired host(s).

Detailed procedure:

  1. Open the vSphere Web client.
  2. Click the Networking view.
  3. Expand the Datacenter.
  4. Select the Distributed Switch.
  5. Click the Manage tab and click Settings.
  6. In the LACP section, click the + symbol to create a new LAG.
  7. Give the new LAG a name.
  8. Select the number of ports desired. Later you will connect a physical network adapter to each port.
  9. Choose the LACP mode you want to use from the dropdown. Choose Active or Passive, as explained in the preceding 5.1 section.
  10. Select a Load balancing algorithm.
  11. Click OK.
  12. Reassign network adapters from the available uplink adapters to the new LAG
    1. Move the new link aggregation group to Standby state for the distributed portgroups where you want to use LACP
    2. Use the add and manage hosts wizard in template mode to migrate physical uplinks to the LAG on multiple hosts simultaneously: reassign uplinks on template host, then apply configuration to desired hosts
    3. Set the LAG to the active state for the desired portgroups by moving it to the active class, then moving individual unassociated uplinks to the unused class (leaving the standby class empty).
Note: There is also a video guide to enabling LACP in a vSphere 5.5 environment, available at blogs.vmware,com.

Impact/Risks

Minimal chance of network interruption.

Additional Information

For more information, see the vSphere Client and vSphere Web Client section in the VMware vSphere 5.1 Virtual Machine Administration guide.

For more information on LACP support on a vSphere Distributed Switch 5.5, see:

See Also

Update History

12/12/2013 - Added vCenter Server 5.5 to Products 05/13/2014 - Updated limitations section to reflect 5.5 limits

Request a Product Feature

To request a new product feature or to provide feedback on a VMware product, please visit the Request a Product Feature page.

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