LACP support with vSphere 5.1

Happy New Year everyone! I’ve been taking a break (enjoying the Australian summer) and now have a backlog of posts I need to publish. I’m starting with a brief one on networking…….

Some great new Network features have been introduced with vSphere 5.1 and one I am particularly pleased about is vDS support for LACP.

Link Aggregation Control Protocol (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. As part of the vSphere 5.1 release, VMware now supports this standards-based link aggregation protocol.

This dynamic protocol provides the following advantages over the static link aggregation method supported by
previous versions of vSphere:

1) Plug and Play – Automatically configures and negotiates between host and access layer physical switch

2) Dynamic – Detects link failures and cabling mistakes and automatically reconfigures the links

So, what’s so great about LACP?

Being a storage person this simplifies the network setup. In the case of NetApp I can create an Interface Group of 2 or more network links (NetApp recommends creating dynamic multimode ifgrps if your switches support LACP).

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