I recently realized that while I have been enjoying working with the enhanced LACP feature provided with the vSphere Distributed Switch (VDS) version 5.5, I’ve never actually taken any time to document the process. For those who want to create a Link Aggregation Group (LAG) in 5.5, or have already been through the process in 5.1 or older, I will share that the process is incredibly different. While there are a few more steps in the process and numerous wizards to walk through, the end results are spectacular. I think you’ll find the resulting LAG much more transparent and flexible than the days of yore. But, you’ll have to be the judge – so let’s dig in!
Migrating to VDS version 5.5
First things first. If you haven’t taken the time to upgrade your VDS to 5.5, we’ll need to get that squared away. I’ll walk through the process in my lab with an existing VDS version 5.1 that already has LACP enabled.
Start by navigating to VDS > Manage > Settings and verifying your properties. Make sure there are no errors on the switch, the hosts attached are healthy, and you have a backup (just in case).
Right click on the VDS and choose the Upgrade Distributed Switch… option from the contextual menu. My wizard had only one option: version 5.5.0 with new features (such as enhanced LACP support). Assuming that all of your attached hosts are running ESXi 5.5 or greater, the compatibility check will return green check marks and allow you to proceed as shown below:
The VDS I’m upgrading already uses LACP and needs to undergo feature conversion. You may not see this step if you don’t have LACP enabled. A final prompt in the wizard will confirm that I wish to include enhanced LACP support on my VDS. Check the box and click finish.
It’s time for … another wizard! Yay. 😉
Enhanced LACP Support Wizard
It’s time to get schooled on enhanced LACP support by another wizard. It’s nifty that VMware has taken the time to educate folks on what the upgrade means and how to configure the new options.
The first screen, which I’ve included below, covers the new features:
Once you’ve assimilated all of the magical new toys at your disposal, it’s time to run a validation test for port group accessibility, LACP configuration, uplink teaming policy, host accessibility, and host connectivity. The wizard is picky about making sure you are really, really ready for this upgrade. So, don’t slack (and take a backup)!
If everything passes the test, move along to the next screen where we actually get to build a LAG. Make sure to choose a highly descriptive and business sounding name – like I did below:
The completion screen gives you a recap that covers the LAG creation. I especially like the “your LACP basic support is ready to be enhanced” part. I read it in the voice of the HAL 9000. Didn’t you?
A task will kick off that reconfigures your VDS. Once completed, you can now dig into the guts of your new LAG and make some changes. We’ll continue this process on the next page …