Enhanced data path is a networking stack mode, which when configured provides superior network performance. It is primarily targeted for NFV workloads, which requires the performance benefits provided by this mode.

The N-VDS switch can be configured in the enhanced data path mode only on an ESXi host.

In the enhanced data path mode, you can configure:

  • Overlay traffic

  • VLAN traffic

High-level process to configure Enhanced Data Path

As a network administrator, before creating transport zones supporting N-VDS in enhanced data path mode, you must prepare the network with the supported NIC cards and drivers. To improve network performance, you can enable the Load Balanced Source teaming policy to become NUMA node aware.

The high-level steps are as follows:

  1. Use NIC cards that support enhanced data path.

    See VMware Compatibility Guide to know NIC cards that support enhanced data path.

    On the VMware Compatibility Guide page, under the IO devices category, select ESXi 6.7, IO device Type as Network, and feature as N-VDS Enhanced Datapath.

  2. Download and install the NIC drivers from the My VMware page.

  3. Create an uplink policy.

    See Create an Uplink Profile.

  4. Create a transport zone with N-VDS in the enhanced data path mode.

    See Create Transport Zones.

  5. Create a host transport node. Configure the enhanced data path N-VDS with logical cores and NUMA nodes.

    See Create a Host Transport Node.

Load Balanced Source Teaming Policy Mode Aware of NUMA

The Load Balanced Source teaming policy mode defined for an enhanced datapath N-VDS becomes aware of NUMA when the following conditions are met:

  • The Latency Sensitivity on VMs is High.

  • The network adapter type used is VMXNET3.

If the NUMA node location of either the VM or the physical NIC is not available, then the Load Balanced Source teaming policy does not consider NUMA awareness to align VMs and NICs.

The teaming policy functions without NUMA awareness in the following conditions:

  • The LAG uplink is configured with physical links from multiple NUMA nodes.

  • The VM has affinity to multiple NUMA nodes.

  • The ESXi host failed to define NUMA information for either VM or physical links.