Some cluster workloads are more sensitive to network latency than others. To configure the network for MSCS, start with a thorough understanding of your workload network requirements.

The following guidelines apply to provisioning the network for a MSCS VM:

  • Traffic types must be separated to keep like traffic contained to designated networks. vSphere can use separate interfaces for management, vSphere vMotion, and network-based storage traffic. Additional interfaces can be used for VM traffic such as MSCS traffic. Within VMs, different interfaces can be used to keep certain traffic separated.
  • Use 802.1q VLAN tagging and virtual switch port groups to logically separate traffic. In the case of different logical traffic, include two or more NIC cards in a team to increase the network capacity and provide failover capability. If you configure the teaming and failover policy on a virtual switch, the policy is propagated to all port groups in the switch. If you configure the policy on the port group, it overrides the policy inherited from switch. Using different types of network adapters eliminates connectivity across all network adapters if there is an issue with the NIC driver.
  • Use separate physical interfaces and dedicated port groups or virtual switches to physically separate traffic.
  • If you are using iSCSI, the network adapters must be dedicated to either network communication or iSCSI, but not both.
  • Enable jumbo frames on the virtual switches where you have enabled vSphere vMotion traffic or iSCSI traffic. Make sure that jumbo frames are also enabled on your physical network infrastructure before making this configuration on the virtual switches.
  • Use multi-nic vMotion in cases where a vMotion operation is initiated for a large memory VM and its large memory size is intensively utilized. With multi-nic vMotion, every vMotion operation utilizes multiple port links and this speeds up the vMotion process.
  • Use the VMXNET3 paravirtualized NIC. VMXNET 3 is the latest generation of paravirtualized NICs designed for performance. It offers several advanced features including multi-queue support, Receive Side Scaling, IPv4/IPv6 offloads, and MSI/MSI-X interrupt delivery.
  • Follow the guidelines on guest operating system networking considerations and hardware networking considerations in the Performance Best Practices for VMware vSphere 6.0 guide.