UCS virutalization support includes VN-Link hardware capable adapters, provisioning of vNIC through policies and configuring VIFs.
Support for integration with VMware is embedded in the service-profiles, which allows for dynamic VIFs definition and policy consumption. Multiple dynamic vNIC connection policies can be created and each of the policies defines a number of dynamic vNICs. A service profile that consumes a dynamic vNIC connection policy, at the time of server association uses the policy to configure and pre-provision these vNIC’s on the adapter in the server. For Palo, these vNICs are the pre-provisioned (stateless) uplink ports; the VM-NICs (Virtual Machine Network Interface Cards) are associated with these uplinks one-to-one dynamically as VM interfaces are created by vCenter.
Management Plane Integration
One of the benefits with the management plane integration is that it separates the role of network administrators from the server administrators in contrast to a traditional vCenter management. The network administrator can now create and define the port-profiles policies and other networking related configurations in UCSM. These port-profiles policies are visible and available to the server administrator of vCenter where he/she can choose these profiles while defining a VM or adding ESX hypervisor host in a “Data Center”. Actual network policies are opaque to the server administrator. Changes in network policy are applied to the existing set of dynamic VIFs on the Fabric Interconnect, without requiring any update in vCenter.
After port-profile configuration, the administrator can apply these profiles to either all the DVSes (Distributed Virtual Switches) or a subset of them. vCenter internally refers to the port-profiles by “DV Port group ID”. When a profile is pushed to vCenter, UCSM obtains its corresponding port-group ID. Once the port profiles are pushed to the vCenter and service profile for the ESX host is associated with a physical server, the server administrator can start managing that ESX host in the vCenter and creating Virtual Machines on the ESX host. The VMs use VMware’s software vSwitch implementation by default, but in case of a UCS server with Palo adapter VMs, Service Console, and VMkernel can be “migrated” to use VN-Link in hardware. At that point, the server administrator chooses the port-profile for a given vNIC.