Building vSphere 6 with VSAN on IBM Softlayer: Part 3 – Configuring Networking on Softlayer

Now when we have ESXis installed and vCenter server deployed, we need to do some patching and, of course, networking config.
First, it is always a good idea to have your vSphere environment up to date. The thing is that Softlayer uses Images to provision servers and those images are not on the latest version. So, before you proceed you may want to do the following:

  1. Update vCenter server,
  2. Install Update Manager,
  3. Patch all ESXi servers to the latest version.

I will not be demonstrating how to do any of those, as those are very standard VMware procedures.

Now, the next considerations you need to make is related to network. You need to decide whether you want things like vMotion and VSAN to use same VLAN with management network or a dedicated VLANs. Decision is fully up to you, but whether you will chose to go dedicated or same, you need to do some changes/requests on Softlayer.

Below I will demonstrate how to order a new VLAN on Softlayer, how to get it trunked on your NICs and how to order a new Portable subnet. You can read more about Utilizing Subnets and IPs in Softlayer in following KL article, but for our case it is important to understand two things. Primary subnets are for use by Softlayer when placing new devices, portable subnets are for customer use. Simply saying, if we want to assign IP to something ourselves (vmkernel port groups for example) we need to have a portable subnet available to us.

There is two ways to order VLAN on Softlayer. One is using self-service Softlayer Portal, the second is by opening a ticket.

But before doing that we need to collect some info, mainly we need to know to which router we are connected. That’s very easy to check. All we need to do is to navigate to Device details of any of our ESXi servers. So, navigate to Device>Device list and click on the name on the hostname of any of your ESXi hosts. Once on device Details page, scroll down to the Networking portion, and check the details of VLAN: field under Private network. That’s the router name which we will need in next step. Here is how it looks for me.

router 2

Now, when we have our router, lets go through the first option and order VLAN using Softlayer Portal:

Ordering a VLAN using Softlayer portal

To do that, navigate to Network>IP Management>VLANs

VLAN

Once on the page, click the Order VLAN link in the top-right corner.

An Order VLAN pop-up windows will appear. Here, you can order a VLAN either by Datacenter or by Router. We have our router name, so we will go by router. Select the router from drop-down list, then select size of Primary subnet for this VLAN. As you remember Primary subnet is for Softlayer use and as we are not planing to place any devices in this VLAN, we can go with the smallest one, which is 8 static IPs(/29 subnet). Last option available here is to assign tag to a VLAN, it’s operational, but it’s always a good idea to do it, trust me.

Here is how the result looks for me:

order_vlan_b

Click Continue and you will be presented with a second page or Order VLAN wizard. Here you will need to fill some details according to RIR policy and RFC2050 guidelines. Nothing complicated, here is how I do it. (Of course make sure to use real phone number.)

RIR1

 

Once this is filled, scroll down check the check-box next to I have read Master Service Agreement and click Place Order. VLAN provisioning is a very vast process, it usually takes several seconds.

Once VLAN is processioned you will see it in your VLANs list.

Ordering a VLAN by opening a ticket to Softlayer support

Next way to order a VLAN is by opening a ticket. To open ticket navigate to Support>Add Ticket.

This ticket is going to be processed by a human, so feel free to describe what you need. Here is how I do it:

  • In Subject select Private network Question,
  • Keep the Assign To field as it is,
  • Give a Title to your ticket, something like: New VLAN request,
  • Keep the Associate Device blank,
  • In Details add description of request.

Here is an example of how I did it. Once done, click Add Ticket and wait for response form Softlayer support.

 

Ordering Portable subnet using Softlayer portal

Now, it’s time to order a portable subnet, the process is quite easy. Navigate to Network>IP management>Subnets and in the top-right corner click Order IP Addresses.

On Order IP Addresses page, from drop-down select the type of the subnet you are ordering. In our case a Portable Private.
Then select size of subnet. We have only 3 hosts, but in my case I am planning to add more, so I will order 32 IP subnet.

Portable_subnet_b

 

After clicking Continue, you will be presented with list of VLANs available to you. Select the VLAN you want to use:

Portable_subnet_VLAN

Click Continue and you will again appear on RIR policy and RFC2050 guidelines form. Fill it, scroll down, Accept Master Service Agreement and click Place Order.

Creating portable subnet takes seconds, so you sould be ready right away. Your new Portable subnet will appear in Subnets list. You can use IPs from this subnet to assign to your vmkernel interfaces, for VSAN or vMotion.

Requesting VLAN trunking using ticket

before you can use the new VLAN with new Portable subnet, you need to request Softlayer to trunk that VlAN to your servers.
There is on way to do it using Softlayer portal at the moment, so you will need to open another ticket.

As before, navigate to Support>Add Ticket and create ticket similar to the one in the following example:

VLAN_tunking

 

Once this request is complete, and you’ve got confirmation from Softlayer that VLANs are trunked, you are ready to proceed with configuration of networking on vSphere environment and eventually with configuration of VSAN.

See you in the next article.

 

The following two tabs change content below.
Aram Avetisyan is an IT specialist with more than 15 years experience. He has rich background in various IT related fields like Cloud, Virtualization, SDN, Disaster Recovery, and so on. He holds several industry level certifications including but not limited to VCIX6-DCV, VCIX6-NV, VCAP-CIA. As VCI Aram is delivering VMware authorised courses. For his contribution to the community, he was recognised as vEXPERT in years 2014, 2015 and 2016.

About Aram Avetisyan

Aram Avetisyan is an IT specialist with more than 15 years experience. He has rich background in various IT related fields like Cloud, Virtualization, SDN, Disaster Recovery, and so on. He holds several industry level certifications including but not limited to VCIX6-DCV, VCIX6-NV, VCAP-CIA. As VCI Aram is delivering VMware authorised courses. For his contribution to the community, he was recognised as vEXPERT in years 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Bookmark the permalink.