How to use Jumbo Frames in vmWare

 
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Former Community Manager
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Target Versions
class=GramE>:   vmWare

3.5 (experimental), 4 and greater.




style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Introduction<o:p></o:p>



With the expansion of reliable high-speed networks there are
certain circumstances when implementing Jumbo Frame technology can improve
network efficiency. This post covers how to enable Jumbo frames on
class=SpellE>vmWare
to take advantage of this feature.




style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Terminology<o:p></o:p>



vmWare – A software solution allowing hardware,
including servers and networking equipment, to be virtualized.
style="mso-spacerun:yes"> 
This virtual equipment should be almost
indistinguishable from normal hardware to the OS and applications running in
the virtual environment.



Packet
Small parts of a larger block of data that are being transferred.
style="mso-spacerun:yes"> 
Contains information such as the source,
destination, and contents.



MTU
Maximum Transmission Unit is a setting on network equipment for how much data a
packet can hold before the data is split into additional packets.



Jumbo Frame
– A packet larger than 1,500 bytes.



Fragmentation
– When a device receives a jumbo packet with an MTU smaller than the
packet size, the packet has to undergo additional processing to split it to
smaller sizes.



Dropped packets
– When data moves too quickly and the network is
backlogged, or a device is incapable of handling a particular packet, it can
simply be dropped.  It is then up to
the source and destination to detect these lost packets of data to try to
resend them.




style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Considerations<o:p></o:p>



Many benefits come from taking advantage of the capacity and
reliability of newer networks configured to support Jumbo Frames.
style="mso-spacerun:yes"> 
In order for you to get the full
advantage of Jumbo Frames every endpoint communicating with the
class=SpellE>vmWare
server, as well as the network and equipment in
between, must also be capable of supporting Jumbo Frames.
style="mso-spacerun:yes"> 
If they do not then your network
efficiency may suffer due to fragmentation and dropped packets as equipment
tries to cope.



Jumbo frames also depend on the transfer of large blocks of
data that are waiting to be transferred. 
Examples would be very large backup files or software downloads.
style="mso-spacerun:yes"> 
Using Jumbo Frames means larger blocks of
data can be sent at a time, reducing network overhead, and improving
throughput.  Jumbo packets have
minimal advantages with transfers of smaller files, or in asynchronous real-time
data streams where there is a small, but constant, stream going between two
servers, such as streaming content (music and video), chats and IMs, remote
desktop sessions, telnet sessions, and even web browsing.



Given the potential for incompatibility issues with other
systems or networks not configured correctly for Jumbo Packets, and the limited
situations in which Jumbo Packets can be an advantage, you should plan your
deployment of Jumbo Packets carefully with a full review of your
environment. 
class=GramE>vmWare
can enable Jumbo Packets just for its internal
virtual adapters and switches creating a controlled environment, or you can
also configure Jumbo Packets for the physical network.



Finally, as the networking technologies continue to advance
organizations are coming closer to implementing IPv6.
style="mso-spacerun:yes"> 
Jumbo Packets, and larger MTUs, need
special consideration for such a change.
style="mso-spacerun:yes"> 
Under IPv4 intermediate devices, like
switches and routers, normally try and fragment Jumbo Packets that they, or a
destination device, cannot handle due to their own MTU settings. This may slow
down transmission while the data is being repackaged, but it will normally
still be delivered. Under IPv6, the recommendation for Jumbo Packets is that
the source determines the MTU for the entire path and makes suitable packets,
while intermediate devices like switches and routers will simply drop packets
that exceed their MTU.




style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Configuration ESXi
5.1 and later<o:p></o:p>



Configuration of Jumbo Frames for version 5.1 and later on
class=SpellE>vmWare
ESXi servers can be done
through the vSphere graphical user interface.



<![if !supportLists]>
style='mso-bidi-font-family:Calibri;mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-latin'>
style='mso-list:Ignore'>1.    
<![endif]>Browse to the host you wish to modify



<![if !supportLists]>
style='mso-bidi-font-family:Calibri;mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-latin'>
style='mso-list:Ignore'>2.    
<![endif]>On the ‘Manage’ tab and then click on
‘Networking’



<![if !supportLists]>
style='mso-bidi-font-family:Calibri;mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-latin'>
style='mso-list:Ignore'>3.    
<![endif]>Click ‘Virtual Switches’ and then select the switch
you wish to modify



<![if !supportLists]>
style='mso-bidi-font-family:Calibri;mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-latin'>
style='mso-list:Ignore'>4.    
<![endif]>Select ‘Edit Settings’



<![if !supportLists]>
style='mso-bidi-font-family:Calibri;mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-latin'>
style='mso-list:Ignore'>5.    
<![endif]>Once the properties are displayed you should see
the ‘MTU’ parameter




style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Configuring ESXi
5.0 and earlier<o:p></o:p>



Prior to version 5.1, the MTU settings were only
configurable through the console directly, or by SSH to the host system through
a series of command line tools.



<![if !supportLists]>
style='mso-bidi-font-family:Calibri;mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-latin'>
style='mso-list:Ignore'>1.    
<![endif]>Identify the switches setup on your system with
one of these commands -



ESXi5.0 :

#esxcli network
class=SpellE>vswitch
standard list




ESX3.5 and ESX/ESXi 4.x:

#esxcfg-vswitch
–l




This will output a table of switches configured on the system.
style="mso-spacerun:yes"> 
You will need the ‘DVS Name’ in the
first column, and you can check the current MTU value as well.

style='mso-special-character:line-break'>
<![if !supportLineBreakNewLine]>

<![endif]>



<![if !supportLists]>
style='mso-bidi-font-family:Calibri;mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-latin'>
style='mso-list:Ignore'>2.    
<![endif]>You can now set a specific MTU value with one of
these commands, replacing ‘MTU#’ with the MTU desired, and ‘DVSName
with the name of the switch to change.



ESXi5.0:

#esxcli network
class=SpellE>vswitch
standard set –m MTU# -v DVSName




ESX3.5 and ESX/ESXi 4.x:

#esxcfg-vswitch
–m MTU# DVSName


<![if !supportLineBreakNewLine]>

<![endif]>




style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>References<o:p></o:p>



Enabling
Jumbo Frames for VMKernel ports in a virtual
distributed switch (1038827)




href="https://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1038827">https://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1038827



<o:p> </o:p>




class=GramE>iSCSI
and Jumbo Frames configuration on ESX/
class=SpellE>ESXi
(1007654)




href="https://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1007654">https://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1007654





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