Virtually separate data and management network topology (CentOS, ESXi, Hyper-V, KVM, or XenServer)

In this topology, the data network and management network are virtually separate. Packets from the data network and packets from the management network are sent over the same physical connection. VLAN tagging on all management-network data packets is used to keep the traffic between the two networks separate.

Before you begin

Ensure that all appropriate ports are enabled, including ports that XClarity Administrator requires (see Port availability).

Ensure that the minimum required firmware is installed on each device that you intend to manage using XClarity Administrator. For information about firmware requirements, see Supported firmware.

Attention: If you intend to manage CMMs that are running a firmware level of Flex stack release 1.3.2.1 2PET12K through 2PET12Q, that have been running more than three weeks, and that are in a dual-CMM configuration, you must virtually reseat the CMMs before updating firmware using XClarity Administrator.

Ensure that VLAN IDs are set up for the data network and management network. Optionally, enable VLAN tagging from the Flex switches if you implement tagging from the Flex switches or enable from the top-of-rack switches if you implement tagging from the top-of-rack switches.

Ensure that you define the ports to which the CMMs are connected as belonging to the management VLAN.

Important: Configure the devices and components in ways that minimize IP address changes. Consider using static IP addresses instead of Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). If DHCP is used, ensure that IP address changes are minimized.

About this task

The following figure illustrates one way to set up your environment so that the management network is separated from the virtual network. The numbers in the figure correspond to the numbered steps in the following sections.

Note: This figure does not depict all cabling options that might be required for your environment, depending on the rack servers and components in the chassis that you might have. Instead, this figure shows only the cabling-option requirements for the Flex switches, CMMs, and rack servers as they relate to setting up virtually separate data and management networks.
Figure 1. Sample Network topology - Virtually separate data and management network
Illustrates a virtually separate network in an ESXi, Hyper-V, KVM, or XenServer environment.

In this scenario, XClarity Administrator is installed on a server in a Flex System chassis that is being managed by XClarity Administrator.

Important: You can setup XClarity Administrator on any system that meets the requirements for XClarity Administrator, including a managed server. If you use a managed server for the XClarity Administrator host:
  • You must implement either a virtually separate data and management network topology or a single data and management network topology.
  • You cannot use XClarity Administrator to apply firmware updates to that managed server. Even when only some of the firmware is applied with immediate activation, XClarity Administrator forces the target server to restart, which would restart XClarity Administrator as well. When applied with deferred activation, only some firmware is applied when the XClarity Administrator host is restarted.
  • If you use a server in a Flex System chassis, ensure that the server is set to automatically power on. You can set this option from the CMM web interface by clicking Chassis Management > Compute Nodes, then selecting the server, and selecting Auto Power for the Auto Power On Mode.

Also in this scenario, all data is sent over the same physical connections. The separation of the management network from the data network is accomplished through VLAN tagging, in which specific tags corresponding to the management network are appended to incoming data packets to ensure that they are routed to the appropriate interfaces. The tags are removed from outgoing data packets.

VLAN tagging can be enabled on one of the following devices:
  • Top-of-rack switches. VLAN tags corresponding to the management network are added to packets as they enter the top-of-rack switch and are passed through the Flex switches and on to the servers in the Flex System chassis. On the return route, VLAN tags are removed as they are sent from the top-of-rack switch to the management controllers.
  • Flex switches. VLAN tags corresponding to the management network are added to packets as they enter the Flex switches and are passed to the servers in a Flex System chassis. On the return route, VLAN tags are added by the servers, and passed to the Flex switches, which remove them when forwarding to the management controllers.

The choice of whether to implement VLAN tagging is based on the needs and complexity of your environment.

If you intend to install XClarity Administrator to manage existing chassis and rack servers that have already been configured, proceed to Step 5: Install and configure the host.

For additional information about planning for this topology, including information about network settings and Eth1 and Eth0 configuration, see Virtually separate data and management network.