Exploring Dell EMC Networking for vSan

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This is the second entry in a five-part insideHPC guide series that explores networking with Dell EMC ready nodes. This post outlines the ins and outs of Dell EMC Networking for vSan. 


Download the full report.

Depending on the design requirements, the network fabric can be a leaf and spine (Clos) or a traditional hierarchical, three-tiered architecture (access, aggregation and core). The distributed nature of vSAN’s virtualized data store lends itself to a network architecture that can be scaled out horizontally, can provide predictable performance and control jitter between end nodes, offers multiple paths of equal cost between the different layers of switching and lowers oversubscription.


Such characteristics are typical of a leaf-and-spine (L/S) architecture, thereby making it the preferred architecture for VMware vSAN. Both a routed (L3) L/S and a switched (L2) network fabric can be deployed to support vSAN, each with its design considerations.

The VMware vSAN Network Guide provides in-depth information and guidelines regarding network considerations. Starting with vSAN 6.6, multicast is not required on the physical switches. However, if some hosts in the cluster are running earlier versions of software, a multicast network is still required.


Typical leaf and Spine Architecture (Clos). Preferred architecture for vSAN network fabrics. See Architecting a Dell EMC Hyper-converged Solution with VMware vSAN.

Alongside vSAN, VMware NSX is the VMware network virtualization and security platform that de-couples the network functions from the physical devices, in a way that is analogous to de-coupling virtual machines (VMs) from physical servers.

In order to de-couple the new virtual network from the traditional physical network, NSX natively re-creates the traditional network constructs in virtual space, which includes ports, switches, routers, and firewalls.

This insideHPC guide series will also cover the following topics in the coming weeks:

  • How Do I Network vSAN Ready Nodes?
  • How do I network Dell EMC Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct Ready Nodes?
  • Network switch configuration with Dell EMC Ready Nodes
  • Where Ready Nodes are the optimal choice

Download the full report, “A Practical Guide to Networking Dell EMC Ready Nodes,”  courtesy of Dell EMC, to learn more about Dell EMC Ready Nodes and Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct Ready Nodes.