VMKernel Port: Default Stack Vs vMotion TCP/IP Stack

In VMware vSphere ESXi 6.x and/or later you get the VMKernel Port settings options: Default Stack Vs dedicated vMotion TCP/IP Stack Vs Provisioning Stack, which one you need to choose ? this is very confusing right. Don’t worry i am going to share the advantages and disadvantages of VMkernel Port default stack Vs vMotion TCP/IP stack Vs Provisioning Stack optional features.

I will discuss about VMware vSphere ESXi host VMKernel port setting:

  1. TCP/IP Stack: Default OR Default TCP/IP Stack
  2. TCP/IP Stack: vMotion OR vMotion TCP/IP Stack
  3. TCP/IP Stack: Provisioning OR Provisioning TCP/IP Stack
VMware ESXi TCP/IP Stack Options
VMware ESXi VMKernel Port- TCP/IP Stack Options

Read more: Nutanix AHV Networking Advanced Features

VMKernel Port: Default TCP/IP Stack

Default TCP/IP Stack is the multi-purpose stack that can be used to manage any of the host related traffic services. Shares a single default gateway between all configured network services.

Provides networking support for the management traffic between vCenter Server and ESXi hosts, and for system traffic such as vMotion, IP storage, Fault Tolerance, and so on.

  • Default TCP/IP stack: Supports management traffic
  • Default TCP/IP stack: Supports vMotion trafic
  • Default TCP/IP stack: Supports storage traffic
  • Default TCP/IP stack: Supports Fault Tolerance traffic

Read more: VMware EVC Mode Enabling Error in Nutanix vSphere Cluster

VMKernel Port: vMotion TCP/IP Stack

vMotion TCP/IP Stack is the isolated / dedicated vMotion traffic with more security onto its own stack for live migration of virtual machines. The use of this stack completely removes or disable vMotion traffic from the default TCP/IP stack.

If a live migration uses the default TCP/IP stack while you configure VMkernel adapters with the vMotion TCP/IP stack, the migration completes successfully. However, the involved VMkernel adapters on the default TCP/IP stack are disabled for future vMotion sessions.

Use the vMotion TCP/IP to provide better isolation for the vMotion traffic.

  • vMotion TCP/IP stack: Supports the live migration, vMotion, of virtual machines
  • vMotion TCP/IP stack is dedicated for vMotion traffic only, can’t use for another type of traffic
  • vMotion TCP/IP stack isolate the vMotion traffic from other traffic
  • vMotion TCP/IP stack traffic is more secure then default TCP/IP stack
  • vMotion TCP/IP stack disable the vMotion feature on Default TCP/IP stack VMKernel Port becuase vMotion TCP/IP stack is more secure and prioritized.

Read also: VMware P2V Migration Error: Unable to complete converter agent installation error code 1603

VMware VMKernel vMotion TCP/IP stack enabled the cross vCenter migration possibility to migrate the VMs without any challenge.

VMware vMotion TCP/IP Stack
VMware ESXi VMKernel Port: vMotion TCP/IP Stack

Note: When you choose vMotion TCP/IP stack, only vMotion traffic will be selected and other options will be grayed out.

Note: Creating VMKernel interface with vMotion TCP/IP stack will disable vMotion on all other VMKernel ports which are using Default TCP/IP stack.

Read also: Evacuate \ Remove Nutanix AHV ESXI Node from Cluster

VMKernel Port: Provisioning TCP/IP Stack

Provisioning TCP/IP Stack: utilized to isolate some virtual machine related operations such as cold migrations, cloning, snapshot, NFC related traffic.

  • Supports the traffic for virtual machine cold migration, cloning, and snapshot migration.
  • Provisioning TCP/IP to handle Network File Copy (NFC) traffic during long-distance vMotion.
  • NFC provides a file-specific FTP service for vSphere. ESXi uses NFC for copying and moving data between datastores.
  • VMkernel adapters configured with the provisioning TCP/IP stack handle the traffic from cloning the virtual disks of the migrated virtual machines in long-distance vMotion.
  • By using the provisioning TCP/IP stack, you can isolate the traffic from the cloning operations on a separate gateway.

After you configure a VMkernel adapter with the provisioning TCP/IP stack, all adapters on the default TCP/IP stack are disabled for the Provisioning traffic. Read more Provisioning in dedicated TCP/IP stacks

VMKernel Port: Provisioning TCP/IP Stack
VMware ESXi VMKernel Port: Provisioning TCP/IP Stack

Note: Provisioning traffic Handles the data that is transferred for virtual machine cold migration, cloning, and snapshot migration.

Read also: Cross Hypervisor Migration VMware To-from Nutanix AHV

VMKernel Port: TCP/IP Stack Configuration Video Tutorial

VMware ESXi VMKernel Port: TCP/IP Stack

Read more TCP/IP Stacks at the VMkernel Level

Conclusion

You can choose VMkernel Port setting as per your use-case fit scenario in preconfigured TCP/IP stack options: Default stack Vs vMotion TCP/IP stack Vs Provisioning Stack.

Thanks to being with HyperHCI Tech Blog to stay tuned.!

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