Configuring Ports and Switches in VMM Illustrated Overview


Updated: May 13, 2016

Applies To: System Center 2012 SP1 - Virtual Machine Manager, System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager

In Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) in System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1) or System Center 2012 R2, you can consistently configure identical capabilities for network adapters across multiple hosts by using logical switches in combination with other networking elements such as port profiles. Logical switches act as containers for the properties or capabilities that you want your network adapters to have. Instead of configuring individual properties or capabilities for each network adapter, you can specify the capabilities in a logical switch, which you can then apply to the appropriate adapters. This can simplify the configuration process.

The illustrations in this topic show how logical switches work with port profiles and other networking elements to help simplify the process of configuring network adapters on host systems. The illustrations represent logical switches in System Center 2012 SP1 and System Center 2012 R2.

For more details about ports and switches in VMM, see Configuring Ports and Switches for VM Networks in VMM.

For illustrations of other networking elements in VMM, see Configuring VM Networks in VMM Illustrated Overview.

The following illustration shows a single test system in the host group “Test systems” at the top. It also illustrates multiple hosts in host groups that are lower down in the illustration. For the single test system, the administrator has configured switch and port settings individually. For the host groups, a logical switch has been created, so that switch and port settings can be applied in consistent ways across host systems. Logical switches are available in VMM in System Center 2012 SP1 and System Center 2012 R2.

A logical switch in VMM

Figure 1 Logical switch

This illustration shows how a logical switch brings the following together so that you can apply them to multiple network adapters:

  • Port profiles for uplinks (also called uplink port profiles)—for physical network adapters

  • Port classifications—for virtual network adapters

  • Port profiles for virtual network adapters

In the illustration, the logical switch contains a list of two uplink port profiles: “Uplinks with network virtualization” and “Uplinks for building 20.” (The list could contain more than two profiles.) When this logical switch is applied to a network adapter in a host system, the administrator can choose one of these uplink port profiles for that specific network adapter. The illustration indicates that the port profile called “Uplinks with network virtualization” has been applied to network adapters for a host group called “B1 Rack1” (which means building 1, rack 1). In contrast, the port profile called “Uplinks for building 20” has been applied to network adapters for a host group called “B20 Rack5” (building 20, rack 5).

Similarly, the logical switch contains two port classifications. Each port classification can contain one Hyper-V (native) port profile for virtual network adapters. The port classification called “High-bandwidth DB” (database) has been applied in some cases, and “Medium-bandwidth DB” has been applied in other cases.

A port classification in a logical switch can contain multiple switch extensions for virtual network adapters. The port classification identifies each switch extension, and it can also specify an extension port profile to use with that extension when it is used in that port classification. These additional elements are not shown in the illustration.

In the preceding illustration, the names of elements that you configure by running a wizard or opening a property sheet are shown in bold text, and elements that are on a page of the wizard or on a tab of the property sheet are shown without bold text.

The following illustration shows the network object model for logical switches in VMM in System Center 2012 SP1 and System Center 2012 R2. This illustration shows the relationships among network objects only, rather than indicating information about the wizards and property sheets through which the objects are configured in the VMM console. The illustration can be especially useful if you are learning about configuring VMM through Windows PowerShell scripts, which reflect the network object models directly.

For some objects in the illustration, sample names such as “Switch for central buildings” and “High-bandwidth DB” are included to help illustrate the purpose of those objects. Two of the objects, the Set of uplink port profiles and the Set of port profiles for virtual network adapters, are visible in Windows PowerShell, but not in the VMM console.

Object model for logical switches in VMM

Figure 2 Object model for logical switches

As indicated in the illustration, the view of the self-service user includes only port classifications, not other port or switch objects. By choosing a port classification, for example, “High-bandwidth DB,” the self-service user can easily choose an appropriate collection of settings for a particular virtual network adapter. Port classifications are created by a fabric administrator or tenant administrator, and they are made available in the cloud.

The following key explains the notations on the arrows:

  • 1-1 means “one-to-one.”

  • 1-M means “one-to-many.”

  • M-1 means “many-to-one.”

  • M-M means “many-to-many.”

In the preceding illustration, bold text is used for each VMM object name, regardless of how that object is configured through the VMM console.

Configuring Logical Networking in VMM Overview
Configuring Ports and Switches for VM Networks in VMM
Configuring VM Networks and Gateways in VMM
Configuring VM Networks in VMM Illustrated Overview
Common Scenarios for Networking in System Center 2012 SP1 and System Center 2012 R2