Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Remote Switchport Identification for ESXi

I was working by remote, trying to complete some work in a client's VMware environment when I discovered that one of the hosts didn't have the proper trunking to its network adapters. I had access to the managed switch, but for one reason or another, the ports weren't identified in the switch. Had the switch been from Cisco, the host itself could've told me what I needed: ESXi supports CDP on the standard virtual switch & uplinks.
But this was an HP switch.
Luckily, I had three things going for me:

  1. The HP switch supported LLDP
  2. I had access to temporary Enterprise Plus licensing
  3. The host had redundant links for the virtual switch.
How did that help? 

While the standard switch will only support CDP, the VMware Distributed Switch (VDS) supports either CDP or LLDP.

Here's how I managed to get my port assignments:
  1. Create a VDS instance
  2. Modify the distributed virtual switch (DVS) to use LLDP instead of CDP (the default)
  3. Update host licensing to temporary Enterprise Plus
  4. Add one (1) adapter to the DVS uplink group
  5. After 30 seconds, click on the "information" link for the adapter to retrieve switchport details
  6. Return adapter to the original standard switch
  7. Repeat steps 3-5 for additional adapters
  8. Remove host from DVS
  9. Return host licensing back to original license
  10. Repeat steps 3-9 for remaining hosts
  11. Remove DVS from environment

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