This blog post is authored by Megha Jayaraman from Global Solutions Engineering team.

Do you find creating virtual networks for your Hyper-v hosts tedious and mundane? Are you still stuck in the creation and management of virtual NICs for your Hyper-v virtual machines? Is Dell AIM fast becoming your favorite infrastructure management tool?

Look no further. Dell’s latest AIM release provides features to automate the virtual networking management of disk-booted Microsoft Hyper-V VMRack (Hyper-V VMRack booting from server’s local disk). Along with managing disk-booted Hyper-V VMRack through AIM, you can now also automate the creation of Hyper-v virtual switches and virtual NICs for the virtual machines.  Remember, AIM does not alter the functionality of Hyper-v networking feature set, but rather compliments it. It automates the mundane tasks of creating virtual networks according to the datacenter topology and assigning the virtual machines to their networks through the Hyper-v network manager.

This blog gives a technical overview on how we can automate virtual networking of disk-booted Hyper-v network through AIM3.6.  You also have an option to manually manage the hypervisor networking through the Read-Only mode of the VMRack configuration.

With this new feature, based on the AIM network channels defined on the server, virtual switches are created for each of the physical NICs available on the host.  The following screenshot shows how channels are defined for the server network interfaces. Channel 1 and 2 correspond to the AIM reserved network – named SCN - while the Channel 3 and 4 are associated with an application network on VLAN 6.

Once AIM manages the virtual switch creation on the hypervisor, virtual networks automatically get created and appear under the virtual network manager wizard. The AIM controller assigns a unique virtual switch name on the Hyper-V VMRack based on the channel number and the associated VLAN of the network, that the channels are part of.  For example, the SCN virtual switch is labeled as AIM-vSwitch-SCN-1-vlan-4004, where 4004 is the SCN vlan id.

AIM3.6 also manages the networking requirements of the personas running in the virtual machines on the disk-booted Hyper-V VMRack. It automatically creates the virtual network adapters on the virtual machines based on the persona network connections and associates them with the virtual switch.

The following screenshot shows how the persona running inside a VM is connected to an application network apart from the SCN network.

Based on the primary channel the network VLAN is associated with, AIM configures the virtual network adapters on the virtual machine. In this figure, we can see how AIM has created a new virtual network adapter on the virtual machine VM1 and connected it to the virtual switch AIM-vswitch-chan-3-vlan 6. 

The following figure shows how AIM configures the network connectivity of the VM under its settings automatically. One thing to note here is that for the persona discovery and monitoring, AIM uses legacy network adapters available with the Microsoft Hyper-V using the SCN virtual network. For the application networks, AIM leverages the synthetic adapter and connects it to the respective virtual networks.

After upgrading to AIM 3.6, you would need to rediscover their existing disk-booted Microsoft Hyper-V VMRack and configure the VMRack parameters for automating virtual networking.

With this new feature addition of automating Hyper-V virtual networking, AIM truly delivers a holistic network management of the data center through identification, configuration and management of physical as well as virtual networking infrastructure.

To know more about this new AIM3.6 feature and the upgrading process, please refer to the AIM technical documentation available with your AIM software. If you are a newbie and want to know more about AIM and its capabilities, please visit http://www.dell.com/aim