Feature Summary

Use VMware vSphere Network I/O Control to configure rules and policies at the virtual machine level and to assure that I/O resources are always available for your business-critical applications. NIOC monitors the network. Whenever it sees congestion, it automatically shifts resources to your highest-priority applications as defined by your business rules.

Thanks to NIOC, your administrators can be more productive, you can extend virtualization across more workloads and your infrastructure can become more versatile.

NIOC Architecture Diagram

NIOC Architecture Diagram

Meet and Enhance Service Levels for Business-Critical Applications

  • Increase administrators’ productivity by reducing their time spent on active performance management.
  • Bridge virtual and physical infrastructure QoS with per-resource 802.1 tagging.
  • Set, view and monitor network resource shares and limits.
  • Guarantee minimum service levels with distributed switch bandwidth reservations.

Optimize Your Workloads

  • Virtualize additional workloads, including I/O-intensive, business-critical applications.
  • Ensure that each cloud tenant gets its assigned share of I/O resources.
  • Set and enforce network priorities (per VM) across a cluster.

Gain an Agile, Flexible Infrastructure

  • Reduce your need for network interfaces dedicated to a single virtual machine or application.
  • Enable multi-tenancy deployments.

Technical Details

Many of today's virtualized data centers are shifting to 10-gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) network adapters instead of configuring multiple 1GB network cards. 10GbE provides bandwidth for multiple traffic flows to share the same physical link.

10GbE adapters simplify networking infrastructure and remedy other 1GB drawbacks such as inadequate bandwidth and lower utilization. Even with these 10GbE advantages, it is still necessary to ensure that traffic flows can access sufficient bandwidth.

NIOC addresses this requirement by enabling diverse workloads to coexist on a single networking pipe, thus taking full advantage of 10GbE. NIOC revolves around resource pools similar to those for CPU and memory. The VMware vSphere administrator is given control to ensure predictable network performance when multiple traffic types contend for the same physical network resources. NIOC is only supported with the VMware vSphere Distributed Switch (VDS).

NIOC equips administrators with these capabilities:

  • Isolation - Ensures traffic isolation so that a given flow will never dominate over others, preventing drops.
  • Shares - Allows flexible networking capacity partitioning to help users deal when flows compete for the same resources.
  • Limits - Enforce traffic bandwidth limit on the overall VDS set of dvUplinks.
  • Load-based Teaming - Efficiently uses a VDS set of dvUplinks for networking capacity.
  • IEEE 802.1p tagging - Tags outbound packets from the vSphere host for proper handling by physical network resources.

NIOC classifies traffic into a number of predefined resource pools:

  • VMware vSphere vMotion
  • iSCSI
  • FT logging
  • Management
  • Network File System (NFS)
  • Virtual machine traffic
  • vSphere Replication traffic
  • User defined