Cisco UCS Manager
(UCSM) and Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) integration
extends the Virtual Machine Fabric Extender (VM-FEX) technology to the
Microsoft virtualization platform. The architecture allows Cisco UCSM to
configure the networking objects that Microsoft SCVMM uses to set up its
networking stacks. Microsoft SCVMM uses the networking objects that are created
by Cisco UCSM and deploys them on the Microsoft Hyper-V host that hosts the
The Hyper-V uses
Single Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV) technology to deploy virtual
connections. The VM's interface gets mapped to the virtual function. The SR-IOV
support was added to Cisco UCS Release 2.1 to allow the deployment of VM-FEX in
Microsoft Hyper-V hosts, but it lacked a centralized VM network management.
supports the management plane
integration with Microsoft SCVMM and provides a centralized VM network
management for the Hyper-V hosts. The deployment leverages the SR-IOV
technology that is available on the Cisco virtual interface card (VIC) adapters
and enables Cisco UCS fabric interconnects (FIs) to be VM aware.
Figure 1 shows the
Cisco UCS VM-FEX with Microsoft SCVMM architecture.
Figure 1. Cisco UCS VM-FEX
with Microsoft SCVMM Architecture
Cisco UCSM deploys
the service profiles and provisions the baremetal as part of the service
profile deployment. While configuring the service profile network settings for
the Hyper-V hosts, the administrators have to make sure that the SR-IOV support
is enabled. The network administrator defines the networking objects, for
example, the VLANs and the port profiles in Cisco UCSM. These objects get
pushed to Cisco NX-OS in the fabric interconnect (FI). The server administrator
installs the Cisco UCS provider plugin on Microsoft SCVMM.
The Cisco UCS
provider plugin enables Microsoft SCVMM to pull the networking objects from
Cisco UCSM, use them natively, and deploy them on the Hyper-V hosts. The hosts
that are being added to the host groups are the same servers that Cisco UCSM
has deployed using the service profiles. It also pulls the network
configuration that is specified in Cisco UCSM and pushes it to the Hyper-V
host. When you deploy a Logical Switch on the Hyper-V host, the driver
extension gets pushed to the host.
The Cisco UCS VM-FEX
forwarding extension is a driver extension that is situated on the Hyper-V
host. It ensures that the packets are forwarded to the fabric interconnect (FI)
and the switching occurs in the FI. The FI is aware of all the MAC addresses of
the VMs. The VM-FEX forwarding extension driver gets the configuration from
Microsoft SCVMM and instructs Cisco NX-OS to provision a virtual Ethernet
interface for virtunal NICs (vNICs) that come up on the host.
Dynamic VM-FEX vEth
Link Provisioning connects the Hyper-v host and Cisco NX-OS. When a VM is
online or when you power on a VM, its network card sends a VIC attach using the
Cisco VIC protocol and it gets dynamically connected to the FI.
Microsoft Hyper-V is
a virtualization package for Windows Server 2012 and later releases on an
x86-64 hardware platform. Hyper-V uses x86 hardware virtualization extensions
(for example, Intel VT-x) to implement a hypervisor that hosts VMs as userspace
With VM-FEX for
Hyper-V, the hypervisor performs no switching of VM traffic. Working with an
installed VIC adapter, the hypervisor acts as an interface virtualizer, and
performs the following functions:
going from a VM to the VIC, the interface virtualizer identifies the source
vNIC so that the VIC can explicitly tag each of the packets generated by that
received from the VIC, the interface virtualizer directs the packet to the
All switching is
performed by the external fabric interconnect, which can switch not only
between the physical ports, but also between the virtual interfaces (VIFs) that
correspond to the vNICs on the VMs.