Rate Limiting of External Networks in vCloud Director and Nexus 1000V

There is a new feature in vCloud Director 5.1 which was requested a lot by service providers – configurable limits on routed external networks (for example Internet) for each tenant. Limits can be set both for incoming and outgoing directions by vCloud Administrator on tenant’s Edge Gateway.

Edge Rate Limit Configuration
Edge Rate Limit Configuration

However this feature only works with VMware vSphere distributed switch – it does not work with Cisco Nexus 1000V or VMware standard switch. Why? Although the feature is provided by the Edge Gateway, what is actually happening in the background is that vShield Manager instructs vCenter to create a traffic shaping policy on the distributed vswitch port used by the Edge VM.

vSphere Distributed Switch Traffic Shaping
vSphere Distributed Switch Traffic Shaping

Standard switch does not allow port specific traffic shaping and Nexus 1000V management plane (Virtual Supervisor Module) is not accessible by the vShield Manager/vCenter. The rate limit could be applied on the port of the Cisco switch manually, however any Edge redeploy operation, which is accessible by the tenant via GUI would deploy a new Edge and use different port on the virtual switch and tenant could thus easily disable the limit.

For the standard switch backed external network vCloud Director GUI will not even present the option to set the rate limit, however for the Nexus backed external network the operation will fail with similar error:

Cannot update edge gateway “ACME_GW”
java.util.concurrent.ExecutionException: com.vmware.vcloud.fabric.nsm.error.VsmException: VSM response error (10086): Traffic shaping policy can be set only for a Vnic connected to a vmware distributed virtual portgroup configured with static port binding. Invalid portgroup ‘dvportgroup-9781’.

Nexus 1000V Error
Nexus 1000V Error

Btw the rate limit can be set on the Edge (when not using vCloud Director) also via vShield Manager or its API – it is called Traffic Shaping Policy and configurable in the vSM > Edge > Configure > Interfaces > Actions menu.

vShield Manager Traffic Shaping
vShield Manager Traffic Shaping

Do not forget to consider this when designing vCloud Director environments and choosing the virtual switch technology.

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