Example Architectural Decision – Securing vMotion & Fault Tolerance Traffic in IaaS/Cloud Environments

Problem Statement

vMotion and Fault tolerance logging traffic is unencrypted and anyone with access to the same VLAN/network could potentially view and/or compromise this traffic. How can the environment be made as secure as possible to ensure security between in a multi-tenant/multi-department environment?


1.  vMotion and FT is required in the vSphere cluster/s (although FT is currently not supported for VMs hosted with vCloud Director)
2. IP Storage is being used and vNetworking has 2 x 10GB for non Virtual Machine traffic such as VMKernel’s & 2 x 10GB NICs are available for Virtual Machine traffic (Similar to Example vNetworking Design for IP Storage)
3. VI3 or later


1. Ensure maximum security and performance for vMotion and FT traffic
2. Prevent vMotion and/or FT traffic impacting production virtual machines

Architectural Decision

vMotion & Fault tolerance logging traffic will each have a dedicated non routable VLAN which will be hosted on a dvSwitch which is physically separate from virtual machine distributed virtual switch.


1.  vMotion / FT traffic does not require external (or public) access
2. A VLAN per function ensures maximum security / performance with minimal design / implementation overhead
3. Prevent vMotion and/or FT traffic potentially impacting production virtual machine and vice versa by having the traffic share one or more broadcast domain/s
4. Ensure vMotion/FT traffic cannot leave there respective dedicated VLAN/s and potentially be sniffed


1. Two (2) VLANs with private IP ranges are required to be presented over 802.1q connections to the appropriate pNICs


1.  vMotion / FT share the ESXi management VLAN – This would increase risk of traffic being intercepted and “sniffed”
2. vMotion / FT share a dvSwitch with Virtual Machine networks while still running within dedicated non routable VLANs over 802.1q

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