Manage vSwitch

The vSwitch Controller GUI enables you to perform various management tasks, including:

  • View status and flow statistics for elements within the virtual network
  • Set up VM access control, Quality of Service, and traffic mirroring policies
  • Modify configuration of the vSwitch Controller virtual appliance

Interface overview

The vSwitch Controller GUI is has three different panels. These panels are shown in the next figure.

A screenshot of the vSwitch Controller GUI. The top of the image is labeled 'Top Panel'. The left panel, which takes up about 16% of the width, is labeled 'Side Panel'. The remaining area is labeled 'Main Panel Data Area'.

Top panel

The top panel is always visible when using the GUI and includes a status bar and a set of main navigation icons.

Status bar

The gray status bar at the top of the vSwitch Controller window contains the following information and functions (left to right):

  • Version: Current vSwitch Controller version.
  • Online Help: Click to display or close an online help area near the top of the controller window.
  • Logout: Click to log out of the vSwitch Controller GUI.
  • User: Displays the user name of the user that is currently logged in.
  • Refresh icon: Click to update the information on the page.
  • Play/Pause: Click to toggle whether the GUI automatically refreshes data on the screen using background updates. In play mode, the data that is shown refreshes automatically every 15 seconds. In pause mode, most data is not updated. However, a few elements are updated, notably the resource tree. The status bar background behind the buttons turns orange and a “Data Updates Paused” indicator appears in the status bar when in pause mode.

Top icons

Click the top icons to access the major functional areas within the GUI.

Side panel

The side panel is available only in the Visibility and Control and Settings section.

For the Visibility and Control section, the side panel contains a resource tree that you can use to browse network elements within the virtual network environment. Similar to the resource tree in XenCenter, elements are organized hierarchically and provide an easy way to browse elements within the system. To expand a section of the resource tree, click the side-facing arrow next to the node text. An expanded node is marked with a down-facing arrow, which you can click to collapse.

When you select an element from the resource tree, the main panel displays status and configuration data for that node in the tree. For example, if you select a VM from the resource tree and choose Status in the Visibility and Control section, the main panel displays status information about the selected VM.

The resource tree includes a search function. To filter the contents based on a search string, enter text in the search field, and press Enter. Click the X symbol to clear the search. Searches support wildcards (* for one or more characters and ? for a single character). If wildcards are not used, the system performs a substring search as if a * wildcard is at the start and end of the search string. For example, the search “Lab” finds all items with “Lab” in the name, such as “Laboratory-1” and “New-Lab-5.”

For the Settings section, the side panel contains icons to select which area of vSwitch Controller configuration the user would like to view or modify

Use the resource tree

At the highest level, the resource tree displays the following items:

  • All Resource Pools: List of all the available resource pools. This list is the top-level resource for exploring all XenServer hosts, Networks, VMs, and VIFs that are part of each resource pool.
  • Address Groups: Named sets of IP addresses and subnet ranges. These groups are used for the following purposes:
    • To limit the application of a rule in the access control section
    • To limit the scope of a query in the Flow Statistics section
  • VM Groups: Named sets of VMs to be used to simplify viewing the status and flow statistics of a particular collection of VMs.

When you expand a resource pool in the resource tree, the following items are displayed:

  • Pool-wide networks: This list includes all networks in the resource pool and is similar to the list in the Network tab of XenCenter. You can expand the list to show the individual networks, expand a network to show the VMs on that network, and expand a VM to show its VIFs on that network.
  • XenServer hosts. This list is similar to the server hierarchy in XenCenter. You can expand the list to show all of the servers in the pool and expand a single server entry to show the networks, VMs, and VIFs associated with the server. The Server Networks listing is similar to what you see if you click a server in XenCenter and choose the Network tab.
  • All VMs: This list shows all VMs in the resource pool, whether or not they are configured for a single server. You can expand the list to show the individual VMs, and expand a VM to show its VIFs.

Right-click context menus on nodes are available on most nodes to provide a simple way of adding, modifying, and deleting items in the resource tree.

Color-coded icons

Color-coded icons in the resource tree show the state of tree nodes under the top-level “All Resource Pools” node. Similar to XenCenter, these color codes are based on data retrieved via XAPI from each pool master. When a node state changes, the icon is updated as follows:

  • Green: A green icon indicates that the resource is active on the network and properly managed by the vSwitch Controller.
  • Red: For a Resource Pool node, the red indicates that a XAPI connection can’t be established to the pool master. If the Resource Pool node is green, a red icon for any node below it indicates that the element is not currently active on the network. For example, the element is powered off or disconnected.
  • Orange: An orange icon indicates that the node, or one of its descendants, is not properly connected or managed. The status page for the associated resource displays an error message describing the problem.

The color codes on the tree menu items are also displayed on the Status page for the node. For detailed information on the color codes and status information, see Troubleshoot vSwitch Controller issues.

Main panel data area

The main panel data area contains status information, statistics, and configuration settings.

  • Dashboard: There is no side menu and the main panel data area takes up the full area below the top panel. The dashboard main panel provides an overview of all virtual networks managed by the vSwitch Controller.
  • Visibility and Control: The main panel takes up the right side of the window below the top panel. The panel includes tabs at the top that correspond to the following major visibility and control functions:
    • Status: View detailed status information for the selected resource tree node.
    • Flow Statistics: View a graph and data on network activity for the selected node.
    • Access Control: Set up access control policies for the selected node.
    • Port Configuration: Set up Quality of Service and traffic mirroring policies for the selected node.
  • Settings: The main panel takes up the right side of the window below the top panel. The setting main panel displays details for viewing or configuring vSwitch Controller settings based on the subsection selected in the side panel.

Within the Visibility and Control section, the data displayed in the main panel changes to reflect the hierarchy level and the specific item that you selected in the side panel.

For example, if you select a resource pool in the side panel and click the Access Control tab, the main panel displays the following:

  • The global access control security policy
  • The policy for the selected resource pool

If you select a virtual interface (VIF) from the side panel and click the Access Control tab, the main panel displays:

  • The global access control security policy
  • The policy for the resource pool that contains the VIF
  • The policy for the VM that contains the VIF
  • The policy for the selected VIF

Monitor network status with the dashboard

The dashboard presents summary statistics and information about events within the virtual network environment. To display the dashboard, click the Dashboard icon at the top of the vSwitch Controller interface.

The dashboard is divided into the areas described in this section. The information is automatically updated every few seconds.

Server statistics

This section presents the following general information about the vSwitch Controller.

  • Up Time: Length of time since the vSwitch Controller was last started.
  • CPU Load: Current percent of CPU utilization for the vSwitch Controller virtual appliance.

Network statistics

This section shows an inventory of network elements (resource pools, XenServer hosts, networks, and VMs) For each of the following categories:

  • Managed: Number of elements of this type that are in a running state according to XAPI and currently managed by the vSwitch Controller.
  • Active: Number of elements of this type that are in a running state according to XAPI. Includes managed and unmanaged elements.
  • Total: Number of elements of this type (active or not) that are known to exist via XAPI.

When the system is configured and operating correctly, the managed and active counts are the same. The total count is always equal to or greater than the managed and active count. Components that are powered off are not shown as managed by the controller.

Recent network events

This section lists the most recent events that have occurred within the managed virtual networks since the vSwitch Controller was last restarted. Use the scroll bar on the right to scroll through the list. The most recent event is listed first. Over time, older events are deleted from the list.

The following information is reported for each network event:

  • Priority: Relative importance of the event.
  • Date/Time: Date and time that the event occurred.
  • Event: Description of the event. You can click hyperlinks in an event description to access the corresponding Visibility and Control Status pages of network elements mentioned in the event.

Network events can be exported to a syslog server for a more permanent record. For more information, see Export syslog files.

Recent administrative events

This section lists events that have occurred within the vSwitch Controller, often as a result of an administrator changing configuration within the GUI. Use the scroll bar on the right to scroll through the list. The most recent event is listed first. Over time, older events are deleted from the list.

The following information is reported for each administrative event:

  • Priority: Relative importance of the event.
  • Date/Time: Date and time that the event occurred.
  • Event: Description of the event. You can click hyperlinks in an event description to access the Visibility and Control Status pages of network elements mentioned in the event.

Network events can be exported to a syslog server for a more permanent record. For more information, see Export syslog files.

Throughput, flows, and bit-rate graphs

These graphs display information about the behavior of the most active VMs and protocols.

The graphs display the following information:

  • Aggregate Throughput (bits/sec) for the last hour
  • Aggregate Packet Rate (packets/sec) for the last hour
  • Aggregate Connection Rate (flows/sec) for the last hour

Manage vSwitch