Bridging a HiperSockets LAN with a z/VM Virtual Switch

A HiperSockets channel by itself is only capable of providing intra-CEC (Central Execution Complex) communications. The HiperSockets Bridge Port allows a virtual switch to connect z/VM® guests using real HiperSockets devices, the ability to communicate with hosts residing external to the CEC. A single IP address and virtual machine network connection can be used to communicate over the internal and external segments of the LAN. The fact that a given destination address may reside on the local HiperSockets channel or outside the CEC is totally transparent to the bridge capable port. Incorporating the HiperSockets channel into the flat layer 2 broadcast domain through the OSD adapter simplifies networking configuration and maintenance. The virtual switch HiperSockets Bridge Port eliminates the need to configure a separate next hop router on the HiperSockets channel to provide connectivity to destinations residing outside of a HiperSockets channel. This avoids the need to create routes for this internal route in all hosted servers and the extra hop of a router to provide the layer 3 routing functions. See Figure 1 for an example of a bridged HiperSockets configuration.

The virtual switch HiperSockets Bridge support expands the use cases and capabilities of the HiperSockets channel:

  • Full function, industry standard robust L2 bridging technology.
  • Single NIC configuration simplifies network connectivity and management
  • No guest configuration changes required for exploitation (transparent to guest OS).
  • Provides Live Guest Relocation (LGR) of guests with real HiperSockets Bridge Capable IQD connections within and between bridged CECs.
  • There is no limit in the number of z/VM LPARs that can participate in a bridged HiperSockets LAN.
  • Ability to create a single broadcast domain across multiple CECs (Cross CEC bridged HiperSockets channel network).
  • By default the z/VM virtual switch provides a highly available network connection to the external network.

Only HiperSockets Bridge Capable Ports as defined in Introduction to Connectivity Terminology, are allowed to be bridged. Although, non HiperSockets Bridge Capable Ports may also use the HiperSockets channel, but no bridging will be performed for these ports.

Figure 1. Bridged HiperSockets channel
Bridged HiperSockets channel