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HOW TO: Enable Jumbo Frames on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi 5.0) host server using the VMware vSphere Client

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
MVE^2, Expert of the Year 2017-2011, Scribe 2016-2012, Author of the Year 2017-6,2013-2012 VMware vExpert 2018-2011 27 years of experience.
The original payload size or maximum transmission unit (MTU) of an ethernet frame is 1500 bytes. A jumbo frame has an ethernet frame size of 9000 bytes or over. Common Jumbo Frame sizes are 9000, 9216 bytes (example - HP switches).

Enabling Jumbo Frames may help reduce storage latency and increase storage throughput when used in conjunction with iSCSI or NFS storage network protocols with a VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi 5.0) host server and a storage area network (SAN) or network attached storage (NAS) device.

Before enabling Jumbo Frames on an ESXi 5.0 server, check

(i) ensure the servers network interface card can support jumbo frames. Check with server or network manufacturer.
(ii) network switches support the use of jumbo frames, and enable jumbo frames on the network switches. Not all switches support the use of jumbo frames.
(iii) the SAN or NAS supports jumbo frames, and is enabled accordingly to manufacturers instructions.

The end to end network topology must support jumbo frames, otherwise ethernet frame packets will become fragmented, and performance will be degraded.

1. Connect to the VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi 5.0) Server


Using the VMware vSphere Client, Login and Connect to the ESXi 5.0 server, using IP address or hostname of the ESXi 5.0 server, using root username and password credentials. If you have a VMware vSphere vCenter server, you could also specify IP address or hostname of the vCenter server.

Using the VMware vSphere Client, Login and Connect to the ESXi 5.0 server

2. Select the Configuration Tab


Once you are logged into and connected to the host ESXi 5.0 server, Select the Configuration Tab.

Select the Configuration Tab

3. Select the Networking option


Click the Networking option to display the network vSwitches.

Click the Networking option to display the network vSwitches

4. Select the Properties of the vSwitch you wish to enable jumbo frames


Properties of vSwitch0
you can check the existing frame or MTU size of the vSwitch. In this example vSwitch0 is selected.

vSwitch0 Properties
Click Edit

5. Change MTU value of the selected vSwitch


Default MTU size 1500
The default MTU (frame) size is 1500, enter the MTU (jumbo frame size) either 9000 (9216 if you switch is HP). Check with your network switch and SAN/NAS vendor for correct jumbo frame size.

Custom MTU size 9000
Click OK and Close.

6. Jumbo Frames have been enabled successfully


Jumbo Frames configured successfully
You have successfully configured your vSwitch for jumbo frames.

7. Test Network Change


Once you have configured jumbo frames, it is important to test this change before commissioning any ESXi 5.0 server into production.

Thank you for reading my article, please leave valuable feedback.
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9 Comments
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Expert Comment

by:younghv
Another exceptional VMware Article. Thank you for putting it together.

"Yes" vote above.
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LVL 74

Expert Comment

by:Glen Knight
Yes from me too!

Nice work!
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LVL 130

Author Comment

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
@demazter: thanks.
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Sudeep Sharma
Good article.
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Author Comment

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
@Sudeep Many Thanks
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:MAS
Great article Andrew.
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LVL 130

Author Comment

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
@MAS Thank you.
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Sudeep Sharma
Hi Andrew,

Would it be possible for you to post the article for changing the jumbo frames on vCenter 6 through web interface (not VMware client).

Thanks,
Sudeep
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LVL 130

Author Comment

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
@Sudeep Sharma

Thanks for your comments, in the future, but by the time I've written the article, you have worked out how to do it...

In the future, I intend, to redo all the articles from the Web Client, or ESXi Web Client in versions 6.5 or 7.0!
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