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Can i use a guest VM to trunk/connect ESXi vswitch port group vlans?

Hi everyone,

At the moment i have:

4 x Windows 2003 guest vm's each on their own subnet.
4 x port groups on vswitch0 each assigned a unique VLAN ID and then one of the above guest VM's allocated to each port group.

The idea is to have each guest VM in it's own VLAN, which i think the above achieves using Virtual Switch Tagging.

My question is do i really need a physical switch to perform the trunking or is it possible for me to install a linux vm or a pfense vm and have it be aware of the four vlan port groups and then perform the routing between the four windows vm subnets?

I know pfsense supports 802.1q vlans but what i get stuck at is understanding how the pfsense guest VM on the same ESXi host as the windows vm's will see traffic from all 4 of the vlan port groups.

I don't know if the default 'VM Network' port group which has no VLAN ID automatically trunks with all it's sub port groups so any VM in there will see all VLANS ?

Apologies if this doesn't make a whole lot of sense. If anyone can offer some pointers id appreciate it. I'd rather not have to go out and buy a switch to trunk four VM's if possible.

Many thanks


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A vswitch is like a hardware switch, trunking can be setup between a vswitch and a hardware switch.
A VM will not be able to perform the trunking for the other VMs.

see the doc from vmware:
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VMware, a software company founded in 1998, was one of the first commercially successful companies to offer x86 virtualization. The storage company EMC purchased VMware in 1994. Dell Technologies acquired EMC in 2016. VMware’s parent company is now Dell Technologies. VMware has many software products that run on desktops, Microsoft Windows, Linux, and macOS, which allows the virtualizing of the x86 architecture. Its enterprise software hypervisor for servers, VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi), is a bare-metal hypervisor that runs directly on the server hardware and does not require an additional underlying operating system.

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