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How do I configure ESXi network ports, trucks etc...

Posted on 2009-07-08
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-07
Hello Experts

I have a new ESXi and this is my first installation (newbie alert).

I want advice on how to configure my network properly to allow the guests to access all of my vlans.

I have cisco switches and 6 interfaces in my esx server.

I only have local storage and a single server so I will not be using vmotion and the other fancy features just yet... that's not to sayu I won't in the future...

I'm looking for advice on how to configure the switch ports and also the vswitch in esxi.

I hope you can help (I'm sure you can...)
Question by:arronpitman2
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LVL 42

Assisted Solution

by:Paul Solovyovsky
Paul Solovyovsky earned 150 total points
ID: 24804790
The instructions below are pretty good for Cisco environment.  If you're using Cisco gear than Etherchannel is your best best which allows inbound/outbound port aggregation.  Ensure that you have IP hash configured on the the vswitch and you're just about there.

This article focuses on concepts, limitations, and sample configuration of Link aggregation / NIC Teaming / LACP / Ether-Channel connectivity between ESX 3.x Server and a Physical Network Switch, in particular, Cisco and HP.

The following explains link aggregation concepts:

EtherChannel:is a port trunking (link aggregation is Cisco's term) technology used primarily on Cisco switches. It allows grouping several physical Ethernet links to create one logical Ethernet link for the purpose of providing fault-tolerance and high-speed links between switches, routers, and servers. An Ether-Channel can be created from between two and eight active Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, or 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports, with an additional one to eight inactive (failover) ports which become active as the other active ports fail.  
LACP or IEEE 802.3ad:The Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP) is included in IEEE specification as a method to control the bundling of several physical ports together to form a single logical channel. LACP allows a network device to negotiate an automatic bundling of links by sending LACP packets to the peer (directly connected device that also implements LACP).  
EtherChannel vs. 802.ad: EtherChannel and IEEE 802.3ad standards are very similar and accomplish the same goal. There are a few differences between the two, other than EtherChannel is Cisco proprietary and 802.3ad  is an open standard.  
For additional information regarding Cisco EtherChannel, see http://www.cisco.com/en/US/tech/tk389/tk213/technologies_tech_note09186a0080094714.shtml 
The following are EtherChannel supported scenarios:

One IP to many IP connections. (Host A making two connection sessions to Host B and C)
Many IP to many IP connections. (Host A and B multiple connection sessions to Host C,D, and etc)

Note: One IP to one IP connections over multiple NIC is not supported. (Host A one connection session to Host B uses only one NIC)

Compatible with all ESX VLAN configuration modes: VST, EST, and VGT. For more information on these modes, see Configuring VLANs in an ESX Server environment (1003806).
Supported Cisco configuration:  EtherChannel Mode ON  (Enable Etherchannel only)
Supported HP configuration: Trunk Mode
Supported switch Aggregation algorithm: IP-SRC-DST short for (IP-Source-Destination)
Supported Virtual Switch NIC Teaming mode: IP HASH  
Lower model Cisco switches may have MAC-SRC-DST set by default and may require additional configuration. See the following article for additional information:  http://www.cisco.com/en/US/tech/tk389/tk213/technologies_tech_note09186a0080094714.shtml
The following is a Cisco EtherChannel sample configuration:

interface Port-channel1
 switchport access vlan 100
 switchport mode access
 no ip address
interface GigabitEthernet1/1
 switchport access vlan 100
 switchport mode access
 no ip address
 channel-group 1 mode on
LVL 42

Accepted Solution

Paul Solovyovsky earned 150 total points
ID: 24804806
The following describes ESX link aggregation:

ESX host only supports NIC teaming on a single physical switch or stacked switches.
Link aggregation is never supported on disparate trunked switches.
The switch must be set to perform 802.3ad link aggregation in static mode ON and the virtual switch must have its load balancing method set to Route based on IP hash.
Enabling either Route based on IP hash without 802.3ad aggregation or vice-versa disrupts networking, so you must make the changes to the virtual switch first. That way, the service console is not available, but the physical switch management interface is, so you can enable aggregation on the ports involved to restore networking.
For more information on ESX networking concepts, see the Virtual Machine Networking Guide.
For more information on VLAN configuration for NIC teaming, see VLAN Configuration on Virtual Switch, Physical Switch, and Virtual Machines - ESX 3.x (1003806).
To configure NIC teaming on ESX and a physical switch, see Sample configuration of EtherChannel / Link aggregation with ESX 3.x and Cisco /HP switches (1004048).

To configure VLAN on the portgroup within the Virtual Infrastructure Client:
Highlight the ESX host.
Click the Configuration tab.
Click the Networking link.
Click Properties.
Highlight the virtual switch in the Ports tab and click Edit.
Click the General tab.
Assign a VLAN number in VLAN ID (optional).
Click the NIC Teaming tab.
From the Load Balancing dropdown, choose Route based on originating virtual port ID.
Verify that there is at least one network adapter listed underActive Adapters.
Verify VST configuration by utilizing the ping command to confirm connection between ESX host and gateway interfaces and other host on the same VLAN.
LVL 21

Expert Comment

ID: 24805971
And another link from our good friend Scott Lowe :

Author Comment

ID: 24823984
Sorry for the lateness.... I'm going to try this out now and will get back to you guys tomorrow. And thanks for the fast responses!

Author Comment

ID: 24847929
All sorted.

We created a trunk with my server and client valns defined and a native vlan of 4094.

I then created a new Vswitch containing the NIC's connected to the trunked ports. Leaving the first Vswitch to handle the management network only.

On the new Vswitch I set the load balancing in NIC teaming to "route based on IP hash" as advised. I then created the port groups to identify my VLANs. On the general tab of the port group properties I aassigned my number to the VLANID (Optional) field and set the load balancing on the NIC teaming tab to "route based on the original virtual port ID" as advised.

I then set the IP's on my guests and moved them over to the new port groups. Ping ping ping... Happy days.

Thanks for your help!

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