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ESXi NIC configuration - how to configure for VM's

Posted on 2009-07-12
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
Hello

I have a dual onboard NIC and have used only one thus far in setting up the ESXi server. Now I'd like to use the second one, and will also install three single PCI NIC's in the next couple days. I'm wondering what the best (and how) setup is for the ESXi and the VM hosts.
I set up one VM with Win2k8 server and as soon as I start using the Internet (updates etc.) all h**l breaks loose! and I lose connection on all devices on the physical switch (my pc and the ESXi server).

thanks for any help and tips.
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Question by:Trevor Local
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ryder0707 earned 300 total points
ID: 24837451
just make sure the all the NICs are supported by ESX
in vi client you can assign all NICs to your vswitches
if you have 5 NICS, you can configure as follows

2 NIC(vswitch0) - Service console(1 active/standby)
1 NIC(vswitch1) - vmkernel
2 NIC(vswitch2) - for VMs(teaming)

there are many ways to do it especially if you have more than 6 NICs, but this is what we practice when supporting clients
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by:Trevor Local
ID: 24837545
hi Ryder-
I checked the HCL for the NICs.

So do I mix an onboard and PCI for the Service console NIC's?

Right now I have:
vSwitch0 with vmnic0 as "stand by" and vmnic1as "100 full"

Should I wait for the 3 PCI's before I start to configure?
thanks!
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by:ryder0707
ID: 24837618
yeah you can mix them, i have seen this setup before, i guess esx is really smart :)
no you dont have to wait, but you need to shutdown/restart esx befored adding them
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by:Trevor Local
ID: 24837631
OK until I get my cards can I configure one NIC for the console and the other for the VM's?

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by:ryder0707
ID: 24837819
yeah y not
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by:za_mkh
za_mkh earned 200 total points
ID: 24837954
Why use a VMKernel port in this case? The  poster hasn't said he is using ISCSI? Also, since it is Free ESXi, nothing else would use the VMKernel port?
Also in one of the posts, the OP gives evidence that he is using a 100Mb Switch. That could also be a factor with performance. Make sure everything is 100MB Full Duplex. Would be better if you could upgrade to a Gigabit switch (but that could be overkill too!)
Other than that, agree with Ryder0707 - best practice is to mix on-board nics with add-on nics for best redundancy when using them as uplinks. If the On-Board Nics fail, hopefully the add-on nics carry on working and vice versa.
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by:ryder0707
ID: 24838082
oh yes you are right, i missed the "i" :)
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by:Trevor Local
ID: 24845308
thanks guys - so I don't need to use the VMKernal port? I'll just have one ESXi server that sits on a RAID 5 (SATA) array.

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by:ryder0707
ID: 24846001
hi actually you still need vmkernel port(eg. for vmotion), esxi does not have service console so you dont need a service console port
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by:ryder0707
ryder0707 earned 300 total points
ID: 24846005
if you have only a single esx host, then you dont need vmkernel port for now, you can add it later after you add another esx host
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