Network design with my vsphere installation

I am implementing a VMware cluster with 2 vSphere4 hosts and vCenter.  I will connect to an EqualLogic iSCSI devise, with 2 Dell 6224 switches.  I would like some sort of redundancy in my setup.  My hosts have 6 physical nics in each.  Do I need to use vlans?.  I am not a networking expert, so any advise would be appreciated.

Thnak you in advance.
RSchalhoubAsked:
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vmwarun - ArunCommented:
I am assuming that you are using ESX4 in your setup.

Scenario 1
Segregate your iSCSI, Virtual Machine and Service Console traffic using VLANs by using 2 NICs for each Port Group.

Use Etherchannel at the physical switch level

Scenario 2

Put all your NICs in a Team with a single vSwitch at the ESX Host level and use VLANs to segregate your traffic.

Make sure that the physical port on the Dell Switch is configured as a Trunk Port.
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kugaconsultantsCommented:
coolsport00, here is what I would do when configuring your ESX4 hosts to obtain redundancy.

To prevent against any host communication failure, you should always have more than 1 NIC dedicated per subnet per host.  Each host should have at the minimum the following.

2 NICs for LAN
2 NICs for iSCSI
2 NICs for vMotion

Since you have two NICs for each subnet, your next objective is to make sure each is connected to a separate physical switch.  This will now ensure you have switch redundancy and not just link redundancy.  To make things easiest, have a pair of switches for LAN, another for iSCSI, and another for vMotion (or vMotion can be shared with LAN switch but on a separate VLAN).  Here is how it should be connected.

LAN Switch (uplink with via stacking modules or multiple gigabit uplinks in LAG)
- ESX Host 1 LAN NIC 1 connects to LAN Switch 1
- ESX Host 1 LAN NIC 1 connects to LAN Switch 2
- ESX Host 2 LAN NIC 1 connects to LAN Switch 1
- ESX Host 2 LAN NIC 2 connects to LAN Switch 2

iSCSI Switch (some storage vendors do not recommend uplinking iSCSI switches because it will create duplicate storage paths)
- ESX Host 1 iSCSI NIC 1 connects to iSCSI Switch 1
- ESX Host 1 iSCSI NIC 1 connects to iSCSI Switch 2
- ESX Host 2 iSCSI NIC 1 connects to iSCSI Switch 1
- ESX Host 2 iSCSI NIC 2 connects to iSCSI Switch 2

vMotion Switch / LAN Switch with VLANs
- ESX Host 1 vMotion NIC 1 connects to vMotion/LAN Switch 1
- ESX Host 1 vMotion NIC 1 connects to vMotion/LAN Switch 2
- ESX Host 2 vMotion NIC 1 connects to vMotion/LAN Switch 1
- ESX Host 2 vMotion NIC 2 connects to vMotion/LAN Switch 2

If you cannot have dedicated switches but have a VLAN capable stackable switches (e.g.  Dell PowerConnect 6248 w/stacking modules), create 3 VLANs and label them as LAN, iSCSI, and vMotion.  You always want to separate your LAN, iSCSI, and vMotion networks for optimal efficiency.  Connect your ESX4 hosts as stated above and treat each VLAN as a different switch.  Be sure to spread your links across the switches in the event of a switch failure.

Once you have your physical network configured, the next step is to configure each ESX4 host.  Each network will require it's own vSwitch to virtually segregate each network.  Each vSwitch requires a port group.  The first called LAN, second called iSCSI, and third called vMotion.

For each vSwitch, create the following Service Consoles and VM Kernels.

LAN vSwitch
- 1 x Port Group for LAN
- 1 x Service Console

iSCSI vSwitch
- 1 x Port Group for iSCSI
- 1 x Service Console
- 2 x iSCSI Kernel (one per iSCSI NIC)

vMotion vSwitch
- 1 x Port Group for vMotion with VMotion enabled

After each ESX4 host is configured, make sure to configure NIC teaming on LAN ports and configure multipathing for iSCSI ports for each host.

I hope this gives your a good start on configuring a fault tolerant solution.
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