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ESX VSphere 4.0 Advanced Host NIC Config

Hello,

  I am trying to architect my host NIC configs for an upgrade to Vsphere (from 3.5). I have 3 hosts with a total of 6 Nics each. 2 of those NIC's are Fiber HBA's for my FC fabric. That leaves 4 GigE NIC's (2 onboard and 2 PCI). I need to architect the best config (performance and fault tolerance being more important than security).

Any advice? All my servers are on the same VLAN with the exception of 1 that will need to sit in the DMZ.

I am worried that I will need 2 more NIC's....

Also, what is the difference between Fault Tolerance portgroup and VMOtion portgroup. I see in some configs they are separated. Can I cimply put the Console/FT/and VMotion on the same pNIC? That leaves the other two for VM network?  What are the downsides to that?

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kmk2123
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kmk2123
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1 Solution
 
bbnp2006Commented:
Best practice is to seperate your VMotion network and FT logging network:

Preferably, each host has separate 1 GbE NICs for FT logging traffic and VMotion. The reason for recommending
separate NICs is that the creation of the Secondary VM is done by migrating the Primary VM with VMotion. This
can produce significant traffic on the VMotion NIC and could affect VMware FT logging traffic if the NICs are
shared. In addition, it is preferable that the VMware FT logging NIC has redundancy, so that no unnecessary
failovers occur if a single NIC is lost.

Check out this link:
Fault-Tolerance Recommendations from VMWare:
http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/fault_tolerance_recommendations_considerations_on_vmw_vsphere4.pdf

Hope it helps.
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kmk2123Author Commented:
I've read that document, and didnt take much away from it. So here is what I am planning:

pNIC1 (Teamed) - Vswitch 1 - Active -  portgroup service console  - attached to Switch A
                                               portgroup VMotion
                                               portgroup Fault Tolerance

pNIC2 (Teamed)- Vswitch 1 - Active -  portgroup service console  - attached to Switch B
                                               portgroup VMotion
                                               portgroup Fault Tolerance

I am hopeing if I team this, then I can have redundancy as well as some added perfomrace?

pNIC 3 and 4 can go to my VMnetwork - also teamed and in 2 separate switches....

Does this make sense?  What's my downside here?

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bbnp2006Commented:
One downside I would see is that when you have VMotion traffic interferring with your FT logging traffic. Won't be a problem if you don't have DRS enabled so that VMotion won't happen at the background without your knowledge, but in a large environment, you might want to seperate it.

It's a bit confusing when you mention vSwitch1, also Switch A, Switch B, are SwitchA & B physical switches?
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kmk2123Author Commented:
Yes - sorry those are physical switches (Switch A and B). So if we had DRS enabled - (meaning automatic failover without my input) then this could cause a bottleneck, correct?  

Last question, on my VMnetwork nics, how can I get LAN and DMZ traffic to flow?  I've read that I need to create trunk ports or something, but it can be done?



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bbnp2006Commented:
Yes, it can be done. what you can do is to setup VLANs on your physical switches, trunk the ports from your esx hosts connecting your physical switch to make sure traffics from all VLANs (VM, DMZ) can go through.
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kmk2123Author Commented:
Your the man thanks!
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bbnp2006Commented:
Good luck with it mate :) post back if you have any trouble doing the networking.
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