VMware Production vSwitch Configuration

Hi Everyone,

Right now, I will be running about 8 virtual servers in my VMware vSphere environment, they will be running things like Exchange, SharePoint, Active Directory and Kaseya. Right now I have one vSwitch for the Production PortGroup that is then connected to two Physical NIC's. How many NIC's on a vSwitch for Production purposes is recommend? And how many is realistic, if both Adapters are set to active in the vSwitch settings is it best to configure load balancing on them and which do you use?
DMayoAsked:
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premashokCommented:
Hi ........ If you are looking for better load balancing ( using the two nics to share the load) the better i prefer is :

IP Hash Load Balancing:

The third load-balancing policy available for NIC teams is the IP hash-based policy, also called the out-IP , The IP hash-based policy uses the source and destination IP addresses to determine the physical network adapter for Communication. This algorithm then allows a single virtual machine to communicate over different physical network adapters when communicating with different destinations.

Balancing for Large Data Transfers:

Although the IP hash-based load-balancing policy can more evenly spread the transfer traffic for a single virtual machine, it does not provide a benefit for large data transfers occurring between the same
source and destination systems. Because the source-destination hash will be the same for the duration of the data load, it will flow through only a single physical network adapter.

Unless the physical hardware supports it, a vSwitch with the NIC teaming load-balancing policy set to use the IP-based hash must have all physical network adapters connected to the same physical switch. Some newer switches support link aggregation across physical switches, but
otherwise all the physical network adapters will need to connect to the same switch. In addition,the switch must be configured for link aggregation. ESX/ESXi supports standard 802.3ad teamingin static (manual) mode but does not support the Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP) or
Port Aggregation Protocol (PAgP) commonly found on switch devices. Link aggregation willincrease throughput by combining the bandwidth of multiple physical network adapters for useby a single virtual network adapter of a virtual machine.


Hope this helps you
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premashokCommented:
yes you can use two Nic in your production Environment as there is only 8 virtual machines. And you can put it configrued as redundant Nic.
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DMayoAuthor Commented:
I was more interested in load balacing than redundancy at this moment
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bbnp2006Commented:
You can check out this documents on the maximum physical NICs you can have on each ESX host:
http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r40/vsp_40_config_max.pdf

But realistically, you can have anything from 2 NIC, 4NIC or even 8 NICs for your production vSwitch. Quite often, i've seen companies using 4 physical NICs on the production virtual switch for load balancing using IP Hash as load balancing method.

Hope this helps.
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DMayoAuthor Commented:
Thank you
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