ESXI management network on seperate vSwitch

JohnnyD74
JohnnyD74 used Ask the Experts™
on
Hello Experts,
I have an ESXI question. I set up a simple single server network for a client using ESXI as the host with one server guest and several desktop VM guests. I have read that setting up a seperate vSwitch / NIC for the management network is recommended. Should I do this for a single server ESXI deployment as well? What are the advantages of this networking configuration?
Comment
Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
No...not with ESXi and, assumably, a small deployment. Even so, it's not a huge deal anyway. I have a 3node shop and have service console on same NIC, same vSwitch, and it's fine. Generally, you want to separate traffic because it's best practice, but with VMware and small environments it's not a huge deal. ESXi doesn't have a service console so it's really a moot point for ESXi.

~coolsport00
In an ideal world you would segregate the traffic but it's up to you.  The objective is to not only place the management port on a separate switch but to also place it on a different subnet and/or VLAN.  The idea of this is so the same traffic that you generate awhile you manage the ESXi server does not run over the same subnet as the traffic between the virtual machines themselves.

Author

Commented:
Thanks Coolsport!
If that box were to reach it's max...like 15 vm's or so....then would you suggest the seperate vswitch for management network with seperate vlan or would it still not matter? The server has two NICS so I would think teaming them together on one switch would be a better idea to take full advantage of the combined bandwidth...no?

Author

Commented:
Thanks Bill....what would the disadvange be of the management traffic running over the same subnet as the VM's?
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
If you get to 15 VMs, you would wanna think about a 2nd host :-)

Not really, but since you have a 2nd NIC, yes...I would.
The disadvantage would be the traffic would be going over the same subnet, which would affect how much throughput the virtual machines would get, because they would all be talking over the same link.
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
The disadvantage is the potential for 'traffic creep' and lost packets if there is too much data/packets traveling over the same network. But keep in mind that is mosly with very high I/O machines and even then rarely occurs. With such a small shop, this is pretty much a scarcity for your setup. :)

Regards,
~coolsport00
Teaming the two NICs that you have would probably be ok.  Are all the VMs stored locally or on a SAN?  Is there a budget to add any more NICs.  If you could add another network interface, you'd be able to get the best of both worlds.

Author

Commented:
All VM's are stored locally. The extra NIC is a good idea.
Top Expert 2010
Commented:
Personally, I would just go ahead and at minimum do a failover NIC config since you have a 2nd NIC anyway. Refer to the ESX Config Guide (Networking section, pg. 27) on steps on how to do so:
http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r40_u1/vsp_40_u1_esx_server_config.pdf

Regards,
~coolsport00
Yup, you can always move forward with your current plan and then when/if you get a 3rd NIC down the road you can always create another switch and segregate the traffic.

Author

Commented:
Thanks very much guys, you were very helpful with both your your suggestions.

Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial