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installing new esx server into virtual centre

Posted on 2011-05-09
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
just looking to confirm exactly how many network cards i will need in a new server which i am going to install esx on and add it to my virtual centre
am i rite in thinking i need a seperate network crad for vmotion a network card for the esx server itself and a network card for the vswitch
Question by:dougdog

Accepted Solution

d3ath5tar earned 668 total points
ID: 35719371
depends on how many vms you are running through it and there throughput requirement, but yes as a minimum one for vmotion, one for management and more for the vms.....
LVL 124

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 668 total points
ID: 35719387
You will need at least one, two is better because you can load balance.

Best practice is a NIC for vMotion (so a pair of NICs for reundancy)

2 NICs for Management Console

2 NICs for Virtual Machine network.

But the beauty of VMware ESXi, is you can change and add later, nothing is fixed.
LVL 124
ID: 35719642
I would also recommend reading through the Networking Sections of the following guides to gain a better understanding of Networking in VMware ESX/ESXi.

Pages 13 - 73 Discuss Networking in Detail, iuncluding trunks, VLANs, switches, and load balancing

ESXi Configuration Guide ESXi 4.1


Virtual Networking


Virtual Networking Concepts

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LVL 28

Assisted Solution

bgoering earned 664 total points
ID: 35719753
Only one card (for the management network) is absolutely required to add it to vCenter server. However, best practice is to split different traffic types on different physical nics, and to provide at least two nics for each type of traffic for fault tolerance.

That being said I would recommend:

2 nics for management network and vMotion
2 nics for virtual machine network traffic (more if there is a LOT of traffic)
2 more nics if you have IP based storage (NFS or iSCSI)

Good Luck

Author Comment

ID: 35720171
so if i didnt have the nics available would i get away with just 3  1 for vmotion 1 for management and 1 for vms
LVL 124
ID: 35720181
Yes, that would be fine. (you can always add and load balance later).

6 is nice to have but not needed!
LVL 28

Expert Comment

ID: 35720210
Yes, that will work ok with three nics - you just give up the fault tolerance provided by multiple nics

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