NIC Teaming in VM

Posted on 2011-05-09
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Hi experts!

Well...this may be a dumb question but I havent found a specific information about that...
In order to configure NIC Teaming on VM, we need to have at least 2 physical network adapters on the ESX server right?
Suppose I have 3-4 VMs in this server, can I configure NIC Teaming in all of them? If one of them is a Backup VM Server, will this helps in data transfer or is this limited to the scsi adapter?

Question by:ExileD-GoD
    LVL 28

    Assisted Solution

    Yes, multiple NICs are required in order to do nic teaming. The teaming is done at the vSwitch level where you assign multiple physical NICs to a vSwitch. Phhysical switch configuration is also required.

    See for more information.

    Good Luck
    LVL 116

    Accepted Solution

    NIC teaming is not supported at the VM.

    NIC Teaming is supported on the Virtual Switch on ESX/ESXi.

    You can install up to four NICs in a VM, but you cannot team them.

    LVL 116

    Expert Comment

    by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
    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
    LVL 28

    Expert Comment

    I guess maybe to explain better - when nic teaming is done on the vswitch it is done for all vms that are connected through the vSwitch.

    So far as the Backup server, network throughput for any single server (such as the backup server) will still be limited the the speed of the physical nic that it has selected (via the load balancing based on IP hash that you need to select for etherchannel) for any single connection. However, overall throughput for the ESX(i) server will improve because it is able to load balance traffic for all vms across all NICs being teamed. But any single IP connection only uses one at a time.

    Hope this helps
    LVL 116

    Expert Comment

    by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
    What can improve performance in your virtual machines is the use of the VMXNET3 NIC.

    Just ensure you have VMware Tools installed to use this NIC.

    Have a look at this white paper of recent tests that were conducted by VMware from Virtual Machines with a single NIC, connected to virtual switches, and physical switches at 10GBe.

    The results were that two VMs with single NICs can commnicate with each other at speeds "27Gps using one virtual NIC."

    Author Comment

    Thanks for all information. I´ll accept both answers as solution because they complement each other.

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