vmware networking

Posted on 2011-10-28
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I'm just now learning VMware and was hoping someone could help me with the proper network configuration.

I have three host machines with 8 physical NIC's each and a Dell Equalogic array for storage. As for VM's I want a domain controller, an exchange server, and a file server for now.

Is it best to create three different distributed switches, one for the DC, one for Exchange, and one for the FS? Each vswitch using two physical nics connected to two separate physical switches. In the end I would also like to use Vmotion.

Question by:NWBTS
    LVL 40

    Expert Comment

    Nope...all you need is 1 vSwitch configured, with 2 phys NICs for failover. All VMs can use the VM Network Port on 1 vSwitch.

    LVL 40

    Expert Comment

    For VMotion, you create a separate VMkernel Port Group and enable it for VMotion.
    LVL 30

    Expert Comment

    if your going to use storage using iscsi or nfs you will need to use another vmkernal for storage and add that vmkernal port group to a specific port and use that for the storage
    Also you should use a seperate physical switch for storage as well as then the iscsi has 100% of the bandwidth and thats good. I do the same and have an 8 port gig switch for iscsi as I have one openfiler for iscsi and use one nic on each esx server for storage.
    LVL 1

    Accepted Solution

    Here is what I do when I network my VM's.

    Management, VM's, Storage, and Vmotion. Each of these areas has their own seperate switch and 2 nics that are teamed together

    I have my storage and vmotion switches on different networks to avoid any issues.
    LVL 8

    Expert Comment

    sloden94 is headed down the correct path.
    Separate the functions.
    2 NICs for the Management (Service Console in the old days)
    2 Nics for vMotion
    2 Nics for IP Storage
    2 Nics for VM Guest traffic.

    If you feel you'll need more bandwidth to the guests put the vMotion activity onto the Management Nic's
    Remembering you need to be aware of potential routing issue. Ideally Storage IP should not be routed and therefore being only switched is much faster.

    2 NICs for the Management (Service Console in the old days) and vMotion
    2 Nics for IP Storage
    4 Nics for VM Guest traffic.

    If your SAN supports NFS consider NFS over iSCSI. It's leaner on the network.

    All your guests can in this way communicate over the same vSwitch. If you are vlaning you can still do this easily..
    This is the simple and clean approach..

    Write Comment

    Please enter a first name

    Please enter a last name

    We will never share this with anyone.

    Featured Post

    How to improve team productivity

    Quip adds documents, spreadsheets, and tasklists to your Slack experience
    - Elevate ideas to Quip docs
    - Share Quip docs in Slack
    - Get notified of changes to your docs
    - Available on iOS/Android/Desktop/Web
    - Online/Offline

    Suggested Solutions

    Using a software based iSCSI solution, there is no requirement to purchase an hardware iSCSI initiator or TOE (TCP/IP Offload Engine) interface card. A standard network interface card, can be used to connect and existing ESXi server to a remote iSCS…
    This article is an update and follow-up of my previous article:   Storage 101: common concepts in the IT enterprise storage This time, I expand on more frequently used storage concepts.
    Teach the user how to configure vSphere Replication and how to protect and recover VMs Open vSphere Web Client: Verify vsphere Replication is enabled: Enable vSphere Replication for a virtual machine: Verify replicated VM is created: Recover replica…
    This Micro Tutorial steps you through the configuration steps to configure your ESXi host Management Network settings and test the management network, ensure the host is recognized by the DNS Server, configure a new password, and the troubleshooting…

    759 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    11 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now