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vmware networking

Posted on 2011-10-28
Medium Priority
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

ID: 37048247
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

ID: 37048278
For VMotion, you create a separate VMkernel Port Group and enable it for VMotion.
LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 37049594
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.

Accepted Solution

sloden94 earned 2000 total points
ID: 37056635
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.

Expert Comment

ID: 37088417
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..

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