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ESXi NIC Design

Hello,

I'm looking at getting two hp dl360p servers, with 4 nics each, vmware essentials plus and a netapp 2220 san.

What would be the recommended way to configure the network?  I'm used to working with DAS storage currently and the free ESXi hypervisor.
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mmicha
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mmicha
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CITG_CarlCommented:
In my opinion using 4 NICS is not enough, but i suppose it depends on if you would like to have a dedicated storage network.

If you are hard tied to 4 nics, i would create two vswitches and assign each vswitch 2 nics.

First vSwitch will be used for production networking and management. The second vswitch will be used for storage. Are you going to be using NFS or iSCSI on the Netapp FAS2220?

You will need to create vif or igroups on the SAN and export/allow access to the esxi hosts

Cheers
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mmichaAuthor Commented:
I'm not hard tied to 4, that is just the standard amount the servers come with.  This is a manufacturing company with about 65 computers.

I'm thinking iSCSI for the protocol on the storage side.

So with 4 nics, just two vlans.  Production and Storage.

What is your preferred layout?
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CITG_CarlCommented:
Are you going to be using full blown ESXi moving forward. My preferred method is using 8 nics per physical host, then using two dedicated storage switches.

vnic0 - vswitch0 - production/management
vnic1 - vswitch0 - production/management
vnic2 - vswitch1 - iscsi 1
vnic3 - vswitch1 - iscsi1
vnic4 - vswitch2 - iscsi2
vnic5 - vswitch2 - iscsi2
vnic6 - vswitch3 - vmotion
vnic7 - vswitch3 - vmotion

This will give you full redundancy against switch or controller failure

Cheers
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
how much resilience do you require, if you require none, 4 nics will do!

but if you want resillience, you would need at least two nics per service.

e.g. two nics in multipath for connection to SAN - if you are using iSCSI

two nics for Management Network

two nics for Virtual Machine network

and then you have got two nics for vMotion.

something like this in the example

example nics
see my EE Articles for Best Practice iSCSI Config


HOW TO: Add an iSCSI Software Adaptor and Create an iSCSI Multipath Network in VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESXi 5.0

HOW TO: Enable Jumbo Frames on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi 5.0) host server using the VMware vSphere Client
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