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Configure physical switch ports for ESXi hosts

Posted on 2015-02-11
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Last Modified: 2015-02-23
I have 5 ESXi hosts and need to connect them to new Meraki core switches. The hosts connect via multiple 1Gbps ethernet cables to the core switches for user access.

Note: The hosts are on a fiber backbone that connect to QLogic FC switches, which connects to the SAN (so no iSCSI in my environment).

How do I configure the physical switch ports where the esxi hosts are connected?
Trunk or access?

If trunk, will I add every possible VLAN that the host can talk to?
If access, I assume it needs to be in the same VLAN as the vcenter server?

Do I need to change anything on the hosts, vcenter or vsphere once I move the hosts to the new switches?
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Question by:Paul Wagner
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 250 total points
ID: 40604140
Yes, create a trunk, by adding multiple physical ports together, and then add all the VLANs to that trunk, and then make sure, you add the VLAN numbers to the virtual machine porrgroups.

You need to change the VLAN numbers on he virtual machine portggroups.
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by:Paul Wagner
ID: 40604182
@andrew hancock

virtual machine portgroups - Is that the VLAN I put each VLAN into by changing the NIC or are you talking about adding a virtual network with VLAN assignments to each physical NIC in the configuration tab for each host?
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Paul Wagner earned 0 total points
ID: 40613329
So here's a problem I found:

Meraki forces a Native VLAN on each trunk port. (ie- allows vlans 1-20 but native will be 20)

If you have VMs that use VLAN 20, you'll have to make sure that VLAN tagging is blanked out (nothing on that line) in vSwitch properties. You can't tag them with VLAN 20 since the Meraki port already has a native vlan of 20. It's kind of like double tagging the packets.

All other VLANs are OK to leave tagged in vSwitch.
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by:Paul Wagner
ID: 40625341
Andrew, you were partially right. The VMs that operated on the trunk port native vlan (physical switch) had to have their VLAN ID removed from the port group in the vSwitch or else all packets would be double tagged and the switch drop the packets. All other VLAN IDs worked fine.
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