VMware High Availability - Physical Network Config


For High Availability in VMware between two EXSi Hosts, when it come to physical network connection, do I need to connect the ESXi with a direct cable between them or  can be connected through the network switch ?

Thanks and Regards

Anthony BorgAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Its conventional to connect ALL ESXi hosts via a switched networked switches.

Also ensure you have shared storage or a SAN or NAS.

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Muhammad MullaSystems AdministratorCommented:
Andrew is correct. You will also need appropriate licensing for VCenter.
Anthony BorgAuthor Commented:

As for storage I will be using shared storage using Synology Nas drive, through Lun iscsi do you suggest to connect them directly on the Network switch as well or Direct connected to the hosts as well ?
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You need several network connections to make a HA cluster work and ideally these are all dedicated network connections on the switches:

- management network
- storage network
- Vmotion network
- network(s) for the VMs

(all of these can be consolidated if needed)

The HA feature will use multiple ways to see if other hosts are still responding: network heartbeats, datastore heartbeats, ...

Now, in a two host setup you can make the vmotion network work using a direct cable. But this is certainly not recommended nor supported by VMWare. And you do need the other network connections anyway.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Every host and device needs connecting to physical switches.
Anthony BorgAuthor Commented:
So you are suggesting that connect all the devices both network and storage to the same network subnet; hence physical network  ?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes but its also recommended to create aa storage network as well if you can just changing IP and addresses can help on storage
In larger environments it is recommended to put storage on a dedicated "storage network" with it's own subnet.  

In small environments this is not necessary (unless you use the virtual storage appliance).
Mr TorturSystem EngineerCommented:

For iSCSI storage networks I would recommend either :

- put that on 2 small dedicated switches if you can ; if you can enable jumbo frames on every device (ESXi servers, switch and San/Nas) do it, so rather take a switch supporting jumbo frames ; jumbo frames improves the data frames transferred from 1500 bytes to 9000 on your iSCSI network

- use vlan and different IP range for your iSCSI network if you don't have a storage dedicated switch
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Please also check that your Synology NAS is on the VMware HCL or you may have compatibility issues.
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