VMware vSwitch design best practice for ESXi hosts with 8x NIC ports

Hi All,

Can anyone here please share and comments on my initial design of VMware vSphere best practice  data network design on my below HP DL 380 G9 server with the total of 8x NIC ports ?

This is only for the data network (not storage iSCSI).

ESXi design
Is that design commonly used and according to the best practice for VMware network deployment ?

Which uplink ports should be configured with LACP or link aggregation in the Cisco 3850 Switch for maximum throughput ?
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)Connect With a Mentor VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
No need for vDS to connect 4 network interfaces  from an ESXi host to a Cisco Switch.

Can be done in many different methods, using a Static Trunk, rather than a LACP trunk.

Sample configuration of EtherChannel / Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP) with ESXi/ESX and Cisco/HP switches (1004048)

You can use Etherchannel and Standard Switches, using Cisco physical switches.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)Connect With a Mentor VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Firstly LACP is NOT SUPPORTED for standard vSwitches.

You will then want at least two network interfaces for iSCSI and two network interfaces for vMotion.

Jumbo Frames enabled on vSwitches for iSCSI and vMotion.

see my EE Articles, step by step instructions with screenshots, valid for all versions of ESXi.

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

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

also configure vMotion as per iSCSI but you do not need to complete the binding order.

So you will have two active active network interfaces for iSCSI configured as MPIO and vMotion.

This is based on most iSCSI SANs.

Use different VLANS and different IP Address ranges for both networks , e.g. 10.x.x.x and 172.x.x.x

Your design is okay, BUT do not use LACP not supported, and also make both nics, Active/Active, do not see the point of cabling up a nic to a physical port, and leaving as standby, certainly for vMotion two nics is better than one, for throughout, and resilience.

As an example ONLY

10NICs-with-annotations---.jpg
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
Andrew,
The network diagram above is for the data network not for storage iSCSI.

So if I use the LACP (802.3ad) or trunking with distributed virtual switch would that be recommended or possible ?

The VSphere edition is Essentials Plus.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
LACP is supported with Distributed Switches. Is this a single host or many hosts in a cluster - how many ?

You can use Standard Trunks with Standard vSwitch, but just not use the LACP protocol.

Cisco uses something called ether channel which you can use for your trunks for your VMs.
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
Andrew,

This is for maximum 3 hosts.

My core switch is CISCO brand.
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
The VMs in these hosts running heavy upload and download of data for Business intelligence

Hence I'd like to know if the normal trunking of the 4x uplink ports can be beneficial or not.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Small numbers of hosts, you don't usually use Distributed Switches.

The VMs in these hosts running heavy upload and download of data for Business intelligence

Hence I'd like to know if the normal trunking of the 4x uplink ports can be beneficial or not.

It will be beneficial if you currently have a bottleneck with networking.

1 network interface, rather than 4 network interfaces.

What is the current network utilisation ?
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
Ah I see,

I was under the impression that I would need to deploy vDS to enable me to trunk the network cable with my Cisco 3850 switches.

So far the network utilization in the old DRS cluster is just maxing up to 50-55% not 100% fully utilized, this new implementation of 3x ESXi in the new DRS cluster is for separating the environment only.
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
Cool, many thanks Andrew.

I will be using the PortID as the load balancing method for the Standard vSwitches above.
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