active / standby for ESXi NICs

I have 3 x ESXi v6.5 running in a vSphere 6.5 HA environment.  I have two NICs per ESXi host running in active/passive mode... One always being in standby.  Each NIC is physically part of a Dell FX2 core vFarbric switch...  My goal is to make it to if the NIC shows admin status of down (not of course if it's failed) the standby becomes active and the active become standby.  The reason being if the switch it's plugged into fails or shows no connectivity I need it to fail over.
gopher_49Asked:
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Luciano PatrãoICT Senior Infraestructure  Engineer  Commented:
Hi,

This is for the management network?

How many switches do you have? If you have 2 you need to connect each NIC to each switch. Do not use active/passive, just use Nic Teaming with both active. If one fails, the other will always be working. In Switch side you can use Link Aggregation or LACP.

Read lit bit more about that here: https://kb.vmware.com/kb/1004048

If this is not what you are planning to do, please give more details about your environment.

Jail
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gopher_49Author Commented:
This is for my VMs and management.  They share the same pair of NICs per ESXi host.  I'll move to your suggested config next week in our next maintenance window.
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Luciano PatrãoICT Senior Infraestructure  Engineer  Commented:
Is this 10Gb Interfaces? If yes, then you should do LACP  or portchannel. In Dell Switches I think is pure LACP configuration.

Here is how to in Dell: How to create Link Aggregation Groups in Dell

One NIC per Switch, then in Switch side active LACP on those ports and in the ESXi the vSwitch nic teaming needs to be set as "Route based on ip hash".

To this just with one host. Test if is working (disconnect one cable) and check if the ESXi host is still working, then connect again and disconnect the other. If you don't see any downtime, then NIC Teaming is working properly and you can do the rest of the ESXi hosts.

Hope this can help.

Jail
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gopher_49Author Commented:
They are 10gbps NICs plugged into a daughter Board..  I have 2 x switch modules on my Dell FX2.  I'll give it a shot
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gopher_49Author Commented:
I think I've read about performance issues when failing over via LACP ports..  Does ESXi support the method of if a down state of an active NIC enable the standby?  Each NIC is plugged into a different switch.  All of my server room switches are in a switch mesh...  They are all redundant to each other...
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Luciano PatrãoICT Senior Infraestructure  Engineer  Commented:
Hi,

Any interface that is with LACP active, will be active/active. So if a NIC goes down the other will still continue to work and no downtime.
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gopher_49Author Commented:
Are you referring to the switch port being LACP?  I prefer to have ESXi / vSphere make the standby become active upon any failure of the current active NIC or even if the NIC shows admin status down / unplugged .  I don't prefer to use LACP protocol
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Luciano PatrãoICT Senior Infraestructure  Engineer  Commented:
What is the problem with LACP??

There is no problem whatsoever using LACP. Of curse tou need to have switch that support that and also how to proper configure the ports to use LACP.

If not just use int portgroup one interface active and the other standby. Or use both active and Use explicit failover order.

If you still don't truth this, do on a host to test first. Then unplug one cable/or disable port and check if still the ESXi us reachable.
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gopher_49Author Commented:
I'll try a test for that's how I have it configured.  Just wasn't sure if admin status down / Cable unplugged is status that sets off a trigger / action for NIC fail over.  I opened a ticket with VMWare also...

My switches support LACP, however, my switches are in a switch mesh which basically creates a high available switch stack. I prefer to void introducing new protocols and unneeded configs on my switch.  Rather ESXi and/ vSphere handle the action for me.
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Luciano PatrãoICT Senior Infraestructure  Engineer  Commented:
gopher_49 did the answers help to achieve your active/passive NIC teaming?
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Luciano PatrãoICT Senior Infraestructure  Engineer  Commented:
I think the provided answers are enough to fix and answer the question
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