|Networking – 802.1q Trunking and 802.3ad Link Aggregation using Cisco Switches|
|Resources – ESX and ESXi Server|
Ok so your server probably has more than one physical NIC, by default most have two built in.
You may have been wondering what is the best network configuration for ESX/ESXi Servers.
How many physical NICs to use, which vSwitch to assigned them to and what vSwitch to use for certain traffic.
If you have more than one physical switch that supports link aggregation 802.3ad then you may want to take advantage of that too.
The number of network cards you have and what your requirements are may differ but I belive the 4 NIC setup is the best for performance, reliability and functionality. You can have more if you like but 4 will certainly suffice.
Why would you want to go to the trouble of setting this up and annoying the network team…
1. To present trunk ports to all ESX network interfaces. This is to segregate traffic to different VLANs for improved security (802.1q). Meaning you will be able to put virtual machines onto different VLANs (Maybe you have dev, test and production VLANs).
Setup the network configuration as follows on each ESX/ESXi Server:
Virtual Switch Layout:
Virtual Switch to Physical NIC to Physical Switch Mapping:
NOTE: You cannot use VLAN 1 in virtual switches with trunking because the traffic is not tagged.
Switch Channel-Group Configuration for 802.3ad link aggregation
Switch Port Configuration for 802.1q trunking