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NIC teaming in ESXi and ESX (1004088)

Purpose

This article provides information on configuring NIC teaming.

A NIC team can share the load of traffic between physical and virtual networks among some or all of its members, as well as provide passive failover in the event of a hardware failure or network outage.

Resolution



To utilize NIC teaming, two or more network adapters must be uplinked to a virtual switch. The main advantages of NIC teaming are:

  • Increased network capacity for the virtual switch hosting the team.
  • Passive failover in the event one of the adapters in the team goes down.

Observe these guidelines to choose the correct NIC Teaming policy:

  • Route based on the originating port ID: Choose an uplink based on the virtual port where the traffic entered the virtual switch.
  • Route based on an IP hash: Choose an uplink based on a hash of the source and destination IP addresses of each packet. For non-IP packets, whatever is at those offsets is used to compute the hash.
  • Route based on a source MAC hash: Choose an uplink based on a hash of the source Ethernet.
  • Use explicit failover order: Always use the highest order uplink from the list of Active adapters which passes failover detection criteria.
  • Route based on physical NIC load (Only available on Distributed Switch): Choose an uplink based on the current loads of physical NICs.
Before you begin :

To configure NIC teaming for standard vSwitch using the vSphere / VMware Infrastructure Client:
  1. Highlight the host and click the Configuration tab.
  2. Click the Networking link.
  3. Click Properties.
  4. Under the Network Adapters tab, click Add.
  5. Select the appropriate (unclaimed) network adapter(s) and click Next.
  6. Ensure that the selected adapter(s) are under Active Adapters.
  7. Click Next > Finish.
  8. Under the Ports tab,highlight the name of the port group and click Edit.
  9. Click the NIC Teaming tab.
  10. Select the correct Teaming policy under the Load Balancing field.
  11. Click OK.

To configure NIC teaming for standard vSwitch using the vSphere Web Client:

  1. Under vCenter Home, click Hosts and Clusters.
  2. Click on the host.
  3. Click Manage > Networking > Virtual Switches.
  4. Click on the vSwitch.
  5. Click Manage the physical network adapters.
  6. Select the appropriate (unclaimed) network adapter(s) and use the arrow to move the adapter(s) to Active Adapters.
  7. Click Edit settings.
  8. Select the correct Teaming policy under the Load Balancing field.
  9. Click OK.

To configure NIC teaming for Distributed portgroup for VMware vSphere Distributed Switch (VDS) using the vSphere/VMware Infrastructure Client:

  1. From Inventory, go to Networking.
  2. Click on the Distributed switch.
  3. Click the Configuration tab.
  4. Click Manage Hosts. A window pops up.
  5. Click the host.
  6. From the Select Physical Adapters option, select the correct vmnics.
  7. Click Next for the rest of the options.
  8. Click Finish.
  9. Expand the Distributed switch.
  10. Right-click the Distributed Port Group.
  11. Click Edit Settings.
  12. Click Teaming and Failover.
  13. Select the correct Teaming policy under the Load Balancing field.
  14. Click OK.

To configure NIC teaming for Distributed portgroup for VDS using the vSphere Web Client:

  1. Under vCenter Home, click Networking.
  2. Click on the Distributed switch.
  3. Click the Getting Started tab.
  4. Under Basic tasks, click Add and manage hosts. A window pops up.
  5. Click Manage host networking.
  6. Click Next > Attached hosts.
  7. Select the host(s).
  8. Click Next.
  9. Select Manage physical adapters and deselect the rest.
  10. Click Next
  11. Select the correct vmnics.
  12. Click Assign Uplink > Next.
  13. Click Next for the rest of the options.
  14. Click Finish.
  15. Expand the Distributed Switch.
  16. Click Distributed Port Group. > Manage > Settings.
  17. Under Properties, click Edit.
  18. Click Teaming and failover.
  19. Select the correct Teaming policy underthe Load Balancing field.
  20. Click OK.

Additional Information

For more information, see:

Sample environment using four network adapters:

Virtual switch Portgroup # Uplinks
1 Service Console 1
2 Virtual Machine 2
3 VMotion 1


The NIC team used for the virtual machine network provides extra capacity as well as failover, and keeps the portgroup connected to the network if one of the network adapters fails. The VMotion uplink is ideally connected to its own subnet along with other ESX server hosts' vMotion ports to separate its traffic from the virtual machine and Service Console traffic, and to maximize performance.

An additional network adapter can be uplinked to virtual switch 1 to provide for failover on the Service Console (management) interface, or to a new virtual switch 4 to provide for iSCSI or NFS storage (ideally on its own subnet).

Tags

create-network-redundancy create-nic-load-balancing no-redundant-connectivity uneven-network-utilization

See Also

Update History

1/13/2012 - Added link to Virtual Networking Concepts guide and corrected steps. Updated the product list. 07/25/2012 - Corrected steps 4 and 9. 08/23/2013 - Added steps for Web Client 09/03/2013 - Added information to Before you begin section.

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