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Configuring iSCSI port binding with multiple NICs in one vSwitch for VMware ESXi 5.x and 6.0.x (2045040)

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Symptoms

Multiple NICs within the same vSwitch disallow port binding due to the default NIC teaming policies.

Purpose

This article provides information on setting up the correct NIC teaming policies to allow iSCSI port binding.

Resolution

To set up a teaming policy that is compatible with iSCSI port binding you need 2 or more vmkernel ports in the vSwitch and an equivalent amount of physical adapters to bind them to. Each vmkernel port is bound to a physical adapter and then attached to the software iSCSI adapter.

To set up the correct teaming policy to allow iSCSI port binding 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 the vSwitch that has your iSCSI vmkernel port group.
  5. In the lower pane with the vSwitch diagram, click the portgroup.
  6. Click the pencil icon to open the Edit Settings menu and modify the vmkernel portgroup properties.
  7. Open the Teaming and Failover section.
  8. Under Failover order check the Override check box.
  9. Select all VMnic adapters except the one you want to bind and click the Move Down arrow to move all other NIC adapters to the Unused Adapters list.

  10. Repeat steps 5-9 for each iSCSI vmkernel port to ensure each vmkernel port has a unique active adapter.

    For example: 
    • 2 vmkernel portgroups: Storage 1 and Storage 2
    • 2 physical adapters: vmnic0 and vmnic1
    • In portgroup Storage 1vmnic0 is active and vmnic1 is unused
    • In portgroup Storage 2vmnic1 is active and vmnic0 is unused

  11. In the host Manage tab, click Storage 
  12. Select your iSCSI Software Adapter vmhba.
  13. In the adapter details pane click the Network Port Binding tab.
  14. Click the + symbol to bring up a list of eligible adapters.
    Note: There should be no adapters in the list at this point.

  15. Check the box beside your 2 storage vmkernel ports and click OK.
  16. Click the Rescan Adapter icon to rescan the iSCSI Software Adapter.

To set up the correct teaming policy to allow iSCSI port binding using the vSphere Client:
  1. Select the host you want to configure.
  2. Click the Configuration tab.
  3. In the Hardware panel, click Networking.
  4. Click Properties for the vSwitch that has your iSCSI vmkernel port group
  5. In the dialog that appears, select the iSCSI vmkernel portgroup and click Edit.
  6. Click the NIC Teaming tab.
  7. Click to select Override switch failover order.
  8. Click the Move Down button to move all adapters except the one you want to bind to the Unused Adapters list.
  9. Repeat steps 5-8 for each iSCSI vmkernel port to ensure each vmkernel port has a unique active adapter.

    For example: 
    • 2 vmkernel portgroups: Storage 1 and Storage 2
    • 2 physical adapters: vmnic0 and vmnic1
    • In portgroup Storage 1vmnic0 is active and vmnic1 is unused
    • In portgroup Storage 2vmnic1 is active and vmnic0 is unused

  10. Click OK and close any open dialog windows. 
  11. On the Configuration tab of the host in your vSphere client, click Storage Adapters.
  12. Select your iSCSI Software Adapter vmhba.
  13. Right-click on the iSCSI Software Adapter vmhba and click Properties.
  14. On the Network Configuration tab, click Add for the vmkernel port you want to bind and click OK.
  15. Repeat step 14 for all iSCSI vmkernel ports you want to bind. 
  16. On the iSCSI Initiator Properties window, click Close.
  17. Rescan the iSCSI Software Adapter.

Additional Information

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For more information about NIC teaming, see the Teaming and Failover Policy section in the vSphere Networking guide.

See Also

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