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Enhanced LACP Support on a vSphere 5.5 Distributed Switch (2051826)

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This article provides information on the new Enhanced Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP) Support in vSphere 5.5 Distributed Switches.


  • To configure Enhanced LACP with vSphere Distributed Switches in vSphere 5.5, you must use the vSphere Web Client.
  • For more information on configuring Multiple Link Aggregation Groups (LAGs) with the vSphere Web Client, see the LACP Support on a vSphere Distributed Switch section of the vSphere Networking Guide.

Enhanced LACP support on vSphere Distributed Switches in vSphere 5.5 introduces several new features to improve dynamic link aggregation flexibility compared with vSphere 5.1.

Enhanced LACP support allows you to connect ESXi hosts to physical switches that use dynamic link aggregation. Multiple Link Aggregation Groups (LAGs) can now be created on a single Distributed Switch to aggregate the available bandwidth of physical NICs connecting to LACP port channels. In vSphere 5.1, only one LAG can be created per vSphere Distributed Switch. In vSphere 5.5, up to 64 LAGs can be created per vSphere Distributed Switch.

For more information on the differences between LACP support in vSphere 5.5 and vSphere 5.1 and LACP limitations, see:

Enhanced LACP support on a vSphere Distributed Switch

When you create a LAG on a vSphere Distributed Switch (vDS), up to 24 LAG ports can be associated to it. These LAG ports are similar in concept to dvUplink ports, which are essentially slots that are associated with actual physical uplinks on each of the ESXi hosts. For example, in a two port LAG, the LAG ports have names similar to Lag1-0 and Lag1-1. Each ESXi host will have vmnics configured for each of these LAG ports.

Each LAG can be configured for either Active or Passive LACP modes. In an Active LACP LAG, all ports are in an active negotiating state. The LAG ports initiate negotiations with the LACP port channel on the physical switch by sending LACP packets. In Passive mode, the ports respond to LACPDUs they receive but do not initiate the LACP negotiation.


  •  If the physical switch is configured for active negotiating mode, it can be left in Passive Mode.
  • If LACP needs to be enabled and Active mode is unavailable, it is highly possible that the Physical Switch is not configured for LACP.
  • The Physical switch might be configured with EtherChannel or Port Aggregation Protocol.
  • Consult with your Physical Switch vendor or Network Administrator for more details.

For more information, see Enabling and Disabling LACP on an Uplink Port Group using the vSphere Web Client (2034277).

Another enhanced LACP feature in vSphere 5.5 is support for all LACP load balancing types, whereas vSphere 5.1 supports only Source/Destination IP Hash based load balancing.

vSphere 5.5 supports these load balancing types:
  1. Destination IP address
  2. Destination IP address and TCP/UDP port
  3. Destination IP address and VLAN
  4. Destination IP address, TCP/UDP port and VLAN
  5. Destination MAC address
  6. Destination TCP/UDP port
  7. Source IP address
  8. Source IP address and TCP/UDP port
  9. Source IP address and VLAN
  10. Source IP address, TCP/UDP port and VLAN
  11. Source MAC address
  12. Source TCP/UDP port
  13. Source and destination IP address
  14. Source and destination IP address and TCP/UDP port
  15. Source and destination IP address and VLAN
  16. Source and destination IP address, TCP/UDP port and VLAN
  17. Source and destination MAC address
  18. Source and destination TCP/UDP port
  19. Source port ID
  20. VLAN

Note: These policies are configured for LAG. The LAG load balancing policies always override any individual Distributed Port group if it uses the LAG with exception of LBT and netIOC as they will override LACP policy, if configured. 

These two configurations are going to load balance based on the traffic load which is better than LACP level load balancing.

Additional Information

For information on converting to Enhanced LACP Support from a vSphere 5.1 Distributed Switch, see Converting to Enhanced LACP Support on a vSphere Distributed Switch in the vSphere Web Client (2051311).

See Also

Request a Product Feature

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