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Mapping multiple physical NICs to virtual NICs

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Hi All,

I am wanting to know how to map physical nics to virtual nics in Vsphere 4.1 . I have a virtualised gateway device that supports multiple WAN connections and load balancing over these connections. The gateway device does all the PPPoE/A auth, so I need to have separate NICs for each PPP connection. So how do I connect a physical NIC to a virtual NIC and have all the virtual NICs accessible to the same VM?

Hope that makes sense!

James

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Right click on the VM and select Edit Settings. On the Hardware tab click Add and then add the virtual NICs that you'll need.  On the Network Connection screen you'll be able to select a Network Label which corresponds to the VM port groups that you have created.

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There's a few ways to do this depending on the setup of your network.  If you have different physical switches for each gateway, then you would create 2 vSwitchs with at least on physical NIC port connected to the appropriate physical switch.   You would then create a virtual machine port group on each vSwitch.  The VM you would create for routing would have two virtual NICs,  each connected to the appropriate VM port group.  You would then configure each NIC within the VM with the appropriate settings.

If you're using a single physical switch with VLANs,  then you would create a single vSwitch and configure the physical NIC ports as trunk ports.  Within the single vSwitch you would have 2 VM port groups, each configured with the appropriate VLAN.  You would then create the VM with 2 NIC ports each connected to the appropriate VM port group.

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Thanks for the reply Dave. I just have a single gateway device, and I am going to run 3 WAN connections to it because the site is limited in access to high speed broadband.

vSphere is running on an IBM x3550 server with 4 physical NICs. 3 of those NICs will be plugged directly into 3 (one per NIC) ADSL modems and the 4th server NIC gets plugged into a physical switch that is connected to the LAN, so how would I set that up? Will I still need to use VLANs?

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Enthusiast
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You do not need VLAN.

vSwitch1 <-> pNIC1

vSwitch2 <-> pNIC2

....

------------- http://communities.vmware.com/blogs/Deshifrator
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If you're going to connect directly then you'll create 4 vSwitches and link one NIC to each vSwitch.  You might need to experiment a bit with the direct connections as generally one has a physical switch inbetween.

If you wanted NIC redundancy then you could configure the following on the physical switch.

4 x ports as trunk ports connected to the ESXi host

3 x ports configured with a specific VLAN ID for each of the WAN ports

A single vSwitch with ESXi using the 4 NIC ports.   The vSwitch would have 4 VM port groups and 3 would be configured with the VLAN IDs that match the ones used for the WAN ports.  Your gateway device would have 4 virtual NICs connected to each VM port group.

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I've created the vSwitches and connected a NIC to each vSwitch. However, the gateway device VM is only listed on one vswitch and I'm guessing that means the VM won't be able to use the other physical NICs?

I can totally see your point regarding the NIC redundancy, but the company that make the gateway device only support it in a certain config, which is physical NICs connected directly to the ADSL modem/s. Their documentation on how to actually do that in vSphere is pretty much non existent though and I only know the utter basics of VMWare.

So after creating the vswitches and connecting a single physical NIC to each, how do I make it so that each switch is connected to the VM?

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Thanks Deshifrator, I have done that. Just need to get the connection to the VM sorted now.

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Immortal
Immortal

You create 1 vNIC connected to each vSwitch for the VM.

--Matt VCDX #52 blog.cowger.us
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Right click on the VM and select Edit Settings. On the Hardware tab click Add and then add the virtual NICs that you'll need.  On the Network Connection screen you'll be able to select a Network Label which corresponds to the VM port groups that you have created.

View solution in original post

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Dave, you are a freakin genius. Thank you so much!

Thanks to Deshifrator and Matt for their help as well!

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