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Network Design for configuring HA

Hi All,

Just wondering if anyone can suggest me best network design for configuring HA with 8 ESX hosts per cluster (PowerEdge 6850) each having 6 network cards and each cluster will have approx 80 VMs running. The existing network configuration within each host in cluster is as follows -

1. Two Network Cards for vSwitch0 for Service Console and VMotion.

2. Two Network Cards for vSwitch1 for Virtual Machines.

3. Two Network Cards for vSwitch2 again for VMs.

I am seeing lot of issues related to HA & DRS in existing configuration and i am going to suggest following modifications -

1. A backup Service console in each host (is that needs to be in the same network that of primary service console???)

2. A dedicated NIC for service console and one NIC shared betweek backup service console and VMKernel port.

Can anyone give some inputs here?

Thanks in advance!


VCP, MCSE 2003, MCITP Enterprise Admin, CCNA, ITIL Foundation, Netapp NS0-153 (Storage Networking) Personal Website - http://www.virtualizationtrainings.com, http://www.hillsindia.com
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4 Replies


Check this thread out... lots of different ideas here.


With 6 Nics, I would personally use

vswitch1 ~ Service Console ~ 2 nics

vswitch2 ~ vmotion ~ 1-2 nics

vswitch3 ~ vm's ~ 2-3 depending on your rate of traffic. 2 Should and has been enough for my environment, so have been able to allocate the other nic to standby for vmotion.

Good Luck

If you found this or any other answer useful please consider the use of the Helpful or correct buttons to award points ~y

I have different network segments for VMotion, service console, and 2 production virtual machine networks. I have my network guys use 802.1q trunks on all my switch ports for all 6 NICs, and allow all 4 VLANs on each NIC. That way, I can move NICs around at will, as required, and re-allocate network I/O as required. The way I split them up, is to put VMotion and SC on one pair of NICs, prod network 1 on pair #2, and prod network 3 on pair #3. Since all VLANs are separated, and there's more than enough I/O available per team, I have not seen any problems with this as of yet.


vExpert/VCP/VCAP vmwise.com / @vmwise -KjB
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I use 3 *2950's with 6 nics and have them currently as follows:

Internal Gbic1 - BMC / console

Internal Gbic2 - Vmotion

PCI nic1 - Vmachine

PCI nic 2 - Vmachine

PCI nic 3 - Console

PCI nic 4 - Perimeter (to my firewall)

I am thinking of changing it so that I have 2 nics for Vmachine and 2 for console to give better redundancy i.e. patching one Vmachine and one Console to each of my two switches.

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HA complains if you do not have 2 pNICS associated with the Service Console. You can use VLANS for this... I do not however. How you split your pNICS depends on your Security Policy (acceptance of VLANs, and other aspects), desired Performance, and desired redundancy.

Best regards,

Edward L. Haletky

VMware Communities User Moderator


Author of the book 'VMWare ESX Server in the Enterprise: Planning and Securing Virtualization Servers', Copyright 2008 Pearson Education. As well as the Virtualization Wiki at http://www.astroarch.com/wiki/index.php/Virtualization

Edward L. Haletky
vExpert XIII: 2009-2021,
VMTN Community Moderator
vSphere Upgrade Saga: https://www.astroarch.com/blogs
GitHub Repo: https://github.com/Texiwill