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CodeCyan
Contributor
Contributor

How many NICS for my whitebox

In the next few weeks I'll be looking into installing the evaluation version of ESX VI 3.5 and possible 3.0.2 on a pair of whiteboxes I have waiting in my home lab. From reading posts on the forum, it looks like I won't have any incompatibility problems with a large part of the hardware presently installed (listed below) in each box except for the on board NICS which are based on the Marvell-Yukon processor. This is where my question arises.

I understand the Intel Dual port NICS PRO/1000 MT based on the Intel 82546EB processor should play nice with ESX 3.0.2 or 3.5 but if I'm wanting to take full advantage of the software: HA; VMotion, DRS just how many NICS will I be needing to install? I've found a decent online supplier for these cards, and was initially thinking of purchasing two boards per server (4 gigabit ports per server) but I start to wonder whether this would be overkill.

BOX 1

Asus P5B-Deluxe

Intel Core2Duo E6300 @ 1.86Ghz

4 Gb DDR2

Adaptec 2610SA SATA RAID controller

2 x 320 Gb SATA II Drives

BOX2

Asus P5B-Deluxe

Intel Core2Duo E6300 @ 1.86Ghz

4 Gb DDR2

Adaptec 2610SA SATA RAID controller

2 x 320 Gb SATA II Drives

Thanks in advance.

Paul

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bfent
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Yes, the Intel NICs work very well on ESX.

In your 'test' environment, you may be able to get away with 1 NIC (haven't tried this) but I would recommend two (one for the service console and one for the VMs). If you want security and/or redundancy, you will need more (we have 8 ports per host in production). In order to use Vmotion (HA and DRS use Vmotion), you will need some sort of shared storage (NAS, SAN, etc). All hosts will need access to this in order to move VMs around. If you choose iSCSI, I would suggest 2 dedicated NIC ports for redundancy (if connectivity to the iSCSI device is lost using only one NIC, you will most certainly have data corruption).

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