Questions from an ESX newbie: Setup with multiple subnets/VLANs

Hi all,

To start off with, VMWare is a very new product for me, so please bear with me. My current intention is to replace eight physical Server 2003R2 Active Directory servers with one VMWare ESX 3.5 box running eight VM's. Each AD server is on a separate VLAN, and provides DHCP services to the machines on that VLAN. We are using Cisco networking equipment. At this point, I'm trying to figure out the most logical way to do this.

The server I plan to use is a Dell PowerEdge 2850 (dual-proc), with two onboard gig NICs and 8GB of RAM Do I need to get some quad-port NICs and assign a physical NIC to each VM? Or can I bond the two gig NICs into a 2Gb channel, use trunking on the Cisco switch, then set each VM up with a static IP on a separate VLAN? Also, no matter what is possible, what is considered the best solution?

Any help y'all can provide would be sincerely appreciated. I won't be offended if you put it to me like I'm a four-year-old; I know my way around AD forests, but VMWare is a new game.

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Welcome to the forums.

I think a good start for you would be to read up on the ESX pdfs, http://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/vi_pages/vi_pubs_35u2.html

Theres pdfs on 'Getting Started', 'How to configure' and especially 'Networking'.

In the case of physical NICs, they will be configured on to virtual switches as uplinks to physical switches.

Your virtual machine will have virtual nics that attach to the virtual switch too so you can have multiple VM's per physical NIC. You'll get it when you read the docs.

Good sign off btw 🙂

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Welcome to the forums.

You could easily configure trunk ports on your physical switch to your ESX host, and run VM's on different VLAN's.

All you have to do is setup a new port group, with the appropriate VLAN on each of the port groups, and assign the appropriate group to the appropriate guest.

Jase McCarty


Co-Author of VMware ESX Essentials in the Virtual Data Center

(ISBN:1420070274) from Auerbach

Please consider awarding points if this post was helpful or correct

Jase McCarty - Field SA at PureStorage - @jasemccarty