VLANs and NIC Teaming

Hi All,

I have been browsing the forums to find out the correct way to configure NIC teaming for redundancy and VLAN 802.1q trunks. I have a network with 3 vlans (excluding management) 80, 81 & 82 and running 3 servers in seperate VMs connected to each VLAN. The ESX server is operating on an IBM Blade, running in a H Series chassis with 2 BNT ESM (Nortel) switches servicing the data side.

The 2 BNT switches are provisioned for redundancy and have an interconnection between them. They are connected to a number of other switches operating in a RSTP network.

The BNT switches are configured so

  • the server interfaces are trunks, carrying VLANs 80,81,82. (No native vlan configured)

  • RSTP is not enabled on these trunks

  • an external trunk interconnection between switches to allow for switch failure

The ESX server is configured so

  • The two NICS connected to the BNT switches are setup in an active/standby configuration

  • Virtual Switch Tagging is used so each VM operating on a VLAN is only connected to one VLAN

  • the physical NICs are using Beacon probing for redundancy

  • Vlan80 is using beacon probing,vlan 81,82 are using link status

I am not sure if I should be using beacon probing or link status and where it should be configured. I have a feeling that I should only be using link status or perhaps I need to use a native VLAN with on the BNT swtiches for the beacon probing. Any help will be well recieved.


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2 Replies

Beacon probing doesn't work in all cases.

Use normal link detection (set a vSwitch level).

At portgroup level use only the function to order the NIC for loadbalancing/failover.


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Andre | | | @Andrea_Mauro
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I have been doing similar research and found the following info and thought I would pass this on to others.

If you are planning on doing NIC teaming, make sure the load balancing methods match between the Switch and V-switch.

Using LACP with the following settings will be the most compatible:

IP-Source-Destination (IPhash) as the Load Balancing Method

Set the Trunk Native VLAN to something like 4094 that is not used anywhere else.

  • Do not use beacon probing with IP HASH load balancing.
  • Do not configure standby or unused uplinks with IP HASH load balancing.
  • VMware support only one EtherChannel per vSwitch or vNetwork Distributed Switch (vDS).

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