VMware ESX, NIC Teaming, and VLAN Trunking with Enterasys Matrix Switches

While there's plenty of info re ESX NIC teaming and VLAN trunking on Cisco kit, and lately the HP Procurve kit, does anyone have any experience, tips and tricks with Enterasys Matrix kit? I've got four ESX 3.5U3 hosts each with 6 pNICs, two currently used for service console, VM and vmkernel, and two used for DMZ connections, and two unused.

I'm about to add six hosts also with 6 pNICs to this cluster, and want to reconfigure the whole cluster with network redundancy.

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Hot Shot
Hot Shot


Hope you have 2 pSwitches as well and you can use the following:

2 pNICs for Service Console & VMotion Networks on vSwitch0 using vLAN Tagging. Connect vmnic0 to pSwitch0 & Connect vmnic1 to pSwitch1 In case of one of the pSwitches goes down, you are still alive as well as incase if one of the pNICs goes down still you can VMotion VMs and you can access your S.C

In Additional to that, Team the two pNICs in the vSwitch0 and withing each Portgroup "S.C & VMotion" Make the vmnic0 Active for S.C and Standby for VMotion. And the vice versa for the VMotion Portgroup, vmnic1 Active and vmnic0 Standby. This will gives each portgroup a dedicated 1gb ethernet.

Remember: It always better to separate your Service Console Network as well as the VMkernel network from your production network. This will give you better security and better Administrative Control.

2 pNICs for Production VMs on vSwitch1. Connect vmnic2 to pSwitch0 and vmnic3 to pSwitch1 and Team both the pNICs as Active/Active

2 pNICs for DMZ VMs on vSwitch2. Connect vmnic4 to pSwitch0 and vmnic5 to pSwitch1 and Team both the pNICs as Active/Active

Best Regards,

Hussain Al Sayed

Best Regards, Hussain Al Sayed Consider awarding points for "correct" or "helpful".
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Don't combine your VMkernel and SC. It's important to have you SC redundant and isolated (not shared with anything else). 2 for SC, 2 for VM traffic, and 2 for the VMkernel.

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Please read through the topology "Cisco Subnet - Blue Gears - Virtual Networking" posts rolled up within http://www.astroarch.com/wiki/index.php/Blog_Roll

for a way to setup virtual networking for 2-5 pNICs available. This setup is independent of the pSwitch used.

As for how to setup the ENterasys Matrix switches, I can not help much on that as I do not use that type.

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.

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Edward L. Haletky
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