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tlyczko
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request for networking clarification

In the new ESX 3.x Quick Start Guide by RapidApp (Herold, Laverick, Oglesby) they say in the beginning:

"Finally, there is no longer a need for a dedicated NIC (eth0) for the Console.

All NICs are now assigned to a virtual switch and then port groups are

assigned to the virtual switch for the Console OS. By default in ESX 3.0

vmnic0 is assigned to vswitch0 and a port group is created on that vswitch

for the COS. This new configuration makes it much easier to change the

NIC that the COS uses. It is also easier to assign an additional NIC to your

COS for redundancy."

I am about to install ESX 3.x to a DL380 with 2 NICs that will have ESX plus 3-4 VMs on it.

In other words, what's the best way to set up the NICs for networking according to the above comment -- teamed?? separate?? use whatever defaults are shown in the setup/configuration??

Thank you, Tom

Message was edited by tlyczko to add author names.

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oreeh
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Do the Service Console or vmKernel IP addresses require the ability to connect to the Internet for any reason, such as patching, etc. etc.??

No - you can always copy the patches using SCP (or any other possible mechanism) from a machine in the internal or trusted network.

The vmKernel only has to reach other ESX hosts (vMotion) or NAS / iSCSI storage.

If you don't have VC, iSCSI/NAS or other ESX hosts you don't need a vmKernel portgroup at all.

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esiebert7625
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If you only have two NICs you would probably be better off creating a single vSwitch and assigning both NICs to it, that way you have load balancing and failover. Put your SC on that vSwitch and setup port groups using 802.1Q trunking if your physical switch supports it so you can use multiple VLANs.

VMware ESX Server 3 802.1Q VLAN Solutions - http://www.vmware.com/pdf/esx3_vlan_wp.pdf

ESX Server, NIC Teaming and VLAN Trunking - http://blog.scottlowe.org/2006/12/04/esx-server-nic-teaming-and-vlan-trunking/

Leo_Smith
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are you using iSCSI?

How important are the VMs to you?

Maybe a dual or quad port nic is a good Idea. They cost less than $300 US.

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tlyczko
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Hi Eric,

Thanks for taking time to reply, I didn't fully understand the trunking etc. article so I will have to work more on all that topic.

I also found a couple 2006 TAC articles about networking VMs on your website and looked at those, I have to also read the VMware docs.

This is ESX Starter, so it's all local storage, and the dual NICs in the server will connect to the same physical switch in the LAN.

The VMs themselves have to all be in the same subnet of course.

I concluded that I should let ESX team the NICs and initially take the defaults until I Know more.

What I don't find or understand yet is if the Service Console, vmKernel and my VMs go on the same vSwitch??

Or if they all go to separate vSwitches and I have to somehow have three vSiwitches talk to each other or do I use portgroups and VLANs to get them to talk to each other as necessary??

When I do one of the above, do I let ESX select the IPs or do I use available IPs from my subnet??

Thanks, I will read some more on networking setup, most of what I've seen so far seems to assume SANs etc.

Thank you, Tom

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tlyczko
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This is ESX Starter, I'm not using iSCSI, of course the VMs are important. Smiley Happy

Three VMs will be Windows Server 2003, one will be a Linux VM (Zenoss appliance).

I'm also new to ESX.

Thank you, Tom

Message was edited by tlyczko to add VM info

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oreeh
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What I don't find or understand yet is if the Service Console, vmKernel and my VMs go on the same vSwitch??

They all go to the same vSwitch but utilize different portgroups.

When I do one of the above, do I let ESX select the IPs or do I use available IPs from my subnet??

Use available IPs from the subnet - otherwise you can't connect to the VMs or the ESX host.

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oreeh

As Leo already stated: an additional 2 or 4 port NIC would help alot (especially when looking towards future expansions)

tlyczko
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Thank you Oliver...Now I begin to understand what I have to learn about...portgroups and how many ports to assign to the different parts...one port or what, etc.??

Thank you, Tom

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oreeh
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how many ports to assign to the different parts...one port or what, etc.??

go with the defaults - you can change it later if you have the need to

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tlyczko
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Thanks again, Oliver. Smiley Happy

I know we may need more NICs later on, but the VMs won't initially experience heavy usage for the first one-three months, so I'm okay to start with two NICs.

I'll learn how to monitor network traffic to the best of my ability, then I will know better when I need to request money to add NICs.

Do the Service Console or vmKernel IP addresses require the ability to connect to the Internet for any reason, such as patching, etc. etc.??[/b]

So far as I know, the VMs definitely have to be able to get to the Internet initially for Microsoft Update, I hope to make this go away by using WSUS 3.0 as a VM to update all our Windows servers.

Thank you, Tom

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oreeh
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Do the Service Console or vmKernel IP addresses require the ability to connect to the Internet for any reason, such as patching, etc. etc.??

No - you can always copy the patches using SCP (or any other possible mechanism) from a machine in the internal or trusted network.

The vmKernel only has to reach other ESX hosts (vMotion) or NAS / iSCSI storage.

If you don't have VC, iSCSI/NAS or other ESX hosts you don't need a vmKernel portgroup at all.

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tlyczko
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Thanks, I will be using a NAS for storing backups and perhaps additional VMs.

That's one reason to think and plan for more NICs later, then I could direct-attach the NAS to the DL380.

Really, everyone, all the answers were correct!!!

The VMware forums are the best I've ever been on.

Thanks, Tom

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oreeh
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The VMware forums are the best I've ever been on.

One of the reasons I'm here

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