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You do not assign IP addresses to the physical nic. You must create a virtual switch and bind it to a physical nic.
See this document: http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vi3_server_config.pdf
The procedure is like that:
Create a virtual switch (vSwitch) in Virtual Center and configure the vSwitch to have the second physical NIC of your ESX server.
Create a VM (or guest) and configure the virtual NICs of this VM to be connected to the vSwitch.
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