Blue Gears - 8 Physical NICs with VMware ESX

Virtualization running on hosts with only 2 on-board pNICs and 6 pNIC in a slot have the fewest security, redundancy, and performance challenges than other topologies. Administrators are not forced to make any major choice on which security zones to combine upon a pair of pNICs. How to setup virtual networking when 8 pNICs are involved follows: pNIC0 -> vSwitch0 -> Portgroup0 (service console) pNIC1 -> vSwitch0 -> Portgroup0 (service console) pNIC2 -> vSwitch1 -> Portgroup1 (VMotion) pNIC3 -> vSwitch1 -> Portgroup1 (VMotion) pNIC4 -> vSwitch2 -> Portgroup2 (Storage Network) pNIC5 -> vSwitch2 -> Portgroup2 (Storage Network) pNIC6 -> vSwitch3 -> Portgroup3 (VM Network) pNIC7 -> vSwitch3 -> Portgroup3 (VM Network) With 8 pNICs you can setup four redundant vSwitches each for different purposes one for the service console/management appliance, one for VMotion, another just for the Storage Network to grant higher levels of redundancy, and finally one solely for the VM Network which includes redundancy. In this configuration there is no need for predefined failover modes within the vSwitches, just the default which includes vSwitch Port ID based load balancing. In other words, load balancing is outbound only and based on the port to which the VM is connected. This method will grant the most redundancy, security, and performance for a 8 pNIC configuration.

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