In my humble opinion, one of the most interesting parts of configuring a fresh ESXi host, is the Network. I mean, you have an ESXI host with 4 or more NIC’s, network based shared storage like iSCSI or NFS. Further you want to configure for redundancy, provide vMotion, FT, enable Cluster features like HA and DRS, etc, etc.
Some time ago, I stumbled on this excellent blog post by Kendric Coleman. In this post he presents several scenarios how to design a vSphere host equipped with six physical NICs.
Recently, I have read a great book entitled “VMware vSphere 4.1 HA and DRS Technical deepdive”. This book is written by Duncan Epping and Frank Denneman and explains the principles behind HA, DRS and DPM. The book also offers very useful design principles, while configuring for HA and DRS. This book is a must read for every serious VMware Admin out there. What is more, even before the GA of vSphere 5, the successor “VMware vSphere 5 Clustering technical Deepdive” is already available (in fact is already on my iPad).
Especially in the first part, about VMware High Availability, they wrote down a few interesting design principles concerning network configuration.
In this post, I will try to combine both sources and create a design for an ESXi server with 6 NICs.