vSphere 5 Standard vSwitch Multi NIC vMotion Setup

vSphere 5 offers the new feature of Multi NIC vMotion allowing you to push vMotion traffic simultaneously down more than a single NIC. In previous releases of vSphere, only a single NIC would ever be used even if multiple NICs were part of a network teaming policy.

To configure Multi NIC vMotion, simply follow the below steps:

Step 1. Under the Configuration tab of a host, click Networking then select Add Networking. Select the option VMKernel and click next, select the network adapters you want to use for vMotion and click next.

Step 2. When presented with the below screen, enter a network label for this first VMKernel port, for example “vMotion-1” and check the box “use this port group for vMotion” and click next.

Step 3. On the next screen enter the IP address and subnet mask for this first VMKernal port and click next, then click finish. This will now create the vSwitch with the first port group and assign the two chosen virtual adapters to the switch.

Step 4. When the vSwitch has finished building, click the Properties button for the switch and you will be presented with the below screen. Click the Add button and go through creating a second VMKernel port for vMotion as you did in the previous steps.

Step 5. Once you have created your second VMKernel port, go back to the vSwitch properties windows, select the first vMotion VMKernel port and click edit.

Step 6. Click the NIC Teaming tab, then under Failover Order, check the box “Override switch failover order”. The NIC teaming options will now become available as shown below.

Step 7. In the NIC teaming policy editor, ensure only one NIC is moved under Active Adapters and any others placed under Standby Adapters. Once completed, click OK and the changes will apply. This will force this VMKernel port to only use a singular NIC in the networking team.

Step 8. Follow steps 5 to 7 for the second VMKernel port and remember to invert the NIC teaming policy from what you set for the first VMKernel port. For example, if vMotion-1 has vmnic1 as active and vmnic2 as standby, vMotion-2 should have vmnic2 as active and vmnic1 as standby.

The configuration of Multi NIC vMotion is now complete and you should experience much fast vMotion operations. To confirm your setup is working correctly, examine the performance statistics for the virtual adapters you chose during the setup, and issue a vMotion operation. You should see simultaneous active across all NICs.

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