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I'm looking for suggestions/advice on the setup I've come up with for our environment. We have 2 separate ESX servers with 8 NICs (4 onboard, 4 exp). The second ESX host is for vmotion failover if one goes down. This will be connected to our LAN and isolated iSCSI & SC/Vmotion vlans in our cisco 3750G switch stack. The ports are set up to account for potential hardware/switch failures. E.g. Service Console connected to one onboard nic & one exp nic, both on separate switches). Here is the setup I'm contemplating using:

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vSwitch0 (2 pNIC, 2 PG's) PG1(SC) = nic1 (Active), nic2 (standby) PG2(Vmotion) = nic2 (Active), nic 1 (standby)

vSwitch1 (3 pNIC, 1 PG) VMKernel for iSCSI (Should I be using separate portgroups for each iscsi pNIC?)

vSwitch2 (3 pNIC) All other traffic. e.g. VM, LAN

These are all setup as trunk ports with dot1q.

Your thoughts are appreciated.

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This looks OK for the most part - you have redundant physical NIC's as uplinks for all your networks and you are distributing them across physical switches which is ideal. You may want to look carefully at the trunking options in your physical switches to ensure that the trunking is actually working correctly. You will have to look at your switch documentation to see what to do there but what you are looking for is 802.3ad not 802.1q (that's VLAN tagging which you probably want too but it's a different thing).

For your iSCSI vSwitch VMware's recommendation is to use a 1::1 mapping between each VMkernel Port and physical NIC if you have more than 1. You can do this by creating separate vSwitches or have all the ports on one vSwitch I don't believe it makes a difference. The VMware iSCSI SAN Configuration Guide has all the gruesome details and plenty of examples on what to do.

You should also carefully check that your switches are supported by your iSCSI Array vendor. iSCSI is quite demanding on switches and it is always good if you can get some reassurance from the Storage Array folks.

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