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If I aggregate two NIC ports on a ESXi Server do they also need to be aggregated on the switch for it to work properly? I do not have a smart switch so I have not been able to do this but other then failover i am wondering if there was any port to aggregating the ESXi NIC ports

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Yes, to get link aggregation working properly (either LACP or EtherChannel), you need to have that configured on both the client and the switch. I also believe that VMware don't support 'dynamic' LACP properly, only 'static' LACP (whatever that is). I use EtherChannel on a Cisco 3750 and it works great.

edit to add: to configure on the VMware side, you need to set the Load Balancing policy to 'Route based on IP hash' in the NIC Teaming tab on the vSwitch.

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What is the difference between Route based on IP Hash and Route based on the originating virtual port ID –  cpgascho Feb 10 '11 at 16:43
    
See blog.scottlowe.org/2008/07/16/…. Basically, route based on port ID means that each individual virtual NIC can use at most a single link up to the switch. So a VM with a single NIC can see at most 1GBps (assuming gig links). That said, you don't need to do any configuration on the switch to achieve this. Routing on IP hash means that each src/dst connection gets assigned to a particular link, so a given VM could see the full aggregated bandwidth if they're making multiple different connections. This needs special switch configuration though. –  growse Feb 10 '11 at 16:51
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