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I assume this is possible by connecting one of the NICs to a VLAN from each subnet, or perhaps the helper IP takes care of this organically, but my question is, with one single ESXi host, and 3 VMs on that host, how can each VM have a reserved DHCP address from different subnets (say\16 and

I am just looking for a simple explanation of how this works given the most straight forward configuration. Thanks. Is it as simple as the helper IP sends the request to whichever dhcp server serves that subnet?

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Short answer: Yes, it is as simple as the letting the IP helper handling it.

Longer answer: The simplest way to accomplish this is to have multiple NICs in your ESXi box, and you configure a vSwitch for each of those networks, which your VMs will then be attached to. Then your VMs will obtain their IP through the same DHCP as any other machine on that VLAN.

Another way to accomplish this would be to configure 802.1q tagging between your physical switch and the ESXi vSwitch. The result is the same, but you could get there with as little as one NIC. VMWare has some information about configuring this style of configuration here:

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