VMWare hypervisor minimum requirements states that the minimum network requirements is:

one NIC, plus one for Management interface

(source: http://www.vmware.com/products/datacenter-virtualization/vsphere-hypervisor/requirements.html)

It used to be possible to use 1 NIC only. Is anybody using the new versions of VMWare in this configuration?

I ask because my colo provider will only provide me with 1 uplink (my server does have 2 NICs).

I need to be able to run the VMs and also have remote management using only 1 NIC.


  • Is this a remote environment with only one switch port included, or is this an experimental setup? I just cannot think of anything suitable for running production vsphere (platform based on server or workstation grade mainboard) that does not come with at least two NICs. Also, consider using VLAN if your environment supports it. Dec 17, 2012 at 16:20
  • @rackandboneman It's a 2U colo space with only one switch port included. There is no option to buy a 2nd port. The actual server does have two NICs. Dec 17, 2012 at 18:18
  • I wonder if you can get a 2U rackmount server with an onboard Gigabit 3 port Gigabit Ethernet Switch. :-)
    – Warren P
    Dec 17, 2012 at 20:46
  • Might want to look for another colo provider if they are unable to provide you with a 2nd port
    – Epaphus
    Dec 18, 2012 at 0:07
  • He could probably outboard a small five port switch behind the server :) - but anything like that actually worsens reliability.... Dec 19, 2012 at 9:30

2 Answers 2


VMware is a company, not a product. I'll assume that you're referring to vSphere, based on the link you posted in your question. Yes it is possible to use only one pNIC. In this case you would have a Virtual Machine port group and a VMkernel port on the same vSwitch.

  • Thanks. Last time I used a VMWare product it was ESX v3 so I'm a bit behind with each of the product names. Dec 17, 2012 at 18:19
  • Glad to help...
    – joeqwerty
    Dec 17, 2012 at 18:21
  • I am curious as to why they have specified you need two, if it's clearly possible to operate without it... does it involve any trickery with configuration to achieve?
    – deed02392
    Jun 27, 2013 at 19:22

Yes you can use one nic
I have a VMware vSphere server is setup with using 1 active nic. I am using it for VM traffic, management traffic and iSCSI traffic

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