Configuring ESXi VM Networks | VMware Administration Essentials

In the previous posts, we took a look at setting up the VMkernel networks including storage and vMotion. Finally, we will look at configuring ESXi VM networks for the VMs themselves, the VM network. The VM network(s) allow the VMs themselves to have connectivity to the production network. Let’s take a look at how these are configured.

VM Networks

To setup VM Networks, we can easily do this on our first vSwitch0 by adding additional port groups, or we can, if we have additional network adapters available, create a new vSwitch for VM traffic. What are the use cases of the methods we mentioned here?

Simply adding port groups with additional VLAN tags allows us to use the same number of physical network adapters in our server. So, you don’t have to have a physical network cable connected for every single different network you want ESXi to interact with. However, you may want to make sure certain types of traffic are physically separate from other types of traffic such as in the case of carrying DMZ traffic in a certain host. In that case, you may want to use a separate vSwitch along with separate network cards for this traffic. This is not required in a technical sense, but may be more acceptable in certain compliance situations.

To add a new Virtual Machine network, we either create a new vSwitch0 and then add a port group, or we simply add a new port group. Click on the Add Networking link in the upper right hand corner.

Configuring ESXi VM Networks

We select Virtual Machine as the Connection Type for the new Port Group.

Select Virtual Machine as the Connection Type

We will populate the VLAN ID here for the VLAN we want this Virtual Machine network to communicate with.


Finally, we just click Next through the prompts and hit Finish and the new port group is created.

New port group

We can see our new “WorkstationVLAN” port group in the vSwitch properties.

New VLAN port group in vSphere Standard Switch properties


Provisioning the networking on an ESXi host is critical to making things work smoothly either for a standalone host or an ESXi host that is a part of a cluster in vCenter. We have how to create three different types of networks that are common in most environments – storage, vMotion, and Virtual Machine networks. Each of these different types of networks serves a purpose in our VMware environment allowing traffic to flow for the various features and components of VMware ESXi. Now that we have our networks configured, in our next post we will take a look at joining our host(s) to vCenter and how to build our Datacenter, Cluster, and the various options that go along with a vSphere cluster such as High Availability (HA) and Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS).


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