Tuesday, September 6, 2011

NIC teaming using EtherChannel leads to intermittent network connectivity in ESXi

When trying to team NICs using EtherChannel, the network connectivity is disrupted on an ESXi host. This issue occurs because NIC teaming properties do not propagate to the Management Network portgroup in ESXi.
When you configure the ESXi host for NIC teaming by setting the Load Balancing to Route based on ip hash, this configuration is not propagated to Management Network portgroup.
After setting the load balancing property to Route based on ip hash for vSwitch0, set the same for Management Network portgroup.
To configure the NIC teaming properties:

    Select the ESX Server host.
    Click the Configuration tab.
    Click the Networking link.
    Click Properties link for the management network portgroup.
    Highlight the virtual switch in the Ports tab and click Edit.
    Click the NIC Teaming tab.
    Choose Route based on ip hash from the Load Balancing dropdown menu.
    Verify that there are two or more network adapters listed under Active Adapters.

Use these commands if the host does not stay connected to vCenter Server after the vSwitch load balancing policy change:
# vim-cmd hostsvc/net/vswitch_setpolicy --nicteaming-policy=loadbalance_ip vSwitch0
# vim-cmd hostsvc/net/portgroup_set --nicteaming-policy=loadbalance_ip vSwitch0 "Management Network" 

For more information read the following articles from VMware KB:

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