VMware ESX LACP Support

Thomas Magill tmagill at providecommerce.com
Tue Jun 21 20:03:55 UTC 2011

I have to agree with this.  Port-channels add no value with the way ESX load-balances.  In fact, we had a few issues arise because of them and converted everything to native ESX LB.

-----Original Message-----
From: Jimmy Hess [mailto:mysidia at gmail.com] 
Sent: Monday, June 20, 2011 3:01 PM
To: Manu Chao
Cc: nanog at nanog.org
Subject: Re: VMware ESX LACP Support

On Mon, Jun 20, 2011 at 3:39 PM, Manu Chao <linux.yahoo at gmail.com> wrote:
> I would like to design VSS LACP based MECs with ESX hosts.
> Does VMware ESX support LACP?

No, ESX does not support the LACP protocol for control and negotiation of link aggregation.

Should you want link aggregation, and the default load balancing operation of ESX does not meet requirements,  it is possible to use a statically configured
aggregation in  non-negotiated ("on")  state;   or a third party solution.

The standard way to load balance NICs in ESX,  is to just plug in additional NICs to the same network, add the extra pNICs to the same vSwitch,  and have all NICs in 'active' mode.
The default operation is   Load balancing based on Originating vSwitch port ID.

That is, every time a new vNIC is connected to the vSwitch,  it is assigned a port ID, which can be used to distribute outgoing traffic from the the vNICs among the pNICs, so individual VMs can be load balanced.

> Do we need Nexus 1000 for ESX LACP support?

The Nexus 1000v  for ESX has LACP as a supported feature.

The Nexus 1000v   is one third party solution for VS link aggregation
for  Enterprise Plus  ESX environments   that use the VDS feature.

VDS is a lot of complexity and expense to add, just to tick a "LACP Support"  checkbox, however;  if you don't also need its other features....


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