NIC Teaming with VMware vSphere & HP Procurve Switches

I researched how to configure NIC Teaming for load balancing and failover for VMware vSphere 4 and HP Procurve Switches.  I won’t go into great detail, but here are the steps. 

NIC Teaming with VMware vSphere and HP Procurve switches.


HP Switch

  • Set ports on HP switch for trunking
  • Add new trunk to data vlan

 VMware vSphere

  • Add networking (new virtual switch) and configure NIC Teaming



HP Switch – Set ports on HP Switch for Static Trunk

  • Telnet into the hp switch where you want to configure Static Trunk:

Telnet <ip-address>

  • Enter password
  • Select switch (assuming stacking with a central commander)
  • Enter Password (assuming stacking)
  • Type Menu
  • Select Option 2 Switch Configuration
  • Select Option 2 Port/Trunk Settings
  • Select Edit and scroll down to desired ports
  • On Desired ports:
  • Set Group to a new “trk#”
  • Set  Type to Trunk
  • Enter and Save
  • Press 0 to return to main menu


Add new trunk to data vlan 20

  • Press 5 for Command Line Interface (CLI)
  • Type show vlan 1
    notice the new trunk is listed in vlan 1 (the management vlan)
  • Type config
  • Type vlan # (where # is the number of your data vlan)
  • Type untag trk# vlan #   (where # is the number)
  • Type show vlan #
  •  Notice you’ll now see your “trk#” listed in the data vlan


VMware vSphere – Add networking (new virtual switch)

  • Log into vCenter then the ESX(i) machine (or direct to ESXi machine)
  • With the ESXi machine selected, click Configure
  • Click Networking
  • Click Add Networking
  • Verify Virtual Machine is selected, click Next
  • Select desired network adapters and click next
  • Give the Virtual machine network a name under “Network Label”
  • Click Finish
  • Look for the new vSwitch, click Properties
  • Select the VM Network Port Group and click Edit
  • Select the NIC Teaming tab
  • Select Load Balancing and “Route based on IP Hash”
  • Click OK to close

You now have your ESXi 4 host configured for NIC teaming for increased bandwidth (load balancing) and failover.


Volume Licensing with Windows Vista, 7, Server 2008…

In moving to Windows 7, I ran into the question of volume licensing, KMS or MAK?  This video helped!

Basically, for KMS, you have to have a minimum of 25 machines that access the KMS service per month of Windows 7 (5 servers for Server 2008).  The KMS services is a service that you install on your local network (similar to the DNS “service”, DHCP “service”, etc).  If you are trying to activate less than 25 (as we are) via volume license, you’ll want to use MAK license keys, which uses MS hosted activation servers.