Building My Lab Environment – Part III: Configuring vSphere 5 Networking

This is the third part of my series on building my lab environment. In Part I, I laid out the hardware that I would use for my lab. Part II covered the installation of VMware vSphere 5 on the hardware. In this post I will cover the vSphere 5 network settings.

Configuring the vSphere 5 switches

I created two vSwitches with no physical adapters for my Development and Production LANs. The reason I created two vSwitches with no physical adapters was for two reasons.

The first and primary reason is that on my home router I have MAC address filtering turned on. I turned this on for better security for my Wi-Fi connections, but as it turned out, it also enabled filtering on the physical connections as well. If I used the default vSwitch0, every time I create a virtual machine, I would have to add its MAC address to the router as well as a DHCP reservation.

With the two new vSwitches, I can create two virtual machines, each with two NICs; one NIC connected to the default vSwitch0 with access to the outside network, and one NIC connected to the internal Development or Production vSwitch. These two servers can then be configured as routers with NATing to route traffic between the internal vSwitches and the external network. This way I only have to add those two servers MAC addresses to the routers MAC filtering table, and I can create as many virtual machines as I want connected to the Dev/Prod vSwitches.

The second reason is I want to keep the traffic between my Development, Production, and home LANs separate.

Here is an illustration of what I describe. Since vSwitch0 has a vmnic associated with it, it bridges the physical and virtual networks.
logical network

To achieve this I created two new switches in vSphere 5 named Development LAN and Production LAN. To do this I went to the Configuration tab of the vSphere server and selected Networking. I then clicked Add Networking… in the upper right corner to add a new network switch.

You will be presented with the Add Networking Wizard after clicking. Under Connection Types you can select which type of vSwitch you would like to create. As these are going to be used for Virtual Machines, I left the default as is and clicked Next.vSwitch 01

Under the Network Access properties you can set which vmnic you want to associate with the vSwitch for access to the external network, or you can create another port group under a current vSwitch. For reasons I will explain in a bit, I chose to create a new vSwitch and, very important, unchecked the vmnic1 interface.
vSwitch 02

Under Connection Settings I set the Network Label as “Production LAN” and left the VLAN ID as is.
vSwitch 03

I followed the same steps to create the Development LAN. After both vSwitches are created, your Networking should look like the following.

That’s it for the networking. In my next post I will cover the creation of the resource pools that the virtual machines will be associated with.

Series Posts


Posted on November 14, 2011, in Lab, vSphere. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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