Create a VMkernel network adapter on a vSphere standard switch to provide network connectivity for hosts and to handle the traffic for vSphere vMotion, IP storage, Fault Tolerance logging, or Virtual SAN. You should dedicate a VMkernel adapter to only one traffic type.


  1. In the vSphere Web Client, navigate to the host.
  2. Under Manage, select Networking and then select VMkernel adapters.
  3. Click Add host networking.
  4. On the Select connection type page, select VMkernel Network Adapter and click Next.
  5. On the Select target device page, select either an existing standard switch or a New vSphere standard switch.
  6. (Optional) On the Create a Standard Switch page, assign physical NICs to the switch.

    You can create the standard switch without physical NICs and configure them later. During that time the host does not have network connectivity to the other hosts on the physical network. The virtual machines on the host are able to communicate with each other.

    1. Click Add and select as many physical NICs as you need.
    2. Use the up and down arrows to configure the active and standby NICs.
  7. On the Port properties page, configure the settings for the VMkernel adapter.



    Network label

    Type a value for this label to indicate the traffic type for the VMkernel adapter, for example Management traffic or vMotion.


    Set a VLAN ID to identify the VLAN that the network traffic of the VMkernel adapter will use.

    IP settings

    Select IPv4, IPv6, or both.


    The IPv6 option does not appear on hosts that do not have IPv6 enabled.

    TCP/IP stack

    Select a stack from the list.

    Enable services

    You can enable services for the default TCP/IP stack on the host. Select from the available services:

    • vMotion traffic. Enables the VMkernel adapter to advertise itself to another host as the network connection where vMotion traffic is sent. You can enable this property for only one vMotion and IP storage VMkernel adapter per host. If this property is not enabled for any VMkernel adapter, migration with vMotion to the selected host is not possible.

    • Fault Tolerance traffic. Enables Fault Tolerance logging on the host.

    • Management traffic. Enables the management traffic for the host and vCenter Server. Typically, hosts have such a VMkernel adapter created when the ESXi software was installed. You can create another VMkernel adapter for management traffic on the host to provide redundancy.

    • Virtual SAN. Enables the Virtual SAN traffic on the host. Every host that is part from a Virtual SAN cluster must have such a VMkernel adapter.

  8. (Optional) On the IPv4 settings page, select an option for obtaining IP addresses.



    Obtain IP settings automatically

    Use DHCP to obtain IP settings.

    Use static IP settings

    Type the IPv4 IP address and subnet mask for the VMkernel adapter.

    The VMkernel Default Gateway and DNS server addresses for IPv4 are obtained from the selected TCP/IP stack.

  9. (Optional) On the IPv6 settings page, select an option for obtaining IPv6 addresses.



    Obtain IPv6 addresses automatically through DHCP

    Use DHCP to obtain IPv6 addresses.

    Obtain IPv6 addresses automatically through Router Advertisement

    Use router advertisement to obtain IPv6 addresses.

    Static IPv6 addresses

    1. Click Add to add a new IPv6 address.

    2. Type the IPv6 address and subnet prefix length, and click OK.

    3. To change the VMkernel default gateway, click Edit.

  10. Review your setting selections in the Ready to complete page and click Finish.