Configure the teaming and failover policy on a standard port group to determine how network traffic related to a group of virtual machines or a VMkernel adapter is distributed between physical adapters and how to reroute traffic in the event of a physical adapter failure.


  1. In the vSphere Web Client, navigate to the host.
  2. On the Manage tab, click Networking, and select Virtual switches.
  3. Select a standard switch from the list.
    The topology diagram of the switch appears.
  4. In the topology diagram, select the port group and click Edit settings.
  5. On the Teaming and Failover page, to override the teaming and failover properties inherited from the standard switch, select the check boxes next to the properties that you want to override.
  6. From the Load Balancing drop-down menu, specify how the standard or distributed switch selects an uplink to handle traffic from a virtual machine or VMkernel adapter.
    Option Description
    Route based on the originating virtual port Select an uplink based on the virtual port where the traffic entered the virtual switch.
    Route based on IP hash

    Select an uplink based on a hash of the source and destination IP addresses of each packet. For non-IP packets, the switch simply uses the data at those fields to compute the hash.

    IP-based teaming requires that the physical switch be configured with EtherChannel.

    Route based on source MAC hash Select an uplink based on a hash of the source Ethernet.
    Route based on physical NIC load Available for distributed port groups or distributed ports. Select an uplink based on the current load of the physical network adapters connected to the port group or port. If an uplink remains busy at 75% or higher for 30 seconds, the host proxy switch moves a part of the virtual machine traffic to a physical adapter that has free capacity.
    Use explicit failover order From the list of active adapters, always use the highest order uplink that passes failover detection criteria.
  7. From the Network Failover Detection drop-down menu, specify the method that the standard or distributed switch uses for failover detection.
    Option Description
    Link Status only

    Relies only on the link status that the network adapter provides. This option detects failures, such as removed cables and physical switch power failures.

    However, it does not detect configuration errors, such as the following:

    • Physical switch port that is blocked by spanning tree or is misconfigured to the wrong VLAN.
    • Pulled cable that connects a physical switch to another networking devices, for example, an upstream switch.
    Beacon Probing

    Sends out and listens for beacon probes on all NICs in the team and uses this information, in addition to link status, to determine link failure. ESX/ESXi sends beacon packets every second.

    Beaconing is most useful with three or more NICs in a team because ESX/ESXi can detect failures of a single adapter. If only two NICs are assigned and one of them loses connectivity, the switch cannot determine which NIC needs to be taken out of service because both do not receive beacons and as a result all packets sent to both uplinks. Using at least three NICs in such a team allows for n-2 failures where n is the number of NICs in the team before reaching an ambiguous situation.

    The NICs must be in an active/active or active/standby configuration because the NICs in an unused state do not participate in beacon probing.

  8. From the Notify Switches drop-down menu, select whether the standard or distributed switch notifies the physical switch in case of a failover.
    If you select Yes, whenever a virtual NIC is connected to the virtual switch or whenever that virtual NIC’s traffic is routed over a different physical NIC in the team because of a failover event, a notification is sent over the network to update the lookup tables on physical switches. Notifying the physical switch offers lowest latency when a failover or a migration with vSphere vMotion occurs.
    Note: Set this option to No if a connected virtual machines is using Microsoft Network Load Balancing in unicast mode. No issues exist with Network Load Balancing running in multicast mode.
  9. From the Failback drop-down menu, determine whether a physical adapter is returned to active status after recovering from a failure.

    If failback is set to Yes (default), the adapter is returned to active duty immediately upon recovery, displacing the standby adapter that took over its slot, if any.

    If failback is set to No to a standard port, a failed adapter is left inactive after recovery until another currently active adapter fails and must be replaced.

  10. Specify how the uplinks in a team are used when a failover occurs by configuring the Failover Order list.
    If you want to use some uplinks but reserve others for emergencies in case the uplinks in use fail, use the up and down arrow keys to move them into different groups.
    Option Description
    Active adapters Continue to use the uplink if the network adapter connectivity is up and active.
    Standby adapters Use this uplink if one of the active physical adapter is down.
    Unused adapters Do not use this uplink.
  11. Click OK.