ESXi allows you to shape outbound traffic on standard switches. The traffic shaper restricts the network bandwidth available to any port, but may also be configured to temporarily allow “bursts” of traffic to flow through a port at higher speeds.

A traffic shaping policy is defined by three characteristics: average bandwidth, peak bandwidth, and burst size.

Average Bandwidth
Establishes the number of bits per second to allow across a port, averaged over time—the allowed average load.
Burst Size
The maximum number of bytes to allow in a burst. If this parameter is set, a port may gain a burst bonus when it doesn’t use all its allocated bandwidth. Whenever the port needs more bandwidth than specified by Average Bandwidth, it may be allowed to temporarily transmit data at a higher speed if a burst bonus is available. This parameter tops the number of bytes that may be accumulated in the burst bonus and thus transferred at a higher speed.
Peak Bandwidth
The maximum number of bits per second to allow across a port when it is sending a burst of traffic. This tops the bandwidth used by a port whenever it is using its burst bonus. This parameter can never be smaller than the average bandwidth.


Launch the vSphere Client and log in to a vCenter Server system.


  1. Log in to the vSphere Client and select a host in the inventory pane.
  2. Click the Configuration tab and click Networking.
  3. Select a standard switch and click Properties.
  4. Click the Ports tab.
  5. Select the standard switch and click Edit.
  6. Click the Traffic Shaping tab.
  7. Select Enabled from the Status drop-down menu to enable traffic shaping policy exceptions.
    The Status policy here is applied to each virtual adapter attached to the port group, not to the standard switch as a whole. If you enable the policy exception in the Status field, you set limits on the amount of networking bandwidth allocation for each virtual adapter associated with this particular port group. If you disable the policy, services have a clear connection to the physical network by default.
  8. For each traffic shaping policy, enter a bandwidth value.