ESXi allows you to shape both inbound and outbound traffic on vSphere distributed 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.


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


  1. Log in to the vSphere Client and select the Networking inventory view.
  2. Select the vSphere distributed switch in the inventory pane.
  3. On the Ports tab, right-click the port to modify and select Edit Settings.
  4. Click Policies.
  5. In the Traffic Shaping group, you can configure both Inbound Traffic Shaping and Outbound Traffic Shaping.
    When traffic shaping is disabled, the tunable features are dimmed.

    Status — If you enable the policy exception for either Inbound Traffic Shaping or Outbound Traffic Shaping in the Status field, you are setting limits on the amount of networking bandwidth allocated for each virtual adapter associated with this particular port group. If you disable the policy, services have a free, clear connection to the physical network by default.

  6. Specify network traffic parameters.
    • Average Bandwidth establishes the number of bits per second to allow across a port, averaged over time—the allowed average load.
    • Peak Bandwidth is the maximum number of bits per second to allow across a port when it is sending/receiving a burst of traffic. This tops the bandwidth used by a port whenever it is using its burst bonus.
    • 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.
  7. Click OK.