You can add a VMkernel network adapter (NIC) on a VMware vSphere® Standard Edition™ switch to provide network connectivity for hosts. The VMkernel NIC also handles the system traffic for VMware vSphere® vMotion®, IP storage, Fault Tolerance, logging, vSAN, and so on.


  1. Right-click Networking in the VMware Host Client inventory and click Add VMkernel NIC.
  2. In the Add VMkernel NIC dialog box, configure the settings for the VMkernel adapter.
    Option Description
    New port group Label

    Adding a VMkernel NIC also adds a port group. Specify a name for that port group.


    Enter a VLAN ID to determine the VLAN for the network traffic of the VMkernel adapter to use.

    IP Version

    Select IPv4, IPv6, or both.

    Note: The IPv6 option does not appear on hosts that do not have IPv6 enabled.
  3. Select a virtual switch from the drop-down menu.
  4. (Optional) Expand the IPv4 settings section to select an option for obtaining IP addresses.
    Option Description
    Use DHCP to obtain IP settings

    IP settings are obtained automatically. A DHCP server must be present on the network.

    Use static IP settings

    Enter the IPv4 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.

  5. (Optional) Expand the IPv6 settings section to select an option for obtaining IPv6 addresses.
    Option Description

    Use DHCP to obtain IPv6 addresses. A DHCPv6 server must be present on the network.

    Auto Configuration

    Use router advertisement to obtain IPv6 addresses.

    Static IPv6 Addresses
    1. Click Add address to add a new IPv6 address.
    2. Enter the IPv6 address and subnet prefix length.
  6. Select a TCP/IP stack from the drop-down menu.
    After you set a TCP/IP stack for the VMkernel adapter, you cannot change it. If you select the vMotion or the Provisioning TCP/IP stack, you can use only this stack to handle vMotion or for Provisioning traffic on the host. All VMkernel adapters for vMotion on the default TCP/IP stack are disabled for future vMotion sessions. If you use the Provisioning TCP/IP stack, VMkernel adapters on the default TCP/IP stack are disabled, and you cannot perform some operations. Such operations include traffic Provisioning, such as virtual machine cold migration, cloning, and snapshot migration.
  7. (Optional) Select the services to enable for the default TCP/IP stack on the host.
    vMotion enables the VMkernel adapter to advertise itself to another host as the network connection where vMotion traffic is sent. You cannot use vMotion to perform migrations to selected hosts if the vMotion service is not enabled for any VMkernel adapter on the default TCP/IP stack, or if no adapters use the vMotion TCP/IP stack.
  8. Review your setting selections and click Create.