Create a VMkernel network adapter on a vSphere standard switch to provide network connectivity for hosts and to handle the system traffic for vSphere vMotion, IP storage, Fault Tolerance logging, vSAN, and so on. You can also create VMkernel adapters on the source and target vSphere Replication hosts to isolate the replication data traffic. Dedicate a VMkernel adapter to only one traffic type.
- In the vSphere Web Client, navigate to the host.
- On the Configure tab, expand Networking and select VMkernel adapters.
- Click Add host networking.
- On the Select connection type page, select VMkernel Network Adapter and click Next.
- On the Select target device page, select either an existing standard switch or select New standard switch.
- (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 the time that no physical NICs are attached to the host, 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.
- Click Add adapters and select as many physical NICs as you need.
- Use the up and down arrows to configure the active and standby NICs.
- On the Port properties page, configure the settings for the VMkernel adapter.
Option Description Network label Type a value for this label to indicate the traffic type for the VMkernel adapter, for example Management traffic or vMotion. VLAN ID 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.Note: The IPv6 option does not appear on hosts that do not have IPv6 enabled.
TCP/IP stack Select a TCP/IP stack from the list. After you set a TCP/IP stack for the VMkernel adapter, you cannot change it later. If you select the vMotion or the Provisioning TCP/IP stack, you will be able to use only this stack to handle vMotion or 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 for operations that include the Provisioning traffic, such as virtual machine cold migration, cloning, and snapshot migration. 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. The migration with vMotion to the selected host is not possible if the vMotion service is not enabled for any VMkernel adapter on the default TCP/IP stack, or if no adapters are using the vMotion TCP/IP stack.
- Provisioning traffic. Handles the data transferred for virtual machine cold migration, cloning, and snapshot migration.
- Fault Tolerance traffic. Enables Fault Tolerance logging on the host. You can use only one VMkernel adapter for FT traffic per 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.
- vSphere Replication traffic.Handles the outgoing replication data that is sent from the sourceESXi host to the vSphere Replication server.
- vSphere Replication NFC traffic. Handles the incoming replication data on the target replication site.
- vSAN. Enables the vSAN traffic on the host. Every host that is part from a vSAN cluster must have such a VMkernel adapter.
- If you selected the vMotion TCP/IP or the Provisioning stack, click OK in the warning dialog that appears.
If a live migration is already initiated, it completes successfully even after the involved VMkernel adapters on the default TCP/IP stack are disabled for vMotion. Same refers to operations that include VMkernel adapters on the default TCP/IP stack that are set for the Provisioning traffic.
- (Optional) On the IPv4 settings page, select an option for obtaining IP addresses.
Option Description Obtain IPv4 settings automatically Use DHCP to obtain IP settings. A DHCP server must be present on the network. Use static IPv4 settings
Enter 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.
Select the Override default gateway for this adapter check box and enter a gateway address, if you want to specify a different gateway for the VMkernel adapter.
- (Optional) On the IPv6 settings page, select an option for obtaining IPv6 addresses.
Option Description Obtain IPv6 addresses automatically through DHCP Use DHCP to obtain IPv6 addresses. A DHCPv6 server must be present on the network. Obtain IPv6 addresses automatically through Router Advertisement Use router advertisement to obtain IPv6 addresses.
In ESXi 6.5 and later router advertisement is enabled by default and supports the M and O flags in accordance with RFC 4861.
Static IPv6 addresses
- Click Add IPv6 address to add a new IPv6 address.
- Enter the IPv6 address and subnet prefix length, and click OK.
- To change the VMkernel default gateway, click Override default gateway for this adapter.
The VMkernel Default Gateway address for IPv6 is obtained from the selected TCP/IP stack.
- Review your settings selections on the Ready to complete page and click Finish.