When setting up your network environment to work with ESXi software FCoE, follow the guidelines and best practices that VMware offers.

Network Switch Guidelines

Follow these guidelines when you configure a network switch for software FCoE environment:

  • On the ports that communicate with your ESXi host, disable the Spanning Tree Protocol (STP). Having the STP enabled might delay the FCoE Initialization Protocol (FIP) response at the switch and cause an all paths down (APD) condition.

    The FIP is a protocol that FCoE uses to discover and initialize FCoE entities on the Ethernet.

  • Turn on Priority-based Flow Control (PFC) and set it to AUTO.

  • Make sure that you have a compatible firmware version on the FCoE switch.

  • Set the MTU on the vSwitch to 2500 or more.

Network Adapter Guidelines and Best Practices

If you plan to enable software FCoE adapters to work with network adapters, specific considerations apply.

  • Whether you use a partially offloaded NIC or a non-FCoE capable NIC, make sure that the latest microcode is installed on the network adapter.

  • If you use the non-FCoE capable NIC, make sure that it has the DCB capability for software FCoE enablement.

  • If the network adapter has multiple ports, when configuring networking, add each port to a separate vSwitch. This practice helps you to avoid an APD condition when a disruptive event, such as an MTU change, occurs.

  • Do not move a network adapter port from one vSwitch to another when FCoE traffic is active. If you make this change, reboot your host afterwards.

  • If you changed the vSwitch for a network adapter port and caused a failure, moving the port back to the original vSwitch resolves the problem.