Internet Protocol Security (IPsec) secures IP communications coming from and arriving at a host. ESXi hosts support IPsec using IPv6.

When you set up IPsec on a host, you enable authentication and encryption of incoming and outgoing packets. When and how IP traffic is encrypted depends on how you set up the system's security associations and security policies.

A security association determines how the system encrypts traffic. When you create a security association, you specify the source and destination, encryption parameters, and a name for the security association.

A security policy determines when the system should encrypt traffic. The security policy includes source and destination information, the protocol and direction of traffic to be encrypted, the mode (transport or tunnel) and the security association to use.