Before you enable vSAN on a cluster and ESXi hosts, you must construct the necessary network to carry the vSAN communication.

vSAN provides a distributed storage solution, which implies exchanging data across the ESXi hosts that participate in the cluster. Preparing the network for installing vSAN includes certain configuration aspects.

For information about network design guidelines, see Designing the vSAN Network.

Placing Hosts in the Same Subnet

Hosts must be connected in the same subnet for best networking performance. In vSAN 6.0 and later, you can also connect hosts in the same Layer 3 network if necessary.

Dedicating Network Bandwidth on a Physical Adapter

Allocate at least 1 Gbps bandwidth for vSAN. You might use one of the following configuration options:

  • Dedicate 1-GbE physical adapters for a hybrid host configuration.
  • Use dedicated or shared 10-GbE physical adapters for all-flash configurations.
  • Use dedicated or shared 10-GbE physical adapters for hybrid configurations if possible.
  • Direct vSAN traffic on a 10-GbE physical adapter that handles other system traffic and use vSphere Network I/O Control on a distributed switch to reserve bandwidth for vSAN.

Configuring a Port Group on a Virtual Switch

Configure a port group on a virtual switch for vSAN.

  • Assign the physical adapter for vSAN to the port group as an active uplink.

    When you need a NIC team for network availability, select a teaming algorithm based on the connection of the physical adapters to the switch.

  • If designed, assign vSAN traffic to a VLAN by enabling tagging in the virtual switch.

Examining the Firewall on a Host for vSAN

vSAN sends messages on certain ports on each host in the cluster. Verify that the host firewalls allow traffic on these ports.

When you enable vSAN on a cluster, all required ports are added to ESXi firewall rules and configured automatically. There is no need for an administrator to open any firewall ports or enable any firewall services manually.

You can view open ports for incoming and outgoing connections. Select the ESXi host, and click Configure > Security Profile.