I'm new to the Network Engineering community.

I'm also relatively new to the vSphere product line (and networking in general). I was hoping I would be able to interface multiple ESXi hosts on vCenter such that their VMs would be able to communicate with one another across a virtual switch. Is there any way I would be able to do this? If so, how would I go about doing so?

Many thanks, akratix

A layout of the ESXi servers and how the VMs would interact.

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    – YLearn
    Jun 18 '15 at 21:37

vSwitch is a logical switch within a single host. It's defined individually on each host. If it isn't given a physical link, it will not have any connectivity beyond the host, even if it's defined on multiple hosts.

A vSphere Distributed Switch (vDS or dvs - depending on the age of the document) is defined by vcenter and applied across a cluster of hosts. Once the vDS is defined, adding a host to it applies all of the vDS networks to that host.

If you have a lot of hosts and/or networks, a vDS may be less work. I script all of my ESX deployments, so it's the same either way for me.

  • This approach would have worked; however, I abruptly ran into a licensing issue. Unfortunately, with the ESXi servers we're working with, they do not have Enterprise licensing features; therefore, they do not have the vDS capability. Can you, or anyone else, think of another approach that may work? Best wishes.
    – Akratix
    Jun 18 '15 at 14:03
  • If the vswitches on each host are connected to a real network, then they will be able to talk to each other. All of this is well documented by vmware.
    – Ricky
    Jun 18 '15 at 19:33

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