I have three ESXi hosts (Host A, B & C) all connected to a centralized Dell switch in trunk mode. Each using vSwitches (not dvSwitches). They are all configured for VLAN ID: All (4095). This works great, I effectively have 1 network between all the hosts. One of the hosts has a pfSense gateway VM (Host A).

However, I would like to take 1 of the hosts (Host C), and additionally connect it using another NIC to an HP 5900AF-48G-4XG-2QSFP+ Switch, using VLAN 5 (because I need regular physical RJ45 access to the network). I configured a set of ports on the HP to VLAN 5. But I cannot seem to configure the port properly on the HP switch. Effectively my question is, for this type of HP switch, should the port be configured in trunk mode? I have it in Trunk mode on VLAN 5. However, if the ESXi host NIC is connected to the HP switch, it causes the VMs on that host (Host C) to not be able to talk to hosts (B & A) over the Dell switch.

  • Please provide your ports configuration Commented May 26, 2017 at 8:05
  • Disregard this, upgraded the switch firmware and it corrected the issue.
    – TheFrack
    Commented Jun 6, 2017 at 0:37
  • Did any answer help you? If so, you should accept the answer so that the question doesn't keep popping up forever, looking for an answer. Alternatively, you could provide and accept your own answer.
    – Ron Maupin
    Commented Aug 15, 2017 at 2:29

1 Answer 1


vSwitches use static VM/MAC-to-port distribution, do not put redundant ports in trunk mode on the physical switch. With this logic you can have complete control over frame distribution/load balancing which wouldn't be possible with trunking and you can use redundant uplink switches without STP blocking ports.

Use the vSwitches to map VLAN IDs to port groups:

  • connect each VLAN to all uplink host ports
  • for each VLAN add a port group with the required VLAN ID
  • for each required VLAN/port group connection in a virtual machine add a separate guest vNIC and connect it with the port group
  • only if you need to use packet monitoring in a guest you add a port group with VLAN ID 4095, allow promiscuous mode and change the NIC teaming to use a single active NIC - the one connecting to the mirror port

Trying to separate the trunked VLANs from inside the guest won't work as the port group with VLAN 4095 will forward all frames without tag.

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