Multiple-NIC vMotion in vSphere 5 via Command Line

Hey guys,

How to configure a vMotion enabled Multiple NIC vSwitch in vSphere 5

You probably already know that u can use vMotion Process to be take advantage of more than 1 physical NIC.

Today, vMotion can run and use up to 16 Network adapters or up to 4 10Gbbs Network adapter ( NIC ).

In order to configure your esxi hosts using gui u can just go the this KB that is taken from the yellow-Bricks Blog.

If u need to configure more than just one or two hosts and u want to automate this process so, you are in the right place

Some basic rules

1. If u want to use multiple NICS for VMkernel ? u need VMkernel for each Physical Nic.

2. U Need to configure each VMkernel port group to use one NIC only, this can be done using the failover order policy exceptions

Here is the deal.

My Start Position is just with 1 switch vSwitch0, and I have 4 Nics on my esxi vmnic0,1 goes to vSwitch0 and I am

Going to use vmnic2,3 forr my vMotion in a Separated switch

1. Create a new vSwitch

a. esxcfg-vswitch -a vSwitch1


2. Add Nics to this vSwitch:

a. esxcfg-vswitch -L vmnic2 vSwitch1

b. esxcfg-vswitch -L vmnic3 vSwitch1


3. Add VMkernel port groups for vMotion ( 2 NICS = 2 vmkernels)


b. esxcfg-vswitch -A vMotion1 vSwitch1

c. esxcfg-vswitch -A vMotion2 vSwitch1

d. esxcfg-vmknic -a -i -n vMotion1

e. esxcfg-vmknic -a -i -n vMotion2


4. Looking on esxcfg-vswitch –l


b. Both of the vMotion Prot Groups are using all NiCs, now lets change it

c. esxcfg-vswitch -N vmnic3 -p vMotion1 vSwitch1

d. esxcfg-vswitch -N vmnic2 -p vMotion2 vSwitch1

e. Now it looks better – each vmk is working with a single NIC


5. Last thing to do – enable vMotion via Command Line

a. vim-cmd hostsvc/vmotion/vnic_set vmk1

b. vim-cmd hostsvc/vmotion/vnic_set vmk2


That is it, the vMotion will take advantage and will be faster.


Shay Hyams

ConvertIT technologies Ltd