Lab 8: Standard Switches

In this Lab, I will demonstrate how to create a Standard switch and port group.

A vSphere standard switch models a physical Ethernet switch that have 120 default number of the standard logical switch port.  One network adapter of a VM to each port can be connected and each uplink adapter must associate with a standard switch through one port. Each standard switch also has one or more port group that is assigned to it and each logical port is a member of a single port group on the standard switch.

Standard switches can be used to combine the bandwidth of multiple network adapters and balance traffics during communication and it also able to handle physical NIC failover.

VM Kernel: VM Kernal directly connected to the physical switch which helps to communicate with outside world. VMkernel requires IP address to connect physical switch. The naming structure of vmk## with the “vmk” portion being a shorthand for VMkernel.

VMKernel facilities the layer 2 and layer 3 services to the vSphere host. VM machines communicate to a VMkernel port to communicate with outside work because they can not make the connection directly with the physical switch.

VM kernel provides the combination of the following services:

  • Access to IP storage
  • vMotion Migrations
  • VMware vSphere Fault tolerance
  • Access to management network
  • NFS traffic
  • iSCSI traffic

Port groups aggregate multiple ports under a common configuration and provide a stable anchor point for virtual machines connecting to labelled networks. It is a template that stores configuration information to create virtual switch ports on the virtual switch.

VM port Groups: VM port groups create the logical rule for the virtual ports that are available to Virtual machines. It is used to connect virtual machines to each other with common network properties.

A VM group consists of a port group for each VLAN and network subnet to present to VMs. It doesn’t require IP address or does not provide vSphere services. It makes policy to configure on the vSwitch for a group of virtual ports.

VMs port groups and VM Kernel ports connect to the virtual switch uplink ports that are connected to physical Ethernet adapters to establish the connection to outside world.

The tasks list for the lab 8:

  • View the current Standard switch configuration
  • Create a standard switch with a Virtual Machine Port group
  • Attach VM to a New VM port group.


  • Log in the web client portal: https://vCenter Server Appliance Name.domainname:9443/vshpere-client/#
  • VMware vCenter Server Appliance root password
  • VMware ESXi hostName

Steps for the task: View the current Standard switch configuration

Step1: log in as root with the password on the vCenter Server Appliance login page.0

Step2: Go to the vCenter -> Hosts and Clusters -> Lab Servers -> ESXi host 1.jpg2.jpg3.jpg

Step3: Now click “Manage” and Select “Networking“. In this screen, you can see virtual switch named “vSwitch0”. This vSwitch0 is connected to the physical adapter vmnic0.4.jpg

In the following screenshot, you can see physical adapter vmnic0 contains a VMkernel port management network ( you can identify vKernel because it requires IP address) VM Network which is a virtual machine port group. At this moments, no virtual machines are connected to VM network. Check the status: Virtual Machines (0)


Steps for the task: Create a standard switch with a Virtual Machine Port group

Standard switch handle network traffic at the host level in a vSphere environment. It allows ESXi host to connect directly with other VMs whether they are the same host or a different host.

It is used by the VMkernel for accessing iSCSI and NAS based storage and also allow remote management capacities.

Lab Instruction: vmnics to use for the production virtual switch

Step1: Go to the Manage -> Networking. Click “Add host Networking icon6

Step2: Select connection type “Virtual Machine Port Group for a Standard Switch“. then click “Next“.7.jpg

Step3: Select “New Standard Switch” and Click “Next8.jpg

Step4: Now you need to create a Standard Switch. You need to click (+) under Assigned Adapters.9.jpg

Step5: In this step, you need to add available active physical adapters. This is called vmnic Cards that will help VMs to connect to the others devices in the network. 10

Create Standard Switch:  Select “vmnic1”.  If you have more available “vmnics”, select all of them by pressing the ‘CTR key”.11.jpg

Step5: Connection Setting: type the name “Production” in the network label box and keep the default setting for VLAN ID. Then click Next12.jpg13.jpg

Step6: Verify the Production Setting port group that will be displayed in the Networking pane. Click “vSwitch1″ under virtual Switch.14.jpg

Steps for the task: Attach VM to a New VM port group 

Virtual Machines ports provide networking for the Virtual Machines. In this task, I will change VM’s Network Adapter to VM port group “Production“.

Step 1: Go to the Home ->vCenter -> VMs and Templates ->DataCenter->LabVMS-> your VM15.jpg

Step 2: Right-Click your VM in the inventory and Select “Edit Setting16.jpg

Step 3: From the “Edit Setting” wizard, Click “Network Adapter 1″ and Select “Production” from the drop-down.  Then click “OK“.17.jpg

Step 4: Power on your VM  and verify that your machine is getting started with VM port group “Production” 18.jpg

Thank you 🙂


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