VMware Basic Networking

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VMWare Basic Networking is an important part of VMware’s virtualized infrastructure. A network is a group of interconnected objects. They can send and receive data from and to each other if they are in the same network. A Network is a connection between two or more computers so that they can communicate with each other. There are three types of network connections used.

Physical Network

A network of physical machines that are connected together and make communication with each other. VMware ESXi always runs on a physical machine.

Virtual Network

A network of virtual machines running on a physical machine. Virtual machines are connected logically and can communicate with each other. Virtual machines can be connected to virtual networks.

Opaque Network

An opaque network is a network created and managed by a separate entity outside of vSphere. VMware NSX is the best example of an opaque network.

A switch is a networking device that connects multiple physical machines together. Every connected computer can send and receive data from each other. Switches have multiple ports that help to segregate the network traffic based on the type of ports. There are two types of vSphere switch-

  1. vSphere Standard Switch (vSS) – This is similar to a physical switch and created vSwitch0 by default when you create new ESXi. vSS is limited to only one ESXi server.
  2. vSphere Distributed Switch (vDS) – This is an extended version of vSS. vDS can have multiple ESXi servers. It simplifies the management of switches.

Port Group

A port group defines the port configuration such as bandwidth limitation and VLAN tagging. An ESXi server has two types of port groups.

  1. VMKernal Port Group – This port group is use for vSphere services like vMotion, DRS, IP storage, and FT logging.
  2. Virtual Machine Port Group – This port group is use for virtual machines internal communication.


The VLAN helps us to divide a single physical LAN segment into multiple and isolated network segments. Each VLAN has its own ID’s which are tagged with a port group.

NIC Teaming

When we combine multiple physical network adapter in together, this is called NIC teaming. NIC teaming provides redundancy, high availability, and faster throughput.

Uplink Adapters

An uplink adapters helps virtual machines to communicate outside network. This is directly connected to physical switches.

Here is the simple diagram to understand it better.

Source: VMware

Source: VMware vSphere Networking

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