vMotion interface - Creating a VMkernel port and enabling vMotion on an ESXihost
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vMotion interface - Creating a VMkernel port and enabling vMotion on an ESXihost


Article ID: 304952


Updated On:


VMware vSphere ESXi


This article provides steps to configure a vMotion interface, and information on the requirements and best practices for vMotion and vMotion networking on an ESXi host.




Configure a vMotion interface using vSphere Client

To configure a vMotion Interface:
  1. Log into the vCenter Server using vSphere Client.
  2. Click to select the host.
  3. Click the Configuration tab.
  4. Click Networking under Hardware.
  5. Click Add Networking.
  6. Select VMkernel and click Next.
  7. Select the existing vSwitch, or select Create a vSphere standard switch to create a new vSwitch and click Next.
  8. Enter a name in the Network Label to identify the network that vMotion uses.
  9. Select a VLAN ID from the VLAN ID (Optional) dropdown if applicable.
  10. Select Use this port group for vMotion and click Next.
  11. Enter the IP address and Subnet Mask of the host's vMotion Interface. (Note: it is not recommended to override the default gateway)
  12. Click Next, then click Finish.

    Note: For multiple hosts, repeat steps 2 to 12. Use a unique IP address in the same subnet for each host vMotion interface.

Configure a vMotion interface using vSphere Web Client:

  1. In the vSphere Web Client, navigate to the Host.
  2. Under Manage, select Networking and then select VMkernel adapters.
  3. Click Add host networking 
  4. On the Select connection type page, select VMkernel Network Adapter and click Next.
  5. On the Select target device page, select either an existing standard switch or a New vSphere standard switch.
  6. On the Port properties, enable vMotion Traffic and select Next.
  7. Configure network settings for the vMotion VMkernel interface and click Next. (Note: it is not recommended to override the default gateway)
  8. Review the settings and click Finish.

vSphere vMotion Networking Requirements

  • Migration with vMotion requires a correctly configured vMotion network interface on both source and target hosts.
  • Configure each host with at least one vMotion network interface. To ensure secure data transfer, the vMotion network must be a secure network, accessible only to trusted parties.
  • Because vMotion performance improves significantly with additional bandwidth, dedicate at minimum a physical 1 Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) NIC to vMotion.
  • As a best practice, provision at least one additional physical NIC as a failover NIC.
  • Port 8000 has to be open bidirectionally between all hosts participating in vmotion. 
  • MTU has to be consistent over entire datapath, 9000 (Jumbo) is preferred. 

You can configure multiple vMotion interfaces for greater throughput. For more information, see Multiple-NIC vMotion in vSphere (2007467)
For a full list of requirements, see vSphere vMotion Networking Requirements in the vCenter Server and Host Management Guide.

Recommended vMotion networking best practices

  • Use one dedicated Gigabit Ethernet adapter for vMotion.
  • If there are only 2 Ethernet adapters available:
    • For best security, dedicate the Gigabit Ethernet adapter to vMotion, and use VLANs to divide the virtual machine and management traffic on the other adapter.
    • For best availability, combine both adapters into a bond, and use VLANs to divide traffic into networks: one or more for virtual machine traffic and one for vMotion.
  • Keep the vMotion interfaces on a dedicated vMotion network. You can use VLANs to segment a single physical network or the preferred option is to use separate physical networks.

Commonly overlooked vMotion requirements

  • Ensure that virtual machines have access to the same subnets on source and destination hosts.
  • If you are using standard switches for networking, ensure that the network labels used for virtual machine port groups are consistent across hosts.
  • During a migration with vMotion, vCenter Server assigns virtual machines to port groups. Configure hosts for vMotion with shared storage to ensure that virtual machines are accessible to both source and target hosts.
  • If you use vMotion to migrate virtual machines with raw device mapping (RDM) files, ensure that the LUN IDs for RDMs are consistent across all participating hosts.

Additional Information