Virtual switches are a fun topic in ESX,  They are unique on each ESX node and not shared across the cluster.  This problem was addressed in ESX 4.0 with distributed virtual switches (DVS) which allows you to create switches on vCenter and pass it to all nodes.  Unfortunately DVS is available only in the plus licenses which cost about $1000 more per processor.  For those of us without DVS are forced to script out vSwitches.   The process is pretty simple but has to be done in the right order from the service console:

  1. Create the vSwitch
  2. Create port groups
  3. Assign VLAN tags to port groups if required
  4. Apply security policy
  5. Link a nic to the switch
  6. Create a service console if required
  7. Assign ip addresses if required
  8. Enable vmotion if required


The only thing I missed was setting a default order on the nic’s if you have multiple nic’s: For example my vSwitch1 has two port groups with 2 vnics I can choose to force a vnic for each group:

© 2010, Joseph Griffiths. All rights reserved.

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