Chapter 3. Networking

Networking is a crucial aspect of the ESX virtual environment. It’s important to understand the technology, including the different pieces that make it up and how they work together. In this chapter we will look at different networking elements inside the ESX platform and how to configure and build those different pieces.

3.1. Understanding Differences Between ESX 3.5 and ESXi 3.5 in Network Support


Limitations on networking can be confusing because ESXi does not support everything in ESX.


This recipe summarizes the differences between the two versions.


ESX 3.5 and ESXi 3.5 share a common set of features, but they differ in significant ways. VMware has published a Knowledge Base article (1003345) describing some of the differences in the networking portions of the two products, and we’ll discuss those differences briefly in this recipe. It’s important to understand the differences in order to avoid conflicts when configuring your environment. Here are the key points:

  • ESX 3.5 and ESXi 3.5 both support the Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP) by default. However, only in ESX 3.5 can you configure the CDP so that information about the physical NIC, or vmnic in VMware terms, is passed to upstream switches. ESXi 3.5 doesn’t currently support that feature.

  • In ESX 3.5, jumbo frames are supported in the guest (virtual machine) and in the ESX kernel’s TCP/IP stack. However, in ESXi, jumbo frame support is currently available only in the guest (virtual machine) ...

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