How to manage VLANs and virtual switches on ESXi/vSphere

VLANs are a great tool to manage business networks and VMware knows that very well. We’ll show you how you can configure ESX(i) to tag packets and how to create virtual switches for your VLANs.

Before reading the guide, it’s important to have VLANs configured in your network. More information on how to segment a LAN into VLANs here.

First of all, click F2 and access the ESX(i) console to enable VLAN architecture awareness. Select Configure Management Netowrk:

how to manage a vlan aware architecture and virtual switches with ESXi vSphere

Enable VLAN tagging specifying 4095 as value:

how to manage a vlan aware architecture and virtual switches with ESXi vSphere

how to manage a vlan aware architecture and virtual switches with ESXi vSphere

Specify an IP address for the management network adapter:

how to manage a vlan aware architecture and virtual switches with ESXi vSphere

how to manage a vlan aware architecture and virtual switches with ESXi vSphere

Define DNS servers:

how to manage a vlan aware architecture and virtual switches with ESXi vSphere

how to manage a vlan aware architecture and virtual switches with ESXi vSphere

Press Esc and confirm:

how to manage a vlan aware architecture and virtual switches with ESXi vSphere

Now your ESX(i) is VLAN architecture aware.

It’s time to launch the vSphere Client. Go to the Configuration tab and click Networking, you can see the management network with the 4095 tag:

how to manage a vlan aware architecture and virtual switches with ESXi vSphere

Click Properties:

how to manage a vlan aware architecture and virtual switches with ESXi vSphere

It’s time to remove the VM Network that will be replaced by the VLANs:

how to manage a vlan aware architecture and virtual switches with ESXi vSphere

how to manage a vlan aware architecture and virtual switches with ESXi vSphere

Create the VLANs with the IDs specified during the (physical) switch configuration clicking on Add:

how to manage a vlan aware architecture and virtual switches with ESXi vSphere

how to manage a vlan aware architecture and virtual switches with ESXi vSphere

how to manage a vlan aware architecture and virtual switches with ESXi vSphere

how to manage a vlan aware architecture and virtual switches with ESXi vSphere

how to manage a vlan aware architecture and virtual switches with ESXi vSphere

Let’s assign the VLANs to the virtual machines:

how to manage a vlan aware architecture and virtual switches with ESXi vSphere

how to manage a vlan aware architecture and virtual switches with ESXi vSphere

how to manage a vlan aware architecture and virtual switches with ESXi vSphere

The final step is to add a second virtual switch using another network adapter. You must specify the VLAN ID of the desired network:

how to manage a vlan aware architecture and virtual switches with ESXi vSphere

how to manage a vlan aware architecture and virtual switches with ESXi vSphere

how to manage a vlan aware architecture and virtual switches with ESXi vSphere

how to manage a vlan aware architecture and virtual switches with ESXi vSphere

how to manage a vlan aware architecture and virtual switches with ESXi vSphere

If we try to change the network of the Srv1 virtual machine from SERVER ID 100 to VoIP ID 30, we will see the VM automatically assigned to the second vSwitch:

how to manage a vlan aware architecture and virtual switches with ESXi vSphere

how to manage a vlan aware architecture and virtual switches with ESXi vSphere

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