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How to confgure Transmit Load Balancing (TLB) teaming with ESX and Cisco 3020 switches ?

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How to confgure Transmit Load Balancing (TLB) teaming with ESX and Cisco 3020 switches ?

Daniel had a customer Load Balancing question:




Hi All,

I have a customer with c7000 enclosure with two Cisco 3020 switches and BL460c servers running ESX. The 3020 switches are connected to Catalyst 6500



Customer would like to move from NFT NIC teaming to TLB teaming in the ESX servers.


Do we have a document which explains this process, including:

-          How to configure TLB NIC teaming in ESX ?

-          How to configure the Cisco 3020 to work with TLB ?

-          What is the right way to connect the 3020 to the 6500 switches to support TLB ?

-          How should the 3020 uplinks and 6500 downlinks be configured to support TLB ?


Thanks in advance,




Lionel replied:




Hi Daniel,


There is no such TLB NIC teaming under ESX,


ESX provides 4 NIC teaming options:

-Route based on the originating virtual switch port ID

-Route based on source MAC hash

-Route based on IP hash

-Explicit Failover


Only the IP Hash requires one external switch with 802.3ad LACP configured (not suitable for your configuration), all the other teams does not require any specific configuration.


The VMware recommended option is the Originating virtual switch port ID, it’s the default and it load balances the VM traffic across all physical ports.


You might need to refer to the following Whitepaper http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/virtual_networking_concepts.pdf


To configure NIC teaming on ESX and a physical switch, see Sample configuration of EtherChannel / Link aggregation with ESX 3.x and Cisco /HP switches (1004048).




Comments or other suggestions for Daniel? Good info from Lionel with pointers to help.