We will now take a look at the 2nd Layer of our logical topology which comprises of the following:

  • 5 x Virtual ESXi hosts
  • 2 x Virtual “External” Storage nodes running FreeNAS (not clustered)
  • 1 x Windows Server 2K3 Active Directory Domain Controller
  • 2 x vCenter Servers running on Windows Server 2K8, along with SSO, Web-Client, Inventory Service & SQL Server 2k8 Express Editon
  • Other non-core components as per required VCAP-DCA exam environment – see THE EXAM ENVIRONMENT section


Now, let’s map this to the generic networking diagram:


Similarly to the Layer1 topology, we have all my virtual ESXi hosts sharing the Management network – this is the same network as previously, hence the same portgroup will be used.

Since now I will have a cluster with 5 x ESXi hosts, it is a requirement to have external storage. However, the two FreeNAS “boxes” are not clustered; these will be considered independently which is why, I am using two Storage networks – Each storage will be connected to the virtual ESXi hosts over separate networks!

An important distinction!
“External” here is to be seen in regards to the *virtual* ESXi hosts. Once the storage is presented, the virtual ESXi host won’t know that the storage is actually a VM hosted on the *physical* ESXi host.

We now also have a need for the vMotion network, as well as for the Fault Tolerance network.

Note however that, in production environments, the FT network is optional for cases where the FT feature is actually going to be used.

Lastly, the Virtual Machines network will be shared between the VMs hosted by the virtual ESXi hosts.

All this should make more sense if you map the diagram above to the screenshot below:


Above, you can see the properties of one of my vESXi hosts VM – as per previous diagram, you can see it has got a link into two different storage networks, vMotion, Fault Tolerance, Management and Virtual Machines networks.

The networks here are actually port-groups setup on a virtual distributed switch.

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Thank you,
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