Because blade servers have a limited number of network adapters, you might need to use VLANs to separate traffic for the service console, vMotion, IP storage, and various groups of virtual machines.

VMware best practices recommend that the service console and vMotion have their own networks for security reasons. If you dedicate physical adapters to separate vSwitches for this purpose, you might need to relinquish redundant (teamed) connections, stop isolating the various networking clients, or both. VLANs allow you to achieve network segmentation without having to use multiple physical adapters.

For the network blade of a blade server to support an ESX port group with VLAN tagged traffic, you must configure the blade to support 802.1Q and configure the port as a tagged port.

The method for configuring a port as a tagged port differs from server to server. The list describes how to configure a tagged port on three of the most commonly used blade servers.

Port Tagging Options on Blade Servers

Server Type

Configuration Option

HP Blade

Set VLAN Tagging to enabled.

Dell PowerEdge

Set the port to Tagged.

IBM eServer Blade Center

Select Tag in the port’s configuration.