Use load balancing and failover policies to determine how network traffic is distributed between adapters and how to reroute traffic in the event of an adapter failure.

The failover and load balancing policies include the following parameters:

Load Balancing policy determines how outgoing traffic is distributed among the network adapters assigned to a standard switch. Incoming traffic is controlled by the Load Balancing policy on the physical switch.

Failover Detection: Link Status or Beacon Probing

Network Adapter Order (Active or Standby)

You might lose standard switch connectivity when a failover or failback event occurs. This loss causes the MAC addresses used by virtual machines that are associated with that standard switch, to appear on a different switch port than the one they had been on previously. To avoid this problem, put your physical switch in portfast or portfast trunk mode.


Browse to a host in the vSphere Web Client.


Click the Manage tab, and select Networking > Virtual Switches .


Select a standard switch from the list, and click Edit settings.


On the Teaming and Failover page, select an option for how to select an uplink from the Load Balancing drop-down menu.



Route based on IP hash

Select an uplink based on a hash of the source and destination IP addresses of each packet. For non-IP packets, whatever is at those offsets is used to compute the hash.

Route based on source MAC hash

Select an uplink based on a hash of the source Ethernet.

Route based on the originating virtual port

Select an uplink based on the virtual port where the traffic entered the standard switch.

Use explicit failover order

Always use the highest order uplink from the list of Active adapters that passes failover detection criteria.


Select the option to use for failover detection from the Network Failure Detection drop-down menu.



Link Status only

Relies solely on the link status that the network adapter provides. This option detects failures, such as cable pulls and physical switch power failures, but not configuration errors, such as a physical switch port being blocked by spanning tree or misconfigured to the wrong VLAN or cable pulls on the other side of a physical switch.

Beacon Probing

Sends out and listens for beacon probes on all NICs in the team and uses this information, in addition to link status, to determine link failure. This option detects many of the failures mentioned that are not detected by link status alone.


Do not use beacon probing with IP-hash load balancing.


Enable or disable notify switches in the case of failover with the Notify Switches drop-down menu.

If you select Yes, whenever a virtual NIC is connected to the standard switch or whenever that virtual NIC’s traffic is routed over a different physical NIC in the team because of a failover event, a notification is sent over the network to update the lookup tables on the physical switches.

Do not use this option when the virtual machines using the port group are using Microsoft Network Load Balancing (NLB) in unicast mode.


Enable or disable failback with the Failback drop-down menu.

This option determines how a physical adapter is returned to active duty after recovering from a failure.

Yes. The adapter is returned to active duty immediately on recovery.

No. A failed adapter is left inactive even after recovery until another active adapter fails, requiring its replacement.


Set the Failover Order to specify how to distribute the work load for adapters.

Select an adapter and use the up and down arrows to position it in the appropriate adapter category.



Active Adapters

Continue to use the adapter when the network adapter connectivity is available and active.

Standby Adapters

Use this adapter if one of the active adapter’s connectivity is unavailable.

Unused Adapters

Do not use this adapter.

If you are using iSCSI Multipathing, configure your VMkernel interface to have one active adapter and no standby adapters. See the vSphere Storage documentation.


When using IP-hash load balancing, do not configure standby uplinks.


Click OK.