vSphere 5 Network Config

As part of moving our production server environment to a colo facility and the coinciding upgrade from ESX 4.1 (fat) to ESXi 5, I get to basically rebuild my entire vSphere environment from the ground up. It’s a great¬†opportunity¬†as I’ve definitely learned a lot over the past 3 years or so of using VMware on a regular basis and I’ve been itching to change some things that I’ll hopefully go in to in some posts later on in this process.

My task today is nailing down my network configurations. I’ve got 8 NICs total at my disposal in each of my Dell R710 servers – the four embedded Broadcom 5709 (2 separate dual-port controllers by design) and an additional four on an add-in Intel I340-T4. I want to make the iSCSI as fast as possible and the rest of the networking as redundant as possible. I’ve not bonded ports in my vSphere config before, but thinking that’s where I want to go at least with the production network side.

I have some ideas already, but I’m curious – what would YOU do?