THIS HAS BEEN UPDATED. PLEASE VISIT VMware vSphere 5 Host NIC Network Design Layout and vSwitch Configuration [Major Update]
As vSphere has progressed, my current 6, 10, and 12 NIC designs have slowly depreciated. In an effort to update these to VMware vSphere 5, I took the 2 most popular configurations of 6 and 10 NICs and updated the Visios to make them a bit more pretty. I also don't know how much longer these will be necessary as the industry moves forward with 10GbE as a standard.
The assumption of these physical NIC designs is that these hosts are going to be configured with Enterprise Plus Licensing so all the vSphere features can be used. I didn't create a bunch of different designs as before because ideally you would want to stick with a simple design that meets a bunch of criteria for most people. In addition, I have updated these configs for performing multi-pathing for iSCSI and removing the use of etherchannel configurations because those were mostly needed on standard vSwitch configurations. I would also recommend to start moving everything over to a vNetwork Distributed Switch configuration because it is the easiest way to standardize across all of your hosts. vSphere 5 implemented a better HA and failed host policy in vSphere 5 so the use of a hybrid solution is fading as well.
Another assumption that has been depicted in every diagram is the physical switch configuration. These configurations can be done via Cisco 3750Gs with cross-stack links so it's viewed as a single switch or a single highly available enterprise switch such as a Cisco 4500 or can be implemented in a vPC configuration of dual Cisco Nexus 5000 or 7000s. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the switches in these configurations are enterprise class and you aren't connecting two switches via LACP because if you are doing that then the load teaming/balancing settings needs be re-configured.
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