Sample configuration of EtherChannel / Link aggregation with ESX

Taken and summarised from Vmware KB Article “Sample configuration of EtherChannel / Link aggregation with ESX and Cisco/HP switches“. This KB article applies to Vmware products version 3.0.x to version 4.1.x


I will not include in the blog how to configure the CISCO or HP switch, do read the KB article for more information.

Configuring load balancing within the VMware Infrastructure Client

To configure vSwitch properties for load balancing:

  1. Click the ESX host.
  2. Click the Configuration tab.
  3. Click the Networking link.
  4. Click Properties.
  5. Click the virtual switch in the Ports tab and click Edit.
  6. Click the NIC Teaming tab.
  7. From the Load Balancing dropdown, choose Route based on ip hash.
  8. Verify that there are two or more network adapters listed under Active Adapters.


Choose the Licensing Mode for Terminal Services 2008

This is a good documentation to advise on how Licensing Mode for Terminal Services 2008. Taken from Technet Article “Choosing the Licensing Mode“. These 2 paragraphs are very important. User CALs is still going by the honour system. That does not mean we blatantly violate MS Licensing requirement. But at least it gives us times to response in case we run out of licenses.

Which CAL you choose depends on how you plan to use the terminal server. When the Per Device licensing mode is used, and a client computer or device connects to a terminal server for the first time, the client computer or device is issued a temporary license by default. When a client computer or device connects to a terminal server for the second time, if the license server is activated and enough TS Per Device CALs are available, the license server issues the client computer or device a permanent TS Per Device CAL.

A Per User CAL gives one user the right to access a terminal server from an unlimited number of client computers or devices. TS Per User CALs are not enforced by TS Licensing. As a result, client connections can occur regardless of the number of TS Per User CALs that are installed on the license server. This does not release administrators from the requirements of the Microsoft Software License Terms to have a valid TS Per User CAL for each user. Failure to have a TS Per User CAL for each user, if the Per User licensing mode is being used, is a violation of the license terms.

Deploying Big-IP LTM with Microsoft Remote Desktop Services

If you are deploying  BIG-IP LTM with Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Services, you will find these articles useful for the deployment.

BIG-IP LTM Configuration

  1. Working with Trunks (From F5 Knowledge Base)
  2. Using Link Aggregation with Tagged VLANs  (F5 Knowledge Base)
  3.  Deploying the BIG-IP LTM with Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Services (pdf)

Microsoft Remote Desktop Services Connection Broker Essential Documentation relevant to Big-IP LTM

  1. Remote Desktop Connection Broker (Microsoft Technet)
  2. Overview of Remote Desktop Connection Broker (RD Connection Broker) (Microsoft Technet)
  3. Checklist: Create a Load-Balanced RD Session Host Server Farm by Using RD Connection Broker (Microsoft Technet)
  4. Install the RD Connection Broker Role Service (Microsoft Technet)
  5. Add Each RD Session Host Server in the Farm to the Session Broker Computers Local Group (Microsoft Technet)
  6. Configure an RD Session Host Server to Join a Farm in RD Connection Broker (Microsoft Technet)
  7. Configure DNS for RD Connection Broker Load Balancing (Microsoft Technet). Not Relevant as F5 will do the load balancing.
  8. About IP Address and Token Redirection (Microsoft Technet)
  9. About Dedicated Farm Redirection and Virtual Machine Redirection (Microsoft Technet).

Detecting Intel VT and AMD-V

Do read this information article “Hyper-V: Will My Computer Run Hyper-V? Detecting Intel VT and AMD-V

In a nutshell, you have to use the tools to check on the  Identification Utility of each

  1. For AMD, you may want to verify from the BIOS to be certain.
  2. For Intel, you can use the Intel® Processor Identification Utility to check. You should look for “Intel® Virtualization Technology = Yes” and “Execute Disable Bit = True”

Do note that you have to to disable and enable virtualiztion extensions. Most shipments will come with the extensions disabled, maybe to make the system more secure. So you have to fiddle around your BIOS to see how to use enable it.

Determining if Intel Virtualization Technology or AMD Virtualization is enabled in the BIOS without rebooting

Taken from Vmware KB “Determining if Intel Virtualization Technology or AMD Virtualization is enabled in the BIOS without rebooting” (29 Jul 2010)

When troubleshooting VMotion, Enhanced VMotion Capability (EVC) or 64bit virtual machine performance, you may need to determine if the Intel Virtualization Technology (VT) or AMD Virtualization (AMD-V) are enabled in the BIOS.


1. Login to the ESX host as the root user.

2. Run this command

# esxcfg-info|grep "HV Support"

These are the descriptions for the possible values:

0 - VT/AMD-V indicates that support is not available for this hardware.
1 - VT/AMD-V indicates that VT or AMD-V might be available but it is not supported for this hardware.
2 - VT/AMD-V indicates that VT or AMD-V is available but is currently not enabled in the BIOS.
3 - VT/AMD-V indicates that VT or AMD-V is enabled in the BIOS and can be used.