This post is also available in: Italian

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Objective 2.3 – Configure vSS and vDS Policies

See also those similar posts: Objective 2.3 – Configure vSS and VDS Policies and Objective 2.3 – Configure vSS and vDS Policies

Identify common vSS and vDS policies (similar as vSphere 4.x)

See the vSphere Networking Guide (page 43). Policies set at the standard switch or distributed port group level apply to all of the port groups on the standard switch or to ports in the distributed port group. The exceptions are the configuration options that are overridden at the standard port group or distributed port level.

The blueprint does not cover the NIOC and Monitor policies, but I suggest to study them as well.

Configure dvPort group blocking policies (similar as vSphere 4.x)

For network security policy see:

For port blocking policies see the vSphere Networking Guide (page 59).

Configure load balancing and failover policies (similar as vSphere 4.1)

See the vSphere Networking Guide (page 43). Load balancing and failover policies allow you to determine how network traffic is distributed between adapters and how to re-route traffic in the event of adapter failure. The Failover and Load Balancing policies include the following parameters:

  • Load Balancing policy: Route based on the originating port or Route based on IP hash (require etherchannel at switch level)or Route based on source MAC hash or Use explicit failover order or Route based on physical NIC load (only for vDS) .
  • Failover Detection: Link Status or Beacon Probing (this make sense with at least 3 NICs).
  • Failback: Yes or No.
  • Network Adapter Order: Active or Standby or Unused.

Configure VLAN settings (same as vSphere 4.x)

See the vSphere Networking Guide (page 50). In the VLAN ID field of a port group (or distribuited port group) set a value between 1 and 4094 (0 disable the VLAN and 4095 is the same as trunk all the VLANs).

For vDS other two options are available: VLAN Trunking (to specify a range) and Private VLAN (for more info see

Configure traffic shaping policies (same as vSphere 4.x)

See the vSphere Networking Guide (page 54). A traffic shaping policy is defined by average bandwidth, peak bandwidth, and burst size. You can establish a traffic shaping policy for each port group and each distributed port or distributed port group.

ESXi shapes outbound network traffic on standard switches and inbound and outbound traffic on distributed switches. Traffic shaping restricts the network bandwidth available on a port, but can also be configured to allow bursts of traffic to flow through at higher speeds.

Enable TCP Segmentation Offload support for a virtual machine (same as vSphere 4.x)

See the vSphere Networking Guide (page 38). TCP Segmentation Offload (TSO) is enabled on the VMkernel interface by default, but must be enabled at the virtual machine level.

Enable Jumbo Frames support on appropriate components (new in vSphere 5)

See the vSphere Networking Guide (page 39). Now it’s possible configure the MTU from GUI also in standard vSwitch and on vmkernel interfaces.

Determine appropriate VLAN configuration for a vSphere implementation (similar as vSphere 4.x)

See the vSphere Networking Guide (page 66).  VLAN tagging is possible at diffent level: External Switch Tagging (EST), Virtual Switch Tagging (VST), and Virtual Guest Tagging (VGT).

Missing advanced features

The blueprint does not cover port Mirroring and NetFlow (new from vSphere 5)… but I suggest to study them as well. Note that also a new (and standard) discover protocol (LLDP) has been added (but only to vDS).