Virtualization, Cloud, Infrastructure and all that stuff in-between

My ramblings on the stuff that holds it all together

vSphere ESXi as a VM – VMKernel Traffic Not Working


In the lab I am currently working with I have a set of vSphere 4 ESXi installations running as a virtual machine and configured in an HA cluster – this is a great setup for testing VM patches, and general ops procedures or learning about VMware HA/DRS/FT etc. (this lab is running on a pair of ML115 g5 servers but would work equally on just one


Everything installed ok and I can ping the virtual ESX servers from the vCenter host that manages the cluster (the warning triangle is that there is no management network redundancy – I can live with that in this lab.

All ESX hosts (physical and virtual) are connected via iSCSI to a machine running OpenFiler and the storage networking works ok, however when I configure the vMotion & FT private networks between the VM ESX hosts I cannot ping the vMotion/FT IP addresses using vmkping – indicating that there were some communication problems, normally this would be a VLAN issue or some routing but in this instance all the NICs and IP addresses for my lab reside on a flat network (it’s not production, just a lab).



After some digging I came across this post for running ESX full as a VM, and noted the section on setting the vSwitch to promiscuous mode so I tried that with the vSwitch on the physical ESX host that the two ESXi VMs were running on;


And now the two Virtual ESXi nodes can communicate via vmkping


Problem solved and I can now vMotion nested VMs between each virtual ESX host – very clever!

3 responses to “vSphere ESXi as a VM – VMKernel Traffic Not Working

  1. Eric Gray June 12, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    Glad to hear it is working well.

  2. Pingback: Welcome to vSphere-land! » Running ESX/ESXi in a VM Links

  3. Isaac February 28, 2012 at 2:48 am

    Thanks for the help… I was having a time trying to ping my “nested” esx hosts.

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