Tuesday 4 May 2021

Home Lab Step-by-Step Part-3-Networking

In my previous post Home Lab Step-by-Step Part-2-Hostconfig we configured the IP address on our physical ESXi host, and now we are ready to configure networks required for our nested SDDC.

Below table shows the list of VLANs we will configure, and we have named each vlan as per its use.

Network Name


Subnet Range

Subnet Mask

Gateway Address



























We will configure these vlans however it might be possible that either you need few of these vlans or you may require some more vlans depending on your use case.

Let’s start, by login on to ESXi using browser (I am using Google Chrome), navigate to https://yourESXihostIPaddress and login with the root credentials. Then navigate to “Networking”.


Once you are in “Networking” navigate to “Virtual Switches” tab, you will find vSwitch0 already listed there, we don’t need to make any changes to that, we will create a new “Standard virtual switch” by clicking on Add standard virtual switch option highlighted in the image below. Which will bring a new switch wizard.

Here, we will name the switch as Nested, change MTU to 9000, remove the uplink and update security settings as accept for promiscuous mode, MAC address changes and forged transmits. Do not change anything on Link discovery and click Add.

Now we will start creating port groups, each port on a specific port group acts as an accessport that means when we create a VM and connect its network card to a port group, we are actually connecting the VM to a access port on the virtual switch. In this exercise we will create one trunk port group as well for our nested ESXi Host. Each port on a trunk port group acts as a trunkport.

To create a port group, we will navigate to “Networking>>Port groups” tab and we will click on “Add port group”

On the add port group wizard, enter the name which we defined in our network schema, provide VLAN ID, select virtual switch as “nested” and leave the security settings as “inherit from vSwitch” and then click add.

Follow same steps for remaining port groups, now you must be thinking where are we going to configure the networks we have defined initially in this post. We will define the gateways for each subnet on our CSR router. So that they are routable and can speak with each other. Once you have all Port groups created you would have results as shown in image below.

Once, port groups are created we need to create a datastore to host our nested SDDC. In order to create datastore we need to navigate to storage>>datastore and click “new datastore.”

New datastore wizard will open in front of you, select “create new VMFSdatastore” click next.

Type in a name for the datastore and select the HDD listed, click next

In the “select partitioning options” select “Use full disk” with “vmfs 6” and click next.

Finally review the settings, and click on finish, this will create datastore, which we will use to save Nested SDDC.

Till now we have completed basic requirements for SDDC, our network, storage and compute are ready for hosting VMs.


In our next post Home Lab Step-by-Step Part-4-virtual router we will deploy a CSR1000V router.

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  1. Thank you Praddy taking time to our write a blog on this ever hot topic. I really want to build this Lab, but I had always habe difficult to getting VLANs inside Nested ESXi. How will these VLANs routing traffic? NSX-T
    What I miss is the sketch of the lab layout you are planning. Right now I see the Lab is being built but unclear on the layout, and it is external connectivity. How many PNIC are being used. I think these information will make this blog post really helpful

    1. You have a valid point and that's the same issue most of the people face while setting up the LAB, my next post is all about the connectivity and routing the traffic within SDDC and to the external world. It has the required info to achieve a real DC experience in nested environment, will be posting that soon, as configuration is in progress :)

  2. I'm following your steps to create my Nested LAB thanks

  3. hello. you say that we dont have to make any changes to vswitch0 - but i notice that vswitch0 has 2 port groups configured - ' VM Network and ' Management Network ' - none of this seems to be covered in your instructions?. also you say at 2.39 something about renaming the port group 'VM network'which is connected to vswitch0, and use it for external connectivity, then connect one interface of the router to this network. im finding this hard to follow :(

    1. So let me help you here, when you configure the physical host you provided ip address for management (that is management network) and VM network is default port group which gets created when we install ESXi. I am referring to same for renaming it to external-192.168.1.x network which we have used for external connectivity.

  4. Pradhuman
    i saw you created 8 standard port groups . can we create 8 distributed port groups instead of standard port groups ?

    1. Dear Raje,

      We are doing this with single ESXi host thats the reason I created these port groups as standard, where in on nested hosts we did create distributed port groups.

      Remember for creating distributed switch we need vCenter server.


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