How to handle network failures

These three failover policies are used to determine how to handle network failures in vSphere:

1. Notify switches – a physical switch can be notified when a virtual NIC is connected to a virtual switch or a failover event occurs. The notification is sent out over the network so the lookup tables on the physical switches can be updated. This policy is set to Yes by default.

2. Failback – determines what a physical adapter does after recovering from a failure. If set to Yes, the failed physical adapter is put back to active duty immediately after recovery, and the standby adapter returns to being a standby adapter. If set to No, the failed physical adapter is left out of service after recovery, until another active adapter fails.

3. Failover order – determines the physical adapter failover order. Three categories are available:

  • Active adapters – the adapters listed here will be used as long as network connectivity is available.
  • Standby adapters – the adapters listed here will be used if one of the active adapters loses connectivity.
  • Unused adapters – the adapters listed here will never be used.

Here are the steps for configuring failover policies on a standard virtual switch using the vSphere Web Client:

1. Go to the host’s Manage > Networking tab. Select the virtual switch you would like to modify and select the Edit settings icon:

edit virtual switch

Select the Teaming and failover menu and select the failover option you would like to configure:

configure network failure options

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