Install the NIC Driver on ESXi
For the best performance, use SR-IOV with Intel 10GB network interfaces which requires the ixgbe 4.4.1 driver to support multiple queues for each interface.
- Obtain a list of network interfaces on the ESXi host.
- Log in to the ESXi host CLI.
- Use the following command to return a list of network interfaces:$esxcli network nic list
- Determine the driver version for a particular interface.You can use eitherethtooloresxclito determine the currently-installed driver version. The following example uses vNIC4 and returns driver version 3.21.6.
- ethtool—ethtool -l<nic-name>$ethtool -I vNIC4driver: ixgbe version: 3.21.6iov firmware-version: 0x80000389 bus-info: 0000:04:00.0
- esxcli—esxcli network nic get -n<nic-name>$esxcli network nic get -n vNIC4Advertised Auto Negotiation: true Advertised Link Modes: Auto Negotiation: true Cable Type: Current Message Level: 7 Driver Info: Bus Info: 0000:04:00.0 Driver: ixgbe Firmware Version: 0x80000389 Version: 3.21.6iov Link Detected: false Link Status: Down Name: vNIC4 PHYAddress: 0 Pause Autonegotiate: true Pause RX: true Pause TX: true Supported Ports: FIBRE Supports Auto Negotiation: true Supports Pause: true Supports Wakeon: false Transceiver: external Wakeon: None
- Install the new driver.
- Download the ixgbe 4.4.1 driver from the VMware website. Extract the contents to a local directory and find the .zip or .vib files for your driver.
- Create a new folder in your ESXi host datastore.
- Copy the local .zip or .vib file you extracted to the new folder in your ESXi host datastore.
- Enable maintenance mode on the ESXi host.
- Use one of the following commands to install the new driver, using -d for .zip files, or -v for .vib files.
You must specify the absolute path to the .zip or .vib file. For example:$ esxcli software vib install -d "/vmfs/volumes/Datastore/DirectoryName/DriverName.zip"
- $esxcli software vib install -d<path to driver .zip file>
- $esxcli software vib install -v<path to driver .vib file>
- Verify the VIB installation.$ esxcli software vib list
- Reboot the ESXi host.
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