I’m sure everyone has noticed my recent posts have been about the CS24-SC servers.
Today I’m here to write about a new problem. The primary & secondary NICs on one of these machines are two different chipsets. Yes, you heard me right. The first appears to be tied directly to the Southbridge chipset. The second is attached to a PCI bus. Probably the cheaper way to go. My server contains the following NICs:
vmnic0 0000:000:19.0 e1000e Up 1000 Full xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx 1500 Intel 82566DM-2 Gigabit Network Connection
vmnic1 0000:006:00.0 e1000e Up 1000 Full xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx 1500 Intel 82573V Gigabit Ethernet Controller
The first NIC (Intel 82566DM-2) works great but I was running into a problem with ESXi5.5 and my second NIC. My second NIC (Intel 82573V) could receive packets but not send them. Seems like it would be a bad NIC or a bad Cable. Nope, its a bad driver.
The e1000e driver that comes with VMWare ESXi 5.5 does not support this NIC fully. The simple solution is to install an updated NIC package that has the proper drivers. Technically this NIC was deprecated in ESXi 5.5 (probably why it half works). Here’s a simple 1 line solution for downloading / installing the VIB with the new package. You’ll need to SSH to your existing ESXi box and run the command
esxcli software vib install -v http://kill-9.me/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/net-e1000e-2.3.2.x86_64.vib
You should get a result telling you that it removed a VIB and installed this VIB. You will need to reboot for the changes to take effect. Once you reboot, check that the package is loaded.
~ # esxcli software vib list | grep e1000e
net-e1000e 2.3.2 daoyama CommunitySupported 2014-04-13
The original source for this file was here but I mirrored it in case it ever went down. I found out about this problem from this blog post where someone needed to add NIC drivers to a new installation. I’ve adapted his instructions / file to work with existing ESXi installations.