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Adding nics to a VMWare ESXi 4.1 white box server

Posted on 2010-08-18
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I have a whitebox ESXi server that I build myself.  The board had one onboard nic.  I added an intel pro 100 card that has dual nics.  In the cSphere Client, I went to Configuration->Hardware->Advanced and configured the passthrough for the pci card and rebooted.  The datails say the device is running in passthrough mode.

However, in the console, when I look at the management network, only one nic is listed - the onboard one.  In vSphere the new card is still showing green for both nics, but when I go to Network Adapters, only the original is listed.  I tried creating a new switch but only the onboard shows up when I try to bond the switch to a nic.  Does anyone know how I can get this to work?  
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Question by:arstacey
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 33470527
If you want ESX to use the NIC you don't want passthrough mode - that is only for assigning the PCI device to a specific virtual machine.

Good Luck
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Expert Comment

by:Steve M
ID: 33470593
what bqoering said is correct, and after you do that you should setup a network just for vm's on another vswitch and choose the new adapter there.

Cheers,
-Steve
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Author Comment

by:arstacey
ID: 33470624
That's what I wanted but the nics didn't show up. Esx doesn't show them anywhere unless I add the pci card as passthrough.
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bgoering earned 500 total points
ID: 33470635
I would bet the 100 Mbit NICs have dropped off the HCL, if that is the case you likely won't be able to get them to work because there is no driver support. Best bet would be to find a NIC on the HCL (or on your Whitebox HCL)

http://www.vmware.com/go/hcl

Good Luck
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Expert Comment

by:Luciano Patrão
ID: 33472938
Hi

VMware ESX 3.x (cant remember if was corrected in the 4.x) have an issue when we use different adapters. On board and PCI or PCIex slots. This issue can hide a nic, or just change the NIC and port order. Brodband and Intel is an example of the mismatch of the nics when we install VMware

I know there is a script some where in the Internet that correct, but we can do this manually.

Go to /etc/vmware/esx.conf  create a copy of the file check the nics that are inside the vmnics number and check if this correct with your physical NICs, if you need to change the nics order, go to the end of the file and change also the nics order in the MAC address list

Then service mgmt-vmware restart

This cannot be the problem, but I have found many issues with nics because of this

Hope this can help

Jail
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Author Closing Comment

by:arstacey
ID: 33503946
Yep, looks like the card worked with 3.5 but not 4.1.  Going card shopping.....

THanks!
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