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vSphere NIC numbering

Posted on 2010-08-20
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
When adding NICs to a ESX/ESXi host, NICs are assigned numbers that, in past vesrions, were only able to be changed by physically removing NICs and replacing them in the order that you want them numbered.  Is there a way to change the number that a NIC is assigned without physically removing and replacing the NICs (in vSphere 4)?
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Question by:ENTPF
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bgoering earned 1000 total points
ID: 33489434
It pretty much assigns them in whatever order it finds them - you can see this article (http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1002315) for a rundown on the process. Now if you are really dead set on changing them it can be done. You would have to:

1. go into the console (tech support mode on ESXi)
2. cd /etc/vmware
3. backup your esx.conf - eg. cp esx.conf esx.conf.bak
4. edit esx.conf and look for your vmnic entries.. will look something like
     /device/000:001:00.0/vmkname = "vmnic0"
     /device/000:001:00.1/vmkname = "vmnic1"
     /device/000:002:00.0/vmkname = "vmnic2"
     /device/000:002:00.1/vmkname = "vmnic3"
5, Order as desired by editing the string vmnicX
5. Save the edited file and reboot

You may have to readjust your nic bindings in networking when done

Good Luck
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by:Valutus
ID: 33489436
No, they are assigned based on the PCI bus number and slot location, in exactly the same way it occurred in previous versions
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by:Luciano Patrão
Luciano Patrão earned 1000 total points
ID: 33493369
Hi

VMware had an issue with the nics port numbering. If you have on board nics, and some PCIe nics, the numbering is not correct. With HP server and Broadband and Intel adapter it happens.

So you need to fix the numbering by changing the esx.conf like bgoering posted. But also need to change in the end of that file, the numbering on vmnics macaddress

You can check you numbering nics by running this

esxcfg-nics -l | awk '{print $1,$2,$3,$4,$5}' | sort $1

If you check that the numbering for nics/ports is not correct, then fix

Check if nics/ports are correct numbering. We always have an issue with the second onboard nic/port is never the vmnic1 and with the vmnic5 is also different

For many implementation, the numbering is not an issue, but for a correct design(using nic port to a specific Switch port) and validate the cabling the right numbering is important.

Examle: We use vmnic0 and vmnic5 for service console, or vmnic1 and vmnic3 for vmkernel, if the numbering is not correct, you can use the same nic/port for High Availability, if you have a nic problem, both nics/ports can be the some physical port, and you have no vmkernel, or Service Console

This is just an example what can happen if you have your infrastructure very well documented, and the correct design for High Availability on all connections.

Hope this can help

Jail
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