SBS 2011 NIC becomes unresponsive

Hi everyone,
I have the following problem with an SBS2011 installation, running as a virtual machine on a VMware ESXi:

The NIC card is an Intel 82574L with 2 ports integrated in a Supermicro motherboard virtualized as E1000 in an ESXi 5.1 environment.

Every once in a while (it can happen twice a day or never happen for two weeks) the NIC card becomes completely unresponsive. On the 'Local area connection status' the 'Media State' read 'Enable' but it blinks.

Disabling and Re-enabling the card does not help, and I can only restart the server to solve the problem.
VMware, Firewall (pfSense with snort installed) and the server logs show absolutely nothing network related.

I am sure that the on the physical side the NIC is still working because pfSense is on the same host and keeps routing packets in the internal and external network.

I'd be happy just to have even just a suggestion on where to search to solve this. I have two other identical configuration in the other branch offices (only different NIC card), that have no problem.

Thanks in advance,
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John GobertEnterprise Systems ConsultantCommented:
I've read about this same issue before and the resolution was to change the NIC from E1000 to vmxnet3.  Have you already tried that?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Do not use the E1000 nic, this is intended for installation only.

Replace and add the VMXNET3 interface, and make sure you have VMware Tools installed to support this interface.

Have you checked using another virtual machine, or contacting the physical server host, if it's the host nic?

can you upload a screenshot of your networking?

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Bozen999Author Commented:
I am reading about VMXNET3 right now, and will try this solution. I need to wait for the weekend, back up the entire VM when it's offline and then try.
I have had in the past problems with SBS network wizards and if the customer looses access to the server for too long I'm probably out of his door for good :-)
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Sushil SonawaneCommented:
Make sure your server OS update with latest service pack and windows update and also network drivers.
Tony GiangrecoCommented:
Check and update the firmware of the bios, nic and any other server components that are behind in updates.
Bozen999Author Commented:
I finally changed the virtual nic card on the server (it was a pain as SBS really "complains" and it takes a few, slow restarts).
There have been no incidents so far, but it's early to tell as it was all done yesterday.
The machine feels really faster too.
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