upgrading VMware NICs on ADFS Server Farm (non WNLB) from E1000 to VMXNET3 - Safe?

Has anybody ever run into an issue upgrading the NICs on VMware Hardare version: Virtual Machine version: 7?

ESXi 5.1

All 3 ADFS Servers are running Windows 2008 R2.

I believe the MACs will change if I go about the normal way.. However, I believe the config file can be edited -- but I believe the MAC Address change won't hurt anything, right?

Any other pitfalls? - this is a change request for production devices.

Thank you for your time in advance!

K BAsked:
Who is Participating?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
It's the same risk associated with changing a network interface card in a physical machine, and replacing the network interface card, e.g. your server will have a new MAC.

The supported method is to Add a new interface e.g. VMXNET3, make sure you have VMware Tools installed before you add the new interface, then allocate IP Address to the new interface, disable the old E1000 interface and then delete.

(hot plug is supported for adding and removing).

If you want to use the same IP Address, the method is different.

Editing the VMX file, is not a supported method, do it with caution, and make sure you have a backup of the VMX configuration file before you start.
Zacharia KurianAdministrator- Data Center & NetworkCommented:
I think you better upgrade to a 5.5 and change the Vmware hard ware version to 8 or 9

MAC address binding is done if any of your applications license is based on it.

You need to have VMware tools installed to change to VMXNET3.

See the below links for more info.

Changing to VMXNET3:


Binding the MAC Address:

But, wait for the comments from the master guru on VM in our EE, named "Andrew Hancock"

Zephyr ICTCloud ArchitectCommented:
Never had any problems switching vNICs, though I never done it on any ADFS server, not saying it will have any problems, just that I can't speak out of experience on that specific technology/software. So I don't know how it will react to a mac-address change, but I don't think it will be a problem.

If the mac-address is important, you can set it manually/static so that it doesn't change from the current one.

I usually don't connect the new vNIC when just installed and booting up the VM, so I can login with local admin, set the same fixed IP as it had before and only then enable the new vNIC, so it doesn't get a DHCP or anything (if that's possible on your network naturally).
K BAuthor Commented:
Thank you. If keeping same ip what is the method?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You will need to note down the IP settings, before disabling the E1000 nic, and then enter those IP Settings into the VMXNET3 interface.

it will complain, because it will detect and existing disabled nic with those IP Addresses, just select Yes.

then once you have confirmed, and tested, remove the E1000 disabled nic.

Make sure you have a valid full backup of all your VMs before any production changes. This does not mean a snapshot!
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