VMWare NIC Options - Which is Best?

  • still confused over which NIC is the generally preferred option for pfSense 2 on a VMWare ESXi 5 hypervisor.

    The E1000 seems to be the easiest to manage as far as not needing vmtools which makes upgrades easy.

    But VMWare documentation calls the VMXNET nics "high performance" so immediately I think "I want that!!!"

    VMXNET2 (enhanced) loads fine once you have vmtools package installed and I have not been successful yet in getting VMXNET3 working properly.
    so I will wait until the pre-compiled vmtools package supports that one.

    So with all things equal, which is the preferred NIC for a VMWare installation, E1000 or the VMXNET variation.

    Thanks (sorry if this is a redundant topic but there seems to be no definitive answer out there yet)

  • That's a good question. i have not used 2.0 on VMWare but my notes from my 1.2.3 install are that anything but the e1000 NIC had very poor performance. Have you tried loading up traffic with each. I found the others worked but were very slow when any amount of traffic was flowing through.

  • i'm not sure but i think there are/were issues with the vmxnet drivers and vlan's ….

  • @heper:

    i'm not sure but i think there are/were issues with the vmxnet drivers and vlan's ….

    The VMXNET2 drivers work with the current stable edition of the OPEN VM TOOLS package so that is what I am running with now.

  • I started to do some performance tests, here, but didn't finish, as I moved my pfSense image from ESXi to a dedicated thin client.


  • yall might wanna take a look in my thread here: http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,53185.0.html

  • Personally I don't want to risk any slowdowns to my router from the vSwitches and virtual adapters, so I forward my dual port Ethernet NIC (Intel EXPI9402PT) directly to my guest using DirectPath I/O.

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