I recently attended a tech talk where Doug Baer, VCDX, was speaking about all the different VMware VNIC adapters there are now to choose from for vSphere.
After the meeting I spoke with Doug and asked him if I could share his VMware VNIC data on my blog. He gave me his approval so here it is:
Which VMware VNIC is Best?
- Emulated version of the AMD 79C970 PCnet32 LANCE NIC
- An older 10 Mbps NIC
- Drivers are available in most 32-bit guest operating systems except Windows Vista and later.
- A virtual machine configured with this network adapter can use its network immediately.
- A virtual network adapter that has no physical counterpart
- Optimized for performance in a virtual machine (paravirtualized)
- VMware Tools contains the driver for this adapter
- The Flexible network adapter identifies itself as a Vlance adapter when a virtual machine boots, but initializes itself and functions as either a Vlance or a VMXNET adapter, depending on which driver initializes it.
- Emulated version of the Intel 82545EM Gigabit Ethernet NIC
- Driver included only with the following guest operating systems
- Linux versions 2.4.19 and later
- Windows XP Professional x64 and later
- Windows Server 2003 (32-bit) and later
- Jumbo Frames (ESXi 4.1+)
VMXNET 2 Enhanced (Good)
- Based on the VMXNET
- •rovides high-performance features commonly used on modern networks
- Jumbo frames
- HW offloads (TSO, TCP/IP checksum)
- Only available for some guest operating systems and on ESX/ESXi 3.5 or later
VMXNET 3 (Best)
- Next gen paravirtualized NIC (10Gb), designed for performance
- Not related to VMXNET/VMXNET 2
- All the features of VMXNET 2, plus several new features
- multiqueue support
- a.k.a. Receive Side Scaling (Windows)
- IPv6 offloads
- MSI/MSI-X interrupt delivery
- Faster than e1000(e), less CPU overhead
Thank you Doug!