Which VMware VNIC Should I Use?


Which VMware VNIC is Best?

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:


  • 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!



  1. athar

Leave a Reply

vSphere Data Protection EOA
3 Alternative vSphere Backup Replacements For VDP

Important Notification: vSphere Data Protection (VDP) End of Availability (EOA) That...

vSphere 6
8 Updates That Make vSphere 6 Better – Keith Barker

Editor’s note: Keith Barker has been a CBT Nuggets Trainer since 2012. Some...

VMware Interview Questions
25 VMware Interview Questions And Answers: Tough & Technical (Download PDF)

Free VMware vSphere Interview Guide In this VMinstall Guide I’ll share a...

Project Photon
VMware Project Photon: Technical Review for Linux Admins

My quick and dirty review of Project Photon. I was very happy...

DevOps Plan
Best DevOps Strategy Hack (Winners Start With Why)

What is DevOps? It’s a model. It’s a culture. It’s a...

DevOps Tools Download
DevOps Toolchain: Download 3 Free Tools Used By Pros (Ansible, Git, Jenkins)

Hack Your Resume with DevOps Skills Lately I’ve been getting a...

DevOps Guide
Microsoft DevOps: 25+ Powerful Windows SysAdmin Skills (NEW Guide!)

What is Microsoft DevOps? This is an interesting question because first off,...

continuous integration tools
DevOps Training Courses That Will Give You The Edge (Perfect For Beginners Who Want Skills That Are Noticed By Google & Facebook…)

When I was just a fledgling starting out as a Jr...

Click here to learn how to Optimize WordPress Speed
WordPress Speed Optimization: Part 4 – VPS Case Study To Make VMinstall.com Rank Higher In Google Through Faster Hosting & High Availability @ Lower Cost

This is going to be a quick and dirty part 4...

Best Hosting for WordPress
Case Study: Best VPS For Easy WordPress Migration

Why I moved my WordPress blog off slow shared hosting… Let’s...

cloudways review updated
11 Cloudways Review Pros & Cons From My Deep Dive Testing (VPS Series: Part 2)

Which is a better cPanel alternative of a VPS – Cloudways...

ServerPilot Review
ServerPilot Review: Installing WordPress On DigitalOcean (VPS Series: Part 1)

How to install WordPress on a cloud server like a Pro...

What’s So Interesting About Woz U?

On 10/12/2017, I had the privilege of attending the AZ Tech...

tensorflow training
TensorFlow Tools for Beginners (7 Easy Takeaways To Get You Started)

Introduction To Deep Learning As a follow-up to my book review...

job rut
How To Get MOVING When You’re Stuck In A Career Rut (Video)

You worked hard to get your degree and after graduation you...

Storage Engineer Skills
Why Storage Engineer Skills Are HOT! (Can You Say Big Data?)

3 BIG Skills New Storage Engineers Are Missing Out On… Behind...

Open Source Storage Software
3 Open Source Storage Software Alternatives For Beginners

Build Your Own Storage Solution! Reflecting on my trip to VMworld...

VMware VCP FOR Hire eBook
Read Excerpts from VCP for Hire eBook

BIG Thanks… Before I share the excerpt of VCP for Hire,...

How to Self Publish Your VMware eBook KDP
How to Self Publish Your VMware eBook KDP

Do you have a VMware book you’d like to self publish...

free chef for 5 servers
Free Hosted Opscode to Try Chef On 5 Servers Before You Buy

Is Chef the configuration management and automation tool for your operations team?...