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!


WAIT! Before You Go... Join Other Go-Getters

Enter your name & email address below to get started.

One Response to “Which VMware VNIC Should I Use?”
  1. athar

We're listening. Go ahead and share your ideas?

vSphere 6
8 Updates That Make vSphere 6 Better – Keith Barker
25 VMware Interview Questions: Tough & Technical (Download)
VMware jobs in Phoenix
VMware Jobs in Phoenix Arizona (Comparing Opportunities)
DevOps training
10 Reasons VMware Admins Should Boost OpenStack Skills
DevOps Tools
DevOps Toolchain: Download 3 Free Tools Used By Pros (Ansible, Git, Jenkins)
MSDevOps Guide
Microsoft DevOps: 25+ Power-Packed Windows SysAdmin Skills (NEW Guide!)
continuous integration tools
DevOps Training Courses That Will Give You The Edge (Perfect For Beginners Who Want Skills That Are Noticed By Google & Facebook…)
Why DevOps Fails: How To Get Back On Track
Why DevOps Fails: How To Get Back On Track
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
Best Hosting for WordPress
Case Study: Best VPS For Easy WordPress Migration
cloudways review updated
Cloudways Review: 12 Pros & Cons From My Deep Dive Testing (VPS Series: Part 2)
ServerPilot Review: Installing WordPress On DigitalOcean (VPS Series: Part 1)
Storage Engineer Skills
Why Storage Engineer Skills Are HOT! (Can You Say Big Data?)
Rise of the Robots
I’m Amazed After Reading Rise of the Robots – Best Jobs In 2017 (You won’t Guess what’s going on!)
top virtual reality jobs
30+ Awesome Virtual Reality Jobs That Take You From Boring To Amazing! (Must Read…)
Thinking Like Seth Godin
How To STOP A 300% Salary Loss Because YOU Think Like A SysAdmin: Start Thinking Like Seth Godin (Read Now!)
3 Open Source Storage Software Alternatives For Beginners
shades of devops
Free DevOps eBook Project (Read It Now!)
How to install Genymotion
How To Install Genymotion for Beginners (Includes Google Play)
20 Questions VMware Newbies Want Answered (Free Career Guide)