VMware Network Issue – ESXi 6.5 Dell R730 with Intel X710 VLAN

I recently deployed some Dell R730 servers with the Dell customised ESXi ISO and had a rather odd networking issue once VLANs were being tagged in the VMware platform;

  • Network connectivity was only working at a layer 2
  • Unable to ping the default gateway
  • The VM guests also had the issues above
  • Switch was also unable to ping the hosts

After some head scratching I decided to look at the drivers being used for the Intel X710 10GbE networking cards, the driver in use was i40en. After removing this driver using the command below, the host reverts to using the i40e(1.1.0) driver and the network connectivity was working and the VLANs tagged as expected.

  • esxcli software vib remove -n i40en

Now after some reading it would appear the correct driver to use for the Intel X710 card is i40e(2.06).

The correct process to fix this issue is;

  1. Install the updated i40e drivers.
  2. Uninstall the i40en drivers.
  3. Reboot the ESXi host. ESXi should now start using the newer i40e (2.06) drivers for the X710 nic.
2 replies
  1. Luke Williams
    Luke Williams says:

    I’ve run into this issue recently with a client that has FC630 blades with the X710 NIC’s in them. I have worked with VMWare support on this over the last 2 weeks and still haven’t been able to resolve it. I was advised by them to change the NIC Firmware to 18.0.17 and the driver to 2.0.7 but this still caused the same issue.

    I have also tried with the 2.0.6 driver and the 18.0.17 firmware, disabling the i40en driver and also removing the driver but neither of them worked.

    At this stage I’m looking to roll the hosts back to 6.0 as I know it was stable that way.


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