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Configuration maximums for NIC ports on ESXi/ESX 4.x and ESXi 5.x
VMware Tested Maximum ConfigurationVMware limit testing is performed with these settings:
These are maximums tested by VMware on systems with all NICs in a system in the same configuration. The testing below does not include mixed configurations where more than one kind of NIC is present in the system at the same time. That is, the adapters in one row cannot be combined with adapters in another row.
- 1500-byte MTU (no jumbo frames)
- The default number of queues for the NIC
|Manufacturer and NIC model||NIC Driver||Maximum Number of Supported NIC Ports||Number of CPUs||Memory|
|Intel PCI-x NIC||e1000||32||12||5.2 GB|
|Intel PCI-e NIC||e1000e||24||16||32 GB|
|Intel Zoar 1GigE||igb||16||16||32 GB|
|Broadcom 1GigE||tg3||32||16||32 GB|
|Broadcom 1GigE||bnx2||16||16||32 GB|
|NVIDIA 1GigE||forcedeth||2||4||8 GB|
|Neterion 10GigE||s2io||4||8||32 GB|
|Netxen 10GigE||nx_nic||4 (8 in ESXi 5.0)||8||32 GB|
|Intel 10GigE||ixgbe||4 (8 in ESXi 5.0)||4||16 GB|
|Broadcom 10GigE 5771x||bnx2x||4 (8 in ESXi 5.0)||8||72 GB|
|HP Flex-10||bnx2x||4 (physical NICs)|
The maximum configurations in the table above have been verified using ESX 4.0 build164009 using the drivers provided with that release. The configurations above have not been tested in any of these conditions:
Note: Some hardware vendors re-brand existing cards, but the underlying hardware will be the same. Refer to your hardware information to identify the correct hardware model.
- With drivers released on separate CDs outside of the base ESXi/ESX installation
- With jumbo frames (MTU > 1500 bytes)
- With any NetQueue settings other than the defaults
Maximum ConfigurationsYou can model the behavior of multiple adapter/driver classes running concurrently on a single system based on estimated CPU and memory requirements for various NICs. When using a large number of NICs on an ESXi/ESX system, make sure that the system has adequate memory and an appropriate number of CPUs. You must thoroughly qualify all such configurations prior to deployment.
Based on this modeling, VMware believes that you should be able to deploy these untested maximum configurations:
For 1500 MTU configurations:
For jumbo frame (for MTU up to 9000 bytes) configurations:
- 4 x 10G ports OR
- 16 x 1G ports OR
- When combining different speeds: 2 x 10G ports + 8 x 1G ports
- 4 x 10G ports (only if the number of cores in the system is more than 8) OR
- 12 x 1G ports OR
- When combining different speeds: 2 x 10G ports and 4 x 1G ports
- ESXi 5.x
For 1500 MTU and jumbo frame (for MTU up to 9000 bytes) configurations:
- 8 x 10G ports OR
- 32 x 1G ports OR
- When combining different speeds: 6 x 10G ports + 4 x 1G ports
- VMware recommends that you use a mixed environment to avoid a single point of failure for a driver issue.
- These estimates do not take into account platform-specific limitations. The configurations depend on the hardware, number of cores, overall system memory, and other factors.
- Based on VMware KB 1020808