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vSphere High Performance Essentials by Christian Stankowic

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Virtual network cards and drivers

When configuring networking for VMs, we can choose among the multiple types of virtual network cards. In this section, we will focus on the various types and possible use cases. To sum it up, we will compare the performance of possible configurations.

Refer to the following table for an overview about the possible vNIC flavors:

Driver (emulated device)

vHW

OS support

Features / Notes

E1000 (Intel 82545EM Gigabit Ethernet)

4+

Good, driver included in Linux 2.4.19+ and Windows 2003+

Basic GbE driver; not designed for high performance

VMXNET3

7+

Good overall support on Windows and Linux, driver included in vendor distribution or VMware Tools

Redeveloped para-virtualized NIC offering the best performance; ...

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