VMware: Deploying Intel X710 DA2 CNA w/ v2.0.7 in ESXi 6.7U2/U3

11/26/19

Recently I’ve found an issue with trying to get a Intel X710 DA2 CNA card to work in ESXi 6.7U2/U3.

The standard driver that comes with the Dell ESXi install has the i40en as the default driver. However this doesn’t mate with the X710 DA2 10GbE card, it requires the i40e. The i40en is now mated to a 40GbE CNA card, completely depreciating it’s use with the 10GbE variant.

So had to manually delete the i40en driver from the ESXi 6.7U2/U3 host and then manually install a ESXi 6.0 driver (2.0.7) and then reboot the server in order for the X710 card(s) to show up in VMware properly.

As of this writing on 11/26/19, the link for the driver is found here.

If by the time you read this and this file is not accessible on VMware, I’ve saved the file to the repository on this blog, click here.

Here is what I did:

  1. 1st just to be safe entered the host into Maintenance mode
  2. Used WinSCP to upload the 2.0.7 driver into the /tmp folder after enabling SSH from DCUI
  3. then logging into the Shell via SSH and installing the driver, you have type this command: ‘esxcli software vib install -v /tmp/[driver name].vib’ and then you do a reboot
  4. ‘esxcli network nic list’
  5. the driver i40en was used, so drilled deeper and typed this:
  6. ‘esxcli system module list | grep i40e’ and got this:
  7. i40e                                false        false

    i40en                              true       true

  8.  So then I did this: ‘esxcli software vib remove -n i40en’ (I have no need for a 40GbE driver, so no need)
  9. I did a reboot and then the same command said this:
  10. ‘esxcli system module list | grep i40e’

    i40e                                true        true

  11. Now it was working and they could be used inside of ESXi; this solution has been working for several days now and we had to do this 3 month ago for a different deployment and no problem to date.

I hope this helps others! 🙂