Intel X552/X557-AT Network Adapter Driver Installation on VMware ESXi

My home lab is comprised of two Supermicro SYS-5028D-TN4T servers which utilise the Intel Xeon-D system on chip (SoC) CPU. This chip has built in 10Gb Ethernet support and provides two ports for cool stuff like storage/vMotion/VSAN etc. We also have two 1Gb NICs, again provided through the SoC. Unfortunately the standard installation of VMware ESXi does not (currently) include the drivers for the 10Gb NICs so it is necessary to add them after install.

You can get details on the current driver version and compatibility from this link – VMware Compatibility Guide – Intel(R) Ethernet Connection X552/X557-AT 10GBASE-T

 

If we use the esxcli command ‘esxcli network nic list‘ we can see that only the dual 1Gb NICs are recognised by ESXi.

 

Now I will install the driver – in this instance I had a copy of the VIB (vSphere Installation Bundle) file stored on one of my datastores. You can also pull the file from a remote location, for example over HTTPS so there are other deployment options than the one outlined below. The command is esxcli software vib install -v [path to VIB]

 

The system indicated a reboot was required -after a reboot we can run the esxcli network nic list command again and jump with joy at the sight of our 10Gb NICs.

 

The 10Gb NICs are now available to bind to a VMware vSwitch –

Adapters Network Intel(R) Ethernet connection X552/X557-AT IOGBASE-T

 

In my case I have connected the 10Gb NICs from both servers directly into each other (back to back) so that I have a direct path between nodes. As you can imagine this gives me a huge amount of bandwidth to play with things like vMotion and storage traffic. Whether I can get hold of enough flash storage to push this to the limit is another matter!

As always if you have any comments, questions or suggestions please drop them in the comments section below.

2 thoughts on “Intel X552/X557-AT Network Adapter Driver Installation on VMware ESXi”

  1. Hi, Do you still have net-ixgbe-4.2.2-1OEM.550.0.0.1331820.x86_64.vib file? I can’t get it downloaded from vmware. Thanks!

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